Camping For Boys
by H.W. Gibson
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Transcriber's Notes.

This book shows a world where character and morality are prized. The goal of camp is not just to get the boys out the parents' hair, but to encourage good character and citizenship. Camp leaders are enticed by the contribution they can make to the boys' futures and are selected (or rejected) based on their own moral virtues.

There are many practical suggestions for safety and comfort aside from the absence of modern materials and conveniences, like nylon and gas stoves.

Medical advice given in the book is from 1913 and may be unhelpful, often contradicts current practice and involves unsafe or now illegal substances.

The approximate conversion for prices is 20 to 1, $1 in 1913 is about $20 in 2004.

The Heart of the Camp

Have you smelled wood smoke at twilight? Have you heard the birch log burning? Are you quick to read the noises of the night? You must follow with the others for the young men's feet are turning To the camps of proved desire and known delight.

From Kipling's "Feet of the Young Men."






Foreword General Bibliography I. The Purpose of Camping II. Leadership; Bibliography (See General Bibliography) III. Location and Sanitation; Bibliography IV. Camp Equipment V. Personal Check List or Inventory VI. Organization, Administration and Discipline VII. The Day's Program; Bibliography VIII. Moral and Religious Life; Bibliography IX. Food X. The Camp Fire; Bibliography XI. Tramps, Hikes and Overnight Trips XII. Cooking on Hikes; Bibliography XIII. Health and Hygiene; Bibliography XIV. Simple Remedies XV. First Aid XVI. Personal Hygiene XVII. Athletics, Campus Games, Aquatics, Water Sports; Bibliography XVIII. Nature Study; Bibliography XIX. Forecasting the Weather; Bibliography XX. Rainy Day Games; Bibliography XXI. Educational Activities; Bibliography XXII. Honor, Emblems and Awards XXIII. Packing Up Index.


The author has conducted boys' camps for twenty-three years, so that he is not without experience in the subject. To share with others this experience has been his aim in writing the book. The various chapters have been worked out from a practical viewpoint, the desire being to make a handbook of suggestions for those in charge of camps for boys and for boys who go camping, rather than a theoretical treatise upon the general subject.

Thanks are due to E. M. Robinson, Dr. Elias G. Brown, Charles R. Scott, Irving G. MacColl, J. A. Van Dis, Taylor Statten, W. H. Wones, H. C. Beckman, W. H. Burger, H. M. Burr, A. B. Wegener, A. D. Murray, and H. M. Allen, for valuable suggestions and ideas incorporated in many chapters.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following publishers for permission to quote from the books mentioned in the bibliography—Charles Scribner's Sons, Harper Brothers, Outing Publishing Company, Baker & Taylor Company, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, Penn Publishing Company, Doubleday, Page & Company, Hinds, Noble & Eldredge, Ginn & Company, Sunday School Times Company, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Little, Brown & Company, Moffat, Yard & Company, Houghton, Mifflin Company, Sturgis & Walton, Funk & Wagnall's Company, The Manual Arts Press, Frederick Warne & Company, Review and Herald Publishing Company, Health-Education League, Pacific Press Publishing Company.

Every leader, before going to camp, should read some book upon boy life, in order, not only that he may refresh his memory regarding his own boyhood days, but that he may also the more intelligently fit himself for the responsibility of leadership. The following books, or similar ones, may be found in any well-equipped library.

If this book will help some man to be of greater service to boys, as well as to inspire boys to live the noble life which God's great out-of-doors teaches, the author will feel amply repaid for his labor. Boston, Mass., April, 1911.


Boy-Life and Self Government—Fiske. Association Press, $1.00. Boy-Training—Symposium. Association Press, $1.00. Youth—Hall. Appleton and Company, $1.50. Winning the Boy—Merrill. Revell and Company, $0.75. The Boy Problem—Forbush. Pilgrim Press, $1.00. Up Though Childhood—Hubbell. Putnam and Company, $1.25. Growth and Education—Tyler. Houghton, Mifflin Company, $1.50.


A Course in Camping—Edgar M. Robinson. Feb., 1902. The Sanitary Care of a Boys' Camp—Elias G. Brown, M.D. April and June, 1902. Seventeen Seasons in One Boys' Camp—G. G. Peck. April. 1902. Association Boys' Camps—Edgar M. Robinson. June, 1902. Following Up Camp—Editorial. October, 1902. What Men Think of Camp—Edgar M. Robinson. June, 1903. Fun Making at Camp—C.B. Harton. June. 1903. Educational Possibilities at Camp—F. P. Speare. June, 1903. Bible Study at Camp—Raymond P. Kaighn. June, 1903. Simple Remedies at Camp—Elias G. Brown, M.D. June, 1903. Tuxis System—H.L. Smith. April, 1904. Life at Camp Dudley—Raymond P. Kaighn. June, 1905. Life-Saving Crew—F.H.T. Ritchie. June. 1905. Summer Camps—Frank Streightoff. June, 1905. Wawayanda Camp—Chas. R. Scott. June. 1907. Objectives in Camps for Boys—Walter M. Wood. June, 1907.



It is great fun to live in the glorious open air, fragrant with the smell of the woods and flowers; it is fun to swim and fish and hike it over the hills; it is fun to sit about the open fire and spin yarns, or watch in silence the glowing embers; but the greatest fun of all is to win the love and confidence of some boy who has been a trouble to himself and everybody else, and help him to become a man.—H. M. Burr.

The summer time is a period of moral deterioration with most boys. Free from restraint of school and many times of home, boys wander during the vacation time into paths of wrongdoing largely because of a lack of directed play life and a natural outlet for the expenditure of their surplus energy. The vacation problem therefore becomes a serious one for both the boy and his parent. Camping offers a solution.

The Need

"A boy in the process of growing needs the outdoors. He needs room and range. He needs the tonic of the hills, the woods and streams. He needs to walk under the great sky, and commune with the stars. He needs to place himself where nature can speak to him. He ought to get close to the soil. He ought to be toughened by sun and wind, rain and cold. Nothing can take the place, for the boy, of stout physique, robust health, good blood, firm muscles, sound nerves, for these are the conditions of character and efficiency. The early teens are the most important years for the boy physically... Through the ages of thirteen and fifteen the more he can be in the open, free from social engagements and from continuous labor or study, the better. He should fish, swim, row and sail, roam the woods and the waters, get plenty of vigorous action, have interesting, healthful things to think about."—Prof. C. W. Votaw.

The Purpose

This is the real purpose of camping—"something to do, something to think about, something to enjoy in the woods, with a view always to character-building"—this is the way Ernest Thompson-Seton, that master wood-craftsman, puts it. Character building! What a great objective! It challenges the best that is in a man or boy. Camping is an experience, not an institution. It is an experience which every live, full-blooded, growing boy longs for, and happy the day of his realization. At the first sign of spring, back yards blossom forth with tents of endless variety. To sleep out, to cook food, to search for nature's fascinating secrets, to make things—all are but the expression of that instinct for freedom of living in the great out-of-doors which God created within him.

Too Much House

"Too much house," says Jacob Riis; "Civilization has been making of the world a hothouse. Man's instinct of self-preservation rebels; hence the appeal for the return to the simple life that is growing loud." Boys need to get away from the schoolroom and books, and may I say the martyrdom of examinations, high marks, promotions and exhibitions! Medical examinations of school children reveal some startling facts. Why should boys suffer from nerves? Are we sacrificing bodily vigor for abnormal intellectual growth? Have we been fighting against instead of cooperating with nature?

The tide is turning, however, and the people are living more and more in the open. Apostles of outdoor life like Henry D. Thoreau, John Burroughs, William Hamilton Gibson, Howard Henderson, Ernest Thompson-Seton, Frank Beard, Horace Kephart, Edward Breck, Charles Stedman Hanks, Stewart Edward White, "Nessmuck," W. C. Gray, and a host of others, have, through their writings, arrested the thought of busy people long enough to have them see the error of their ways and are bringing them to repentance.

Camps for boys are springing up like mushrooms. Literally thousands of boys who have heretofore wasted the glorious summer time loafing on the city streets, or as disastrously at summer hotels or amusement places, are now living during the vacation time under nature's canopy of blue with only enough covering for protection from rain and wind, and absorbing through the pores of their body that vitality which only pure air, sunshine, long hours of sleep, wholesome food, and reasonable discipline can supply.

Character Building

In reading over scores of booklets and prospectuses of camps for boys, one is impressed with their unanimity of purpose—that of character building. These are a few quotations taken from a variety of camp booklets:

"The object of the camp is healthful recreation without temptation."

"A camp where boys live close to nature, give themselves up to play, acquire skill in sports, eat plenty of wholesome food, and sleep long hours ... and are taught high ideals for their own lives."

"To give boys a delightful summer outing under favorable conditions, and to give them every opportunity to become familiar with camp life in all its phases. We believe this contributes much to the upbuilding of a boy's character and enables him to get out of life much enjoyment that would not otherwise be possible."

"A place where older boys, boys of the restless age, may live a happy, carefree, outdoor life, free from the artificialities and pernicious influences of the larger cities"; a place where "all the cravings of a real boy are satisfied"; a place "where constant association with agreeable companions and the influence of well-bred college men in a clean and healthy moral atmosphere make for noble manhood; a place where athletic sports harden the muscles, tan the skin, broaden the shoulders, brighten the eye, and send each lad back to his school work in the fall as brown as a berry and as hard as nails."

"A camp of ideals, not a summer hotel nor a supplanter of the home. The principal reason for its existence is the providing of a safe place for parents to send their boys during the summer vacation, where, under the leadership of Christian men, they may be developed physically, mentally, socially, and morally."

Whether the camp is conducted under church, settlement, Young Men's Christian Association, or private auspices, the prime purpose of its existence should be that of character building.

"Because of natural, physical, social, educational, moral, and religious conditions, the boy is taught those underlying principles which determine character. The harder things a boy does or endures, the stronger man he will become; the more unselfish and noble things he does, the better man he will become."

No Rough-house

The day of the extreme "rough-house" camp has passed. Boys have discovered that real fun does not mean hurting or discomforting others, but consists in making others happy. The boy who gets the most out of camp is the boy who puts the most into camp.


Many camps build their program of camp activities around a motto such as "Each for All, and All for Each," "Help the Other Fellow," "Do Your Best," "Nothing Without Labor," "A Gentleman Always," and "I Can and I Will."

Scout Law

Endurance, self-control, self-reliance, and unselfishness are taught the "Boy Scouts" through what is called the "Scout Law."

(1) A Scout's honor is to be trusted; (2) Be loyal; (3) Do a good turn to somebody every day; (4) Be a friend to all; (5) Be courteous; (6) Be a friend to animals; (7) Be obedient; (8) Be cheerful; (9) Be thrifty.

All these are valuable, because they contribute to the making of character.

In the conduct of a boys' camp there must be a definite clear-cut purpose if satisfactory results are to be obtained. A go-as-you-please or do-as-you please camp will soon become a place of harm and moral deterioration.


Camping should give to the boy that self-reliance which is so essential in the making of a life, that faith in others which is the foundation of society, that spirit of altruism which will make him want to be of service in helping other fellows, that consciousness of God as evidenced in His handiwork which will give him a basis of morality, enduring and reasonable, and a spirit of reverence for things sacred and eternal. He ought to have a better appreciation of his home after a season away from what should be to him the sweetest place on earth.



The success or failure of a boys' camp depends upon leadership rather than upon equipment. Boys are influenced by example rather than by precept. A boys' camp is largely built around a strong personality. Solve the problem of leadership, and you solve the greatest problem of camping.

The Director

No matter how large or how small the camp, there must be one who is in absolute control. He may be known as the director, superintendent, or leader. His word is final. He should be a man of executive ability and good common sense. He should have a keen appreciation of justice. A desire to be the friend and counsellor of every boy must always govern his action. He will always have the interest and welfare of every individual boy at heart, realizing that parents have literally turned over to his care and keeping, for the time being, the bodies and souls of their boys. To be respected should be his aim. Too often the desire to be popular leads to failure.


Aim to secure as assistant leaders or counsellors young men of unquestioned character and moral leadership, college men if possible, men of culture and refinement, who are good athletes, and who understand boy life.

"They should be strong and sympathetic, companionable men. Too much care cannot be exercised in choosing assistants. Beware of effeminate men, men who are morbid in sex matters. An alert leader can spot a 'crooked' man by his actions, his glances, and by his choice of favorites. Deal with a man of this type firmly, promptly, and quietly. Let him suddenly be 'called home by circumstances which he could not control.'" The leader must have the loyalty of his assistants. They should receive their rank from the leader, and this rank should be recognized by the entire camp. The highest ranking leader present at any time should have authority over the party.

In a boys' camp I prefer the term "leader" to that of "counsellor." It is more natural for a boy to follow a leader than to listen to wise counsellors. "Come on, fellows, let's—" meets with hearty response. "Boys, do this," is an entirely different thing. Leaders should hold frequent councils regarding the life of the camp and share in determining its policy.

The most fruitful source of supply of leaders should be the colleges and preparatory schools. No vacation can be so profitably spent as that given over to the leadership of boy life. Here is a form of altruistic service which should appeal to purposeful college men. Older high school boys who have been campers make excellent leaders of younger boys. A leader should always receive some remuneration for his services, either carfare and board or a fixed sum of money definitely agreed upon beforehand. The pay should never be so large that he will look upon his position as a "job." Never cover service with the blinding attractiveness of money. The chief purpose of pay should be to help deepen the sense of responsibility, and prevent laxness and indifference, as well as to gain the services of those who must earn something.

Do not take a man as leader simply because he has certificates of recommendation. Know him personally. Find out what he is capable of doing. The following blank I use in securing information:

Leader's Information Blank, Camps Durrell and Becket Name Address College or school Class of Do you sing? What part (tenor or bass)? Do you swim? Do you play baseball? What position? Do you play an instrument? What? Will you bring it (unless piano) and music to camp? Have you won any athletic or aquatic events? What? Will you bring your school or college pennant with you? Have you ever taken part in minstrel show, dramatics, or any kind of entertainment; if so, what? What is your hobby? (If tennis, baseball, swimming, nature study, hiking, photography, athletics, etc., whatever it is, kindly tell about it in order to help in planning the camp activities.)

Leaders should not be chosen in order to secure a baseball team, or an athletic team. Select men of diverse gifts. One should know something about nature study, another about manual training, another a good story-teller, another a good athlete or baseball player, another a good swimmer, another a musician, etc. Always remember, however, that the chief qualification should be moral worth.

Before camp opens it is a wise plan to send each leader a letter explaining in detail the purpose and program of the camp. A letter like the following is sent to the leaders of Camps Durrell and Becket.


The success of a boys' camp depends upon the hearty cooperation of each leader with the superintendent. The boys will imitate you. A smile is always better than a frown. "Kicking" in the presence of boys breeds discontent. Loyalty to the camp and its management is absolutely necessary if there is to be harmony in the camp life.


Your personal life will either be a blessing or a hindrance to the boys in your tent. Study each boy in your tent. Win his confidence. Determine to do your best in being a genuine friend of each boy. Remember in prayer daily each boy and your fellow leaders. Emphasize the camp motto, "Each for all, and all for each." Study the "tests" on pages 8 and 9 of the booklets, and be helpful to the boys in your tent who are ambitious to improve and win the honor emblems.


Neatness and cleanliness must be the watchword of each tent. Sweets draw ants. Decayed material breeds disease. Insist upon the observance of sanitary rules.

It is unwise to have all the boys from one town or city in one tent. The tendency is to form clans, which destroy camp spirit. Get the fellows together the first thing and choose a tent name and tent yells.

Appoint a boy who will be responsible for the boys and the tent when you are not present.

Too much attention cannot be given to the matter of ventilation. When it rains, use a forked stick to hold the flaps open in the form of a diamond. In clear weather, tie one flap back at each end (flap toward the feet), allowing a free draft of air at all times. On rainy days encourage the boys to spend their time in the pavillion. Whenever possible, insist upon tent and blankets being thoroughly aired each morning.

Three inspectors will be appointed for each day; fifteen minutes' notice will be given and boys will not be allowed in or around their tents during the period of inspection. Leaders may suggest but not participate in arranging the tent.

The Honor Banner is to be given to the tent showing the best condition and held as long as marks are highest.


The U. S. V. L. S. C.[1] crews' in boats will patrol whenever the boys are in swimming, and the leader of swimming must give the signal before boys go into the water. Boys who cannot swim should be encouraged to learn. The morning dip must be a dip and not a swim.

[Transcriber's Note 1: United States Volunteer Life Saving Corps.]


No boats are to be taken unless an order has been issued by the tent leader (or by the superintendent). The man at the wharf always has power to veto orders at his discretion.

Order of Day

It is the leader's part to see that the order of the day is carried out and on time, including the setting up drill. (See Camp Booklet.) "Follow the leader" is an old game which is still influencing boys.


Three tents and their leaders are responsible for the work at camp, and will be expected to report to the assistant superintendent after breakfast for assignment of work. These tents are changed each day, so that the boys and leaders come on duty only one day in seven.

Each tent is under its respective leader in doing the following work:

Tent 1. Sanitary work, such as policing the campus, emptying garbage cans, sweeping the pavillion, disinfecting, etc.

Tent 2. Preparing vegetables for the cook, drying dishes, pots, pans, cleaning up the kitchen, piazza, etc.

Tent 3. Cleaning the boats, supplying wood for the kitchen, putting ice in the refrigerator, etc.

The next day tents 4, 5 and 6 will come on duty, and so on until each tent has been on duty during the week.

Leaders for the day will call the squad together after breakfast and explain the day's plans. Encourage the boys to do this work cheerfully. Lead, do not drive the boys when working. Not more than three hours should be consumed in camp work.

Sports and Pastimes

Bring rule books on athletics. Study up group games. Bring any old clothes for costumes; tambourines and bones for minstrel show, grease paint, and burnt cork—in fact, anything that you think will add to the fun of the camp. Good stories and jokes are always in demand. Bring something interesting to read to your boys on rainy days. Think out some stunt to do at the social gatherings. If you play an instrument, be sure to bring it along with you.


Encourage the boys to turn their money and railroad tickets over to the camp banker instead of depositing them with you.

Camp Council

Meetings of the leaders will be held at the call of the superintendent. Matters talked over at the council meeting should not be talked over with the boys. All matters of discipline or anything that deals with the welfare of the camp should be brought up at this meeting. Printed report blanks will be given to each leader to be filled out and handed to the assistant superintendent each Thursday morning. Do not show these reports to the boys.

Bible Study

Each leader will be expected to read to the boys in his tent a chapter from the Bible and have prayers before "taps" each night, also to take his turn in leading the morning devotions at breakfast table. Groups of boys will meet for occasional Bible study at sunset under various leaders. Each session will continue twenty minutes—no longer. Sunday morning service will be somewhat formal in character, with an address. The sunset vesper service will be informal.

Praying that the camp may prove a place where leaders and boys may grow in the best things of life and anticipating an outing of pleasure and profit to you, I am Your friend, (signature)


In securing men for leadership, impress upon them the many opportunities for the investment of their lives in the kind of work that builds character. In reading over a small folder, written by George H. Hogeman of Orange, N .J., I was so impressed with his excellent presentation of this theme of opportunities of leadership that the following is quoted in preference to anything I could write upon the subject:

"The opportunity of the boys' camp leader is, first, to engage in the service that counts most largely in securing the future welfare of those who will soon be called upon to carry on the work that we are now engaged in. Most people are so busy with their own present enjoyment and future success that they pay little heed to the future of others. They may give some thought to the present need of those around them because it more or less directly affects themselves, but the work of character building in boys' camps is one that shows its best results in the years to come rather than in the immediate present.

"In the second place, the opportunity comes to the camp leader to know boys as few other people know them, sometimes even better than their own parents know them. When you live, eat, sleep with a boy in the open, free life of camp for a month or so, you come in contact with him at vastly more points than you do in the more restrained home life, and you see sides of his nature that are seldom seen at other times.

"Finally, the opportunity is given to the man who spends his vacation in camp to make the time really count for something in his own life and in the lives of others. To how many does vacation really mean a relaxation, a letting down of effort along one line, without the substitution of anything definite in its place! But he must be a dull soul, indeed, who can come to the right kind of boys' camp and not go away with his muscles harder, his eye brighter, his digestion better, and his spirit more awake to the things that pertain to the Kingdom of God.

"Then again the camp leader must have the ability to forget himself in others. Nowhere can the real play spirit be entered into more completely than in camp life. A watchman is the last thing he must be. That spirit of unselfishness which forgets its own personal pleasure in doing the most for the general good, is the ideal camp spirit. As Lowell puts it in the Vision of Sir Launfal, it is:

Not what we give, but what we share, For the gift without the giver is bare.

"The results of all these points which I have mentioned are some very positive things. One is the very best kind of a vacation that it is possible to have. How frequently we hear in response to the question about enjoying a vacation, 'Oh, yes, I had a good enough time, but I'll never go back there again.' To my mind that indicates either that the person does not know what a really good time is, or that his surroundings made a good time impossible.

"Another result of camp is the real friendships that last long after camping days are over. Of these I need not speak. You and I know of many such and what they mean in the development of Christian character in the lives of our men and boys. And, after all, there is the greatest result of all, the sense of confidence in the ultimate outcome that comes with having a share in the work of bringing others to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

"The ideal life for a boy is not in the city. He should know of animals, rivers, plants, and that great out-of-door life that lays for him the foundation of his later years." —G. Stanley.




Clean camps are most easily kept by not allowing them to become dirty.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Godliness means a right relation to things spiritual, cleanliness a right relation to things material. An old definition says that 'Dirt is merely misplaced matter.' Of all the vehicles of disease, the most important perhaps is dirt. The word dirt in its strict sense comes from the Anglo-Saxon 'drit,' or excrement. 'Dirt,' then, is not earth or clean sand—not clean dirt, but dirty dirt, that is, matter soiled by some of the excreta of the human or animal body. Cleanliness must be insisted upon in a boys' Camp—not the cleanliness that makes a boy squeamish about working with his hands upon some necessary job, but cleanliness that makes him afraid of sharing his tooth brush or table utensils or his clothes.

Cleanliness is not the shunning of good, clean dirt, but a recognition of the fact that to pass anything from one mouth to another is a possible source of death and destruction." [1] "Death to dirt" should be the watchword of the camp. The camp should be a model of cleanliness. Every boy should be taught the value of good sanitation and encouraged to cooperate in making proper sanitation effective.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Chas. E. A. Winslow—"Camp Conference," p. 58.]

Avoid Swamps

The location chosen for a camp should be away from swamps. Avoid swampy and low places as you would a plague. Damp places where there are mosquitoes, should be well drained, and open to an abundance of sunshine. Mosquitoes breed only in water, but a very little water is sufficient if it is dirty and stagnant. Two inches of water standing in an old tin can will breed an innumerable horde. These "diminutive musicians" are not only a nuisance, but dangerous, as malaria and typhoid spreaders by their poisonous stings.

The Site

In selecting a camp site bear in mind these things: (1) A sandy sub-soil, with good drainage. Avoid very sandy soil; sand provides but little hold for tent pegs, and there is grave risk of damage should there come a gale. (2) An open campus surrounded by hills or sheltering trees, and facing the water. (3) Plenty of good drinking water and water for swimming. (4) Base from which supplies and provisions are to be drawn should be within convenient distance, not more than four miles away. (5) Camp should be away from civilization, far enough to be free from visitors and the temptation to "go to town" on the part of the boys. Nothing demoralizes a boys' camp so quickly as proximity to a summer resort.


Before opening the camp much thought and care should be given to its sanitary arrangement. First of all, the dryest section of the camp ground should be selected for the erection of the sleeping tents. Locate them where they will have the full benefit of the sunshine. Tents erected under trees are liable to mildew, for the want of sunshine, and the contents of the tent will soon get musty. Next in importance to the location of "quarters" is the location of the kitchen. This should be near the dining tent, so that the serving of food may be quick, and yet far enough away to insure that disagreeable odors will not destroy the pleasure of eating. If it is very near the sleeping tents the campers will be awakened too early by the chopping of wood and the necessary noises made in preparation of the morning meal. It should be near water. This is very essential for cooking and cleaning. In some of the large camps water is carried to the kitchen in pipes from near-by springs or pumped from wells of pure water. The dining quarters naturally should be located near the kitchen so that food may be served warm. Provision should be made for the protection of the boys from cold, wind, rain, and dampness while eating. The toilet should be located rather far away from the camp, and not in the direction from which the prevailing wind comes toward the camp. Make sure that it is on the line of opposite drainage from the water used by the camp. The details of laying out a camp, erection of tents, etc., are given in another chapter.


Particular precaution should be exercised in location and care of the toilets or latrines, even in a one-night camp. Neglect of this will mean disease. When on a one-night camp, dig a small pit which can be filled in again after use. If the camp is to be continued for a week or longer, dig a pit or trench about two or three feet deep and about eighteen inches wide, plant posts on each side of the trench, and eighteen inches above the ground level. Nail shaped seating on these posts. The number of seats will be determined by the size of the camping party. It is desirable to erect a six-foot canvas screen with an opening around the toilet. Dry earth should be sprinkled freely in the trench each time it is used. Also each morning sprinkle plenty of chloride of lime or some good, reliable disinfectant in the trench. Do not permit the throwing of paper about the toilet. Have a box in which paper is to be kept. Flies should be excluded by boxing up the sides of the seats and fastening a hinged lid upon the seats (see illustration). It is an advantage to admit the direct sunlight about the middle of the day because of its bactericidal action on disease germs. In a permanent camp regular wooden closets should be built, with covered roof for protection from rain and wind. The back of the closet should be arranged either by a hinged door or some other method so that the contents may be removed as often as once a week. A wooden box on rollers placed beneath the seats will facilitate removal. The seats should be scrubbed with hot water, sulpho-naphthol, or soap, daily. "Springfield Oval" type of toilet paper prevents unnecessary waste. In one camp the water from a near-by brook is dammed and thus by gravity made to flow by a system of modern plumbing through the urinals and flush closets. This is ideal. Insist upon cleanliness. The cutting of initials and names upon the seats and woodwork should be considered a disgrace as well as a misdemeanor.

Taboo the taking of books and papers to the toilet to read. It should be an imperative rule that no other place be used. A little carelessness will cause disagreeable as well as dangerous results. By way of reiteration: First, rigid prohibition of the pollution of the surface of the ground by the strictest rules, diligently enforced. Second, the provision of toilets or latrines of adequate size with proper precaution to prevent the dispersal of excreta by wind, flies, or other agencies. The latrines should be located a distance from camp but not so far as to offer temptation to pollution of the ground. Third, boys should be educated when on hikes or tramps in the old Mosaic Rule laid down in Deuteronomy 23: 12-14. [1]

[Transcriber's Footnote 1: "Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."]


Garbage, consisting chiefly of trimmings of meat and vegetables and the waste from the table, if stored in open buckets soon becomes offensive and is an ideal breeding place in warm weather for flies "that drink of cesspools, dine at privy vaults, eat sputum and are likely to be the most familiar guests at the dinner table, sampling every article of food upon which they walk, leaving in their tracks disease-producing germs which have adhered to their sticky feet where they have previously dined." Declare war upon the "fly who won't wipe his feet" by keeping the garbage in a covered galvanized-iron pail and dispose of it before decomposition takes place. Wash and dry the pail after emptying. If the camp is located near a farm, give the garbage to the farmer. It is the natural food of swine or poultry. Where this is not possible, the garbage should be buried every day in the earth and covered with three or four inches of dirt. Another and better plan, especially in a large camp, is the burning of the garbage and human excreta in an incinerator, such as the McCall. This is the method of the United States Army.

Exercise caution in throwing aside tin cans. The vegetable matter remaining in the cans soon decays and attracts flies. Have a place where these cans may be buried or burned with other refuse each day. Keep the ground surrounding the kitchen free from all kinds of garbage or refuse.

Do not throw dirty dish water promiscuously upon the ground. Dig a trench and put the water in this trench. Sprinkle chloride of lime or a disinfectant upon it each day. In a permanent camp a waste water well should be dug and lined with stone. The drain pipe should be laid from the kitchen to the well. This water soon disappears in the soil and does not become a nuisance. Make sure that the well is not in line with the water supply of the camp. A little potash or some washing soda dissolved in the sink will help to keep the drain clean.

Place barrels in different parts of the camp for refuse and scraps. A coat of whitewash or white paint will make them conspicuous. In one camp the following suggestive bit of verse was painted on the waste barrels:

Ravenous Barrel

I am all mouth and vacuum I never get enough, So cram me full of fruit peels, Old papers, trash and stuff.

Epicurean Barrel

O, how sorry I feel for a boy Who litters clean places with trash, Who throws away papers and fruit peels Which form my favorite hash.

Waste Barrels

These barrels should be set upon two strips of wood placed parallel. This permits the air to pass beneath the barrel and keeps its bottom from decaying by contact with the ground. The barrels should be emptied daily and the trash burned.

A dirty, carelessly kept, untidy camp will make discipline and order very difficult to attain and the influence will soon be noticed in the careless personal habits of the boys. There is an educational and moral value in cleanliness which is second only to that of good health.

Water Supply

Dr. Charles E. A. Winslow, the noted biologist, is authority for the following statement; [Camp Conference, p.61] "The source of danger in water is always human or animal pollution. Occasionally we find water which is bad to drink on account of minerals dissolved on its way through the ground or on account of passage through lead pipes, but the danger is never from ordinary decomposing vegetable matter. If you have to choose between a bright, clear stream which may be polluted at some point above, and a pond full of dead leaves and peaty matter, but which you can inspect all around and find free from contamination, choose the pond. Even in the woods it is not easy to find surface waters that are surely protected, and streams particularly are dangerous sources of water supply. We have now got rid of the idea that running water purifies itself. It is standing water which purifies itself, if anything, for in stagnation there is much more chance for the disease germs to die out. Better than either a pond or stream, unless you can carry out a rather careful exploration of their surroundings, is ground water from a well or spring; though that again is not necessarily safe. If the well is in good sandy soil with no cracks or fissures, even water that has been polluted may be well purified and made safe to drink. In a clayey or rocky region, on the other hand, contaminating material may travel for considerable distance under ground. Even if your well is protected below, a very important point to look after is the pollution from the surface. I believe more cases of typhoid fever from wells are due to surface pollution than to the character of the water itself. This is a danger which can, of course, be done away with by protection of the well from surface drainage, by seeing that the surface wash is not allowed to drain toward it and that it is protected by a tight covering from the entrance of its own waste water. If good water cannot be secured in any of these ways, the water must be purified. It has been said that what we desire in water supply is innocence and not repentance; but if you cannot get pristine innocence, you can, at least, secure works meet for repentance and make the water safe, by filtering through either a Pasteur or a Berkefeld filter—either of those filters will take out bacteria, while no other filters that I know of will or by various chemical disinfectants, not any of them very satisfactory—or, best of all, by boiling, which will surely destroy all disease germs."

Indians had a way of purifying water from a pond or swamp by digging a hole about one foot across and down about six inches below the water level, a few feet from the pond. After it had filled with water, they bailed it out quickly, repeating the bailing process about three times. After the third bailing the hole would fill with filtered water. Try it.

Drinking Cups

Insist upon the boys bringing to camp a supply of inexpensive paper cups or collapsible pocket drinking cups. Filthy and dangerous diseases are not infrequently transmitted by the use of a common drinking cup.

Paper Drinking Cup.

Take a piece of clean paper about 6 inches square and fold it on the dotted lines, as shown in Figure 1, so as to make a triangle. Do not use paper having anything printed on it, as there is danger of poison from the ink. The other folds are made in the dotted lines, as shown in Figure 2. Each pointed end of the triangle is turned over on one side, as shown in Figure 3, then the sheets of the remaining points are separated and each one folded down on its respective side. This practical idea is furnished by R. H. Lufkin in Popular Mechanics for February, 1911.

Board of Health

Boys should be encouraged to cooperate in keeping the camp clean. A Board of Health may be organized, to be composed of an equal number of boys and camp leaders with the camp physician, or director of the camp as chairman.

The duties of the board will be to inspect daily the toilets, sinks, and drains, the water supply, the garbage disposal and waste barrels; condemn everything that is unsanitary, and correct all sanitary disorders. The board will also arrange for a series of talks upon "Sanitation and Health," such as:

Sunshine and Health Johnnie and the Microbes Dirt and Cleanliness Fresh Air Flies and Filth Health—Its Value and Its Cost.

Have the boys write essays upon these subjects and give credits or points for original interpretation, accuracy of report of talk given, and observance and correction of sanitary disorders.


Clean up as you go. Sunshine and dryness are great microbe killers. It is better to keep clean, than to get clean. Dirt, dampness and disease can often be avoided by decency, dryness and determination. Uncleanness is at the root of many of the evils which cause suffering and ill health. Fire is the best disinfectant. Typhoid fever and cholera are carried by dirty habits, by dirty water and dirty milk.


Camp Sanitation-Review and Herald Pub. Assn., Washington, D. C. 6 cents. A twelve-page folder of useful hints on what to do and what not to do.

Wastes and Their Disposal—Henry J. Barnes, M.D. Health-Education League, Boston, Mass., 4 cents. An authoritative booklet written by the Professor of Hygiene, Tufts Medical School. This League publishes a number of very valuable and comprehensive booklets on health subjects.

Good Health—Francis Gulick Jewett. Ginn and Co., 40 cents. Gives detail instruction in matters of health and hygiene. Prepared especially for younger people.

Health—B. Franklin Richards. Pacific Press Pub. Co., $1.00. Written in language easily understood and filled with sensible suggestions.



The greatest help after all is to take the children back to the garden that the Lord God planted. A boy must learn to sleep under the open sky and to tramp ten miles through the rain if he wants to be strong. He must learn what sort of men it was who made America, and he must not get into this fuss and flurry of our American civilization and think that patent leather shoes and white kid gloves are necessary for the salvation of his life.—Edward Everett Hale.

Selecting a camp site and general directions for the laying out of the camp grounds is treated very fully in the chapter on Camp Sanitation, so that this chapter will be devoted to methods that to the experienced camper may seem trite, but which the novice will appreciate.

Advance Party

If the camp is a large one it is usually customary to send an advance party several days ahead to erect the tents and get the camp in readiness for the larger party. The successful management of a camp depends very much upon placing the tents in such a position as to give plenty of room and yet be compact. When tents are scattered the difficulty of control is increased. The above diagram is a suggestion for the laying out of a camp which provides for room and control.

Plan of Grounds

The following hints will help the advance party to layout the camp in a systematic and scientific manner. To find the right angle of the camp square, drive a peg at A, another 3 feet distant at B; attach a 5-foot cord from the peg at B, and a 4 foot cord from the peg at A. The point at which the two cords meet at C, where another peg may be driven in, will be the line at right angles to B-A.

Measuring Device

The illustrations opposite show a device by which a camp, baseball grounds, running track, tennis court or any distance may be quickly and accurately measured. The first thing to do is to get an inch board and cut a round disc (a) about 12 inches in diameter. Cut two of them and tack them together. The diagram "b" is easier to cut out and will serve the purpose just as well. When the two are temporarily tacked together, bore a hole through the centre for the axle. The eight spokes should be of light material and not too pointed or they will sink in the ground and prevent accuracy. The spokes are tacked on one disc as shown in "c" and then the other disc is nailed on the outside.

Paint the end of one spoke red, so that you can count it every time it comes around. By having the points that touch the ground exactly 9 inches apart, one revolution of the wheel will measure six feet. For an axle use a small piece of broom handle, and for a handle use a long light pole. By varying the length of the spokes you can make the wheel measure any desired distance.

Wall Tent

The line of the camp having been laid out, the next thing is the erection of the tents. The best way of setting up a wall tent (either the 12 x 14 or 14 x 16 size), the type used in most of the boys' camps, is the method used by the army and described in Kephart's "Book of Camping and Woodcraft." Four boys or men proceed as follows: Nos. 1 and 2 procure canvas, and Nos. 3 and 4 the poles.

Nos. 3 and 4 lay the ridge pole on the ground, in the direction that the tent is to stand; then lay the uprights at each end of ridge-pole and at right angles to it, on the side opposite that from which the wind blows. Then drop the tent pins and hammers at their respective ends of the tent; then drive a pin at each end of the ridge to mark front and rear. Meanwhile Nos. 1 and 2 unroll the tent and spread it out over the ridge-pole and on both sides of it.

Nos. 1 and 3 now go to the rear, and Nos. 2 and 4 to the front, and slip the pins of the uprights through the ridge-pole and tent. If a fly is used, it is placed in position over the tent, and the loops of the long guys over the front and rear pole pins. No. 4 secures center (door) loops over center pin in front, and No. 1 in rear. Each goes to his corner, No. 1 right rear, No. 2 right front, No. 3 left rear, No. 4 left front.

All draw bottom of tent taut and square, the front and rear at right angles to the ridge, and fasten it with pins through the corner loops, then stepping outward two paces from the corner, and a pace to the front (Nos. 2 and 4) or rear (Nos. 1 and 3) each securely sets a long pin, over which is passed the extended corner guy rope. Care must be taken that the tent is properly squared and pinned to the ground at the door and four corners before raising it.

Nos. 1 and 3 now go to the rear, and Nos. 2 and 4 to the front pole, and raise the tent to a convenient height from the ground, when Nos. 2 and 3 enter and seize their respective poles, and all together raise the tent until the upright poles are vertical. While Nos. 2 and 3 support the poles, Nos. 1 and 4 tighten the corner guys, beginning on the windward side. The tent being thus temporarily secured, all set the guy pins and fasten the guy ropes, Nos. 1 and 2 to the right, Nos. 3 and 4 left, and then set the wall pins.

To prevent the upright poles from sinking in the ground under the pressure of the canvas, place a flat stone or piece of wood under the pole.

Guying the Tent

One of the troubles with tents is their remarkable proclivity for tightening and slackening with the varying conditions of the weather. This means a constant loosening or tightening of the guy ropes, and the longer the guy ropes the more they will shrink or stretch according as they are wet or dry. This may be overcome to some extent by using very heavy corner posts securely driven into the ground and spiking a pole across them, and very short guy ropes fastening to this pole. (See page 47.) A shower, or even ordinary dew, will cause the canvas to shrink, therefore be sure to slacken the guys, or you may have a torn tent or broken ridge pole.


Dig a trench around the tent and do it before you have to. If you have ever gotten out in the middle of the night when the rain was coming down in torrents, to dig a ditch or trench, you will appreciate this bit of advice.

Warn the boys not to touch the roof of the tent on the inside when it is raining, for it will surely leak wherever it is touched.

There is a right and a wrong way of driving stakes into the ground. Study illustrations, p. 47.

Peg Wisdom

In taking down the tent, don't pound loose the tent pins or pegs, but with a looped rope and a pull in the direction from which they are driven they can easily be removed.


After pitching your tent, put everything in order. Run a stout line, either of rope or rustless wire, between the two upright poles, about a foot below the ridge pole. A very convenient thing to throw clothes over. In some camps they have a shelf suspended from the ridge pole, divided into compartments, one for each boy in the tent. Nails driven in the upright poles afford convenient pegs to hang things on. Be sure the nails are removed before taking down the tent or a rip in the canvas will be the result.

A bundle of elder leaves in a tent will keep away flies. If ants show a desire to creep into your tent, dust cayenne pepper into their holes and they will no longer trouble you.

When there is no wooden floor in the tent, strew small hemlock twigs. They make a fine carpet and the odor is both pleasant and healthful.

In addition to the different styles of tents shown in the illustrations on page 43, the following description of how to make a ten-foot teepee is given by Charles R. Scott in his Vacation Diary:

Making a Teepee

Sew canvas together making oblong ABCD 20 by 10 feet; with E as centre and EA as a radius, draw half-circle AFD. From remaining canvas cut smoke flaps LKCM and ONBP. Sew piece of canvas at C and B making pocket for ends of smoke poles. Sew ML to HI and PO to GJ on one large piece of canvas. Sew lash to E to tie teepee to pole. Sew 6 or 7-foot lash to K and N to set smoke flaps with. Make holes in pairs from L to D and O to A for lacing pins. Ten poles 12 feet long are needed. Make tripod of nine of these and tie teepee at E to pole two feet from top and place over tripod.

In "Recreation," April, 1911, in an article on "Tent Making Made Easy," H. J. Holden tells how to make ten different tents with but one piece of canvas.

Tent Wisdom

The best type of tent to use in a permanent camp is a wall tent, either 12 x 14 or 14 x 16, which will accommodate from four to six fellows. An eight ounce, mildew-proofed duck, with a ten or twelve ounce duck fly will give excellent wear. Have a door at each end of the tent and the door ties made of cotton cord instead of tape. Double pieces of canvas should be sewed in all the corners and places where there is unusual strain. Manilla rope is best for guys, and metal slides are preferable to wood. If the tents are made to order, have a cotton cord about two feet long sewed in each seam just under the eaves, so that one end shall hang down inside the tent and the other outside. The walls of the tent can then be rolled up and tied so that the tent will be thoroughly aired. Make sure that the end of the ridge pole and of the upright poles have iron bands to prevent splitting of the poles.

Bed on Ground

For a short-term camp, pine boughs make the best kind of a bed (see chapter on Tramps and Hikes for description of bed). Sometimes a rubber blanket is spread upon the ground and the boys roll themselves up in their blankets. An old camper gives the following suggestion to those who desire to sleep in this fashion:

The bed should be made in the afternoon while the sun is shining. To make the bed, clear the ground of twigs and stones. The space should be about 6 x 3 feet.

A "Hip Hole"

A shovelful of dirt is removed, making a shallow, transverse trench, about midway of the bed. This trench is the "hip hole" and the making of it properly is what renders the bed comfortable. In making the bed the following order should be observed:

(1) spread the rubber blanket;

(2) the blanket spread so that one-half only covers the prepared couch;

(3) then spread the woolen blankets so that the "hip hole" is in the right place;

(4) add the pillow;

(5) fold the blankets over you and pin them with big safety pins across the bottom and along the side.

To Keep Warm

Stewart Edward White in "Camp and Trail" tells how to keep warm when sleeping on the ground: "Lie flat on your back. Spread the blanket over you. Now raise your legs rigid from the hip, the blanket, of course, draping over them. In two swift motions tuck first one edge under your legs from right to left, then the second edge under from left to right, and over the first edge. Lower your legs, wrap up your shoulders and go to sleep. If you roll over, one edge will unwind but the other will tighten."

A bed tick[1] 6-1/2 feet long and 2-1/2 feet wide, to be filled with grass, leaves, straw or any available stuff makes a comfortable bed.

[Transcribers Footnote 1: Cloth case for a mattress or pillow or a light mattress without springs.]

To Make a Bed

A comfortable bed used at Camp Durrell, is made by driving four posts in the ground and nailing a frame work of saplings on these posts. Rope is then interwoven from side to side in somewhat the fashion of the old-time cord bed. Pine boughs are then placed "shingle" fashion in the cording, making a very comfortable bed.

Double-Deck Bunks

Many of the long-term camps, however, have cots or bunks with canvas bottoms. This is the best way to sleep for boys who are going to be in camp the entire summer. The following type of double-deck bunk is in use at Camps Adirondack, Becket, Wawayanda and Dudley. The illustrations give a clear idea of its construction. Use wood as free from knots as possible. Spruce seems to be the best kind as it is both light in weight and very durable. The top section upon which the canvas beds are tacked is bolted to the uprights which makes a bunk easily taken apart. Three of these uprights, one at each end and one in the middle, will make a bed section accommodating four boys, two on the "first floor" and two on the "second floor." In this manner eight boys may be comfortably housed in a 12 x 14 or 14 x 16 foot tent, with room for baggage in the center, as shown in the illustration on page 37.


Always remember that to keep warm while sleeping in a cot or bunk, you must have as much thickness of blanket under you as above you. Usually boys will pile blankets on top of them and have only one blanket under them and then wonder why they are cold.


A pillow may be made out of a bag of muslin or dark denim and stuffed with a sweater or extra clothing. Much better—take a small pillow with you with removable and washable "case" made of dark green or brown denim.

Kitchen Ware

In purchasing kitchen ware, a mistake is frequently made by getting a cheap kind of ware unfitted for the hard usage of camp life. The kind manufactured for hotels and restaurants and of sufficient capacity, is more expensive, but will outwear two outfits of the cheaper type and is really more economical in the long run. In the buying do not omit that most adaptable and convenient of all cooking utensils for camp—a wash boiler. Get one that is copper-lined and made of the heaviest tin.

Table Ware

Campers prefer the white enamel ware on account of its appearance and wear. If the imported kind is purchased it will last for at least three long-term seasons. Avoid tin and the cheap gray enamel ware. Each boy should be provided with a large plate of the deep soup pattern, cereal bowl not too large, a saucer for sauce and dessert, a cup, knife, fork, table spoon and tea spoon. In a small camp the boy usually brings his own "eating utensils." When the table is set with white oil cloth, white enamelled dishes, both serving and individual, with decorations of ferns, wild flowers or blossoms, the food always seems to taste better and the meal proceeds with that keen enjoyment, which is not only conducive to good digestion but promotive of good fellowship. A dirty table and dishes and rough-house table manners are a disgrace to a camp even as small as six boys. Cleanliness, courtesy and cheerful conversation contribute to the making of character while at meals.

Table Tops

Table tops should be made of matched boards and battened. Screw the battens[1] to the boards. The tables should be thirty-six inches in width. The length must be determined by the number of persons to be seated. The seating of boys in tent groups is considered the best plan.

[Transcriber's Footnote 1: Narrow strip of wood for flooring.]

A "Horse" Idea

A wooden horse made after the following sketch will support the table top and seats. The seat may be a plank about twelve inches wide and one and one-eighth inches thick.


Permanent buildings are largely planned according to the ideas of the director or organization operating the camp and this, therefore, is a matter which cannot be fully treated in a book of this character. Convenience, harmony with natural surroundings, and adaptability are the three things which govern the planning and erection of permanent camp buildings. "Wilderness Homes," by Oliver Kemp, contains many suggestions for camps of this character. In "Recreation" for April, 1911, is an excellent article by William D. Brinckle on "Log Cabins."


The following practical suggestions on surveying in a boys' camp have been especially prepared by H. M. Allen. Surveying is an important subject for study and practice, as it is both interesting and useful and may serve as a stepping-stone in the later education of the boy.

The surveying may be roughly divided into two parts, simple and advanced. The simple work includes that which can be carried on with a few cheap instruments easily secured or made by the boys. The advanced work requires better instruments and is adapted to high school boys. Only the simple work will be described.


The instruments needed in simple surveying are, compass, measuring tape, draughtsman's scale, protractor, drawing materials and a small home-made transit. The leader should, if possible, become familiar with some good textbook on surveying, such as Wentworth's Plane Trigonometry and Surveying. He should also get some civil engineer to give him a little instruction in the rudiments. It is well also to get some practice before going to camp. Any vacant lot or gymnasium floor will be suitable. If the leader is near a small lake that will be especially desirable.

The transit is easily made. A flat board should be selected, about twelve inches in diameter, which will not warp. Upon this a circle is marked about ten inches in diameter. For this purpose use a pair of drawing compasses. Then with a protractor lay off the degrees of the circle. A small brass protractor can be bought for 15 cents, a good one, large size, costs 80 cents. A good plan is to mark the circle on bristol board [1] which can be tacked in the board. Then a pointed piece of wood ten inches long should be fastened with a nail in the center of the circle. At the ends of the pointer pins should be placed vertically so that they are in line with the pivot nail. This will form a sight for measuring the angles. The board is then mounted upon a pointed stick or tripod. You will need a hatchet and a half dozen sharpened sticks for markers and a boy for rod man. You are now ready for the survey.

[Transcribers Footnote 1: Smooth, heavy pasteboard.]

Camp Survey

To make a map of the location of the camp, the first thing is to locate a base line on a level piece of ground. At the two ends A and B stakes are placed and the length carefully measured with the tape. Then from one end of the line stretch a string about ten feet long, toward the other stake. Under this string place the compass. In this way the direction of the line may be learned.

In figure 1, the base line runs about 10 degrees west of north. Drive a stake where the tent is to be located. This place will be called C. Then place the transit at A and measure the angle formed by the imaginary lines AC and AB. In the example the angle is about 45 degrees. Then place the transit at B and measure the angle there, formed by the lines AB and BC. Then the angle at C should be measured and the sum of the angles thus measured will be 180 degrees, if the work is correct.

Now make a drawing of the survey. Draw on paper a line corresponding to the line AB, making a certain scale, say 100 feet to the inch. If the real line is 200 feet long, the line on the paper will be 2 inches. With the protractor the angles at B and A may be drawn or plotted. This will give the location of the point C. With the scale determine on the plan the length of the other sides of the triangle ABC. The actual distances should next be measured with the tape to test the accuracy of the survey.

Next place a stake along the side of the lake at a point D. Then in a similar manner measure the triangle with the transit. With the protractor the lines AD and BD can be plotted on the plan. With the scale the length of the lines AD and BD can be estimated from the map. The rest of the lake is surveyed in the same manner. It is only necessary to take other points on the lake and survey the resulting triangles. It is a good idea to use four-foot stakes with flags placed so as to be easy to sight to them.

Finally a tracing may be made with carbon paper giving only the shore line and leaving out the lines of the triangles and the map is finished. The boys in one camp surveyed a lake a mile long with home-made instruments with excellent results.

Boys should be taught how to use the compass and a map in tracing their way through an unknown country. Also to travel by the stars or by the moss on the trees.



Experience only can determine what should be taken to camp. Usually the first camping trip decides what to take on the second trip, and also reveals how few things, providing they are right things, one really needs to be comfortable in camp. A boy's mother, who is generally the official trunk packer of the family, makes a mistake in stowing away in the trunk a lot of things not serviceable or suitable for camping. Cotton goods, except towels, handkerchiefs, and hose, are of no use. Gray woolen shirts, gray, brown, or green sweaters (a boon to campers—avoid white, red, or striped colors), khaki suit, outing flannel pajamas (tan color preferred) are in the class of real camp necessities so far as clothing is concerned. The hat should be drab or khaki color, of campaign style, something that will shed water and sun. The hat used by the Boy Scouts of America is admirably adapted for campers.

The outfit may be divided into four classes: things necessary, things desirable, things convenient, and luxuries. Boys who go camping for two weeks or less should take articles in the following list marked (1); those who go for four weeks or less should take articles marked (2) in addition to those marked (1); and those who go for what may be called the season, six or more weeks, should take those marked (3), in addition to all of (1) and (2).


Woolen sweater (coat style) (1) Note book or diary (1) Twine and rope (2) Two flannel shirts (gray) (1) Lead pencil (1) Change of underwear (1) Pens and ink (2) Two pairs stockings (1) Stamps, stamped envelopes (1) Jersey (2) Outing flannel pajamas (1) Paper, postals and envelopes(2) Running pants (1) Handkerchiefs (1) Needles and thread (1) Two pairs woolen blankets (1) Matches in metal box (1) Poncho (1) Folding drinking cup (1) Turkish towels (1) Strong pocket knife on chain(1) Extra pair heavy shoes (2) Toilet soap (in aluminum or celluloid box) (1) Echo whistle (2) Fishing tackle (2) Comb and brush (1) Camera (2) Tooth brush and tooth paste(1) Small-sized Bible (1) Money (1) Pins and safety pins (safeties one-inch and four-inch) (1) Good disposition (1) Leggings-tan, army style (1)


Extra suit of clothes (2) Rubber-soled shoes (sneakers) (1) Soft laundered shirt (2) Bathing suit or tights (2) Small compass (2) Small mirror (1) Baseball, bats, gloves (2) Whisk broom (2) Tennis racquets and balls (3) Dish towels (2) Ping Pong racquets, balls (3) Cheap watch (1) Rubber boots or overshoes (2) Map of vicinity (2) Clothes pins (2) Musical instruments (2) Flash lamp (2) Scissors (2) Repair outfit (2)


Games (3) Can opener (2) Books (3) Small hand washboard (3) Small pillow (2) Thick strong gloves (3) Mosquito netting (2) Heavy woolen stockings (3) Candles (3) Elk hide moccasins (3)


Bath robe (3) Blacking and brush (3) Shaving outfit (3) Laundry bag (2) Face rag (3)

It is understood that cooking utensils; tools, tents, cots and the general camp equipment is supplied by the camp management. The above list is for the individual campers.

Mark Everything

Mark everything with your initials, or, if in a large camp, your camp number. This may be done with indelible ink upon white tape, and the tape sewed upon the garments, or you may order through the large department stores your full name embroidered on tape in sufficient quantity to sew upon your belongings. Marking your "goods and chattels" helps identify ownership, for things somehow get fearfully mixed up in a boys' camp.

A clever scheme for locating lost articles was adopted by one large camp. A "Lost and Found" shop was opened. Articles found were brought to the shop. Hours for identification and reclaiming were announced, the owner paying two cents for each article claimed. This method had the effect of making the boys more systematic and less careless in throwing things around, or leaving them upon the ground after a ball game or play. After a certain length of time, an auction was held of all unclaimed articles. The money received was put into books for the camp library.

Write it Down

Make your "check list" during the winter. Have an old box handy in which to put things you think you will want to take to camp. Boys usually talk over the experiences of the last camp until about January 1st, then they begin to talk and plan about the next camp. As you think of things jot them down in a little memorandum book marked "Camp Ideas." Leaders will find this plan especially helpful. In making up the list, put down each article on a separate line. Don't jumble things together. Leave nothing to memory which, alas, too frequently is a splendid "forgetter." Write it down on paper. Examine your list very carefully, and strike out everything you can do without. Simplicity coupled with comfort should be the guide in making up the list or inventory. Tack the list on the inside of your trunk or camp box. Often the little trifles prove the most valuable things on a camping trip. For instance, a supply of giant safety pins is invaluable for pinning blankets together in sleeping-bag fashion. Ever roll out of your blankets or toss them off on a cool night? If so, you know the value of a giant safety pin.

What to pack the outfit in and how to pack it is a problem which each must solve for himself. A cracker box, with hinged cover, padlock, and rope handles, is good for a short-time camping trip. It should be of the following dimensions: 30 x 18 x 15 inches.

A good strong steamer trunk is about the best thing. It is convenient, easy to handle, and takes up very little space.

The boys who are mechanically inclined, will want to have the fun of making a camp box. The illustration is a suggestion successfully worked out by a number of boys. The dimensions may be determined by the maker. Don't make it too big, or it will be a burden and also occupy too much room in the tent. It stands upright and serves as a dresser. Boys who spend a summer in camp should have either a steamer trunk or this dresser.

If the trunk or box is too small to carry blankets, a good plan is to roll blankets, bedding and such articles in a roll or canvas, the ends and sides of which are doubled inward, so as to prevent articles from dropping out or getting wet. Strap with a good shawl or strong rope. (See illustration.)

A dunnage[1], duffle, or carry-all bag is sometimes used for packing, but there is a possibility of a "mess" as well as a loss of your good disposition and patience in trying to locate some desired article.

Carry your poncho to be used in case of rain en route.

[Transcriber's Footnote 1: Personal baggage.]


Have your expressman deliver your baggage at the station at least one hour before the train starts. If the baggage is delayed, much annoyance and loss of temper is the result. If the camp is a large one, some one should be designated to look after the baggage arrangements. After checking the baggage, this person should receive checks and attend to claiming baggage at destination.

Many of the large camps provide mucilaged labels or "stickers" to paste on the end of the trunk or box making identification easy at railroad baggage room. Initials and camp number should be painted on outside of trunk or box.


"A place for everything and everything in place" should be the real key to find things in your trunk. Neatness is good discipline for the mind, and should characterize every real camper. The trunks of some boys in camp look as if a cyclone had struck them. "Full, pressed down, and running over." Every old thing in any old way is both slovenly and unhygienic.

About once a week everything should be taken from the trunk or box, and exposed to the sun. Let the sun also get into the trunk or box. Then repack neatly. This will prevent mould and dampness, and be the means of discovering lost articles. Finally be sure to go over with care your "check list" or inventory the day before camp breaks. This will prevent rushing around excitedly at the eleventh hour, hunting lost articles.


Gray and khaki are the most inconspicuous colors for camping.

Shirts should be provided with breast pockets.

Each lock should have a duplicate key to be given to the tent leader, or in a large camp, to the camp banker.

Have an old laundry bag in which to put soiled clothes. "Wash day" is a popular day in many camps. No camper need be dirty when there is abundance of water.

There is a luxuriance in a piece of soap and a clean towel that only experienced campers can understand and appreciate.

Wet towels, swimming suits or tights should not be placed in the trunk or box, but hung upon a rope, or non-rust wire outside of the tent.

The poncho is the camper's friend. It makes a good rubber blanket, a wrap, a cushion, a bag, a sail or a tent.

Be sure to take enough bed clothes. You will need them on cold nights.

Stamps wiped over the hair of your head will not stick together—the oil of the hair does the trick. Take a self-filler fountain pen—no glass filler to break.

A small Williams or Colgate shaving stick box, with screw or hinged cover, makes a good match box. A better one is a water-tight hard rubber box, with screw top. If dropped into a lake or stream it will float, whereas a metal box will sink.

Some one has said that "Good temper is as necessary for camping as water is for swimming." Be sure it is on your "check list."



The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre Observe degree, priority and place, Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, Office and custom, in all lines of order. -Troilus and Cressida. Act 1, Scene 3.


It matters very little if the camp be a large or small one, all will agree that system and organization must prevail if the camp is to be a "place of known delight and proved desire." Order is said to be Heaven's first law, and a boys' camp should not be operated contrary to this recognized law. What is everybody's business usually becomes nobody's business. Much soup has been spoiled by the stirring of too many cooks. A boys' camp becomes a place of discord when everybody takes a hand in "running it." There must be one whose word is absolute and final, and who is recognized as the leader or director of the camp; at the same time the campers should have a voice in the government and share in planning and participating in its activities. (See chapter on Leadership.)

The following charting of organization will explain the "degree, priority and place" of those who are to be responsible for the administration and welfare of the camp.

Cooperative Self-Government

This form of organization recognizes maturity, experience, ability, cooperation, justice and altruistic service. Self-government wholly by the boys is unwise. There must always be a paternal guidance of hot, impulsive and indiscriminate youth. Boys desire adult leadership and where a wise combination is formed of man and boy working together, there will be found the highest type of efficient, wholesome, happy and purposeful camp life.

Council Meetings

Frequent council meetings should be held. When the senior council, composed of the leaders and director, meet for planning and to discuss the work, it should be understood that whatever is said or discussed at the meeting, must not be talked over in the presence of the boys, particularly matters of discipline, awarding of honors and camp policy. Joint meetings of the junior and senior councils should be held weekly. Each "tent" is represented on the junior council by electing one of their tent-mates, who shall present the views of his constituents at council meetings.


The director should have the power of appointing the chairmen or heads of departments, and the chairmen the privilege of selecting associates from the two councils. The policy of each department must be ratified by a joint meeting of the councils before it becomes operative. Prevent bickering over minor parliamentary details. Keep in mind first, last and always, the highest welfare of the camp. Let the "voice of the people" be heard, yet see that the legislation introduced is in the interest of the highest good of the campers. The chart suggests the work of the various departments.


In all well-organized and purposeful camps for boys, three rules are considered absolutely essential for the safety and welfare of the campers. These rules are:

1. No fire-arms, air-rifles or explosives of any kind allowed.

2. No one of the party shall enter the water for swimming or bathing, except during the designated period.

3. No tobacco used in any form.

Every boy going to camp agrees, in signing his application, to observe whatever rules are decided upon as best for the welfare of all. Boys should be trusted and expected to do as the majority think best. There should be a happy understanding and mutual confidence existing which should make a long list of rules unnecessary. When the boys arrive in camp, the director should outline and explain the purpose and policy of the camp in kind, but unmistakable terms.

A camp of a dozen boys and their school teacher, in the White Mountains, was operated for three delightful weeks, upon the following "agreement," which all the boys and their leader signed.

We, the members of Camp Bejoyful, do hereby subscribe cheerfully to the following rules and regulations and will be governed by them while we are members of this camp.

We further agree to pay any penalty the other members of the camp may think fit to impose upon us for breaking these rules or resolutions.

We will not lose our tempers.

We will not use any language we would not use in the presence of ladies.

We will not tell stories we would not tell or want told to our sisters.

We will perform cheerfully any duties our Camp Master asks us to perform.

We will at all times respect the rights and feelings of others.

We will remember that the command to "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy," is obligatory at all times and in all places.

The motto of this camp shall be "Noblesse oblige."

The Whistle

Unless the camp is conducted under the auspices of the Boys' Brigade or some military organization, where boys prefer the military discipline, it is unwise to introduce it in a camp for boys. The type of discipline to be used will depend upon the type of leader. Some camps are controlled by the use of a whistle. When the attention of the boys is desired, the leader blows a shrill blast of the whistle and the boys immediately respond by absolute silence and await the announcement or whatever the leader or director desires to say to them. Never blow the whistle unless necessary. Secure first the attention of the boys if you want their interest. Camp boys become accustomed to continuous blowing of the whistle in the same manner that city boys become used to the noise of the street-car gong. Blow your whistle and wait. Cause for a second blast should be considered serious.


"In a camp where through the thoughtlessness of a boy a misdemeanor had been committed, the leader explained at the camp fire how mean the action was and said that he did not believe there was a boy in camp who, if he had realized its contemptible nature, would for one moment have thought of doing such a thing. He concluded his remarks by saying, 'If there is any boy here who knows who did this thing, I earnestly request that he will keep it to himself and not breathe the name of the offender to anyone in camp.' Especially did he request that on no account should the offender's name be told to him. There were a few rather red faces about the camp fire, but the name of the offender was never known and no similar misdemeanor occurred while the camp was open.

Self-Imposed Discipline

"In another camp two boys had thoughtlessly violated the understanding regarding swimming and they spent an hour on the hillside with the leader discussing the situation. After the leader had explained to them his responsibility to the parents of each boy in camp and how insecure parents would feel if they thought their boys were not being properly taken care of, he asked them: 'Now, if you were in my place, what would you do with two such fellows?' And they both replied that they thought the two boys should be sent home as an example to the rest of the camp. The leader agreed with them and the two boys, who had pronounced their own sentence, left the next morning for home. That leader has today no better friends among boys than those two particular fellows." [1]

[Footnote 1: E. M. Robinson, Association Boys, June, 1902. ]

Seven Things Which God Hates

Solomon in his book of Proverbs says, "These six things does the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs; 16:19.)

Liars and Sneaks

Punish the liar heavily. Help the boy to see that to make a mistake and own up to it, is regarded in a much more favorable light than to sneak and lie out of it. Have him understand that the lie is the worst part of the offence. It is awful to have the reputation of being a liar, for even when a boy does tell the truth nobody believes him because of his past reputation. Never indulge suspicion. Above all discountenance sneaking; nothing is more harmful than to maintain a feeble discipline through the medium of tale-bearing.

Never keep a boy in camp who is out of tune with the camp life or its standards, and whose presence only serves to militate against the real purpose of the camp. "Grouchitis" is a catching disease.

Meditation Log

The methods of punishment are as varied as the colors of the rainbow. In one camp, a "Meditation Log," upon which the boy sits and thinks, and thinks, and thinks, and—. No doubt he is a sadder and wiser boy for his period of meditation. A "wood pile" where boys saw from one to five or more sticks of cord wood into stove lengths, is an economic mode of punishment, for it not only provides wood for the kitchen stove, but hardens the boys' muscle as well as helps him to remember his mistakes and to avoid repetition. Walking around the campus for a certain length of time carrying an oar over the shoulder, is another method. Curtailing a boy's privileges, such as swimming, boating, taking away his dessert, are other methods in vogue in boys' camps. When a boy swears, if he is a "scout," the other "scouts" pour a cup of cold water down the offender's sleeve or back, for each offence. Some boys have been cured of swearing by having their mouths washed out with "Welcome Soap," publicly, along the shore of the lake or stream, with camp-mates as silent spectators. Make the "punishment fit the crime," but always the kind of punishment which the boy will acknowledge is deserved and just. Never punish in anger.

Private Talks

A "heart-to-heart" talk with the boy during a walk in the woods, or in some quiet place of the camp, will do more good to get him to see and realize his need of adjustment to camp life and enlist his willingness to try again and to "do his best" than any form of physical punishment.

When it becomes necessary to send a boy home, always telegraph or write his parents, telling them on what train or boat they may expect him and the reason for sending him home.



A Morning Prayer

The day returns and brings in the petty round of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces. Let cheerfulness abound with industry. Give us to go blithely on our business all the day. Bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonored, and grant us in the end the gift of sleep. —Robert Louis Stevenson.


All the major habits of life are formed during the teen period of life. If camping teaches a boy anything it teaches him the habit of being systematic. The day's program should be built upon a platform calculated not only to keep the camp running smoothly, but to develop within the boy and man those qualities requisite for a good camper, viz., truth, sincerity, self-control, courage, energy, skill, mental capacity, justice, patriotism, stamina, efficiency, executive power, consideration, kindliness, cheerfulness, self-reliance, good temper, good manners, tact, promptness, obedience, helpfulness, and cooperation. Camping has as good an effect on a boy's character as it has upon his health. It teaches him to be self-reliant, to look after his own wants, and not to be abnormally self-centered. It is marvellous how much more tidy and considerate a boy becomes after he has had a season in camp, looking after himself and his own belongings, as well as sharing in keeping his tent neat and clean, and having his part in the day's work. From "reveille" at 7 A.M. to "taps" at 9 P.M. the day's program should be definitely planned. In order to make this chapter of practical value the different periods of the day and its activities will be described very fully and enough suggestions given to make the day purposeful, educational, recreational and attractive in either a large or small camp.

Seven o'clock is usually the hour of beginning the day, although some camps make the rising hour six-thirty o'clock. The first morning in camp boys want to get up around four o'clock, thinking it about three hours later, on account of the sun streaming into their tent. After the first morning boys who wake early should be expected to keep silent and remain in their tent until "reveille" sounds. Consideration should be shown toward those who desire to sleep.


When the bugle sounds "reveille" everybody turns out in pajamas or swimming tights and indulges in a brisk ten-minute setting-up exercise. This should be made snappy, giving particular attention to correcting stooping shoulders and breathing. Boys should not be excused from this exercise unless ill. At the end of the exercise the flag is raised and the campers salute the stars and stripes as they are flung to the morning breeze. A small cannon is fired in some camps when the flag is raised. The honor of raising the flag may be given to the boys of the tent having won the honor tent pennant of the preceding day or to boys specially assigned. The spirit of patriotism is fostered by respect to the flag.


Flag-raising is followed by a dip in the lake. It should be understood that this is to be a dip or plunge and not a swim. Five minutes is sufficient time to be in the water. Place some responsible person in charge of the dip. A safe rule is never to permit boys in the water unless supervised. The boys should take soap, towels and tooth brushes with them when they go for the dip. A good morning scrub of the teeth with a brush saves many hours of pain. Boys are woefully negligent (because ignorant) of the care of their teeth. Saturday is "scrub" day in many of the large camps when all are required to take a "soap scrub." Marvellous how the "tan" disappears after this scrubbing period!


By this time every fellow is hungry enough to devour whatever food is set before him, whether he is fond of it or not, and there is an alacrity of response to the Mess Call of the bugle which only a camper understands and appreciates. When the campers are seated there is either silent or audible grace before the meal is eaten. Take plenty of time for the eating of the meal. Forty-five minutes is not too long. Encourage wholesome conversation and good natural pleasantry, but discountenance "rough house" and ungentlemanliness. The announcements for the day are usually given at the breakfast table followed by the reading of a chapter from the Bible and a short prayer.


A boy should be taught that all labor is noble, that "no one can rise that slights his work" and the "grand business in life is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand." With this kind of a spirit, blankets are taken out of the tent to be aired and the sides of the tent tied up, the camp is cleaned and put in a sanitary condition, the tents are put in order, and kitchen work, if part of the boys' duties, is attended to. All work should be finished by 9.30. No matter whether the boy pays twenty dollars a week or three dollars a week for the outing, labor of some sort should be a part of his daily life while at camp, for when one gets to love work, his life becomes a happy one. The world despises a shirker but honors a worker.

The work of the day is sometimes done by tent groups or by boys grouped in alphabetical order, each group being under a leader whose part is assigned daily by the Camp Director (see chapter on Organization). In the writer's camp, work is considered a great privilege. For instance, if three bushels of peas must be picked from the camp garden for dinner, a call is made for volunteers. From forty to fifty hands will go up and after careful choosing, six boys are selected to do this coveted work, much to the disappointment of the others. It is all in the way work is presented to the boys, whether they will look upon it as a privilege or an irksome task.

9.30 to 11.00

If tutoring is a part of the camp's plan, the morning will be found a desirable time for tutor and boy to spend an hour together. Manual training, instruction in woodcraft, field and track athletics, boating, life-saving drills, rehearsal for minstrel shows or entertainments, photography, tennis, baseball, are some of the many activities to be engaged in during this period. One day a week, each box or trunk should be aired, and its contents gone over carefully. A sort of "clean up" day.


About this time the Life Saving Crew will be getting ready for their drill and patrolling of the swim. The other campers will be taking in their blankets and after shaking them well and folding, will place them on their beds for the inspection, which usually comes at noon. At 11.20 boys who cannot swim should be given instruction by those who can swim. If this is done before the regular swim there is less danger and greater progress is made.


This seems to be the popular hour for swimming in nearly all the camps. It follows the ball game, the tennis match, the camp work, and usually the temperature of air and water is just right for a swim. Allow no swimmer to go beyond the line of patrol boats. Have some one on shore who is keen to observe any boy who may be in need of assistance.

Twenty minutes is sufficient length of time to be in fresh water. When the boys come out of the water, have a towel drill, teaching the boy how to use the towel so that his back may be dried as well as every other part of his body. This rubbing down induces circulation of the blood and gives that finish to a swim which makes the boy feel like a new being. It is unwise to permit boys to lie around undressed after a swim, for physiological as well as moral reasons. Swimming tights should be wrung out dry, either by hand or by a wringer kept near the swimming place, and hung out on a rope or rustless wire, stretched back of the tent. Do not permit wet clothes to be hung in the tent, on the canvas or tent ropes.


Beds or bunks should be made up for inspection. Three men or boys may be appointed as inspectors. Considerable interest and pride is taken by the boys in having their canvas home look neat. This training in neatness, order and cleanliness is invaluable. (See chapter on Awards.) The inspection should not take over twenty minutes. While this is going on those who have kitchen or table duty will be busily engaged getting tables in readiness for dinner.


Mess call for dinner. This meal should be the heartiest meal of the day, and plenty of time given to the eating of the food. Mail is usually given out at this meal in camps where there is but one delivery a day.

1.15, "Siesta."

"Siesta," or rest hour, follows dinner. In the early days of boys' camps this suggestion would have been laughed at, but today it is looked upon as highly hygienic and considered one of the best things of camp and strongly to be commended. The boy is advised to lie down flat on his back, in his tent or under the shade of a friendly tree, and be quiet. He may talk if he wishes, but usually some one reads aloud to his fellows. This gives the food a chance to digest, and the whole body a nerve and muscle rest before the active work of the afternoon.

2.00 to 4.30

These hours will be spent in various ways. Usually it is the time for athletic sports, baseball games, quoit[1] tournaments, tennis tournaments, excursions afield, boat regatta, archery, water sports, scouting games and other activities in which most of the campers can engage. The big outdoor events should occupy this time of the day.

[Transcriber's Footnote 1: Flat rings of iron or rope are pitched at a stake with points for encircling it. A ring used in this game.]


Where daily inspection is a part of the camp plan the boys will begin getting everything in readiness for that important event. A general bustle of activity will be in evidence and every boy on the qui vive[2] to have his tent win the coveted honor pennant, usually given for the neatest tent,

[Transcriber's Footnote 2: Sentinel's challenge. On the alert; vigilant.]


Inspection is conducted during the absence of the boys. While the inspectors are making the round of tents, the boys should assemble either in the permanent building of the camp or under some big tree, to listen to a practical talk by the camp physician, a demonstration in first aid work, the reading of a story, or to something equally educational in character. This is a valuable hour when occupied in this manner. (See chapter on inspection, awards, etc.)


Rather than depend upon "sunset" as the time to lower the flag, it is much better to set an hour for "colors." Promptly at this hour the bugler blows "colors." No matter where a camper may be he should stand erect, uncover and remain attentive until after the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" and firing of the cannon. The flag is lowered very slowly during the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner" and camp should be a place of silent patriotism. Those who have witnessed this ceremony in a boys' camp will never forget its impressiveness. The flag should never be permitted to touch the ground, and should be carefully folded and in readiness for hoisting the next morning.


Supper hour cannot come too promptly for active boys. The announcement of the day's inspection should be made at the meal and the honor pennant or flag presented to the successful tent, and accepted by one of the boys. This occasion is usually a time of rejoicing, also a time of resolve-making on the part of tent groups to "do better tomorrow." The record of each tent is read by one of the inspectors, and at the end of the week the tent having the best record gets a special supper or "seconds" on ice cream day.


About this time, with the going down of the sun, nature seems to quiet down, and it is the psychological time for serious thought. Many camps devote twenty minutes to Bible study (for suggested lessons, see chapter on Religion and Moral Life). Tent groups under their leader study thoughtfully the meaning of life and the great lessons taught by God through nature. Night after night the boys consciously or unconsciously acquire through this study the requisites of a good camper mentioned in the first part of this chapter.


Campus games, boating, preparation for the bonfire, etc., will occupy the time until dark. Every boy should be engaged in some recreative play, working off whatever surplus energy he may have at hand so that when the time for "turning in" comes, he will be physically tired and ready for bed.


The evening program varies. Some nights there will be a minstrel show, other nights a camp fire, or mock trial, an illustrated talk, or "village school entertainment," or a play, or a musical evening or "vo-de-ville." Leave about two nights a week open. The boys prefer to have occasional open evenings when they are free to loaf around, and go to bed early. Plan the evening "stunts" very carefully.

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