Summer Camps: The White Mountains Roots of an Iconic American Experience


Museum Exhibition Dates: May 3 – September 13, 2017

Curatorial Team: Paul Hutchinson, Marcia Schmidt Blaine, and Cynthia Robinson

Online Exhibition: Click here

Exhibition Catalogue (low-resolution version): Read here (pdf)

Camp Stories Videos: Click here

Camp Stories Oral History Collection: Click here

MWM Summer Camps Wiki: Click here

Have your own camp story?: Submit it here!


Our Summer Camps exhibition traces the sparks cast by the Transcendentalists and the early White Mountain tourists. They were the kindling for the first American summer camps that caught fire along the shores of Squam Lake and became the popular camps of the Progressive Era. These led to the torches carried forth by generations of campers from then to now.

In addition to images, artifacts, and narratives of the history of summer camp, the exhibit includes a participatory digital experience titled Camp Stories, inspired by the popular oral history project Story Corps. The tales collected through Camp Stories will not only be part of the exhibit, but will also be a lasting legacy for students and researchers into the future.

Visit the Plymouth State YouTube page Here to watch and listen to our “Camp Stories” Oral History Collection.

New Hampshire Camps who provided assistance and/ or are featured in this exhibition include: YMCA Camp Belknap, Camp Berea, YMCA Camp Coniston, Camp Deerwood, Camp Hale – United South End Settlements, The Horton Center, Kingswood Camp, The Mayhew Program (formerly Groton School Camp), Maplewood Caddy Camp, The BALSAMS Caddy Camp, Camp Merriwood, Camp Mowglis, Ogontz White Mountain Camp, Camp Onaway, Camp Pasquaney, Camp Pemigewassett, Pierce Camp Birchmont, Camp Sentinel, and Camp Winnetaska.


Click here for exhibit related events

Lesson Plans (pdf):

Exhibition Co-Curators:

Paul “Hutch” Hutchinson
Cynthia Robinson
Marcia Schmidt Blaine

Exhibition Design:

Cynthia Robinson

This exhibition is made possible in part by the generous support of Bea and Woolsey Conover and the members of the Museum of the White Mountains.