“Happy Campers”

For over a century of summers, boys and girls have been packing up and heading out for the week-long, wilderness adventure we call summer camp. Hallie E. Bond, Joan Jacobs Brumberg, and Leslie Paris, provide a detailed chronicle of this American tradition in their book, A Paradise for Boys and Girls: Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks. Not only does this descriptive documentary provide a directory of Adirondack camps, but it also explores the history of the camps, their influence on the lives of the campers, and their impact on the local community. With years of Adirondack experience as a curator of the Adirondack Museum since 1987, Bond, along with her co-authors, share their seasoned understanding of camps in the area, documented with rich essays and pictorial evidence dating back to 1886.

“This lavishly illustrated book included historic photos and “‘A Paradise for Boys and Girls’ will thrill any ‘child’ who was lucky enough to go to camp in the Adirondacks—and even those who still wish they had.”
Jewish Exponent

“The trio began their research in 1998 to learn more about the influence of the Adirondacks on camping. Their work yielded an exhibit on display at the Adirondack Museum. . . . One of the most fascinating aspects of the book concerns use of American Indian rituals. . . . The authors describe a variety of other experiences and approaches to camping. Some were academically oriented. Paris’ research suggests that the first girls camp in the Adirondacks was the French Recreation Class for Girls on Lake Placid, formed around 1896. Other camps supported young musicians or ballet dancers. Modern camps bring the experience to people with disabilities, or in the case of the Double H — Hole in the Woods Camp near Lake Luzerne, seriously ill children. . . . The authors have an eye for excellent anecdotes amid a massive amount of research material.”
The Sunday Gazette (Schenectady)

Whether your children are already signed up for summer camp or you’re searching for a woody place to send them next summer, Paradise for Boys and Girls: Children’s Camps in the Adirondacks is the perfect guide. With a directory of 331 camps in the Adirondack Park, it shouldn’t be difficult to turn your young ones into “happy campers!”

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