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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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Good and Dirty?

Good and Dirty?

Girls, Boys, and Camp Cleanliness

(p.146) (p.147) Chapter 5 Good and Dirty?
A Manufactured Wilderness

Abigail A. van Slyck

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the gendered practices of summer camp by looking more closely at the issue of camp sanitation and campers’ different roles in keeping the camp landscape free from disease. Standards about camp cleanliness shifted from the camp environment to campers’ bodies, but they remained highly gendered. Ideas about sanitation also varied with the sex and age of campers. By twentieth century, girls carried a double burden at American summer camps: they were expected to maintain high standards of cleanliness for their surroundings and for themselves. Given the rural location of early summer camps, the installation of the kind of sanitary fixtures considered essential in a hygienic home was difficult, if not possible.

Keywords:   gendered practices, summer camp, camp sanitation, campers, camp landscape, cleanliness, sanitation fixtures

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