Moment #2: Bifurcated skirts revolutionize a nation . . .

Posted: January 19, 2011

In 1902, camp pioneer Laura Mattoon founded Camp Kehonka for girls. A revolutionary for her time, Mattoon believed that all students, even girls, needed to interact with the natural environment. Although the bifurcated skirt was originally debuted at a fashion show in 1892, Mattoon was the first to include them as part of a girl’s camp uniform, allowing girls to move freely in the outdoors.

In her book, History of Organized Camping: The First 100 Years, Eleanor Eells stated that:

"[Mattoon] understood the place that women were to occupy in the twentieth century and that the camp experience would prepare them for it. Her ideas about camping, education, and a woman’s role were in advance of her time." (p. 14)

Over 100 years ago, something as simple as the bifurcated skirt helped lay the foundation for women in the twentieth century and beyond.