Roughing It: The History of Camping, a Virtual Event!

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020 (6:30 pm - 7:30 pm)

In Progress / Completed
Leader: Jillian Griffis

Event Information


Check out this awesome upcoming virtual event sponsored by our friends at The Mount Horeb Area Historical Society and UWConnects! 

More information:

The Mount Horeb Area Historical Society is partnering with the UW-Madison “Badger Talks” program to host Professor Emeritus Stanley Temple on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 6:30pm for, “Roughing It,” a virtual discussion about the history and future of recreational camping.

Registration is required; participants may choose to join via weblink or call-in number. To sign up, email (include “9-22 Camping Event” in the subject line) or call 608-437-6486 by Sunday, September 20.

Pandemic-era social distancing and travel restrictions have resulted in a surge of interest in outdoor recreation—including camping. Our social media feeds reinforce this phenomenon, as we scroll past countless images of cozy fires and colorful tents pitched along sparkling streams and in public parks across America.

Over 40 million Americans will go “camping” this year, escaping from their everyday life—and COVID-19 confinement—for outdoor adventures, from backpacking, to canoe and kayak camping, to
bicycle camping, and RV camping.

Of course, nomadic living is nothing new. People have been living outdoors without permanent dwellings for ages. How did camping shift from a lifestyle to a leisure activity?

Dr. Temple will review the development of recreational camping since its origins in the mid-19th century. Principal proponents will be highlighted such as Thomas Hiram Holding, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Henry Harrison Murray (the father of the “Outdoor Movement”), Charles Dudley Warner, George W. Sears (”Nessmuk”), Horace Kephart, and Ernest Thompson Seton.

Other related threads of interest will also be addressed, such as: How did automobiles change camping? How did the growing interest spark the need for camping gear? How did interest in camping influence advocacy for protecting wild lands? Are there limits beyond which camping in wild places becomes abuse? Should campers and other outdoor recreationists be more vocal advocates for protection of wild places?

Dr. Stanley (Stan) Temple is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and former Chairman of the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development Program in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW–Madison. For 32 years he held the academic position once occupied by Aldo Leopold. He is currently a Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Badger Talk is a UW-Madison outreach initiative, designed to engage Wisconsin residents on topics they care about and share the latest discoveries and research of UW’s world-class faculty, staff and graduate students.

For more info, email or call 608-437-6486.

Event Type
Virtual Event (meetings, lessons and socials hosted virtually)
Cancellation, Reschedule, and Refund Information
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Equipment/ Gear Required by Participant
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