Advertisement

Summer Camp (And The Living Is Easy)47:42
Download

Play
This article is more than 5 years old.

With guest host Michel Martin.

Pack your sleeping bag. Leave your iPhone at home.  We’re heading off to summer camp. Our midsummer salute to an American tradition.

In this photo taken Friday, June 12, 2015, at Camp Coniston John Tilley, executive director, walks through the camp as they prepare to open for the summer season in Croyden, N.H. (AP)
In this photo taken Friday, June 12, 2015, at Camp Coniston John Tilley, executive director, walks through the camp as they prepare to open for the summer season in Croyden, N.H. (AP)

Sweet summer. A time to kick back, relax—and shuttle the kids from soccer camp to band camp, to SAT prep, art class and oh, I don’t know...Spanish tutoring? Kids have a huge array of summer activities today, especially if their parents have some money to spare. But it wasn’t always this way. Hence sleepaway camp. Back in the day, camp was a spartan, back-to-nature affair,  where city parents would send their city kids ALL summer long: for fresh air and largely unscripted fun. This hour, On Point: Summer camp—is this another American tradition going by the way side?
-- Michel Martin

Guests

Leslie Paris, professor of American history at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Author of "Children's Nature: The Rise of the American Summer Camp."
Brooke Salkoff, founder of CampEasy.com. (@brookesalkoff)
Jean MacDonald, founder of App Camp for Girls. (@macgenie)

Mickey Black, owner and director of the Pine Forest Camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania.

From The Reading List

The Atlantic: In Praise of Summer Camp — "The first North American summer camps embodied Thoreau's belief that sojourns into the wilderness were essential in the face of 'over-civilization.' Earlier ventures, like the two-week camping trips organized by the Gunnery School in Washington, Connecticut, in 1861, had been extensions of existing educational institutions. The first private summer camp, the North Mountain School of Physical Culture, was founded by Dr. Joseph Trimble Rothrock, an environmentalist and 'father of forestry,' in 1876 near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania."

New Yorker: A Summer Camp for Making Apps, Not Friendship Bracelets — "The other day, in Portland, Oregon, a congregation of a dozen girls agreed that they did not like Justin Bieber; what excited them was Xcode, the suite of tools that Apple provides to software developers. Most of the girls were hearing of it for the first time, at the 'beta' session of App Camp For Girls, a weeklong program that teaches participants, ages twelve to fourteen, how to design and pitch iPhone apps."

Vanity Fair: How iPhones Ruined Summer Camp -- "Camp should seemingly be about separating from the familiar and forging new personal ground. But while some contemporary camps, like a $12,000-per-session one I found deep in the Adirondacks, disallow mobile devices and cellular parental contact for the entirety of the session, most preserve some electronic tether to home. Some, like a well-reputed performing-arts camp in the Catskills, ban phones for only the first week, allowing subsequent access daily during designated times. Others, like a camp in Connecticut, allow parents to e-mail their child regularly, but not vice versa. Or they encourage only hand-written communication, in one direction.

This program aired on July 8, 2015.

Advertisement

Advertisement