cover image Camp Girls: Fireside Lessons on Friendship, Courage, and Loyalty

Camp Girls: Fireside Lessons on Friendship, Courage, and Loyalty

Iris Krasnow. Grand Central, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5387-3226-7

Krasnow (Surrendering to Motherhood) recounts in her charming memoir the many life lessons learned while attending Wisconsin’s Camp Agawak, a sleep-away girl’s summer camp, from the age of eight in 1963. “All that is very adventurous, very sentimental, very brave, and very naughty about who I am today was birthed and nurtured there,” she explains. Toggling between past and present, Krasnow describes growing up in the Chicago suburbs as the daughter of a Polish Holocaust survivor, and notes that summers at Camp Agawak in the wilds of Wisconsin sowed the seeds for her life as a newspaper reporter and then as an author, and instilled in her kindness, responsibility, a sense of ambition, a desire to contribute to the greater good of a community, and taught her to remain steadfast during tough times. Krasnow also writes movingly of her close-knit community of alumni campers, who still maintain close ties to Camp Agawak as they support each other through such ordeals as breast cancer, the suicide of a sibling, and the death of a spouse. This is a thoroughly enjoyable dip into nostalgia for the simpler times of youth. (Apr.)