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State Historical Society of Iowa

Iowa History 101 - "Invading Vacationland for Christ": Postwar Era Summer Camps in Iowa

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Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 12:00 to 1:00pm

Register to join Rebecca Koerselman as she explores Iowa summer camps in the postwar era. Evangelical summer camps blossomed in the post-World War II years, more than tripling their numbers from 1945 to 1960. But scholars have yet to explain the phenomenon.  An examination of summer camps reveals that evangelicals desired to engage in mainstream culture through reaching American postwar youth.  They consciously worked to influence America’s youth in unprecedented ways, appealing to them through the combination of faith and fun, working to attract the growing teenage subculture in order to create and sustain the next generation of evangelical leadership. Summer camps, an innovative approach to reaching America’s youth, aided evangelicals as they sought to reassert both a Christian and American identity in the postwar milieu of anxiety and change. 

The Iowa History 101 webinars share Iowa stories and the history of the state through a cultural history lens on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Registration is required for each event and to receive a link to the recorded program.




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