Department or Program

American Cultural Studies


Ontario canoe-tripping camps, some of the oldest and most well-established summer camps in the world, have recently begun searching for ways to address issues of racial and socioeconomic exclusion within their institutions. It is well established that summer camp is a predominantly white, wealthy, masculine space, but methods for combating these forms of exclusion have of yet been largely unsuccessful. This study aims to contextualize the issues these camps face today within the broader framework of the settler-colonial project, wherein summer camps were founded as a means of replicating and impersonating an idealized colonial state on a microscopic scale. Specifically, it traces settler-colonial values of masculinity, whiteness, and social class from the founding of the North American camping movement to today, and how these values may have impacted the experiences of multiple generations of campers and staff. In this context, the settler-colonial project is broadly described as the aim of the United States and Canada to form white, European, patriarchal and capitalist societies on North American Indigenous lands, through the conscious erasure and eradication of Indigenous peoples. The project will rely on a series of multigenerational interviews and discussions with camp alumni, investigating the prevalence of colonial values in the camp experience.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Barnett, Kristen

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.