“Up Where The Sky Begins” – PFC Motto
Pine Forest Camp is one of the oldest camps in the United States of America owned and operated by the same family. Its founders were Hughie and Selma Black. Hughie was a teacher and gifted athlete who was the original captain and co-founder of the famous 1918 Philadelphia SPHAS basketball team. The SPHAS, forerunners of today’s NBA Philadelphia Sixers are celebrated in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
In 1931, Hughie and Selma purchased a camp high in the mountains of Greeley, Pike County, Pennsylvania. They quickly changed the name to Pine Forest because of the towering pine trees that surrounded the site, and Pine Forest Camp was born. That first year, camp enrollment was 25 children. In the years that followed, it grew rapidly adding a wide variety of activities and attracting children from across the United States and the world.
In 1946, Hughie and Selma’s son Marvin returned from a Navy tour and became involved with the camp. A few years later, he and his wife Annette, along with Hughie and Selma’s daughter Libby and her husband, Ted Halpern became directors. In 1984 Hughie and Selma’s grandson Mickey and his wife Barbara took on the responsibilities of directors and continued to expand the range of activities and the facilities.
Mickey and Barbara were joined as fulltime directors by their daughter Anna Black Morin in 2010, their son Lee Forest Black in 2012, and by Anna’s husband Eric Morin in 2018. Lee passed away unexpectedly at age 35 in February of 2021. Anna & Eric are the 4th generation of continuous family operation, a rare and extraordinary legacy.
Building on the success of Pine Forest, in 1961 and 1963, the Black and Halpern families founded our brother/sister camps, Lake Owego for boys and Timber Tops for girls, located just one mile away.
The camp organization has received extensive recognition and many awards over the years and was the subject of a feature article in the New York Times.
After seeing five generations of campers and more than 92 summers, Pine Forest is proud to continue its extraordinary tradition. As the Black family says, the camp’s success is really the success of each and every camper, every summer. Their fun, friendships and adventures are Pine Forest’s lasting legacy.
Recognition and Awards
- Featured in July 2015 on NPR radio show, On Point with Tom Ashbrook
- New York Times, front page feature article in the Sunday Business Section, July 2011 “When S’mores Aren’t Enough”
- Winner, Family Business of the Year Award, Wharton School of Business, The University of Pennsylvania
- Winner, Family Business of the Year Award, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Small Business Development Authority
- Organization of the Year Award, United States Tennis Association, Middle-Atlantic States
- Energy Star Award Winner, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Mentioned in The Wall Street Journal
- Declared one of “America’s Best Camps” by “Child” and “Changing Times” magazines.
- Company Founder, Hughie Black, Professional basketball player from 1918 to 1923, team celebrated in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA
Accreditation and Leadership
Pine Forest Camp is an Accredited Camp by the American Camp association (ACA) which means that it meets the highest standards for health and safety and is visited periodically to make sure that it maintains these standards.
Mickey Black is National Past President of the Association of Independent Camps (AIC), now the Camp Owners and Directors Association (CODA) of ACA, past President of the Eastern Pennsylvania Section of the ACA, and currently on the Board of Trustees of the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC).