Mission & History.

In 1968, Helen Herz Cohen had served as Director of Camp Walden for roughly 30 years and had witnessed the positive impact of a camp experience on girls' lives. Seeking to extend this opportunity to all young women, regardless of economic background, Miss Herz (as she was known until her death in 2006) began The Main Idea at Camp Walden, a 10-day summer camp program, running after the regular camp season and providing less fortunate girls with a camping experience nearly identical to that gained by Walden campers. Following in her mother's footsteps, Wendy Cohen carried on the Main Idea mission until her own death in 2008.

As it has since its first session in 1969, The Main Idea continues to provide girls ages 9 through 14 with a comprehensive, residential camping experience that includes land sports, water sports, horseback riding, climbing wall, dance, art, drama, and overnight camping activities. Through the challenges of learning a new sport, of spending a night under the stars, of group living in bunks, and of working together to achieve a common goal, girls learn self-reliance as well as patience and tolerance for others. Overall, the skills acquired at Main Idea enable girls to believe in themselves and contribute to their making positive choices that provide them with opportunities for lifelong growth.