Kent has had a long history of being home to a number of camps. The town’s close proximity to New York City, coupled with its natural beauty, made Kent an attractive home to more than a dozen different camps over the years. There are residential camps still thriving in Kent that draw campers and parents to town each summer season.
To celebrate the long history of camping in Kent, the Kent Historical Society will offer a new exhibit “The Camps of Kent: Memories of Summer” at the Seven Hearths Museum. The exhibit is open weekends 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 27. The Seven Hearths Museum, is located on 4 Studio Hill Road just off of Rte. 7 in Kent.
Camp Po-Ne-Ma, Camp Francis, Camp Kenwood/Kenmont, Camp Leonard/Leonore (now Club Getaway), Camp Kent, Kenico, Geer Mountain Camp, Camp Milford, and others have all been located in Kent’s hills and on its lakes. So many most joyful memories took place right here in Kent, and yet the story and setting of these much-loved places has never been told.
The town is still home to three state parks, two of which offer overnight camping. The phenomenon of exploring the outdoors through camping didn’t come into existence until the early 20th century. The idea grew in popularity with every passing decade and became more widespread and democratic.
Curator Marge Smith and Trustee Melissa Cherniske have worked hard in recent months to create an exhibit that will explore the many facets of camping.
Several of the camp alumni associations are planning reunions around the exhibit this summer and the Historical Society looks forward to welcoming the former campers back to town.
The Kent Historical Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret and present the rich history of Kent as well as to provide educational and research material to enrich the public understanding of Kent’s artistic and cultural heritage. For more information, see www.kenthistoricalsociety.org or call 860-927-4587.
For information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com