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"Young People's Camp Third Season Rowe, Mass. June 27-July 4, 1926"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Rowe, located along Massachusetts' northwest border, is one of the most remote towns in the state. Although it once had industries, including an iron mine and nail factory, all had been closed for more than forty years when the Connecticut Valley Unitarian Conference began holding its annual young people's meetings there. Summer camps for young people probably began in the United States in 1861 in Washington, Connecticut. There, Frederick Gunn and his wife Abigail, operators of a boys' school, took their class on what became an annual hike and camp. The first private youth camp in the United States opened in 1876 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. By 1910, enough camps existed that a national organization was created.


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