It’s almost summer camp time. The first camps for girls were opened in 1902, and within a few years they were located throughout the eastern US. Because these camps were for girls only, the prohibition against girls wearing pants in public did not apply, and in photos of even the earliest camps you see girls and young women wearing bloomers. By the 1920s middies and bloomers were standard wear at camp. In a 1920 list of articles to bring to Camp Keystone near Brevard, NC, girls were instructed to bring 8 middies, 4 bloomers and a heavy sweater. Skirts were not mentioned at all.
So the younger sisters, and even daughters, of the pioneering college students who first wore bloomers on a regular basis spent their summers attired in the relative freedom of middies and bloomers. And before long, this “uniform” was pretty much standard schoolgirl attire, although middies were worn with skirts outside the gymnasium. The girls of the teens became women in the Twenties and Thirties, and were the first to wear short and slacks in public. Not surprising, really.
All of the above is from my up-coming workshop that I’ll be presenting in 3 weeks on the VFG boards. I have really neglected my poor lonely journal, because I got so involved in the writing of the workshop and finding just the right photos. I had not planned to get it squared away quite so early, but I was afraid I’ve have one of those college class dreams – the one where I was enrolled in courses but was neglecting to go to class until the term was half over! I had that dream all through college, and when I started contemplating grad school, I started having it again. It was the single most important issue in my decision not to further my formal education!
But I digress. The above photo is from Camp Merry Meeting. I have no idea where this camp was located, but I got the photo in Ellijay, Georgia, not that that really means anything. It was probably taken in the early 1920s when bloomers were still full. I love that their stockings are rolled to below their knees. Rebels!