Camp Mowglis is pleased to announce we have added our summer camp to the National Register of Historic Places. It took our Camp Director, Nick Robbins, four years, and the contributions of many people to prepare the necessary paperwork for this nomination. Now our beautiful summer camp for boys is nationally recognized for its colorful and storied past. Our place on the register denotes our historic grounds, including the 65 acre property, rustic buildings, and over 1,300 feet of shoreline on Newfound Lake, as worthy of preservation.
Camp Mowglis – First of Its Kind in the US
Founded in 1903 by Elizabeth Ford Holt, also the founder of neighboring Camp Redcroft for girls, our New Hampshire camp was the first in the US to cater to boys under 14. The lead character in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book,” published in 1894, inspired the naming of Camp Mowglis. In the story, an orphaned boy named Mowgli is raised by a wolf pack, learning trust, teamwork, patience, empathy, kindness, self-reliance, and leadership from native animals. Holt sought Kipling’s approval for a slightly altered version of the lead character’s name. Kipling gave it, maintaining an interest in our camp throughout his life.
Many Mowglis Facilities Pre-Date World War II
Many of our facilities add to the historical significance of our campsite. Our chapel, assembly hall, and lodge, as well as our icehouse, pump house, woodshed, craft shop, tennis courts, and athletic fields, were all built before World War II. They feature similar architecture, including gable roofs, board-and-batten siding, multi-paned window sashes, porches, grid-patterned railings, and brick chimneys. Holt named the buildings after “Jungle Book” characters and settings, including the rec hall, named after Kipling himself. To preserve the rustic setting of our Newfound Lake camp, our buildings remain set in modest clearings, and our roads remain unpaved.
Mowglis Program Holds Tight to Its Traditional Roots
Our curriculum, designed by Colonel Alcott Farrar Elwell, who trained troops in World War I, remains relevant today. It includes activities or “industries” like crew, archery, swimming, hiking, and woodworking, in which boys earn awards ribbons for successfully progressing through each level of ability to skills mastery. Taking part in these traditional activities inspires the physical, mental, and emotional development of Mowglis campers. More than 100 years later, these industries endure. Camp Director Nick Robbins credits Mowglis’ continued success to “the people, the place, and the program” that have carried out its legacy.
Is your son ready for his first summer camp experience? We invite you to embark on the journey with us, becoming a part of our storied history. Contact us to learn more about Camp Mowglis today.