IRIS KRASNOW

Author    Professor    Speaker    Mother    Wife

Coming April 2020

Camp Girls cover

Camp Girls

Kirkus Review

Krasnow continues to focus on intimate relationships and personal growth, this time through the lens of the summer camp experience.

A self-described “summer camp lifer,” the author, whose books include The Secret Lives of Wives and Surrendering to Motherhood, has penned an extended love letter to the lakeside camp of her youth.

Throughout, she advocates for the positive, life-changing effects of camp life for all children. Starting at the age of 8, Krasnow attended northern Wisconsin's Camp Agawak for two months and continued for the next 10 summers as a camper and counselor. “Camp…is where it all started for me,” writes the author, continuing, “all that is very adventurous, very sentimental, very brave, and very naughty about who I am today was birthed and nurtured there.”

Later, the mother of four sons accompanied her boys to their summer camp to work as staff. In yet a third camp run, she returned to Agawak in her 60s to spend summers as a staff member, reviving the camp literary magazine.

Krasnow organizes the chapters by traits purportedly cultivated by camp — independence, ambition, versatility, responsibility, and so on — and intersperses her recollections with those of some lifelong camp friends about how the experiences engender these qualities.

Free of technology and parental micromanagement yet “seasoned by full-throttle summers that teach us a bounty of skills,” writes the author, “we become resourceful and adventurous adults who feel like we can do just about anything — no matter our age.”

– Kirkus Review
February 5, 2020

"Iris Krasnow's Camp Girls is an compelling must-read for life-long campers and prospective camp parents alike. One of the most thought-provoking and evocative camp memoirs I have ever read, Camp Girls encapsulates the transformative essence of immersive summer camp experiences for generations and also serves as a timely call-to-action for all parents. Social-emotional learning experiences are more important today for all children, youth and adults than ever before. Findings from decades of camp research suggest that summer camp is an optimal context for practicing these competencies which help young people thrive in school, 21st century workplaces and life. Iris' masterful story-telling had me laughing and crying while powerfully illuminating the lasting impacts of positive mindsets, skills and attitudes to learning nurtured in undistracted, human-centered, and adventurous camp communities in nature.”

– Tom Rosenberg
President/CEO
American Camp Association

Iris Krasnow brings us back to summer camp -- the place where memories were made, campfires were lit, songs were sung and friendships were formed. We didn't know it then, but for so many, those formative summers spent in cabins, lakes, and canoes made us into the athletes, artists, leaders, and loyal friends we are today. Reading Camp Girls is like finding that old camp photo album in your parent's basement and flipping through its pages with laughter and tears.”

Betsy Fischer Martin
Executive Director, Women & Politics Institute at American University
Former Executive Producer of Meet The Press, NBC News


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