Introductory Video

Exhibit Dates: May 26, 2023 – September 2, 2023

Summer camps for children were introduced during the last half of the 19th century. The camps offered a way for children to escape from an increasingly urban modern life. Famed child psychologist, G. Stanley Hall, proclaimed that it was essential for childhood development that children spend time outdoors to improve their bodies and minds. The best way to do that was by living in nature for the summer.

New Hampshire became a magnet for youth summer camps at the turn of the 20th Century with approximately 75 in operation in the Monadnock region since 1885. Several still operate here today.

Hello Mother, Hello Father: a history of summer camps in New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region shares the history of those establishments while delving into history of a national industry and the reforms that reshaped what it meant to be a child at the turn of the 20th century.