Take a step back in time at Mowglis summer camp for boys. One of the first youth camps in the US, Mowglis summer camp is named to the National Register of Historic Places for its contributions to recreational summer camp programs for kids, as well as its architecture. Administered by the US Department of Interior’s National Park Service, this designation deems our facilities worthy of protection and preservation. Our 65-acre grounds include many rustic buildings and over 1,300 feet of pristine Newfound Lake shoreline.

The Nation’s First Summer Camp Program for Boys Under 14

A nomination years in the making, Mowglis Camp Director Nick Robbins worked tirelessly for four years, assembling many patrons’ contributions to prepare the necessary paperwork for the National Register. Our overnight camp program was the first of its kind designed for children under 14. Mowglis boys’ summer camp, founded in 1903 by Elizabeth Ford Holt, was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s 1984 work, “The Jungle Book.” The story features an orphaned boy, Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack, who learns trust, teamwork, patience, empathy, kindness, self-reliance, and leadership from his native animal family. After seeking Kipling’s approval, Holt created the camp and its program, with activities inspired by outdoor experiences.

Pre-World War II Summer Camp Facilities

Mowglis overnight summer camp grounds feature many historic buildings. Our primary building, the Jungle House, built in 1830, was originally a one-and-a-half-story farmhouse. Surrounding structures, including Mowglis’ lodge, assembly hall, chapel, craft shop, woodshed, icehouse, and pumphouse, were all built before World War II. Buildings feature architectural similarities such as board-and-batten siding, gabled roofs, brick chimneys, multi-paned windows, and porches with grid-patterned railings. Holt named each structure after a “Jungle Book” character or setting, including the rec hall, named after Kipling himself, who retained an interest in the campground throughout his life.

To date, all Mowglis roads remain unpaved, and clearings remain minimal to preserve the camp’s rustic setting. Since its inception, a mountain trail has been named “Mowglis” by the US Geological Survey. Our camp has also been honored as a “Pioneer Camp” for its efforts to “materially aid the government in its fight to protect the forests from fire.” You can find a book documenting Mowglis architectural history available on our online camp store.

Mowglis Traditional Summer Camp Program Remains Relevant Today

The Mowglis boys summer camp curriculum was designed by Colonel Alcott Farrar Elwell, who trained troops in World War I, and continues to offer the same essential life skills through its traditional programming. More than 100 years later, these popular activities endure. Our summer camp activities, which we call “industries,” include time-honored favorites like hiking, archery, crew, swimming, woodworking, and more. Boys earn ribbons, similar to merit badges, as they progress through proficiency levels to skills mastery. These activities inspire physical, mental, and emotional growth as campers surmount obstacles together. Mowglis’ Camp Director Nick Robbins credits the program’s continued success to “the people, the place, and the program” that have carried out its legacy.

Experience the Joy of Boys’ Summer Camp

Become a part of Mowglis’ long and storied history. Reserve your spot at Mowglis summer camp, named to the National Register of Historic Places before registration fills. Contact us at 603-744-8095 to learn more about our traditional boys’ summer camp program today.