An impenetrable cult of nostalgia surrounds summer camps. Yet, the rise of the Southern girls'' camping movement in the 1920s encouraged elite daughters of the South to be more than belles. Most Southern girls'' camps before 1950 exposed a select core of Southern women to activities and progressive ideals that differed from Southern tradition. Many Southern girls'' camp directors created camps that challenged male supremacy and attracted the support of Southerners. Girls who had the opportunity to attend camp became essential members of female communities that celebrated women''s strength and independence. They enjoyed the freedom and female communion of camp life, which gave them the opportunity to lead others and deviate from Southern propriety. Parents sent their daughters to summer camp with the understanding that that camp protected girls from frivolous, sinful leisure activities and exposed them to the latest techniques in education. Camp life offered Southern girls much more. Campers learned new skills, developed new interests, and participated in traditions and activities that differed considerably from those of traditional Southern society.