For over a century children have spent their summers at “sleepaway” camps in the Adirondacks. These camps inspired vivid memories and created an enduring legacy that has come to be a uniquely American tradition. In A Paradise for Boys and Girls: Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks, a complement to the Adirondack museum exhibit of the same name, the authors explore the history of Adirondack children’s camps, their influence on the lives of the campers, and their impact on the communities in which they exist.
Drawing on the rich documentary and pictorial evidence gathered from the histories of 331 camps located in the Adirondacks from 1886 to the present, this collection chronicles the changing attitudes about children and childhood. Historian Leslie Paris details social change in “Pink Music: Continuity and Change at Early Adirondack Summer Camps.” In the title essay of the book, Hallie Bond offers a history of Adirondack camping from the establishment of Camp Dudley on Lake Champlain in 1892 to the present. Finally, historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg concludes the collection with “A Wiser and Safer Place: The Meaning of Camping During World War II.”
Lavishly illustrated with historic photographs, the book includes a directory of Adirondack camps, with brief descriptive notes for each of the camps. The photographs and essays in this volume offer readers a richer understanding of this singular region and its powerful connection to childhood.
Hallie E. Bond has been a curator at the Adirondack Museum since 1987. She is the author of Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks, copublished by Syracuse University Press and the Adirondack Museum.
Joan Jacobs Brumberg is professor of history, human development, and gender studies at Cornell University. She is the author of The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls.
Leslie Paris is assistant professor of history at the University of British Columbia. She has written numerous articles on modern American social and cultural history, childhood, and youth.
8.5 x 11, 160 pages, 139 black and white illustrations