How did you spend your summers as a kid? Although there are some who don’t, many of us have fond memories of summer camp. Not just for hiking, canoeing and archery – the traditional idea of a summer camp in the woods has also evolved into computer camp, space camp, theater camp and more. Even so, when you think back to your days at camp it’s like you can smell the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin. The memory of marshmallows hot from the fire sticking to your fingers as you push it between two graham crackers makes your mouth water. No matter what kind of camp you attended, it evokes nostalgic feelings of your youth.


camp letters and photos before scanningAt the beginning of the summer a family came to us with a large, beautiful collection of items they wanted to scan to digital. They had everything! Framed, oversized panoramas; loose photos of all sizes; photos in albums & scrapbooks; handwritten letters and even old brochures and newsletters. All of it was from a turn of the century girls summer camp that had been founded by our clients family and every item was more interesting than the last.

Everything had been lovingly preserved, especially the scrapbooks. After reviewing this unique, project with our client we knew it was the kind of project we might not see again and that we would love to share it.


A scan from the completed archive
A scan from the completed archive

North America first saw the concept of summer camp in the 1800’s. In the beginning, not nearly as specialized, camp was an outpost on a lake that allowed children to get back to nature and apply their hours in the school room to real life situations and adventures.

The earliest camps were small, private camps for boys that catered to the privileged and sprung up in the woods of Northern New England. The Victorian era held a firm belief in the benefits of nature to our morales and health. The camps were incredibly rustic in design and were so popular they were developed for a wider audience. To create a generation of self – reliant women, summer camps for girls began to develop and grow in popularity in the early 20th century.


We figured you were wondering.

This was a big project, with a lot of fragile items. There was so much worth sharing, it would not be possible to do it all in one post. So we photographed the project from the beginning; through the scanning, editing and quality process; to the end result – a single USB for the entire family to share. We will share with you our processes for photos, albums and document scanning as well as before and after’s of some of the true highlights from this collection.

As the summer comes to an end, we hope this post series gives you a little nostalgia as you read.