At the end of the 1800s, child labor laws and compulsory education in American became legislated, while at the same time, play for children was advocated and social groups pushed for children to experience an actual childhood instead of being sent to work. Many urban parents wanted their children to attend school year-round and also experience the outdoors while learning about self-sufficiency. Cue the American summer camp!
Hendersonville’s first summer camp opened in 1910, and because of its wide open space and access to outdoor recreation, the industry quickly boomed. By 1921, the Asheville Citizen-Times called Hendersonville, “the center of camps in the South.” In 1922, camps Greystone (for girls) and Mondamin (for boys) opened in Tuxedo, both of which are still open and are the oldest camps operating continuously in the county.
Today, our neighboring 3-county region, including Henderson County, offers one of the largest concentrations of summer camps in the United States. The area’s summer camps have helped to preserve the region’s natural resources while teaching generation after generation the value and importance of our great outdoors.
Parents love to pair their child’s summer camp experience with an extended family vacation by tacking on a long weekend to their summer camp drop off or pick up date, so they can explore the area with the whole family, or taking the time the child is at camp for a parents-only getaway, exploring all that the region has to offer.