By Leslie Paris
For over a century, summer season camps have supplied many American kid's first event of neighborhood past their speedy kin and neighborhoods. every one summer season, young ones adventure the ache of homesickness, learn how to swim, and sit down round campfires at evening. kid's Nature chronicles the background of the yank summer time camp, from its invention within the overdue 19th century via its upward push within the first 4 many years of the 20 th century. Leslie Paris investigates how camps got here to subject so significantly to such a lot of american citizens, whereas supplying a window onto the stories of the youngsters who attended them and the aspirations of the adults who created them. summer season camps helped cement the inspiration of formative years as a time aside, instantly safe and playful. Camp leaders promised that campers will be bodily and morally invigorated by means of clean mountain air, basic foodstuff, day-by-day swimming, and workforce dwelling, and therefore higher healthy for the 12 months to return. yet camps have been vital in addition simply because kids overjoyed in them, helped to form them, and felt reworked via them. Focusing totally on the northeast, the place camps have been first based and the grew so much generally, and drawing on quite a number resources together with camp motion pictures, novice performances, brochures, oral histories, letters domestic, journals, camp newspapers, and scrapbooks, kid's Nature brings this exact and emotionally resonant global to existence.
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Additional info for Children's Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp (American History and Culture)
89 Camp Dudley’s early success reﬂected its founder’s devotion to boys. Dudley paid all his camp’s expenses in its early years. In 1887 he gave up his business to devote himself full-time to YMCA work. 91 In later years, YMCA camps’ success reﬂected the growing importance of “boys’ work” for the organization. By the turn of the twentieth century, camps were a staple of YMCA outreach efforts, and new camps were being founded every year. In 1901, there were 167 YMCA camps nationwide, most clustered near northeastern cities.
During the latter half of the century, thousands of tourists paid to board on working farms in order to experience ﬁrst-hand the beneﬁts of farm-fresh food and country air and to witness (but not to join in) hardy, virtuous labor. The second was a preagricultural wilderness ideal, which valued the spiritual and aesthetic possibilities of “uncivilized” nature over any utilitarian importance. This enthusiasm was enshrined in the late-nineteenth-century popular press in specialized magazines for sportsmen such as Forest and Stream (1873), Outing (1885), and Outdoor Life (1897) and in the movement to create national parks and other protected spaces outside the reach of industrial and agricultural sprawl.
As he noted with amazement, many of his clients had no idea what their fathers did in their ofﬁces all day long. ”45 In the woods, Chocorua campers learned not only about nature but also about capitalism, market values, buying on credit, hiring themselves out, and paying for the labor of others—skills with applications in the environments from which they came and to which they would soon return. The boys began with equal personal as- Small Islands | 35 sets: an allowance of twenty-ﬁve cents per week each to spend as they wished.
Children's Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp (American History and Culture) by Leslie Paris