Camp Shady Shore
Camp Shady Shore

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Summer School Camp Shady Shore

"The most popular feature of early summer schools at Oswego was Camp Shady Shore, a tent colony begun in the summer of 1919, when a few students pitched their tents by the lake. In 1920 there were four tents, and, in 1921, thirty additional tents were obtained from the state militia. By the 1930's there were twenty-one cabins, six tents, and a large trailer area. Furniture, iceboxes and cots were furnished as well as electricity".
Dorothy Rogers' Oswego: Fountainhead of Teacher Education, 1961.

Camp Shady Shore was established in conjunction with the summer school program at the Oswego Normal School in 1919. The purpose of the summer programs at Oswego was to provide teachers with the opportunity to upgrade their skills, expand their knowledge, work toward certification and earn credits toward a degree. It specialized in courses to meet the needs of teachers of vocational subjects. Camp Shady Shore made it possible for teachers to afford a six week summer school program away from home, in pleasant lakeshore surroundings. Many brought their children with them.

The tent colony began at the road in front of the Principal's house (Shady Shore), and continued in rows on either side and behind the house extending toward the lake. There was also a row of cabins. The school owned the tents; tents and cots were loaned to the students; campers furnished their own blankets and cooking utensils. The only costs were for electric lights and water.

Running water from the city system was available and provided satisfactory sanitary conveniences. There was a community outhouse with plumbing. Additional showers and toilets for the entire camp were located in back of the Principal's house. Campers lugged containers of water to their campsite. Many people, especially children bathed in the lake.

Oswego's unique Camp Shady Shore, lakeside haven for teachers' families during the summer session, was in operation through the summer of 1956. Camp Shady Shore ceased because the camp site became occupied by excavations and the framework for the new lakeside dormitory in 1957.

Special Collections, Penfield Library, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126