UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture 401 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock, AR, 72201 email@example.com
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UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
UALR Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) Files on Camp Aldersgate, 1996
0.5 Linear feet; 1 document box
Scope and Contents Note
This collection contains the project report, interview transcripts, and audiocassette tapes from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Seminar in Public History's 1996 project, "Overcoming Obstacles, Reaching New Heights," directed by Deborah J. Baldwin, Ph.D., which includes a history of Camp Aldersgate and interviews with former directors, board members, and staff members.
Project staff: Valoise Armstrong, Tammie Dillon, Fred Green, Cindy Porter, and Roberta Saxon.
Located in Little Rock just minutes west of the capitol, Camp Aldersgate has served as a place of Christian outreach and social service since its dedication in 1946. The 120 acres of wooded land was a natural setting to establish interracial Christian fellowship and provide autonomy to women in the Methodist Church community in Arkansas. The Little Rock City Mission Board, created in 1938, sought to include women and break social barriers by promoting integrated recreational activities for children. Camp Aldersgate was created out of this mission of an integrated church network that would train Methodist workers and provide African American children from the city an opportunity to experience nature.
As the camp's services grew, the mission expanded to include other Christian denominations as well as community groups, such as the YMCA, the YWCA, the Girl Scouts, and the Boy Scouts. In the early years of the camp, its services included summer camps for children of all races, integrated workshops and retreats for Christian leaders, and Christian conferences.
As racial tension grew in the country around the 1954 Brown vs. The Board of Education decision, Camp Aldersgate served as a location where interracial groups could discuss how to proceed in integrating schools in Arkansas and ease the pressure felt in local communities. Despite the controversy around the camp's mission of integration, it continued providing grassroots workshops on integration and racial harmony and grew to 160 acres in 1956.
In 1967, Camp Aldersgate received an increase in federal aid and shifted its focus towards providing services for socially, physically, or economically disadvantaged children. Programs were developed in the 1970s to help senior citizens, children with mental or physical disabilities, and those in poverty. In 1974, Camp Aldersgate incorporated into a nonprofit organization and began holding fundraisers to generate local financial sources. By the 1980s, Camp Aldersgate narrowed its attention to children and adults with special needs, which continues to be its focus today.
Historical Note on UALR Seminar in Public History
The Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) is a required course restricted to graduate students in the Masters of Arts in Public History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Through direct readings and extensive research on specialized topics in public history, graduate students concentrate on basic skills needed for all specialized areas in public history. The objective of this course is for graduate students to experience team-research in the application of learned skills in report preparation, oral history, exhibition preparation, cultural resource management, and conservation techniques under a simulated contractual arrangement with a company or non-profit agency.
Camp Aldersgate (Ark.).
Camps for people with disabilities--Arkansas
Christian education, Outdoor--Arkansas
University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Department of History. (source)
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UALR Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) Files on Camp Aldersgate, 1996, UALR.MS.0229. UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock.
Footnote or Endnote info:
Description of item, file number, UALR Seminar in Public History (HIST 7391) Files on Camp Aldersgate, 1996, UALR.MS.0229.
Adrienne McGill, Graduate Assistant, M.A. in Public History, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Spring 2013.