Photography and Camp Culture: “The Early Days of Summer Camp”

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Because of the hard work of our staff photographers, parents and others in our community who can’t be with us at Camp get to experience its magic.  

Their photos allow us to document daily events for later viewing, but they also have the power to capture emotions and moods.  Through facial expressions, lighting, and other factors, a photo becomes its own unique imprint of a moment.

We’re also lucky to have the modern advantage to share photos digitally, whether it be on our SmugMug siteFacebook feed, or through Instagram.

To find out what Camp was like way back when the tradition started (when cameras only used film and long before social media arrived), recently featured a photo slideshow that depicts camp life from the late 1800s to 1900s.

The article discusses how summer camps were part of the National Parks movement to “reclaim the natural world”, or at least preserve it.

The collection, called “The Early Days of Summer Camp”, features campers from Europe and the US; they remind us that while lots has changed, most traditions stay the same — archery, letter-writing, fire-building, and outdoor cooking, anyone?

But we found that the most prevalent similarity between the older photos and our camp photos is the way the everyone seems to be laughing, smiling, and enjoying the company of friends.

What’s your favorite photo from the collection?  Do you have a favorite photo from Camp you’d like to share?  Write a comment below!