Beckon Us From Home by Sarah Blesener
The dual messages of "America first" and "Americanism" can be found not only at the forefront of current political movements, but in the pages of literature and in the education taught at camps and clubs across the United States, where thousands of young people choose to spend their free time. While “Americanism” is a concept that has been around for decades, I am defining this “new Americanism” as a renewed embrace of the centuries-old theme of American exceptionalism and manifest destiny. In patriotic camps and clubs around the United States, roughly 400,00 American children annually are taught what it means to be an American, often with military subtext. In this microcosm of a changing nation, young people straddle the vulnerability of adolescence and the simultaneous stripping of individuality.