Section 3: Satellite Campuses for America’s Top Schools

September 27th, 2017 by Rebecca

From their inception, summer camps were educational institutions working in large part to either supplement students’ learning or to prepare the campers for their next stage of life. Because of this, early summer camps stressed a close connection to America’s universities, especially the Ivy League. Many camps drew their counselor staff from elite colleges, helping to turn the camps into training grounds for collegiate life.

Peter Ferber. "Summer Hangout." 2013. Watercolor on paper. John Hession photo. Courtesy of Michael Mooney and Robert Cram.

Peter Ferber. “Summer Hangout.” 2013. Watercolor on paper. John Hession photo. Courtesy of Michael Mooney and Robert Cram.

Camps like Pasquaney, founded on Newfound Lake in 1895, maintained close connections with Universities, students, and alumni. At Pasquaney, which was closely linked with Yale,  college traditions found their way into to daily camp life, including the attire, athletics, songs, dining hall practices, and the similarity of cabin décor and dorm room life.

Most early twentieth century summer camps stressed their links to American colleges and universities by specifically identifying their relationship in promotional brochures aimed at parents and potential campers. Camp directors and founders were often affiliated with elite schools and counselors’ names were listed with their college affiliation as a way to stress the quality of the camp. Some camps even operated as a direct extension of a school or college.

Not all summer camps venerated New England’s elite universities. In a possibly tongue in- cheek swipe at the Ivy Leagues, the campers at Camp Belknap on Lake Winnipesaukee whose parents were more likely to be mill managers than mill owners, referred to their latrines as “Scollages,” bestowing upon them the names of Harvard, Dartmouth, and Princeton.

Courtesy of Camp Pemigewassett.

Courtesy of Camp Pemigewassett.

Dudley Sargent, the nation’s leading voice in physical education at the turn of the century and founder of Sargent Camp in Peterborough, New Hampshire, said:

There is little question that the summer camp is here as a permanent addition to our educational institutions. Already the camps have done more than save the boy’s summer, – they have made him a hardier, more resourceful boy, the promise of a more self-reliant, better disciplined man.

Courtesy of Camp Pemigewassett.

Courtesy of Camp Pemigewassett.

 

Walk Through the Exhibit

Section 1: Children’s Resorts in the White Mountains

Section 2: The Literary Links to Experiential Romanticism

Section 3: Satellite Campuses for America’s Top Schools

Section 4: Camps for All, or the Egalitarian Worlds of Summer Camps

Section 5: Constructing Meaning and Finding Lessons from Native Americans

Section 6: The Technology Needed to Reject Technology

Section 7: The Legacy of New Hampshire Summer Camps

Return to Exhibit Information