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A Manufactured WildernessSummer Camps and the Shaping of American Youth, 1890-1960$
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Abigail A. Van Slyck

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780816648764

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816648764.001.0001

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Housing the Healthy Camper

Housing the Healthy Camper

Tents, Cabins, and Attitudes toward Health

(p.96) (p.97) Chapter 3 Housing the Healthy Camper
A Manufactured Wilderness

Abigail A. van Slyck

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the site associated with sleeping, areas considered particularly significant in maintaining camper’s good health. In the earliest decades of organized camping, tents were the rule. The transition from tents to cabins is complicated by conflicting theories of disease prevention. A camp’s health-giving qualities had a great impact on the camp landscape. The focus on campers’ psychological well-being prompted the construction of elaborate cabins with integral socializing space that allowed counselors to assess the emotional health of campers. Such cabins were featured in the camp-planning manuals published by the YMCA, Girl Scouts, and Camp Fire Girls in the late 1940s, which became common features of the camp landscape in the postwar camp-building boom.

Keywords:   sleeping, good health, tents, cabins, disease prevention, emotional health, campers

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