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From the collection of the 

z m 






San Francisco, California 





Copy rigKtwJ Auf?. 5, 1035 \y^ 

C. E. Wa\R,D, GALAX, VA. 


"Please tell me what book to read in order to get a clear understand- 
ing of the origins and background of the wSummer Camp,'* requested 
a graduate student, who looked forward to becoming a counselor. 
Despite the fact that much camp experience has been written and pub- 
lished, bibliographies did not seem to reveal just the kind of book 

The author's purpose has been to write a book which might prove 
useful for the orientation of students in this free and experimental field 
of progressive education; to provide a source book of helpful practices 
and processes for counselors, prospective counselors and camp direc- 
tors ; and to bring to parents a more understanding interest in the pos- 
sibilities and limitations of organized camping. It is hoped that as 
we come to see organized camping in perspective, to view its strength 
and weaknesses, its successes and failures, to understand its experimen- 
tal status and point of view, those for whom camping relationships are 
new may be able to avoid the practices which have proved unsound and 
that an attitude of continuous critical inquiry may be inspired. 

The book has been written in three parts, each of which is intended 
to serve a distinct purpose : Part I, to sketch a picture of the movement 
in the setting of American civilized life; Part II, to bring the reader 
a "close-up" of actual camping experiences as lived by campers, coun- 
selors, and directors; and, Part III, to evaluate the organized camp 
in the light of modern social science and educational theory so that 
readers may be aided in finding their desired relationship to the move- 
ment and thus be ready to share in guiding its course toward an in- 
creasing measure of service to our changing social order. 

With a wide range of readers in mind, the language of the book 
has been kept as free from technical terms as possible. It is hoped 
that it may bring to camp directors a new sense of the importance of 
their profession and that they may be stimulated to keep free from 
unthinking grooves of practice — that they may not become "Fundamen- 
talists" for some pet theory, but that they may determine to continu- 
ously re-think their camp procedures with the guidance of their indi- 
vidual campers in mind. It is hoped that counselors may find a new 
sense of loyalty to their directors and a greater appreciation of the 
opportunities which their positions provide. It is hoped that parents 
may be led to thoroughly investigate the camps they patronize and that 
they may be aided in selecting progressive and creative camps rather 
than backward and academic types. 


J^'ree Library, 


vi Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

For six years the author was a participant in the experiences de- 
scribed in Part II of this book, first as counselor and finally as camp 
director. Having kept in touch by visits and correspondence during 
the next four years he had an opportunity to understand thoroughly 
the setting from which this data was derived. 

It is a privilege to acknowledge indebtedness to a large number of 
camp directors and counselors, for their interest and co-operation in 
sending materials and for helpful suggestions. Acknowledgment is 
also made to the agencies which conduct camps ; such as, Y. M. C. A., 
Y. W. C. A., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys' Clubs, Camp Fire Girls, 
Churches, City Recreational Departments, and other societi».s and agen- 
cies, for co-operation in collecting materials. 

But for the friendly interest and encouragement of members of the 
faculty of the Y. M. C A, Graduate School of Nashville, Tennessee, 
the work would never have been undertaken, and to them much credit 
is due for helpful suggestions and consultation. Especial acknowledg- 
ment is made to Dr. Walter L. Stone, Dr. Dagnall F. Folger, Mr. J. 
J. Ray, who read and criticized the manuscript. They are in no sense 
responsible, however, for the views presented. 

During the decade during which this study was in progress, several 
other studies in the field of camping were made. Some of these were 
published and have greatly influenced the camping movement. Mention 
should be made of "Camping and Character," by Dimock and Hendry; 
"The Summer Camp : A New Factor in Education," by Elwell ; "Camp- 
ing and Education," by Mason ; "Education and the Summer Camp," by 
Sharp, and "Creative Camping," by Lieberman. These works have 
been very helpful and inspiring to the author in preparing this book 
and presenting it to the public. 

C. E. Ward. 


Part I 
Historical Analysis of Organized Camping 

Chapter 1. The Period of Beginnings 

Chapter 2. Expansion of Summer Camp Movement . 
Chapter 3. The Summer Camp Becomes Academic . 



Part II 

A Decade of Experimental Camping — A Case Study 

Chapter 4. A Fixed Program 55 

Chapter 5. A Self-Governing Camp Without Awards ... 75 

Chapter 6. An Experiment in Co-operative Living .... 101 

Part III 

TJie Modern Camping Movement 
Chapter 7. Educational Changes in Modern Camps . 
Chapter 8. Problems and Lags of Organized Camping 
Chapter 9. Trends within the Camping Movement . 

Chapter 10. The Future of Camping 




Part I 




The complete history of the beginnings of the Summer Camp Move- 
ment has not been written and the cultural background from which it 
sprang is little understood. Supporters of organized camping quote 
a statement by the late Dr. Elliot of Harvard that the summer camp 
is America's distinctive contribution to education without questioning 
why this movement should have grown up in America rather than 
Europe. When we trace a movement into its cultural background we 
find it like a tree, with its roots spreading and connecting with wider 
and wider reaches of culture ; we may hope to trace out only the more 
important cultural roots from which grew the organized camp move- 

We may say with Mr. Lehman that "camping is as old as the human 
race" and think of how primitive men "for thousands of years, slept, 
ate, worked and carried on practically all functions of life under the 
free heavens." 

The American Indian was most successful in making this adaptation. He 
cherished a fraternal understanding of the elements and mingled in a fanciful, 
brotherly fellowship with the birds and animals, with the trees and flowers, with 
water and winds. He acquired a practical physical skill, hunting, fishing, riding, 
paddling, and fighting ; a practical mental acuteness in knowing how to live in the 
woods or find his way through the forests where othersi might perish. Camping 
in the early sense was begun in America by these Indians hundreds of years 
before the landing of , Columbus.' 

Much of this mode of life was from necessity learned by the white 
men who came to America and had to live amid the wilderness condi- 
tions ; it continued to be used by those pioneers who moved on west- 
ward across the continent for almost a century after the founding of 
the republic. 

While pioneering continued on the frontiers, centers of population 
were growing in the eastern part of the country'. The old Puritan 
heritage of New England on the one hand or the Victorian Era of 
English Civilization on the other tended more and more to convention- 
alize life and few seemed to break away from the customary ways of 

^Lehman, E. H., Camping, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 4, page 682. 


4 Orgcmized Camfing and Progressive Edttcation 

Causes of Renewed Interest in Outdoor Life 

After the "Civil War" a comparatively rapid change took place: 
cities grew; the country turned more and more from an agricultural 
to an industrial and a commercial nation; by 1880 a quarter of the 
population was living in cities. We may well trace the idea of a return 
to nature and the simple life back to the Transcendentalists, especially 
to Henry David Thoreau of whom it was said that as a boy Henry 
drove his mother's cows to the pastures and thus early became enam- 
ored of certain aspects of nature and of certain delights of solitude. 
When this boy was but twelve years old he had made collections for 
Agassiz. who had just arrived in America. 

In 1845 this young man, considered an eccentric by the people of 
his own town, went out' into the woods on Walden Pond, built a hut, 
and lived for two years amid the natural surroundings he loved so much. 
Marvelous stories of his understanding and friendly fellowship with 
birds and animals have come down to us. His written account of these 
experiences published in 1854 stirred the imagination, and made inter- 
esting and delightful reading. ^ Certain series of books for boys were 
inspired by the interest created by the writings of George W. Sears 
as "Nesmuk" and of the Rev. W. H. H. Murray.-^ Such books pictur- 
ing the jovs and adventures of the wild free life became numerous and 
stimulated desire for adventure — to get away from the cite' and to enjoy 
outdoor life. 

The Mexican war with its hundreds of volunteers going on military 
campaigns tended in the same direction ; then came the War between 
the States and for four years young men lived in the open or in Army 
camps. As soldiers, always held in high esteem in war time, described 
their experiences or were seen to train for service or to parade on their 
return, boys imitated them by marching and by sleeping out in the open 
rolled in blankets or by putting up tents and living in them. After the 
war, veterans began to hold reunions and on these occasions usually 
spent a few days in tented encampments. 

Early School "Camp Outs" 

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick William Gunn. who ran the Gunnery School 
at Washington. Connecticut, found their schoolboys so eager for march- 
ing and outdoor life in 1861 that they took the whole school on a forty- 
mile gypsy trip that summer, and camped for two weeks on the Sound 
at Milford, near New Haven. This proved to be such a delightful 
experience that it was repeated again in 1863 and in 1865. This school 
then divided the school year into two terms, a winter and a summer 
term of ecjual length, after the fashion of the schools of Europe. W^hen 
they changed to the American school calendar Mr. Gunn thought the 

'Thoreau, Henry David, Waldeii, 1854. 

'Sear.s, Geo. W., Woodcraft, by "Nesmuk." This book described camping for 
pleasure and recreation. "Adventures in the Wilderness," by Rev. W. H. H. Murray, 
was quite popular. 

The Period of Begi/tfii/igs 5 

summer vacation too long so in 1872 he called his pupils for a period 
of camping"; and for 12 years two weeks of camjjing was a i)art of the 
school regime. Judge A. S. Clarke, who founded the Kewaydin Camps 
in 1893, was one of the former Gunnery Schoolhoys."* 

In 1876 Dr. Joseph Trimble Rothrock, a practicing physician much 
interested in conservation and forestry, gathered a group of "weakly" 
boys and ran what he called a "School of Physical Culture," a name 
which he coined. They lived in large tents on a large plot of ground 
adjacent to the summer hotel — The North Mountain House near 
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This "School of Physical Culture" was 
one of the forerunners of the organized camp. 

A subscriber's letter published in the editorial column of the Wilkes- 
Barro Times on Tuesday, July 18, 1876, described the new educational 
venture at length and coinmended the efifort Dr. Rothrock was making. 
The writer said : "We all are or should be interested in the education 
of the young; but too often we are inclined to press the mental education 
at the expense of the physical, and as a legitimate result many of our 
boys are rendered useless to the country because we force development 
in one direction and fail to assist nature in another.'' 

He stated that eighteen boys were in camp and more were expected. 
The school was operated all summer and boys could enter for six weeks 
or more. The forenoon was usually taken up with drawing, gymnastic 
exercises, surveying, and barometric observations, while the afternoons 
were devoted to recreation, such as swimming, rowing, target practice, 
and other sports. The regular routine was often broken by trips and 
overnight hikes into the woods and by two-or-three-day fishing trips. 
These early campers discovered the annoyance of gnats and mosquitoes. 
They seemed surprised and pleased that while living this way in the 
open with much exposure to the weather no illness had resulted. In 
October, however, an epidemic of typhoid brought illness to three- 
fourths of those still in camp. 

This early experiment at camping was typical of many later efforts 
in the fact that it closed with a deficit. The second year Dr. Rothrock 
went on an exploring expedition to Alaska and his camp had small 
attendance. In 1878 two young men assumed control and by advertising 
in the Wilkcs-Barrc Times and the Philadelphia Bulletin they increased 
the camp enrollment to twenty boys. This time they paid the bills and 
the counselors, but produced no profit ; this was the last year of the 

Pioneer Church Camping Trips 

But Dr. Rothrock's "school" was not the only forerunner of organ- 
ized camping. Others were working on similar ideas at the same time, 

"Much research on the early history of the Summer Camp has been done by 
Porter Sargent and his annual handbooks, "Summer Camps," (1924-1933) provide 
the sources for many of these facts. 

'Editorial Page — WUkes-Barre Times, July 18. 1876. 

"Keiser, David S., "An 1876 Summer Camp," Summer Camps, 1929, pages 14 
to 18. 

6 Orga^iized Campi?ig and Progressive Education 

each believing himself to be a pioneer or a discoverer. Another of 
these pioneer campers was Rev. G. W. Hinckley, who established his 
camps for boys as a part of his church program, with a serious reli- 
gious purpose. Reminiscently describing his camp experiences a few 
years ago he told how in the time of his boyhood all New England 
stayed indoors and feared the "night air." Even after he was filled 
with the desire for camping by reading Rev. W. H. H. Murray's books, 
his father would not allow him to try it until he was 21 years of age. 

He started with personal camping trips for pleasure ; then as a school 
teacher he often camped out with his schoolboys for a few days at 
a time. He found that by this means he came closer to the boys than 
in usual school relationships and that discipline was not broken down 
thereby as people had predicted. 

In 1880 during his first year in the ministry he took some boys from 
his parish out camping in ten<;s on Gardiner's Island, near Wakefield, 
Rhode Island. Included in his party of seven boys were three Chinese 
high school youths who were being educated in America. Quoting him : 
"We had a regular daily program, such religious observances as seemed 
adapted to the group, story-telling, swimming, boating, fishing, and an 
evening service."^ This camp-minded minister continued his efforts 
until he had established the Good Will Farms and the Good Will En- 
campments. For fourteen years these encampments were open to boys 
other than those of the Good Will Farms, but when private boys' camps 
were opened the Good Will Camps discontinued accepting boys outside 
their own membership. 

As we have seen, Mr. Hinckley gave large credit to Rev. Murray 
for the inspiration of the summer camp. He wrote : 

I have looked upon "Adirondack Murray" not as the Father of the Boys' 
Summer Camp, but father of the great outdoor movement out of which they 
sprang. His own camping was for personal recreation only, but without his 
brilliant descriptions of the glories of the open, I am not sure the camp move- 
ment would have been born when it was, but it was l)ound to come sometime." 

The period from 1880 to 1900 was marked by reaction against city 
life and a turn toward imitation of the pioneers.'-' Vacations had been 
spent almost entirely in summer hotels, but now return to the primitive 
— living in tents here and there in the woods — came to hold an appeal. 
"Roughing-it" in some fashion became almost as popular as "touring" 
has been the past decade. Families and larger camping parties went 
camping for short periods of time. Outdoor life magazines flourished 
and their writings described the experiences of these camping trips. 

Boys' cami)s sprang uj) as a part of this movement for outdoor recre- 
ation — a reaction against the city's conventional monotony. There were 
r.eitiier definite educational philosophies nor definitely worked out ob- 

'Ilinckk-y, G. W.. "An 1880 Camp in Rhode Island," Summer Camps, 1929, 
pages 17-23. 

7/W, p. 22. 

'Filf's of old magazines; such as, "Outing," "St. Nicholas," etc., show this tran- 

The Period of Beginnings 7 

jectives, just vague purposes to better the lives of the boys through 
association in action, free and voluntarily entered into. 

American Background 

Probably the most distinctive reason why the summer camp should 
have originated in America may be found in the American school cal- 
endar. In pioneer America children were educated as they lived on 
farms and learned to help adults with necessary farm work. Schools 
were introduced for three months in the winter to supplement with 
"book-learning" the education which went on daily in farm and village 
life. Gradually school terms were lengthened. Then people moved into 
cities where children no longer had occasion to help their parents during 
the summer, but the school calendar had become fixed in custom and 
schools continued to close in the summer. 

Early schools needed no study of' nature lore, manual training, han- 
dicraft, or other extra-curricular activities. All they needed to round 
out the education of farm boys and girls was the "three R's". With 
little critical thinking educators took this same traditional school into 
the city and "standardized" it. The School with its emphasis on fun- 
damental academic skills, at first merely a supplement to education, 
gradually came to assume that it was the whole of education, but no 
provision was made for the summer months. In Europe, where the 
school calendar did not grow out of pioneer traditions, many schools 
operate throughout the year except for brief holiday periods. 

Rapid urbanization of population brought us face to face with the 
problem of how to give back to the city child what the city has taken 
from him — an educational heritage. Air. Sargent has suggested the 
summer camp to fill this gap in modern education. He has said of our 
educators that 

they have lost sight of the fact that all the training in crafts, nature, resource- 
fulness, initiative and executive capacity, that belonged to three and four gener- 
ations ago has passed, that home and community life is no longer what it was, 
that a void has been left in the life of the growing boy and girl. 

In education the elaboration of book learning, of formal school methods re- 
moved from life, gave us something that looked well from the point of view of 
the pedagogue, but lacked the life-giving elements of the earlier education. So 
into the neglected period of the summer months has come the summer camp with 
its opportunities to restore something of the essential elements of what made our 
grandfathers and grandmothers what they were.^". . . The ideas and practices in- 
herent in the summer camp may be the means of rectifying the evils of our civ- 
ilization. All that the summer camp stands for carries us back to the primitive — 
what is fundamental in human nature, what is biologically sound." 

We hold then that factors which prepared the way for organized 
camping include: (1) breaking away from conventional life by Thoreau 
and other lovers of the outdoors who popularized their experiences 
through writing; (2) influences toward adventure and outdoor living 
that came from the Mexican and Civil Wars; (3) rapid urbanization 

^"Sargent, Porter, Summer Camps. 1931, pp. 22-23. 

8 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

and industrialization which caused people to seek relief from cramped 
living and working conditions; (4) increase of wealth and improved 
means of transportation, which made it possihle to escape to the open; 
and (5) the scliool calendar which made no provision for the summer 

It has been difficult to secure historical material on the early begin- 
nings of the summer camp movement. A few articles in periodicals 
described the first camps and played a great part in spreading the idea. 
Sargent thus describes his own efforts to learn this early history and 
the discovery he made when he first became interested in camps in 1914. 

At that time the summer camp was little in the public mind and had only 
vaguely presented itself to me. I had heard, it is true, of boys and teachers who 
had a part in such summer adventures and it seemed appropriate that the Private 
School Handbook should tell something about this new educational development, 
and so I began to correspond and to collect material. It was this that led me to 
the discovery of the summer camp. 

I became interested. I wanted to know who started it, how many camps there 
were and where they were located. Therd was nothing in print about it except 
a few furtive magazine articles. A few camp men were able to give me clues as 
to where they got their ideas. 

Tracing these back I discovered, not only once but several times, the man 
who thought he had originated the summer camp. But always something seemed 
to lie beyond, and eventually I found the man who conceived the whole move- 
ment, and brought the summer camp to perfection in a few years, and then dis- 
couraged by the coldness of its reception, threw the whole thing up and had been 
spending some years in the wilds of Yucatan." 

The Origin of the Camping Program 

After definite and prolonged research Mr. Sargent turned to Ernest 
Balch as the real founder of the summer camp movement. 

Ernest Balch started his camp in 1881 as the result of deliberate planning to 
meet a particular need. All the essential features of the organized camps as 
we have them today were worked out by him at Camp Chocorua. Moreover his 
camp was maintained continuously on the same site for nine years and as a result 
of its influence other camps were established which followed his practices and 
many of his old campers later established camps of their own." 

When finally located and asked about the camp, Mr. Balch wrote a 
history of it as he remembered it. He said : "I first thought of the 
boys' camp as an institution in 1880. The miserable condition of boys 
belonging to well-to-do families in summer hotels, considered from the 
point of view of their right development, set me to looking for a sub- 

In July, 1880, with his brother, another friend, and two boys he 
hiked from their home near Plymouth to Asquam Lake. Holderness, 
New Hampshire, and on that trip he "began to think out a plan for 
an. organized boys' camp oi)en to admission as a school but on camp 
lines of a severe character." Through the following winter as a Soph- 
omore at Dartmouth he continued to think out his plans and in June, 

"Sargent, Porter, Summer Camps. 1924, Foreword. 

"Sargent, Porter. Summer Camps, 1931, page 36. 

"Balch. E. B., The P^irst Camp Chocorua, Summer Camps, 1924, pp. 30-41. 

The Period of Brginnings 9 

1881, he again set out for the lake to put his plans into execution. He 
bought an island in the lake and with a camp "faculty" of himself, his 
brother, and two other college men. started to build the camp which 
they named Chocorua after the mountain which brings special charm 
to the scenery of Asquam Lake. 

Very little advertising had been done; first because they had little 
money, and second, because this was such a new idea. The wise ones 
consulted had all been of one mind — that such a venture could not suc- 
ceed ; that people would hesitate more about sending their boys out 
into the woods to a camp with a man they did not know than in send- 
ing them to a school whose headmaster was new to them. So Mr. 
Balch and his friends worked busily on the island while, as he says, 
they "waited for a rush of boys to appear." Some of his own descrip- 
tion of this camp venture written many years* later shows not only the 
simple beginnings, but the definite ideas of this pioneer in a new scheme 
of educational endeavor. 

"In July Charlie Benjamin from Washington arrived, a boy whose 
relatives none of us ever met. . . . He was followed by his cousin 
and then three boys from Boston and we had a camp, the first organized 
camp for boys."^'^ Some of the salient paragraphs which indicate the 
ideas held and the methods used are given below in Mr. Balch's words : 

The first theory was that there should be no servants in the camp ; that camp 
work must all be done by the boys and faculty. Another was that the boys must 
be trained to master the lake. ... A systematic and complex plan was thought 
out to provide safety for* the boys and teach them swimming, diving, boatwcrk, 
canoeing, and sailing. 

A third idea which began the second year was to teach the boys the use of 
money. Practically all of them were sons of well-to-do people. A few of them 
were sons of wealthy parents and had a vague conception of money and somewhat 
snobbish tendencies. I designed the camp to be of a really demociatic spirit. . . . 
We began with clothes — as soon as possible a uniform was prescribed for full 
dress and a standard set for camp accessories. 

. . . The best method of teaching the value of money to a hoy is to have 
him earn what he needs for his pleasures. Very early the rule was made that 
each boy had an allowance of twenty-five cents a week, with a total of two dollars 
and a half for the summer. . . . If he wished he could draw it weekly and 
throw it into the lake. It was his. . . . Except for his allowance he could not 
receive a cent as a gift during the summer nor use any money at camp saved or 
owned by him unless he had earned it at regular working rates.'"" 

Unearned money was all taken from boys on arrival and returned 
to them on departure from camp. The boys soon found they needed 
more money than their allowance ; for Mr. Balch's brother was a good 
canoe builder, and each boy desired to own a canoe as soon as possible. 
This desire was used as "an incentive to boy development." The mate- 
rials for a canoe cost from three to six dollars ; old ones might be 
bought even cheaper by boys not able to build. There were always ways 
to earn money about camp by "contracting" to build some camp im- 
provement or by hiring to some boy to wash his set of dishes. By the 

^^/bid.. pp. 30-41. 
^"Of. cit., p. 30-41. 

10 OrgmizecL Camfing and Progressive Education 

second summer a boy would have some money he had earned at regular 
working rates at home during the winter— it might be by shmmg shoes, 
sometimes his own. or for other members of the family or for others— 
at five cents per pair. 

Miss Elizabeth Balch. who visited the camp in its fifth year, gave 
the number of campers as twenty-five with a faculty of five men._ She 
found camp life attractive and pleasant despite the seemmg seventy of 
which her brother wrote. 

"Freedom without license" might almost be the camp motto, so careless, happy 
and untrammeled were the lads, yet so perfect is the discipline. One of the first 
principles of the camp system is that in every way the faculty shall live the sairie 
lives as the boys themselves, sharing their work as well as their pleasures ; the 
sspirit existing between the two is therefore far less that of master and pupil than 
that of good comrades who are at the same time helpful friends. ' 
That "sharing" must have been the keynote of the camp's happy expe- 
riences. ^ e ■ t 

When we realize that these campers did all the work of caring tor 
themselves; prepared their food, washed their dishes and clothes, built 
canoes and boats, did camp construction jobs, kept their camp clean and 
in order, there is an evident contrast with the situation in many modern 
camps where too much is done for them. 

The GOLDEN ROD is the camp newspaper. It is edited and entirely con- 
ducted by the boys. In its columns appears a notice to the effect that the "Good 
Will Contracting Company washes clothes, irons clothes, cleans and tidies beaches, 
builds piers, stone walls, steps., etc., carries dirt and publishes newspapers. ' From 
this announcement idleness would seem to stand but a poor chance at Camp 
Chocorua These boys are divided into four crews, and these crews undertake 
in turn the different kinds of work : One day the cooking ; the next, dishvvashing ; 
the third police duty, which includes the tidying of the beaches, and all work 
assigned to no other crew. The fourth day is "Off Duty." This changes the 
kind of work done daily, and yet gives each boy the chance of learning all the 
tasks. One of the faculty works with each crew of boys. 

There appears to have been little that was academic about this pioneer 
camp. Many of these simple tasks have been crowded out of the larger 
modern camps bv emplovment of servants to do much of the work 
While with larger groups, health and safety may demand an employed 
set of workers for the cooking and some other work, have not many 
camps lifted so much of the responsibility for the work of the camp 
community from the shoulders of the boys and girls as to decrease the 
degree of 'independence and self-reliance developed by those early camp- 
ers who most completely cared for themselves? 

Despite the changes" that have come about in a half century, there 
arc many things in the description of the first camp which still have a 
familiar ring, such as the way of sleeping on bunks in open-sided cabins; 
the rules for swimming, morning dips, camp uniforms; an outdoor 
chapel for Sunday services, scheduled time for writing letters to the 
home- folk, for field and water sports, for visiting by members of the 

"Balch, Elizabeth. A Hoy's Paradise, A Summer visitor's Account of Camp Cho- 
corua — 5"/. Nicholas, June. 1886, pp. 604-607. 
^"Ibid.., pp. 604-607. 

The Period of Beginnings 11 

campers' families and their friends ; dramatics, camp fires, camj) hank 
and rules about spending money; and "a week's tramp over the hills.'' 
A large canvas-topped wagon, drawn by oxen, carries blankets and provisions, 
and any boys who grow tired and footsore can have a lift when they feel like 
it. They camp at night and have many amusing adventures by day; and at differ- 
ent farmhouses to which they come in their wanderings, milk is willingly fur- 
nished to the jolly, brown-faced, red-capped lads who make the hills ring cheerily 
with their songs and laughter." 

Mr. Balch stated that among objections raised to camp were that 
with no professional cook "food would not be sufficient"; that it was 
not necessary for the men and boys to do all the work ; and that some 
wanted the boy to "make up some of the bookwork he had been too 
lazy or too ill to do during the winter." He wrote : 

It was the "Faultleroy Period" and endless were the objections to this new 
idea and many a good boy we lost for these and other reasons and some fine boys 
because neither the boy nor the camp had the necessary funds, but enough came, 
and the camp grew and ninety per centl of the boys were good stuff and throve 
in the new environment so that there came at last to be parents who thought the 
camp training a valuable part of the boy's education.^" 

Camp directors will find the above paragraph brings up familiar 

As might have been expected the old experienced school men of 
Balch's day were either negative or indififerent. This young man tried 
hard to interest them and was greatly disappointed in the way his new 
venture was received ; he grew discouraged and gave it up. Later he 
could rationalize the experience and understand it. He said of the 
school men : 

They could not see it. That such an affair could be called a "school" was 
absurd. Their most favorable comment was, "a good place to send a boy who 
has nowhere else to go — to learn to swim." . . . Camps as I saw them during 
the active period of Camp Chocorua were the work of men not yet imbedded in 
formal school life. . . . Men who conduct schools have a clear understanding 
of the strength of tradition and no desire to fight it for the sake of a new form 
which you have reached by a train of reasoning that escapes them. 

. . . The question of who thought out the camp idea did not arise) in the 80's. 
Camps were as yet too insignificant a part of boys' lives and the camp public 
very small. Camp Harvard started in our second year. . . In our third year 
Mr. Talbot took over Camp Harvard, changing the name to Camp Asquam, and 
settling across the lake two miles from us. Our relations were cordial from the 
first, that is officially. Naturally, Mr. Talbot followed out his own interpreta- 
tion of the camp idea, but we did not believe the methods of Camp Asquam were 
as good as our own. They were up on a high hill, v/hich of itself cut them. 
off from the intimate life of the lake and made accidents more probable. They 
had a professional cook which we believed to be unseemly and useless in a boys' 
camp, considering there should be no servant caste, a creed to which I still sub- 
scribe. They did some of their own work and they had a fine set of boys and 
a fine faculty. We went to their sports and they came to ours." 

Prom this description we see why Mr. Sargent spoke of Mr. Balch's 
ideas of establishing a camp as more or less along the lines of a 

^Of. cit., 604-607. 

"Balch, E. B., The first Camp Chocorua, Summer Camps, 1924, pages 30-41. 

''I bid., pages 30-41. 

12 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

"monastic order." The founder of camping later expressed his belief 
that the reason most camps departed from the severity of Camp Cho- 
corua was more for economical reasons than because of lack of char- 
acter or understanding on the part of directors. He considered a higher 
type of faculty necessary and the food more expensive in a camp of 
the type of Chocorua. While he may have been a bit extreme we know 
that in the competition for campers today the economic factor has its 
weight and some camps doubtless might leave more responsibility for 
their campers, but for the fact that they are afraid they might fail to 
please and so turn them toward another camp where more is done for 
them. At any rate this first nine-year experiment closed with a deficit, 
but with the belief on the part of its founder that he had really con- 
ducted "an experiment in the education of the 12 to 16 year old boy." 

Except for the few points of difiference mentioned by Mr. Balch, 
Camp Harvard inust have been run on a very similar plan. An inter- 
esting description of its program in 1885 by one of the older boys ap- 
peared in Si. IViclwIais in June, 1886. Practically all the same features 
of camp life as were found at Camp Chocorua were described. The 
description of their athletic meet first introduces us to the awarding 
of prizes in camp — a practice which increased and has aroused much 
discussion in recent years. 

On August 13th and 14th came the annual athletic meeting. There were all 
sorts of exercises with first and second prizes in each, and entries closed on the 
12th. Crowds of visitors came each day. The tennis tournament was hotly 
contested in both singles and doubles, but the boat races and tug-of-war were the 
most exciting events. . . . On the night of the 14th we entertained a large 
company of visitors at supper and a lady very gracefully presented the prizes. 
I had won cither first or second prizes in several events, and experienced the 
proud distinction of having my name telegraphed to a Boston paper, whose 
editor was rusticating near by. Some of the records were very good, considering 
that the boys, with the single exception of myself, were only from ten to fourteen 
years old." 

There are not so many things in this paragraph to show that it was 
written nearly half a century ago, rather than in one of our more recent 
camp papers. But another of these early campers writing reminiscently 
of his experience in 1907 noted a great many changes that had taken 
place even at that time since as a twelve-year-old boy he had attended 
Camp Asquam in 1891. 

Me seemed to think especially of the adventure and of the "roughing" 
it" experiences of the early camps and to deplore the softening and 
formalizing influences which he felt were gaining control of camping. 
He said of the "good old days" : 

We did not go to camp as we went to boarding schiml. School was only the 
next block on the calendar of boyhood, a region mapped and exi)!ored, firmly 
traditioncd by older boys and parents even, with Mode-and-Persian rules for 
facing each new venture, and "Gallia est omnis" blighting all. School gave no 
key to the fiords of a new planet ; camp did. Camp lay at the back of beyond 

"A Boys' Camp, by Oik.- of the Campers, St. A'icholii.i, June. 1886, pp. 607-612. 

The Period of Bei^i/i/zi/igs 13 

and the boy going there was viewed with the timid envy of whomever saw John 
Cabot's sailors start for Labrador three hundred years ago." 

He said that in those days camp was not described as "the revolt 
from the growing tension of city life." nor as an "opportunity for 
nature study." He described how the boys lived : "sleeping in plaster- 
less shanties on woven wire cots without sheets or mattresses. One 
'soak' a day till we swam a mile and could sail alone ; very plain food 
and no studies." He reported that the boys did all the work except 
cook and told how they were organized into groups for these duties 
each morning. 

Then at ten o'clock most of this manual seriousness was over and we soaked 
in the lake which was the climax of the day. . . . That was unless you had for- 
feited your soak, perhaps for days on end, for sweeping dirt under the beds 
while police, or throwing food at the table. This was the only form of discipline, 
except "meditating," which meant sitting on the dining shanty steps, if you were 
late to meals and being guyed by everyone. . . Authorized seconds "soaks" 
were as rare as peaches in February for some hygienic reason which we never 
understood, until one year the whole camp was afflicted with deafness from 
swimming on the sly too much. The all-out bugle was loiteringly obeyed till 
several next days' soaks were lost ; then scattered in the hot sand on our stomachs 
wd talked of all a kid's cabbages and kings, acquiring that healthy sunned w^eari- 
ness, and such burns that for weeks a hand pressed on any shoulder was greeted 
with a howl. Sometimes we had scabs four inches long across our backs." 

He stated that the athletic records were kept and individual winners' 
names were painted on varnished boards under proper year date and 
put up in the dining lodge. He mentions slipping out and taking the 
water, hikes, trips, and mountain climbs as the real experiences of camp. 
His ideas, of how camp life developed a boy. continued long after his 
day, such as the sketch below indicates : "Have you ever noticed the 
half-naked lope of a ten-year-old along a burning sandy road? That 
set smile, the rough determination of the man on his face, manhood 
will never make intenser. For then the bolt of self-reliance springs 
with initial violence . . . and you first do hit the world."""'' Some of 
the things so gloried in as hardships endured by the old campers as' in 
after years they describe their experiences are recognized as some of 
the practices so much condemned by modern health and safety author- 

But the old camper did not like the changes. He closed his article 
with some paragraphs which while humorous indicate his attitude. 

Boys' camps have changed they tell me. . . . Now, two cycle engines 
the camp wash room from the lake, and that handpump. and that well, blasted 
out with gunpowder so it tasted like a potash gargle — when it wasn't sheltering 
a skunk — alas ! is no more. Camps seem to be run by more elderly men . . . 
and counselors are athletes from colleges no more, but grinds. "Educators." 
whatever they may be— in our day a kind of cracker — are getting busy with boys' 
camps, and Y. M. C. A.'s too ! Mercy on us ?" 

''Dunn, Robert; The Real Boys' Camp: Outing, Vol. 50, July, 1907, p, 415. 

^*/5id., p. 416. 

^'Op ck. 

'^Op. ck., p. 416. 

14 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

In the descriptions of I)oth Camp Chocorua and Camp Asquam 
are strikingly beautiful pictures of the outdoor chapels and the services 
held in them. The leaders in these early camps seem to have been 
of the Episcopal Church and the ofif shoots of these camps in the vicinity 
of Asquam Lake carried on their achievements in beauty in outdoor 
worship services. The writer recently received a letter from Mr. 
Edwin DeMeriette. who founded Camp Algonquin, another of these 
pioneer camps in 1886, and conducted it successfully for over forty 
years. He says of Camp Chocorua that "it was for Episcopalian boys 
and the island is now consecrated ground and Episcopalian services 
are held there on pleasant Sundays from June to September." This 
seems to) be a fitting way for the preservation of the place where the 
first boys' camp was founded. 

Mr. DeMeriette seems not to have known about Camp Harvard, for 
he writes of Camp Algonquin : 

In 1886 I established the second boys' camp, with the one idea of teaching 
the boys to care for themselves in the open, enjoy nature, love the trees, shrubs, 
flowers, birds and animals and to make a study of the same. For over twenty 
years I did this work myself and taught the boys that every trip was the more 
enjoyable if they used their eyes and noted what they saw in animal and vegetable 
life. . . . The boys learned to respect the rights of others, to become self- 
reliant, and that character, honesty, will power, the ability to see something to 
do and do it, and that a thing worth doing was worth doing well, were the things 
necessary to the highest type of manhood. They also learned to compel recogni- 
tion by the value of their work." 

Fine ideals were characteristics of these pioneer camp directors, but 
this fine and intelligent emphasis on teaching a knowledge and appre- 
ciation of nature was the distinctive characteristic of Camp Algonquin. 
After Mr. DeMeriette was no longer able to lead the nature lore work 
he secured excellent naturalists each year. He developed an unusual 
nature library, provided microscopes, materials for collections, herba- 
riums, and whatever the nature lover might wish. He said, "the camp 
should be educational, not only in the development of character, but also 
in a close study of all that God created for our enjoyment; I used to 
require an hour per day to be given to Nature Study." Although he 
closed his camp in 1927. in 1932 at the age of 87 he wrote : "I'm back 
in the old camp reveling in the beauties of Nature." 

Whether we agree with Mr. Dunn in any of his criticisms of the 
changes in camps, we have to admit that in some ways these pioneer 
camp directors set high standards for later directors to consider. With 
modern advantages, educational methods and philosojjhies camping 
should be better adapted to our changing civilization, but much camp- 
ing is still inferior to the efforts of these pioneer camp directors. 

Beginning of Organization Camps 

Perhaps Mr. Dunn would not have been so surprised to find Y. M. 
C. A.'s conducting boys' camj)s in 1907 had he known that at the time 

"Document No. 1. 

The Period of Beginnings 15 

he as a boy was spendinjjj his summer at Camj) Asquam the jMoneer 
Y. M. C. A. Camp was already in its sixth year. In fact, Camp Dudley 
on Lake Champlain is the oldest camp with a continuous existence, 
antedating by one year. Camp Algonquin. Mr. Sumner F. Dudley, 
a manufacturer ancl a member of the New York State Committee of 
the Y. M. C. A., had been taking boys on camping trips for three years, 
when in 1885 he took seven boys of the Newburg Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association and established a camp at Orange Lake. The follow- 
ing year a better site was found at Lake Wawayanda for a camp of 
23 boys ; by 1891 the number of boys had increased to 83 and the camp 
was removed to a site on Lake Champlain that could accommodate the 
larger number. During his last illness in 1897 Mr. Dudley arranged 
for the continuance of the camp by deeding the equipment to the New 
York State Committee of the Y. M. C. A. and by selecting Mr. George 
G. Peck, an intimate associate, a member of his committee and one of 
the charter campers, to direct it. After Mr. Dudley's death, the camp 
was named Camp Dudley in honor of its founder. 

The following quotation is taken from the first published account 
of a Y. M. C. A. Boys' Camp : 

I have just returned from an eight days in camp, conscious of having had 
one of the most delightful and profitable times of my life. With me have been 
seven of the leading members of the Boys' Branch of Newburgh. . . . We 
have spent from one to two hours each day in Bible Study. Sunday was a sweet 
experience. Although in the woods the bars were not down, but we were all 
in the Spirit. More time than usual was spent in Bible Study. 

In the evening a little prayer and praise service was held in a boat i!i the 
middle of the lake. The boys had a burden on their minds which found ex- 
pression in repeated earnest prayers for an unconverted companion providentially 
with them. I write of this to you because I think it may be made a valuable 
feature of summer work with boys. Two results may be thereby obtained or 
at least promoted : A very intimate acquaintance on. the part of the leader with 
the dispositions of the boys with whom he is to work. The boys themselves will 
be taught that pleasure seeking does not necessitate any relaxation of Christian 
Study and work, and that a full enjoyment of a vacation Sabbath does not imply 
any license, or forgetfulness of God's claim."* 

How quickly and widely the camping out idea spread through the 
Young Men's Christian Associations is revealed by a search for ac- 
counts of them in The Watchman, a Y. M. C. A. publication of that 
time. Here is one from the South as early as 1887: 

A number of the Junior members of the Knoxville, Tennessee, Association, 
chaperoned by Dr. J. W. Stewart, spent July 11-22 camping in the mountains 
of Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina. 

On the morning of the 11th, bright and early, a hack with four horses was 
drawn up in front of the door. Tents, cooking utensils, food. etc.. were quickly 
packed in, and then came the passengers, twelve in number. In a few minutes, 
everything was ready, goodbyes were said, and amid shouting and laughter and 
blowing of trumpets they started on down Gay Street. Traveling all day, at 
night they had reached a point in Tuckabluchee Cove, thirty-five miles from the 
city. Here they camped for two days before renewing the journey. 

^'Dudley, Sumner F., "Boys' Branch Newburgh, N. Y., in Camp," The Watch- 
man: Y. M. C. A. Semi-Monthly, August 1, 1885, Vol. XI, p. 177. 

16 Organized Cam-ping a fid Progressive Education 

Thursday night found them encamped on Laurel Creek in the very heart of 
the Smokies, and only seven miles from Thunderhead, the highest peak. Here 
they remained the balance of the time making various expeditions into the sur- 
rounding country, and spending the time by hunting, fishing, and sight-seeing.'^ 

While this was more in the nature of a camping trip than an organ- 
ized camp, there were some of the same elements in the experience. 

Mr. Dudley probably did not know of the existence of the camps 
on Asquam Lake. Many people long considered Camp Dudley the 
first boys' camp. As Camp Chocorua set the pattern for the group 
of private camps in New Hampshire, so did Camp Dudley become the 
model for many camps organized liy the workers of the Young Men's 
Christian Association. At first Camp Dudley served all the Associa- 
tions in New York and New Jersey, but very soon it was filled to ca- 
pacity and other camps had to be established. City Associations began 
to establish their own camps. Other State committees started Y. M. 
C. A. camps. Thus the movement grew. An official report of Y. M. 
C. A. camps published in "Association Boys" in 1901 listed 167 Camps 
and 4,v327 campers.^" 

Writing of Camp Dudley in its 21st year, R. P. Kaighn described its 
plan of management: 

An advance party of half a dozen older campers erect the tents and put things 
in order during the week previous to the opening of the camp season. It is 
considered an especial privilege to go with the advance party and some applica- 
tions are made a year in advance for a place in the selected band. The specific 
management of the camp centers in the leader in charge. A group of men, some 
Association Secretaries, members of the camp board, or experienced older camp- 
ers, are associated with him. These men are known as leaders, assistant loaders 
and aides, each having a certain relative rank. When on an excursion or at a 
ball game or whenever the leader is absent from the camp or group, the next 
highest ranking leader present is in charge. This system is carried out among' 
all campers whether in camp or not. Each tent group is under the care of a 
leader or assistant leader. The aides are campers too young to be given the full 
duties of leadership, but sufficiently old, experienced and trustworthy, to assume 
some responsibility. One is assigned to each tent and acts as assistant to the 
tent leader.'" 

In the June issue of "Association Boys" of 1902, E, M. Robinson, 
Boys' Work Secretary for the International Committee of the Y. M. 
C. A., wrote, "no single feature of Association boys' work has produced 
more satisfactory results in proportion to the expenditure of time, 
money, and energy than the summer camp."-'- He quoted several Asso- 
ciation leaders as to their purposes in running a camp : "The object 
of the camp is healthful recreation without temptation," said one; "not 
only to gratify the natiu'al desire for a free and easy life out of doors, 
but its fundamental principle is to cultivate manly Christian character 
among boys," said another; "four weeks of outdoor life full to the 
brim with fiui, sport and l)cncfit to health, imdcr the leadership of a 

"Davis, Mack. CamphiK Out, The Watchman: Y. M. C. A. Semi-Monthly, Vol. 
XIII, Sept. 1, 1887. p. 255. 

'"Association Hoys, Vol. I. 1901, Camp Report. 
"Kaighn. R. P.. Association Boys. Vol. 4. 1904, p. 109. 
"Robinson. E. M.. Association Rnvs, Vol. 2, 1902. 

The Period of Bei^'ninings 17 

corps of earnest Christian men." stated a third. "A leader," one Sec- 
retary wrote, "should first of all he a strong,' manly Christian. If he 
is an athlete ... so much the hetter . .' . hut a man who has the 
interests of each individual hoy at heart." 

On the topic of discipline : "All cam]) leaders agree that the fewer 
and simpler the rules the hetter; . . . not treat them like children; 
place them on their honor; ... if any rule comes it will he hrought 
upon them hy the recklessness and unruliness of a few boys; . . . the 
camp can easily be madel self -regulating when the leader takes the at- 
titude of comradeship."^* 

The idea of "roughing it" was held by the Y. M. C. A. camps to 
an equal if not greater extent than it was by the other pioneer camps, 
one leader stating that "when the spirit of 'roughing it' has been ex- 
tracted from the camp, the juice of the thing is pretty well gone." 
Another said, "It is a pity we do not have more of the spirit of the 
old Highland Chief, who finding his son sleeping in the snow with a 
block of ice for a pillow, kicked the block away in a rage, exclaiming : 
*I will have no son of mine brought up on such luxuries.' " Still an- 
other thought that, "boys like leadership but hate to be nagged or 

The Association Camps were thought of by Y. M. C. A. Leaders 
primarily as opportunities to further the strong evangelical purpose 
of the organization ; camp was the very best place for a boy to be led 
to Christian decision and to public confession of it. Tent and private 
devotions were encouraged ; Bible Study was a part of each day's pro- 
gram and camp activities were planned with the idea of showing the 
boys that men and boys who were pledged to the Christian way of 
life could have plenty of fun. Religion was to be spread by the con- 
tagion of personal influence and through the intimate relationship of 
camp life. Distinction was made between Christian boys and those 
who had not "decided," and boys were encouraged to influence their 
friends to make decisions. 

One leader said : "It is frequently the case that the last four or five 
days in camp witness the decisions of nearly every camper to begin 
an earnest Christian life. An opportunity is generally given at the 
evening service for the boys to express this determination." Another 
leader from Cleveland, Ohio, wrote : "Our plan while in camp and on 
our trips is to make the Christian life the natural thing and to rob it 
of all superfluities." He described their camp day : 

There were few rules. The day opened with flag-raising. Just before break- 
fast we gathered around the flag-pole, and as the flag was raised, sang some 
patriotic or sacred song, then someone ofTered the morning prayer. The days 
were spent in rowing, fishing, swimming, rambling over the country for miles 
around, and playing "baseball with teams of nearby villages. In the evening we 
had indoor games in a large barn which served as a gymnasium. Occasionally we 
had an entertainment furnished by some party of boys. . . . The day closed \vith 
a very simple evening devotional exercise.'^ 

"Association Boys, Vol. 3, 1903. p. 106. 

18 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

A leader of Camp Tuxis described the discussion groups or "Round 
Tables" they held just after breakfast, but he emphasized most the 
camp fires in the evening. He gave three classes of them : The hilarious, 
which was all fun and humor, stunts and games ; the combination which 
started with fun and stunts, but shifted to singing and closed devotion- 
ally ; and the serious which was purely devotional. Here is his descrip- 
tion of one of this latter type: 

The boys liave been away from home for some time. They are unusually 
thoughtful and tender. The stars twinkling overhead, the sighing of the breeze 
in the treetops, the breaking of the waves on the rocks, all tend towards turning 
the mind of the boy toward the God of nature. Somehow heaven seems nearer 
and the boy instinctively wants to be better. The words of the gospel songs 
acquire a new and more personal significance. The speaker finds it easy to strike 
the chord that vibrates in the listener's soul. A few of the older and more manly 
boys give their personal testimony and now and then a tear falls unheeded down 
some cheek. It is the critical hour that settles a boy's destiny and many a spot 
on old Camp Tuxis has witnessed the surrender of a boy's life. Catholics; Jews, 
and Protestants alike have been wonderfully moved by the power of God as mani- 
fested at these camp fires."^" 

Just a little bit later and perhaps with more experience and obser- 
vation, a leader of Camp Dudley gave a warning concerning these emo- 
tional settings for boys' decisions : 

It is very easy to overstimulate a boy's feelings at camp, and this too often 
is followed by a reaction after he gets home. While opportunities are given 
boys to express tlieir religious convictions, and 61 last year stated for the first 
time their purpose to lead Christian lives, yet it is felt that the best and most 
enduring effect is provided rather by the indirect than the direct appeal.^" 

The early organization camps appear to have differed from the 
pioneer private camps less in the types of activity engaged in by the 
boys and men, than in the purposes and the phases of life that were 
given the major emphases. While Mr. Balch tried hard to teach self- 
reliance, the dignity of labor and the value of money through a rigid 
regime of doing for themselves in priinitive fashion, the Camp Dudley 
followers sought, as one of them expressed it, "not only to have a 
happy, jolly time, but also to teach practically that to have such a time 
it was not necessary to break out of wholesome restraints, nor to forget 
the Sabbath and religious habits, but to continue, imder circumstances 
that would make it always remembered, the study of God's Word, which 
has come to be a characteristic of Association work." For the next 
two decades these ideals continued to be the guiding principles of camp 
workers. Both groups of camp Directors contemplated in some fashion 
a method for controlling hoys, and for fitting them into existing social 
life with the least friction and with the greatest conformity to the ap- 
proved ways of living. Change in the social order was neither expected 
nor considered desirable. 

Some were led to start sinnmer camjjs by hearing or reading of the 
early camps. Doubtless other cainps grew out of the situation where 
the puri:>ose originated in the desire for outdoor life. Some camps de- 

"Association Hoys, Vol. 3. 1903, p. 108. 
"Association Boys, Vol. 4, 1904, p. 109. 

The Period of Beginnings 19 

veloped out of situations which were originally set up for other pur- 
poses. Dr. C. Hanford Henderson descrihecl such a case. "When 
my own boys' camp was established in 1896 in the valley of the upper 
Delaware, I did not know of any similar experiment elsewhere and 
fancied myself a veritable pioneer. . . . My own camp was from the 
start a study camp — we worked in the morning, we played in the after- 
noon, we essayed sociability in the evening." He had a group of Col- 
lege men as "teachers and leaders for the boys." 

Quite unexpectedly we stood face to face with an immense opportunity — tlie 
chance to weave the days into a larger pattern, and to draw the outline of a 
new and more self-reliant type of boy. As a result of this realization the daily 
program transformed itself. The emphasis slipped away from the more formal 
studies of the curriculum over to the directed occupations — to music, drawing, 
manual training, nature expeditions, gymnastics. 

... It was not simply what a boy knew— it was what he was and what 
he would do. And the moral test became equally practical and intimate — was a 
boy a good comrade ; did he do his share willingly and thoroughly ; could he 
be depended upon day by day as well as in an emergency ; was he a gracious and 
welcome member of the group?'' 

Activities of camps in this period of beginnings — 1880 to 1900 — 
were rather free and grew out of natural situations more or less spon- 
taneously. Given a group of men and boys with certain experiences, 
ideas and ideals, some beautiful site with woods, lake and mountains, 
and the necessity of living life to the full and of taking care of them- 
selves, no set up procedures or curricula were necessary. It was a 
way to spend vacation time far more pleasantly and interestingly than 
in the city or at a summer hotel. The adventure of it was sufficient 
attraction ; it grew and became more and more desired as participants 
related experiences to their friends. 

A summary of the camp situation in 1900 was written by Louis 
Rouillon : 

How to provide boys from nine to nineteen with the conditions that make an 
ideal summer outing is a problem deserving as careful study as any other problem 
of modern education. . . . The requirements are that he should have the con- 
stant comradeship of other boys, the sympathetic companionship of strong men, 
the freest opportunity to wander over field and mountain — to swim, to fish, to 
row ; to exercise every true impulse of his nature freely and without restraint.^* 

He classified camps into three types. First, there were the "Natural 
Science" camps which were under the direction of educators and 
specialist teachers, but the classes in the various sciences are not con- 
ducted on the textbook and recitation plan, "as are those of an ordinary 
school, but are perhaps best described as walks and talks with the in- 
structors." These camps were run through July and August at cost 
of about nine dollars per week per boy. 

The second group of camps were those conducted by state and local 
committees of the Young Men's Christian Association. These camps 

^'Henderson, C. Hanford, The Boy's Summer, A Handbook of Summer Camps. 
1924. pp. 44-47. 

'"Rouillon. Louis; Summer Camps for Boys, Review of Reviews, Vol. 21, June, 

20 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Education 

are described as having a distinctly religious tone. Bible Study, camp 
duties, outdoor sports, occupied the mornings ; "a general good time"' 
filled the afternoons; swimming and canoeing played a big part; then 
at night a campfire with songs, hymns, and a talk on a religious topic 
closed the day. Counselors were usually college men, and generally 
specialists in some kind of activity. These camps ran from one to 
four weeks and at an expense of about fifty cents a day to each boy. 
Many such camps were found in New York and New England, but they 
were also scattered throughout the South and West. 

The third group of camps he described as the private camps for the 
sons of well-to-do families. In these the expenses for eight or nine 
weeks averaged about $150.00 per camper. Trips of from one to ten 
days were taken and more equipment was available. 

From the brief sketches that have been given it must be seen that 
the summer camp has not sprung from any one source. Here a man 
with an idea of physical culture, there another with a pastoral affection, 
then one with thrift and self-reliance, another with a great love of 
nature, others with strong desires for evangelism, another who un- 
knowingly longed to break the bonds of formalized schooling — all with 
a powerful sympathy and understanding of the needs of boyhood ; from 
these varied ideas, impulses and eflforts there came into being the move- 
ment for organized camping. 



Although the last two decades of the nineteenth century saw the 
beginnings and foundation work of the summer camp movement, the 
first quarter of the twentieth century saw its truly remarkable ex])an- 
sion and growth. By 1900 the summer camp for boys had proven 
so successful and so interesting that people were beginning to question 
if some such experience might not also be suitable for the sisters of 
these boys. As early as 1892 Camp Arey, Pioneer Private Camp of 
New York State, ran a four weeks' period for girls in addition to its 
regular season for boys. Mr. and Mrs. Luther Gulick had pioneered 
in a small way as early as 1888 with their own family camp, inviting 
other girls to join them. In 1902 Miss Laura Mattoon established 
Camp Kehonka for girls at Wolfboro, New Hampshire, and the girls' 
camp movement was launched. While Miss Mattoon's camp is the 
oldest existing camp for girls, other pioneer camps were : Camp Pine- 
land, 1902; Camp Barnard, 1903; Camp Ouansit. 1905; Camp Aloha, 
1905; Ma-Mo-Da- Yo, 1907; and Camp 1)neka, 1907. Still others 
followed during the next decade, although little was pul)lished about 
girls' camps for several years. 

Concerning boys' camps. Dr. Talbot wrote as early as 1905 : 

The ever growing revolt against the tyranny of modern city Hfe has found 
expression for boys in summer camping. Where twenty years ago there were 
three camps for boys and ten years ago there were three score, there are now 
several hundred. Even in 1901 the Boys Department of the Y. M. C. A. reported 
167 camps with 4,327 campers. Last year there were more than three hundred 
camps and more than eight thousand campers. Besides these there are mission 
camps, city settlement camps, charity camps, school camps and organized private 
camps, at least two hundred of them. . . . Their increase is so constant and norma! 
and democratic that it has become a general movement in education, and not a 

Dr. Talbot described the camps as having a daily schedule of activ- 
ities, offering opportunities for water sports, athletics, fishing, dramatics, 
camp chores, nature lore, long tramps for "rotighing it." and such 
handicraft as making boat paddles. Simday was a day of "Talks and 
teaching to constitute a clearing house of mental and moral doubts and 
hesitations." Health was emphasized and the social training from 
living intimately with the adult directors and leaders was highly valued. 
Camps were considered democratic in that rich and poor look very 
much alike dressed "with trunks." Discipline was not considered a 
problem because "Boys behave better when they have beautiful views 
to look at." Dr. Talbot also said that while "boys of 18 to 20 may be 
good leaders in sports" they were not good counselors. "Counselors 

'Talbot, W. T.; Summer Camps for Boys; Worlds Work, Vol. 10, May, 1905. 


22 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

should all be grown men, preferably college graduates," he said. From 
this we see that some Camp Directors were even then setting up stand- 
ards regarding counselors and purposes of camp activity along lines 
which the movement has since progressed. 

Camping Recognized as Educational 

Two movements, which have served to make the schools more truly 
educational in the sense of training the whole child, liad their begin- 
ning just as the summer camp movement started rapid growth. They 
were physical education and manual training classes. Whether organ- 
ized camping led to the beginning of these activities or whether both 
grew out of a common background of influence would be hard to deter- 
mine; probably they exerted a mutual influence upon each other. At 
any rate Luther Gulick, who introduced the system of physical educa- 
tion into Public schools of Nev/ York about 1902 was a pioneer of the 
camping movement. Calvin Lewis of the Brooklyn Manual Training 
High School wrote in 1905 that "Educators seem recently to have 
learned that the body as well as the brain must be trained and that not 
all knowledge emanates from books."- He described Dr. Gulick's three 
years of Physical Education work, mentioning gymnasiums, athletic 
fields, forms of exercise, tracks, and physical culture — "even in ele- 
mentary schools." All this, however, he considered but "a substitute 
for natural conditions." 

He wrote : 

Summer camps for boys constitute a new but rapidly growing feature of 
American Education. A generation ago they were rare. Few if any date back 
twenty years and not many are ten years old. During the past decade camps have 
sprung up all over the country, and aside from being a mere convenience they are 
coming to be regarded as a valuable part of a city boy's education. 

This recent rapid growth seems to be the result of two things in the modern 
city educational scheme : One the strong set toward l)etter physical development ; 
the other the awakened interest in Nature Study. It is here that the summer 
camp steps in and offers the opportunity that every boy longs for — to be in the 
ope:i air, to tramp and swim and angle and sleep out of doors ; no artificial re- 
strictions of dress or society to hamper him. No needlessly severe or demoral- 
izing lax discipline menaces his respect for authority. No late hours or 
unsubstantial diet retards his growth. Here is a boy's paradise where he can 
get every good thing out of life and where he is removed from most of its evils. 
He is given the means of enjoying every wholesome sport; he grows big and 
brown and strong; he is with a lot of carefully chosen associates, who like to do 
and do and do, what he wants to do ; he eats regularly plenty of wholesome food 
and gets a full quota of open air sleep; he learns a hundred secrets of nature that 
books could never reveal ; his mind kept constantly alert by his new surroundings 
and experiences grows stronger and more active ; he is under the influence of 
supervisors and friends who do what is right and abjure what is wrong and he 
learns to love the one and despise the other.^ 

Does not the above quotation present quite an idealistic picture of 
the summer camp? We catch not a glimpse of the critical study of the 

"Lewis, Calvin. Camps; Outlook. Vol. 80, June, 1905, p. 378. 

The Period of Expansion 23 

results of camp life that is making camp leaders today more modest and 
more careful in their claims. But Mr. Lewis was writing in a popular 
magazine article so he made it a sales talk for camping. Further on 
he pointed out certain advantages to parents, saying, "The nerve-racking 
responsibility of caring for the youngsters may l:)e shifted to safe 
shoulders, the parents relieved, and the hoy delighted." He thought 
that the lesson of camping had come slow as all things do in educa- 
tion, but that "enterprising teachers and lovers of boys have found 
camps to be a source of help, health, and profit," and that, "undoubtedly 
they have come to stay and they deserve to." Here we see reasons 
set forth for camp life as not only a release from city environment, but 
for physical development, relief of parental responsibility, and nature 

It may be said that the pioneers in camping responded to some felt 
need in their situation without being conscious of its implications, but 
as experience in this type of life increased, many reasons for it were 
formulated. Its benefits were more and more analyzed and described. 

Genetic Psychology and the Camping Idea 

The next suggestion that summer camp experiences were desirable 
came from the field of psychology. In 1904 Dr. G. Stanley Hall's 
monumental work "Adolescence" was published. He set forth in much 
detail the theory that the individual recapitulates the experience of the 
race in its various stages of evolution, and undertook to show how 
necessary it is iot the individual to live out and give some expression 
to the instincts that were natural to each period of his existence. This 
theory implies that the period of childhood corresponds somewhat to 
that of savagery in the race and hence the child needs to be brought 
up in a more or less primitive environment where he can live and give 
expression to his savage instincts and thus get them out of his system. 

In his introduction to "Adolescence" Dr. Hall stated the theory 
thus : 

The child revels in savagery, and if its tribal, predatory, hunting, fishing, fight- 
ing, roving, idle, playing proclivities could be indulged in the country, and under 
conditions that now, alas ! seem hopelessly ideal, they could conceivably be so 
organized and directed as to be far more humanistic and liberal, than all tha.t the 
best modern school can provide. 

These nativistic and more or less feral instincts can and should be fed and 
formed. Thej deep and strong cravings in the individual to revive the ancestral 
experiences and occupations of the race can and must be met. at least in a sec- 
ondary and vicarious way, by tales of the heroic virtues the child can appreciate, 
and these proxy experiences should make up by variety and extent what they lack 
in intensity. ... So. too, in our urbanized hothouse life, that tends to ripen every- 
thing before its time, we must teach nature. . . . But we must not in so doing 
wean still more from, but perpetually incite to visit field, forest, hill, shore, the 
water, flowers, animals, the true homes| of childhood in this wild undomesticated 
stage from which modern conditions have kidnaped and transported him. These 
two staples, stories and nature, by these informal methods of home and the en- 
vironment constitute fundamental education.* 

'Hal], G. Stanley. Adolescence; Introduction, p. xi. 

24 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

This recapitulation theory, widely studied and acted upon by boys' 
workers during the next two decades, had a marked influence on the 
leaders of camps. Dr. Hall was frequently quoted by Camp Directors 
who were urging the values of the summer camp for boys and girls. 
This gave still further impetus to the motivation of campers toward 
plenty of "roughing-it." This trend was in evidence very soon after 
publication of the psychologist's two big volumes. We find it running 
through an article by Dr. W. H. Kinnicutt, a physical director of the 
Y. M. C. A. in Cleveland, Ohio, published just two years later. 

This writer said : "Great Men came from the country. . . . Nothing 
can compensate for the loss of acquaintance and experience with out 
of doors. It involves more than health; it comprehends that intuitive 
sense of nature's purpose in the world, that of which school training 
is but the supplement."*' He held that travel was too expensive ; that 
gymnasiums and playgrounds were just fair substitutes and the school 
was to instruct the mind ; "but for the in.spiration. the breadth of vision, 
the refinement of eye and ear which contact with nature brings there 
is no substitute." 

He accepted Dr. Hall's theory of recapitulation. 

No other form of recreation is so attractive to the natural boy as "camping 
out"; he loves to enjoy nature at first hand by "roughing it." . . . He does not 
know or care that he is proving the law of natural reversion and recalling racial 
experience — he just wants to break loose from his cultured environment and throw 
himself into the arms of Mother Nature. . . . Fortunate the parent whose child 
proves that the racial instinct is not all bred out of him. 

The great fundamental lessons of life are to be gained by experience, by 
absorption rather than by precept. The modern system of education of the city 
suffers because of the pupil's lack of foundation in physical experience. . . . The 
wisely conducted summer camp is the invaluable opportunity for the city-reared 
boy to establish himself in the knowledge which only nature can reveal. In the 
very fact that the education is unconsciously gained lies its power. . . . Nature's 
method is that of least resistance — gaining knowledge as the snowball gains bulk- 
by rolling. 

The principles of primitive society pervade the camp. "What is my share of 
the work?" is the cordial question. Procuring firewood, carrying water, cooking 
meals, airing bedding, washing dishes, ditching tents, burying refuse, all furnish 
ample answer. . . . The shirker soon finds himself on the outside of the fun, for 
the fun of camp is active — it is in doing things. He with the selfif;h taint soon 
finds that the more he gets the less he enjoys. . . . The levelling and regulating 
influences of a boys camp upon personality is often only short of miraculous. . . . 
A principle not to be overlooked is this : The morale of the camp depends on 
the work being done by the boys themselves; — not by hired help." 

-As a further evidence of this man's belief in the value to campers 
of difficult experiences we quote: "Several for self -discipline inured 
themselves to sleeping on the floor rolled in their blankets. Sunburn 
was endured with fortitude, and every conceivable discomfort was 
sought which would test the individual's endurance of hardship." 

"Kinnioutt, W. II.. M. D. The .School in the Camp. Outlook, Vok 8.?, 1906, 
p. 706. 


The Period of Expansion 25 

But in contrast to Dr. Kinnicutt, who criticized the school system, 
we find at the same time there were school minded men conducting 
camps. These men did not feel that camp was more educational than 
the school, hut that its main function was to make the school term more 
productive. They too quoted Dr. Hall's theory of instincts and thoui,dit 
they had found in camping a way to meet the needs of boys in play 
and recreation. Tutoring in summer camps, they did not approve, but 
rather rest and recreation "to fit the boys for the winter's schooling; 
evervthing else is subsidiary." "A chief object of camp," they said, 
"is to keep the boys out of doors and engaged in some clean healthful 
occupation, whether athletics, walking, fishing, tramping in the woods 
and meadows" — with a long trip of 50 to 75 miles for a week of 
"roughing it," or a minstrel show or sometimes a play. These men 
summed up their views of camping by saying that "A summer camp 
is in many ways like a boarding school without any lessons," but "the 
counselors must rule by example and constant watchfulness and care 
rather than dignified strictness. . . . The good and comfort of all 
must prevail. . . . The great thing in camp life for a boy is the 
knowledge of other boys and the knowledge of nature."^ 

Certainly there was much variation in camps; some of the tutoring 
camps were practically outdoor summer schools. Yet even the school 
men quoted above were aware that a different type of discipline from 
the regimentation of school was necessary if camping was to be a 
worthwhile experience. The adult must not stand on his "dignity" 
if he would be a camp counselor. It appears that nearly all the camps 
had at least one principle in common for handling boys in camp : to 
"keep them full and keep them tired." 

Here is the way Carlyle Ellis stated it in 1913: 

Let them have all the wholesome food they can consume and keep them so 
interestingly and actively occupied every minute of every day that there will be 
room for nothing but healthy growth and the zest for clean keen things. 

This camp life is the nearest thing imaginable to an ideal epitome of after life 
out in the world, with its demands and struggles and rewards, its need fori self- 
discipline and self-improvement. If that is true, surely it is the nearest thing to 
a perfect system of education in existence, and so, being immeasurably different 
from virtually all the accepted and practiced systems of education, it is a very 
significant matter indeed.' 

Summarizing somewhat, it may be said that the growth of camps 
which was quite slow at first became more rapid as results became 
evident in lives of boys. In earlier camps boys learned much through 
experience from the work of operating and constructing the camp equip- 
ment and desired furniture for every-day living. Few camps built 
equipment of a permanent nature, and many of them changed sites 
from year to year so that much of the idea of the camping trip re- 
mained. Organization was very loosely arranged to suit the daily needs. 

'Mulford, W. M. and R. J. ; The Call of the Camp; Outlook. Vol. 95, May. 1910, 
p. 179. 

"Ellis. Carlyle; Young America in Camp; Everybody's, Vol. 28, June, 1913, 
p. 723. 

26 Organized Camming and Progressive Education 

By 1900 there were a few camp directors with several years of expe- 
rience, who had come to select from the variety of ways of doing things 
certain ones which seemed to them "best ways." More organization, 
more permanent locations, more equipment, larger numbers of camp- 
ers, more durable buildings and a larger variety of activities resulted. 

The first magazine articles about camps were chiefly description ;" 
but the next step seemed to be to rationalize camping and to create 
in the public mind some sort of idea of what camp life should do for 
boys and girls. A sort of "sales-talk" was evident in magazine articles. 
They were no longer merely telling what was done, but assigned pur- 
poses and valued for the various experiences of camp life. The early 
purposes of adventure and recreation had been modified by the ideas 
of physical education, manual training and nature study. For many, 
the camp did not exist for its own sake, but as a means of making the 
child fit for getting most from his school year. The influence of 
Stanley Hall was strongly in favor of the summer camp and influenced 
it toward a rugged primitive expression. Nowhere else could boys so 
well be little .savages, work (nit their savage instincts, and develop the 
savage virtues as in camp. 

In 1910 the Camp Directors Association was organized and from 
that time we have some real organization of the movement, although 
at no time has this organization had a sufficiently high percentage of 
the camp people in its meml)ership to really speak for the entire camp- 
ing movement. The Association did begin to hold conferences for 
sharing of experiences and from this beginning has developed a con- 
tinuous study of camping — purposes, objectives, and activities. 

In a magazine article in 1912 camp was presented for the first time, 
not in generalized rationalizations of purpose, nor in descriptions of 
group activity, but in actual descriptions of what had happened in 
the lives of individual campers; such as, changes in attitudes and in 
personality traits. It pictures a girl who had been to camp and had 
learned how to enjoy doing the work of caring for herself as part 
of the camp community, coming back taking the place of a maid in her 
wealthy home to find the happiness of "being needed." Likewise a 
boy who had been "hard to manage," after his summer in camp served 
notice on his parents that he wanted his week-ends ofT so he could go 
to the woods and teach other boys how to have a good time and in- 
vited his tutor to accompany him. "This boy and this girl," said the 
writers, "are typical children. The boy, needing with all a boy's being, 
the joy that comes from experiment and plans initiated by himself, 
'broke out' periodically in ways that made him the despair of private 
.schools, tutors, and parents."^" But in camp life he found what he 
longed for and became a different person. The change in method also 
stated in this article is especially noticeable in the emphasis it places 
upon era ft work and things for one to jilan and do with his hands. 

"See Chapter I. 

"Gtilick, L. H. and Patton, Grace; The "Why" of Summer Camps for Boys and 
Girls; Good Housekeeping, Vol. 54, 1912, p. 825. 

The Period oj Expansion 27 

"It is in providinii; this craft work." declared the writers, "that the 
modem camp differs from the old-fashioned camp. But bathing, boat- 
ing, all water sports, tramping and outdoor activities of every kind are 
really on a new basis and all of them under the supervision of someone 
competent to teach"^^ 

Although most camps have broadened the lines ef activity and some 
of them are becoming careful to select counselors who arc trained and 
mature, much camping has always been done on the "old-fashioned" 
basis. In 1931 the writer met a young man who had previously })een 
a camper with him, but who at the time was serving as a coun.selor 
in a large boys' camp operated by a denominational Assembly. This 
camp was advertised as modern in its program, but the young man was 
disappointed to find practically no attempt to offer boys anything but 
sports and hiking. No attempt at crafts, or other means for providing 
new interests and skills, was being made. 

In searching the periodical literature of the period, another article 
was noted which valued camping because of its correction of objection- 
able personal traits. This article said of a boy who had always run 
from his difficulties that in camp, 

he stays to face everything. His fellows come to know' exactly what manner of 
boy he is. Best of all he comes to know what he is himself. . . . First his camp- 
mates will compel him to observe the tenets of democracy ; next he will see that 
it is one of the first laws of a normal life and there will be no more ofj tlici snob 
in him. The individuality of the boy is given large expression. There are in- 
numerable things he can do, each of which has in it an opportunity for the exercise 
of inventiveness and the play of imagination. No day's program is laid down so 
rigidly that there is not a place for the unexpected." 

Although some observation of the changes in individuals is indicated 
by such an article, there is no recognition of the fact that not all indi- 
viduals will react toward these groups and situations thus constructive- 
ly; that individual study and guidance is needed for many boys and 
girls in order to aid them in making proper adjustments. 

Woodcraft and Pioneering Organizations for Youth 

Before going further it is necessary to give consideration to another 
set of movements which emphasized primitive and outdoor life. His- 
tory of these movements has developed about the names of four men : 
Ernest Thompson Seton. Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter 
Beard, and James E. West. Woodcraft originated in America out of 
the experience of Mr. Seton. Scouting was suggested to General Baden- 
Powell by his experiences in South Africa during the Boer War and 
was later worked out in England. For a time in America both move- 
ments were united around the personality of Mr. Seton. He described 
the origin of the Woodcraft idea in the 20th edition of the "Birch Bark 
Roll" : 

"Macfarlane, Peter ; Schools of Fun and Fellowship ; Good Housekeeping, Vol. 
58, 1914, p. 584. 

28 Orga?i'izcd Camping and Progressive Education 

The Woodcraft idea has possessed me all my life. In 1875 when I was a boy 
of 14, I founded in Toronto a "Robin Hood Club" Whose object was to practice 
outdoor life, combining the woodcraft of Robin Hood and of Leather Stocking. 
Among other things its rangers were to use only bows as weapons and abstain 
from use of matches in fire lighting. The club did not last! long but the dream 
never left me and from time to time I made attempts to realize it." 

In 1902 Mr. Seton began to write and publish in magazines his out- 
lines for the organization of the Woodcraft Indians and several tribes 
were organized. The same year the first edition of the Birch Bark Roll 
was published. When the Scout Movement began to take form in 
England a few years later Mr. Seton visited England and niade his 
contribution to Scouting. He became head of a committee to organize 
the Boy Scout work in America in 1910. 

But before the founding of the national movement in 1910 Scouting 
had been widely introduced into America through the work and organ- 
ization of the Young Men's Christian Association. In 1908 and 1909 
it was introduced into some of the Y. M. C. A. Camps and troops of 
Scouts were being organized in several city Associations. In "Asso- 
ciation Boys" for December. 1909, appeared a notice containing this 
paragraph : 

Scouting For Boys, by Lieuteiiant-General Baden-Powell, C. B., furnishes 
three himdred pages of suggestive hints, many of which can be appropriated 
by almost any kind of organization for boys in their teens. It is reported that 
over three hundred thousand boys in England are already enlisted in "The Boy 
Scouts." Our Association Press has sent to England for a shipment of these 
books (forty cents each) with the hope that not only Boys Work Secretaries but 
teachers in Boys' Bible Classes and leaders of groups of boys both in the Asso- 
ciation and out, may take advantage of as much of the scouting idea as may 
appeal to them.^* 

The Y. M. C. A. Camps had already been using much of the mate- 
rial of the Woodcraft Indians for in 1905 the June issue of Aasocia- 
tion Boys carried the "Laws of the Seton Indians" with this introduc- 
tory paragraph : 

The Seton Indians have been organized to give young people the advantages of 
camp life without its dangers. The Indian form was adopted because its pic- 
turesqueness gives such a hold on boys; it makes them self-governing; it is ap- 
propriate to outdoor life; it gives definite things to do in the woods, and it is so 
plastic that it may be engrafted on any other organized mode of camping, to any 
desired extent, in whole or in part." 

W^e find pictures and written accounts of the introduction of Scout- 
ing into Y. M. C. A. Camps in the Jime, 1910, issue of Association 
Boys. H. W. Gibson writing of "Scouting at Camps Becket and Dur- 
rell," where Scouting had been a part of the program for two years 
previous, said : 

We have found the scoutcraft to be a most excellent thing for our camps and 
expect to do more of it this year than last. There were thirty boys at Camp 
Durrell and twenty-three at Camp Becket who won the emblems for their sweaters 
(Swastikas) for proficiency in Scouting. ... I am very enthusiastic over the Scout 

'Seton, E. T. ; Birch Bark Roll. 20th Edition, p. ix. 
'Association Boys; December. 1909. Vol. 8, p. 325. 
"Association Boys, June. 1905 ; Vol. 4, p. 99. 

The Ptiiod of Expa/ision 29 

idea, and believe that patrols and troops should he ori^anized in all our Asso- 

We find that it was the avowed purpose of the Y. M. C .A. Boys' 
Workers to promote the Scout Movement as much as possihle. 
In the saine issue of their magazine several of these men described 
the experiences they have had in organizing and intro(kicing Scouting 
to boys. Taylor Statten, then Boys' Secretary of the Toronto Associa- 
tion, said: 

While racking our brains for some scheme which would divide our membership 
into small groups under adult leadership and also furnish an honor system of 
character development with sufficient incentive to induce boys to take a live inter- 
est, we came across a copy of Scouting For Boys. Here was a scheme which not 
only embodied the group plan and honor system, but was so simple and elastic that 
it might easily be adapted to our work. However, when it was first presented to 
our boys' cabinet, it was received with much ridicule and finally voted down. 
These older boys thought it savored too much of the "tin soldier" idea. . . . The 
cabinet was unanimous on the decision that we should introduce what would be 
known as the group plan of the honor system of character development. . . . 
During the season thirt^'-two groups were organized. The most successful have 
been the three which voted that they would become Boy Scouts and followed the 
book. Bible Study was made one of the prominent features, and the fifth Toronto 
Troop of Y. M. C. A. Boy Scouts captured our local Bible Study Cup for the 
past season." 

Since hiking and camping trips were a part of the program of Boy 
Scout Troops, as the Scouting movement grev/ and spread it became 
the means of introducing more and more people to the idea of camp- 
ing and gave a real impetus to the summer camp movement — so much 
so that any group of boys out hiking or camping are apt to be spoken 
of as "Boy Scouts." Boy Scout camps were at first very primitive, 
and usually quite temporary both as to sites and equipment. More 
recently some of the larger city councils have established camps on 
permanent sites and with good buildings and excellent equipment for 
all kinds of camping activities. 

Rise of Girls' Organizations 

Dr. and Mrs. Luther Gulick founded the Camp-Fire Girls in 1911. 
This organization placed large emphasis on home-making activities, 
physical development and outdoor life. Their Watchwords are : Work, 
Health, Love. The Girls Guides, modelled after the Boy Scout organi- 
zation, had already been organized in England, when in 1912 the first 
troop of Girl Scouts was organized in Savannah, Georgia. These or- 
ganizations, together with the Girl Reserves, the adolescent division 
of the Young Women's Christian Association, have been the chief 
means of extending the opportunities of camping and outdoor life to 
large numbers of girls. 

'Association Boys; June, 1910, Vol. 9, p. 89. 

30 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Educati/m 

Camping Adopted by Leisure Time Agencies 

Settlements and Boys' Clubs also became interested in providing 
the advantages of camping for children of the poor, but this type of 
camp was not widespread before the World War. A few projects 
have been described in periodical literature. One article tells the story 
of a Boys' Club in San Francisco where a group of boys were organ- 
ized for a six weeks' trip to the country each summer from 1903 to 
1906. They worked part time for fruit-growers and earned enough 
to pay the expenses of their camp and trip.^*^ There were other self- 
support projects like this. Miss Woods, Headworker at South-End 
House, Boston, describes two such projects conducted by that House 
and one by Hale House.^^ One was carried on for several years by 
organizing the boys as caddies for a summer resort golf club; the boys 
camped and earned their own expenses. Camp Hale was more on the 
order of what came to be called the "Fresh Air Camp." It was con- 
sidered a social experiment at that time. Located on Asquam Lake it 
was said that it neither emphasized awards nor a fixed program of 
activity at a time (1911) when these were coming into considerable 

By 1915 the summer camp movement seems to have pretty well 
compassed America and gone out with our missionaries to other lands. 
In "American Youth" for October, 1913. we find J. C. Clark, a Boys' 
Work Secretary of the Y. M. C. A., describing the first boys' camp to 
be held in China. 

While the summer camp was becoming an organized movement in 
America, in Europe where the school calendar comprised the entire 
year with rather brief holiday vacations now and then, the outdoor 
movement took the form of camping out on week-ends or holiday 
hiking trips. Dr. Joaquin Miller of the World's Alliance of Young 
Men's Christian Associations, Geneva, Switzerland, in 1931 translated 
a statement from Pfarrer Udo Smidt, General Secretary of the German 
Hi-Y Movement, as follows : 

The 14th Report of the National Committee of Hi-Y Work, published in 
1910, says on page 22: "Hiking and camping have from the very beginning been 
intimately related to our Hi-Y life. As early as 1883 some ten Hi-Y boys under- 
took a hike to Freimersheim, on the Rhine. At Easter, 1884, the first real five 
days holiday-camp took place in Freimersheim again, at which nearly twenty Hi-Y 
boys from Berlin, Eberfeld, Gutersloh, Bonn, Duisburg and Krefeld participated. 
Those days were so much enjoyed that in the same year during the autumn holi- 
days another trip with about an equal number of participants . . . was undertaken 
to the same place. The year 1885 shows a similar picture. In 1886 a hiking trip 
to Bethel near Bielefeld was undertaken, where the famous Sanatoriums of Pastor 
Bodelschwingh offered hospitality. A wonderful trip was made from there 
through the Teutoburger Wald (Teutoberg Forest) to the Hcrmannsdenkmal." 

Dr. Miller's comment is : 

You will see from this statement that in German youth circles, hiking was from 
the beginning combined with camping, though not in the sense of having regular 

"Charities. Vol. 17, 1906, p. 131. 
"Survey, Vol. 27, October 7, 1911, p. 969. 

The Period of Expansian 31 

summer camps. This latter tyjK' of camping became a real factor of Y. M. C. A. 
work only after the war, at the time when the German Youth Movement was at 
it$ height. In 1920 the Y. M. C. A. started in Saarow, near Berlin, the first 
great summer camp, and since then camps are regularly held in all parts of 
Germany and in all branches of the work, so that it is now quite a common 
feature of German Association Programme.'" 

These statements make clear the difference in the development of 
camping in Europe and America. 

Infuence of the World War on Camping 

The World War was another factor influencing the camping move- 
ment in America; it brought more Americans under military training 
than ever before and turned the thought of many people in that direc- 
tion. Truly, there was not much in the life of the big cantonments 
that resembled life in a summer camp, but there came to be a trend 
toward military training and drill which distinctily affected camp pro- 
grams. This influence grew in strength after the war with the devel- 
opment of the Citizens' Military Training Camps which were open to 
youth. There had long been some military camps established by military 
schools. Culver established its Indiana Summer Schools as early as 
1902. The W^ar tended to popularize this type of camp for the next 

One of the men who threw his influence against the militarization 
of boys in camps was a psychologist who for many years conducted 
a camp which he started for experimental purposes studying the devel- 
opment of boy life through the camp. His early experimentation is 
interesting for its own sake as well as for a background for his later 
conclusions. According to a description published in 1916,-^ Chas. 
K. Taylor, as an experiment in applied psychology with especial in- 
terest in the relation of educational methods to character development, 
founded Camp Penn in 1907 on Vulcan Island in Lake Champlain. 
He selected his campers from families of the rich, and placed them 
in camp to do most of the work for themselves after the fashion of 
Ernest Balch. Although he hired dishwashers and cooks, the boys 
served tables and were required to wash towels and stockings at least. 
The motto of the camp was said to be, "Do it yourself." 

Some of the description may well be quoted : "The first day the 
boy arrives he is confronted with the necessity of putting up his own 
tent, flooring it, making his own cot, and any other camp furniture 
that is desired or needed. His amusements and occupations are largely 
of his own choice and devising — though under competent instruction 
and unobtrusive suggestion." Such a scheme is made possible by loca- 
tion of the camp on a five hundred acre island, rocky and wooded in 
such fashion that the camp is readily divided into small groups, each 
with a distinct camp site. 

"Document No. 2. 

^Foster, Thomas; Making Men; Outing. Vol. 67, January, 1916, p. 389. 

ZZ Organized Cainphig arid Progressive Education 

The article continues : 

There are a large number of possible recreations . . . and each boy chooses 
his own recreation and follows it in his own way, subject to the necessary advice 
from his counselor and receiving as little help as possible. So far as possible 
Mr. Taylor avoids the appearance of a set program for the day's work. A set 
routine too often destroys initiative and self-reliance. In the morning the boys 
foUow their own bent, botanizing and such like, but the counselor is responsible 
for his group. . . . Many activities in the camp have come through the initiative 
and vote of the boys themselves. 

Individual tents are probably the most comfortable and tastefully equipped of 
any in the country, despite the fact that all this is left entirely to the judgment 
and constructive ability of the group themselves — or perhaps for that very reason. 
. . . The washing of stockings may not be; the key to success in life, but it is an 
excellent corrective of the spirit of helpless indifTerence. Also you cannot wash 
your stockings and still be conceited. . . . Few boys learn to do a mean job 

Concerning the discipHne v\'e are told: 

Each boy knows from the outset that downright disobedience means instant 
dismissal. The discipline, while for the most part unseen, is very definite. Forty 
boys busy at work and play exercise a compelling influence upon each other which 
is far superior to that of any orders from higher up." t 

In this camp there seems to have been so mtich of freedom and 
initiative for the individual camper, that one begins to wonder if this 
camp director was not ahead of his day, and then he comes upon a 
few paragraphs where he finds that this so-called initiative and self- 
reliance must be stimulated by a series of awards to be given at the 
end of the camp season. 

Mr. Taylor gave his own views that camping is for all-round devel- 
opment, particularly to develop "self-reliance, resourcefulness, initiative, 
a pride in self-help, and an ability to constrtict and do things with one's 
own hands." He criticized the average camp for "The average camp 
encourages baseball, swimming, boating, and even 'hikes.' All that it 
expects to dd is to keep the boys well fed, out of mischief, and suffi- 
ciently amtised, and to send the boys home at the end of the stunmer 
in good physical condition." This he said is worth while, btit is far 
from realizing the finest possibilities of the experienced^ 

Although he was willing to use a short period of military drill each 
day — in this period when military drill was popular — for disciplinary 
purposes, Mr. Taylor wrote: "Folks who apply the machine like army 
idea to the younger generation do not understand the yotmger gener- 
ation and they also miss very great opportunities for developing inde- 
pendence, resourcefulness and initiative. """* 

Immediately after the War, however, we find military training being 
forced upon the boys of many of our city high schools and being adopted 
by a number of summer camps. The first Public School Camp, Camp 
Roosevelt, was founded by Capt. F. L. Beale, U. S. A., who was 


''Taylor, C. K. ; When Boys Go Camping; Independent, Vol. 90, April, 1917, 
p. 68. 

"Taylor, C. K. ; Training Voung America; Outlook, Vol. 119, May, 1918, p. 107. 

The Period- of Expansion 33 

Supervisor of Military Training and Physical Ivlucation for Chicago 
High Schools. Military training was proposed and defended largely 
on the ground that it was a form of physical education, but Capt. 
Beale went further. "He believes that the only sure way of making 
good citizens of our boys is to imbue in them at an early age. a love of 
country and respect for American Institutions and constituted au- 

Camp Roosevelt, planned by Capt. Beale, who secured most of the 
equipment from the War Department, was held under the auspices 
of the city board of education and was backed by an association of 
business men. It carried a combination of three sections for different 
age groups : a scoutcraft section for younger boys ; a summer school 
section for those who desired school work or tutoring; and an R. O. 
T. C. section for older boys. The program consisted of military drills, 
sports, entertainments, lectures, and camp fires. The War Department 
was reported by the same writer to have adopted the plan of the R. O. 
T. C. section of this camp for its summer citizens' training camps 
open to men as well as older boys. 

Strongly opposing the government's policy of thus militarizing boys 
along with men in the Citizens' Military Training Camps, Mr. Taylor 
set forth in 1922 as a description of an imaginary camp, his idea of 
a substitute which he believed far more suitable for older boys. In 
this camp for boys 16 to 18 years of age he proposed to reduce the 
militar}' drill to about thirty minutes a day and to devote more time 
to physical training and real camp projects of building things, of sports, 
map-making, first aid, signalling, and with individual instruction in 
sex hygiene. He suggested that as a general rule nothing should be 
done for a boy that he could do for himself — nothing provided that he 
could readily make. The game would be to do as little teaching as 
possible, but to show the boys models, sketches, or even photographs, 
and then leave them to carry out their ideas in their own way. Cer- 
tainly no one would "stand over these youngsters and merely order 
them to do this and that and so do all the work mechanically" as is 
the custom in military fashion. Profanity would disappear from the 
camp because the officers would be teachers or scoutmasters (who knew 
some military skills) who did not use profanity and the boys admiring 
these men would not wish to use it either. He drew a strong contrast 
with the regular military camp : "W^e wish to develop resourcefulness 
and initiative. The usual military machine applied to boys at the for- 
mative age tends to destroy both. The most militaristic nations of 
Europe knew better than to make automata of adolescent boys."-" 

Still many adolescent boys manage to attend these War Department 
camps each summer. There are also many private camps operated on 
a military plan, and patronized by a large group of parents. While 
these are probably less objectionable, they are using a mass type of 

^Camp Roosevelt; Playground, Vol. 14. p. 685. 

^Taylor, Charles K. ; A. Boys Camp of Tomorrow: The Outlook. Vol. 130, 
January 18, 1922. p. 105. 

34 Organized Cam-fing and Progressive Education 

educational procedure, which is contrary to progressive educational 

Special Types of Camps 

Three other types of camps have had most of their growth since the 
War — the Charity Fresh Air Camps, the Municipal Health and Rec- 
reation Camps, and the 4-H Club or Agricultural Training Camps. 
These types are still increasing in number and in the size of the groups 
accommodated. The "Fresh-Air Camp." so different from the "Fresh- 
Air Homes" which charity organizations established as forerunners 
of these camps as early as 1872 is the type of outing which is distinctly 
camping. Some of these older organizations; "Life's Fresh-Air Fund," 
for example, have turned to this type of work.-' In many cities news- 
papers have sponsored Fresh-Air Camps for needy children and solicited 
money from their subscribers and the general public to provide for one 
or more weeks of camping for underprivileged boys and girls. An in- 
teresting study has been made of the change from the former "country 
outing" to the Fresh-Air Camp plan. Not only health and recreation 
are now provided for needy children, but these outings are often organ- 
ized as progressive educational experiences. Several charitable agencies 
of the Metropolitan area of New York City are cooperating in their 
support and administration.^^ 

The health and recreation camps established and conducted by muni- 
cipal departments of recreation are part of their playground and park 
program, but outside the city itself. Los Angeles, California, was a 
pioneer in this field. From their early demonstrations of value, these 
camps are also tending to become widespread. They are usually con- 
ducted so that boys and girls may stay for longer or shorter periods 
depending upon their means or convenience. These camps are con- 
ducted and supervised by a staff which is selected and paid by the 
Recreation Departments. 

We may wonder why rural boys and girls go camping when their 
lives are spent in the country and quite close to nature. According 
to Miss Gertrude Warren, there are good educational reasons for the 
camps — even for farm boys and girls : 

The farm boy or girl enjoys great natural advantages in country surroundings; 
and one kind of work, after all, is as satisfactory as another if you are suited to 
it ; but between the length of time required each day for farm work, the distance 
from one farm to anotlier, and the fact that both field work and the hou.sekeeping 
tasks often tire the muscles, the habit of playing together is not formed a.*? readily 
by the country boys and girls as by those who are thrown more frequently 

While the programs of these camps are organized primarily about 
a sharing of experiences of farm work and learning from demonstra- 

"Sharp, L. B. ; Education and the Summer Camp. 19.30, Chapter I. 

"Warren. Gertrude; Summer Camjjs for 4-II Clubs; St. Nicholas. Vol. 52, July, 
1925. p. 918. 

The Period of Expansion 35 

tions by experts, the chance for play and fcUowshij) chnibtless brings 
the greatest of vahie to the Hves of rural campers. 

Another type of so-called camp has sprung uj), tlif "Auto-Tourist 
Camp." hut since it seems to be most frequently a kind of business 
in competition with the hotel, we shall not discuss it at length. Whether 
or not it is wielding an influence upon progressive education, this kind 
of camp is widely distributed antl advertised along the highways and 
is an indication of the high degree of mobility of the American popu- 
lation and of their penchant for travel. Economy and freedom from 
the crowded, noisy streets which surround city hotels may also account 
for its popularity. 

Camping and Public Schools 

While Mr. Sargent and others are predicting that summer camps 
will eventually be taken over by the schools and be tax-supported,^" 
it may be of interest to know that such a plan was proposed for boys' 
camps as early as 1917. Much attention was then being given to de- 
veloping manhood and citizenship because our nation was looking to 
her man power while preparing to take her place upon European battle- 
fields. That may have suggested that if we could find so much to 
spend upon training in case of war that we should be al)le to make a 
much larger expenditure on training our youth for peaceful citizenship. 
The man who made the proposal was J. Madison Taylor of Temple 
University. He said : *'My proposition is that each state shall provide, 
as part of its educational system, vacation camps for boys."-'*^ 

Explaining his proposal in detail, he held the ages of 13, 14, and 
15 to be the desirable years since these were the best years for "mould- 
ing plastic youth." He wanted nothing military, but vacation camps of 
two months each for three years for all boys, replacing the military 
training found in so many European countries. He aimed at health, 
growth, character, and patriotic citizenship, through competitions, sports, 
games, team work, group spirit, nature study, leadership, knowledge and 
skills, and the turning of surplus energy toward constructive channels. 
He was most enthusiastic about his plan : 

The vacation camp proposition has been endorsed as the best means in sight 
of providing for each and every boy at the critical period for making use of his 
powers — of bringing his plastic structures to full fruition. Thereby should even- 
tuate a nation-wide supply of super-men. ... To become a masterful man the 
boy must have encountered and overcome difficulties closely allied to those preva- 
lent in pioneer days. ... It is by and through the play instinct, the primal impulse 
to do, which long precedes (biologically) the reasoning on why or wherefore we 
do, that the best, cleanest, most accurate and most acceptable teaching can be 

^"Sargent. Porter; Summer Camps, 1931. p. 58. 

"Taylor, J. Madison; Vacation Camps for all Boys; School and Society, Vol. 5, 
June 9, 1917, p. 680, 

36 Organized Ca>/iping and Progressive Education 

Although he was thinking in terms of the old academic philosophy 
of "moulding" boys into super-men for a nation of doers rather than 
critical reasoners, his plan had merit in it. We have seen no attempt 
to put any such plan into operation in any state, but it represents vision 
of a need v^^hich some educators have recognized, but which levv' are 
now attempting to meet. 

Nor can we be sure that it would have been a good thing to have 
adopted even a decade ago the proposal of making camping a part of 
state educational systems. Camping might have become so regimented 
and hedged about with standardized procedures that it would have been 
as far from the purposes of the man who suggested it as the school 
system it was intended to supplement, and probably almost as futile. 

At any rate Mr. Taylor's proposal to expand camping was but little 
more visionary than that of a leading Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion boys' worker who wrote of the Silver Bay Experimental Wood- 
craft Camp for training Camp Directors and Counselors in June, 1910: 

May we not look for the time when, instead of having one boys camp (for 
each Y. M. C. A.), we shall have twenty, thirty, or forty boys camps in a single 
city conducted by men trained for the purpose in our Associations ? May we not 
even go further and predict the time when we shall have not scores but hundreds 
of for the boys of each of our larger cities? It is evident at a glance this 
can only come as men who are not camp experts, "professional camp leaders," if 
you will, turn their attention to training volunteer leaders who at first will take 
Init small groups of boys in simple forms of camping until they demonstrate' their 
ability to handle larger groups in more complicated camps. Someone has said 
that the best feature about some of our larger camps has been the small group 
parties which go off on side trips to rough it in the real old fashioned way.''^ 

Whether this writer was visionary or over-enthusiastic or whether 
there has been undue educational lag among the boys' workers and 
volunteers, after three decades, that ideal is still far from being at- 
tained. It is still rather intriguing to think of the possibilities of the 
movement if a sufficient number of volunteer leaders could be enlisted 
and trained for the undertaking. Perhaps the Scouting organizations 
have made the greatest progress in that direction. The fact is that as 
our civilization has grown increasingly complex, the tendency has been 
away from volunteer work and toward a leadership of specialists in all 
kinds of social and educational work. 

The Camp Movement Today 

The best recent summary of the point to which the summer camp 
movement has grown seems to have been given in an address at Teach- 
ers College, Columbia University, March 17, 19v'^0, and published in 
Camp Life of that month. I shall quote several paragraphs from Mr. 
Solomon's address without an attempt to verify the figures used :^* 

The variety of types of campS is almost as great as the list of purposes that 
gave these camps birth. Some camps are operated solely for vacations, purely 

"Robinson, E. M. ; Association Boys, Vol. 9, June. 1910, p. 122. 
"Solomon, Ben; Camping As A National Movement; Camp Life, Vol. 2, March, 
19.30. p. 14. 

The Period of Expansion i7 

recreational, ntliers are decidedly educative. Tliere are camps for the teaching of 
one or more languages, for cripjjled children, for the very wealthy, for the very 
poor, for the underprivileged child. Some camps specialize in teaching music and 
dancing, while others known as fresh air camps are particularly operated to build 
up undernourished children and to improve their health. 

In a general way we can chart and classify the various tvpes of camps in 
America today. We have first the Junior Private Camps— generally owned hy 
individuals and operated for profit. Twenty-one hundred of these camps care for 
approximately 100,000 campers and have staffs totalling 30,000 specially trained 
counselors. You are quite well acquainted with this type of camp. The largest 
number are boys' camps; then there are, of course, girls' camps, and also about 
150 co-educational camps, mostly for very young children. 

The next big division we might call the semi-public camps : Public insofar as 
they are financed by voluntary contributions from the public, from Community 
Chests, or public funds in general, but otherwise operated by private agencies. 
This type of organization operates 2,500 camps, cares for 750.000 children, and 
is staffed by 40.000' counselors. Included in this class would be Boy Scouts, Girl 
Scouts. Camp Fire Girls, Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., Y. M. H. A., Y. W. H. A., 
fraternal orders, churches, social service organizations and the like. Although the 
number of these camps is only 400 in excess of the private, they contact nearly 
eight times as many children, first because the camps are generally larger, their 
l>er-camper weekly average is larger, and mostly because they take campers for 
short terms, one or two' weeks, and therefore contact m.any new children every 
changing week. 

Then we have what we might call the government or truly public camps; 
camps run by some division of the government, like the city, the county, the 
state, or Federal Government. These camps are largely supported by public 
funds and sometimes by taxes. They are staffed and operated by tax-paid public 
officials. We have about 300 municipal camps run by nearly 100 cities. Twenty- 
five hundred 4-H camps are part of an extension program of the Federal De- 
partment of Agriculture, county camps, state camps, state and national park 
camps, up to the sum total of 3,000 government camps, caring for 250,000 children 
and 30.000 staff. 

Next we have the long list of private and organization camps for special 
purposes and there seem to be camps for quite a variety of purposes. . . . There 
are over 300 such camps for 30,000 children with staffs of specialists totalling 

Air. Solomon went on to list in addition to the above classifications, 
the student, industrial, adult camps with a total of over 400,000 persons , 
boys' clubs with 127 camps, and more than 80.000 cainpers. After 
mentioning 15,000 registered tourist camps with an estimated 3,000,000 
camping inotorists, he completed his figures at a total of 24,000 summer 
camps and about five million people who through them get some expe- 
rience of outdoor life and some contact with nature each summer in 

This movement has become so extensive that some have raised the 
question if America is not becoming "camp-crazy." It may be true 
that some of this trend toward camping is an expression of restless- 
ness alone, but there must be real and satisfying values in the expe- 
riences themselves else camping would have passed as a fad and never 
lived on for such a period of expansion. Mr. Solomon would classify 


38 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

these values quite broadly as: "The recreational, the physical upbuild- 
ing, the character building, the educative and the spiritual." He believes 
that "in some way or other, everyone of these camps stresses or at least 
touches upon most of these values," and that "very often you can find 
the daily program so organized as to include all these values."^'' 

While generalizations such as these tend to become mere abstrac- 
tions, we shall in later chapters attempt to translate them into actual 
cases of the experiences of camps, camp directors, counselors and camp- 
ers in actual situations. Enough to say here that through all its expan- 
sion the summer camp movement has been increasingly recognized as 
an educational force. 



Educationally the camp can be virgin soil. But something more is needed. 
To be free to move is one thing, to see where to go is quite another. Mere ab- 
sence of academic restraint does not suffice. Society which surrounds and per- 
vades the school can go also to the woods. A camp can be as conventional as a 
preparatory school. Most camps too much reflect the conventional outlook.* 

Although camping started tin fettered by schools, conventions and 
traditions, and was "virgin soil" as Dr. Kilpatrick has said, camps 
were run by members of society, and it was but natural that social 
conventions should creep in and become traditions, even in the natural 
primitive settings chosen for summer camps. Almost from the begin- 
ning we notice a struggle between ideas of primitive simplicity and 
those of stimulated competition and regimentation along lines formally 
fixed in advance of the camper's experience. In this chapter we shall 
trace this tendency through the statements of directors and leaders of 
camping, and in the first chapter of Part III it can be seen in opera- 
tion in a camp which the writer observed for a decade. 

Throughout the expansion period there was great emphasis on keep- 
ing the camper's time occupied to the limit and all kinds of competitive 
activities were introduced with the greatest variety of rewards and 
awards to stimulate and maintain interest in them at high pitch. Camp 
curricula often became so fixed that the summer program was written 
up in camp booklets and camp prospectuses ; parents became interested 
in selecting the trophies and other awards they expected their boys to 
win ; emotional upsets, bitterness, and disappointment sometimes re- 
sulted from failure to secure the coveted tokens. 

There was, of course, great variety and at no time did all camps 
become extreme, either in rigidity of program and schedule nor in 
artificial stimulants to activity. Most camps were greatly enjoyed by 
the campers ; for even if they did not afTord the greatest freedom and 
simplicity of living possible, the worst of them were appreciated for 
what they omitted — hated books and lessons of the schoolroom ; they 
simply could not be so strictly conventionalized as schools. 

In fact the climax of the summer in camp could be quite thrilling 
and leave the camper with very pleasant memories, as some of the 
accounts indicate : "When it comes to the last week everyone remains 
in camp. Those are the big days of field and water sports, with a 
banquet at the end which is the climax of the summer. It is then that 
the trophies and prizes are awarded, including loving cups for tennis, 
walking, physical improvement, nature work, fishing, carpentry, the 
all-round good fellow, and others."^ 

'Kilpatrick, W. H. ; Foreword to Creative Camping by Joshua Lieberman, 1931, 
p. vi. 

'Graham. Ralph; Camp Life for Boys; St. Nicholas, Vol. 44, May, 1917, p. 614. 


40 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

This account definitely pictures the awarding of trophies as the 
cHmax of the summer. Another stresses definiteness of schedule with 
plenty of planning worked out well in advance of the time for execu- 
tion. The program is definitely spoken of as "training" and one won- 
ders whether it may have been recognized that such regimentation was 
a copy of military training: "You don't do things when you happen 
to, because they occur to you and you feel like doing them, and leave 
them out when you don't. From the minute the first bugle blows until 
you drop asleep to the sound of 'taps' your day is planned. . . . There 
were things we meant to do, and the day was planned so as to get them 
all in."3 

The very growth in size of camps tended toward more formal meth- 
ods. This was recognized by Dr. Geo. L. Meylan, professor of Physical 
Education at Columbia University, and first president of The Camp 
Directors' Association of America after the consolidation of that or- 
ganization with the Directors of Girls' Camps, in 1924. He also felt 
that learning by doing was the educational feature of the summer camp ; 
that the camp "deserves a permanent place in American education be- 
cause of the large contribution it is making in the development of stal- 
wart, upright and loyal citizens" and that it should be extended to all 
boys and girls as a part of their education. He made no allowance in 
his camp plans for any unoccupied leisure time. "The ideal situation," 
he said, "is where the mode of life is reduced to the simplest plan com- 
patible with hygiene and comfort and where all work is done by camp- 
ers, each contributing his share." He thought the pioneer camps 
achieved this, but that as they grew in size and as the program of activ- 
ities expanded there was not time for such routine work, and that only 
the trips out of camp kept up this principle. 

Dr. Meylan further pointed out that "The summer camp has more 
possibilities for social and moral training than the home, church or 
school because it combines all the advantages of these three agencies 
and other advantages which are characteristic of camp life ; . . . great 
variety of interesting and wholesome activities which keep campers 
occupied and under supervision every moment of the day.""* 

Another camp director who maintained a fairly liberal point of view 
amid the more academic and intellectualistic philosophies of the period 
was Mrs. Gulick, Director of Camp Aloha, who in addressing the Rec- 
reation Congress at Atlantic City. New Jersey, October 17, 1924, set 
forth as basic standards of camp life: Attainment of health and health 
habits, character and good citizenship, joy and happiness or education 
for the use of leisure, a revaluing of the ways which people employ 
to secure leisure. For this purpose she suggested a program rigid 
enough to save time, yet flexible enough not to be irksome. She sug- 
gested that although the day must be planned the camper must learn 
to choose activities, and so the camper must ride the program and not 

'Lansing, Marion Florence; Going Into Summer Training; St. Nicholas, Vol. 45, 
1918. p. 829. 

*Meylan. George L. ; Playground. Vol. 18, 1924, p. 2},1 . 

The Siuntncr Camp Bccames Academic 41 

feel herself a slave to it. Among things to be planned for. she gave 
organized sports and horsemanship place of secondary importance com- 
pared with food, sleep, rest hour, swimming, woodcraft, music, dram- 
atics, Indian Lore, nature lore, and handicraft; but she would balance 
the day's program if possible. She said, "Self-expression is empha- 
sized in craft-work in camps as against team expression in organized 
sports, and I believe each is entitled to a part of each day's program." 

She also mentioned "many happy contests" and described "the camp 
" chart of achievement." But she saw a relationship between education 
and living : "This delightful form of education must bring to every 
camp director satisfaction far beyond any possible material reward. 
The camp girl may hardly see why her glorious camp summer is called 
a period of education. Isn't this because living and education are one 
in camp life, while the average school girl finds it hard to connect her 
daily school work with practical everyday living? May not the camp 
movement in some degree help to connect the education in schools with 
everyday living for the practical youthful mind ?""' Mrs. Gulick's ad- 
dress showed that she held a very liberal point of view; while adhering 
to contests, awards, and definitely planned programs, she realized that 
room must be left for girls to make choices, and that adventure and 
self-expression must be provided for in the planning. 

Speaking before the same session of the Recreation Congress which 
Mrs. Gulick addressed, L. L. McDonald, director of the Department 
of Camping of the Boy Scouts of America, said : 

The rapid growth in camping for boys has been made possible because camp 
directors have had the courage to make their own programs' to suit the desires as 
well as the needs of the boys. There is no compulsory law which recjuires boys 
to go camping. Enrollment depends entirely upon satisfied customers. For this 
reason camps of the early days when the principal appeal was that "they keep 
boys off the streets," and that the extraordinary hardships offered by these poorly 
manned and poorly equipped camps helped to work off "surplus energy" of boys, 
are forever things of the past. In the light of present day experience in camps 
carefully planned to produce positive rather than negative results, such camps 
have no place. . . . Program-making in its main must be done far in 
advance of the opening dates of the camp, since selection of leadership, supplies 
and means of advertising are based on what campers are expected to do. Daily 
routine may be announced to the boys on the day of arrival.* 

It would seem that this calls for a much more rigidly formulated 
program than was contemplated by Mrs. Gulick. An editorial para- 
graph in School Life. Oct., 1926, also presupposes some definiteness of 
schedule, yet with careful balancing of the elements in the camping 
curriculum : 

From the very beginning, the summer camp proved an excellent means not 
only for furnishing wholesome recreation, but also for providing educational work 
for children. The success of this work is largely attributed to the fact that] the 
method of organization or management includes a well balanced schedule of work 

•'Gulick. Mrs. E. L. ; Program Making for Girls' Camps; Playground, Vol. 19, 
p. 85. 

'McDonald, L. L. : Program Making in Camps for Boys; Playground, Vol. 19. 
p. 89. 

42 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

and play. Each camper must assume some responsibility and contribute some- 
thing toward maintaining the camp.' 

These latter statements, however, represent the thinking of leaders in 
the camp and educational movements after the tide was already begin- 
ning to turn; after the period of research and critical analysis of camp 
procedures was on its way, and after experiments were beginning to 
show that stereotyped procedures were probably destructive of the high- 
est values of camping. 

It may be of interest to trace the beginnings and growth of the use 
of artificial and extrinsic incentives to camp activities as well as con- 
ventionalized regulations for camp life. We have previously noted*^ 
that prizes were given in even the earliest of the pioneer camps. They 
seem to have been common to the schools of that day, and to have been 
taken along to camp as a matter of fact. But there were not whole 
systems worked out whereby all of camp life was subject to control 
by this means. They were more or less incidental to certain contests 
and competitions. 

One of the early systems came in with the Woodcraft Indians. Cer- 
tain ranks were to be attained and recognitions given when a certain 
number of achievements were completed. The scheme was planned in 
imitation of the ways of recognizing achievement in primitive tribes. 
While in primitive tribes no list of achievements for recognition was 
printed and kept before the group for selection, boys learned readily 
by what means stattis could be attained. With definite measures of 
achievement printed it became possible to treat them not so much as 
a way to recognize achievement in the ordinary course of living, as in 
the primitive tribe, but as tests to be passed by anyone ambitious to 
rise in rank. They might also easily be used to stimulate activity which 
would not otherwise be desired or undertaken. 

When the Boy Scout Movement took over such a scheme and com- 
bined it with an honor plan suggested in part by the founder's military 
experience, a system was developed which, while not military, had 
many elements which were capable of being treated almost as rigidly. 
It was in some ways comparable to the graded .school system in that 
one must memorize the materials, perhaps demonstrate a practical 
knowledge of them, and at any rate, pass the tests or examinations be- 
fore being promoted to a higher rank. The philosophy underlying it 
was largely that of turning boys into citizens by a form of training, 
just as young men are turned into soldiers by military training. In 
either case stereotyped individuals may result. 

Scouting received this mould from the conventionalized society of 
the day, and in turn through its spread, publicity, and popularity, be- 
came one of the chief agencies for formalizing camping and work with 
boys. There was, of course, some room to adapt the program to the 
growing boy. He was expected to "learn by doing," but most of what 
he was to do was prescribed for him. Uniform, insignia, badges of 

'School Life, Vol. 12, Octobt-r. 1926. p. 
'See Chapter I. 

The Summer Camp Becames Academic 43 

rank, and of achievement were means of recognizing growth, but mis- 
used and overemphasized they became a standardized award system. 
Intending to stimulate a boy to compete with his own record, they 
seemed different from cups and prizes where only one boy in a group 
could win, but by counting the number of merit badges each boy held. 
a way was found for competition with each other. The real assumption 
was that a set of activities had been found which would be g(X)d for 
all boys, and carrying on these activities became the goal with the belief 
that if a boy did all these things the results in his life must be good 
citizenship and character. 

The following paragraph, written as a compliment to the system 
showed the way certain features were often overemphasized and made 
itj ridiculous : 

Promptly at twelve, Assembly sounded and the camp officers went the rounds 
of the tents, where Scouts stood rigid at attention beside their cots. If their 
mothers could only have seen them ! Talk about neat housekeeping ! We didn't 
see a thing that could be criticized, but the Camp Master pointed out uneven 
blanket rolls, frayedj tent ropes, bits of string on the ground, and other offensive 

"Tent F wins the flag today," he announced. A wild yell from the inhabitants 
of Tent F and groans from the rest. "What's the matter with E?" inquired a 
tent leader. "There were three grains of sand on one of your cots," was the 
prompt reply, and the tent leader was silenced.* 

We have already noted how Y. M. C. A. Workers welcomed, pro- 
moted and spread the Woodcraft and Boy Scout programs.^*' These 
came at a time when Boys' Departments were being flooded and the 
Boys' Secretaries were looking for some way to organize the masses 
into smaller groups and to train them under volunteer group leaders. 
Scouting seemed to fill the need, so was seized upon, promoted widely, 
taken to Y. M. C. A. Boys' Department camps, and made the basis of 
camp program and organization. Mr. H. W. Gibson described in 1909 
how this plan worked out at Camps Durell and Becket. Using a modi- 
fied form of English Scouting — for the American movement was not 
then organized — he had scout tests worked out on a point system ; each 
part counting so many points toward the camp honor emblem. The 
subjects included in scoutcraft were : discipline, observation, woodcraft, 
health, chivalry, lifesaving, and patriotism. The Scout code adaoted 
for use in the camp included eight laws \ seven of them were simTlar 
to the present Scout I^aws which declare a Scout to be trustworthy, 
loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, and the eighth one 
was as follows : "A Scout's chief business is character making" ; which 
is explained to mean that "A Scout believes that Bible Study and at- 
tendance upon religious services will help him to develop a manly, sturdy 
and unselfish character. He will be clean in his thoughts and actions. 
He will make an honest effort to try hard to do what he thinks God 

*Boy Scouts in Camp; American Youth, Vol. XIX, No. 4, April. 1920. 
"Chapter II. 

44. Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

would have him do."^^ The only way to make clear how complete a 
system this was for regulating a boy's life in camp — provided he desired 
an honor emblem — is to give below the set of "Tests for winning the 
Honor Emblem." 


1. Doing camp duty promptly, efficiently and cheerfully. (5 points.) 

2. Participating promptly in preparing tents, baggage and beds for inspec- 
tion. (4 points.) 

3. Loyalty to captain in all games. (5 points.) 


1. Observe the ways of birds, animals and people and jot down a sketch of them 
in a notebook. (3 points.) 

2. Take a walk and upon return to camp write upon the following six sub- 
jects : (3 points.) 

a. Nature of by-ways or paths. 

b. Different kind of trees you noticed. 

c. People you met. 

d. Peculiar smells of plants. 

e. Kind of fences you saw. 

f. Sounds you heard. 

3. Observe sanitary and hygienic disorder and correct same. (5 points.) 

4. After reading aloud a story write an account of it. (3 points.) 


L Observe the tracks of birds and animals and distinguish them. (2 pnints.) 

2. Identify fifteen birds, or fifteen trees, or fifteen flowers, or fifteen min- 
erals. (2 points.) 

3. Tie a square knot, a weaver's knot, a slip knot, a flemish coop, a bowline, 
half, clove, boom and timber hitches, stevedore and wall end knots, blackwall 
and catspaw turn hitch and hood hitches. (2 points.) 

4. Make a "star" fire and cook a meal upon it for the boys of your tent. 
(3 points.) 

5. Find the South at any time of day with the aid of a watch. (1 point.) 

6. Estimate the distance across water. (1 point.) 

7. Judge the time of day by the sun. (1 point.) 

8. Read the signs of the weather by the sun. wind and clouds. (2 points.) 

9. Make something useful for camp. (5 points.) 


1. Promptness, erect carriage and earnestness in setting up drill. (3 points.) 

2. Gain made in physical development during time in camp. (2 points.) 

3. Essay upon the campfire talks on "Personal Hygiene." (3 points.) 

4. Care of tent, clothing and baggage, in dry and wet weather. (3 points.) 

5. Cleanliness of person. (3 points.) 

6. Proper eating at meals. (5 points.) 

7. Win first place in athletic or aquatic events. (2 points.) 


\. Do a good turn to somebody everyday. (3 points.) 

2. Control tongue and temper. (5 points.) 

3. Participate in some entertainment. (2 points.) 

4. Secure the approval of the leaders. (2 points.) 

5. Promptness in attending chapel services. (2 points.) 

"Gibson, H. W.; Scoutcraft at Camps Durtll and Hecket. Association Boys, 
Vol. VII, December, 1909. p. 315. 

The Summer Camp Becomes Academic 45 


1. Be able to swim fifty yards and return without stopping. (1 point.) 

2. Pass the examinations in Life Saving and First Aid Work, hy written and 
demonstration work. (5 points.) 

3. Row from wharf to a given point and back in a given time. (1 point.) 


L Respect for the United States Flag at raising and colors. (5 points.) 

2. Memorize "America" and "Star Spangled Banner." (1 point.) 

3. Write an essay explaining the plan of governing your own town or city. 
(2 points.) 

4. Write in your own words what you think citizenship means. (2 points.) 

5. Describe upon paper some historic spot or building near your home and 
its connection with the making of America. (1 point.) 

Note : Each boy must win 90 points out of a possible 100 to secure the Honor 
Emblem. Leaders (Counselors) will be appointed to take charge of the different 
tests, to whom the boys will report when they qualify in the tests and receive their 
points. The final decision in thel giving of the Honor Emblem is made at a full 
meeting of the Camp Council." 

Here we have an intellectualized curriculuni which allows only ten 
per cent of electives if a boy would attain the goal set up for him. Cer- 
tainly a boy was not compelled to get an honor emblem, but his feel- 
ing of success and approval must have largely depended upon such 
attainment. This program was worked out and used by one of the very 
best and most active camp directors of the period, so the practice was 
doubtless quite widespread. Honor emblem systems were not new at 
this tiine, but that one may see how much Emblem Requirements in- 
creased in detail with the advent of scouting we quote below the com- 
paratively simple requirements for the honor emblem at Camp Dudlev 
in 1905: 

The big "D" can only be won by fulfilling certain requirements that prove the 
camper a full-fledged Dudleyite. The requirements are as follows: (1) Ability 
to swim fifty yards; (2) winning a place m an athletic contest; (3) rowing to the 
Vermont shore and back; (4) climbing a mountain and sleeping out all night; 
(5) ability to make a shelter and fireplace and cook a simple meal; (6) making 
something worthwhile; (7) doing something of value that will contribute to the 
efficient equipment of the camp; (8) catching and taming a chipmunk, or taking 
a good picture of a wild animal, or identifying twenty birds and twenty trees; 
(9) singing a song, telling a story, or dancing a jig; and (10) meeting! the ap- 
proval of the leaders as a worthy representative of the camp." 

Most of the above requirements could naturally be done in a camp- 
ing situation and are less academic since they would normally be at- 
tained in the process of living in camp. Taking walks for the purpose 
of writing essays on them, at least, was not expected. Once this method 
of organizing a boy's time in camp by emblem requirements was started 
it became more and more elaborate until in manv camps his whole course 
in camp was mapped and charted for him — every hour of every day-— 
long before he came to camp, little consideration being given to indi- 
vidual differences of boys in background, capacities, experience or per- 
sonality adjustment. 

'■'Kaighn, R. P.; Camp Dudley; Association Boys. Vol. V, p. 121. 

46 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

There were several reasons why this formaHzation took place. It 
wa^ a time when mass education was being urged and when laws were 
rapidly being passed by State Legislatures. Directors of Y. M. C. A. 
and Boy Scout Camps had to deal with large numbers of boys in short 
periods of time. They could scarcely hope to know well individual boys 
or to recognize, but superficially, individual needs. In ten days or two 
weeks at most the boys now in camp would be gone and they would 
have another group on their hands. It is little wonder that they wel- 
comed ready-made programs to make it easier to carry on the great 

The test of the plan in those days was very simple: It works. Here 
is the report of one of these directors who said definitely that it simpli- 
fied and made easier the administration of camp to have this formalized 
program and a point system of discipline and control, so he wanted to 
pass it on. 

The following plan has worked so splendidly in two sections of our camp 
that it is passed on with the hope that it may help some poor duffer who is 
struggling with his first camp and save him hours of worry and bales of bald hairs. 
We have four tribes, each limited to ten in number. Thesq would correspond 
to tent groups in the ordinary camp. Each tribe has a leader who does not enter 
into competition except in special events. Each tribe has a chief. The four chiefs 
are selected before the tribes are chosen and care is used in seeing that the groups 
are evenly divided. Then we introduce the plan of winning camp honors. The 
award is a ribbon similar to those used in athletic meets. The way in which a 
camper wins honors is as follows : 

He must have 225 points to his credit. He may earn twenty points daily as 
follows : Five points for punctuality at breakfast, dinner, supper, flag raising 
and evening devotion ; five points for neatness in keeping the tents ; ten points for 
deportment, general behavior and observance of all camp rules. In addition to 
the two hundred points which he may win in ten days, he must win twenty-five 
points ir^ open competition. This is the individual part of the plan. 

In the tribal or group part of the plan each tribe is credited each day with all 
the points won by the individual members of it. A perfect or clean record for 
every member of the tribe means 200 points daily. Of course, if any boy loses 
points, his tribe must lose also, and right here is where the thing is self-operative. 
Each member of the tribe is on his good behavior and he sees that the others 
keep up the records also. Each boy watches himself and has nine others of his 
tribe to help him watch. It works as well as you please. 

Aside from the honors there is a treat in store for the winning tribe ; usually 
watermelons for first and second place and peanuts for third and fourth. In the 
competition, we have fifteen events, such as relay races by members of the re- 
spective tribes, relay jumps and obstacle races similarly arranged. Tree climbing 
is individual. Swimming relay is also by teams chosen frorri the tribes, and boat 
races, quoits, fishing, throwing the stone, the shoot the chutes, baseball, potato 
races, each arranged for the entire tribe or teams chosen from the tribes. 

To win first honors means fifty points for the tribe and five points to each of 
the individual winners; similarly second place awards thirty points to the team 
and three points to the winners ; third place twenty and two ; fourth place ten and 
one. The camper works not only for individual and tribal honors at the same 
time, but he is constantly spurred on by the other members of his tribe. It has 
proven the most self-operative plan I have ever used. 

At the evening "pow-wow," the daily score is announced, or rather, the points 
lost are announced and every man given a chance to defend himself. Often a vote 
is taken to decide if "extenuating circumstances" frequently brought up are suf- 

The Summer Camf Becomes Academic 47 

ficient to excuse the boy for the oflfense. It is surprising to find witli what 
jealousy a brave defends his "clean record." Real tears have been shed .several 
times when points were lost. 

I wanted to give the thing a test, so marked up all the points the day before 
closing the first section of our camp, only telling the boys that the same rules 
would hold good for the day. I was delighted to find ttu- had more disorder in 
that day than ive had in the nine days previous. (Italics ours.) 

It is interesting to stand off and watch the thing work. I heard one fellow 
say, "well, when a fellow forgets, he can't help it." The other was arguing that 
"forgets" were no excuse and would not go. The fellows arranged the time for 
all events and) decided all rules regarding care of boats, and such things. It is 
interesting to see them "get busy" when a member is about to be late or looks 
as if he is about to break over any of the restrictions. "Everybody works but 

We may readily agree that "It works"; it is a good "Machine" — 
you can even "stand off and watch it work," so automatic is it when 
once started going. But what is it doing to the boys? The best thing 
we can say for it is that it did provide for some teamwork — for some 
group spirit and solidarity, but even this was not on a natural basis 
but forced by the artificial situation set up. Even if it did work and 
save the camp staff from being worried with "disorder" we can see that 
campers had not really learned to be orderly during their nine days of 
restraint, for when the pressure was relieved there was plenty of dis- 
order. Mr. Crackel proved too much with that statement, which the 
author has italicized. 

Here was a camp director who felt that he had discovered some- 
thing which he wished to pass on to his fellow workers; many of them 
were glad to get it and proceeded to put much of it into practice at 
once. Whether they knew any psychology or not, most boys' workers 
had accented the dictum that "Boys learn by doing." What a blow 
was to fall when they began to hear from educators that a boy can 
develop character only as "he chooses what he does." 

Camp directors seem to have accepted this plan of points and awards 
because it served as an easy means of control and of keeping the camp- 
ers busily occupied. It had not occurred to them that there might be 
some better way to do it. Although this procedure was, probably, not 
so universally practiced by private camps as by organization camps, 
most of them had a rather completely worked out .system for competi- 
tions and honors. 

In "Camping and Character" we see how the award system grew 
at Camp Ahmek : 

During the first three seasons of camp a system of daily tent competition was 
in vogue. Groups were scored on promptness in getting up in the morning, morn- 
ing dip, punctuality at meals, attendance at instructions, attendance at general 
swim, tent tidiness, table etiquette, posture, camp spirit and contributions to the 
life of the camp. Small leather "medals" bearing the Ahmek crest, and later, 
wild geese feathers provided specially by Jack Miner were distributed each day to 
the winning group. A tradition gradually built up and soon the daily tent com- 
petition became a recognized institution within the camp. 

"Crackel. M. D. ; Self-Operative Discipline; Association Boys. Vol. VIII, Iiine. 
1909, p. 119. 

48 Orga>i'ized Carnpi/ig and Progressive Education 

Many feathei's were lost. The use of leather awards was continually extended. 
Points began to be given for almost anything and everything. The bookkeeping 
alone became an enormous task and the inevitable occurred. The original value at- 
tached to these symbols of recognition slowly wore off, and the daily tent compe- 
tition suffered a marked set-back. The following year cups were introduced. 
Before many weeks had passed it seemed that every parent who visited the camp 
wanted to donate a cup or shield or medal to the cause. It became totally absurd. 
There were mornings when fully twenty minutes were taken up in distributing 
the silverware. A table that did not display at least one cup for proficiency in 
something was counted as singularly hopeless or strangely indifferent. 

When the camp ran out of ideas) for group competitions about the only move 
left was to award trophies to individual campers. This led to prizes for winning 
entrants in regattas, field meets, the Council Ring Contests, for the best sailor, for 
the boy who won the greatest number of bars during the season, for the camper 
showing the greatest amount of camp spirit, and so on. Awarding had become a 

A particularly attractive feature introduced the second season as a part of the 
formal activity curriculum was the beautiful Ahmek shield and bars for pro- 
ficiency in the various instructional activities. At Christmas each year new 
campers receive their shield bearing their name under the Ahmek Crest. Bars 
which they have won during their first season in camp ar^ mounted on the shield. 
Bars won subsequently can be added. This system had a tremendous vogue the 
first year it was introduced. Literally thousands of bars were awarded. Boys 
talked about the Ahm.ek Shield and Bars long before they ever came to camp. A 
tradition of considerable consequence was developed. In fact so enthusiastic were 
many campers to win bars thaC they would actually cancel canoe trips, hikes and 
other major camp activities in order to stay working uninterrupted on their bar 

Even though this statement was written after the tide was already 
beginnin<^ to turn away from formalization of program and search was 
being made for a better way and for that reason it may seem to hold 
the system up for a bit of ridicule, it is on the whole fair and a good 
picture of what went on in many of the best camps. In fact, the story 
of control by extrinsic incentives could be duplicated in hundreds of 
cases in more or less extreme and elaborate degree. Competition be- 
tween camps for enrollment was being felt by 1915 to 1920 and the 
things a camper had won to show for his summer in camp tended to 
create a desire in other boys to go and to acquire some of these trophies 
of achievement. They proved a means of publicity to the camp and in 
the midst of the competition seemed necessary to the directors. 

The definiteness of program developed by the Bov Scouts, with their 
ranks, badges, tests, and honor system has been mentioned. When this 
movement was nationalized and much of their material no longer open 
to use by groups who were not registered as Scouts, Y. M. C. A. Boys' 
Workers were faced with the necessity of developing a boys' program 
which would be adaptable to the many uses of their organization deal- 
ing, with a wide variety of boy life. They were influenced by Scouting 
and the trend of the times, so adopted an honor emblem award system 
with a wide variety of choices of things to be done in order to win the 
points. This was changed and modified by difTerent groups for a few 

'-Dimock and Hendry; Camping and Cliaracter ; Association Pre.'^s, N. Y., 1929. 
p. 96. 

Tilt- Suinnicr Camp Btcoincs .Ladnn'ic 49 

years and was then published in the form of handljooks tor hoys and 
manuals for leaders. The material thus made available to any j^rouj) 
desiring to use it or to adapt it for use with their groups and was not 
only used by the Y. M. C. A., but by many churches for their boys' 
Sunday School classes. The Christian Citizenship Training Program, 
as it came to be called, was divided into two sections: One for older 
boys was called "Comrades," and that for the younger boys, the "Pio- 
neer" program. Forms of this "C. C. T. P." were soon adapted for 
use in most all Y. M. C. A. campsi and had a wide influence in the whole 
camping movement. A big part of the work of formalizing camps came 
to a climax with this program material from 1920 to 1925. 

A camp director described the program as used in camp in 1921 : 
^ For three years all the activities of this camp have centered about a four-fold 
"Efficiency Test," based upon the American Standard Program for Boys (now 
the C. C. T. P.). When a boy finished the required number of credits he was 
awarded a Nissokone Emblem for his sweater, and should he be able to win more 
points than any of his fellow campers, he received the "Efficiency Test" cup which 
he held for a year. In spite of the fact that the program was revised from season 
to season, there was generally some ambitious boy who was able to work through 
the entire test before the close of camp. Should two boys accomplish this, as was 
the case in 1919, the camp director faced the task of either furnishing additional 
tests or deciding the cup winner in some other manner. The director felt the need 
for a program of such magnitude that no one camper could complete it in a 
season and so comprehensive that a boy would have the widest range in his' choices. 
Then came the C. C. T. P. 

The Christian Citizenship Training Program is a graded program for both 
older and younger boys, representing the work of many skilled workers with boys 
through the years. The rec|uirements of the program are divided into intellectual, 
physical, devotional and service. Games, practical talks, athletics, Bible Study, 
life work discussion and opportunities for service aU challenge the boy to a well 
rounded boyhood and preparation for a wholesome four-square manhood. 

Perhaps here was the answer. The C. C. T. P. was thoroughly analyzed ; the 
eight headings under each of the four sections were retained as the skeleton out- 
line of the new camp program ; every activity suggested in the "Handbook" was 
carefully assayed as to its value in camp and if suitable was placed under its proper 
heading ; the Required Tests of the C. C. T. P. after slight revision became the 
test for the short term camper and the Elective Tests made up the program of the 
boy who was privileged to remain longer. ,0f course the "Efficiency Tests" of 
former years included many time-testfd activ'ti^si irdigenouS to Camp -Nirsokone 
which could not well be omitted. ■ ' - ' ' ^ , ' , , ' , W .'''\ '. / ' \\'' . 

Furthermore to accentuate the outdoor features, ad(litional suggestions for the 
woodcraft and nature study work were taken from the manual of the Woodcraft 
League. . . . 

In appearance the final draft of <hn nt^w "Eff cieijcy ^Te$t" Uas very similar to 
thd C. C. T. P. There were thirty-two Heidingsrl. '. V The'tedfi^ for the older 
boys' and younger boys' sections were typewritten,' bouri'd separately in manilla 
covers, and issued to the campers. 

When the boy arrived in camp he was immediately interviewed by the leader. 
He was given a blank Credit Card and instructed lo copy the Test headings and 
to report later for "Charting." Writing in the headings for himself necessarily 
acquainted him with the requirements of the Test, gave him a bird's eye view of 
the varied activities at camp, made him realize that Nissokone was to mean 
something more than mere hiking, baseball and swimming. Then, came the chart- 
ing: the personal talk with the boy regarding his standing with reference to the 
program; the drawing of his "picture" upon the regular C. C. T. P. charting 

50 Organized Camfing arid Progressive Education 

card; the awarding of such credits as he could win (from past achievement) 
without further preparation ; and advice to begin at once to bring up his deficien- 
cies, to get in the game and to play it hard. 

. . . For the benefit of short term campers, certain "required" activities such 
as athletic and aquatic meets, hikes and practical talks were repeated each period 
of two weeks, many of the electivcs being worked out at campfires,, on the field, 
or on trips. There was never a lack of activities for the campfire program; 
indeed, there werei so many requests for opportunity to tell stories, recite poems, 
perform stunts, and entertain in numerous ways, that the directors always found 
it difficult to close the program before "tattoo." When^ a lodge group went down 
the lake for an "overnight," even the smaller fire offered possibilities for bringing 
the boy nearer the coveted emblem. Credits were offered for the doing well of 
practically everything that a live boy can attempt and every credit meant more 
progress toward the four-fold ideal of manhood. . . . 

No attempt was made to compel a boy to enter the "Efficiency Test." Every 
effort was made on the part of the directors and leaders to enthuse the campers 
"to take their measure" and practically all the boys who remained for the longer 
periods tried to win an emblem." 

Thus was transferred to oiit-of-school time and to activities not con- 
templated in school curricula much of the same method of control and 
of stimulation to activity which we find in the grades and examination 
system of the public schools. It is true the course was broader and there 
were more electives, but the underlying philosophy and the principles 
of education were practically the same. One thing saved the Young 
Men's Christian Association from becoming so fixed on this Program 
of Boys' Work as to be held back by it for two or three decades at 
least : There was no national centralized organization with authority 
to enforce any rules or regulations upon any local Association. There- 
fore although the C. C. T. P. was widely ofifered and accepted — the 
eflFort even being made by some regional groups of Boys' Work Sec- 
retaries to force a "Standardization" upon this program — the men in 
the field were left to use it or to change it as might seem to meet the 
needs of their groups. Much experimentation went on, and revisions 
began to take place immediately. Various state groups worked out re- 
vised programs for use within the Association groups of their states. 
The most widely used of these revisions was the "California Plan," 
which, was. worked out .with a lot of, insignia, ritual and elements ap- 
proactiin^.'.va'.s.onte, details thf. National; plan of the Boy Scouts. At 
one fime'it appeared that the Boys' Program of the Y. M. C. A. and 
of the Boy Scouts were ,about to become competitive ; some workers in 
each organization evidentlv considered. this probable, and in a few com- 
munities' 6n;{?.. rivalry ('id dev,ciop to, cause distrtist and even bitter- 
ness between the professional .i/Oi-kers of the two organizations. 

Had this trend toward intellectualistic programs for boys continued 
without modification, a very unworthy spectacle might have developed. 
But a few of the boys' workers and camp directors came in contact 
with educators and psychologists who fired them with new ideas of the 

"Hileman, W. R. ; Associate Director Camp Nissokone, Detroit, Michigan, Using 
the C. C. T. P. in the Summer Camp; American Youth, Vol. XX, No. 3, April, 
1921. p. 88. 

The Summer Camp Becames Academic 51 

possibilities of changed and less mechanized methods of dealing with 
boys and girls. They became critical minded and began to study to 
experiment, and to evaluate the results. They found renewed satisfac- 
tions in their revolutionized enterprise, and reported their experiences 
with enthusiasm. Others caught this spirit of investigation and inquiry 
and began searching for ways for transforming the regimented aca- 
demic camp curricula. A movement of free and unhampered progres- 
sive education may result. This transformation will be traced in the 
chapters of Part II through the case history of an experimental camp 
within the movement itself. It is not intended here to suggest that the 
transformation has more than begun. Enough progress has been made 
to warrant a study of the processes through which many camps have 
found increased satisfactions and greater usefulness. 




A Case Study 



The plan and purpose of the Southern College of Young Men's 
Christian Associations (later changed to The Y. M. C. A. Graduate 
School) called for supervised experience in the various lines of work 
covered by the courses of the college. Students in the field of Boys' 
Work during the three quarters of the year spent in Nashville had op- 
portunity to work with various types of clubs, agencies, and organiza- 
tions under the supervision and direction of the College Facultv. Since 
camping held so large a place in Boys' Work a complete project expe- 
rience required supervised training in camp leadership and administra- 
tion. Scy Camp (Pronounced as if spelled s-k-y, a name formed from 
the initials of the College) was founded for the primary pur«})ose of 
providing the laboratory for training students for camp direction and 

A second purpose of the camp was to serve as a demonstration and 
testing center whereby new methods and programs could be tried, stud- 
ied, improved, and made available to camps throughout the region. This 
camp located on a part of the grounds of the Blue Ridge Ajssociation 
where the College held its summer quarter was easily accessible to the 
Southern Y. M. C. A. Summer School which brought large numbers 
of Secretaries to Blue Ridge each summer for two weeks of intensive 
training. It was hoped that observation in this camp might bring con- 
crete examples of method to their discussions and thereby tend to raise 
the standards of camping. 

Still another idea in establishing the camp was to show how the reli- 
gious emphasis of the best Young Men's Christian Association Pro- 
gram could be used in a long term camp operating under conditions 
similar to those found in many private camps. The camp vras estab- 
lished definitely within the economic field of the private camp, because 
it was necessary for it to be self-supporting and to avoid competition 
with local organization camps. There was some idea that private camps 
were destined to be money makers ; if that proved to be true, then Scy 
Camp might help to endow the School of Boys' Work in the college. 

While not definitely formulated, perhaps, the whole underlying pur- 
pose of the executive head of the Blue Ridge Association was to leave 
nothing undone that might serve boyhood and young manhood. It was 
sincerely hoped that this camp would provide boys with training for 
finer personal character and for leadership in churches and Young Men's 
Christian Associations of their own communities. 

The camp was never self-suporting financially, never having enrolled 
more than 45 boys in any one season. During the early years of the 
camp the Student counselors also took graduate courses in the College. 


56 Organizt'd Camping afid Progressive Education 

their counselorship paying for their expenses. This arrangement never 
proved quite satisfactory; a student was likely either to neglect his 
camp duties or his studies. It worked well when only the regular camp- 
craft courses were taken in the summer by men who served as camp 

Camp Site and Equipment 

The camp site was located on a small cleared area between two moun- 
tain streams; although less than half a mile from Robert E. Lee Hall, 
the main building on the Blue Ridge grounds, it was so well surrounded 
by forest trees and thick laurel and rhododendron that it seemed quite 
secluded. The original equipment consisted of the Main Lodge, the 
Dining Lodge, and five rustic sleeping cabins. Each cabin was fur- 
nished with iron cots and provided for seven boys and a counselor. 
Three more of these cabins were built for the second year. The cabins 
were set back in the edge of the woods fronting on two sides of the 
campus. They were a bit too close together and in. too much of a mili- 
tary line, although not so extreme as in many modern camps. 

The first floor of the Main Lodge contained a porch, a recreation 
room and a general assembly room, while the second provided four 
rooms for office, conference, or discussion. The Dining Lodge com- 
prised dining room, kitchen, pantry, serving room, matron's rest room. 
This building was provided with hot and cold running water ; a shower 
room was located underneath the dining room, taking advantage of the 
slope of the land. These two framed structures although left rustic 
inside were finished in colonial style on the outside and although they 
matched the other buildings on the Blue Ridge grounds they were often 
criticized as not fitting into the camp picture. Lodges and cabins were 
lighted with electricity. 

A five-acre lake built the second year provided for water sports. A 
Council Ring on the lower slopes of High Top mountain, which towered 
directly above the camp, was the center of much camp activity. There 
was a volleyball court on the campus, but the tennis courts, gymnasium, 
baseball and track fields of the Blue Ridge grounds were regularly 
used for sports and athletics. The entire equipment and 1,600 acres 
of the grounds of the Blue Ridge Association were at the service of 
the camp as needed. Directly across the Swannanoa River to the North, 
Greybeard Mt. and the Seven Sisters which form the Walkertown 
Ridge with their varying cloud effects made ever changing scenery for 
the campers and they looked down upon the Town of Black Mountain 
in the valley three miles away. 

Camp Staff 

The original plan of administration for the camp in this setting 
included a camp director, an assistant camp director, and an advisory 
Board composed of the faculty of the College and the Boys' Work 
Secretary of the Southern Region. Students of the College who were 
training for Boys' Work were the counselors (called Leaders in this 

A Fixed Program 57 

camp as in most Y Camps). It was planned to set aside very definitely 
each morning two hours or more when each hoy should pursue ccrlaiii 
studies in regular school work; hence as camp director a man who had 
had more than twenty years' experience as headmaster of preparatory 
schools for boys was selected and given charge of the executive and 
administrative duties of the camp. His especial responsihilitv was to 
organize and carry on the school period in the mornings in such fashion 
that schools would accept the credits made on the school courses pur- 
sued. The writer's first connection with summer camping was to serve 
as an instructor in Latin and Algebra during this morning period the 
year the camp opened. 

The Program Director, who was the Professor of Roys' Work in 
the College, was charged with the responsibility for leadership training 
and program building. Members of the Advisory Board were called 
upon as needed for talks, sermons, vocational guidance discussions, 
addresses and general counselling. An important service was that of 
the Physical Education Department in making thorough phvsical ex- 
aminations of the boys and directing corrective exercises. Direct re- 
sponsibility for the boys' activities was in the hands of the teachers and 
cabin counselors. While the teachers had charge of the boys in the 
mornings, the cabin counselors had their classes in the college ; then 
they took the boys and the teachers became the college students in their 
turn. Two college men served tables and washed dishes the first year, 
but after that older campers always did that in part payment of fees. 
The Nurse and infirmary of Blue Ridge served the camp's medical 
needs. Camp Mother and Dietician and a Negro chef completed the 

Policy and Program 

The camp director administered the camp much as he would his 
preparatory school. He made talks to the boys and moralized to them 
frequently ; he constantly requested attention when he spoke, and in- 
sisted on instant obedience. He liked boys and he acted from a sense 
of doing his duty by them in the very best way, and they responded 
to his sincerity even when antagonized by his method. 

Scy Camp opened in 1923 with twenty-one boys aged 11 to 18. 
There were three cabin groups, formed by leaving each boy to enter 
either cabin he selected. The largest number of cam.pers came from 
the private school where the camp director was headmaster. Most 
Southern States were represented. The three cabin counselors and 
another student who served as director of games and athletics were 
responsible for the general program activities of the boy, although the 
men who coached studies or washed dishes often hiked or played with 
the boys or took part in camp-fire and other programs. 

The program worked out in advance by the Program Director and 
the advisory council was an adaptation of the Christian Citizenship 
Training Program which has already been described.^ The first task 

'See Chapter III. 

58 Organized Camming and Progressive Education 

for group leaders was "Charting," a new experience for both boys and 
counselors. In preparation for this the Program Director explained 
to the whole assembly how the charting plan worked and then demon- 
strated it with a few examples, i. e., by charting some well known, man, 
and drawing his character "picture" on the blackboard. The idea of 
the well-fiUed-out "square" was seen. Following this the counselors 
who had previously been given a list of questions to aid them, charted 
each boy. They found some whose development was four-square, but 
many more were strong on one side and weak on another, thus creating 
figures that were far from square on their charts. Boys who were 
thus lopsided were advised what sort of activities they needed most to 
bring up their weak points. 

When the charting was completed the charts were collected, averages 
were computed for the four sides of the square, and a composite chart 
for the camp was made. It was felt that this would indicate the places 
where the camp as a whole was lowest and so indicate where the strong- 
est emphases in program were needed. Counselors and directors seemed 
to feel that this challenge to a boy to build up his weak points and 
consider whether he was growing four-square or lopsided was a whole- 
some thing. Counselors who had never had much experience in inter- 
viewing of any kind were much pleased with the responses many boys 
made to their initial charting interviews. A few changes in the "pre- 
pared" program were made to meet particular needs revealed in the 
charting interviews and then the program was mimeographed, bound, 
and a copy given to each camper. 

This program was made up by selecting from the Handbooks of 
the C. C. T. P. such tasks as could be achieved in eight weeks in camp. 
It touched but lightly certain phases of the complete C. C. T. P. Given 
below is a copy of the program booklet of 1924, which is but little 
changed from the one used in 1923. 

ScY Camp — Honor Emblem Tests, 1924 

1. Each boy in camp will at the close of the camping period receive the Christian 
Citizenship Emblem which indicates the approximate number of points he has 
received in each of the four groups of tests. 

2. To each boy who earns 500 or more points in each of the four groups of tests 
will be awarded the "SCY Emblem," the Christian Citizenship emblem sur- 
rounded by the RED TRIANGLE enclosing the letters SCY. 

3. The ORDER, of the SILVER STAR will be conferred upon each boy who 
earns 750 or more points in each side of the four groups of tests. 

4. Upon ONE boy who has earned admission to the ORDER OF THE SILVER 
STAR, who in the judgment of the campers and leaders is the best all-round 
boy in camp, will be conferred the ORDER OF THE GOLD STAR, the 
highest honor that can be awarded by SCY CAMP. 

All page references in the following tests are to the "Comrade Test" pamphlet 
of the Christian Citizenship Program. 

A Fixed Program 59 


Education Total Credit?; 300 

Required Test — Page 11 200 

c. Participate in debate on "Why Go to College?" 50 

Elective Test 100 

a. Contribute regularly to "SCY ROCKET" 50 

b. Participate in camp play 50 

Supplementary Training ] 00 

Develop a "hobby" to the satisfaction of the tent leader and devote 
at least two hours per week to it. 

Health Education JOO 

a. Attend two tent group meetings where "From Youth Into Man- 
hood" is read and discussed 75 

b. View thoroughly the U. S. Public Health Service Physical 
Fitness Charts 25 

Reading and Public Speaking 100 

a. Make a six-minute speech before the camp on an assigned topic 50 

b. Read two books from any two groups of fiction, biography, 
science or character development (25 points each) 50 

Current History, Trips and Lectures 100 

a. Give evidence to leader that you are well informed on current 
events of note in the past sixty days 50 

b. Write or give orally to the camp a report of trip you have made 50 

Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 100 

Make some useful article for camp — amount of time, usefulness 
of article and quality of work to be taken into consideration. 

Woodcraft and Nature Study 10() 

Tests to be announced from time to time. 

The announced tests were: First Year men take two and Second 

Year take four of the tests listed below : 

a. Know and name fifty wildflowers; preserve and press a speci- 
men of each, making a book of them. 

b. Know and give interesting facts about twenty-five trees ; make a 
book containing leaf prints one page and the description and 
interesting facts on the opposite, 

c. Identify twenty-five mushrooms, and help prepare an exhibit of 
them on August first, afternoon. 

d. Collect, mount and identify fifteen moths. 

e. Dry, mount and name fifteen ferns. 

f. Make blue prints of fifteen choice wild flowers. 

g. Make a fairly accurate sundial. 

h. Make a set of rubbing sticks and make a fire with it at council 

i. Pass a designated test on Stars. 

Persanality Analysis 100 

Required test on page 2i. 



Health Habits 200 

Required test on page 2)7. 

Camper aft 1 00 

Required test on page 39 50 

Second Year Choices on page 40, Nos. 6, 8. 9, 10, 11 50 














60 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

3. Team Gcniics 

a. Required test on page 43 (only one rule book) 

b. Any two electives on page 43 or write 300 words on good 

4. Group Games 

a. Required test on page 44 

b. Any two electives on page 44 

5. Aquatics 

a. Required test on page 46 

b. Any five electives on page 46 

6. Athletics 

To be announced. See pages 46-50. 

7. Physical Examination 

Required test on page 51. 

8. Personality Analysis 

Required test on page 52. 


1. Home (Tent) Relationships 300 

Give evidence that your camp spirit and relationships are of high 

grade so far as it is within your power to make them so. Accept 
cheerfully responsibilities for camp duties to the extent of several 
hours per week. 

2. Friendship and Social Life 100 

a. Participate in an approved stunt, story-telling evening, camp play 
or entertainment 50 

b. Discuss in your tent group two of the following : 50 
" What should be a felloVs standard of relationship to girls?" . . 25 

"What qualities do I want in the girl I marry?" 25 

"What social activities may boys and girls have together?" 25 

3. Community Relationships 100 

Render some specific camp service suggested or approved by your 

leader, and contribute to some worthy cause. 1 

4. Citizenship 100 

Read Chapter 20 of Comrades Handbook 50 

Two of the following three electives : (25 each) 50 

a. Second year choices Nos. 1 and 2, page 81. 

b. Membership on Camp Council. 

c. Third year choices No. 2, page 81. 

5. Training for Service 100 

a. Read "Starting to Teach," Foster, and pass examination 50 

b. Pass life saving test or teach a boy to swim 50 

c. Read Chapters 18 and 19, Comrades Handbook 50 

6. Choosing A Life Work 100 

a. Make a list of ten vocations and describe to the group two that 
interest you most 25 

b. Attend a series of talks on "Principles of Choosing a Life Work" 50 

c. Fill out a Self-Analysis Blank and have talk with leader or 
• assigned adviser 25 

7. World Brotherhood 100 

Talk on World Brotherhood, or Elective No. 2, page 88 60 

Attend two discussions on "Race Relationships" 40 

8. Personality Analysis 100 

Required test page 89. 


A Fixed Program 61 


1. Public Worship 200 

Attend regular Sunday Church Worship, iiarticipating in the service 
(participation in Camp Vespers accepted together with church 

2. God In Nature and Art jqq 

a. Any four electives on pages 59-60, taking one from each of the 

four groups 50 

b. Indian Test — Spend at least three hours alone at night away from 
camp in thoughtful meditation. Camp Director will give further 
instructions 50 

3. CJutrch School Loyalty 200 

a. Attend daily Bible Study regularly \qq 

b. Show right attitude toward Bible Class work by a study of the 
lesson and co-operative spirit 100 

4. Knozvlcdge of the Bible - jqO 

a. Write in your own words the two Great Commandments given by 

Jesus in Luke 10 -.27 25 

b. Tell your tent group the story of an impressive incident in the life 

of an Old Testament character and tell why it impressed you .... SO 

c. In your own language write the Ten Commandments for a boy 

of today 25 

5. Story of Christianity 100 

Required test, page 64 or read Book of Acts in Modern Translation. 

6. My Church and I 100 

Discuss in at least four tent devotion periods, "Why Have A 
Church?"; "The Place of the Church in a Boy's Life"; "A Boy's 

Right Attitude Toward the Church" ; "What Being a Christian 
Really Means." 

7. Personal Devotions 100 

Required tedt on page 67. 

8. Personality Analysis 100 

Required test on page 68. 


Every detail of this program was worked out before camp opened 
and all through the summer the events were "set up" by the directors 
and counselors, the boys being told when and where each event would 
take place. Boys had nothing to say either in formation of the program 
or the method of its execution. With tv/o hours of real school work 
in the mornings, one wonders how the boys ever thought of this as a 
camp. None of them had ever been in a progressive camp or school, 
however, and so had never had more freedom of choice than this. 
Although they expressed some disappointment at times that camp was 
more like school than they had expected, they made the best of it, and 
in the main seemed contented and happy. 

Administrative Method 

This autocratic method was not due to any inherent disposition to 
dominate on the part of either directors or counselors, but was a part 
of the educational psychology of the time and of the conventions of 
society; they simply did not know how to operate a program on any 

62 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

other basis. The philosophy of the time was that children could not 
be expected to know what was best for them ; therefore why consult 
them about such things. It was held to be the responsibility of educa- 
tors to know just what youth needed and to make sure they got as much 
of it as could possibly be given in the time at hand. This program 
appealed to people on the ground that it was an efficient way to get boys 
to do a, lot of things that would be good for their developing character 
and with a minimum of resistance. 

In the effort to make sure boys got into activities listed on the pro- 
gram, the C. C. T. P. point system was followed. This meant that boy 
and counselor together measured the boy's achievements and set down 
their judgment of his grade on these values on a point or percentage 
basis in order that the boy might know when he was succeeding and 
when losing opportunity. With the honor emblem system, whatever 
the philosophy of the counselors and directors, there existed a set of 
extrinsic incentives which centered whatever interest they stimulated 
in the emblem itself. Like most curricula of the period, the program 
was built to furnish information and skills the boy might need when 
adulthood was reached — what his present interests might demand was 
considered only incidentally. Awards were used to get him to do things 
that would be good for him later although he often saw little reason for 
doing them. Many speeches and talks were given by prominent men. 
some of them enjoyed by the boys, others endured ; credit vras received 
for both. 

Discipline was in the hands of the camp director. He called and 
set penalties for infractions of order in "school." dining room or else- 
where. The campers had a "Kangaroo Court"' which took up some 
petty infractions, tried them more or less in fun and meted out a pen- 
alty — usually one that would mean more fun in carrying out the sen- 
tence. Late in the first summer a camp council was established with a 
representative camper from each cabin group sitting with the counse- 
lors ; this was mostly for the purpose of enlisting more effort and 
enthusiasm for carrying out the prepared program. 

Sunday School was set up by the camp director who acted as Super- 
intendent and Song Leader, and appointed the officers and teachers. 
Boys were divided into three classes according to age and each boy must 
be on hand for Sunday School unless excused by the director. Each 
boy must likewise attend Church Services at Blue Ridge where each 
Sunday some noted speaker addressed adult conferences. Great mes- 
sages were delivered, but rarely on the boys' level and they often failed 
to keep awake. 

Hikes were set up in about the same fashion ; the directors in con- 
sultation with the counselors selected the hike and announced it to the 
boys with details alx)ut making their packs, time of leaving and other 
details. All boys must go unless excused by the doctor or nurse. 
Starting with short hikes, the distances were increased each week. 
Many interesting beauty spots around Blue Ridge were visited. Dur- 
ing most\ of the first season hikes the predominant idea was "roughing 

-/ Fixed Progra/n 63 

it," displaying and "developing" hardihood in the out-of-doors. To 
get there and back, even with some hardship, was considered worth- 
while although the beauty of the places themselves could not be ij^norcd. 
Such hiking was then common but more recently has been severely 
criticized for its unnecessary fatigue and its lack of definiteness of 
purpose. The camp director led these hikes in person and l)y keej^ing 
the whole camp group in one body he kept a watchful eye upon all. 
Older boys and seasoned hikers had to wait for the slow and inexpe- 
rienced despite their protests. 

It must not be imagined from the plain statement of fact about the 
methods used that the boys were necessarily unhappy. They took it 
as a matter of course, grumbled some now and then as in school, en- 
dured things they did not enjoy and entered with zest and enthusiasm 
into those things which touched their own interests. The friendly 
intimate relationships with their counselors who sincerely wished to 
give them as good a time as possible, and who wanted most of all to see 
them develop strong Christian Character — the friendships and expe- 
riences with these men and the other boys made their influence felt 
despite the academic surroundings and for the most part the boys en- 
joyed camp life and declared it a great summer. 

They did the things laid out for them with varying, degrees of suc- 
cess ; were awarded the points ; and at the close of the season emblems 
were given to show just how much each boy had attained on each side 
of his "square." The most intimate features of the program centered 
in the Bible discussions which were not memoriter affairs like many 
Sunday School classes once were, but were conducted as group dis- 
cussions for thirty minutes each morning. Another devotional feature 
which the boys learned to enjoy was the tent devotional period in the 
evenings when each cabin group had scripture reading, some discussion 
perhaps, then engaged in prayer — each boy soon learning to lead his 
sentence of prayer. 

Sunday evening vesper services were conducted by the camp di- 
rector who led the songs and made a talk to the boys. He spoke of 
qualities of manhood and the experiences by which they were developed, 
and to the extent that character growth comes from precept, these 
vespers should have been vei"y fruitful. Boys were listeners except 
for participation in the singing. During the second year Vesper Serv- 
ices were turned over to the boys to plan and conduct, counselors freely 
helping to plan the program when requested, but not attending unless 
specially invited. 

Second Year Changes 

For the most part the second year program was like the first except 
that second year activities were added for "old campers" who returned. 
The same emblem tests and point system were used. A shorter ques- 
tionnaire for charting was developed. There were four cabin groups. 
School work was continued. A volley ball court had been completed 
on the campus and the lake had been created since the first year. 

64 Organized Cam fin g and Progressive Education 

The principal project finished during the first season was the council 
ring. During that summer Philip Pagans of the Woodcraft League 
was on the grounds as a member of the faculty of the Southern 
Y. M. C. A. Summer School. Camp directors and counselors joined 
his classes and became enthusiastic woodcrafters. Mr. Pagans himself 
helped them locate the site for the camp council ring and the campers 
built it. During the second summer the campers were divided into 
three Woodcraft Bands and two council ring programs per week were 
held. These bands were not cabin groups, each band having some 
members in each cabin — a rather inconvenient arrangement. 

This marks the beginning of group activity in the camp in any 
organized fashion, the program having been laid out almost entirely on 
an individual basis. Eight boys qualified for membership in the Wood- 
craft League during the summer and the Scy Camp Tribe was char- 
tered. The Woodcraft League work was always found to fit readily 
into the fourfold C. C. T. P. which was being used as a basis of camp 
program, so no emphasis was made on the new organization as such. 
iDut it was used for its emphases on handicraft and nature study, which 
seemed to have been somewhat neglected the first year. 

The point system with its competition and credit for activities was 
extended to the council ring. The following plan posted for a few 
days on the bulletin board was adopted and used during the remainder 
of the summer : 

For the good of the tribe it is proposed that the Tally Keeper be provided with 
a special record hook in which to keep a record of credits allowed each band for 
games, scout reports and other contests designated by tlie Chief, allowed in 
council or as set forth below ; the records of the individual members of each band 
to be kept by the Tally Keeper of each band. 


1. Bands having acceptable Totem finished and at council ring at next meeting 
will be allowed 50 points ; one week later, 25 points, and two weeks later 10 

2. For each scout report of something of natural interest with specimen at council 
for display, five points. 

3. For band having most men able to repeat the Woodcraft Laws at next council, 
fifty points ; one week later, 25 points. 

4. For band having all members ready to repeat Watchwords and Laws first, 
25 points. 

5. For each woodcraft article accepted as initiation of member, 10 credits at next 
council and two less for each later council. 

6. For band having all initiations completed first, 25 points. Caution — work must 
be of good quality before the Chief will accept it, so do not make waste by haste. 

7. Credits nn games, contests and such program features will be announced when 
the contests and games are announced. 

8. For each campfire story (5-15 minutes) approved by a counselor and told well, 
a credit to the band of 10 points. 

9. For any member who wins a coup, 100 points go to the band ; 250 points for 
a grand coup. Especial attention is called to the fact that in nature study a 
coup may be won by knowing and naming correctly fifty wild flowers ; a grand 

A Fixed Program 65 

coup for a hundred ; similar coups for moths, butterflies, trees, ferns and other 


Here we note at once the beginning of group coniiK'tition as an 
additional stimulant to activity. Bands had been slow to complete some 
of these features of woodcraft life and so these points and the band 
competitions were set up to get these things done as rapidly as possible. 

An enlarged period of school work crowded out the half hour of 
Bible discussion groups in the mornings during the second year and no 
other place was found for it in the schedule. To make up for this 
counselors planned a system of directed cabin devotion periods; a topic 
with scripture readings for each day in the week was posted together 
with a boy named to lead each evening. Then on Sunday afternoons 
cabin groups discussed the topic considered during the week. Some of 
these discussions were worthwhile, but after a big Sunday dinner the 
boys were often listless, and the plan served largely to give the boys 
"credit" on Bible Study. 

Three of the counselors had been in the camp the first year so asked 
to be given a larger share with the director in the direction of the pro- 
gram. Disciplinary and administrative details were not placed in their 
hands but they were allowed to see that the planned program was prop- 
erly set up and carried out. This duty consisted largely irt looking up 
and reminding speakers (previously selected) of their appointments — 
rarely in making appointments with speakers. Following is a coun- 
selor's copy of the things worked out by counselors and directors as the 
events for which special set-up and promotion by the men designated 
would be needed. 

Second Week — ■"€. E." in charge : 

Monday, July 14— Reading of Hall— 2 to 3 P. M. 
Tuesday, July 15 — Life Work Discussion — 7:45; Mr. C. 

Council Ring program — "C. L." and "A. S." 
Wednesday, July l^Life Work again— 7 :00 P. M. ; Mr. C. 

Movies at 8 :00 P. M. 
Thursday, July 17— Council Ring— "C. E." and Howard. 
Friday, July 18— Cabin Groups Debate— 2 to 3 P. M. ; Why Go to College? 

Current Events Evening — 7 :45. 
Saturday, July 19 — Hike and movie in evening. 
Sunday, July 20 — Vesper Services by boys — 7 :30." 

The above is typical of the way things were listed for each week so 
that the man who had charge of the programs would know just what 
his responsibilities were. The program called for ten or more talks 
and speeches by prominent men in addition to those heard in the Sunday 
morning Church Services. Counselors began to question how many 
items on the promotional program carried the full interest of the boys 
and filled an immediately felt need and how much practice in camp 
administration each counselor was getting from his week of duty. 

Document No. 4. 
'Document No. 5. 

66 Organized Camming and Progressive Educatian 

Still, improvement over the previous year was recognized; equip- 
ment had been added, experiences proved helpful; a happy group of 
boys enjoyed the summer and the camp was considered quite successful. 
At the close a program was conducted much like the commencement 
of a school. All recognitions were read out, and camp emblems, made 
up according to the number of points each boy had made on each side 
of the square, were awarded. A special prize oflfered in story-telling 
by the writer was awarded with due ceremony to the boy whom the 
judges considered the best. From the seven boys who attained the 
"Order of the Silver Star," one was elected by vote of boys and coun- 
selors as the Gold Star man or best all round camper. 

During the first year the complicated program-point award system 
was so little understood that many boys proceeded to camp as best 
they could and ignored it more or less until near the end of the year, 
when the counselors began to check up and stir the boys to get busy 
winning their points. Much cramming ensued. During the second 
year the old boys who came back to camp talked about what a boy 
must do if he hoped to attain the Order of the Silver Star. The in- 
fluence of the extrinsic motivation was more noticeable than the year 
before and fewer boys carried on projects from real interest. Still 
there was postponement of many things so that again the last two weeks 
turned into a rush for points. Boys would slip out at night and read 
a book by flashlight to get credit on the book ; sometimes a handicraft 
article was hurriedly put together with poor workmanship because a 
certain number of points depended upon "making something" and the 
time was short. 

At the closing boys, parents and counselors seemed well pleased with 
their experience ; said they had had a great camp season. The coun- 
selors talked things over more critically and set out to discover a way 
to get more satisfaction for campers. They, too, felt that there was 
too much of the atmosphere of a school about the camp and its program. 

New Ideas Enter 

When the members of the camp staff assembled in 1925 they were 
ready to make changes in camp policy and program. Counselors who 
had been studying social sciences during the year had gained a new 
viewpoint of personality growth and were eager to apply their new 
theories. The leader in the planning was a member of the advisory 
board who had just returned from the Third North American Assembly 
of Workers with Boys at Estes Park, Colorado. There he had en- 
countered such educational leaders as Dewey, Kilpatrick, and Elliott. 
This assembly had driven home two points : More situations must be 
provided for boys to work together cooperatively in groups, and boys 
must be allowed much more freedom to practice choosmg their activi- 
ties on the basis of their own interests. Dr. Kilpatrick had questioned 
the value of awards and extrinsic motivation in camps and education. 
He held that awards might be used like scaflfolding for erecting a 

A Fixed Program 67 

building but that it was temporary and must be removed without iujurv 
to the permanent structure. 

The Group Project Plan 

Tiie decision of the staff was to discard the fixed program and to 
allow campers to select their own group and individual projects. This 
required more definite group organization. Boys upon arriving were 
assigned to cabins temporarily and told that organization of permanent 
groups would come later. When ''old campers" protested that they 
had always been allowed to choose their cabin groups they were told 
that they would have that privilege, but that it must be done with the 
good of the whole camp group in mind. 

Then, when camp had l^een running about three days and boys were 
somewhat less strange to each other, they were assembled for the pur- 
pose of effecting a permanent organization. The staff had previously 
decided that the best method of grouping was to form bands of the 
Woodcraft League, each band to occupy one cabin and to have a 
"Guide" as counselor. The boys agreed to this suggestion. Four boys 
were then nominated and elected as Band-Chiefs. They drew for order 
of choice and picked the boys for their bands in rotation. Then they 
selected their counselors and cabins. This method of grouping made 
the bands fairly equal in strength and provided for lively group compe- 
tition in sports, games, council ring and other activities. Boys who had 
wanted to pick out their own locations felt that this method was just 
and fair and accepted their places with good grace. 

Boys were charted for the purpose of locating interests more than 
to measure four- fold development. Each band was expected to work 
out at least one group project on each of the four sides of the Christian 
Citizenship Square — Intellectual, Physical, Devotional, and Social— 
every two weeks. Each boy was also expected to complete an equal 
number of individual projects. This plan was aimed to. balance group 
and individual work, and to forestall the postponement of the projects 
until the last of camp when many would otherwise rush to do them. 

This plan was explained to the boys in assembly and was accepted 
without discussion. The staff had high hopes for this new experiment, 
not realizing how artificial a situation was being created when the 
number of projects was arbitrarily set, and when each was graded in 
the light of emblem requirements. Although the plan was more flexible 
and less objectionable in that it left the selection of the projects to the 
campers, it was quite imperfect. Boys had not been used to the privi- 
lege of selecting activities and lacked initiative. Leaders were even 
more unskilled in guiding the boys toward activities in which they might 
find an interest. Both boys and counselors depended largely upon 
selecting projects from books. Had nothing been said about projects 
and had natural ways of living been followed, then interests could have 
grown naturally and projects would have arisen out of these interests, 
but, with the requirement having been passed like a sentence, to peri^orm 

68 Organized Camftng and Progressive Education 

or accomplish so many projects in a given time, they were at a loss to 
know how to select them. 

Anticipating somewhat this lag in selecting projects, the staff, still 
largely academic minded despite their efforts to become critically scien- 
tific, had given each boy a copy of the Comrades Test pamphlet (of the 
C. C. T. P.) and placed in each cabin copies of the Comrade, Pioneer 
and Boy Scout handbooks, and the Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft 
League. The boys were urged to look through these for suggestions. 
Here we see an attempt to get activity according to interest with a 
forced choice of something to do. A boy's choice was still more ham- 
pered with the necessity of keeping his personality well balanced by 
choosing activities from each of the four areas (Intellectual, Devotional, 
Physical, Social). 

A period was set aside in the daily schedule for group meetings so 
that projects might be planned, reported and evaluated. Individual 
projects were to be done by each boy in his own free time, but they 
were reported to the whole band and graded for point evaluation. The 
old Four-Sided point system remained as the basis of grading the 
various projects. A boy's individual rating and the grades of his 
group on their group projects were averaged to find his rating for the 
emblem. Thus each member of a group received the same grade on a 
group project regardless of the measure of interest and work he had 
put forth. This was an attempted measure of socialization, a sort of 
self -operative discipline, to make each boy realize his responsibility to 
the group and his dependence upon the group. i 

There were some definite results from this plan. "It worked" — at 
least in certain instances. For example, one of the older boys objected 
violently to the waste of time and effort on the first nature study hike ; 
protested that it was all foolishness to waste so much time looking for 
flowers, birds, and trees. He was finally persuaded to go along because 
his band had voted to make that trip as one of their group projects and 
it would be ruined if he did not go. He became interested and before 
the camp closed this same boy spent a large part of his time in collecting 
specimens of flowers and trees. He has since served as a nature lore 
counselor in boys' camps. 

Under the old prepared program the grading of activities was done 
by the cabin counselors. With this group project plan each group 
graded its own members with the counselor taking part as a member. 
The aim was to have boys learn to evaluate their own efforts and those 
of their fellows ; and to make group opinion felt by those members who 
were not doing as well as they should. It was planned at first to have 
the group projects graded in assembly by the whole camp, but this was 
not practical. 

School work for the morning hours was continued on the same basis 
and camp administration was still largely determined by the director 
without consultation with the boys and with counselors assuming re- 
sponsibility only for program and activity. The Camp Council — now 
composed of counselors and Band-Chiefs — became a real group and 

A Fixed Prot^iiim 60 

often discussed matters of proj^ram. Counselors were i^Mveii more re- 
sponsibility for direction of certain activity periods ; although no 
counselor was ever completely enough in charge of camp to feel that 
he was carrying full responsibility for the day and that he alone must 
meet any emergency. 

We have already noted how slow the boys were to choose and carry 
out the projects. Despite the effort to forestall postponement little was 
done toward the honor emblem during the first two weeks. Not a 
single group and few individuals completed their full number of projects 
during this period. When grading was done for the first two weeks 
and the campers saw that if no project was done a zero was the grade, 
thereby cutting down the average of the projects that might be done 
later, they became more eager to do the full number. Some of the 
most alert boys soon checked up and saw that because of the failure to 
complete group projects in the first period none of them would make 
the 750 points (75%) necessary for the emblem of the Order of the 
Silver Star. They began to lag. saying it was little use to try further. 
Here is evidence that with extrinsic motivation, interest dies when the 
incentive fails. 

In order to avoid a lull in activities and a slump in camp spirit and 
morale, the camp council voted that each band should be allowed to 
make up two group projects omitted during the first two weeks. Then 
routine activities carried on through the whole camp season, such as 
Sunday School Attendance, Vespers, and School Work, were classified 
as group projects in order to get points, and incidentally, emblems. 

The grading itself demonstrated the difficulty of measuring all 
achievements on a numerical scale. Sometimes a small project vras 
done very well and received a high mark while a very' hard task failed 
and received a much lower mark even though requiring far greater 
effort. At first, groups were inclined to really measure efforts care- 
fully and conservatively, giving a low grade for a poor piece of work, 
but soon they began to count up their points and they saw that each of 
these low marks lessened the chances that their members would receive 
an emblem of high rank. Thus they tended to grade higher and higher 
with decreasing attention to true evaluation until they finally reached 
the point where they clearly wished to set the percentage as high as 
their counselor would pass without protest. 

Another difficulty was the rivalry between the different bands. For 
example, one band carried through a very difficult project from which 
they derived real benefit. They were proud of their achievement and 
graded it high. Other bands who did not know the effort required 
looked upon the grade as an^ attempt of this band to raise the standing 
of its members, so the next time they had a project to grade they raised 
it in order to keep up with their rival. Perhaps a board of counselors 
could have graded these projects fairer and more efficiently, but no one 
could have measured such intangible values numerically in a satisfactory 
manner. The following reproduction of a Band Record Sheet shows 


Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

the rising grades on both group and individual projects toward the close 
of the season : 


Band Bob, Leader Thomas, Band-Chkf 

First Period 

NAME Physical Intellectual Devotional Service 

Indv. Group Indv. Group* Indv. Group* Indv. Group Ave. 

Thomas 75 80 85 80 80 85 75 70 

Marvin 75 80 80 85 40 

Tom 75 80 75 80 80 85 75 59 

John 80 80 85 30 

Vick 80 80 85 30 

Bill 80 80 85 30 

♦These projects were done the third and fourth periods to make up for projects 
missed the first period. 

Second Period 

Thomas 85 75 75 85 60 75 75 

Marvin 50 85 75 75 75 45 

Tom 75 85 75 75 39 

John 75 85 75 75 39 

Vick 85 25 75 75 2,?> 

Bill 85 75 75 55 75 46 

Third Period 

NAME Physical Intellectual Devotional Service 

Indv. Group Indv. Group Indv. Group Indv. Group Ave. 

Thomas 88 30 93 95 85 85 85 40 75 

Marvin 85 30 75 95 80 85 75 40 70 

Tom 20 30 82 95 65 85 78 40 62 

John 20 30 65 95 75 85 90 40 62 

Vick 30 60 95 60 85 70 40 55 

Bill 82 30 50 95 70 85 70 40 65 

Lee 30 95 85 70 40 30 

Fourth Period 

Thomas 90 90 92 90 95 90 90 95 91 

Marvin 80 90 95 90 85 90 85 95 89 

Tom 90 90 83 90 90 90 93 95 90 

J»hn 75 90 70 90 50 90 95 70 

Vick 80 90 82 90 90 90 95 77 

Bill 90 90 78 90 85 90 85 95 88 

Lee 85 90 90 90 25 90 85 95 81 

Final Averages 

Thomas 79% which entitles him to Order of Silver Star Emblem. 

Marvin 61% which entitles him to "SCY" Emblem. 



Vick 48% which entitles him to the Red C. C. T. P. Emblem. 



62% which entitles him to "SCY" Emblem. 
50% which entitles him to "SCY" Emblem. 
48% which entitles him to the Red C. C. T. 
57% which entitles him to "SCY" Emblem. 
55% which entitles him to "SCY" Emblem. 

^Document No. 6. 

A Fixed Program 


It will be noted that only one boy in this band won the Silver Star 
emblem. He was a third year camper and had been a Silver Star man 
the year before. This was one of the best graded groups in camp. In 
order to keep up with the projects selected for a period they posted them 
in their cabin so that they would be constant reminders. Below is a 
copy of such a reminder sheet for the fourth period : 


Individual Projects 

Group Projects Selected 







Make a talk on 
Health Habits. 

Learn the Books 
of the Bible. 

Read Uganda's 
"White Man of 

Examination on School 
Work for season. 


Be graded as a 
hiker for camp 

Read book of 

Water fern-boxes 
every day. 

Examination (asabove) 


Participate in 
Tennis Tourna- 

Lead cabin devo- 
tions for week. 

Mop out the cab- 

Examinations, etc. 


Take Life-Saving 

Daily Personal De- 
votional periods. 

Label our collec- 
tion of Birds' 




Take swimming 


Read the Book of 

Make a plaque 
naming members 
of band on it. 



Grade on my hik- 
ing record for sea- 

Read Book of 


Care for the Na- 
ture Lodge a week. 



Read "Truths." 

Personal De- 
votions Daily. 

Clean trail back 
of the Cabin. 


Group Projects Selected 

Conduct a Track 

Grade on Group 

Build a Bridge 

Provide for Songs for 

meet for the whole 

Devotions and 

over creek at new 

Grand Council. 


Discussions for 
Whole Camp sea- 


The counselors and directors often said that the boys were lacking in 
initiative, but they certainly found a number of ways to conform to 
the schemes worked out for them by the adults and at the same time 
to do a lot of real camping very much to their own satisfaction. Since 
sorne boys wanted the emblems, something had to be done to get the 
necessary points — even if they had to grade a boy on his personal devo- 
tions, on what he got out of reading the book of Matthew, or on the 
kind of hiker he proved himself. 

'Document No. 7. 

72 Organized Canpping and Progressive Education 

Counselors felt that the grading had been unsatisfactory and that 
the selection of the projects had been artificial. They had lacked skill 
in helping the boys find real projects. Counselors, constantly asked by 
the boys for ideas, turned to books and some of them worked out lists 
of suggested projects and posted them on the cabin bulletin boards. It 
will be easier to picture the nature of the group projects by Hsting the 
projects on which one of the bands graded itself for the summer : 


1. Conducting a series of swimming meets for the camp in which each member of 
the band takes part. 

2. Activq participation in Camp Volley Ball League promoted by another band; 
teaching all members of the band to play and keeping them in the game 
although some had never played before and played very poorly. 

3. Training for and participation in a Track Meet promoted by another band; 
every member taking part. 


\. Planning, selecting, purchasing and making up a Camp Kodak Album for future 
use of the camp. Money was collected by fining each boy for each time he 
failed to make his bed and get ready for sweeping the cabin before breakfast. 

2. Study Trees of the Campus and Woods. The goal was to learn twenty-five 
trees by bark and leaves and to make up a display of leaf prints and twigs. 

3. Group discussions of three talks on Foreign Work of the Y. M. C. A. given to 
the entire camp. 

4. Promotion of Health Education Day in camp with poster exhibit, lists of helpful 
books and a forum led by the camp doctor. 


1. Cleaning up and beautifying the cabin at the beginning of camp. Fern boxes 
were made and filled and shrubs set out. 

2. Planning and putting on an evening of games, each boy in the band leading 
some of the games. 

3. Clearing the creek of debris and building a bridge leading to the baseball field 
over a new and shorter trail. 

4. Locating, clearing and smoothing a new trail to the Council Ring in order to 
avoid some barbwire fencing around a cow range. 


\. Planning and conducting a Sunday P'vening Vesper Service for the whole 
camp, each boy in the band taking part. 

2. Group discussion on the place of the Ten Commandments in life on Sunday 
afternoon after movie was shown. 

3. An evaluation discussion of the band's part in Sunday School, the attitude of 
members toward church attendance, and the values of the evening cabin 

4. A truth meeting in which boys and counselor tell each boy the impressions he 
makes on others and advises him where he is strong and where he is weak : 
habits, good and bad.* 

'Document No. 8. 

A Fixed Program 73 

Despite the imperfections found in the working of the 1925 pro^^ram 
it was considered a decided improvement over the previous year. A 
happy group of campers rating it a good camp. 

Some Hnes along which boys grew may be gleaned from their state- 
ments made at the close of camp.'' 

"Before I came to camp I did not care for the study of nature ; I thought it 
was just a waste of time. Now I have learned to love wild-life and the beauty 
of trees and flowers. 

"I have learned that it is always worthwhile to try to help someone, even 
though at first your help is not appreciated and seems to show no results ; also to 
think before expressing yourself in word or deed; to control your feelings. 

"The hikes have meant most to me for they bring us close to each other and 
we come to know other boys and ourselves better. They also bring you into the 
out-of-doors and close to God. I am trying harder to control my own temper and 
I have quit trying to make someone else 'fly off the handle' just for fun. 

"My ideas on religion have changed greatly since coming to camp; I have 
learned to look on life more broadly and to think more seriously. I have learned 
more of the realities of life and religion, and especially have I learned better how 
to treat younger boys. 

"I have learned to be sociable; also to go to church, but I have learned that 
boys do not act according to what they pray to God for. 

"I have learned that my attitude toward my brothers and sisters is not right 
and when I go back home I am going to be more unselfish toward them. I think 
that the sportsmanship and friendship of the campers has been of most value to 
me. I plan to be more loyal and obedient to my parents at home. 

"I have resolved to control my temper and to study better; in our discussions 
I discovered that I was a shirker at home and I am going to try to do my share 
of the duties in the right spirit hereafter. Our cabin devotions helped me more 
than anything else in camp this summer and I am hoping that we can have family 
devotions in our home. 

"I have changed my attitude toward nature; I am going to study harder; I 
hope to have a family prayer at home every night. 

"When I get home I intend to start a friendlier and more brotherly feeling 
among my boy friends ; I plan to do the work around home with gladness and 
cheerfulness instead of acting grouchy when asked to do something. I think the 
best feature of the camp is the way the boys are allowed to pick out the things 
they want to do." 

Judging from these statements it would seem that some real values 
grew out of these camping experiences. The counselors were pleased 
with it, yet at the same time they were critical of. the plan, feeling that 
camp life was capable of something much better. Real probleins for 
them had been, to determine how far a counselor should go in pushing 
a boy into activity, whether there was any value in awards or emblems, 
and if so. to determine right standards of work, and a satisfactory 
grading plan. In their closing discussions the staflf made the following 
definite suggestions: (1) campers should have their own Sunday 
Services in camp; (2) a good handicraft shop should be established; 
(3) that nature study and handicraft should be given in the morning 
hours in the place of the school subjects for those boys who did not 
have to make up school work. 

Document No. 9. 

74 Organized Camf'mg and Progressive Education 

In order to give proper emphases to various lines of activity and to 
provide many suggestions for projects with a maximum of boy partici- 
pation in the planning, the staff undertook to work out a possible scheme 
of committees. Eight committees with their responsibilities and duties 
were planned for a — most elaborate organization. Each committee was 
to be composed of one counselor who was especially interested in, that 
activity, and one boy from each of the cabin groups. The plan con- 
templated having every boy on some committee. It looked well on 
paper but was scarcely practical since some boys were not ready for 
such responsibility. The idea of more boy participation in planning 
and conducting the program was the important thing which came out 
of the discussions. In a camp of fifty or less this could l>e brought 
about without so much organization. 

In closing the 1925 season there was a sense of satisfaction that 
progress had been made, but there was keen realization that greater 
reward would result from renewed study and experimentation. 



In the summer of 1926 a three-hour course in Campcraft was offered 
at Blue Ridge by the Y. M. C. A. Graduate School where the counselors 
of Scy Camp were enrolled. Study was made of the various types of 
camping, of the specific needs of local Y. M. C. A. and inter-church 
camps, but the particular project of the class was Scy Camp. This 
class met for about ten days before the opening of camp, formulated 
the policy, and discussed problems of administration. The man who 
had led the planning in 1925 taught this course and replaced the "Head 
Master" as Camp Director. 

Each counselor was to be given full responsibility as Camp Director 
for one week, the other members of the class were to discuss and criti- 
cize his administration. 

A New Policy 

The general policy was that the democratic idea should be followed 
just as far as possible ; that the only absolute "requirements" were eat- 
ing, sleeping, and the school work requested by parents. Planning the 
program and formulating it were to be done in Camp Conferences, in 
which the boys, counselors, and directors could take part on an equal 
basis, the counselor in charge for the week serving as chairman. This 
enabled the counselors to offer suggestions and to put their experiences 
before the group, but they could not out-vote the boys. Final decisions 
were left to the boys, but they were guided decisions. 

In determining this policy the counselors considered philosophy and 
principles of education. They studied especially Dewey, Thorndike, 
Gregg, Kilpatrick, and Collings.^ These studies seemed to warrant a 
wide departure from the academic procedure of camping, where the 
director and counselors set up the program and wrote out all the details. 
None of the counselors were experienced or skilled in the technique of 
leading a group on the democratic plan, a fact which would necessarily 
limit the success of the enterprise. 

The following report made by a committee and adopted by the coun- 
selor group expresses their accepted theory for motivating activity : 


1. The only real motivation is by suggestive situations to lead the boy to purpose 
the thing to be done. This means' that the boy himself must be interested in it 

*De-wey, John ; Democracy and Education ; Thorndike, E. L. ; Educational Psy- 
chology ; Gregg, A. J.; Group Leaders and Boy Character; Kilpatrick, W. H. ; 
Foundation of Method ; Ceilings, Ellsworth ; An Experiment With A Project 


Td Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

because it will fill an immediately felt need. Not only must the activity be 
of immediate value but it must be adapted to the boy's powers and experience, 
then its achievement will bring satisfaction; while an effort at a more difficult 
activity may bring failure and annoyance. 
2. The activity or project, in order to develop initiative must be such as to 
stimulate interest in other and varied experiences and cause the boy to desire 
them. Freedom to carry out the suggested desirable activities after careful 
consideration is necessary. The leader or teacher may very readily stifle initia- 
tive of the boys by not allowing this freedom — assuming that he knows what 
is best and making the decisions for them. 

The leader's part is to lead the boys to see the proposed activity in all its details 
and to face the task sensibly — to make a plan before jumping in, and thus to 
avoid failure and disappointment later. The leader can do this through sug- 
gestions or questions in the discussions as a member of the group, or in con- 
ference with individual boys. 

Rewards, prizes, etc., have little if any place in real motivation, or in developing 
initiative. The fact that they are necessary to get boys to undertake an activity 
means that the boy does not see where that activity fills' an immediate need in 
his life, and goes into it only when artificially stimulated by hope of reward. 
Tlie reward and not the activity is central.' 

The counselors committed themselves to oppose the use of any 
emblem award system. They realized, however, that since an emblem 
award system had been used for the first three years of the camp, the 
boys would probably expect and demand it again. They planned, there- 
fore, to give each boy who came to camp a small sweater emblem at the 
beginning to indicate that he was enrolled in Scy Camp and then to 
await developments. If the question of honor emblems came up later. 
there would be a chance for discussion in conference, with the final 
decision resting on the boys. 

Camp Conferences 

Camp opened on Friday evening with a program of games, stunts, 
songs, introductions and nicknames. At the close of this program 
various ways of running a camp were discussed and the boys expressed 
a preference for the democratic idea as explained by the Student Camp 
Director. At the first Camp Conference on Saturday evening after a 
period of fun, the question of schedule was raised, and each item was 
discussed and settled by vote of the entire camp. The schedule with a 
few significant changes from previous years was adopted with provision 
that it might be changed by the vote of a camp conference 

This first real camp conference was entered into with seriousness by 
most of the boys. Some of them wanted to see how free they were, 
really to decide things for themselves. One boy moved that they have 
reveille at 9 o'clock. The Camp Director seconded his motion with 
the remark that it would save the camp one meal a day. The motion 
was duly discussed, voted upon and lost. 

The second conference was held on Sunday evening for the purpose 
of group organization. The procedure followed the previous summer 
was used. Band-Chiefs were elected and the bands (cabin groups) 

'Document No. 10. 

A Self-Governing Camp IViihout Award); 77 

were chosen by them. At the first group conference period Monday 
afternoon each band organized, and selected a totem and a name. 

Many of the boys were slow to take an active part; in cruni) confer- 
ences, and counselors made many suggestions. 'Fhere were so many 
things to be planned, and the boys so little accustomed to the responsi- 
bility of planning their own activities, that the camp i)rogram seemed 
to move slowly. A morning camp conference sometimes adjourned 
with no plans made for afternoon or evening activities. When the boys 
asked the counselors what they were going to do at one of these un- 
planned periods it was pointed out to them that there were several things 
that could have been done, if they had planned for them at conference. 

A thing that: brought them to the realization of their responsibilitv 
for the program more definitely than just a lack of a planned program 
for some evening was the question of movies. It had Ijeen a custom 
to provide movies for each Saturday evening. Counselors, although 
conceding it might be well to have movies another year, wished to sub- 
stitute dramatics. If the boys demanded them, however, movies were 
to be furnished. At the end of the first week movies had not been 
mentioned in conferences. The boys had taken it for granted that the 
movies would be provided without consulting them, but no movies were 
put; on. They had made no plans for them. At the next camp con- 
ference a motion was carried to have a committee appointed to make 
arrangements for movies. This was done and thereafter a picture was 
shown each Saturday evening. 

Some boys made motions "that we have" so and so or "that we do" 
so and so, but they soon learned that someone had to be made responsi- 
ble for everything if it was to be done. Their motions changed to, "I 
move that a committee be appointed to," and their definite learnings on 
how to carry on business was rapid. 

Minutes for two typical camp conferences, those of July 1 and 2, 
are given below to indicate planning done : 

Camp conference called to order by C. E., counselor directing for the week. 
Minutes were read and approved. The committee on finding a supply of rhcxlo- 
dendron to cut was not ready to complete its report. 

Joe had no report ready on proposed trip to Catawba Falls. (It had been 
reported that the grounds were closed to visitors.) Motion made to go on an 
overnight hike to Webb's Tower. Carried. 

Motion made and carried that the chairman appoint a commitiee to arrange 
details for hike. Guy, West and Perry were appointed on this committee. 

Motion made and carried that the chairman appoint a cotnmittec of two to 
bring in a report on how to take care of oneself on an overnight hike. George 
and Booth appointed. Joe elected to lead the hike. 

Motion made and carried to have a committee appointed to make arrangements 
for securing the moving picture machine and for getting films. Camp Director, 
Tom and Bill were appointed. 

Motion made and carried to have; a committee appointed as a standing com- 
mittee on hikes, to look out for new ones and to report back to the conference as 
to suitable dates for each hike. Bob, Laurence, John. Shorty and Ted. 

Motion was made and carried to ask committee on details for Webb Tower 
hike to report at Council Ring the same evening. 

78 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

Authority to elect a captain and manager for baseball given to those who go 
out to make the team. Motion made and carried to have a committee appointed 
to make a general athletic program for camp. (Standing committee} Stuart, Clviir- 
man ; Tom, Bax, John and "Chief" appointed. 

Motion carried to adjourn. 

July 2, 1926. 

Meeting called to order by C. E. Minutes read and approved. Motion made 
and carried that the hike should be carried out as planned unless the rain con- 
tinued until after four o'clock. Committee on how to care for oneself on hike 
needed more time. Committee on how to celebrate the Fourth of July not ready 
to report. Motion passed to extend their time to July 3. 

Moving picture show committee reported that arrangements were being made 
and that the first show would probably be given Saturday evening. No report 
ready from the committee on securing a supply of rhododendron. 

Motion made and carried that bands sit together in the conference in the same 
relative positions which they occupy in the council ring. 

Committee on how to care for oneself on hike reported. Their report approved 
and commended. 

Motion made that the camp approve the establishment of a rifle rangei failed 
to pass. Motion made and carried that a committee be appointed to work out an 
archery range, equipment and details. Herbert, Jimmie and Sam were appointed. 

Moved and passed to adjourn.' 

All these motions came up for discussion and were frequentl)' spoken 
to by both boys and leaders. On a busy day it was not so easy for a 
secretary to keep up with the business. A fifteen-year-old boy who 
had not had previous experience was selected as Camp Conference Sec- 
retary. After the first three or four meetings he offered his resigna- 
tion, declaring he could not keep up. The conference refused to accept 
his resignation but voted to give him an assistant. One of the coun- 
selors was elected assistant secretary. 

The way in which things grew out of the cainp conferences may well 
be illustrated by the development of the interest in archery. Some boys 
brought up in camp conference the subject of a rifle range. In the dis- 
cussion of the motion archery was mentioned, and was so popular that 
the rifle range motion was defeated and archery approved. The com- 
mittee appointed on archery read archery books, wrote to companies 
about supplies, reported back to the conference the different kinds of 
wood available and the prices of sets. In fact, they organized a group 
of boys who were especially interested in archery, collected the money, 
and ordered supplies. Members of this group helped each other in mak- 
ing the bows and arrows, made the targets and conducted regular prac- 
tice. The only time counselors were actually called upon for more than 
suggestions was when they were asked to serve as officials at the archery 
tournament. The bows were fine and the boys were proud of their 
work. Their satisfaction came from the thing done — the achievement ; 
no prizes had been offered and there was no point systetn to transform 
their interest into academic credits. 

Among the important things that came up in the early conferences 
were : provision and rules for daily inspection of lodges and grounds ; 

'Document No. 11. 

A Self -Governing Camp Without Awards 79 

council ring; rules for court procedure, a set of canii) rules; hours for 
visiting the store ; and a limit to the amount that might he spent per 
week for sweets. 

Group Conferences 

The bands also held their own meetings and made plans for their 
own group activities. Some bands wrote up their minutes rather care- 
fully, while others rarely did so. The boys of one band took turns by 
the week in writing up these minutes. 

This band also made certain rules for the conduct of its own cabin 
members, which supplemented the general camp rules. Some of these 
concerned duties to the band. 

Things for which members of this band were fined were: (1) care- 
lessness that resulted in a low mark for their cabin on inspection ; 
(2) for leaving drawers open in the clothes closet, and (3) for throw- 
ing shoes. For certain other ofTenses they threw a member "into the 
creek." After a while some money was accumulated in the treasury. 
The following discussion was entered in their minutes : 


Group called to order in Lincoln cabin. Question raised on going to Black 
Mountain to a movie, using the money from the treasury Discussed what would 
come of it and decided not to go because it would start an unwanted thing in 
camp, that of going away to a show. It was also shown that since we have 
movies in camp every Saturday, we do noil need to go during the week. Group 
decided not to spend the money at present but to wait until some future time.' 

The Camp Government In Operation 

The wide range of ages, 11 to 18, made it difficult to work the group 
conference plan. 

Younger boys did not take so much interest in discussions and 
sometimes thought the conferences long and tiresome. For two weeks 
all campers took for granted that everyone had to attend the camp 
conferences. When this belief was discovered it was made clear to 
them that the conferences, unless specially called for all, were voluntary. 
Only officers and the band-chief, or a representative from each band 
had to attend. After this explanation camp conferences ceased to be 
endured as necessary, but there was enough interest to keep a good 

Organization was completed during the first two weeks, so a camp 
conference ever}' day became unnecessary. Three a week were found 
to be sufficient. The counselors and band-chiefs met on other days to 
prepare recommendations for the conferences. This representative 
council did much preliminary planning and avoided waste of time in 
campi conferences. This camp council later came to assume the func- 
tion of an executive committee, handling especially the matters of dis- 
cipline or enforcement of camp rules and conference decisions. 

'Document No. 12. 

80 Organized Camming and Progressive Education 

One evening at "Taps" one of the counselors stepped into a certain 
cabin to return a knife he had borrowed. Three of the larger boys 
were not there and the others did not know where they were. Since 
the cabin counselor was out of camp that evening report was made to 
the counselor-director for the week that he might investigate and learn 
what had happened to the boys. 

About a half -hour later the boys came in. When the counselor- 
director stepped into their cabin one of them jumped into bed with his 
clothes on. The counselor-director turned the light on and inquired 
where they had been. They said that they had gone to Black Mountain 
to a picture show. This was in violation of a regulation passed in camp 
conference stating that no one should leave the grounds without regis- 
tering out with the counselor-director and giving destination and pur- 
pose of the trip. The boy who jumped into bed with his clothes on had 
had two summers in a military camp, and had stated before that he did 
not believe "a fellow could get shipped from Scy Camp." 

Below is the procedure followed in this case. First, the Camp Di- 
rector called the three boys and talked it over with them. They agreed 
that the rule was valuable and necessary and that they had been very 
thoughtless to violate it — that if a call or telegram had come in for them 
it would have embarrassed the camp not to have been able to locate 

It was explained to thpm that it was the purpose of this camp to 
help fellows gain self-control and become men — not "to ship them" — 
that to ship them was the easiest thing to do, but this meant that the 
camp had admitted failure. 

A day or two later the case was brought before the council. The 
case was stated without calling any names and the opinion of each 
member was called for. All agreed that it was a serious breach of camp 
rules and deserved a severe penalty. One of the guilty ones was a 
member of the council and thus had to judge his own case,, but never- 
theless voted for a heavy penalty. Several suggestions were made re- 
garding a proper penalty. The plan adopted was to explain to these 
boys that by violating camp regulations, they had forfeited whatever 
honors the camp might have bestowed upon them. This meant that 
these boys would give up their letters in athletics. This was the one 
foitn of emblem award the camp conference had voted to have. They 
would be allowed to participate in meets and tournaments in order to 
win honors for their bands but no personal recognition could he given 
to them. 

The three boys declared the penalty was severe, but just. When the 
council had made its decision, another member of the council, who had 
been voted the "Gold Star" man of camp the year before, stated that 
he, too, had on one occasion left camp without permission and accepted 
the same penalty. Still another older boy took the same stand the next 

After the decision was made,! these five boys gave their best to win 
for their bands. They worked as hard as they could have done for 

A Self-Govcrning Camp Wilhout Awards 81 

personal honors. Their acceptance of the penalty came to stand out 
in the experience of the campers, for discipline, honesty, and real 

The Woodcraft Program 

Council Ring programs which the boys voted for Monday and 
Thursday evenings of each week furnished occasion for new and inter- 
esting projects. But few boys failed to respond to the spirit of wood- 
craft. The following Tally written by a thirteen-Year-Old boy of 
the Light Heart Band will indicate the procedure of Councils : 


On the 23d Sun of the Thunder Moon tlie Scy Camp Tribe of the Wood- 
craft League of America met in council with "Chief" at the Council Rock. 
"Cheeky" of the Blazing Star Band was appointed lire keeper and "Pistol Pete" 
of the Light Heart Band was appointed Tally-Keeper for the evening. 

Some birds were heard in the distance and Chief gave some facts about them. 
Then the roll was called. 

The Tally for last meeting was then read by Harry; was corrected and 
approved. There was no business arising out of the Tally and Scout reports were 
given as follows : Joe reported on the ten-petaled Sunflower ; John found a bug 
and passed it around to see if it could be identified ; Harry reported on the Hoary 
Mountain Mint; Laurence, the Brown Thrasher; "Shorty," the Buzzard; other 
boys gave information about the buzzard; Sam reported on the Blue Bird; Booth, 
on caterpillars and cocoons. 

Chief passed around some seeds with a challenge to identify them. Edd. finally 
named them as the seed of the Sweet Shrub. "Papa" told about the museums in 
Washington, seen on his recent trip. Bill told about the Bee Balm or Oswego 
Tea and Chief told us how an old lady used it to catch humming birds. Herbert's 
brother was then introduced to the council as a visitor. 

Reports of initiations were made and the following articles of handicraft were 
approved and passed by the council : Herbert, the Flaming Arrow Totem ; Edd., 
Bark Bird House ; Perry, a lamp, on condition he put in his electric fixtures : 
Joe, a lamp complete with fixtures ; Harry, a log cabin Bird House ; he explained 
how the log cabin was made. 

Herbert led some games, the first of which was a Talk-Fest in which Jimmie 
won over Harry. Tom won over Richard in a game of Clap Hands. In Chinese 
Get-up, "Pistol Pete" won over Less and Bill v/on over Tommie. Stick Pull-up 
was then played by Henry and Sam, and Sam won. 

Quincy found a Devil's Horse going across the Council Ring about this time 
and passed it around for all to see. Will and Gordon then played Pull Stick and 
Gordon won. 

Tom led several songs and then the Council closed with a' short prayer from 
each band.* 

While all campers were considered members of the tribe, it was 
understood that to become real Woodcrafters the woodcraft initiation 
tests must be completed. One of these was a silence test which re- 
quired that the camper keep silent for six hours during the daj^ime 
while taking part in the various activities of camp. To pass the handi- 
craft test a boy had to complete an article which showed some sknll of 
workmanship with his hands and present it to the council for approval. 

'Document No. 13. 

82 Organized Ca?nfing and Progressive Education 

All candidates for Wayseeker rank were required to learn well how to 
build a fire with twigs from the woods and to know the Woodcraft 
Laws. "Good natured" tests requiring that a person go through the 
day with, unruffled temper and give a smiling answer to all no matter 
what happened, were sometimes prescribed by a band for a member 
who seemed to be "tempery." For the boy with an overdeveloped 
"sweet tooth," a sweets test which required foregoing all candy for 
two weeks was often invoked. 

When tests had been passed the camper was duly installed as a 
Wayseeker at a Grand Council and then he might purchase and wear 
the Woodcraft pin. Grand Councils were more elaborate than regular 
councils. Visitors were invited and Indian dances and plays were 


At the very mid-point of the summer when everything seemed set 
for a splendid closing month, there came a full week of rain allowing 
practically no outdoor activity except swimming. The lethargy and 
inertia developed during that week carried over into the next. The 
boys finally began to realize that the closing of camp was near. For 
two weeks they had voted to postpone previously scheduled events when 
they decided that they really wanted to do many planned projects. 
Completing all of the activities planned for the last month during the 
last two weeks made the usual rush toward the close. Counselors 
learned from this to use a large blackboard on which to post events 
when planned and scheduled by the conference. They could not then 
be consciously forgotten, postponed, or crowded out. 

Two events of the week of rain seem worthy of especial mention — 
the "Apple Fight" and the "Chimney Rock Hike." The Grand Council 
which had been planned for a Monday evening had to be called off at 
supper because of the downpour of rain, leaving no other activity 
planned for the evening, nor did the boys seem to want to plan anything. 
A little before dark two or three boys passing near an apple tree that 
grew on the campus picked up some apples and tossed them across the 
campus at some other boys. They returned the fire and soon there 
were six or seven boys on each side. One group went into a cabin, 
pulled the curtains and the battle continued until the group outside 
finally got up courage to make a raid on the cabin. They thought it 
good fun and none) of them were injured. From the lx)ys' viewpoint 
a bigger battle seemed desirable the following evening. All day, quietly 
and more or less secretly, preparations were made. Ammunition (ap- 
ples) was collected and stored. By evening the two groups had each 
enlisted more boys and were fairly well organized. When the time 
came for planning activities for the evening they wanted to have an 

Here was a real problem for the staff and especially for the man in 
charge as counselor-director-for-the-week. Should he allow the group 
to determine the question, or should he tell them it would not be 

A Self -Governing Camp Without Aioards 83 

allowed? The latter course would be an autocratic suppression and 
would injure the whole morale of the grouj) unless there was sufiticiently 
convincing reasons for it. How far could the group he allowed to go 
in making a mistake if they could learn by it in the end? In the usual 
full and free discussion the counselors pointed out the dangers involved, 
and suggested other games of a similar nature but less dangerous. 

In the end the decision was to have the apple-fight but to have a 
committee appointed to draw up rules to see that it was carried on 
fairly and without anger, with good sportsmanship, and to make such 
rules as would safeguard against serious injuries. This committee 
elected by the camp conference was composed of the five band-chiefs 
and one counselor. The rules were made and adopted giving each 
party its turn in defending a vacant cabin for 45 minutes. It grew 
dark and the rain poured down, but the boys went into the fray. Both 
groups had grown tired long before the first 45 minutes were up. They 
quit b}' mutual agreement and no more suggestions of apple-fights were 
heard. Of course there were a few bruises and sore spots, but no 
injuries of consequence. 

For the close of that week a hike to Chimney Rock had been planned, 
to leave Thursday afternoon and to return on Saturday morning, spend- 
ing both Thursday and Friday nights at Flat Creek Falls. The rain 
continued to pour through Thursday morning, and before eleven o'clock, 
the Camp Director and two of the counselors acting as a committee 
sent word around camp calling ofif the hike. Immediately a committee 
of boys formed to see the Director. He had no right to call ofT the hike 
without consulting them, they argued. Despite the protest of some of 
the parents summering nearby, the counselors' decision was to let 
seasoned hikers go. Eighteen boys and two counselors set out in the 
rain, made the hike and returned, still in the rain, being sheltered only 
while they slept Thursday and Friday nights. Some mothers who were 
on the Blue Ridge grounds at the time were very much worried, but 
the boys declared they had enjoyed it immensly. They had met and 
overcome obstacles, and they returned to camp with a satisfaction that 
comes with the sense of victory. Who can say that the "superior 
judgment" of the counselors should have been exercised to deprive them 
of this opportunity? What would they really have learned if their 
plans had been suppressed by authoritative direction of the Camp 
Director ? Were the hazards to health too great to permit such a hike ? 

New Interests In Camp 

Certainly one of the inspiring and beautiful things about the activi- 
ties boys entered into during the summer was the fact that when some- 
thing was suggested one never heard the boy saying. "What'll I get if I 
do this?" Few boys seemed to miss the emblem award system. Two 
or three boys who had won high recognition the previous year men- 
tioned emblems once or twice in camp conference during the_ first two 
weeks but thev never got sufficient attention to bring a discussion to rhc 

84 Organized Canvping and Progressive Education 

floor of the conference. Activities were entered into for personal in- 
terest or for the good of the group. The oldj question of "What will 
I get?" and the attitudes that went with it largely disappeared. 

This made for a spontaniety of interest which showed in Handicraft 
and Nature Study more markedly than anywhere else. The workshop 
was occupied at all free periods and the tools were always busy. Hun- 
dreds of articles were made, mostly from such rustic woods as rhodo- 
dendron and mountain laurel. 

A plentiful supply of this wood was obtained by the camp from a 
neighboring lady who wished a, natural park cleaned out and thinned. 
The boys planned and did both of these services. 

The most popular articles made from rhododendron and laurel roots 
and trunks were table and reading lamps, fitted with electric fixtures. 
Other articles were: bud vases, ink wells, blotter blocks, candle stands 
or holders of various types, calendar holders, bird houses, paddle wheels, 
log cabins, bows and arrows, book ends, settings for clocks, napkin 
rings, picture frames of various types, paper knives, letter files, tie 
holders, hall trees, totem poles, rustic sign boards, rustic tables and 
benches, rustic hammocks and fruit bowls. 

Among the outstanding group projects were: (1) the building! of a 
rock-pile cross incinerator for camp by the White Mountain Band ; 
(2) the building of a second row of seats for visitors at the council 
ring by the same band, and (3) the erection of a large rustic arch gate- 
way over the entrance to camp, by the Light Heart band. 

One unattached counselor, cleared the ground, and buiiti a beautiful 
outdoor chapel facing the setting sun and the Great Craggy Mountains. 

In previous years no regular period had been found for Nature 
Study, but this year boys who were not behind their class in any school 
subject might elect nature study for the regular school period. Ten 
boys carried this through and most of them developed a keen interest 
in it. It was impossible during eight weeks of camp to take! up many 
of the phases of nature study, but the attitudes toward it were most 

A twelve-year-old boy who had been voted the fattest and laziest boy 
in camp the year before, completely overcame his lethargy as he entered 
into archery, woodcraft and nature study. He learned 45 wild flowers 
and 21 trees during the summer. Here is what he wrote about his new 
interest : 

I have never taken nature study before and I have learned a great deal about 
flowers, trees, birds, mushrooms and other things. I think it is a fine study and the 
boy that takes it is wise ; for he will have an interesting time for the summer or 
whenever he takes it. A few suggestions for the class next year would be to 
collect flowers, ferns, twigs, name and tag them and see how many different 
things they could learn." 

"Document No. 14. 

A Sdj-Gover fling Camp Without Awards 85 

Democracy Or SeIvF-Government 

Despite! all the new and useful interests developed during the sum- 
mer, it must not be supposed that all the boys grasped at once the idea 
of democracy. Like many of our citizens, some thought it meant, "do 
as you please." rather than participation in the responsibility of gov- 
ernment. Toward the last of camp when it was found that about 15 
boys had not signed up for either of the three hikes which the camp 
conference had adopted for that particular week-end, a camp confer- 
ence was called to consider the problem. The conference held it im- 
possible to provide leadership for the hikes and at the same time to 
keep a program going in camp for so large a number. 

In the discussion of the question, the conference set up two alterna- 
tives : The group might call off the hike altogether or determine who 
had real reasons for staying in camp. The latter course was adopted 
and each fellow who did not plan to go was required to stand up and 
give his reasons. These were discussed and his excuses acccepted or 
rejected by majority vote of the conference. If he offered physical 
disability he was sent to the doctor and nurse. 

One boy who had pleaded injuries on several fonner occasions in 
order to stay at camp, was required to go to the nurse for a special 
examination of a cut on his leg, now well healed. She found it no 
hindrance to hiking, so he was required to go amid the laughing and 
"kidding" of the fellows. The doctor kept five out of the fifteen in 
camp and the others; were required to go on one of the hikes. Three 
of these boys who had pled disability, later sought permission to extend 
their hike and take an extra 20 miles before they returned. Here was 
a majority enforcing its decisions upon a minority group. Was this 
camp conference democratic after all ? 

While the experiment in self-government had demonstrated its su- 
periority over the old autocratic plan of operating the camp, the coun- 
selors realized there had been too much talk about democracy. Free- 
dom for participation allowed the boys was markedly increased, but 
parents judging from the boys' letters were sometimes alarmed lest all 
discipline had been dispensed with. 

The most marked change was the entire elimination of the point 
award system. The camp life had been, so much happier, and the ac- 
tivities so much more interesting and worthwhile than they had been 
when controlled and stimulated artificially, that no one connected with 
Scy Camp had any desire to return to the former plan. It vras a pio- 
neer effort for the staff of Scy Camp for they knew of no similar ex- 
periment or example in summer camps. 

Counselor Training Emphasized 

With the same Director, program director and head counselor in 
1927 the same policies and principles were continued but with ii, major 
emphasis on counselor-training. Counselors' meetings were held reg- 
ularly as part of the College Campcraft course. Not only did each 

86 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

counselor take the responsibilities of Director for a week at a time but 
was also given the experience of presiding at Council Ring programs. 
The plan of camp organization worked out the previous year was fol- 
lowed with few changes. 

In the college campcraft course a general view of the camping move- 
ment was presented; experiences in camping, and the applications of 
educational theory to camping situations were discussed. These studies 
were all applied to the questions and problems which came up in the 
daily life of the camp. This not only made a practical course in Camp- 
craft, but was a distinct advantage to the camp program. It provided 
for a wide-awake and trained leadership. For example, when a group 
of the "old campers" desired some sort of initiation, for the new camp- 
ers, this question, like many others was anticipated and discussed in the 
counselor group before it ever reached the planning stage, and the 
counselors were thus able to give it more thoughtful and unified guid- 
ance. The old campers planned to take charge of the first council ring 
program. They wanted to blindfold the new boys and lead them along 
the trail to the council ring. The plan was adopted and used. The ini- 
tiationi gave a demonstration of the woodcraft program in addition to 
the usual fun. New counselors were initiated along with new campers. 

The Camp Council Functions 

The first question tackled by the new camp council was that of in- 
spection. They decided to recommend that each Band-Chief with the 
aid of his counselor should inspect his own cabin. 

Two cabin groups asked to exchange cabins and counselors. Since 
no member of either group objected the council voted them permission. 
The camp conference approved these recommendations and appointed 
"Butch," a counselor, to collect and post the daily Inspection Reports. 

The next meeting of this council set visiting hours at Lee Hall and 
recommended fifty cents per week as a maximum a boy might spend 
for such things as candies, cakes, and drinks. 

The camp conference, held on June 30, passed the council recom- 
mendations, elected a Board of Editors for the "Scy Rocket" — camp 
weekly magazine — adopted a Sunday schedule, and made plans for a 
Fourth of July celebration. The main feature of the celebration was 
a patriotic ceremonial and pageant, each band presenting a part. This 
was followed by a baseball game, a swimming meet, a treasure hunt 
and in the evening a bonfire. 

Below are given the minutes of the meeting of the camp council 
on July 3 : 

The Camp Director acted as temporary chairman. First business was the 
election of a permanent chairman. Tom was unanimously elected. 

It was suggested that we should get busy planning ahead the things we want 
to do and so get these things placed upon the schedule. It will be left up to the 
boys to decide what program events, hikes; trips, meets, etc., are to be scheduled. 

A motion was made to arrange a trip to the Asheville Recreational Park on 
Tuesday, but without a second it was lost. This was because several objected that 

A Selj-Govcrnhiir Camp Without Awards 87 

such a trip was not in keeping with camping, and tliat many would not wish to 
spend their money or time in tliat way. The council must plan for the whole 
camp. Motion was made, seconded and carried that July 9 should he set as a 
time when those who wished might arrange for a trip to the Recreational Park. 

Next business was election of permanent council Secretary, and Charlie was 
elected. Motion was made, discussed and carried that when on Imig hikes, rides 
might he accepted wherever the entire group could be accommodated, or with the 
counselor's permission. Friday was scheduled as the time in the week for over- 
night hikes. 

Plans were made for the boys to hold their own vesper services on Sunday 
evenings. Each band should be responsible for the program in turn beginning 
with the Silver Fox Band. The question of a Sunday School or Sunday morning 
program was taken up. A motion was made for each band to hold its own S. S. 
class in its cabins, but this was voted down, and it was suggested that each band 
discuss tonight the idea of having a S. S. for the whole camp and report at the 
next Council meeting. It was planned to have worship service at the camp out- 
dcK>r chapel at eleven o'clock, and it was voted to invite Dr. Kessler to be the 
camp pastor during the summer. 

Next discussion was as to what Scy Camp stands for and it was stated finally 
in two ways : 

1. A more Christ-like life. 

2. A life in accord with the "Jesus Way of Living." 

It was then moved and carried that we arrange to have daily discussion groups 
on the "Jesus Way of Living." 

To provide a place for this required a reworking of the morning schedule. It 
was moved and carried to call a camp conference at 7:30 to consider these recom- 
mendations. Moved to adjourn.'' 

While the camp council could call a camp conference to consider their 
recommendations, the conference could consider and pass upon matters 
which had not been discussed in the council. The minutes below for 
camp conference on July 17, show how questions could be raised and 
disposed of in conference : 

The roll was called by bands. Motion was made and carried to schedule a 
night treasure hunt for next Wednesday. 

Tom suggested that the "campus-clean-up project" be kept cleaner. John 
apologized for leaving camp without permission from the director in charge. A 
motion was passed that a towel placed on the door of a cabin ba understood as a 
signal that the band is holding a band meeting and desires everyone else to stay out. 

Motion passed that the bugler blow call to quarters at 9 o'clock. Motion also 
passed that first call be blown five minutes before meals and mess call be the 
signal to enter the dining room, and that when grace is said and all seated the 
door .shall be hooked and anyone coming late be require to give their excuse to a 
committee composed of "Cash." "Mouse" and "Skeet" who will decide whether 
admission shall be granted. 

Motion passed that anybody who breaks or tears up any of the equipment be 
required to fix it up or make it good. Question was raised concerning use of 
profanity or "smut" in camp, and the following method of dealing with it was 
suggested and accepted by the conference : If it occurs outside the cabin three 
boys selected by a counselor shall each give the guilty one a lick with a paddle 
or belt, but if inside the cabin two boys only give licks. 

Conference adjourned.' 

While many suggestions continued to come from the counselors in 
the conferences and council meetings, the bovs came to do a great deal 

'Document No. 15. 
'Document No. 16. 

88 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

of thinking and planning for themselves and came to feel that they 
were a real part of the administration and responsible for the plans and 
program. The tendency was for the council to do more and more of 
the planning and for the camp conferences to accept recommendations 
brought by the council. Fewer things originated in the conferences, 
and this cut down the time spent in them. Boys made their suggestions 
to their cabin group representatives. Often they were discussed first 
in group meetings. 

Discussion Groups 

Among the special phases of the program emphasized in 1927 was 
the Discussion Group plan. We have seen how the council recom- 
mended and the conference passed the motion for three discussion 
groups on "The Jesus Way of Life." This was the keynote in the 
minds of the counselor group during the summer and each one was 
striving to embody that way of life as best he could, so when discussion 
groups were suggested to the boys they seemed desirable because they 
were natural in an atmosphere created by that leadership. No pressure 
was needed to get them adopted and started, other than the suggestion 
of the counselors, the faith the boys had in them, and their desire to 

The boys werd divided into three groups according to age, and dis- 
cussion leaders were selected. The groups started as scheduled by the 
conference on July 7. 

The following excerpts from the record book kept by the secretary 
of the middle group (13 and 14-year-old boys) indicates what went 
on in that group : 

Thursday, 7-7-27. 

We opened our discussion group with the following boys present (voluntarily) : 
Lamar, Bob, James, Robert, "Sleepy," "Skeet" and "Buck" as our leader. Twro 
were nominated for secretary. "Sleepy" and "Skeet" ; the latter was elected. 
Our main subject was the whole life of Christ. 

We discussed four points of the, main subject, the first being how Chri.^t re- 
ceived wisdom. The following are some of the suggestions from the boys: 
Study, manual training, going to the synagogue, the Old Testament Scriptures, 
talking with men, attending the festivals, and nature study. Next was hov/ he 
increased in stature, as follows : Exercise in daily work, living in the open, 
hiking, games and sports, eating wholesome food. Next was how Christ grew in 
favor with God, as follows : Cooperation, study of God's Word, study of nature, 
standing for the right and worship — "as was his custom." Next was how Jesus 
grew in favor with men, as follows : Kind deeds, friendliness, good sportsman- 
ship and service. 

Thursday, 7-21-27. 

We opened the meeting with the following present : Allan, Bob. Robert, 
"Sleepy," "Skeet," James, "H-P" and "Buck." When is a boy a good sport? 
Following are some suggestions the boys made: (a) Controls his temper; (b) 
is good-natured; (c) keeps up team spirit when losing; (d) is fair at all times; 
(e) is good loser ;(f) standing up for right at all times; (g) is able to stand 
hard knocks; (h) has self-control; (i) is truthful; (j) has faith in himself. The 
meeting was closed by prayers by Allan, "Skeet" and "Sleepy." 

A 6flf-Govtr/ii/!g Camp Without Awards 89 

i.r J , . , . Friday. 7-22-27. 

We opened the meeting with the following boys present- "H-I"' '•Sleepy" 
Bob, Robert, Allan, "Skeet," James and "Buck." We then decided to discuss wlio 
were the three best sports m camp. Tom was first selected (one of the older 
group, m camp for his third year) and the following are some of the things the 
boys said about him: (a) Plays fair; (b) controls his temper; (c) takes part 
in a large number of camp activities; (d) does a lot for the camp; (e) doesn't 
pick fights; (f) is not "stuck-up"; (g) is kind to smaller boys; (h) keeps up 
team spirit; (i) is good friend to everyone; (j) is willing to cooperate in every 
task; (k) is good natured ; (1) is good loser; (m) stands for right; (n) is clean 
of speech. We then discussed some of these things said about Tom. The meet- 
ing was closed with a prayer by "Buck." 

Sunday, 7-31-27. 

We opened the meeting with the following boys present: "H-P," Robert 
James, Allan. "Sleepy," Yandall. George, Bob, "Skeet" and "Buck." Wq opened 
the meeting with prayers by Robert and Bob. We first discussed Allan as follows : 

(a) is selfish; (b) is high tempered; (c) gripes; (d)' is not a good leader; (e) 
boasts too much; (f) is egotistic; (g) shirks some duties; (h) is too dependent; 
(i) is careless; (j) is revengeful; (k) is babyish; (1) takes part \\\ many activi- 
ties; (m) plays fair; (n) is not a good loser; (o) can't stand hard knocks; (p) is 
argumentative; (q) lacks confidence in himself. 

We next discussed Yandall as follows: (a) gripes; (b) is revengeful; (c) is 
good-natured; (d) plays fair; (e) is book-worm; (f) does not take part in 
enough activity; (g) is good sport; (h) is ladies man; (i) docs his share of the 
work; (j) controls his temper. 

Thursday. 8-12-27. 

We opened the meeting with the following boys present: James, George, 
Allan, Ralph, Bob, Gerald, "Sleepy," "Skeet" and "Buck." 

We discussed "Buck" (the counselor member of the group) : (a) is too slow; 

(b) is careless; (c) neglects duties; (d) is good leader; (e) does his part of the 
work; (f) is good sport; (g) helps others; (h) has team spirit; (i) is good 
camper; (j) controls his temper; (k) is religious; (1) is honest; (m) is ambi- 
tious; (n) is good hearted; (o) is considerate of others; (p) is not too egotistical; 
(q) is unselfish." 

It may be seen from these notes that| this discussion group took up 
the "Jesus Way of Life" from the study of how Jesus lived and taught 
and then attempted to apply it to their own group by discussing how 
well each boy seemed to be living it. This emphasis upon trying to 
hve in that fashion as a very practical thing camq even more into the 
picture the latter part of the camp, when the counselor meetings also 
took up the discussion of the personality traits of the older boys. They 
took one boy at a time, made a list of all the fine things or "strong qual- 
ities" observed about him, and then listed his weaknesses. A set of 
suggestions for this boy to think about were made up in the light of the 
listed observations. Each boy who desired it was sent out to some 
place away up in the mountains out of sight or hearing of camp to 
spend an all-night vigil. He was given a set of messages in sealed 
envelopes, one to be opened each hour, as the night went on, and the 
suggestions for meditation, prepared by the counselor group, were thus 
brought before him a few at a time. 

Some of the boys said little about this experience; others sixike of it 
as a thrilling adventure; some said no other experience had touched 

'Document No. 17. 

90 Organized Catnfing and Progressive Education 

them so deeply. One said, "It seemed like God was talking with me 
up there and I shall never forget it." 

All this developed from the discussion groups. It was kept as 
objective as possible, and personal clashes were the rarest exception. 
There was a very large measure of sharing of experiences between 
counselors and boys. 

A Nature Lore Emphasis 

Another outstanding feature ofl the camp in 1927 was the emphasis 
on Nature Lore and the interest aroused in it throughout almost the 
entire camp group. For the first time the camp made this emphasis the 
chief responsibility of one counselor. Since this man was born and 
reared in the mountains and had been a group counselor in the camp for 
the four years previous, he knew both the camp and the natural sur- 
roundings. Besides the nature lore groups that he led another coun- 
selor led a Bird Club, and another, an Astronomy Club. All other 
counselors tried to learn as much as possible and their interest stimulated 
the boys. 

Soon after the beginning of camp the Nature Lore counselor dis- 
played a large number of wild flower pictures on the walls of the 
Nature Room and announced that as soon as every member of any 
band was able to identify and name at sight ten wild flowers he would 
take the band by auto to Lake Eden and the North fork Valley where 
beautiful wild flowers were plentiful. Several bands started out to do 
it. The Cardinal Band, which had shown little interest in wild flowers 
before, spurred on by a band chief who was just taking his first interest 
in flowers, was the first to win the trip. They increased their knowledge 
of flowers and their appreciation of nature lore, too. This type of re- 
ward connected closely with its project and merely incidental to it was 
thus used to real advantage by a skillful counselor. 

Two logs set upon legs, like benches, and with three dozen test tubes 
set in holes along the top of each, provided two bands with an ongoing 
project in flower study as they tried to keep fresh displays of wild 
flowers neatly labelled, all through the summer. One of these logs was 
kept at Robert E. Lee Hall for the visitors there and the other at camp 
for the campers. Later blue print paper was procured and a number 
of flowers' silhouettes were made. 

Fern books containing pressed ferns were made and each specimen 
labelled to show the variety. Trees about the grounds and along a 
trail used by many visitors to the Blue Ridge Grounds were tagged. 
Boys acquired knowledge and interest in nature while trying to help 
others to do the same thing. Much was done on hikes to show the 
interesting things of natural beauty ; and leaf prints were made and 
used to make an attractive border all around the nature room. Spore 
prints of mushrooms were made and many of them classified. 

Perhaps one of the most outstanding pieces of work was performed 
by the group who spent a month studying, collecting and identifying 

A Sdf-Governing Camp Without Awards 91 

moths and butterflies. Several private collections were made by differ- 
ent boys and a large collection was made and encased for the camp. 
This collection numbered seventy-five species of moths, sixty- four of 
which were definitely identified and the names posted with the collec- 

One of the three divisions of the Certificate which had been worked 
out by the counselor group during the summer to show the participation 
of boys in camp programs, provided for listing the number of various 
kinds of nature materials the boy could identify. The Nature Lore 
man invented a plan to get this information; he held a "Nature Meet" 
during the last week of camp in which each boy entering would check 
his list of birds, flowers, trees and other natural objects with the Nature 
Man or some counselor who knew that particular type of natural object. 
When these lists were all checked, each different natural class (flowers, 
treesv ferns, etc.) in the nature meet would constitute an event. The 
boy who knew the largest number in a class took first place and was 
given eight points, just as in a track meet; second place scored five 
points ; third place, three. Then the number of points won by the 
members of a band were totalled to see which band won the "meet." 

Attempts To Evaluate 

The Director and counselor group in 1927 felt strongly the need of 
finding some means of evaluating what was taking place. Several de- 
vices were tried. One which was worked out early in the camp year 
and mimeographed for use by each camper was the "Weekly Evaluation 
Chart" on which each boy listed the, activities he had entered into and 
he evaluated them for courage, honesty, cheerfulness, and helpfulness, 
along a scale extending from zero to one hundred. The counselor was 
to give his rating of the activity also. This replaced a daily diary* sheet 
used in 1925. 

This form served to keep the campers from drifting and prevented 
loss of time, for it! caused them to check up on the progress they were 
making, but it did not work well as a means of evaluation. It was 
particularly helpful toi some campers but was of little use to many who 
took no interest in writing the record from day to day, and week to 

Health and physical development was checked by the health director 
at the beginning and closipg of camp. He used a record sheet on 
which were recorded different measurements of the body and a state- 
ment of the defects that might readily be corrected. Physical ability 
tests were given and the health director, in an interview with each boy. 
advised him in ways and means of making most improvement. At the 
close of camp the health director sent a letter to each parent stating the 
findings of his examinations, the improvement made, and giving advice 
for continuation of the health program throughout the remainder of the 
year. Of 27 boys for which records were completed. 21 gained weight 
and six lost weight. Only one boy lost weight who was not a fat boy. 

92 Orga?tizcd Cam'pi?ig and Progressive Education 

and he lost less than two pounds. This boy was often sick from over- 
eating, especially "sweets and soft drinks." The problem with him was 
to help him attain self-control. One of the losers was a very fat boy, 
who was helped by losing six pounds. The average gain in weight was 
three pounds per boy. The highest, a gain of 12 pounds, was made by 
a tall thin boy 16 years of age. An average gain of 9 c.c. in lung 
capacity was also registered. Those who did the most hiking showed 
the greatest increase in lung capacity. 

The Summer Camp Tests published by the National Council of the 
Y, M. C. A. were used. The 1927 test. Form E, was given at the be- 
ginning of camp, and Form F at the close. These tests covered atti- 
tudes in a large number of situations in school, camp, church, on, the 
playground, on hikes, about home and many other situations. One 
weakness of the tests was that a boy could misinterpret the directions 
and mark some questions quite opposite from his real intention. 

These blanks were sent to the Y. M. C. A. National Council ofifice in 
New York to be scored. The results returned on these tests, while not 
necessarily discouraging, were not particularly flattering. While 19 
of the boys showed a total increase in score (or improvement) of 135 
points, nine boys showed a total decrease of score of 59 points and two 
others showed an unchanged score. Probably the greatest value derived 
from these tests was that the Camp Director and counselors were led 
to take a more objective view of camping. They began to. realize that 
camping per se was not working miracles with all the boys who had the 

Another method of evaluation and reporting the participation of boys 
in the camp life was the Camp Certificate which was filled out and sent 
to the boy's parents at th^ endl of camp. This certificate, worked out 
by the counselors, had three columns. The first listed the names of 
interest groups in which a boy had participated. The second furnished 
a place for rating (excellent, good, fair, poor) the citizenship attitudes 
shown ; such as, personal appearance, acceptance of responsibility, band 
loyalty, camp spirit, consideration of others, promptness and efficiency 
of routine duties, deportment in dining lodge and assembhes, helpful- 
ness in band projects, and sportsmanship. The third column was for 
the identification of nature materials. 

The middle column was filled out largely according to the judgment 
of the boy's cabin counselor, but was checked by the entire counselor 
group. One of the purposes the counselor group expected this certifi- 
cate to serve was to increase the satisfaction of the boy whd, had done 
well and to bring some annoyance to the boy who had not done his best. 
It prol)ably did this but not at all according to the personal needs of the 
individual campers. If these Certificates had been talked over with the 
boy before he left cam]) the result might have been better. When the 
certificate went home, if it were poor, the parent was apt to receive it 
so emotionally that although annoyance for the boy was there, it was in 
an entirely different setting and was likely to become attached, not so 
much to the jioor quality of his work as to the counselors who signed 

A Selj-Govcrniuii Camp Without Awards 


it or to the camp which sent it out. Some cases j^'iven later in the 
chapter illustrate this point. The plan had some value for evaluation 
of a boy but it was not a good report for use with parents. It was 
likely to be taken too seriously unless given a personal inteqjretation. 
Another defect was that where the cabin counselor had failed to under- 
stand the boy he may have unconsciously done him a further injustice 
by marking him low on his certificate. This might become an actual 
hindrance in overcoming existing personality problems. 

Below are given the citizenship ratings on the certificates of the boys 
in one band: (E means excellent; G means good; F means fair; P 
means poor.)^° 

















Acceptance of 








Band Loyalty 








Camp Spirit 








Deportment in Dining 
room and Assemblies 








of others 








Routine Duties 








Band Projects 
















As Waiters 



This record for one of the best bands in camp makes Ernest's rating 
contrast unfavorably with other members of his band. The results of 
this will be seen below. 

Evaluation By Parents 

Early in 1928 after the author had been asked to direct Scy Camp 
in the following summer, he wrote to a number of parents and boys and 
asked for a irank criticism of the camp and for suggestions for im- 
provement. Both favorable and adverse criticisms were received, re- 
flecting both the successes and failures of the previous years. One out- 

' Document No. 18. 

94 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

standing failure seems to have been in the case of Ernest, as indicated 
by a letter from his mother : 

You have given me the hardest job I ever had — but since you ask for a frank 
statement of what Scy Camp did for my boy 1 shall try to tell you. Ernest is 
very much overweight and is very sensitive about it. He is a quiet child and 
has never been interested in active sports, preferring to read. He is slow to make 
outside contacts. My chief reason for sending him to camp was to get him to 
develop a love for outdoor sports — a sense of cooperation and fellowship with 
other boys. Having no natural inclination in this direction it was necessary that he 
be tactfully persuaded to develop this interest. He was not. He was allowed to do 
very much as he pleased about sports. 

I believe it is natural to dislike doing those things which we are forced to do 
against, our wills, but I believe we often learni to like things that we are led into 
kindly by someone who has a sympathetic understanding of the situation. The 
long hikes were very bad for him ; being overweight and having very tender skin 
he cliafed so that it was torture for him to walk. After one of these hikes he did 
not go again. This earned for him the reputation of being lazy which madd him 
more miserable. 

He loved his camp counselor ; he was interested in his work in the dining room, 
was always on time, always willing to do his share and to help the other fellow. 
I know because I was there to see. Yet on his report card his dining room service 
was marked "Very Poor." 

Ernest loved Scy Camp until he received his report card. I don't think I have 
ever seen a boy hurt more than he was. I was heart-broken over it. The dining 
room service grade hurt him more than the others. He asked me, "Mother, you 
know what kind of work I did. What would you have giveni me ?" I could only 
truthfully answer, "Son, I would have given you 'Good'." 

To make a long story short, I think his report card did him more harm than 
anything that ever happened to him. A sense of failure is the most crushing 
thing in the world. I am glad to .say that everyone here gives him an excellent 
name for his work and for his interest in it. 

I do not want to criticize any one for what was done to my boy for I am sure 
they did what they thought best and gave him marks they thought he deserved. 
However, I am not willing for him to go to Scy Camp again. 

I realize that my opinion is rather unfavorable, but I have tried to give you a 
candid statement, knowing that you will appreciate adverse criticism as well as the 
favorable. 1 wish you a very successful summer." 

While a few of these frank statements of failure to understand the 
individual personalities of boys in camp have doubtless come to camp 
directors, many more dissatisfactions have remained unexpressed. The 
few, however, have done much to cause the camping movement to criti- 
cize itself and to study the science of personality growth and adjust- 
There were di.stinct advantages in the democratic method, 
whereby boys were allowed much freedom of choice of activity and 
sharing in the general planning, but they also needed individual under- 
standing, treatment and guidance. Nothing else could hope to succeed. 
Here was the demand ff)r the next great step in the advance of the 
:amping movement. 

It is true that Ernest did go on one fairly good hike, showed good 
spirit and real grit by finishing it without delaying the party, made little 
complaint when he chafed and suffered pain. He rarely went out to 
take part in activities despite suggestions of his band mates and his 

'Document No. 19. 

A Self-GoVi-rni/ig Ciinip ]\'itliout Aiuards 95 

counselor. He lay in his bunk and read a ^^reat part of the time. Mis 
physical record blank shows that this 15-ycar-old boy weighed 180 when 
he came to camp and at the end of the summer he weighed 189.9 and 
his waist measurement at the beginning was 38.5 inches and at the close 
was 41.5 inches, indicating very definitely that he did little physical 
activity and that he probably ate quite heavily, having had work in the 
dining room and access to the food supply. Is it not probable that the 
counselors recognized the fact that they had failed to interest him in 
the activities and then unconsciously defended themselves by putting the 
blame all upon him and giving him a very low score? Could more 
scientific procedures have prevented it? 

Not all letters received were as discouraging, but probably most was 
learned from the unfavorable ones. The letter below indicates a weigh- 
ing of the camp before decision to send the boy for a second year. 

For a while I was uncertain as to the wisdom of having K return to Scy 

Camp as he will bel sixteen in April, and as he expressed it, "objected to playing 
'Fox in the Wall' and 'Tap Rabbit' with those little boys." 

We talked it over and finally decided that Scy Camp had so many other ad- 
vantages that it could not be beaten, so we are planning for his return. It is 
impossible to estimate the value which a boy receives from his eight weeks in 
such a camp; and because of its wholesome influence for character building and 

the best chance for physical development I am anxious for K to have one 

more summer there. 

I must confess we both were disappointed in K 's report card which came 

after the close of camp and I was somewhat disappointed that he did not enjoy 
and appreciate more of the activities. However, he is returning to get a great 
deal more out of camp his second summer." 

This letter indicates that while the campi had not been considered a 
huge success the first summer there were benefits which made it seem 
worth while to try it again. This boy growing rapidly, very tall and 
thin, had not been urged into activities because he did not seem to have 
any great reserve of energy. He had gained 12 pounds of weight dur- 
ing the first summer, and since this was much needed, his mother might 
well have been pleased with his physical development. 

Another mother writes more encouragingly : 

I think Edwin was benefited a lot by his period in camp last summer and I 
wouldn't hesitate to send him back there again. It was an experience he will 
never forget and I have heard him say any number of times he would like to go 
back next summer. I think that Scy Camp stands for character building and 
with its fine leadership is an ideal place for a boy of Edwin's age." 

Evaluation By Counselors 

In a final evaluation meeting the counselor group discussed the year's 
experience and came to the conclusion that they had talked too much 
about "the democratic method" ; that it would have been better if they 
had said little about it, but had practiced it. Most coimselors agreed 
that too much reliance was placed upon boys' abilities to plan for them- 
selves and that more guidance was needed. The group thought that the 

"^Document No. 20. 
"Document No. 21. 

96 Organized Ca?nfing and Progressive Education 

plan of having the counselors serve as Camp Director for a week, while 
a good experience for the counselor, was not so good for the camp, and 
that the Camp Director should perform his functions continuously. 
The counselors agreed that the weakest point of all was their own lack 
of skill in helping boys to evaluate their experiences, and in interesting 
boys in new activities. No necessity had iDeen found for any sort of 
artificial stimuli to activity such as awards, letters, emblems, or honor 
systems. The emphasis was upon a "Way of Living." The counselors 
had begun to understand what was involved in the educational processes 
which should function in a camp which allows for boy initiative and 
sharing in responsibility. 

Few Changes In 1928 

The author, who started in Scy Camp as Tutor in the first year, 
1923, served in turn as counselor, naturalist and program director, be- 
came the Camp Director in 1928. While the general policy was much 
the same as in 1926 and 1927, some changes were made. 

The "school" period in the morning was completely eliminated, pro- 
viding time for voluntary interest groups in crafts, nature lore, Indian 
Lore, archery, and other activities. Tutoring was still provided for the 
few students whose parents required it. 

The counselor-director-for-the-week plan was abandoned and the 
Camp Director functioned as such continuously. The Head-Guide 
also presided as' "Chief" at all council ring programs. These changes 
made for unity of plan and better understanding of the procedures. 

The introduction of horseback riding as an activity was interesting 
and popular, but proved to be too expensive. Riding was arranged by 
bands so that one or two cabin groups went together. This made the 
trips more interesting since the boys could plan them in band meetings 
and talk them over together afterward. It furnished another focus of 
common experience, and developed group spirit and loyalty — another 
socializing force. 

No campcraft course was oflfered in 1928, the regularity of counselor 
meetings required by the course was also allowed to lapse. Counselors 
engaged for the summer were most alumni — men who had fonnerly 
been counselors in Scy Camp, but had now been serving as Y. M. C. A. 
Secretaries for one or more years. Two of them secured new positions 
almost as the camp opened, and had to be released. In their places were 
substituted two students just entering the Graduate School, with neither 
training for, nor experience in the counselorship. They had the further 
disadvantages of carrying two college courses each, to divide their time 
and attention. 

The Camp Newspaper 

Proljabl}' the most outstanding project of the 1928 camp was the 
"Scy Rocket," a camper's weekly paper. Although not new the camp 

A Sdj-Govcrning Camp Without Awards 97 

paper had not before succeeded in holding ennu^li interest to continue 
throughout the summer. The "Scy Rocket" staiT in 1928 wrote and 
mimeographed seven weekly issues averaging 11 ]xiges each. The boys 
did all the work except cutting the stencils. At the end of the summer 
the copies were bound in two volumes and given to each camper as a 
"Memory Book." Much of this success was due to the son of a news- 
paper editor, a boy who had had some experience on his high school 
publication and who aroused other boys by his enthusiasm. Counselors 
gave it their commendation and freely wrote articles when requested. 

This third year of the self-governing plan was marked by greater 
participation of the boys in planning and by greater range of interests. 
Photography, Indian lyore, beadwork. leathercraft. and first aid were 
added to the list of informal interest groups which flourished. Many 
informal play periods were enjoyed in the college gymnasium as well. 
Treasure hunts were described enthusiastically in the "Scy Rocket." 
Athletic sports, while not stressed, furnished fun and recreation with 
so much changing of teams as to furnish a large percentage of partici- 
pation with no prolonged competition. 

Several standing committees appointed by the camp conference car- 
ried responsibility for many phases of camp program. Sunday worship 
services were held in the camp outdoor chapel, the boys choosing their 
own camp pastor from the: men available about Blue Ridge. 

Nor was there any lagging in interest in the older" activities of the 
Woodcraft Council Ring programs, archery, woodworking. Nature 
Lore. The program of hikes and trips was even more extensive. The 
discussion groups were continued but centered about everyday problems 
of camp life. The older group elected to make a study of the place of 
sex in human life. 

Besides describing all these activities of the campers, the "Scy Rock- 
et" contained jokes, cartoons, short stories, and brief character sketches 
of counselors and campers written after the style of "Interviews With 
Famous People." 

A 1928 Summary 

No camp-craft course was oflfered by the college, and counselors' 
meetings were not held on any regular schedule. Several evaluation 
devices were tried but they furnished little useful data. The most inter- 
esting was a camp summary sheet on which each boy recorded what he 
had "learned," "improved in," "enjoyed most," and what he considered 
"of most real value" to him. 

The total number of activities listed by the boys numljered 56. The 
items mentioned most frequently as "learned" were in order: Nature 
Lore, leathercraft, and woodwork. Those "improved in" were swim- 
ming, track, and woodwork. The activities "enjoyed most" by the 
largest number were swimming, hiking, riding. Those held to be of 
most real value were discussion groups, hiking, worship services, nature 
lore, and swimming. 

98 Or ga?iized Camfitig and Progressive Education 

One of the counselors summarized his evakiation of the 1928 season 
in the paragraph below : 

The organization by bands was good, the inspection system needed more guid- 
ance, and the camp conference more regularity. The Council worked well, but 
the committee system needed a lot more follow-up. Frequent regular couneslors' 
meetings were needed for analyzing individual campers — should have been on a 
regular schedule as was the Campcraft class the j'ear before. The hike schedule 
was good but should have been planned so a^ to develop more fellowship. The 
projects accepted by bands were neglected and needed to he geared in with general 
camp program ; so did interest groups and athletics. The discussion groups were 
good, but really turned into classes on special topics. There was missing a strong 
central authority and the respect for it. The Council Ring programs was a 
strong point." 

An Academic Director In A Self-Governing Camp 

The most complete change in camp staff came in 1929, when the 
only member of the staff who had been in the camp before was the 
Camp Mother and dietician. Seven campers of 1928 returned, how- 
ever, and since among them were some of the oldest and most active 
campers, they carried over much camp tradition. 

The Supervising and Personnel Director was the new Director of 
Boys Work courses in the Y. M. C. A. Graduate School, while the resi- 
dent Camp Director was a man who had formerly been a State BoyS' 
Secretary of the Y. M. C. A., where much of his experience had been 
in organizing and supervising Hi-Y clubs. Effort was made to organ- 
ize and run the camp on much the same plan as the Hi-Y club, which 
is usually a voluntary purpose group of older boys in a high school with 
a faculty or adult adviser. To provide for the cabin life the old wood- 
craft forms were retained. This tended toward a double headed pro- 
gram, council ring being one center and the Hi-Y club the other, both 
including the same boys and counselors. 

The policy of the Supervising and Personnel Director was to develop 
a campi of cooperative living groups ; but the resident director's expe- 
rience had been on a more academic basis. Like the first director^-'' he 
had found it difficult to change his philosophy and even more difficult 
to change his practice. Late selection of untrained counselors added 
to the difficulty. The struggle toward a cooperative plan, and the num- 
ber of points at which the resident director assumed the authority to 
make and enforce decisions was shown clearly in a "Histor}'," written 
by one of the counselors.^*' In fact, 1929 shows a mixture of three 
different methods of camp government : ( 1 ) the autocratic, represented 
by the resident director; (2) self-government, represented by the old 
campers, and (3) cooperative, represented by the supervising director. 
The history shows that the resident director was not able to get the new 
viewpoint of a self-governing camp and that the hoys and counselors 
felt that he dominated the situation more than he suspected. There was 

"Document No. 22. 
"See Chapter 4. 
"Document No. 23. 

A St'lf-Go7.'t-r;a//o- Camp Witliout Awards 99 

a certain strictness regarding inspections, taking hikes, and attending 
meetings. Some of the most loyal campers said he was "a little too 

Each boy was given a numerical grade on each of the hikes he took, 
just as he might have been on an algebra lesson in school, although it 
is not evident what use was made of these grades or ratings. Perhaps 
they were kept to see what improvement was made by each boy. 

While considering this matter of hiking it may be well to note that 
it had always been considered a real test of a good camper at Scy Camp. 
It was made compulsory by the first camp director in 1923 and al- 
though it had later become voluntary in theory, there was almost always 
an undertone of feeling (whether fostered actively bv directors and 
counselors or carried over as a tradition by old campers) that a fellow 
who chose to remain in camp when a hike was going out was a bit 
lazy, "yellow" or lacking in some of the qualities of manliness. There 
was probably less of this attitude in 1928 than any previous year, and 
it has been noted how high the hiking rated among the activities as 
"Enjoyed" and as "Valuable." The attitude of the 1929 group must 
have undergone another change. Here is a counselor's editorial in 
the camp paper : 


"I don't see what we have to go on these old hikes for anyway." "I don't get 
enough sleep as it is." 

Such expressions as these may be heard from nearly every shack just before a 
hike and just after they get back the same fellows are the first to say what a good 
time they had. Is it because there is a rule that they have to go on these hikes 
or is iti that they just remember the price they have to pay for this outdoor ex- 
perience ? Our young heroes who gripe so much about these hikes sit back and 
read stories of outdoor life and wish that they too might havej lived in the "wild 
and wooly" days when each man was his own infantry and cavalry. Practically 
everyone of our boys here have lived over and over the life of a cowboy or iK;r- 
haps the extreme case of "Tarzan" and yet when the camp calls on them to go 
on a little outing they offer excuses and express their displeasure at the fact 
that the leaders just want to take them out and make them carry an old pack just 
to wear them out. Yet when they go back to their less fortunate boy friends who 
could not camp they will brag about having "slept under the stars" and having 
cooked their own meals. 

It is the opinion of the writer that if these hikes were taken off the compulsory 
list and made more honorary that in a few weeks instead of griping about having 
to go they would fuss if they could not go. The hike could be planned forj only 
the deserving ones and the competition would be keen to get to go. After all is 
this not human nature? We never appreciate what we have and it is only when 
things are hard to get that we work for them. No rose is quite so pretty as the 
one just out of reach and so no hike would be quite so good as the one we were 
not allowed to make.'' 

Although the camp paper was not so extensive as in 1928 it was 
edited by the same boy and reflected an interesting variety of activities 
and a good camp spirit. 

^'Document No. 24. 

100 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

The four years of experimentation covered by this chapter show 
certain advantages of a self-governing plan over the more academic 
procedures of the first three years. The elimination of the award system 
was a complete success. 

Whether the c^mp was really "democratic" or not may be a matter 
of opinion. The experimentation in self-government suggested that the 
extent of democracy in a camp depended more upon the attitudes of 
the directors and counselors toward the campers and upon their educa- 
tional philosophies than upon activities and governmental machinery. 



For the season of 1930 the Director of Boys' Work Courses in the 
Y. M. C. A. Graduate School took a more active part in the direction 
of the camp. He was assisted by a Program Director who had been 
a counselor in the camp in 1928 and had completed his courses at the 
Y. M. C. A. Graduate School in 1929. The counselors came fresh from 
a year's training in boys' work at the Y. M. C. A. Graduate School. 

Articles from the Scy Rocket reflect the change in camp spirit which 
came with the working out of the cooperative policy, 


With this as its first issue of the year, the Scy Rocket inaugurates its third 
summer of publication on an entirely different basis from that which it has em- 
ployed in' former years. Formerly, the "Rocket" was written by a very few of 
the campers, with the body of the camp having nothing to do with its comi)osition. 

This season, contributions will be received from any boy or counselor; in the 
camp. The editors will correct copy and arrange the material, writing only when 
the campers fall down on their job. Under this new system assignments will be 
posted on the bulletin board in front of the main lodge. Any camper who wants 
to write up any of the events listed on the bulletin board needs only to sign his 
name opposite it to get a "scoop." If the article, when turned in, is acceptable, 
it will be published ; if it is not, it will be returned with suggested corrections. 

In this way the "Scy Rocket" will mean more than just a camp paper. It will 
be a chronicle of camp life written by those who take part in it, a paper, of the 
campers, by the campers, and for the campers.^ 

The cabin group and Camp Council organization was similar to 
that of 1928. The variety of activities and projects was also continued. 

Probably the most important change noted in' a reading of the 1930 
Scy Rocket is the almost total absence of any references to organization 
schemes or plans of government. The camp had gone from academic 
program and autocratic organization to the more or less democratic 
way of organizing achieved in 1927 and 1928. Then in 1929, elements 
of both the old types and a new were mixed in the philosophies of the 
Directors, counselors and campers. A new unity of purpose was 
achieved in 1930 in a form of government which was neither autocratic 
nor yet democratic, but cooperative. 

This plan did not measure the degree of control or authority camp- 
ers and counselors wielded, but treated them as persons who differed 
in experience, but who could live and work together cooperatively to 
accomplish purposes that were individual yet social. There seemed 
to be a free, happy, creative spirit about the writers in the 1930 camp 
paper. There was nowhere an impression of being cram.ped and 

^Document No. 25. 


102 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

ScY Camp in 1931 

While the same general policies and methods as in 1930 were carried 
out by the same Director and Program Director there were several 
changes in the 1931 camp. The name was changed to Camp Blue Ridge 
for Boys and the camp was planned for three age groups, each with 
much separate planning for program. Up to this time the camp had 
advertised 12 as its lower age limit, although a few 10 and 11-year-old 
boys were admitted. 

In 1931 one age group was organized for the 9 to 11 year olds. 
The enrollment with this arrangement was larger than for any previous 
year, running about 14 or 15 to each of the three divisions. 

The Camp Counselors were a group of young men, most of whom 
had come! from a year's training in Boys' Work courses in the Y. M. 
C. A. Graduate School. Their general qualifications are listed below: 

"Casey" — 25 years, M. A., 35^ years teaching; no camping. (2 years C.M.T.C.) 

"Jesse" — 22 years, B. A., no camping. 

"Charlie" — 22 years, B. A. and 1 year graduate study. Three years camp 

"Deke" — 24 years, M. A. 

"Pat"— 38 years, 2 years college work ; Y. M. C. A. Boys' Work, including 
camp work 10 years. Scy Camp 1927. 

"Mac" — 22 years, 1 year graduate study ; five summers in camp work. 

Geo. — 22 years, 1 year graduate study; one summer in camp work. 

This made up what was probably the best trained counselor group 
the camp ever had. Listed as Junior Counselors were experienced older 
campers who could lead in some interest group. 

The organization by cabin groups and by Bands of the Woodcraft 
League continued without any great emphasis being put upon the type 
of organization or government. There were councils and committees 
for controlling and planning the programs of activities and for regulat- 
ing the lives of the campers where necessary, but this machinery was 
little in evidence. The campers entered into the program as they be- 
came interested and wished to participate, and the counselors studying 
the individuals, tried to enlarge the boys' interests and to enrich their 
living through e.xam})le and suggestion — personal guidance. 

A regular schedule was worked out for instrtiction in any activities 
in which a group desired it. This provided for a wider range of interest 
groups than ever before. It was worked out by the committee on 
Interest Groups and published in an early issue of the camp paper, 
renamed "The Blue Ridge Camper." Certain groups met on one day 
and others another, so each day's schedule was different. New groups 
were, clay modeling, soaj) carving, model airplanes, basketry, l)oxing, 
wrestling, and dramatics. 

Without the cooperative attitude in camp government could you have 
had such an editorial paragraph by one of the boys as the one below? 

Do you keep your cabin clean, inside and out? WHiy not take some pride in it? 
Health officers visited our camp Thursday and were not pleased with tlie condi- 
tion 111' the cabins. F,veryone knrws tliat our good hca'lii depends a great deal on 

A?i Experiment in Cooperative Living 103 

our living conditions. Let's get behind the movement to keep clean and boost it 
every day.^ 

This seems to mark a point in the process where there was lack of 
the coercion, or extrinsic stimulation which centers around the competi- 
tive inspection, but where the suggestions of counselors and public opin- 
ion had not yet brought the boys to accept the responsibility on tlieir 
own initiative in a satisfactory manner. 

The following twelve statements presented on a page of the camp 
paper probably are suggestions from some director or counselor to help 
mold public opinion and bring about changes in behavior through group 
approval or disapproval. 

\. He gets up promptly at reveille. 

2. He comes to breakfast and all other meals clean in person and dress with 
hair combed. 

3. He is busily engaged and happy in the activities of camp, (movies and radio 
are not camp activities) such as arts and crafts, nature study, woodcraft, 
baseball, riding, athletics and games, camp paper, dramatics, discussions, hikes, 
and swimming. 

4. Re reports and takes care of cuts, sprains and illness promptly. 

5. He thinks of the other fellow first in all activities, in cabins and at meals. 

6. He gets sufficient sleep. 

7. He contributes thoughtful suggestions to the thinking of his cabin group and 
his committee. 

8. He is careful of his belongings and is unselfish in their use. 

9. He assumes leadership in the things worthwhile and when he assumes respon- 
sibility for the camp and its good name the same as any counselor or staff 

10. He cooperates and serves willingly and smiles rather than sulks. 

11. He has ambition and has initiative and does not have to be prodded constantly. 

12. He is prompt and courteous at all times.' 

Another little editorial paragraph indicates the freedom of the co- 
operative plan and seems the natural way to conduct a group of this 

Attend the discussion groups ; they are not stiflf nor formal ; everyone gets a 
chance to express his views. The topic for discussion is based on the wishes of 
thei group. You will miss something valuable if you stay away.* 

Athletics and sports seem to have been organized not for strong 
competitions, but to enlist the participation of every camper in more 
active sport. The following paragraph from the paper gives the plan: 

This past week the camp has been divided into four equal parts for leagues, 
tournaments and contests in several sports. Some of the schedules are now made 
out and posted on the bulletin board. Go there and sign for the different tourna- 
ments. A feature will be a counselor-camper diamond ball game every Sunday 
morning just after chapel.^ 

These divisions were not organized for strong competition like the 
plans of having "Reds" and "Blues." There was no point system and 

'Document No. 26. 
'Op cit. 
'Op cit. 

104 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Education 

each game or contest was played for the fun of it; and no system or 
carrying forward points or credits to determine some championship 
or cup-winner. Some parents criticized the counselor-camper diamond- 
ball game on Sunday morning, but the boys themselves never seemed 
to question it or to feel that it was at all out of place. 

It indicated that the camp group was not afraid to set its own stand- 
ards and to make changes where their thinking opposed tradition. This 
is indicated again in the following paragraph by the Program Editor : 

Sunday night the camp tried out a new form of Vesper service. Four of the 
boys from the Explorers and Pioneer groups gave talks in the outdoor chapel. 
Pewee spoke on the "Evils of Bad Language"; "Tarzan" spoke on "Missionary 
Work in Africa" ; Howard spoke on "American Patriotism" and Willie discussed 
"Campers' Problems." Each of these fellows chose his own subject. It was 
worthwhile to hear them. Let us have more of it." 

HEALTH Emphasis 

Probably the outstanding emphasis of the camp in 1931 was that 
upon a health program. The boys were made aware of their standing 
in physical development to a greater degree than in previous years, and 
the whole program was studied and tested to determine whether it 
served the purpose of building up the health and physique of the boys. 
This emphasis on the health program is reflected in an editorial in the 
camp paper about the middle of the camp season. 

Foremost in the lives of successful men comes health. It is the basis of happy 
existence. Camp Blue Ridge aims to give to its boys those things that count for 
success and happiness in the future. Thus it has thought through and outlined 
for us a good health program. This program is not forced upon the camper, but 
it is for his own benefit to try to be healthy. It is merely* suggested and it is up 
to him. 

There are, perhaps, many things essential to good health, which we neglect. 
One should remember that the lake does not serve the purpose of a shower and 
soap. Then, too, a tooth brush is necessary for a clean mouth. Meals arc much 
better when one has rested before them and the rest period after meals aids greatly 
in digestion. Try to rest, take care of yourself in every way. Observe the health 
program and be rewarded with the priceless possession of good health for your 

In this healtli program not only were the ordinary rules emphasized, 
but each boy's weight was watched carefully and those that were greatly 
underweight were given extra food in the middle of the mornings and 
afternoons and were helped to plan their activities and rest. All camp- 
ers were urged to be quiet and rest for fifteen to thirty minutes ahead 
of the meals and the quiet hour after dinner was especially stressed. 
When boys went on hikes they were observed to see how mtich fatigue 
they showed, and esj^ecially to see how much weight they lost. If an 
underweight boy lost weight which he did not gain back in a day or 
two he was not encouraged to hike again until he built up more. The 
records were carefully kept and they justified the careful procedure 

'Op cit. 
^Op cit. 

An Experiment in Coofer alive Living 105 

and special attention given to the building of health and physique. 

Appearing as a news article in the camp paper of August 8 is a 
resume of results in weight gained during the first month of camp. 

After a period of one month a check on the efforts of the boys who have tried 
to gain and those who wished to lose shows by the record a decided advantage 
in favor of the health policy. The following deserve honorable mention) for the 
progress made: our dietition, our doctor and "Deke," who has directed the 
program and done the weighing. First mention goes to the tx)ys who have 
helped by following instructions. The weight results follow : 
Group A— 14% or more underweight— 12 boys gained i.l lbs. per boy; one held 

his own. 
Group B — 10% to 14% underweight — 8 boys gained 3.9 lbs. per boy. 
Group C — 7% to 10% underweight — 4 boys gained 5.87 lbs. per boy, one lost .1 lb. 
Group D — Normal to 7% underweight — 3 boys gained 2.4 lbs. each. 
Group E — Normal or above — 7 boys gained 3.1 lbs. each.* 

Individual Guidance 

The comment below from a counselor points out places where the 
camp could have carried out its cooperative purpose of giving individual 
guidance to the boys in better fashion. 

The program has been diversified, interesting and every camper has profited 
by it, but there have been too many conflicts in the schedule of instruction. 
Scheduling for age-groups rather than for the camp as a whole might give better 

It seems sometimes that we have been entertaining campers too much rather 
than motivating them to do things for themselves and to develop certain skills. 
The counselor in charge of certain sports, for instance, did not seem concerned 
enough with technical instructions. This may or may not have been due to lack 
of time. 

I think that the program director should attend and participate more in the 
activities that he plans, if for no otlier reason than to sense the reaction of the 
campers to these activities. I think that there had been too much scheduling, 
especially since the camp is attempting to build up the weight and strength of 
many boys. As it is the day is entirely too full for many of thesei boys w'ho' are 

My observation of the camp committees we have had for chapel, campfire, 
dramatics, etc., is that they accomplish little. I do not wish to criticize the idea 
of committees but rather the way those committees are chosen. The members are 
picked too soon (before they show any interest) and a counselor is pretty lucky 
if he gets much help from the committee assigned to assist him on a certain task. 
Too many of the committees are misfits. 

Most important of all, if we are really going to help boys make adjustments 
to life situations and center our program around the individual, we should make 
a careful and constant study of the cumulative records of every boy in camp. 
Each counselor should study each of his campers and understand as much of his 
background as possible. 

We fall short here, because the records we keep are not studied carefully 
enough until camp is over. Of course such records are valuable in helping coun- 
selors understand boy life, but this later study is not of enough value to the boy 
of whom the study is made. 

Things more or less ideal : 

The fellowship between counselors, directors, and campers is splendid; the 
meals are above reproach, the best I've ever had in any camp and as good as I 

"Op cit. 

106 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Education 

expect to find anywhere. I like the spirit of the camp and the idea of non- 
compulsion, the amount of leisure time a camper might enjoy during the day. 
Of course the attempt to create self-directing, purposeful, creative individuals is 
interesting and thoroughly worthwhile, and the educational processes involved are 
valuable to anyone working with youth.* 

These criticisms indicate that the degree of success in accompHsh- 
ment did not nearly come up to the possibiHties thought to He in the 
policy adopted. The experiment pointed a direction which the coun- 
selors wished to see pursued until larger success could be attained. The 
ideal of individual study and guidance of campers was being envisaged, 
but even with cumulative individual records kept, it had not been worked 
out completely. Could camp Directors and Counselors be provided with 
the skills, techniques and time to do an effective piece of work in this 

Studying Personality Change in Camp 

Efforts were made in preceding years to study the program of camp 
and to evaluate it by tests which aimed to show changes in attitudes 
and to indicate by the number and kind of these changes whether the 
camp program was making the desired contribution to the lives of the 
campers. In 1930 and 1931 a shift was begun from mass to individual 
study of campers. Instead of tabulating general changes for the mass, 
each boy's personality was to be studied ; he was to be aided in growth 
and development as he was better understood and his needs for adjust- 
ment observed. This was not primarily an evaluation of the camp 
program : it was the means for organizing the camp program for a 
happy adjustment of individual campers. It required intelligent coop- 
eration of parents, campers, counselors and Directors. The Camp Di- 
rector descri])ed the methods and hypotheses of the experiment in an 
article for the Camping Magazine. 

Modern camping, if efficient and intelligent, rests fundamentally upon a 
knowledge of the processes underlying personality development. The study of 
personality has taken a variety of directions. We have had the instinct emphasis 
and the insistance of those who hold this view that personality developed through 
supplying a favorable intellectual atmosphere for the unfolding of innate or inborn 
qualities of the child. This intellectual atmosphere was supplied by organized 
systems of educatioll^ in school and camp. There was little realization that youth 
is educated outside of systems for education even more than inside."* 

Mr. Stone discussed not only the instinct theory, but also behavior- 
ism and psychoanalysis ; then said : 

After examining all these, the directors and counselors of Scy Camp decided 
to test out the sociological approach. This approach deals with an objective world 
reflected in the behavior of persons. It begins with the hypothesis that personality 
is the cumulative result of adjustments to the varying conditions of life. Person- 
ality is therefore a variable and is developed in the interaction of the individual in 
a social situation. This interaction or response, or behavior varies from group 
to group and situation to situation, and is in reality interaction of attitude. A boy 
learns to play the roles expected of him in the various groups forming his world. 

•Document No. 27. 

'"Stone, Walter L. ; Parents Cooperate with Camp in Study of Personality 
Development; The Camping Magazine, Vol. 3, February, 1931, p. 31. 

An Experiment in Cooperative Lining 107 

Behavior will never be wholly understood for training or control puri)oses until 
we understand the attitudes or roles the child plays. 

.... We would know the total response to the total situation if we could liave 
a moving talking picture of each boy during his stay in camp. Our task was to 
work out a case study technique for each boy, including the home situation he 
came from and the camp situation he was in, that would give us as near as possible 
this total picture. 

.... The following factors were included in our case study of each W^y in the 
camp situation : 

I. Physique, including both physical and medical cxaminatitms. The camper 
brought with him the medical examination of the C. D. A. and with tiiis as a 
background a complete examination was made. 

Physique and health were noted in reference to the role a boy played in the 
various camp situations. What difference, for example, did height have in a boy 
being chosen for certain athletic contests ? What expectancy was there on the 
part of other boys because of his height ? What attitude did the boy exhibit '' 
If he lived up to what was expected of him what was the result? If he failed 
what was the result ? 

II. Intelligence : From the parents of the boy we secured the results of any 
intelligence tests that had been taken. At camp the Otis-Self Administering Test 
was given. 

III. Aptitude and Interest were obtained from the Vocational Analysis outline 
and the Leyman Play Quiz published by Association Press. The latter was given 
at the beginning and end of camp and indicated social participation, change in 
interests and with the vocational analysis the general direction and aptitude of the 
boy or as the Germans would say, his "aufgabe." 

IV. Temperament we tried to understand as a factor in personality development 
through weekly reports of observation by the cabin counselor and by the director 
of general temperament traits such as quick reaction or slow, in laughter, anger, 
fear, good will. These observations were put alongside the boy's own rating of 
all the other campers in reference to certain temperamental factors. 

V. The Life Organization of each boy we attempted to understand through 
personal conference, observation of his "on his own time" activity and the infor- 
mation sheet from his parents regarding his physical and scholastic history, char- 
acter and disposition, wishes and aspirations and fears and inhibitions of the boy, 
plus the hopes of the parents for him. We were interested in trying to discover 
the relation of parents' wishes for the boy to the pattern that he seemed to be 
trying to organize his life by. 

VI. Personal Attitudes were considered as the sixth factor and were ascer- 
tained through the use of the Personal Attitudes Test, published by Association 
Press and given at the beginning and close of camp. 

VII. The Personal Behavior Pattern of the camper was secured from the 
ratings of the parents of a Behavior Frequency form the week before the boy 
came to camp, two weeks after he returned, and the weekly ratings by the coun- 
selors of the same form while the boy was in camp. 

VIII. Conception of Self was the last factor included in our study and was 
secured from personal interviews, life histories,, and pertinent data on the voca- 
tional analysis blanks. 

Twice during the camp period of eight weeks, the parents were written con- 
cerning these eight factors in personality development and their criticism, sug- 
gestion and counsel invited. The letters of the parents in return were filed with 
all the other data in the personal accumulative file for each boy. 

A daily running account of the activities, tone, spirit and atmosphere of the 
camp including the state of the weather and the temperature, and the menus was 
also kept by the director as well as a record of the problems and situations that 
arose in the counselors' meetings and the meetings of the Boys' Cabinet. 

108 Organized Cainfing and Progressive Education 

At tFie end of camp, a diagnosis of the total responses of the boy as revealed 
by the records of these factors in personahty development in the various camp 
situations was made ; and certain procedure in home and school stations that would 
be necessary if certain personality traits were to be either developed or eliminated 
were suggested." 

Cumulative Records of Campers 

The cumulative records of the 1930 and 1931 campers at Camp Blue 
Ridge included a number of forms and devices, such as behavior fre- 
quency ratings, "play qiiz," intelligence tests, self-analysis blanks, in- 
terest analysis blanks, personal attitudes tests, questionnaires to parents, 
general Y. M. C. A. Questionnaires for older and for younger boys 
(including a variety of topics), medical certificates, physical examina- 
tion blanks, application forms, correspondence, and the written obser- 
vations of the boys' cabin counselors. Not every device was used with 
each boy, but they were adapted to the use of the particular cases. 

Behavior Frequency Rating Scales 

Among the devices used for the individual study of campers was 
a form of behavior frequency rating scale listing 26 different types of 
behavior. These were sent to parents before the boy came to camp; 
the boy's counselor gave him the next rating at the end of the first week 
and again during the last week ; blanks were sent to parents for a final 
rating within three weeks after the boy returned home. In 1931 the 
ratings are fairly complete for 15 out of 45 boys. The similarity of 
contour of the four independent ratings by two different individuals 
is seen when they are graphed in different colors on the same form. 
(See graph of a 16 year old boy on next page.) 

Does this device then fairly accurately picture the impression a boy's 
behavior makes upon those who have him under observation? If so, 
it should be a fairly safe indicator as to what the boy's traits are and a 
fair guide to his counselor and the director in individual guidance. 
Of course no one indicator is enough. 

In using this device to measure behavior changes during camp at 
Ahmek, Dimock and Hendry took especial pains to have the ratings 
based upon actual recorded occurrences as much as possible. The coun- 
selors were encouraged (if not required) to keep an observation record 
of Ix^havior and then to go over each boy's records carefully before 
making his behavior frequency rating.^- When this was done the be- 
havior frequency rating scale seemed to have a value in measuring 
change, but where used without reference by the rater to written records 
of observed behavior, the device is scarcely valuable for measurement. 
It is then just based on impressions of the rater and is less reliable. 

Parents tend to rate their boys' behavior slightly higher than do the 
counselors. A possible reason for this is that certain types of behavior 


''Camping and Chavacter, Dimock and Hendry, pp. 148 ff and pp. 23 7 ff. 

Behavior Rating Scale of 

Forms of Behavior 

1. Is timid, prefers to be alone 

2. Blushes easily, is bashful 

3. Carries out responsibilities 

4. Bullies, hurts feelings of others 

5. Courteous and considerate of others. . 

6. Domineers, acts superior 

7. Truthful and aboveboard 

8. Grouches and finds fault 

9. Acts sullen and sulky 

10. Is neat in appearance 

11. Cooperates willingly, serves 

12. Becomes angry easily, loses control of 


13. Fights 

14. Observes rules and regulations 

15. Is imaginative and dreamy 

16. Lacks ambition and interest 

17. Is lazy 

18. Assumes leadership in group 

19. Is punctual 

20. Is unselfish in use of belongings 

21. Shows off, boasts, seeks limelight. . . . 

22. Bluffs or tries to get by. . . 

23. Is careful of belongings 

24. Fidgets, twitches, shows nervousness. 

25. Turns to others for help in things he 

should do himself 

26. Contributes good suggestions to the 

thinking of the group 



An Experiment in Cooperative Living 100 

may be kept hidden from parents by boys who are not so careful about 
their actions before counselors. When each form of behavior was 
-given' a positive or negative value and then each column of the rating 
scale was given a numerical value (for example "Never" was rated "1" 
and so on up to "5" for column "Always"). The ratings for the fifteen 
cases studied showed the following algebraic sums : 

Parents' First rating plus 104 

Parents' Second rating plus 174 

Counselors' First rating plus 107 

Counselors' Second rating plus 7Z 

Thus on the whole the parents indicated improvement in behavior 
while the counselors indicated loss. This bears out the fact that although 
this "scale" is a valuable individual diagnostic device it is not reliable 
for measuring changes under ordinary conditions. 

The Information Sheet for Parents 

It is difificult to provide a questionnaire for parents which will bring 
helpful information and not seem too long and tedious for the parent 
to fill out. In 1931 a mimeographed questionnaire was sent out con- 
taining topical headings. 

The kind of information sent in on each of these topics by parents 
may be seen from the lists given below. To save space only a few 
answers are given under each section. 

I. Physical History: (Mention here anything unusual about delivery at birth, 
sicknesses, eating habits, any physical disabilities or handicaps, sleeping habits, 
nervous disorders, physical habits, etc.) 

Some answers given to Section I : 

1. Inclines toward nervousness ; eats sparingly, sleeps little for a boy of his 
age (13 years). 

2. Measles, whooping cough, chicken pox. Moderate degree of flat foot. 
Always rather small for his age. Requires abundant sleep at night — rarely able 
to sleep by day. Eats well. Never overweight. 

3. Very weak stomach, lack of appetite except for starches or sugars. Eyes 
twitching, restless, unhappy, nagged by an older brother. Please try to teach him 
to eat green vegetables. 

4. Pneumonia last fall — subject to colds; eats little; walks and talks in sleep; 
had ear trouble when young. 

5. Apt to eat too rapidly ; very intense with anything he is interested in ; his 
interests are apt to make him go beyond his physical endurance. 

II. Scholastic History: (Give here results of any intelligence and aptitude 
tests, he may have had in school ; grade in school at present, his main interests, 
hobbies, studies he likes best.) 

1. Stood high in intelligence tests but did not make enviable record in first 
year high school. Does not take the world seriously. 

2. Will be a freshman in high school ; learns easily but does not apply him- 
self ; likes "tinkering" with tools. 

3. Seventh grade ; school subjects show average ability by tests, except that 
he is a slow reader and poor speller. Excels in less orthodox school subjects, 
such as art, drawing, music, dramatics, public speaking. Main hobby at present 
is "Magic" — shows ability in legerdemain. 

4. He is a complete failure in school due to unavoidable difficulties. Seventh 
grade pupil ; likes to read. Likes history best. 

110 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

5. He ranked age eighteen in last year's intelligence t^^st (11 years old) due I 
think to the fact that he is an enormous reader and a very rapid thinker. He is crazy 
about guns — an interest we do not enjoy. Rocks fascinate him; likes all nature 
and Indian Lore. 

III. Character and Disposition: (Describe here his temperament and attitude 
as they have been revealed in his duties and responsibilities at home, school, church, 
boys organizations.) 

1. Has keen sense of justice. Is president of his literary society; has not been 
keen to assume responsibility around the home. 

2. Very faithful in Church and Sunday School attendance and in Boy Scout 
work. Takes responsibilities readily and fulfills them satisfactorily. Works well 
and independently in his handwork, seeing things through to a finish. 

3. Sweet disposition, reasonable and kind, with occasional flares of temper ; 

4. Usually takes everything he does seriously ; I think he is too serious-minded. 
In pursuing any duty he follows it through completely to exclusion off everything 
else. It seems to me he should change from one thing to another more readily. 

5. He is) an extreme individualist, yet enjoys the gang. His determination to 
do what he is interested in or get what he wants is inexhaustible. As a little boy 
hef was extremely timid. He will not be bored ; if he is not interested he leaves, 

IV. Wishes and Asp-iratioyxs: (What wishes and has the boy revealed 
to you about himself and his future?) 

1. Has occasionally spoken of being a surgeon; I think he should be a lavvyer ; 
have not pressed him. 

2. Nothing especially definite as yet ; now especially interested in reading the 
life of Houdini and other magicians. 

3. Consistently desirous of being an aviator and soldier with apparently no 
mechanical ingenuity. 

4. Very ambitious and at present more interested in mechanical things ; in fact 
he can do most anything with electrical motors and machinery oif any type; how- 
ever, I think this is a temporary fancy. 

5. Since entering school has expressed a desire to become a lawyer and has 
never wavered from this ambition. 

V. Fears and Inhibitions: (What fears and inhibitions do you think the boy 
has and how are they shown? What weaknesses' has he?) 

1. Cannot take criticism or correction — gets sulky. 

2. No particular fears or inhibitions evident. His chief weakness is a con- 
stantly evidenced jealousy of his youngest (8-year-old) brother, to whom many 
things (such as music, art, etc.) come more easily than to himself. This is con- 
stantly evidenced by unkind remarks and actual overt acts. Very loving and 
gentle with two-year-old sister. 

3. He is careless and inattentive and wants to be rather domineering at times. 

4. Fears snakes and dogs — even hugs. Tires easily ; cannot seem to under- 
stand playing. Seems to think' it is a game to take from; him only. 

5. He is very much afraid of disapproval — not of punishment. He will tell a 
lie at times if he is afraid of the person. He has a terrible temper, but rarely 
loses it. 

VI. Yoiir Hopes for Him: (In what ways would you like to have him 
develop most?) 

1. In his attitude towards his parents and teachers, and that he should con- 
tribute his share of small home duties — he is one of five children; all help will- 
ingly but him. He seems to feel that we impose on him, but the fact is it takes 
much talk to get him to do any task. 

2. Self-control under all circumstances; initiative and leadership. Would also 
like for him to drop any duty or subject when finished and make decisions quickly. 
I believe he is too serious-minded and should cultivate more cheerfulness when in 
difficulty. Ii think, too, he should learn to turn oflf work more quickly and not 

An Experiment in Cooperative Living 1 1 1 

have a hangover in his mind when he has done his best to do a good job of it. 
When he becomes deeply interested in anything, I think he tries to do it too goml 
and allows his attention to remain gripi^ed on it too long without change. I also 
think that he probably observes rules and regulations too closely. It might be 
better if he broke a few rules and kicked up a little mischief. He also is very 
careful of his health. For instance, he won't drink iced tea, thinking it might 
injure his health. 

3. Cooperation with other children — and learn to take real interest in work. 
Is a poor runner ; teach him how to run. 

4. He is too stout ; would like him to have proper exercise and diet. 

5. He is the most interesting, contains more possibilities for good and bad 
than any other of my children (5). I am most anxious that he get the right 
ideals of life; I know he will succeed in any work he may undertake. 

VH. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (What has not been covered that 
we ought to know about the boy in order to understand him and help him most?) 

1. Insist on fulfillment of all duties entrusted to him — no matter how trivial. 

2. Has rather unboylike love of saying "Cattish" things about others, to wound 
or irritate — especially in his own family. Perhaps this over critical attitude i''. 
due to an inferiority reaction. Looks down on those he considers socially beneath 
him — perhaps to irritate parents who are rather extreme in the opposite direction. 

3. At times he is kind and lovable and when crossed at all seems to change 
to a cruel, stubborn type which is pitiful. 

4. Wish him to learn kindness toward his brother in camp and at home. He 
does not seem to understand him, which makes home unpleasant. 

5. At present too much like a baby ; has been petted at home ; careless in his 
home habits; needs to assume more responsibility for himself." 

Some replies from parents are fragmentary and useless, hut many 
of them give important insights into the character and personality traits 
of the boys ; especially valuable are the indications of the attitudes of 
their parents toward them and their development. The number of ex- 
pressed hopes and requests spread throughout the entire list of answers 
furnishes abundant inaterial for a full-time personnel man to work on. 
Unfortunately in Camp Blue Ridge no one could give enough time to 
this study. Wherever possible parents were interviewed by the camp 
director and notes were taken on the interview as quickly as possible 
afterward. The inaterial collected on these blanks served as a good 
beginning for each boy's cumulative record file and together with the 
behavior frequency rating scales served to steer the director and coun- 
selors in their first ventures in counseling the boys. 

Case Studies 

Space does not allow detailed study of the other devices such as 
Interest Analysis Blanks, Lehman's Play Quiz, Self -Analysis Blanks, 
and the "Y. M. C. A. General Questions." Their value consists only 
in their contribution toward a good personality portrait of the camper. 

It would be interesting to follow some of these Case Records, but 
space will not pennit. There is a rather voluminous folder on one of 
the most serious problem boys who came from a disorganized home. 
The way the boy responded to the friendly and calm environinent of 
the camj), once he got adjusted to it, is most interesting. Even in their 

"Document No. 28. 

1 1 2 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

limited time the counselors did study, understand, and counsel with their 
boys. The following final "Scriptograph" by one of the cabin counsel- 
ors of a thirteen-year-old in his group illustrates this fact : 


Appearance — fair, but as a rule he did not look neat. He had to be reminded 
quite often about washing his face and combing his hair before coming to the 
dining lodge. This attitude seemed to be entirely unintentional and just like any 
other boy thirteen years of age he didn't see much use in being so careful about 
one's appearance. 

Disposition — very good ; he seldom got mad or lost patience with his fellow 
campers. In fact, during the first six weeks of camp he was inclined to take 
too much from other boys and didn't take up for his rights enough. Jack was 
always willing to do his share of the work and what he did he usually did well. 

Jack thought none too rapidly, but he reasoned logically and in all decisions 
he seemed conscious of the rights of others. Day dreaming was one of his main 
faults ; it hindered him in his study and sometimes made him appear lazy. Jack 
was very deliberate in everything he did, and somewhat awkward in many things 
he attempted. This fact did not add to his self-confidence. But in finishing craft- 
work and the few things he did excel in he usually took the leadership. 

Being thrown with an older group constantly (and such was his wish)i I did 
not get to observe Jack in many roles of leadership. The other boys who were 
all two and three years his senior took most of the responsibility. However, he 
was independent in that he could and would do things without help. He wanted 
recognition or rather approval for what he had done, and would often come and 
tell me of what he had been doing including some of the most trivial things. 
Rather than take leadership, he could often be led too easily by others. I know 
of no bad habits the boy had other than those mentioned — day dreaming and being 
careless of his appearance. 

Jack did not express himself well either orally or in writing and I had occa- 
sion to note that he read poorly. Here is the place for some real development. 
He needs quite a bit of physical development also; he has a splendid height and 
body- frame for a thirteen-year-old boy, but appears weak. I did my best to 
get him to feel some pride in his body and determination to develop it fully. 
Learning that he lost both his parents from tuberculosis it is all the more im- 
portant that he have good health. 

He was always clean in speech. His ambition is to enter the field of aviation." 

There may be objection to collecting data through the use of so many 
instruments lest it make the boys hypersensitive and introspective. This 
was frankly experimental ; eflfort was made to determine which devices 
were useful for furnishing the clues from which to trace the points 
of pressure, tension, or need. While it would not seem advisable to 
use so many of a similar ty])e as are to be found in some of the folders, 
these were administered over a two year period, so they did not come 
very close together. 

With thisi data at his fingertips and much of it well in mind could 
not a well-trained director or personnel man make real progress in aiding 
adjustment through a guidance program? It would seem possible for 
a well prepared director to make his annual visits to campers' homes 
mean far more. Instead of being a means of keeping contact and 

"Document No. 29. 

A /I Experiment in Cooperative Living 113 

recruiting merely, might visitation liecomc a part of a year round ])er- 
sonal counseling and guidance service ? 

Such an opportunity demands a thoroughly and hroadly trained man 
for camp directing. As one gets a vision of this wider service in the 
field of personality growth he may well agree with Dr. h'lwell that 
"Camp directing has hecome one of the most difficult and complicated 
vocations, and there are unquestionahly many persons operating camps 
today for commercial purposes primarily, who are quite unfitted, either 
by training or temperament to do it."'''' Many other directors actuated 
by the more altruistic motives are still incapable either of the vision 
or the skills which the opportunities of modern organized camping de- 
mand. Can a camp be progressive without some system for cumulative 
records and a well planned program for individual counseling and guid- 
ance for its campers? 


Besides the various questionnaires and the pencil and paper tests 
that have been mentioned each boy's folder carried at least two brief 
sketches written by the cabin counselor ; one of the first impressions 
and another toward the close of camp giving the counselor's later judg- 
ments of the boy's characteristics. The plan was to get so much data 
on the daily life of each boy into the' folder that it would almost pre- 
sent "A moving-talking picture of the boy," from which it would be 
possible to study personality change quite definitely. This plan was 
only partially successful. Counselors lacked experience in the techniques 
necessary for such observation and recording; they did not have time 
to record and study the data they could observe ; and the Camp Direc- 
tor's load was too heavy for him to follow through, study, plan, and 
guide the process. 

In an effort to see to what extent personality was portrayed in the 
data of the record folders these were turned over to a graduate student 
to study and then to describe the boys as he would expect them to act. 
This student, somewhat familiar with the camp routine, and with its 
equipment and counselor stafT, did not know the boys concerned. He 
selected six boys from the list and taking these as a group he studied 
their cumulative records and described their reactions in certain camp 
situations. While some details did not exactly match, the Director and 
the counselors who knew the boys, expressed their surprise that he had 
been able to portray the boys so tnie to life. Below is a short section 
of his article on "portraits"^^ : 


Paul frowned and pulled the blanket up over his ear so that the song of the 
cardinal nearbv sounded farther away. He wished the bird had not waked him 
up, even if he did feel happy, as Mr. Fitzgerald had remarked only the day before 

"Elwell, A. F. ; The Summer Camp: A New Factor in Education; Doctor's Dis- 
sertation, Cambridge; Harvard University, 1925. 
"Document No. 30. 

114 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Education 

on the seeming joy of life of this^ particular bird. Paul blamed his waking early 
on the bird ; its song was the first sound his ears caught. And he wanted to sleep 
just as much as he could, for the doctor had said he needed more sleep. He had 
heard that much back at Nashville in a conversation between his mother and the 
doctor. The fact that he woke about five-thirty every morning to toss and roll 
until seven, by no means excused Mr. Cardinal. 

A cot creaked slightly on the other side of the cabin a few moments later, 
as George quietly sat up to dress. He, too, always woke early, but not to toss 
and roll. He always had a book or magazine by the side of his bed. This morn- 
ing it happened to be the magazine, "Boy Life," which had an article on radio 
which was very interesting. George had started it just before supper the after- 
noon before and he wanted to finish it. Maybe it would tell him how to improve 
his plan for making a radio when he went back home. Very quietly, in order 
not to disturb the others, whose deep breathing testified to sound slumber, George 
drew himself up to the edge of the half-wall of the cabin, established himself 
so the light of the rising sun fell on his back yet not on his magazine, leaned 
back against the corner post and began to read, while Paul, who at most other 
times might be found reading, closed his eyes in a vain effort to get back to 

A little more than a half-hour later the whole cabin began to come to life. 
Almost simultaneously four or five fellows woke,' stretched, and started dressing, 
calling sleepy greetings and bantering each other about anything they happened 
to think of. Bart, the Junior counselor, was the first to make his bed and put 
his belongings in order. Bill a moment behind him, went to the corner where the 
broom stood, as soon as he had finished with his own belongings. He gave Joe's 
foot a punch as he went by. 

"Hey, wake up," he called. "We hafta clean up before breakfast." 

Joe bounced out at once. He had only a little to straighten, aside from his 
bed, for practically everything else was in order already. 

"Hey, Tuffy, want me to help you?" he inquired of a fat boy on the bunk 
next to his, who was a bit later in rising and much slower in dressing than Joe 

"Sure Mike!" Tufi^y yav\nicd back, and they jumped into action to finish before 
Bill got that far with the broom. 

Meanwhile, George, finishing the article he was reading, quietly slid down and 
arranged his corner, taking the other broom which belonged to the cabin and 
helped Bill. Paul was having trouble with his bed. It was rarely so neat as 
most of the others. Paul was a tenderfoot in more ways than one, and he was 
a little fellow, anyway. 

"Come on, there, Gilly, we'll get there on time," a lazy voice behind made Paul 
turn. It was Willie, taking his own sweet time. 

"Smitty, how 'bout a littlq help?" Willie addressed a small boy who had al- 
ready finished his own bed. The little fellow lent a willing hand, so that Willie 
finished before Paul, athough he had started later. The counselor looked at 
Willie and wondered if he even had to make beds at home. One of his parents' 
hopes for him at camp was that he would learn to take his part of the work 
at home in better spirit. Probably he palmed work off on his brothers and sifters 
at home in precisely the way he had put it on Smitty this morning, mused Charlie, 
the counselor. 

Breakfast call sounded, and the bunch chased up to the hall. Bart, walking 
along behind with Charlie, remarked that the space back of the cabin would look 
better cleared. 

"Sure would," agreed Charlie. "We'll start today if the boys want to do it." 

As they went up the steps to the dining hall, after sousing face and hands 
into cold water down below, little Paul came dashing in. He had been late and 
hurried, .so that he leftl some of his belongings near the foot of his bed. where 
someone might stumble on them. And he neglected the customary before-breakfast 
ablutions, which really is much less of a crime than many people think. 

An Exferiment in Cooperative Living \ \ 5 

Space does not permit us to complete the pictures here by following 
these boys through other camp situations, such as vespers, crafts. "Flag- 
raising," volley ball, baseball, golf, archery, hiking, tennis and water 
sports. Enough has been given to indicate the nature of the experiment. 
The cumulative record folders did carry personality portraits. 

The philosophy growing out of the 1930-1931 experiment in coop- 
erative living in camp was set forth in the 1932 camp booklet : 

Freedom, spontaneity, happiness, teamwork, characterizes the boy world during 
camp. Every activity is entered into because of the interest and desire of the 
participant to engage in what he is doing, and every camper is coached in how 
to do it right by trained supervision always on duty. 

Camp Blue Ridge specializes first in helping each boy attain physical health. 
The health director through physical and medical examination, daily health checks, 
and counsel as to the health program of each boy, sees to it that every camper 
is "free to gain" physical health. 

In the second place, Camp Blue Ridge is making possible an experience in 
cooperative and creative social living for each boy in camp. To live at Camp 
Blue Ridge is to acquire a liberal education in the fine art of living with others, 
which is probably the most important thing that the members of the human family 
must learn. 

No activities are compulsory, but all are made as interesting as possible, and 
the very best instruction is provided. What a boy chooses to do or engage in, 
however, is not determined arbitrarily, but cooperatively by the counselor and 
camper working out their program together. . . . Sharing with comradely friends, 
old and young, the happy experiences of each day gives zest to camp life. 

. . . Regularity, freedom of choice or individual purpose and plans, and con- 
sideration of the needs of the entire camp are all provided for in the process, 
so that every experience in camp may help each camper to have practice, in pur- 
posing, planning, executing, and judging his daily living in relation to all others 

The goal desired is that each person in camp may have a creative experience — 
that is, increase in outlook and insight, attitudes and appreciation, and in means 
of controlling and handling each situation as it occurs in the daily round of 

Creat'we Living: Every camper has an experience in creative living at cymp 
in a variety of ways. First of all he goes through an adjustment process in 
relation to the other boys in the cabin group. We learn to live together just 
as we learn to swim by swimming. The everyday ongoing experiences of living 
is our curriculum and we give and take in the spirit of the "other fellow first." 

In the second place, and in addition to the group process, every camper has 
an opportunity to better understand himself as an individual and his possibilities. 
Vocational guidance, personal counseling, social adjustment, are part of the per- 
sonality development program of the camp. 

There are three things learned in every camp activity : first, how to engage 
in the activity — the skill of the good worker; second, something about the activity 
itself, its history and composition ; and third, an attitude toward the objects and 
persons with whom one is associated. The way the activity is conducted deter- 
mines whether these learnings are constructive or destructive." 

A Topical Evaluation 

The three periods of camping have been definitely described already. 
Below under a series of topical headings each period is evaluated : 

"Document No. 31. 

116 Organized Catrvping and Progressive Educatimi 



This was a period wherein the Camp Director was a benevolent 
despot, making and enforcing the rules of the camp and holding au- 
thority and responsibility for whatever went on in the camp. The coun- 
selors were his assistants, and were expected to see that the boys had a 
good time, according to the limitations and the rules laid down for thcin. 


The idea of government was that camp is a democratic community 
ready to organize and control its own actions through bringing every- 
thing to discussion and vote, the decision of the majority being fol- 
lowed. While the Camp Director and counselors had one vote each, 
just as any camper, they did wield a large influence and very rarely vras 
a decision made that they did not favor. The forms and machinery of 
government were emphasized. 


Here the plan was that of a group living together cooperatively, the 
directors and counselors striving to be "Foremost Companions." Forms 
of government and control were made as natural and inconspicuous as 
possible. Opportunity for free participation in the camp government 
was afiforded. The naturalness of it was its best reason for success. 


Groups were formed arbitrarily by the camp director as he saw fit. 
No attempt was made at any kind of system, except that the camp 
director seemed to have a rule to separate brothers or close chums into 
separate cabin groups. Some cliques from the same town or school, 
however, were allowed to choose their places and to remain in cabins 


Cabin groups were formed like dividing the camp into teams for 
some athletic league; the choosers were first elected and they in turn 
chose the members for their cabin grou])s. This was considered a fair 
and democratic basis for later competitions. It was al)out as arbitrary 
as the "autocratic" so far as an individual boy's wishes were concerned, 
but he grumbled less about it because to do so would mark him as a 
"poor sport." The age range in each cabin group was usually wide. 


Cabin groups were formed as much as possible in accord with the 
wishes of the individual campers and not for any kind of competition. 
An age group basis was encouraged as being the way boys would most 

An Experiment in Cooperative Living 1 1 7 

naturally associate together. Permission to change during canij) was 
granted by the Camp Council. 

Program Policy 

The program was activity-centered. Adults determined it in ad- 
vance by selecting the activities they considered good for boys. This 
selection was largely based upon the idea of bringing them e.xperienccs 
which would be valuable to them in adult life. Some of these activities 
had a natural appeal to the boys while others were done from some kind 
of compulsion. 


The program was interest-centered and much choice of activity was 
left to the campers; certain interest groups, however, were provided, 
and were often carried on in a fairly formal manner. It was somewhat 
like giving a pupil in school a choice of which formal class he would 
join, but once in, he was obliged to follow the directions' of the course 
and the instructor. Some interest group leaders really provided for 
individual interests. Group-experience and group competition was em- 
phasized — socialization became an important word. 

The program was not merely interest-centered but "person-in-situa- 
tion" centered ; it grew out of the everyday needs of the persons asso- 
ciated and from the stimuli presented by living together in the camp 
environment. The emphasis was upon creative experience for each 
individual as well as for the group, and happy personal adjustment was 
necessarily very important since without it there could be little creative 
experience. Hence counseling and guidance for each camper according 
to his personality needs became a demand of the program policy. 

Function of Counselor 

The adult's part! in the camp was to explain the program and keep 
the boys going ahead on it ; and to live with the boys, control and super- 
vise their conduct and administer activities. Successful counselors 
achieved most by their example and friendship. What they were as 
they lived with their boys was the thing which meant most in the growth 
of the boys. This give and take could not be formalized in the camp 
environment. When campers were asked to check what meant most to 
them in camp, "Friendship with the Counselors" received the highest 


Counselors were expected to see that boys understood their privileges 
and responsibilities for taking part in forming the program and in the 
government and administration of the camp life; they were to develop 

118 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

the qualities of good citizenship by the way in which their groups 
were conducted. Their place for friendly counseling was greatly in- 
creased, as the boys were allowed more freedom of choice, and so 
looked to their counselors for more guidance. They were primarily 
coaches in citizenship. 

A counselor needed to so understand each boy in his group as he 
lived with them that he could aid in bringing about situations favorable 
to best personality growth and most creative experience for each. He 
not only participated in the activities of camp, but in such a way that 
he could see what they meant to each boy in his group and by^ coun- 
seling and guidance could be able to make them most meaningful. His 
role became much more positive. He must live abundantly, share this 
living with the boys, and work to control situations for their develop- 
ment — "Be a Foremost Companion." 

Attitude Toward the Boy 


While it was not stated thus, a boy was looked upon very much as if 
divided into compartments such as Physical, Intellectual, Social, Re- 
ligious, each of which was to be properly filled or else he would have a 
defective personality. He was to be instructed by adults as to "what" 
to think, believe, or do. He was looked upon as preparing to live in a 
static world where truths were fixed and he must accept it as he found 
it. Emphasis was on "what" he learned, "what" he did. 


A boy learns what he practices with satisfaction, so it is necessary 
to provide for him to practice and experience the things we want him 
to learn. It was still assumed that adults knew best what he ought to 
learn, but they must bring him to experience it with some degree of 
satisfaction or they could not succeed. The boy at least became a more 
active agent in his education and the compartmented scheme was cast 
aside, he was still to be "trained up in the way he should go." 

The boy is a person capable of creative thinking and of adjustment 
to life situations. He is to be trusted as a person; in fact the whole 
emphasis was on the personality of the camper or the person whose 
conduct was concerned in any situation or activity. The goal was not 
"what to think," but "how to think." 

Awards and Honors 

Honors and awards (emblems) on a point-system basis were the 
means of recognition for carrying out certain activities — in fact most 
of those in camp had something to do with the honor emblem system. 

An Experiment in Cooperative Living 1 19 

It was all prescribed in advance and a boy could look over tbe printed 
program and decide whether he would try for a certain type of emblem 
or not. He was expected to win one if he was to be considered a good 
camper. Whether he liked the activity or not, he might go through 
with it in some fashion in order to be awarded the emblem and so win 
the needed recognition and social approval. 

This plan of awards worked very nearly on the same principle as the 
system of grades in schools ; each person was rated according to the 
tests he passed, his grades were recorded and his standing was an- 
nounced accordingly. There was no provision made for individual 
differences ; superiority and inferiority feelings were built up according 
to success or failure with the tests. There was rarely a proper recog- 
nition for effort. 


Point systems were discontinued and all artificial bases for recogni- 
tion, honors and emblems were avoided. No awards were given. Al- 
though emblems were continued, their meaning was changed, so that 
they were merely insignia given on enrollment. This plan avoided 
many of the abuses of the point system, left the campers free to choose 
what they liked to do ; it needed more careful watching by counselors 
and directors to see that actual recognition was given where and when 
it was really due. It was no longer mechanical, but personal and for 
that very reason it was often neglected. Counselors and directors who 
were more sensitive to persons and personality needs were required. 

Here no extensive honors or awards were practiced — certainly no 
formalized ones. Care was taken to see that each individual received 
proper recognition and encouragement for the effort he made as well 
as for the achievement. This plan put the burden of watchfulness 
and thoughtfulness on the counselors and directors rather than on some 
device, and also made these recognitions a real part of the counseling 
and guidance program for personality adjustment. It was no longer a 
mechanical and mass proposition disinterestedly dealing with the indi- 
vidual, but a means for expression of personal worth in a personal way. 
Activity was pursued purely from personal interest, or the desire to 
please one's friends — from the camper's own purpose. 

Educational Philosophy 

The philosophy of this period was intellectualistic-academic ; it was 
assumed that there are things which are good for boys to learn and 
that the camp authorities know what these are and have made a selection 
of them in advance. Camp is considered a good place to get some of 
these across to the boys. Recreation and fun is one thing and educa- 
tion is another, and camp life must keep a balance between the two so 
that the boy will get enough of the former to make him feel good and 

120 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

enjoy it, without wasting so much of his time on it as to fail to advance 
as much as he ought on the latter. Education is mostly acquiring 
knowledge from study of books and is selected (on the basis of future 
adult needs) from a great storehouse of knowledge which has already 
been filled by scholars of the past. 

The educational philosophy of this period was not very clearly de- 
fined — transitional. There remained some feeling that there was 
something to be gotten over to boys from the adult's point of view, 
but that it could be done much more successfully by arousing the boys' 
interests and guiding them than by more formal procedures. Method 
changed more than philosophy. EfTort was made to get boys to "choose 
what they do." Closer connection between program and life was sought. 

The educational philosophy was now approaching the voluntaristic ; 
that society develops persons by all the factors that enter into their life- 
situations, and thinking takes place where life presents crises to be met 
and problems to be solved. The important thing was not subject 
matter to be gotten across to boys, but guiding them in finding ways to 
meet the crises in their lives as they occurred. They were to live crea- 
tively by finding new ways to solve their problems. Not what is com- 
mitted to memory, but what is experienced enters into the education of 
the person. He is not educated by compartments of personality but 
through his responses to total situations. He is most vitally aflfected 
through the roles he is expected to play in the different groups that 
make up his world. 





The experimentation and change which took place in the camp at 
Blue Ridge was but a part and type of what went on in many places 
in the camping movement during this same decade. Y. M. C. A. Camp 
Directors after using the Woodcraft and Boy Scout programs had de- 
veloped programs for boys quite as standardized and academic as 
either of the others, together with an elaborate system of emblem 
awards. Private camps were not as uniformly standardized in pro- 
gram, but some of them were even more extreme in their academic 
programs and artificial stimulation through awards than the organiza- 
tion camps. 

Association Boys workers had played a large part in standardizing 
programs for boys in camps ; they were among the first to find the de- 
fects and to change the direction of the movement. The third assembly 
of Y. M. C. A. Workers with Boys of North America at Estes Park 
in 1925, invited leading educators, psychologists and philosophers. Boys 
workers came back from this assembly talking about the ideas of 
Kilpatrick, Colilngs, Dewey and Elliott, and determined to experiment 
and find out if these men were right. Camps ofi^ered the best' place to 
try out these ideas about folk)wing the boy's own interests in program 
building, and in giving the boys a chance to share in camp management 
in a democratic fashion. 

Many of these ideas were not clearly grasped and some of the ex- 
periments were slow and blundering. Frequently, the counselors and 
directors who undertook to make changes from the academic program, 
were almost as confused as the boys were. Here's a bit of description 
of one camp's efforts to "break into 'democracy','' taken from a coun- 
selor's letter : 

Adult leaders decided to attempt to install in the place of the traditional system 
of cabin competition for points and awards with a fixed program, a new program 
based on interest of the campers and to advance each step as the campers in their 
cabins discussed and suggested it. 

The campers arrived late on Friday, June 21, just in time for a meal and bed. 
On Saturday no semblance of a program was attempted, meals even being served 
somewhat irregularly. The counselors met and the aims of the men in charge 
were presented to them so that they might indirectly stimulate the discussions 
necessary to formulate a program. 

The adults feeling that the four primary rules of any camp (no firearms, no 
tobacco, no leaving camp grounds, no swimming except under supervision) could 
not be neglected or left until the need for them arose in an imperative form 
made it a point to raise a discussion at the noon meal on Saturday. The Camp 
Director made a talk to the! campers in which he brought up the question as to 
which way a camp should be conducted and why some rules and regulations were 
necessary. He went on to bring out the necessities for these rules, saying that 
the campers were being faced with the questions as to whether they would adopt 
the rules or not. Numerous illustrations were used in order to make the need 
clear. Then the campers were allowed to make comments and to discuss the 


124 Organized Catnfing arid Progressive Education 

proposition. At the end of this the campers were all ready to adopt these rules 
and to help enforce them. 

The adults had been watching anxiously for some sign to guide them in finding 
an opening to present the "interest groups" idea. The only sign exhibited was 
one of extreme restlessness. The situation was further complicated because of 
four rather vital factors : the small size of the group, the great variety of ages, 
the previous experiences of the boys in camp, and the inexperience of most of the 
counselors — all these tended to this spirit of restlessness and tension. 

As a result it was deemed wise to make a compromise which would be flexible 
enough to switch in either direction as the situation seemed to demand. The 
adult leaders outlined a program which gave time and place for everything as the 
former "oiled machinery" type used to do except that there is no point system 
or system of awards either to individuals or to cabins. Moreover there is al- 
lowed on this program three hours a day for interest groups. The counselors 
and directors met and listed everything which they felt they were competent of 
giving instruction in and the boys chose the things which they most wished to 
take up. As the process goes on and the boys are better able to assimilate the 
idea more elacticity will be injected into the program so that they may better 
pursue their interest.^ 

Despite the blunders and mistakes Camp Directors who were out of 
the academic rut continued to study their work critically, with a new 
point of view and prog-ress was made. Through the columns of their 
professional journals and magazines, came sharings of experience and 
the ideas spread rapidly throughout Association circles. There came 
to be two alignments among the Y. M. C. A. Boys Workers, those 
who believed the new ideas would work and those conservatives who 
were for holding on to the old standardized procedures and program 
materials. Gradtially the conservatives lost out and the camp move- 
ment was headed for "Changes." 

Forms of Democracy Not Enough 

By 1928 some of the camp directors had made considerable advance 
with the experimentation and study of the so-called democratic proc- 
esses in camping. That a large number of problems had been located 
and wrestled with is evident in the report of the director of a camp 
conducted by one of the metropolitan Y. M. C. A.'s. The finest point 
made in the report is in the conclusion that democracy in a camp is 
more a matter of setting up processes by which each camper may partici- 
pate in the things that make up the experiences and issues of life, than 
by over-organization and machinery. 

In using the Democratic approach, there are two procedures, in general : One 
is to transfer authority from the adult leaders to a group, or to groups of boys; 
the other is to leave the question of authority alone, but to set up processes by 
which the thinking of every boy in camp can be mobilized in program building, 
discipline matters, and the facing of all the other issues that camp life raises. 
The one emphasizes thinking; the other emphasizes machinery. The mechanical 
side of democracy is of course necessary. It is always a problem to manage 
it in such a way as to escape the criticism that it is merely a device. Our expe- 
rience at camp with a rather complicated machine did not prove satisfying either 
to the boys or to the leaders, and we came soon to feel that it needed simplifica- 

'Documt-nt No. 32. 

Educational Chafiges in Modern Camps 125 

tion and supplementing. Probably among the most worthwhile things wc did 
were several experiments in the direction of directed consideration by every bo\ 
of several important problems, and then the integration of the thinking of all 
into a line of action, which by common consent, quite apart from any legislation, 
became the camp standard. 

To illustrate : The question of cabin inspection arose. Who should set the 
requirements? Who should enforce them? The director miglit have made the 
decision and enforced it. Or the senior leaders might have done it. Or the camp 
council might have taken action. We followed none of these courses. Instead, 
a carefully prepared discussion outline was given each senior leader, on the basis 
of which he talked the matter over with his boys for an hour. Then the entire 
camp came together and the program Director called for reports. There were 
many suggestions, and some vigorous conflicts. In the end six cabins wished 
"overhead inspection," eight cabins wanted "self-inspection." 

ThQ nice point arose: In a democracy does not the majority rule? Should 
not the six cabins be compelled to try self -inspection? The rights of the minor- 
ities were considered and at last it was agreed that eight cabins should have the 
sort of housekeeping they wanted and get it as they could. The remaining six 
were to work out a plan for overhead inspection. It actually resulted, however, 
that self-inspection prevailed among all the cabins, and, save for an occasional 
check-up, there was no attempt on the part of the camp management to regulate 
the thing at all. At first the prevailing housekeeping was sorry enough. Little 
by little, example, the discomfort of living in one's own dirt, suggestions from 
the directors, and the guidance of the cabin leaders, led to a change. In the 
end, most of the cabins were fairly well cared for — and at no time had there 
been a rule of any sort. 

Another illustration: One day three boys went swimming out of bounds and 
out of hours. Of course in the matter of water sports, the element of danger 
makes rigid rules obligatory, and the enforcement of them cannot be avoided by 
the director by any possibility. Even in this case, however, we had the choice 
of taking action, then explaining it, or of first getting every boy in the camp to 
see the problem for just what it was, considering the alternatives, weighing" them, 
and actually sharing in the thinking preliminary to the decision. The latter course 
w^as followed ; once more a discussion outline gave every leader a chance to help 
his group of seven boys think the matter over. Then a representative from each 
group met with the director. The director made his decision in the light of the 
thinking, not of one person, but of 150. And the decision was accepted by every 
boy as his own. 

This procedure was used several times and could be extended, I believe, to 
every phase of camp life. It minimizes machinery, and stimulates general par- 
ticipation. It need not do away with the camp council, but I would strongly rec- 
ommend that the camp council consist of one boy chosen from each cabin by 
vote of the boys in the cabin, plus one or two senior leaders, including the director. 

I would urge that there be no other machinery of camp government. Let the 
program, and all matters of legislative action grow out of concerted thinking.'' 

This discovery that real democracy emphasizes shared thinking rather 
than governmental machinery marked the beginning of the transition to 
the cooperative camp. Those who had accepted the democratic ap- 
proach but retained their critical and experimental attitiide v^rere led to 
the cooperative stage of camping experience in a short time. 

The author, after directing Scy Camp in 1928, directed a city 
Y. M. C. A. camp in 1929 and 1930. He found in this camp an 
academic program divided into two-week periods with an elaborate 

'Document No. 33. 

126 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

ribbon award system. His efforts to transplant his machinery of dem- 
ocratic government developed at Scy Camp proved futile. This forced 
him to find other means of making the democratic process effectu)al 
and the cooperative plan was learned from necessity. The following 
paragraphs from the Camp Director's report describe this experience : 

That the camp council was planning things to suit the older boys without due 
consideration for the camp as a whole became more evident each day. One morn- 
ing the president called the council for a special meeting at which it was pro- 
posed that the "baseball players" go to the diamond m town for a practice that 
morning. This would have taken out of camp the counselors and older boy project 
and interest group leaders. It would have left the morning swim unsupervised 
with no activities planned for the younger boys. 

Activities like baseball had their own scheduled periods in the afternoon. The 
camp director urged that it would not be possible to make such sudden changes 
in the adopted schedule and ruled that the counselors could not leave the camp 
that morning. Some members of the council had planned to "railroad their motion" 
through the council no matter what was said, and were surprised to find it "vetoed". 
The president framed a letter which was signed by about six of the members of 
the council, stating that they saw no reason for a council meeting unless the 
decision or vote of the council was final. The president never called another meet- 
ing of the council. Although the "Machinery of democracy" appdared to have 
broken down it only placed on the directors the responsibility for setting up pro- 
cesses that would give each boy a maximum participation in the planning and con- 
trolling of the afifairs of the camp. The conferences of the whole camp were 
continued, discussion groups were held, and committees used to work out special 
projects and to report recommendations to the camp conference. 

No awards of any kind were given, but recognition was given in council rmg 
and through personal commendation for deserving effort and achievement. The 
camp paper was quite a success and served to give recognition in a very fine Xi'ay. 
The boys noticed the difference and commented that they had had a better time 
than when there was such keen competition for ribbons each week.' 

The above report shows the mistake made by a large number of 
camp directors in thinking that "democracy" was a form of government, 
until through experience it was learned that it was more an attitude and 
could only be carried out by keeping an alert mind seeking the processes 
to make it effective. One might have all the forms and still have none 
of the spirit of a democratic camp. The most democratic camp would 
probably be found where least was said about it. 

Changes In Private Camps 

Several years of experimenting and study among the Y. M. C. A. 
Boys Workers caused them to shift from the use of fixed program 
materials, point and honor award systems. Some features of the aca- 
demic camp have clung tenaciously among private camps. Nor have 
these camps experimented so much with methods and machinery of 

The author had the pleasure of spending the summers of 1932 and 
1933 in a private boys' camp with a capacity of about 100 boys. This 
camp was democratic in spirit and liberal in educational philosophy, but 
practice tended to lag. 

'Document No. 34. 

Educational Changes in Modern Camps \Z7 

In an article written in 1932 to give thq director constructive ciiti- 
cism, some of the author's evaluation of camping processes at the end 
of his ten years experimentation was expressed and contrasted with 
the practice of the camp. Some excerpts are given below: 

The next topic for consideration is that of the method of organization of the 
camp. Here again there are two outstanding types being used. One of these 
emphasizes activities and the camp organization is such as to facihtate getting all 
boys as individuals into as many of the activities as possible. Each boy has his 
own individual program of activities, with little relationship to the cabin group; 
and with most concern and loyalty to his activity group. The other type of or- 
ganization is where the emphasis is placed upon group life rather than individ- 
ualized activity and the cabin groups, so selected as to be as congenial and similar 
in interests as possible, plan and enter into many activities and projects together. 
The purpose behind this idea is to bring out as much social adjustment and coop- 
erative practice as possible; to provide for the development of initiative and 
creativeness, through placing much responsibility for planning and executing on 
the group. 

Camp 's organization while using to some degree both of these plans, 

seems to lean strongest on the former ; it could be improved and camping expe- 
rience could hold greater creativity and satisfaction for the boys if it were 
organized so as to center a much larger part of its program around the cabin 
group. Evening devotions and cabin suppers once a week are now the main fea- 
tures that tend to hold a group together. While they are both fine, more common 
experience is needed between members of a group before real friendship and 
cooperative living occurs. In a country where rugged individualism seems to 
have created such difficult situations we need to be educating far more for coop- 
eration and that can only be done through the group process, with careful guidance 
of the individuals in the groups. This does not mean turning out individuals all 
alike — just the opposite ; it does aim to stimulate each individual to develop his 
own creative powers and abilities not so much for himself but for the good or for 
the service of the group. Creativity and cooperative spirit are among the things 

the Director of Camp covets most for his campers and I am sure he is 

constantly searching for new and better ways toi bring about a larger degree of 

.... Another advantage of this plan is that it would quickly bring to the 
attention of the counselors and camp director lack of adjustment on the part of a 
boy and thus start the processes of readjustment much earlier than at present. 
In fact it is now quite possible to overlook some of the real needs of a boy which 
can only be met in a sympathetic group. 

.... Camp life as the curriculum was rarely brought out by the group dis- 
cussion or staff conference where there could be a pooling of resources for plan- 
ning and enriching the program. I sometimes felt much as one does in a school 
where the curriculum has been prescribed and problems are only those of execu- 
tion and administration ; that any contribution to planning must needs have gotten 
in before the catalogue went to press. 

Heads of departments were called together for frequent conferences but there 
was a lack of the processes necessary for campers to share in thinking through 
camp problms. It would be a great help to the staff and the camp if greater 
flexibility of program planning could be felt by each counselor and camper and 
occasional conferences be held where those who desired could express themselves, 
and where after discussion changes could be made. This would doubtless take 
away some;' of the smoothness of administration, but perhaps it might develop a 
finer responsibility and more creativity on the part of counselors and campers. 
It would give an emotional tone of greater freedom, a more expansive horizon. 

A place where this method of cooperative planning in councils, and confer- 
ences could contribute much is in scheduling activities. So many activities were 
going on at once, that boys who wanted to go to two or more activities scheduled 

128 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

at the same time felt a sense of rush and tension. This tension was increased in 
some cases because two or more announcements were emphasized with a "threat" 
that this particular activity was a decisive factor in obtaining an honor emblem. 
Group planning might have helped to have improved the situation, and avoided 
some of the seeming conflicts. With instruction groups meeting in the mornings 
the cabin groups might well plan their activities for the afternoon, as a group, 
their own counselors taking part with them as much as possible. 

The next point for discussion is the award or recognition system. Many edu- 
cators and psychologists hold that extrinsic awards are justifiable only when used 
as scaffolding to a building — as a means of aiding construction, but to be removed 

as soon as possible — not to become a part of the structure. While Camp 

has evolved a very attractive honor emblem system — one that is free from many 
of the objectionable features to be found in many camps — the time has come when 

Camp has a staff that no longer needs the aid of this scaffolding and it 

is in danger of getting in the way. A distinct advance was made this year, how- 
ever, when it was decided to abolish the medals for "bests" ; in a short time the 
remainder of the scaffolding can be removed.* 

In 1932 this camp still gave a letter in each activity group to the 
boy in each age group who was held most worthy of it by the Supervisors 
of that activity. In addition to this all boys were urged constantly to 
work for the Cainp Honor Emblems. The Honor Emblems were based 
upon the completion of a set of tests prescribed for each year. Below 
are given the requirements for a boy who was spending his first summer 
in this camp. They were more extensive and more difficult for the 
second, third and fourth year boys : 


Keynote: All-Round Development 

Physical Training 

1. Demonstrate ability to play eight group games and three team games. 

2. Participate five days each week for six weeks in some physical activity, 
including two track meets, two regular hikes, one tennis tournament. 

3. Pass rowboat test— prescribed by counselor in charge. 

4. Pass canoe test — prescribed by counselor in charge. 

5. Swim 25 yards — prescribed by counselor in charge. 

6. In boxing, demonstrate in three two-minute rounds fair proficiency in lead- 
ing, guarding, and footwork. 

7. In track, demonstrate fair form in the dash, high jump, broad jump, and 
know rules for these events. 

8. In tennis, demonstrate fair form in the forehand and backhand strokes, 
serving, and knowledge of scoring. 

9. Attend at least eight horseback periods and show reasonably good form in 

10. Know parts of bow and arrow and shoot with reasonably good form. 

Mental Training 

1. Read a prescribed book and pass verbal test on same. 

2. Name and identify 10 trees, 15 flowers, 5 birds, 5 minerals, and 4 con- 

^Document No. 3 5. 

Educational Changes in Modern Camps 129 

3. Entertain in lobby or council ring with story, stunt, or music. 

4. Contribute one acceptable article to the Warhoop. 

5. Make a five-minute talk on your hobby. 

Devotionai, Training 

1. Faithful participation in cabin devotions, Bible Study and Sunday services. 

2. Read the Gospel of Mark or the book of I Samuel (Old Testament.) 

3. Self-control (control of temper, speech, and actions). 

4. Keep the Morning Watch three times a week. (Optional.) 

5. Show by your good turns that you are thoughtful of others and have a real 
desire to be of service. 

(Select one of the two optionals in Devotional Training.) 

Campcraft and Woodcraft 

1. Know how to tie eight knots. 

2. Camp out overnight at least once during the camp season. 

3. Make an accepted improvement to camp grounds or to camp equipment. 

4. Lay a campfire properly, using fuzz sticks and light it with one match. 

5. Own and know how to use a pocket-knife and make one acceptable article 
in knifecraft. 


1. Remain in camp eight weeks. 

2. Good camp spirit. 

3. Do full part in cabin inspection and camp duties. 

4. Neatness in personal appearance and personal property. 

5. Qualify for pro-marksman medal in riflery. 

6. Make one acceptable article in the crafts department. 

7. Know by name every boy in camp. 

8. Attend First Aid class regularly and pass test. 

9. Be charted by camp director. 

10. Pass mystic point and make a satisfactory record in obedience, cheerfulness, 
helpfulness, unselfishness, promptness, and loyalty." 

Below^ are more excerpts from the author's article : 
This emblem award system was the one point about the camp this summer 
that tended most to irritate me. Some counselors and many of the boys also felt 
irritation. I was probably more sensitive toward any sort of award .system than 
anyone else in camp because my studies in psychology and education had brought 
me to the conclusion that it is unsound educationally and that forms of special 
recognition fitted to the individual at the particular time is a better plan than a 
mass approach which is supposed to apply to all persons who attain a certain 
standing even when the quality of their work cannot possibly be comparable. 
Mass approach whether in recognitions and awards or in other matters is contrary 
to principles of individual guidance. 

The next reason why I do not enjoy working with the honor emblem system 
comes from my own experience in two different camps. In one we had an honor 
emblem system for three years and then abandoned it ; in the other camp a ribbon 
award system was in vogue for six or seven years before it was dropped. In each 
case there was so much improvement in camp spirit, friendship, fellowship, and 
creativity that I was convinced the disadvantages of extrinsic regulation of camp 
life were far greater than the advantages. For a month or so of the first year 
after the special recognition systems were dropped there was difficulty of adjust- 
ment and some dissatisfaction on the part of the "stars" who had been getting the 

"Document No. 36. 

130 Organized Cainfing and Progressive Education 

awards and fattening their ego, but there was satisfaction on the part of those 
who were not "stars" and who had been receiving little commendation for their 
efforts, because they were rarely winners, but who now were recognized. Without 
recognition systems there is less of the odious comparison between boys of unlike 
abilities, less of jealous rivalries, and more of cooperative helpfulness, and sym- 
pathetic understanding. 

Although Camp has rid its recognition systems of about as many 

objectional features as possible, I would still prefer to see the camp drop the 
remaining awards except those that come from national organizations such as 
riflery, life saving, first aid. Boy Scouts, and such agencies, and fill the place with 
personalized commendation and recognition given when the occasion for it arises 
in the most natural fashion. 

Should it prove too difficult to drop the entire system at one time, I would 
recommend dropping the honor emblem for next year, retaining the letters in the 
different activities. The honor emblem system, if retained, should be greatly re- 
vised and a great many options put in the place of the specific requirements, so 
that no one item could be the determining factor as to whether a boy succeeded 
in getting the emblem. At present although things to be done are probably good, 
if done by a boy's, own choice the fact that they are required fills some with the 
feeling of a fellow in college who has decided to get a certain degree, but) finds 
that his courses are prescribed and that he has few electives. There is irritation 
and bad educational practice. 

This summer I heard boys say that they hated certain activities but had to do 
them to get their emblems. Boys have gone out with me to learn ten trees so 
they could pass the emblem tests, and as soon as they had their number, even if it 
was in the middle of an afternoon nature stroll, they heaved a big sigh of relief 
and headed back for camp as quickly as possible, while other boys who were not 
working for an emblem went on and learned much more. The 11 -year-old boy 
who learned more than a hundred wild flowers this summer was not working for 
an honor emblem. Sometimes a boy is led to try something he does not like 
because of an honor emblem test, and then learns to like that activity, but if a 
counselor is skillful he can find better ways to broaden a boy's interests. 

There are several assumptions underneath the usual emblem system with which 
I disagree. One is that as camp people we are not skillful enough to help a boy 
find and develop creatively his own everyday life program; the second is that 
some activities are better for boys than others and that we are best fitted to choose 
these for any boy or every boy. rather than believe that every boy has a program 
of living which we may enrich by guiding his choices and decisions ; third, we 
tend to assume that a boy does not carry enough motive power within himself and 
so we try to supply it from the outside, missing the great opportunity to stir the 
latent abilities within. 

There is another way in which the honor emblem system seems to defeat its 
purpose. We believe that boys should develop hobbies and a large number of 
interests are considered desirable. While a boy may be introduced to a number cf 
activities in working for his emblem, he has little time to devote to either one of 
them. May we nof be immunizing boys to some activities by giving them small 
doses of them as requirements for emblem work, and not furnishing sufficient time 
to go far enough into them to appreciate and enjoy them? I have seen boys start 
out on an activity with enough interest to have gone far in it in a' summer, but 
by the time they were well started in it they had passed the emblem tests and felt 
they must devote their time to passing tests in some other activity, hence could 
not follow this one further. Would it not have been preferable for them to have 
continued along a few lines, rather than attempted all? Some boys did that this 
summer to their entire satisfaction, although they did not get the honor emblems. 

The most difficult part of the question of emblems probably is tied up with 
promotion and the expectations of parents. Summer camps started free from 
these types of recognitions but have built up through their advertising and talking 
a belief on the part of parents that these systems are marks of worth. A boy 

Educat'wftal Changes in Modern Camps 131 

may go through a summer in camp and be as interested and do just as good work 
as another boy who complies with the test requirements and gets an emblem, but 
the parent assumes that he has not done good work because lie does not get the 
emblem and so the parent desiring the boy to succeed puts him under pressure to 
comply and get the emblem. The boy in many cases feels he is almost back in 
school. Boys would be ready to dispense with the emblem system if the matter 
was properly presented for their consideration ; the resale of camping to their 
parents on a different basis is a little more difficult, but not as much so as may 
be expected. In fact a change in the letters and literature relative to the purposes 
of camping brought an unexpectedly fine response from patrons in one camp. 
They were pleased with the change in the camp's philosophy. 

The following is a conversation overheard in cabin 8 by the counselor in 
cabin 7 during the first week of camp: 

"Yes, this cabin is a good one, we're going to be 100% on everything." 

"Say, you guys who want a first year emblem better get started on the Morn- 
ing Watch." 

"What sort of thing is that?" 

"Oh, you go down in the Council Ring and read your Bible every morning — 
no not every morning — just three times a week." 

"Why do that?" 

"It's one of the requirements for the emblem. You could go every day, but 
the requirement is just three days a week." 

"Do they assign what you read?" 

"No, just read anywhere you want to." 

"Do you have to report on it?" 

"No, you don't have to report on it." 

"Then you could just sit there with the Bible open whether you read or not?" 

"Sure, but you might as well read, it won't hurt you to read the Bible. It'll 
probably be good for you." 

"Well, it don't interest me." 

"You don't know how to pick it— some of it's interesting. The Book of Ruth 

"Well, most of it I don't understand." 

Boys were heard toi make such expressions this summer as : "Gee ! I'll be 
glad w-hen I get this emblem work oflf ; then I can enjoy camp" ; "I wouldn't work 
at this emblem thing, but Mama will be so disappointed if I don't get an emblem" ; 
"I'll be glad when emblem work is complete, and I'll be glad to get the emblem, 
but I wish they didn't have them" ; "You'd better work for that emblem. 'Hank.' 
for a fellow feels awful bad that last night if he don't get one, when all the 
fellows are getting theirs and 'Chief talks; about what fine campers they are to 
get them" ; "I'd like awfully to go on that canoe trip but I can't do anythmg else 
now until I get this emblem work off." 

These expressions could be multiplied many times and to one who hears them, 
it gives much the same impression as high school students cramming for an ex- 
amination. The real development of self-reliance, initiative, and creativeness may 
be greatly impaired and endangered for some boys. 

Fortunately, there were many things to do which have not been connected with 
the emblem system, and the camp has; a most wholesome and inspiring influence 

on the bovs. The things about Camp that have been most helpful and 

have contributed most to the fine spirit of the campers has been the cultural and 
spirit-enriching elements, found in the Music, the Devotional Services, the re- 
treats," Sunday services, the daily living and fellowship of the staff, the singing 
of grace at meals and many other features of the kind. The hikes and trips have 
made a great contribution and have probably brought more real valuable expe- 
riences than most of the activities within the base camp. These could be increased 
if more trips were taken in a careful leisurely way, with adequate training and 

132 Orgafiized Camfing and Progressive Education 

preparation for them. The campcraft feature sets this camp ahead of most camps 
in this area.' 

The Director received the article of criticism from which these 
quotations were taken with an open mind, commented that it was an 
excellent paper not only on his camp but on camping, and took steps 
to change procedures for the following year. In fact in 1933 the honor 
emblem award system was completely eliminated. Every camper was 
given freedom to choose his activities but was encouraged and guided by 
his cabin counselor in making his selection. With these changes 
campers showed marked relief from tensions and worked busily at the 
activities of their choice. Even the camp bookkeeper and business 
manager whose duties kept him in the of^ce most of the time noticed 
and commented upon how much happier the boys were than in previous 

This result was made possible because a number of the counselors 
had been trained for more individual guidance of their campers in 
the Institutes at, Blue Ridge, and the new plan gave them opportunity 
to practice it effectively. 

Discussions at the Sectional and National meetings of the Camp 
Directors' Association of America indicate that the above report is 
typical of the changes that are taking place in many camps. To what 
extent is this just a new style in camping and to what extent is it based 
upon a significant and understanding shift in the underlying philosophy? 
Are Camp Directors beginning to move from the fixities and absolutes 
of an intellectualistic philosophy which has envisaged a static world ? 
And are they approaching a voluntaristic philosophy which expects 
constant change and adjustment to the situations of a dynamic universe? 
The answers to either of these questions cannot be made for all camp 
directors, but in the main the answer seems to be "Yes." 

A Study of Modern Camps 

In an attempt to determine the extent to which Camp Directors 
were approaching a voluntaristic educational philosophy, letters were 
mailed to five hundred camp directors — most of whom were members 
of the Camp Directors' Association of America — in all sections of the 
United States and Canada. These letters were not in the form of a 
questionnaire, but simply a request for copies of booklets, reports, 
forms, and printed materials that could readily be sent. 

Out of this number 100 camp directors responded with a variety of 
material; some sent very excellent "camp logs" and camper-written 
publications in addition to booklets and reports. In a few cases scarce- 
ly enough material was given to judge accurately as to the philosophy 
underlying the camp program, but in most cases it was quite clear. Of 
course, all shades of philosophy from the most rigidly intellectualistic 
to the very free and voluntaristic were represented. Some directors 
had accepted the language of progressive educationists, but inconsistent 
academic procedures described in the same booklets indicated that they 

'Document No. 35, pp. 6-9. 

Educational Chaui^ts in Mod,rn Camps 133 

were parroting the language ; at least the underlying principles had ncjt 
been thought through to a point where they could i)ut them into i)raclice 
and give up their traditional methods. 

In order to tabulate results on this mass of materials it was necessary 
to set up some sort of norms by which to classify these diverse camps 
into groups. Even though each camp was different from every other 
one, it was found practical to pick out certain types toward which each 
approached more nearly than any other. In order to make clear what 
these types represent, descriptions of them will be followed by short 
excerpts from camp booklets that fall in the various classes. 

Type I 

Type I is the designation for those camps which we may call "Free." 
They had no definite schedule for the day except for eating, sleeping 
and swimming, and with the guidance of counselors they allowed each 
camper free choice of activity. Recognitions came from group ap- 
proval, and in the natural family or neighborhood way with no kinds 
of honors or awards offered. Attainment of such nationally recognized 
standards as those of riflery, swimming, scouting were allowed the 
nationally specified recognitions. Of the 100 camps reporting 22 (22%) 
were placed in this class, although a few retain some limitations upon 
this free approach. Excerpts from two camp booklets are given ; 

(a) One of the principles of Camp 's organization is that each camper 

follows the varied activities according to her own pace and strength and is not 
swept along by an insistent schedule of group activities. There is time for re- 
laxation and music and) poetry, time for a clearer understanding of the love of 
friend and God, all of which results in an atmosphere of the normal life of a 
country home. (A North Carolina Camp.) 

(b) The system of marking with points the achievement in the various activi- 
ties is not used, as the camp feels that individual interest and enthusiasm as a 
basis of entering these activities should be emphasized. . . The camp is interested 
in helping the campers use their free time wisely. . . . Twilight finds many of the 
counselors and girls, in canoes and irowboats on the lake while the sun sets and 
the moon comes up. Others may be playing group games or strolling along the 
road or having a picnic across the lake — all of them happy in their own choice 
of what to do. (A Maine Camp.) 

Type II 

The second classification designated as Type II. may be described as 
the "50-50" group for although they were changing toward more free- 
dom they were still about half academic in their practices. They sched- 
uled the morning activities rather definitely and allowed much freedom 
of choice for the remainder of the day. They had some kinds of sys- 
tems for honors and awards for individuals, but were not stressing 
competition with others. They were opposed to an athletic emphasis 
and aimed at a nature program suitable to the country and not a dupli- 
cation of the city and school sports of the other seasons of the year. 

134 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

The 35 camps in this group comprised 35% of those reporting. A camp 
booklet gives the following : 

Social adjustment, leading to a new sense of social values, and to new social 
satisfactions ; the acquirement of new skills, leading to useful and pleasant avoca- 
tions ; the discovery and development of latent abilities and talents, leading to a 
wider range of interests and capacities, and therefore to a richer, fuller life ; the 
development of initiative, resourcefulness, and poise, leading to self-mastery and 
independence of action ; a physical regimen that brings boys and girls to the end 
of their vacations with minds eager and alert, and bodies glowing with health ; 
friendships that contribute, throughout the years to come, to social happiness and 
business success; the awakening of the deeper and finer impulses of the soul of 
youth, leading to an enrichment of the esthetic and spiritual life and a love of the 
finer things of life — these are some of the higher values of catup training which 
strengthen character and enrich personality. 

This sentence indicates a transition in philosophy but it occurs in the 
same booklet with the following: 

.... Under the recognition systems of camp a careful record is kept and the 
proper recognition is given all of a boy's achievements. The honor emblem will 
be awarded to those campers who complete tests required for same. This emblem 
carries with it a distinct honor and denotes all-round development and proficiency 
in camping. . . . The camp monogram (letter) will be awarded to boys who excel, 
according to their weight', class, in track, swimming, boxing, and wrestling ; and 
those who excel according to section, in woodcraft, scoutcraft, marksmanship, 
horsemanship, craftsmanship, archery, tennis, nature lore, astronomy, Indian Lore, 
canoeing, Bible Study, and first aid. (A North Carolina Camp.) 

This camp formerly had silver medals for a lot of "bests" but drop- 
ped them in 1932 at request of the older campers. The inconsistencies 
of the two sections listed above indicate a camp in transition and the 
1933 booklet of this camp makes no reference whatever to "all-round" 
program or to any type of emblems or awards. 

Type III 

A third group of camps might be called "athletic." While volun- 
taristic in some ways these camps used the half day schedule and a 
personal honor and award system, gave awards for "Bests" and high- 
point campers. They stressed athletics and in)struction in athletic 
sports. Of the 100 camps reporting, 12, or 12%, fell in this classifica- 
tion. Statements published by one of them is given below: 

X is not a school in the old sense of the term where fundamentals were 

taught by the rule of thumb and the rod, without consideration of the adaptability 
of the boy. X is more like the "dark room" of a photographer's establish- 
ment, where the film is dipped into the, developing tank, carefully worked over, 
the obscured qualities brought into striking prominence, the rough spots smoothed 
over and a finished print of beauty returned to the owner. 

Thus X is the developing tank of boyhood. Your boy comes to X . 

He is analyzed sympathetically, first by the* director, then by the counselors who 
watch his participation and reactions in various activities. He is encouraged to do 
things he likes and the things for which he is best fitted., . . . 

X features a new type of athletic program which not only teaches the 

fine points of each game on the field, but also provides for a special study of each 
boy's physical status. It instructs him, by means of special lectures, blackboard 
talks and motion pictures, in the fundamentals of the separate sports. . . . 

.... The weekly progress of the campers is recorded by means of, ai^ honor 

Educational Changes in Modern Camps 135 

chart system. This determines the winners of cups and medals in addition to 
showing the boy's final progress for the summer. Counselors hold daily meetings 
with the director to discuss the' hoy's daily work, accomplishments, and improve- 
ments, all of which are recorded on the honor chart. (A Maine Camp.) 

Type IV 

We may call the fourth group of camps the ''academic" for they 
have the program arranged and scheduled very much as a school cur- 
riculum might be. They divide the camp into sides for every sort of 
competition (or else use the cabin groups as units for competition) ; they 
keep account of the points won by individuals and by tribes (or groups) ; 
and they award trophies, cups and emblems at the end of the summer 
on the basis of the point system. It seemed necessary to place 26, or 
26%, of the camps reporting in this class although some were much 
more extreme than others. Habit formation, indoctrination conformity, 
are seen as emphases of these camps ; regimentation of activity and 
mass discipline are methods. Awards are the necessary sugar-coatings 
and artificial stimulants. Ten years ago the vast majority of camps 
were of this type. Two illustrations are given : 

(a) The girls are kept so busy and interested in wholesome amusements that 
they have neither the time nor the desire to engage in things objectionable. . . 
Counselors are expected to see that they enter wholeheartedly into all camp activi- 
ties, and to use every opportunity for instilling into them the highest ideals. . . . 
Through the season each tribe strives to excel in camp activities and in camp 
spirit. The tribe which has the greatest number of points at the close of the 
season is declared the winner and is presented with the "Winner's Banner." 

Camp Letters are awarded to all campers who have measured up to the ideals 
of the camp, which include taking part in all camp activities, keeping camp regu- 
lations, and showing a spirit of helpfulness and cooperation. Honors are given 
for the best hiker, best diver, champion tennis player, for the best kept room, the 
best collection of camp photographs. The most coveted honors are "Best All- 
Round Camper" and "Spirit of Good Cheer." . . . Competition is keen and the 
judges find it difficult to determine who are the winners. (A North Carolina 

(b) The campers are divided into four tribes , , . 

and . The contests which are carried on between these tribes are very 

spirited and close. Some teams winning in baseball, others excelling in water 
sports, or tennis, or field events. The results are doubtful right up to the end of 
the season. Every boy becomes active in a variety of sports, whether he plays 
the game well or not, for the sake of his team. At the same time each boy is 
adding points to his individual records, for which medals are awarded in the 
various events. . . . 

Each boy is classified in the group in which at least two of his measurements 
(age, weight, height) fall, and according to his development. The standard for 
credits in each class is adapted to the degree of ability which may be expected 
from boys of that class. The scheme places all boys on an equal footing on the 
basis of age. size, and development. This will enable the boys to compete for 
the camp championship. 

A banquet is held the last week of camp, at which there is a great spirit and 
good fellowship never to be forgotten, and the medals are awarded amid toasts 
and songs as the winners receive their medals. (A Maine Camp.) 


Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

Type V — Miscellaneous 

The other five camps could not very well be classified among these 
types and so we group them together as a specialist type of camp 
(Type V). Most of them deal with such specialties as music, art, 
rhythm, drama and physical culture. 

It had not been expected that definite conclusions could be drawn 
from this data. The study was an efifort to discover present condi- 
tions and if possible to measure certain trends. 

Of the 100 camps' reporting 66 were private camps. The data did 
not contain definite figures on enrollment. Sometimes there was a 
statement as to the capacity of the camp, but in general the size of a 
camp was only to be judged by group pictures in the booklets. The 
66 represent a pretty good cross section of camping ; some of them had 
an enrollment of 300 or more ; some were around 50, and most of them 
enrolled between 75 and 150. The Table below gives the statistics for 
this group : 

Classification op Private Campg 
































































The sampling of the private camps may be a fair one, but most 
likely it is quite selective. In the first place, the inquiries were sent 
out largely to those camps that were members of the Camp Directors' 
Association. Are such camps more or less progressive than those that 
do not belong to this organization? Presumably they are more inter- 
ested in camping as an educational movement and so may be less aca- 
demic, but one cannot be sure. The question as to whether the 100 
camp directors who did respond to the inquiiy were more or less pro- 
gressive than 400 who did not, might be answered in the same way. 

Since not a large percentage of organizational camp directors are 
members of the Camp Directors' Association, not so many of them 
were reached by this study and presumably only the most actively 
interested. The sampling in this class is very inadequate. The figures 
are given in Table No. 2. 

Educational Changes in Modern Cam-ps 


Classification of Organization Camps. 

























Boys Clubs 




Boy Scouts 




Boys Camps 













Girl Scouts 













Fresh Air 

















The percentages in these tables indicate no marked differences be- 
tween organizational and private camps on this basis of classification. 
No organizational camps, however, fitted the athletic emphasis (Type 
III) or the specialty (Type V) types of camps. In table No. 3, below, 
all the camps studied are included : 


Totals for Private and Organization Camps 

(Figures in Tables 1 and 2 Combined). 


































































138 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

Of the 100 camps studied, 22, or 22^0 (see Table No. 3), were 
classified as of the "Free" program type. An additional 35% had 
made much advancement in that direction. Twelve more (12%) while 
specializing in Athletic Sports were breaking away from Academic 
program methods to some extent. Only 26 (26%) still held to the 
academic methods of fixed programs, with competitive divisions and 
point award systems for motivation. 

One is tempted to call "Progressive" those camps (Type I) which 
are attaining a program which makes for freedom and individual guid- 
ance, because their underlying principles of philosophy often coincide 
with those of the progressive education movement. The term "pro- 
gressive" has so many possible meanings that it is necessary to illus- 
trate the sense in which it is used here. Below is described a "progres- 
sive" school by a progressive educator. 

The classrooms are in reality miniature laboratories where the children can 
carry on the many projects which are part of the whole' method involved. I do 
not see a single room with the row after row of desks which one is accustomed 
to see in the average school room ; instead there were tables large enough to ac- 
commodate all kinds of experiments, shelves to display the work, in fact all the 
equipment that such work would require. . . . The whole spirit of this school is 
that of enjoying what is being done and working from choice. 

He (i. e. the late Ovide Decroly) did not set out to teach children things that 
would be useful to them in later life ; not to prepare them for some remote and 
distant destiny. Instead he took the child as he was, normal or abnormal, and 
enabled him through his five senses, his memory, reasoning power, native energy 
of his limbs, and creative, energy of his mind and emotion, to realize the world 
about him and to prepare him through his own sense of life for all the demands 
that life would make upon him.'' 

Some camps of the "Free" type are very nearly working out this 
"progressive" philosophy. Camp Directors who have learned to work 
on the progressive basis have found their experiences so interesting 
that they are talking about them in their conventions and writing in 
the camping magazines. Conservatives criticize the progressive group 
and continue with their fixed programs and award schemes. Those 
large camps, which have not broken their numbers up into smaller 
program units, are continuing upon their semi-military basis with aca- 
demic procedures. They have an established reputation and large 
numbers of loyal alumni, and are thus less influenced by changing 

It is not intended, however, to give the impression that any camp 
has developed a program, or a technique, which may be recommended 
to all other camps. Voluntaristic philosophy denies the attainment of 
a satisfactory perfection, but demands that all directors constantly and 
critically examine their ways of experiencing camp living, so that it 
may continuously bring about better adjustment and more wholesome 

From the point of view of the Gestalt psychologists one questions 
whether camps are grasping the real opportunities for enriched living 

'Gilbert, Lois; A Visit to the Decroly School; Trogressive Education. April, 
1933, pp. 200-201. 

Educational Chani^ts in Modern Camps 1 ,V) 

which their camp environment offers. So much of the artificial enters 
into camps that campers may spend a whole summer without cominjj^ 
to feel the realities of camp. So many urhan activities are imi)ortccl 
into the country alon.c^ with the campers and counselors, even the direc- 
tors, that often there is very little of "the atni()S])hcre of a coontry 
home." Campers see the hills as they have seen them in i)ictures. hut 
without thinking of them as something to climb any more than they 
would think of climbing a pictured mountain. When directors and 
counselors study their job from the point of view of the Gestalt 
psychologist and then search to see how they may lead the camper to 
find the reality in the camp environment, they will enable many chil- 
dren to enjoy new and interestmg experiences. 

This means that things in the camping environment are to be seen 
in their relationships to everything else including the campers — in re- 
lationship to what may be done with them ; in relationship to how one 
feels about them ; in relation to their part in one's experience. The 
author's earliest recollections of certain roads near his country home 
were couched in terms of his experience. One road was the one that 
led to "Grandpa's" and another was the road to "Uncle Jack's," and 
it mattered not that each of them went to towns or cities beyond where 
those oft visited relatives lived. To many a city child the only expe- 
rience with anything like a country road has been with some rough 
unfinished street in town or city — to him it is just a "poor street." 
How can you help him to appreciate the reality and the charm of a 
country road ? 

This point is illustrated from an incident related by a camp director. 
Some children from the tenements of the lower Ea?t Side of New 
York City were being taken to one of the camps in Interstate Park. 
One small boy stopped right where he got off the bus. When it was 
noticed that he did not go with the other children across the fields and 
woods toward the camp buildings, a counselor turned back and called 
him. He did not move, and when the counselor went back he said, 
"I want to go home." The surprised counselor asked what was wrong. 
His reply was, "There's no place to play here." How can we l>e sure 
that our camp environment becomes real to our campers through ex- 
perienced relationships ? 

While the camping movement has not attained, it is reaching out 
toward new experience and more complete camp living for every 
camper, counselor and director. The era of standardization is rapidly 
passing in the things which should never have been standardized — 
choice of activities and human experience — and higher standards are 
being set in the realms where they belong; in the realms of health 
and safety. 

OrganizationaIv Camping 

Although the study tabulated in the table above warranted no con- 
clusions concerning organization camping, because of the meager data, 
other literature studied does give an indication of the changes, within 

140 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

the different organizations, regarding educational philosophy. The 
Y. W. C. A. seems to be leading in the practice of less academic pro- 
cedures in camp. This may be due to the fact that; they started most 
of their camps for dealing with business women and older girls, and 
they never did adopt so many of the standardized procedures that sprang 
up in some of the other organizations. 

Something of the present attitude of this group may be illustrated 
by quoting from a letter from a Y. W. C. A. Camp Director to her 
newly appointed staff when inviting them to a staff conference before 
camp opening : 

A staff can't sit in a shady spot and make out a program and then expect to 
have a progressive camp. . . . If wc want to get anywhere we must begin with 
the child's interest where it is, take advantage of all unexpected happenings and 
develop them into a larger plan. . . . 

.... A camper will only be happy if she has made the necessary adjustments 
to her tent mates and to the camp program. It is our job to see that she does 
this — to chat and find wliat she likes, what she is afraid of, what she most wants 
to' do and then to work with her until when she leaves . . . she will go with a 
feeling that she has succeeded in making friends and learned some skill which 
she had not known before she came to camp.^ 

This indicates that an effort is being made to carry the staff through 
a process of training which should result in a progressive camp pro- 

The Y. M. C. A. had an era of standardization with a definitely 
worked out academic program for applying in mass fashion, but the 
past decade has seen that discarded and the Y leaders have been pioneers 
in learning how to put into practice the discoveries of modern educa- 
tional leaders. Although there are still some Y camp people who know 
only the old and traditional approach, the new literature and training 
of the organization looks toward individual counseling and guidance 
rather than a mass approach in dealing with youth.^ 

Another organization making a definite contribution toward pro- 
gressive camping is the Camp-Fire Girls. According to their national 
executive in his message to Camp Directors (1932) 

Camps are friendly places ; places where the girls may learn the meaning of the 
word "comrade" ; places where the girls may discover the out-of-doors and each 
other ; places for rest as well as activities ; places where the spirit grows while 
the muscles harden. Camps should be reservoirs of health and joy.'** 

In the same bulletin quoted above may be found a plea for the ex- 
perimental attitude, on the part of camp people : 

Progressive camp leader.ship must be creative. Wc must not be held down by 
recorded camp activities or approaches or equipment layouts — we must realize that 
there are other and newer and unrecorded, perhaps yet unconceived, activities, 
approaches to be had for the finding. Nor can we wait for someone to record 
them for us. We must ourselves produce them. 

We are too sure, it seems to me, that we have hit upon the ideal way of camp 
procedure. Camping is young and we must keep the experimental spirit of youth. 

'Document No. .37. 

*Stone, Walter L. ; A Camp Coun.selor's Manual, Y. M. C. A. Gi-aduate School, 
Nashville, 1933. 

"The Camp Directors Bulletin, Camp Fire Girls, Inc., 1932. 

Educational Changes in Modirn Camps 141 

We must grow and learn as we grow. . . . Because it has always hcen done in 
camping is no criterion that it should always be so. With every passing year we 
find ourselves further in a rut in any field, the stereotypes are more firmly fixed; 
zve hecome fundamentalists defending the one and only (jrain of truth in the 
camping uniTcrse. . . . We must strive constantly against the forces that are nar- 
rowing. Camping is too young to be in a rut. The business of youth is taking 
on new experience and camping is still in its youthful stage. Never settle down 
within the theory you have chosen, the course you have embraced ; know that 
another theory, another course exists." 

On the whole the Cami)-Fire Girls organization is advancing; toward 
progressive ideals of camping. Soine of their camps have abolished 
all types of honors and awards. The national executive thinks they 
are useful in only the larger camps where the camp directors seem 
unable to cope with the problem of numbers on the individual and small 
group basis. Is not this an admission that the large camp needs break- 
ing up into smaller units where a mass approach would not be necessary, 
rather than any real justification for the honor award system? An 
excerpt from the report of the large camp of Cleveland. Ohio, where 
the camp is organized into small units is an example within this organ- 
ization that large camps can get along with few honors to be awarded : 

We have no system of honors at all. There is tent inspection every morning 
and if a tent does not pass, they are asked to leave their craft and complete their 
clean-up. We have girls who stay from two to ten weeks. My first summer I 
found girls saying, "I'm going to get a Yakewi Honor the first session and then 
do as I please the next two weeks." Since we abolished all honors except those 
earned in Camp Craft, Swimming, Nature, and Handicraft (the standard organ- 
ization honors), we have had not only a happy camp — but a camp where every 
camper knows that she shares responsibility for a clean, attractive, helpful and 
happy camp with her tent mates." 

The Girl Scouts is another organization with a national set of stand- 
ards for girl achievement, which works well when not emphasized too 
much or too rigidly adhered to. Here again there are various grades 
of progressive practices and still some very academic camp people 
organizing activities on the basis of competition, prescribed programs 
and avrards. Many of the Girl Scout Directors have broken their camps 
up into smaller units and a large measure of freedom of program is 
allowed these units under the guidance of their counselors and direc- 
tors. Their units of pioneer and primitive camping are among their 
later contributions. These indicate a transition to a progressive philos- 
ophy of camping and may be a good approach to that introduction of 
the campers to the reality of their camp environment which was indi- 
cated above as one of the goals rarely attained, but most desirable. 
In the Pioneer unit the girls do their own cooking and run their camu 
in pioneer fashion, vvrhile in a primitive camp the girls do even more — 
select the site, set up tents, build fireplaces, latrines, have no permanent 
equipment whatever. 

Probably no other organization in the camping field has grown and 
expanded so rapidly as the Boy Scouts; their program was intended 

"Mason, Bernard S. ; What Are Your Objectives? Camp Director's Bulletin, 

"The Camp Director's Bulletin, Camp Fire Girls. Inc., 1932. p. 56. 

142 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

to be carried on largely out of doors, and they early took to camping. 
Their early camping consisted in camping trips. A troop would select 
a site and spend a week or so. Much of it was fatiguing and unsafe 
and for a time there was a reaction against it because of sickness or 
injury. As the supervisory council organization grew and council camps 
were established to set camping standards and to train camp leaders 
Scout Camps became popular. Many "scouters" are now carefully 
studying the later educational theories and are practicing camp life on 
progressive principles. 

The following "Impressions of Camp Life" were written by a boy 
who changed from a city Council Camp run on the academic plan to 
a "Y" Camp which was attempting to work out a progressive "Boy- 
Centered" Program. 


My first experiences were anything but pleasant. My knowledge of the prac- 
tices and moronic practical jokes imposed upon the "neophytes" was nil, so I was 
an| easy prey to all who wished to torment me. The camp government was in 
effect an aristocratic system with a benevolent but impersonal dictator. Each 
lodge had its lodge leader, a boy supposedly the natural leader of the group, but 
in reality the largest or most aggressive. He was not paid ; the position of lodge 
leader was supposed to be sufficiently attractive (because of special privileges). 
In him the power of a king was vested; he was the keeper of discipline in his 
lodge and his judgment in the manner of punishment was final. If he wished to 
punish by paddling, confiscation of prized desserts, or deprivation of swimming 
privileges, he did so. 

In many cases, probably due to the immaturity of the leader, favoritism was 
very noticeable. The very program of the camp was built for the larger boys 
and leaders. Very little, if any efifort was made to develop the retiring boys. 
Since I was small and not particularly good at anything, I was left out. Not big 
enough or good enough to play baseball, not strong enough or self-reliant enough 
to play most of the games where individual winners were chosen, I was lost in 
the shuffle. 

The next year started ofif in a similar inauspicious manner. Since I had made 
no imprint on the memories of those who were at camp the preceding year, I 
was taken as a "rookie" many a time, to my chagrin. It brought home the fact 
that I was insignificant. The program was nearly the same. Baseball games for 
those who could play, or who would boldly assert their ability to play; games 
requiring experience, .stamina, and a self-confidence and assertiveness I did not 
have; a handicraft shop for those who knew handicraft and could argue or brow- 
beat the smaller boys out of using tools. 

The third year was similar except that now and then there was a person who 
remembered me and my spirits rose. In my own small way I enjoyed that year. 
My swimming had improved until I was proud of it, and in addition, I could now 
shoot the bow and arrow somewhat. I enjoyed camp because I felt that I was 
now an individual. Really, I think that I was about the same but my mental 
attitude had changed. 

The next summer I was offered a chance to go to a rival camp as an adviser 
in archery. At first the idea of camping for eight weeks repelled me ; for none 
of my other ventures had been for longer than three weeks. 

I finally decided to accept the offer. Upon my arrival at the camp I found an 
entirely new system. At first I felt that I was more out of place than ever but 
gradually the realization came that instead of competition with others, competition 
with one's self for improvement was the spirit. Having very few responsibilities 

Educational Changes in Modern Camps 143 

and an assured place in the camp, my self-respect and propfirtioiially my enjoyment 
increased. I think that before or since I have never so thor(jugiily enjoyed life 
and living as I did those short seven weeks. 

Where the very basis of the program was aid to the weak ratiicr than pleasure 
for the strong, I was in my element. This camp system was the antithesis of the 
other. The leadership had behind it what I believed to be the right idea. The 
cabin counselor's place was that of the helper and adviser of the boys, not a far 
removed autocrat. 

The three succeeding years at camp were spent under this system of educational 
programs with the leaders trying to reach every individual. While my own part 
in the camp activities was small I enjoyed working with the boys and I'll continue 
as long as I can. My camping experiences have furnished mc with the most 
enjoyable times of my life." 

Despite the fact that the Boy Scout Program has been conservative 
and academic, it has now an active research department and should 
become a progressive force. The leaders of the Boy Scout movement 
are aware that while making all efTort possible to cover the territory 
properly with their program, there was failure to keep pace with chang- 
ing educational practice. This is one of the signs looking toward pro- 
gress and change in the camping movement. 

The following excerpts from the 1931 annual report indicates that 
the Scout movement will not be satisfied with any program which they 
feel could be improved upon. 

While scouting in America has a fuller, wider, and more definite knowledge 
of itself, statistically, than in any other country, the facts are largely those which 
relate to volume and registration and tenure and related factors. Investigations 
have been few concerning boy needs, boy interests, program content, program 
operation, results achieved. Perhaps this is natural and to be expected. The 
emphasis during these first two decades has been largely on expansion, covering 
the field or organization financial struggles — the program was taken for granted. . . . 

So rapid' has been the advancement in educational theory that it is important 
that we validate our whole approach to our work. Education is now seen not as 
a formal training process imposed upon the individual from ivithout, hut rather as 
a process of inner grozvth in n'hich the individual reacts to, interprets, discovers 
value in and selectively evaluates the experiences out of which he is learning. 
The individual we now see is not a passive recipient of information or fixed 
training, but rather is a person, a personality adjusting himself to life, sharing 
personal and race experience with his leaders who are not commanders but com- 
panions. Education thus becomes not something done to the boy as much as some- 
thing done by the boy. Our problem, then, is not to do things for or to boys, but 
rather to encourage and facilitate them to do things for themselves. 

This is but one example of important modern principles with which the move- 
ment must be attuned in its practice. ... If character can be formally indoctrin- 
ated, then we might do certain things; but if character is a growth, then our 
procedure is profoundly different. . . . The movement has a heavy responsibility 
to be certain that what it does or encourages shall not only be valid but that it 

"Document No. 38. The above autobiographical sketch written by a University 
of Pennsylvania freshman, shows how the academic type of camp tended to overlook 
individual problems, and so miss its greatest opportunities for usefulne.s^. The 
Directors of this same Scout Camp have since learned progressive camp philosophy 
and their camp has changed accordingly. 

144 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Education 

shall be the best of which we and our scientific advisers are capable. Anjlhing 
less is unfair to boyhood." 

With the Boy Scout movement planning thus to shift its base from 
a formal and academic type of program into line with a set of progres- 
sive principles being worked out through modern research in the field 
of educational theory and practice, a new day for Scouting is on the 
way. There will be many of the old "fundamentalists" of the Scout 
movement, who will be unable to make the transition, but the leaders 
wtio are capable of change and learning and growth are ready to pull 
the movement out of its rut and progress will be made. 

Not only are the various organization leaders learning from our 
modern educational philosophers and carrying on research to test their 
theories in regard to camping and other leisure time program possibil- 
ities, but the Camp Directors' Association is becoming active in research 
and exploring the opportunities of the profession. A committee from 
the New York section reporting to the National C. D. A. A. Conven- 
tion in 1932 stated that Camp Directors were not ready to accept any 
conclusions as finaP^ : 

We have not had the advantage of the other professions of years of study 
focused directly upon our problems. We have, however, the opportunity of a fresh 
start, unhampered by the tradition of a bygone generation. . . . 

We are aware that progress depends largely upon variation and experimenta- 
tion and we wish camping to be forever free from the standardization which is 
the besetting disease of modern institutional life. 

The concept of education which we accept as a basis for this report is of .i 
continuing process whereby the individual is led on by interest from one expe- 
rience to another in such' a way that he acquires the knowledge, skills, habits and 
appreciations which will mean the greatest enrichment of his life. But more than 
that, education must so develop the individual that he, shall be able to adjust to 
the social order in which he must live and operate. . . . 

This camp (one that makes the largest contribution to the emotional integration 
of its campers) will be pervaded by a sense of serenity which is based on the 
general goodwill and confidence among the staff and campers. 

Daily each camper will have freedom within broad limits to select activities 
and t'o do what he wants to do without explaining why or satisfying adult re- 
quirements with the execution of his project. In order that children should 
develop self-respect based on real worth to their community, each camper will 
have regular chores or otherwise participate in the necessary work of the camp. 
He will feel successful and be aware that his fellows appreciate his service. 

This camp will have a simple program which does not urge campers to make 
showy articles, excel comrades, make records' or defeat other camps. . . . 

There is a form of organization commonly used in camp which divides the 
children into the "Reds" and the "Blues" and maintains a competition between 
these teams through much of the season, extending into many fields of activity. 
The subtle coercion of this plan is often far more compelling than the leaders 
realize. To a large degree it precludes the deepest self-expression gained by 
acting on the individual impulse and creative urge. It generates a false drive that 
leads to anxiety, a sense of failure and the division of attention between the 
apparent pursuit and the artificial reward. It prevents the camp and the camper 

"Hurt, H. W.; Director Research Service, 22d annual report. B. S. A., 1931, 
p. 110. 

"The place of the Organized Camp in the P'ield of Education ; Report of N. Y. 
Sec. Committee to C. D. A. A. National Convention, 1932. 

Education jI Changes in Modern Camps 145 

from finding out what the latter really wants to do. This imposition by camps 
of ready-made incentives raises the greatest barrier to sound emotional growth 
in the camper. . . . 

In the hands of leaders whose underlying purpose is the guidance of children 
toward more effective living the camp will be a potent influence. Let these lead- 
ers be well balanced adults who find in the different phases of camp life some- 
thing of intrinsic worth, people who will fire the campers with their own genuine 
enthusiasm, thus making unnecessary a stereotyped program and the false stimuli 
of tangible rewards. 

In setting up such objectives this committee has rendered a real 
service to the camping movement. This is but another evidence that 
the progressive educational theories have attained an important place 
among camp directors and that growth in that direction may be confi- 
dently predicted. 

The following paragraphs give in perspective a summary of the 
relation of camping to educational practice : 

The fundamental principle involved at first in camping was that of recreation. 
. . . The first camps were started on a very informal basis. As camps became 
better known and understood they grew larger. When problems of organization 
arose the camp took on the aspect of a school in the open. Activity periods were 
set and campers signed up for certain activities. Team sports and athletics were 
taken over from the school program with little effort at adaptation to the camp 
situation; along with this came award and reward problem, one of the most mooted 
questions among groups of leaders today. 

The present fundamental principle is education, but education in a broader and 
more inclusive sense than we ordinarily conceive it. It is education which is 
pleasurable, informal, wholesome, and a complement to the environment and 
breadth of activity possible in school. 

.... The present-day tendency in camping is away from large groups, highly 
organized programs, a set and definite time schedule, much competition, and elab- 
orate systems of awards and honors. The pendulum is swinging back to the 
early camps with their informal, natural "camp"' methods." 

Yes, camps are regaining much of their infonnality and to this ex- 
tent are finding some of the good qualities they lost as camping grew, 
but with this return to informal programs there will be so much better 
understanding of the purposes and objectives, as well as the methods 
that the future camps should be able to avoid many of the mistakes 
that w^ere made in the earlier period. 

"Counselor's Handbook; Gold HgIIow Camp by Verrel Weber, Publi.<:hed 
by Mills College, 1930. 



Since the Camping Movement has been making a transition from 
recreational and physical educational types of program to the more 
comprehensive objectives of personality enrichment, serious-minded 
camp directors are faced with an ever widening range of problems. 
In addition to those questions of procedure and administration within 
their own camps some leaders are seeing the larger problems of the 
camping movement. 

How Organize thk Camping Movement 

Perhaps the most baffling problem is that of providing this diver- 
sified movement, which has "just grown up" in independent units, with 
a central co-operative and co-ordinating organization. From the be- 
ginning camp directors have been independent individuals, and, like 
farmers, each has worked hard at his own particular place in the in- 
dustry without finding a way to benefit through co-operative efforts. 

Although one Camp Directors' Association dates back to 1910, no 
camping organization has secured participation and support from any 
large percentage of the camping people. The Camp Directors' Asso- 
ciation seemed to some people to be organized as a sort of accrediting 
agency since membership was open only to those who met certain re- 
quirements — a sort of aristocracy of camping. Then, too, while the 
C. D. A. A. enrolled a fair percentage of the private and independent 
camp directors there were many organizational camp people who were 
satisfied with membership within their own organizations. Nor have 
members of the Camp Directors' Association of America been able to 
agree among themselves as to its proper place and function in relation 
to the camping movement. 

A participant in the National C. D. A. A. Convention of 1932 writes 
of its significance as "potential rather than actual." 

Emphasis upon standards, public relations, securing prestige for the C. D. A. A., 
making it hard for members to get in, and in other ways using an organization 
of camping to boost the reputation and good name of camping for its marketing 
as well as professional status calls for one kind of structure, membership basis, 
activities, and conference. 

Emphasis upon the growing points of camping, self-criticism, examination of 
each other's techniques, cooperative experimentation and research, in other words, 
using an organization of camping to accelerate its climb toward more effectiveness, 
calls for another kind of structure, basis of membership, activities, and conference.^ 

Mr. Sorensen seems to have sensed the real point at issue; whether 
the organization shall function narrowly for the benefit of its own mem- 

'Sorenson, Roy; Association Boys Work Journal, May, 1932, p. 22. 


Problems and La^s of Organize J Camping 147 

bership like a trade union, or whether it shall function for the entire 
movement as a servant of society much as a research foundation. Why 
not try organizing the people who are vitally interested in camping 
both by special types of camping and by regions? For example, there 
could be a Southern Section of the Camping Association composed of 
all the people interested in camping in the area or region, even though 
each person might also be a member of some special group interestefl 
primarily in Y. M. C. A., Boy Scout, Four-H Club, Private, or some 
other type of camping. Could not such Co-operative regional Camping 
Associations form a representative National Camping Association capa- 
ble of carrying on co-operatively the research and experimentation 
which are necessary to solve many problems of the camping move- 

The Southern Section of the C. D. A. although organized on a much 
less inclusive basis than that suggested has done much to aid its member 
camps in accelerating the climb toward more effectiveness through co- 
operative efTorts. It has sponsored and underwritten an Annual Camp 
Counselors' Training Institute at Blue Ridge, North Carolina, for three 
years and it is sponsoring "The Behavior Change Inquiry in Southern 
Camps," a five year research project, both, in co-operation with mem- 
bers of the Faculty of the Y. M. C. A. Graduate School. These valua- 
ble co-operative projects point the way to solve many camping prob- 
lems if the larger co-operative organizational scheme can be effected. 
Problems discussed below illustrate the lags of the movement without 
this co-operative organization. 

Creative Supervision 

As a group of Southern camp directors have entered upon The 
Behavior Change Inquiry and secured the services of a competent re- 
search man to direct it, why may not area camping associations provide 
for creative supervision of their various enterprises? A whole series 
of problems relating to standards and evaluation of camps could be 
solved by securing a creative supervisor, without any mechanical stand- 
ardization but in a way to increase initiative, variation, and creative 
experience in each camp. 

Whenever camp directors have proposed to work out standards for 
the evaluation of camps and camp programs they have confronted these 
puzzling questions : "Whose standards ?" and "Who is to do the evalu- 
ating?" Instead of setting up evaluating boards to make inspections, 
accrediting this camp because it measures up, but refusing to "approve" 
that camp because of some deficiency, why not secure the services of a 
competent supervisor for the area whose function would be, not to 
inspect, judge, and criticize the camps, but to work with each of them 
to improve their techniques and to better accomplish their purposes. 
He could confer with the directors and personnel of the different camps 
in a way to lead them to continuously raise their standards of their 
own achievement. This kind of creative supervision would be passed 

148 Organized Cam-ping and Progressive Education 

on by the directors in their supervision of counselors and campers, 
and would provide the best possible training for the counselors on their 

Counselor Training 

The next problem of camping would then be in line for solution — 
the selection and training of the camp counselor staff. When purposes 
were mainly recreation and physical activity, camp directors chose as 
counselors young athletes; then with increased diversification of activ- 
ities specialists in the activities were sought as counselors, since accept- 
ing the broad implication of camping as development of the whole per- 
sonality of the campers, counselors must become personality specialists 
as well. Too often the mind of the activity specialist is so centered 
upon the success of his activity that he loses sight of what is happening 
to the campers. 

Uncoordinated specialties are among the many reasons for educational failures. 
If everyone who is a specialist in one camp subject, is a good generalist in several 
more, and can turn his hand to almost anything in a pinch, you may be sure that 
everything is going to move along satisfactorily.'' 

Only definite training and experience under creative supervision can 
provide successful camp personnel. Colleges and Universities alone 
are not giving, and perhaps cannot fully give, this training. Camping 
must provide it for itself, or, better still, be prepared to enlist the help 
of the most camp-minded faculty people in institutions of higher learn- 
ing to provide it co-operatively. 

The present demand for counselors trained in handling problems 
of personality growth and adjustment has resutled from the applica- 
tion to camping of sociology, mental hygiene, gestalt psychology and 
a voluntaristic jihilosophy. Dr. J. Edward Sanders of Colgate Univer- 
sity said in 1932 : 

At present there is no source to which directors can turn for leaders already 
trained and few camps can hold leaders long enough to give them adequate train- 
ing themselves. At present few camp directors would seem competent to do 
their own program of training. . . . The breadth of technical knowledge needed 
by a director exceeds that of almost any other person in the field of education or 
social work. 

.... The difficulty here arises from the fact that every staff member should 
know something of the way personality grows, of the ways in whicli it becomes 
bent and twisted, of the process of social and emotional re-education.' 

Most of the courses listed under camping in present college curricula 
are rather technical, with an academic method, conducted by physical 
education departments. Many institutions are offering good courses 
in their social science departments, but camp people need guidance in 
selecting them since one may not be able to judge the most helpful 
ones from their listings in the catalogues. Much of the most practical 

''Pulling, Albert Van Side ; The Value of Trips in Camp Education ; Camping 
Magazine, Vol. VI, No. 1, January, 1934, p. 14. 

'Sander.s, J. Edward; Camping Problems; Camp Director's Bulletin, 1932, 
Camp Fire Girls, Inc., p. 26. 

Problems and Lags of Organized Camping 149' 

help for both directors and counsejors is probably I)eing derived from 
such short seminars and institutes as the three-day Seminars for camj) 
directors conducted since 1930 by the George Williams College of 
Chicago, and the annual ten-day Camp Counselors' Institutes C()n(lucti<I 
since 1932 at Blue Ridge. North Carolina, by the Y. M. C. A. Graduate 
School in co-operation with the Southern Section of the C. D. A. A/ 
Organization of such Institutes for Counselor Training could Ix? a func- 
tion of Area Camping Supervisors, suggested earlier in the chapter. 

How Select Camp Counselors? 

Business has learned that certain personality tests help to explain 
why certain employees failed to make good in one kind of job while 
succeeding admirably at another. Use of such tests to fill jobs with 
those who had a maximum chance to succeed has meant an increase 
in efficiency and a financial gain. Unfortunately in camping such a 
large number of qualities are involved it is most difficult to work out 
any series of tests adequate for determining the relative chances for 
success as camp counselors. Nevertheless it is most important to de- 
termine, in advance if possible, which applicants for camp counselor- 
ship will be successful ; for greater values are at stake in these personal 
situations than in places of business where failure means only delay 
and financial loss. 

This is in agreement with the conclusions from one of the earlier 
studies of camping made by Dr. Goodwin Watson : 

The camps which produce the best results are camps with a high degree of 
democratic participation on the part of the boys, an unusual amount of equipment, 
a thorough-going system for reaching each boy, and unusiiaUx expert and i\.-cU- 
trained leaderships 

In 1930 the author as director of one of 20 co-operating camps 
participated in a study of the counselors employed. Of 260 counselors 
studied, 25% proved to be very poor leaders. It was found from a 
study of the behavior changes of the campers that as much negative 
change took place in the groups under the leadership of the weak coun- 
selors as positive change under the best grade of counselors. The tests 
which did not prove significant selectors of good counselors were dis- 
carded and the others were formed into a new device for aiding selec- 
tion and for predicting the chances of successful performance. 

This revised form was used as an application blank by eight camps 
which continued the study in 1931 and the selection based upon it raised 
the number of highest grade counselors from 20.5% in 1930 to 34% 
in 1931 and completely eliminated the lowest grade counselors from 
some camps. Real progress was made, but the research around this 
problem should be continued in order to learn better how to select camp 
leadership and how to release a counselor's best powers. 

^Described more fully in the next Chapter. 

"Watson, Dr. Goodwin B. ; Some Accomplishments in Summer Camps, 1928, p. 27. 

150 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

Here is an interesting statement from one of the men who took a 
leading part in making this study : 

It seems quite clear that leadership is a function of factors and forces operat- 
ing in the total situation rather than something that can be isolated within the 
personality of the individual. Leadership has at least three dimensions — the indi- 
vidual, the group, and the social situation — each of which must be adequately 
taken into account. A particular counselor may have a very high grade of in- 
telligence and yet prove a failure because his immediate supervisor, or the camp 
director, has an inferior intelligence. The success or failure of this particular 
counselor becomes a question determined by the interaction between the counselor 
and the supervisor. If this relationship is mutually helpful, success probably 
would result ; if on the other hand the discrepancy in their abilities should result 
in a clash in personalities the success of the counselor would be definitely 

These experiments and studies have somewhat delimited the field 
by determining which approaches are unfruitful, but real achievement 
lies ahead. If such results can be obtained with so limited an adventure 
in co-operative effort, what might be accomplished with a full measure 
of continuous co-operative research upon the problems of camping? 

Cost Accounting 

Another series of problems causing camp people constant trouble 
relates to finance, recruiting, and public relations. Although not so 
recognized the real storm center of the group is finance. The question 
has well been raised : "Will it be possible for a summer camp to 
operate as a business undertaking, requiring a profit, and at the same 
time be conducted as a thoroughly educative enterprise?"^ It does 
not look reasonable to expect camps to operate educationally upon 
tuition fees alone with a greater degree of success than schools have 
been able to do. 

This question of finance has been complicated by the variety of 
camping experiences oflfered and by the wide range of fees charged. 
There is reason for the public to be confused. They see enough money 
charged by some camps for one week to pay the fees for four campers 
in some other camp. When asked to explain these differences camp 
people have answered somewhat incoherently to the general effect that 
some camps are better than others, or that some are more or less sup- 
ported by the coinmunities through their organizations. Very few camp 
directors have established cost accounting systems adequate to show 
just what it costs per camper-week to maintain and operate their camps, 
and to point out the items of expense which go to make up these 
amounts. Camp patrons would appreciate such an understanding of 
camp business administration, and a camp director who shares these 
facts with his patrons will dispel their doubts as to whether they are 
getting the worth of their money ; they will know how it is spent. 

For the same reason the general public in any community will more 

"Hendry, C. E. ; The Study of Counselors in the Summer Camp; Association Boys 
Work Journal, May. 1932. p. 12. 

'Dimock and Hendry; Camping and Character, p. 332. 

Problems and Lags of Organized Camping 151 

readily give financial support to its organizational cain])s if the facts 
gleaned from a definite cost accounting system are nvailahlc to prove 
the necessity of the funds solicited. No particular cost accounting plan 
is oflfered, since there will he some variation for different types of camp- 
ing; a co-operative organization can make them function most eflfec- 
tively for the movement. 

Just as cost accounting statistics have led the public to expect a 
less valuable educational result in those school systems where the unit 
instruction cost per pupil is very low. so with camping ; when the 
public can see that the per camper-week expenditure for leadership 
is very low their expectation of educational results will be modified 
accordingly. This should form an effective basis for appeal when 
organization camps find it necessary to solicit funds to supplement the 
meagre fees which their members are able to pay. In far too many 
cases these organizational camps have concealed the true facts and have 
continued to operate without the trained leadership they needed because 
it was more expensive. 

This is not a question for competition between private and organi- 
zational camps. The advantages and limitations of each must be 
recognized. More money must be made available for the organiza- 
tional camps if worthy educational results are to be obtained. Through 
cost accounting this can be made plain to the public, for although there 
are many other means of evaluation, cost accounting is one of the 
quickest, the most definite, and the least difficult to apply. 

Public Relations 

Dr. Sanders in discussing the problems of organized camping rec- 
ognizes the difficulty the public has in "securing a fair, yet objective, 
evaluation of the work of individual camps" : 

At present we have no such evaluations ; parents have almost no way to secure 
it. Consequently we have the poor continuing year after year because of superior 
salesmanship of their owners and some of the better ones in difficulty because 
their directors spend time with problems of education rather than salesmanship." 

Members of the C. D. A. A. have sensed this problem of salesman- 
ship as they came into competition with inferior camps posing as the 
very best. They have attempted to deal with it by setting up standards 
for "approved" camps and machinery for giving this approval. They 
have established codes of ethics for the profession of camp director 
in a further effort to raise the standards for "approved" camps. Of 
course they have refused to approve the inferior camps which do not 
come up to their standard, but their only means of bringing this fact 
to the attention of parents or the public has been through co-operative 
advertising for the "approved" camp group, ignoring the inferior camps 
by leaving them off their list. 

'Sanders, J. Edward; Camping Problems; Bulletin for Camp Directors, Camp 
Fire Girls, Inc., 1932. p. 9. 

152 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

Despite such measures this problem will continue to exist until 
through research and creative supervision better criteria for judging 
camps are determined. As has Ijeen suggested above a quick first 
step in this direction might be found in the use of cost accounting sys- 
tems. When the findings of research have determined how to evaluate 
the quality of a camp, those who wish to present camping to the public 
must still find ways to interest parents in learning how to apply the 
standards in selecting camps. 

Principal methods of advertising camp and soliciting campers in- 
clude personal solicitation by directors, counselors, campers, parents or 
other representatives ; direct by mail materials, including camp book- 
lets, letters, and printed matter ; rotogravures and news stories in news- 
papers ; Sargent's Handbooks of Summer Camps with the service of- 
fered to parents in aiding their investigation and selection ; and the 
growing camp advertising sections of magazines. Apparently most 
camps spend much of their publicity budget in the "direct by mail" 
method. Organizational camp people have learned in a few cities that 
by using a plan of co-operative publicity camping came to be better 
understood ; and each of them had larger enrollments than when they 
handled their publicity campaigns separately. Short letters with direct 
and to the point materials about camping to a selected mailing list was 
found effective. Posters carrying announcements and picture material 
for each of the organization camps were widely scattered about the 
city. Printed materials and lists of people qualified to discuss camping 
were prepared for P. T. A. groups and mothers' clubs. 

Many private camps issue rather elaborate and expensive camp book- 
lets. Apparently each of these camp directors feels that he is getting 
out a piece of publicity that is distinctive and unique. The author has 
experienced this feeling when as a camp director he had the responsi- 
bility for camp promotion. A recent experience in making a careful 
study of the booklets from a hundred camps has convinced him that 
much of this material is a waste of printing — an excessive expense. 
He has attended C. D. A. A. meetings and heard camp directors com- 
plain about how little parents have been found to have read their book- 
lets ; follow-up of a direct by mail campaign has strengthened this con- 

If camp directors would attempt to read a hundred different camp 
booklets, many of them would change their advertising methods. These 
descriptions which bring pictures to the minds of the directors who 
write them do not carry over to prospective campers, and their parents. 
Parents who have been bombarded by mail by half a dozen camps have 
not had camping presented to them effectively. 

Practically all these booklets describe the camps in detail : location, 
site, equipment, stafif, age groupings (three groups), daily plan, coun- 
selor qualifications, camp organization, food, safety and health precau- 
tions, various activities, transportation, expenses, what to bring, refer- 
ences, visitors. Some of them describe honor and award systems and 
publish names of winners for the previous year; some put in a few 

Problems and Lags of Organized Camping I53 

paragraphs on camping philosophy, and objectives ; sonic list tntoring 
possibilities. Even in the range of activities offered there is seldom 
anything so distinctive that it is worth space in the camp booklet for 
a lull description. The majority of camps otTer nearly the same range 
of activities to choose from. 

Not only is this big piece of i)rinting a useless drain on the budget, 
but it may cause parents to postpone or neglect reading anything con- 
nected with camping. Interest must be aroused before informational 
material, however worth while, can get attention. Even boys or girls 
read this material only after they have become interested in camping. 
Much of the material is worded for parents, anyway. 

Camp booklets in their present form have apparently been devel- 
oped by a group of individualist camp directors, each of whom has 
tried to give a complete description of the camp which is so charming 
to him that he believes his booklet will win its way to the hearts of 
campers and parents and prove irresistible; each feels that he must 
issue a better booklet than other camps in order to win out in com- 

One of the booklets stood out from the other 99, which sent printed 
materials. It is a simple, dignified little booklet, seven by nine inches, 
containing thirty-two pages. Its opening paragraph sets forth the pur- 
pose of the directors in presenting it. 

Mr. and Mrs. realize that parents, choosing Camp for their 

daughters, use, as a deciding factor, not the text of its catalogue nor even its 

pictures but, instead, knowledge received first hand by a visit to Camp 

or information given them by mothers and fathers whose daughters have attended 

Camp. However, there is certain information which it is well to set 

forth and the following pictures will portray facts better than words.' 

There is less than a page of printing and the remainder of the book- 
let is filled with beautiful well-selected pictures with brief captions. 
Such a booklet arouses interest without dulling it with unnecessary 
detail. An inquiry to the Director can bring any other material desired 
in letters, printed folders, inserts and references. A representative 
of the camp may be notified and personal solicitation carried on. This 
camp booklet serves as an introduction — not as a salesman nor as a 
teacher to educate the parent or camper. It has the added advantage 
of not committing the camp to definite program policies, thus leaving 
room for a much more flexible prograin, adjustable to new insights and 
changed situations without resentment or disappointment on the part 
of those who come expecting a too definite experience. 

The camp from whose booklet I quoted certainly does not neglect 
giving the parents information ; their patrons probably have as clear 
an understanding of what goes on in camp as do those of any camp 
in the country. During the summer the campers write about their 
experiences — events, feelings, songs, poems, thoughts — for the camp 
paper ; these are preserved, edited, published in booklet form, and mailed 
to the campers as a Christmas greeting with a message from the Camp 

'Document No. 39. 

154 Organized Camfing and Progressive Educaf-ioft 

Directors. Campers' memories are refreshed and they again, tell of their 
camp experiences. Such description, alive and with the spirit of camp 
moving through it. interests parents. Copies of this "camp log"' are 
available for prospective campers. 

There has been an abundance of direct-by-mail advertising by indi- 
vidual camps. It seems to have been assumed that the crop of campers 
is limited and that the merits of your camp must be strongly defended 
in order to get enough to fill your quota. Is it not much nearer the 
truth that the educational experience of camping needs to be made 
available to many more boys and girls than are now receiving it? If 
camps worked together to interest this larger group of people in the 
values of camp life, would they not all profit by the increased clientele 
without the deadly competition ? 

There are still many parents who look upon camping as either just 
an outdoor recreation place, or as a place for the correction of trouble- 
some and problem children. As one father who admitted that he knew 
almost nothing about camps expressed it : 

I had presumed that they were not for me because I was having no particular 
difficulty with my children and we had in the family a very pleasant summer 
place which all the children loved. Therefore, summer presented no conscious 
problem ; and I had supposed camps appealed to those parents who either had 
children whom they could not themselves control, or who lacked a suitable place 
to send them or take them for the summer.™ 

Accordingly when one summer the summer place was not available 
this man sent his boy to camp and was amazed at the abilities he gained, 
the lack of which he had not previously felt. He has been sending his 
boys and his girls to camps ever since, and enthusiastically wrote :/ 

Camps not only accustom them to their proper places in the company of others ; 
camps are able to drill and accustom children to self-restraints and self-disciplines 
which are singularly difficult to teach in the home ; the camp seems to me an almost 
necessary refuge for children from the everywhere-offered opportunities for 
machine-made and more or less deleterious recreation." 

Here is where camp directors need to make a united "push" toward 
enlightenment of parents to the positive opportunities which camping 
has to offer. Many try to convey the impression that their particular 
camp offers all these fine values, but hint rather darkly that many other 
camps do not — that parents had best be very wary about choosing any 
"substitute." Such writing is taken for what it i.s — not enlightening 
truth, but propaganda — but if the truth in it were stated positively in 
materials produced and distributed co-operatively with emphasis on 
how to judge camps, then each worthy camp could use the material 
and benefit from the progress of the whole camp movement. 

Along with a co-operative plan for presenting camping values con- 
structively to the public, must go an increase of dependence on personal 
and friendly solicitation of the campers. This too can be worked out 
with a fine spirit and without unnecessary duplication, when some of 
the present practices of competitive recruiting are corrected. One of 

"Document No. 40. 


Problems and Lags of Organlzt-d Camping 155 

these is the practice of some camp directors of selectiti}^ part or all ot 
their counselors on the basis of the numbers of campers they can secure 
for the camp. This does not insure the rii,dit kind of counselor, rarely 
provides for the trainint;; of counselors, and thus makes the camj) less 
worthy of the confidence of the public, because the ])arties to the trans- 
action have l)een more interested in the commercial or economic side 
of the question than the educational principles involved or the children 
concerned. In addition to lowering the standards of the counselorship. 
it tends toward the acceptance of representatives who are either igno- 
rant of, or unwilling to follow the ethics of the profession. 

The payment of large commissions increases the keenness of the 
competition in certain communities to the point where the human values 
may be lost sight of and camping suffers in consequence. 

These practices can readily be banished when the organized camp 
directors set higher standards and co-operatively provide the literature 
which exposes the evils in these practices. A piece of literature setting 
forth high standards of camping published co-operatively has more 
weight with a prospective patron and is a far stronger answer to a 
low standard Ijeing held by another camp than any personal argument ; 
the principle involved gets attention rather than personal competition. 

A few of the problems which seem to be causing the camping move- 
ment to lag behind expected progress have been briefly presented to 
illustrate the difficulties which camp directors are facing in the present 
unorganized stage of the movement, together with a few suggestions 
for further experimentation to bring camping people and the general 
public to a better understanding of each other to their mutual advantage. 
If the method of continuous co-operative research can be adopted a 
more adequate adjustment of these and many other problems may be 



Three trends very significant for the camping moveme,nt are : 
(a) Many camp directors are tending to become progressive education- 
alists ; that is, are more experimental and critical in their attitude 
toward their work and are ready to think things through in their own 
situations rather than follow time-worn traditions, (b) They are be- 
ginning to build up a clientele of understanding parents, whose knowl- 
edge of child life and training may enable the results of a child's camp- 
ing experience to carry over into his everyday life situations; and 
(c) they are earnestly striving for a better quaUfied and more highly 
trained leadership among their counselors. 

In the last chapter some of the evidences of these trends were men- 
tioned, such as the Behavior Change Inquiry, through which the South- 
ern Camp Directors have proposed over a five year period to study 
their own problems so that they may guide their camp procedures from 
their own researches — ^from an evaluation of what is taking place with- 
in their own camps. This well planned research project on which 
a preliminary report was made at the annual meeting at Montreat, North 
Carolina, March 2, 1933, is now in its third year and promises valuable 
findings for organized camping. 

One of the problems mentioned in the last chapter was the dif^ficulty 
camp directors had found in locating a means of training and study for 
themselves and their counselors. Determined groups of them have 
made alliances with certain institutions and are beginning to find ways 
to supply their needs. One of these is an annual three-day seminar 
for Camp Directors held since 1930 under the auspices of George 
Williams College of Chicago working especially upon the educational 
philosophy of camping, the applied sciences underlying it, and the social 
techniques necessary to make it effective. These Seminars like the 
Blue Ridge Institutes have published in Proceedings and Manuals ma- 
terials which have served, as sources and guides for study, a far larger 
number of camp people. 

Although many men and women who direct camps have not afifiliated 
with anv of these organized means of study and improvement such 
individualists miss the sharing of experience and their camps are grad- 
ually dropping behind those of directors who are more progressive. 

The changes in educational philosophy among camp directors are 
especially noticeable in the papers they prepare for their annual con- 
ventions. Here are a few paragraphs to illustrate the point : 

.... For a long time our educational practice indicated that we believed that 
desirable traits of personality and fine attitudes and superior moral character were 
to be ac(|uircd by means of drills, by memorizing, by doing of hard and un- 
pleasant tasks. Now we know that no drill, no memorizing, no problem solving, 


Trends Within the dim pin i^ Mo7unufi( 157 

in fact no form of learning; is productive of the best results except as it is possible 
for the learner to comprehend and appropriate the significance of the task in 
relation to his own needs, desires, ambitions, and motives. 

.... If we agree, and I feel sure that we do, that mastery of self and en- 
largement of personality consist of the formation of new and worthwhile habits, 
the control of new and desirable skills, and the extension of experience beyond 
the home and school horizons, surely, in the summer camp we who lead can 
present an educational program of unique and significant value to boys and girls 
who have been more or less hedged about by formality in school, and unvarying 
and stereotyped home environment, completeiy imposed control and limited social 

.... Why can we not come to see that children are more like adults than they 
are different. An adult excels in things he desires to do. hopes for, longs for. 
fights and struggles for. He is driven from within. An inventor excels because 
he gives himself voluntarily to an undertaking, because he has found a means 
with which to express his idea. A writer succeeds only when he drives himself. 
An artist, a teacher, a public .servant can succeed only when driven from within. 
He excels in things he desires to do ; hopes for, longs for, can be brought to fight 
and struggle for. 

.... When will the child come to voluntarily display sportsmanship, unselfish- 
ness, and the spirit of helpfulness in the stresses of his home, school, and com- 
munity life? Not when he has been told that he ought to be a good sport, to be 
unselfish, and to be helpful ; not even when he knows that popularity and success 
depend upon it; not even if he were told that the salvation of his immortal soul 
depends upon it. When, then? When and after, he has had copious opportunities 
in enough varied occupations and tasks, when driven by his own hopes, longings 
and ambitions, to be a good sport, to be unselfish, to be helpful. Only when these 
desirable traits have become warp and woof of all of life's fabric, only when they 
are elements in the patterns that have been worked into his nervous system through 
the satisfactions of his daily life will they be certain to function voluntarily.* 

Not only does this Camp Director's address show that camping is 
considered educational, but mass approach has been discarded for coun- 
seling and guiding individuals through activities, associations and friend- 

Camping! and Parent Education 

Another important vv^ork of the camping movement is in the direc- 
tion of parent education. As camp directors have learned to practice 
a more progressive and voluntaristic educational philosophy, they have 
realized that parents and home environment play so large a part in 
the growth of the personalities of their campers that they must be 
working harmoniously if the camp is to succeed in making any real 
and permanent contribution. This has meant not only learning about 
the child, the home, and the parents, but has also required that the 
parents come to understand the camp ; to think through the educational 
philosophy the camp is following so as to co-operate outside the camp 
season and outside the camping environment. This need of mutual 
understanding between director and parents is expressed by one of the 
directors in one big question : 

'Kephart, A. P. ; Camp objectives and the new psychology; address before South- 
ern Section of C. D. A. A. at Atlanta. Georgia. 1930. Document i\o. 41. 

158 Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

Shall the child return from a world of romance, where doing things for the 
happiness of the group has been understood as essential to the joy of living, and 
be plunged into a world where the same kind of things-to-be-done are merely 
matters of "ought-to" or "have-to?" Must the little fellows who come back 
proud in new knowledge gained by doing things on their own, find themselves 
almost immediately surrounded by grown-ups who find it easier to do things for 
the boy or girl than to exercise the wisdom and patience to lead on from where 
the camp left off into further self-mastery and self-reliance?^ 

Many camp directors are trying to get parents to think more about 
what camping means, to be more critical of the camping movement, and 
are setting their standards of what parents should expect from camps. 
A Southern Camp Director in 1932 revived an idea which originated 
much earlier with H. W. Gibson, at Camp Beckett, by setting aside 
a "Dads' Week" and inviting fathers to spend the week at the camp 
with their boys. The original idea was for a father to come to' know 
his boy better by seeing him in the camp environment and by partici- 
pation with him in camping activities. Much was added to this idea. 

The camp director organized the week so that parents (for several 
mothers came along with the "Dads"), directors, and counselors held 
a seminar each morning. Leaders in Youth Education were secured 
to lead discussions on phases of boy-life. 

Although the group attending and participating in the seminars was 
not large the first year, fathers who could not attend requested that it 
be made an annual afifair so they could plan for it. Mothers wrote 
the director requesting that it be made a Parents' week, so they could 
come too. Here the camp director was in a quandary — would the 
presence of the mothers take away any of the father's time from really 
camping with the boys? At any rate the decision was to try again 
the "Dads' Week" program and it proved of increasing interest in its 
second and third seasons ; mothers were not excluded. 

The experiment resulted in a wider reach than the number attend- 
ing; for those who were present were so pleased with the papers pre- 
sented that they arranged to have them collected and mimeographed 
so they could get copies for further study and to pass on to their 
friends. The materials were thus made available to parents who were 
unable to attend the seminars. 

In an address before the Southern Counselors' Institute, this camp 
director pointed out a number of things parents have a right to expect 
of a camp. Among these are (a) health and increased physical vigor, 
(b) adventure, (c) happy, creative activity, (d) new skills, knowledge 
and appreciations. 

Parents have the right to expect that their boys and girls will acquire new 
skills and knowledge while at camp. The helplessness of the average city boy, 
on his first trip to the wilderness, is pathetic. His ignorance of the simplest 
things in woodcraft, such as fire building, the making of improvised beds and 
shelters and meeting the usual exigiencies of life in the wildsi is apt to rob his 
first wilderness adventure of much of its thrill and fascination. His eyes are 



^Hamilton, A. E. ; Is America Camp Crazy? Parents Magazine, Vol. 6, May, 

Trends Within the Caml>inii Movement 159 

blind to the natural beauty all about him, and he is too much occupied with l)rij;rs 
and brambles to glory in the beauty of the trees, flowers, sunsets, and the wild 
folk of the forest. After a few such experiences, however, the note of a bird 
never escapes his keen ear. 

The camp child goes home with an appreciation of nature that enriches iiis 
personality and makes him feel akin to all the natural life about him.'' 

This camp director's belief in taking the parents into his confidence 
and acquainting them with camp life at first hand has been adopted 
with variations by other camps with real success. 

Magazine articles are becoming very real aids in making parents 
more intelligent about camping objectives and values. 

Leadership Training 

The fact that the training of counselors has become a real problem 
of the camping movement shows that there is a real trend toward rec- 
ognition of the importance of the counselor's position. Early training 
schools for counselors gave instruction mainly in specific skills for 
definite activity leadership. While these phases are not being neglected 
and the training being given by the Red Cross Institutes for life-saving 
and water-front service are especially valuable, it is now recognized 
that it is most important that counselors be trained in child psychology, 
in everyday guidance techniques, and in the principles of progressive 
education. They must be able to see beyond the mass of boys or girls 
engaging in activities and understand the relationship of an activity to 
each person engaging in it. 

Fulfilling these needs the Blue Ridge Institutes for three years have 
demonstrated their excellence and have become a permanent part of 
the counselor training program of the Southern Camp Directors. Col- 
lege credit is allowed for the units completed in these ten-day intensive 
courses. Although major emphasis is placed upon the personality 
studies, educational philosophies and guidance techniques, happy periods 
of training in activity skills in the fashion of real campers furnish rec- 
reation and relaxation. 

Some excerpts from one of the outlines prepared for an Institute 
course show how the seminars stimulate thought on educational phi- 
losophy : 

.... Morals is a matter of living with other people in such a way as to bring 
the greatest happiness to all. Therefore, boys should have the opportunity to 
practice a rich and varied social life and they must be shown when they go right 
and be happy, and be shown when they go wrong and feel sorry. 

.... Camp counselors need to be more concerned teaching children than 
teaching subjects. The method of creative education is just as applicable to 
activity groups as living groups. Camp activities are a means to an end, never 
ends in themselves. 

.... Cooperative thinking, purposing and executing in the interest of what 
is mutually wanted is our need and must be practiced with satisfaction in youth 
if we want it practiced in adulthood. 

'Johnson, C. Walton; What Parents Have a Right to E.xpect of the Summer 
Camp; A Camp Counselor's Manual, Nashville, 1933. pp. 16-18. 

160 Organized Camfitig and Progressive Education 

This means not freedom from laws, but freedom through law and the making 
of law. VVe grow free only as we extend and deepen the bonds that unify us — 
only as we think, plan, act, judge, and enjoy together. 

Youth must be allowed to weave their own cobweb of life in their owii situa- 
tions. We do not know what shape these cobwebs will take ; we don't care as 
leaders about the shape ; we are concerned about the strength and efficiency of 
the web and whether it makes the most of its situation. Heretofore, we have been 
interested in the shape of the character ; now we are interested in its integrity.* 

In such Institutes may be seen a beginning of a trend for training 
leadership, which may well be enormously extended to bring all camp 
workers a larger appreciation of the opportunities of camping as an 
educational experience. 

Changes in Educational Philosophy and Practice 

It is difficult to determine to what extent the trend toward a new 
philosophy of camping has become incorporated in actual practice. In 
times of transition there is a tendency for the phraseology and philos- 
ophy of a progressive movement to get acceptance and to run far ahead 
of the actual understanding and practice of the procedures. One of the 
outstanding experimenters in progressive camp work has pointed this 

Progressive camping not only is respected (after years of ridicule as visionary 
and Utopian), but has in some quarters become fashionable; as a result we have 
a drove of converts. I am afraid, however, that the "victory" for the progressive 
education is being too easily won. We have many verbal converts whose pro- 
gressiveness consists largely of a new phraseology. 

.... Progressive camping is a difficult conception in our authoritarian, mechan- 
ized and tradition-bound world. Progressive schools have found on the whole, 
that traditionally trained teachers could not function in a newer educational pro- 
cedure, and have had to train their own teachers. What reason then do we have 
to believe that camp directors are so gifted that they can turn formal, conven- 
tional camps, into progressive educational institutions without changing their staffs 
and without a basic reorganization of their entire plan and approach." 

After paying his respects to all these so-called tinkers with progres- 
sive education, this camp director sets out his own criteria for a pro- 
gressive camp. Here are a few of his statements of the positive phase 
of progressive camping : 

In a progressive educational camp the chiklren find that they are free to enter 
any activity at any time during the active day. There may be a morning meeting 
of the campers in small groups to plan tlie day or there may be a few simple 
announcements early in the season of all available opportunities for activity. The 
children know that each counselor is ready and eager to join them in any activitj' 
they wish. They can plan a hike or a ball game and their group counselor will 
join them. They may plan to t)uild a cabin or a boat, and the construction coun- 
selor will readily work with them if the job is too difficult for the group counselor. 
Or they may wander individually over the workslmp, tlie nature cabin, or the boat 
dock, the garden plot, where they know the counselors are at work and at their 

*Stone. Walter L. ; A Camp Counselor's Manual. V. M. C. A. Graduate School. 
Nashville, pp. 54-60. 

''Lieberman, Joshua; What is a Progressive Camp? Association Boys Work 
Journal. May, 1932, p. 9. 

Trends Within the Camping Movement 161 

disposal. Or they may decide to occupy themselves with a counselor, to dip a cave 
or play a game, or visit the pond. 

Some children do not know what to do in these circumstances. They have 
grown accustomed to accepting adult-made decisions and do not know what to do 
when left to themselves. These need individual study and assistance. With a 
little patient observation, with exposure to stimulating situations and the utiliza- 
tion of signs of interest, most of these children soon feci at home in the new 
environment and utilize it to the full. 

There are maladjusted children who need an unusual amount of effort hut 
neither these nor the ones who cannot easily find activity are helped by being fitted 
into an adult-made situation. They can be helped only in a situation in which 
they are free to be themselves. Under such circumstances the adult directors can 
learn really to know the children and then help them meet and solve their prcjiilcms. 
Any other procedure only puts off facing the child's difficulties until it is probably 
too late.* 

While it must be admitted that not a large percentage of camps have 
the vision to attempt so complete an adjustment of camp life, staff and 
program to the needs of the individual child the trend is moving in that 
direction and we may expect a marked increase in this tyj^e of camping 
as soon as the institutes reach more camp directors and counselors with 
a sound program of training in the applied sciences and techniques. 
Those who have pioneered in this direction have found their experi- 
ments so fruitful and their experiences so worthwhile and joyous, that 
they are rapidly spreading this gospel of guiding the personality growth 
of campers. 

Personality Enrichment an Objective 

As the movement becomes increasingly critical of itself, research 
and experimentation are opening a field of scientific investigation in 
personal values, appreciations, and spiritual possibilities that may in- 
deed bring about some understanding of how an individual achieves a 
satisfactory personality — not only becomes a person who has satisfac- 
tions within his own way of living but is a satisfactory member of a 
group or community. Dr. Dimock. who directed a research at Camp 
Ahmek, discusses the importance of the status of a boy in his group — 
a problem which camp directors and educators must take into account. 

It is now generally recognized that the personality of an individual grows 
through interaction with other persons. If there is no social interaction, there is 
no personality. The sociologists have presented many striking illustrations of the 
effect of isolation on individuals and personality. How much isolation there 
exists in camp we do not know. We assume that because there is physical contact 
between campers there is also personal interaction. This may not be true. A 
camper may participate in the routine and the external activities of a group but 
he is not thereby a member in the genuine psychological sense. He must have the 
subjective, emotional acceptance and appreciation of the other members of the 
group really to be a member.'' 

""Ibid., p. 11. 

'Dimock, Hedley S. ; The Acceptability of the Camper in His Group; Association 
Boys Work Journal, May, 1932, p. 18. 

162 Organized Canifing and Progressive Education 

Dr. Dimock reports from his study that it appears "that the factors 
of attitude and conduct are more significant in determining the status 
or acceptabiHty of a boy with the other members of his group than any 
other factor observed or analyzed in our study." He feels that he has 
just opened up the problem and that there are still many avenues of 
study in connection with this matter of a boy's status in his camp group 
which may profitably be followed. 

Safety, Health and Leisureuness 

Probably few of the camp life studies have been quite so thought 
provoking as that of Dr. Sanders on the safety and health provisions 
of summer camps. Camps were becoming more critical of their safety 
and health programs, but the findings of Dr. Sanders came with quite 
a shock to most camp directors. He set up for them the problem of 
"How to provide for a maximum of safety with the least possible loss 
of adventure." He proposes to camps to remove the "needless physical 
hazards" about the camp and its equipment ; to so introduce and pre- 
pare campers for new experiences that they may not take too great risks 
and to keep a record of all accidents and learn from them how to pre- 
vent their recurrence.^ 

Most surprise came with his statement that for the long term camps 
the illness frequency curve steadily rose throughout the summer, reach- 
ing a peak at about the seventh or eighth week. This called for stricter 
procedures as regards immunization before coming to camp and med- 
ical examinations that are complete and thorough and not perfunctory. 
Some allowance could be made for these cases, but when the findings 
showed that camps were not measuring up on food, rest, sleep, and free- 
dom from worry — the things camp directors had always taken most 
pride in and advertised as their great resources — it seemed indeed time 
to take thought. The findings showed that, if the child specialists were 
correct as to what growing children needed, many camps were really 
draining their campers of sleep as long as they remained in camp. Food 
was found to be inadequate too — not so much in quantity as balance. 
There was frequently too much starch. To quote a striking" paragraph : 

As to rest and exercise, I believe there has not been an impartial observer of 
camps in recent years who has not come back with the feeling that the average 
youngster is in sore need of a vacation after he finished one of our highly organ- 
ized competitive camps. The one person who has the best chance to gain in health 
in the ordinary camp for boys, is in my opinion the person so lazy that the camp 
ingenuity breaks down at the task of getting him into all of the activities.* 

Concerning the related problems of mental hygiene. Dr. Sanders 
states the conclusions from his study in equally forceful fashion: 

Camp programs are set up to force or invite campers into continuous and 
prolonged activity. There is a very strong element of compulsion, either direct 
or implied, in most camp programs, and the majority of camps have very objective 
and immediate methods of distributing praise or blaiBe in the form of honor sys- 

^Sanders, J. Edward ; Camps Need Better Planning ; Boys Club Round Table. 
Vol. VIII, No. 1, March, 1931, p. 133. 
""Ibid., p. 135 ff. 

Trends Within the Camping Move me nt 163 

tems, tent competitions, and a host of similar competitive activities. The result 
IS that most youngsters are dropped into an atmosphere of considerable pressure 
and tension and in this they remain until they leave camp. If there is any value 
in leisure, in freedom from compulsions of a variety of outward types, in a sort 
of happy, careless attitude toward one's surroundings, then certainly youngsters 
are missing something in our camps as they are conducted.'" 

Dr. Sanders' study, however, did not make him pessimistic so far as 
the camp movement is concerned ; although he feels that many campers 
are harmed hy their camp experiences, he also feels that many more 
gain from camping ; that most all camps have some excellences and that 
if they vi^ould confer more and share in the study of their problems, 
camping could be so conducted that almost all the campers would gain ; 
and still without standardizing the camp procedures. 

The camp at Blue Ridge as described for 1931 was one of the camps 
that made a sincere effort to provide a program in accord with these 
principles. This emphasis on health, quiet, and leisureliness of pro- 
grams, may be said to constitute one of the significant trends of camping 
at the present. ^^ 

While this trend toward leisureliness and a careful check on health 
is being brought to the camps with new force, it is also part of the 
progressive education movement. Camp people had assumed, that be- 
cause they were out of doors all would go well ; they are now realizing 
that special precatitions must be taken to insure safety and health in 
any situation. Camps were rated high when measured by the formal 
schools, but now that they are to be ineasured against their possibilities, 
higher standards are demanded. 

Health and the Free Program 

Lest the impression be given that this trend has but lately been 
thought of it may be well to quote from an article published more than 
twenty years ago which takes the schools to task even more severely 
than the way in which Dr. Sanders stirred the camps : 

You can tell a child, in an hour, more than he can work out. or test to his 
satisfaction, in a day; and he can tell you all that is of importance about what 
he has done in the day before, and all the deductions he can draw from it, in an- 
other hour. So why confine him in the school room for longer than these two 
periods? He grows by living and he learns by doing; neither of these can be 
done as well in the schoolroom as elsewhere. ... It is no longer sufficient that 
school shall not interfere with the health of the child ; it must positively promote it. 

. . . The real purpose of education is not to pour into the child as if he were 
a bushel basket, or a milk-pail, so many quarts of information per month, so that 
his intellectual contents will reach a certain level at the end of each year until he 
is "full-up" on commencement day, but to develop the child's powers, so that he 
may be able to acquire information, draw correct conclusions from it, and utilize 
it for himself. The best way yet devised of doing this, is to give the child an 
interest in his work. . . . For the discipline and obedience of the old education the 
new would substitute enthusiasm and initiative. 

"Ibid., p. 135 ff. 
'See Chapter 6. 

164 Organized Camming and Progressive Education 

From the family physician comes the complaint that the school terms of the 
year are the times of headaches, of anaemias, of epidemics of infectious diseases, 
of malnutrition, of nervous irritability, of capricious temper, of general physical 
and mental deterioration. . . . 

In the minds of the most careful and loving students of the child and his 
needs, nothing less is demanded than an absolute recasting of our entire educa- 
tional system, molding it to fit the needs of the child, to promote, at every point, 
his interests, his growth, and his health, instead of antagonizing him two-thirds of 
the time, as it does now. If we deliberately took pains to unfit a child for real 
life, we could hardly improve upon our present school system. For investigation 
we substitute memory; for initiative, tame obedience to authority; for self-assert- 
iveness, parrot-like imitation ; for doing, talking ; and for these things, words, 
words, words." 

These statements brought up from twenty years ago have something 
of a familiar ring to camp directors now hearing about the disadvan- 
tages of formaHzed and fixed programs, of award and point systems, 
of competitive activities, and of mental strain and physical drain. Dr. 
Hutchison's protest has borne fruit and now finds concise expression 
in one of the paragraphs of the "Platform for the Westchester Branch 
of the Progressive Education Association," recently adopted and pub- 

We believe that progressive education has made an invaluable contribution in 
the liberation of the child from meaningless routines and thus freed him for more 
creative living. It has focused attention upon the child's emotional as well as his 
mental growth. It has served as the vanguard in recognizing the necessity for 
developing the integrated child. It has viewed the child as a whole — being con- 
cerned not only with his mastery of techniques and acquisition of knowledge, but 
also with his relations to- his fellows, his family, his community, and. to society as 
a whole." 

Progressive camps have pioneered in this field and will continue to 
take their place alongside progressive schools for the complete and 
happy development of boys and girls. 

One camp director has mentioned the regimented homes and schools 
from which some children come to camp, then said that too often camps 
are "regimented, more uniformed, more prize and punishment ridden 
than either homes or schools. Carefully worked out rules and pro- 
grams make the exertion of will or mentality unnecessary." With this 
type of camp he contrasts one with a stafif of progressive directors and 
counselors : 

These people were not to lead the children but were expected rather to be 
enthusiastic and interested friends, respecting the child's individuality and ready 
to adjust their work to the growing interest of the children. 

The children were not required to take part in activities. We found that a 
stimulating environment and good Icader.'^hip were far more effectual than prizes 
and competitive effort in stimulating activity. 

.... We create the environment but within that environment the children 
function as they desire." 

^'Hutchinson, Woods; M. A., M. D. ; Brick Walls and Growing Children; Good 
Ilousekeepinf^, January, 1912, p. 31. 

''Progressive Education, December, 1932. 

"Lieberman, Joshua; Progressive Education, Vol. V, 1928, p. 171. 

Trends Wilkin the dvnpinir Movement 165 

Another camp director emphasizes tlie camp's opportunitv to free 
the camper from the tension and rush of orchiiary city hfe. 

Time for shopwork. science and art; time fir liikiii^,-, hoatinK. swimming, 
prames, and for playing with the pets. Time for cmichcd quietness. Carefully 
planned time for (|uict ; quiet reverence before beauty, «|uict Itcforc council meetings, 
quiet while watching the sunset. c|uict while watchinu; the cloud shadows roll over 
the mountain, meadow and river and quiet as we watch the stars. Learning to be 
alone and not be lonely, alone and then be ready to come out again with richer, 
deeper, finer adjustment for living with ourselves and our friends." 

Cultural Appreciations 

Several of the leaders in the camp movement arc daring to hope that 
along with this trend toward a more leisurely camp program is coming 
a trend toward a much greater use of the many cultural opi)()rtunities 
which camps have so often overlooked. In the same article from which 
we previously quoted Dr. Sanders complained that he found some good 
singing in only two camps out of 45 ; that ceremonials were largely 
misused; that in fifty evenings about campfires he heard four stories — 
two good and two bad. 

The encouraging thing is that there are camps that are learning to 
enjoy the fine cultural things of music, dramatics, art, Nature and 
Indian Lore, and that these leaders are meeting with a fine response 
from their campers. We may confidently look for a trend in that 
direction as we have more sharing of experience, more training of 
counselors in good educational philosophy, and especially as we develoj) 
a group of camp directors who sense the importance of this cultural 
essence in their programs and learn to select their counselors accord- 
ingly. Camp Directing as a profession must necessarily continue to 
raise its cultural standards. 

Appreciations of the fine cultural values are attitudes that must be 
caught from those who have them and who feel deeply concerning them. 
They are not garments that may be put on and taken off with a mood. 
An excellent music counselor in a Southern boys' camp after pointing 
out that camp music should be unique and of high standard says: 

A third principle is that camp music should rank as creative activity rather 
than as passive entertainment. Where can one find a rarer field for developing 
music as a creative activity than in camp ? Camp permits unique music— musi ■ 
peculiarly its very own. Out of a world blaring with radios in every home and 
shop, with an orchestra in every restaurant, music in every movie, and now in oiir 
cars, the boy and girl comes to camp. . . . Dare we try to break them off from this 
deluge of radio music? Dare we try to offer them "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" 
in place of "I'm Flying High When I'm Flying With You," or "Alouetta' 'instead 
of "Give Me Something to Remember You By?" Dare we suggest to our camp- 
ers that there is a distinctive literature of Camp Music, traditional songs that 
breathe the good friendship of the council fire, the vagabond spirit ot the gypsy, 
the lure of "Down in the Deep. Deep Woods," and the rollicking nonsense of good 
fellowship? Songs that make for camp spirit, song^ that bind us to each other 
and happy summers of the past, songs that unlock hidden sources of joy m our 
deep souls that we did not know were there. Songs that call up new pirtures m 

'"Garrett, Laura B. ; Progressive Education, VoL V, 1928, p. 176. 

166 Orga?iized Camfhig and Progressive Education 

our minds out of the flickering! fire, songs that blend in har-mony with the wind 
in the hemlocks, the gentle splashing of the lake or the talking, singing waters 
of our mountain streams — songs that seem to belong to camp and that identify 
themselves with the very soul of camp as nothing else seems to do? 

Such an ideal for the musical program of a summer camp, perchance, may not 
be accomplished in one short session, but into some camps, through a period of 
years, there has been woven as the very woof of its fabric that type of camp 
music that gives the color, the sweet and unforgettable beauty that only can be 
given by music that breaks off from the common run of music back home." 

The writer has been able to observe that during the past four sum- 
mers, Mr. Hoffman with the help and co-operation of the director and 
camp staff of Camp Sequoyah has made remarkable progress toward 
achieving his goal. He has completely replaced jazz with music of 
finer and more lasting quality, and the campers have appreciated and 
enjoyed it. During the 1934 season the camp group w^ote and pro- 
duced their own camp musical comedy and their own camp plays. One 
of the campers writing in the final issue of the camp paper speaks of 
music thus : 

Music in camp this summer has been on a very high plane. Those in charge 
have conscientiously tried to have only that music which is in harmony with the 
spirit of Sequoyah, in its setting of hemlocks and rock-ribbed hills. At any hour 
of the day one might hear strains of a Beethoven Sonata, a Chopin Prelude, 
Uncle Mike picking out themes from a Tschaikowsky or Franck symphony, a 
tenor air from the "Persian Garden," Don singing Pagliacci, the orchestra strug- 
gling with Suppe's "Poet and Peasant," or at odd moments some young virtuoso 
picking out Chopsticks. 

.... After a strenuous day there is nothing more soothing for worn nerves 
or tired muscles than the sweet melodies from "Pop's" cornet after taps. His 
programs have contained many favorites from the masters." 

Not alone in music, but in many other special fields of cultural ap- 
preciations there are among camping people a large number of directors 
and counselors, who, like the one quoted, would take keen delight in 
leading youth through creative stages to a real enjoyment in their 
favorite fields. As camps come to realize that the day does not need 
to be crowded with activities in order to make boys and girls feel that 
they are having a good time, nor to convince parents that they are get- 
ting their money's worth, this trend toward enjoyment of things most 
helpful in education for leisure will become truly significant. 

'"Hoffman, E. M. ; The Place of Music in the Summer Camp ; and before 
the Southern Section C. D. A. A., Knoxville, Tenn.. February 14, 1931 Document 
No., 42. 

"Pickeiing, Woodrow ; Music at Sequoyah; The Thunder Bird. Vol. I. No. 5. 
p. 2, 21. 1934. Document No. 43. 



In looking toward the future of the camping movement, little can 
be done beyond raising questions which readers may help to answer. 
From his background of studies and experiences the writer may make 
certain suggestions and his wishes may tempt him to use his imagina- 
tion and make occasional predictions. In fact, there have been instances 
where he has already succumbed to this temptation in connection with 
the problems and trends discussed in the two preceding chapters. 

Camping and Progressive Schools 

The Camp Directors' Association of America and the Progressive 
Education Association held their 1933 national conventions on the same 
dates but in widely separated parts of the country. Would it be sur- 
prising to find them holding their national meetings both at the same 
time and at the same place? Are they not destined to a realization 
that they have enough in common to make it worth while to form some 
bonds of affiliation for the sharing of certain types of experience? Both 
seem to be seeking similar goals for their patrons and to be finding 
common ground in educational methods, techniques, and philosophies. 

Progressive education might have come, had the camping move- 
ment not prepared the way ; for there are educational philosophers and 
experimental schools whose connection with organized camping would 
be difficult to trace. No other agency dealing with youth education, 
however, has offered so wide a field for experimentation and study 
as has organized camping. Is not the Country Day School, now render- 
ing large service, a direct outgrowth of the popularity of camping ex- 
periences? It has been recognized that it is possible to so change a 
child's outlook on life that his personality will be continuously enriched. 
Mason named the five cardinal requirements of a camp as fun, health, 
social adjustment, knowledge and skills of the crafts, and appreciations 
of music, literature, art, nature and human personality. He then said : 

I would have my boys and girls live throughout the summer in a camp so filled 
with romance that it is in a delightful sense an escape from the materialism of 
the larger world, and so filled with picturesqueness and color that tiieir imagina- 
tions are stirred, never to sleep again. This with the thought that imaginative 
creative minds are America's greatest need. To this end organized camping, as 
I see it, is dedicated.^ 

Statements of purpose of progressive schools sound quite similar: 

An educator says that "encouragement of creative activity in chil- 

'Mason, Bernard S. ; Five Things to Require of a Camp; Parents Magazine, 
May, 1933, p. 52. 


168 Organized Camfing afid Progressive Education 

dren has been a characteristic principle of progressive schools."^ He 
states as characteristics of the progressive school, "consideration for 
the physical, mental and emotional characteristics of the individual 
child" and "a procedure that will guarantee him a chance to learn with 
success and happiness." It must enable the pupil "to live and work 
co-operatively with his associates" and must provide teaching "that 
guides but does not dominate." It must provide "many opportunities 
for doing and creating in materials, music, writing human relationship." 
Parents must be kept close to the school through all the many ways 
to help them "to catch the spirit of the school, understand its philosophy 
and therefore develop a more sympathetic relationship with their own 

Then, too, we are coming more and more to the notion of primitive man that 
education and life are one. There is a tendency for barriers between school and 
the world to disappear. The school of the future will probably not be delimited 
by the walls of an institution.^ 

Another educator contrasts the progressive school with the formal- 
ized one in a way that could well be applied to progressive and academic 

Look at the dull faces in the average classroom. School work, school learning 
is a bore. Most children are not actively opposed to it. They have been calloused 
to sitting and listening. Curiosity, activity, if they have survived at all, are 
found outside of school in some hobby. 

This is recognized by modern educators. They believe that these are the most 
valuable qualities you can cultivate in your boy or girl. All children's natural 
energy goes into learning about the world they live in by exploring it : learning 
to fit themselves into the world by active experience. So in progressive schools 
we harness these natural impulses to education and help the child educate himself 
in his own way. But the impulses are not left uncontrolled. They are stimulated 
and directed into constructive channels. 

.... The discipline which comes of group living is far more real and nearer 
to what will be met in later life than is the discipline of the autocratic schoolmaster. 

.... In the formal school the teacher teaches, but the real life of the children 
themselves goes on outside the classroom. In the progressive school theret is no 
sharp distinction between work and play. All the children's afifairs are of concern 
to their teachers because they are not interested primarily in teaching something, 
but in the growth of the child's whole personality.^ 

Camp Directing A Fuix Time Occupation 

Camping has been able to demonstrate fine qualities of progressive 
education because of the small number of campers that make up a 
counselor's group as well as because of the number of activity special- 
ists provided. But this very fact has raised one of its keenest prob- 
lems. How can a high standard be maintained for the counselorship 
without making the cost prohibitive for all but the children of well-to- 

^Fowier, Burton P. ; Progressive Education Enters Second ; Progre.ssive 
Education, Vol. 9, No. 1, June, 19.32, p. 4. 

^/bid., p. 5. 

^Pollitzer. Margaret; New Schools for New Times; Parents Magazine, May, 
1933, p. 28. 

The Future of Camping 159 

do homes? Those who would make the scliool progressive have to 
face the same (Hfticulty. 

The new education requires smaller classes, better trained teachers, more 
equipment and a richer school environment. This necessitates a larpe per capita 
cost and since the public holds the purse strings, it is evident that little progress 
can be made except by public sanction and support. But iiere is the dirticulty : 
The values of progressive education are subtle, not easily demonstrable to the 
mediocre and skeptical mentality. . . . The chief values of progressive education 
inhere in a certain vigor of spirit stimulated and sustained in youth by the con- 
stant opportunity and habit of expressiveness, of analysis, of research work on a 
more creative level than that which holds in the traditional type of school. These 
values cannot easily be measured." 

At present with the public holding the purse strings much tighter 
than for a generation, both camping and progressive education are 
being slowed up, and it is most difficult to predict possible outcomes. 

It has been suggested that camping reduce the expense by simplifi- 
cation of the program — offering fewer of the more expensive activities — 
and by having the campers do most of the work connected with the 
operation and maintenance of the camp. There is merit in these sug- 
gestions and they should be followed as far as possible. They would, 
however, scarcely reduce the need for a highly trained counselorship. 
Although they might make possible some reduction in number of coun- 
selors, to carry this too far will rob camps of much of their sui)eriority 
as educational agencies. 

The majority of camp directors have had teaching experience, and 
many of them are now employed as teachers in schools or colleges for 
the major portion of the year. While it seems best for camping to 
have the directors giving their full time to that profession, it adds to 
the expensiveness — to provide an adequate annual salary for the direc- 
tor from camp alone. 

The full time director can study camping, do research, give individual 
guidance to his campers far better than when spending most of the year 
on another job. Professional camp directors are becoming more con- 
cerned that their campers have a good year round experience to cor- 
respond with their ideals and activities in the camp. Only by consulta- 
tion with parents and through progressive schools can this be provided. 
The full time camp director can spend more time visiting the homes of 
his patrons and counseling with them. Whether the trend toward a 
full time camp directorship will continue depends upon the direction our 
educational systems take. It is still an open question. 

Camping and Public Education 

Will education take over camping and thus make the school calendar 
extend all year? Can public education become sufficiently progressive? 
The new curricula materials which have been developed by the teachers 
and supervisors of the Virginia Education Association during the past 
four years and are now being released in full measure throtighout the 

''Cobb, Stanwood ; Progressive Education Today; Progressive Education. Vol. IX. 
No. 3, March. 1932, p. 225. 

170 Organized Camming and Progressive Education 

state, carry an emphasis upon activity in its relation to the personality 
development of the pupil which is a long step toward the camping ideal. 
Perhaps we may imagine future public schools all located in parks, on 
farms, in forests, or wherever uncrowded natural conditions obtain ; 
improved means of transportation would make this possible. Subsis- 
tence Homestead developments and decentralization of industry should 
make it still more likely. The year round program would have much 
in common with our most progressive camps, with numerous excursions 
to points of interest and especially those of wild natural beauty. Under 
such conditions camping might be largely absorbed into the school sys- 
tem ; or, more correctly speaking, the camping ideal of education might 
capture the schools. Unless there is radical change, however, in raising 
and administering revenue for education, schools will change very 
slowly, and organized camping will continue for a long time to supply 
many boys and girls with their most satisfying and, constructive expe- 

Organized camping with its six decades of history is just beginning 
to vision its possibilities. Its outlook has been too much isolated from 
community forces. Like some churches who look for the destruction 
of this world and all in it, its hope has been, out of all these multitudes 
to "save a few." Realization is coming that camping is close akin to 
all our other efiforts to rebuild our society and to rehabilitate our civil- 
ization ; all youth should be taught how to live the good life. 

Will camping be truly creative or will it become a trailer of educa- 
tional philosophy? If the camping movement can manage to support 
a large number of full time workers its chances are good to remain 
creative, but so long as it lacks creative supervision and most of its 
directors must spend the major part of their year in other occupations 
it will have to look to other fields to do its research and to formulate 
its philosophies. 

How one should like to release his imagination and picture a great 
well-organized camping movement bringing suitable types of camping 
experiences to all the children in the land and conducting continuous 
research and experimentation upon its problems. If progressive schools 
and even public education enter the field of camping they should be 
welcomed as allies and not resented as competitors. The camping move- 
ment should be prepared to lead and guide the larger organizations who 
must necessarily move slowly along well tried paths. Public education 
tends to take set and stereotyped forms again after periods of change; 
perhaps the camping movement can do the creative experimentation 
which these public bodies have rarely been able to do. There is an 
assured place for a creative camping movement, but a static or selfishly 
narrow camping movement will be crushed by the educative forces it has 
released. As suggested in Chapter Eight, leaders of the camping 
movement dare not fail to find a way to organize cooperatively, and to 
work creatively. 

Tht Future of Cam pin i^ 1 7 1 

Camping Has Broad Relationships 

This study has traced camping from the small but courageous be- 
ginnings of pioneer camp directors through its periods of expansion 
and into the midst of an exceptional transformation. There was a 
time when some camp directors were influenced by the desires of 
commercial exploitation, but in the main camping people have been 
idealists as well as individualists. The movement has numbered among 
its participants physical educationists, physicians, educators, sociologists, 
and psychologists, all of whom have drawn freely upon their respective 
fields of thought in the service of the changing camping movement. In 
the future camping will wish to maintain these helpful contacts as well 
as discover some geniuses in financial and cooperative organization. 

What sort of organization will the future of camping bring forth? 
Will it continue to be a brief phase of the programs of many organiza- 
tions? Will it scatter its energies in multiple groupings sharing little 
and competing much? Or may there come a time when with united 
front an International Camping Association speaking for all the camp- 
ing groups of the United States and Canada publishes magazines, adver- 
tising and other materials suitable to the various groups of camping 
people ; supplies articles on camping research to social science magazines ; 
fills sections in the leading educational journals; carries attractive camp 
advertising in important national magazines; keeps the public informed 
and interested in the progress through regular nationwide radio broad- 
casts? Many possible advancements in camping await such an organi- 
zation representative of and responsive to the various organizational 
and regional groups of camping people. 

Camping and the C. C. C. 

Today every movement considers the effect upon it of the New Deal. 
What influence will the Civilian Conservation Corps and the unprece- 
dented development of National and State Parks have upon the camping 
movement ? 

It seems probable that the work camps of the C. C. C. will give 
added impetus to camping and outdoor life, just as every mobile move- 
ment of large numbers of young men since the Civil War has done. 
Hundreds of thousands of young men have been afforded an oppor- 
tunity (have even been compelled by necessity) to live away from home 
in rural settings for the first time. This organization is not only pro- 
viding employment for reasonable working hours but is striving to aid 
the personality growth of the men through enrichment of their educa- 
tional, vocational, and recreational experiences. Increasing emphasis 
is being placed upon what happens to the men in their free time ; and 
on the jobs, much more is being done to train them than is the case 
with ordinary employed labor. Many are youths fresh from school, 
never having had a job. The educational opportunity has much in 
cpmmon with organized camping. 

172 Organized Camflng and Progressive Educatuin 

After planting millions of trees and fighting hundreds of forest fires 
to protect the life and growth of other millions these men will have 
learned the reality of forests in a new way. After working for months 
to protect and enhance the natural beauties of State and National Parks, 
will not these men understand better how to enjoy them with their 
families than they would if they had never been removed from the 
city's streets to spend a year in some beautiful mountain valley. Some 
have been heard to remark, "Why I never dreamed there were scenes 
like this" as they watched the autumn foliage change its coloring for 
the first time in their lives in a state park, in whose preparation for 
increased usefulness they were participating. Many a C. C. C. lad of 
today will in the future revisit with his children the scenes of his youth- 
ful labors — the place where he began to feel himself a participant in 
the nation's life. 

Whether the camping movement is aware of it or prepared to guide 
it or not, the C. C. C. is presenting an opportunity to develop liner 
appreciations of camping experiences. What a contribution to the 
educational program of the C. C. C. might be made from the experience 
of organized camping if there were some organized group to prepare 
and oflfer it ! What counsel on the organization and administration of 
these work camps for youth might yet come from the leaders of camp- 
ing were they prepared and eager to give it ! 

Camping and the State and National Parks 

The new developments and great expansion of the state and national 
park systems should serve not as a competitive enterprise, as a few 
camp directors seem to have feared, but as additional facilities and 
equipment through which the camping movement may benefit many 
more people. What new adaptations of the camping scheme may be 
required in order to wisely use the new resources no one can yet predict. 
That the parks will make possible and attractive a great increase of the 
family type of camping seems unquestionable. As public property they 
will doubtless facilitate the camping activities of public schools, 4-H 
clubs, and recreation departments ; they may aid organizational camp 
people in securing and maintaining enough camp sites for their numer- 
ous clientele. While they may not especially benefit the private camp- 
ing enterprise, there should be little conflict because the type of camping 
fostered in the parks will rarely be within the economic range of the 
private camp. 

The increased park systems may prove very useful to those who 
conduct gypsy trips and camping tours as part of their summer camp 
])rograms, and an increase in this feature of camping is predicted. 
Camps based upon sucli specialties as music, dancing, physical culture 
and art are also expected to increase. Morgan says that : 

Summer camps furnish an excellent medium for teaching boys and girls the 
fundamentals of social adjustment. . . . We can at least say that camp life repre- 
sents the sort of situation that all children should learn to face. They should 

The Future of Camping 173 

learn to enter readily into new social situations, maki' frieiuls with tlic dlicr 
members of the group, and cooperate in group activities." 

Thtis from the point of view of the child psycholo<;ist the incri-asrd 
faciHties offered by more state and national jiarks should he wclcoincfl 
by camping people as aids in carrying out their iniixjrtant function. 


While it is scarcely possible at present to speak of a trend toward 
an extension of coeducational camping, it is in line with progressive 
educational philosophy and some progressive camp directors .strongly 
favor it. They believe it is a more natural and normal way of living. 
Other prominent canip people oppose it with the argument that each 
sex has sufficient to learn during the formative years without compli- 
cating their training with any conflicting re!ationshii)s between the 
sexes. El well says that "persons who can successfully develop the best 
in either boys or girls are rare; anyone who can manage the two 
together must be a genius:"' Some of those geniuses do exist and v\'-hen 
the present economic strain is eased there will probably be more ven- 
turing in that direction. A director who conducts a progressive co- 
educational camp has described it very attractively : 

Just living together, working together, playing together, boys and girls, men 
and women — a very small section of the world. No prizes, no marks, no trying 
to be better than someone else, no trying to have the best camp; just trying to 
grow stronger, more alert, fairer to our campmates ; not trying too hard, just 
naturally learning to live and grow." 

It is an attractive picture and as more camp people develop the 
qualities of "genius" and the courage to break with tradition we shall 
probably have much more of this type of camping even though there 
is not a marked trend toward it at present. 

Camping and the Changing Social Order 

The success of the few experiments of cooperation between camping 
and institutions of higher learning would lead to an expectation that 
there would be a marked increase of understanding between them re- 
sulting in better progress in research, supervision, and counselor train- 
ing. Camp leaders have been taking their places as educators seriously 
while most other educators are still considering them as physical educa- 

Our changing social order demands a new type of cimping. \\ ill 
"pioneering" and "roughing-it" have any large place in it? An ex- 
perienced camp man says : 

During my 14 years, as a camp director the criticism that I fi;id mosC often 
directed against the camp is that there is an over emphasis upon physical activity 
in camp life. 

"Morgan, John J. B., Ph. D. ; Child Psychology, pp. 384-.386, New York, 1931. 
'Elwell, A. F. ; The Summer Camp; a new factor in Education; Cambridge. 
Harvard University. 1925. 

*From Booklet of Camp Housatonic. Document No. 44. 

174 Organized Camfing and Progressive Education 

.... Our modern city-bred children are not fitted by reason of the life they 
lead the balance of the year for too abundant and indiscriminate exercise, with the 
result that instead of being built up and rendered physically more fit by their sum- 
mer at camp, they are worn out, debilitated, and physically harmed. 

.... Every phase of the camp program should be so coordinated that no one 
phase will be predominant. . . . Adapt physical education to the special needs^ of 
the individuals in your group. Be understanding and sympathetic with their other 

This study has shown that while one of the early talking points of 
camp people was to the effect that it checked the city softening process 
by "roughing-it" and aimed to save boys from effemanizing influences; 
camping then expanded while telling people that it was good for build- 
ing children up physically so they could do better work in school during 
the remainder of the year ; gradually the social implications were seen 
to be quite as important as the physical ; so it may now confidently be 
predicted that despite a few demands for a return to the rugged "pio- 
neers," leisure and cultural phases will increase to round out the picture 
of happy wholesome camp life. 

There is another rising movement with which the camping movement 
will doubtless maintain a close liason : The Parent Education move- 
ment. These two groups have a common interest in their devotion to 
the development of happy, healthy, wholesome childhood and youth and 
should be able to work together in close accord. 

Many more questions could be raised about the future of camping. 
If this study has presented the past of the camping movement sufficient- 
ly clear to give its readers a true perspective upon present horizons, it 
may well leave the readers to enter into the shaping of the future of 
camping as their judgment dictates. It is in their hands. 

■'Guggenheimer, Frederick L. ; Balancing the Camp Program; The Camping 
Magazine, Vol. VI, No. 1, January, 1934, p. 4. 


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Beale, F. L.— "Camp Roosevelt," Playground, Vol. 14, New York. 1920. 
Cobb, Stanwood — "Progressive Education Today," Progressive Education Vol. 

IX, No. 1, New York, January, 1932. 
CoLLiNGS, Ellsworth — "An Experiment With A Project Curriculum," Macmillan 

New York, 1925. 
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Davis, Mack — "Camping Out," The Watchman: Y. M. C. A. Semi-Monthly, 

Vol. XIII, New York, September 1, 1887. 
Dewey, John — "Democracy and Education," Macmillan, New York, 1916. 
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DiMOCK, HedlEY S. — "The Acceptability of the Camper in His Group," Associa- 
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June, 1913. 
Elwell, a. F. — "The Summer Camp : A New Factor in Education," Doctor's 

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Fowler, Burton P. — "Progressive Education Enters Second Phase," Progressive 

Education, Vol. IX, New York, June, 1932. 
Garrett, Laura B. — "Leisureliness In Camp," Progressive Education, Vol. V, 

Washington, D. C. 1928. 
Gibson, H. W. — -"Scoutcraft At Camps Beckett and Durrell," Association Boys, 

Vol. VII, New York, December, 1909. 
"Scouting At Camps Beckett and Durrell, Association Boys, 

Vol. IX, New York, June, 1910. 
GllbERT, Lois — "A Visit to the DeCroly School," Progressive Education, Wash- 
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Graham, Ralph— "Camp Life for Bovs," St. Nicholas, Vol. 44. New York, 

May, 1917. 
Gregg, Abel J. — "Group Leaders and Boy Character," Association Press, New 

York, 1924. 
GuGGENHEiMER, Frederick L.— "Balancing the Camp Program," Camping Mag- 
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6uLiCK. Mrs. E. L.— "Program Making for Girls' Camps," Playground. Vol. 19 

New York, 1925. 
GuLiCK, L. H. and Pattox, Grace— "The Why of Summer Camps for Boys and 

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Hall. G. Stanley— "Adolescence," D. Appleton & Co., New York. 1904. 

2 Volumes. 
Hamilton. A. E.— "Boyways," John Day Co., New York, 1930. 
"Is America Camp Crazy?" Parents Magazine. Vol. 6. New 

York, May, 1931. 


176 Organized Camping and Progressi7)e Education 

Henderson, C. Hanford — "The Boy's Summer," Summer Camps, Sargent, 

Boston, 1924. 
Hendry, C. E. — "The Study of Counselors in the Summer Camp," Association 

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HiLEMAN, W. R. — "Using the C. C. T. P. In the Summer Camp," American 

Youth, Vol. XX, No. 3, New York, April, 1921. 
Hinckley, G. W. — "An 1880 Camp In Rhode Island," Summer Camps, Sargent, 

Boston, 1929. 
Hutchinson, Woods — "Brick Walls and Growing Children," Good Housekeeping, 

Vol. 54, New York, January, 1912. 
Hurt, H. W. — Director of Research Service, 22d Annual Report, Boy Scouts of 

America, New York, 1931. 
Johnson, C. Walton — "What Parents Have A Right to Expect of A Camp," 

A Camp Counselor's Manual, Y. M. C. A. Graduate School, Nashville, Tenn., 

Kaighn, R. p. — "Camp Dudley," Association Boys, Vol. 4, New York, 1904. 
Kaighn, R. p.— "Camp Dudley," Association Boys, Vol. 5, New York, 1905. 
Keiser, David S. — "An 1876 Summer Camp," Summer Camps, Sargent, Boston, 

KiLPATRiCK, W. H. — "Foundation of Method," Macmillan, New York, 1925. 
Kinnicutt. W. H., M. D.— "The School In the Camp," Outlook, Vol. 83, New 

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Lansing, Marion Florence — "Going Into Summer Training," St. Nicholas, 

Vol. 45, New York, 1918. 
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"What Is A Progressive Camp?" Association Boys Work Jour- 
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58, New York, 1914. 
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"Five Things to Require of A Camp," Parents Magazine, New 

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Morgan, John J. B. — "Child Psychology," Richard R. Smith, Inc., New York, 

Muleord, W. M. and R. J.— "The Call of the Camp," Outlook, Vol. 95, New 

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Murray, W. H. H. — "Adventures In the Wilderness," Lee & Shepherd, Boston, 

Pollitzer, Margaret — "New Schools for New Times," Parents Magazine, New 

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Pulling, Albert Van Sickle — "The Value of Trips In Camping Education," 

Camping Magazine, Vol. 6, New York, January, 1934. 
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Bibliogra-phy \ 77 

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A Bibliography for Camp Leaders— Welch, Syracuse University, Syracuse, 1932. 

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Holidays In Tents— Childs, Bibliography, Dutton, New York, 1921. 

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178 Organized Ca??iping a?id Progressive Education 

Camping Out — Weir, Bibliography, Macmillan, New York, 1924. 

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Nashville, Tenn., 1933. 



Advertising and Recruiting, 152. 
Agricultural, or 4-H Club Camps, 

Autocratic Method, 62. 
Awards and Prizes, 12, 32, 39, 43, 

48, 118. 
B.'V.CKGROUND of Camping, Cultural, 

4, 7. 
Baden-Powell. Sir Robert, 27. 
Balch, E. B., 8. 11. 
Beale, Capt. F. L., 32. 
Beard, Daniel C, 27. 
Behavior Change Inquiry, 147, 156. 
Behavior Rating Scales, 108. 
Birch Bark Roll, 27. 
Blue Ridge Association, 56. 
"Blue Ridge Camper," 102. 
Blue Ridge Counselors' Institutes, 

147, 169. 
Boy Scouts of America. 28, 41, 141, 

Camp Ahmek, 47. 
Camp Algonquin, 14. 
Camp Aloha, 21. 
Camp Arey, 21. 
Camp Barnard, 21. 
Camp Chicorua, 8, 11. 
Camp Dudley, 15, 45. 
Camp H.\rvard, 12. 
Camp Kehonka, 21. 
Camp Oneka, 21. 
Camp Pineland, 21. 
Camp Quansit, 21. 
Camp Sequoyah, 166. 
C.^MPCRAFT Class, 75. 
Camp Conferences, 76. 
Camp Council, 86. 
Camp, Directing, 168. 
C.A.MPING as Cooperative Living, TOl. 
Camping as Education, 21, 25, 41. 
Camp Directors Associations, 26, 40, 

132. 144. 146, 167. 
Camp Fire Girls, 29, 140. 
Camp-Outs and Trips, 4, 5. 
Clarke. A. S., 5. 
Clark. J. C, 30. 
Citizens Military Training Camps, 

31, 33. 
Civilian Conservation Corps, 171. 
Christian Citizenship Training Pro- 
gram. 49. 58. 
Coeducation, 173. 

CoLLiNGS, Ellsworth, 75. 
Cost Accounting, 150, 169. 


Cobb, Stanwood, 169. 

Counselors, Selection of, 21. 149. 

Counselors. Training, 85, 148, 159. 

Counselors, Function, 117. 

Crackel, M. D., 47. 

Creative Supervision, 147. 

Cultural Appreciations, 165. 

Culver, 31. 

Cumulative Records of Campers. 108. 

"Dad's Week," 158. 

DeCkoly School. 138. 

DeMerriette. Edwin, 12. 

Democratic Method, 15, 85, 124. 

Dewey, John, 75. 

Discussion Groups, 88. 

DiMocK, Hedley S., 161. 

Dudley. Sumner F., 15. 

Dunn. Robert, 12. 

Educational Philosophy, 119. 132, 

156, 160. 
Educational Changes, 123, 132, 156. 
Ellis. Carlyle, 25. 
El WELL. A. F., 113, 173. 
Evaluation Methods, 91, 151. 
Expansion of Camp Movement, 21. 
Fagans, Philip, 64. 
Fowr.ER, Burton P., 168. 
Freedom in Early Camp, 32. 
Fresh Air Camps, 34. 
Garrett, Laura B., 165. 
Genetic Psychology, 23. 
Gestalt Psychology, 138. 
Gibson, H. W., 28, 43, 158. 
Girl Scouts. 29, 141. 
Gf".i Gu'des 29. 
GiR'. RescrvivS, 29. 
Girls Organizations. Rise of, 29. 
Goodwill Camps, 6. 
Government of Camps. 116. 
Gr/vham. Rali'h, .39. 
G-joupixg, 116 

Group Activity at Scy Camp, 64. 
Gregg. A. J., 75. 
Gulick, L. H., 21, 26, 29. 
Gulick, Mrs. E. L., 41. 
guggexheimer. f. l., 174. 
Gunnery School, 4. 
Hall, G. Stanley, 23. 
Hamilton, A. E., 158. 



Organized Camping and Progressive Education 

Health in Camps, 104, 162. 

Henderson, C. Han ford, 19. 

Hendry. C. E., 150. 

HiLEMAN, W. R., 50. 

Hiking at Scy Camp, 99. 

Hinckley, G. W., 6. 

Hoffman, E. M., 166. 

Honor Emblem Systems, 45, 58, 118, 

Hurt, H. W., 144. 
Hutchinson^ Woods, 163. 
Interest Groups, 97, 102. 
Individual Guidance, 105. 
Informal Education, 145. 
Johnson. C. Walton, 159. 
"Kaighn. R. p., 16, 45. 
Kewaydin Camps. 5. 
KiLPATRicK, W. H., 39, 75. 
Kinnicutt, W. H., 24. 
Leisureliness, 162. 
Leisure Time Agencies and Camping, 

Lehman, E. H., 4. 
Lewis, Calvin, 22. 
McDonald, L. L., 41. 
Macfarlane, Peter, 27. 
Manual Training Introduced, 22. 
Ma-Mo-Da- Yo. 21. 
Mattoon, Laura, 21. 
Mason, Bernard S., 141, 167. 
Meylan, Geo. L., 40. 
MiLiT.\RY Campaigns and Camping, 4, 

Miller, Joaquin. 30. 
Morgan, John J. B., 173. 
Music as Creative Activity, 165. 
Municipal Camps Begun, 34. 
Mulpord, W. M. and R. J., 25. 
Murray, Rev. W. H. H., 4. 6. 
Nature Lore Emphase^s, 90. 
"N^w." pt-v!" p'n5i| ]CdmiJing,' IVIX. ; ' : - 
Nessmuk,'' A\ / ' '..''*..; . . i^ . , i .'' ; 
Organization Camps, 14p. , 
Origin of Camping, 8. -\ { '^ 
Outdoor Movements in Eurbpe, 30. 
Parent Eduf^tinit,: 157."*; •". .'. ". 
Parks, Stits .arid' NaiioiiaL J72>\ ^^ '■ 
Personality' Portrafts.'Tn, 
Personal Counselling, 112. 
Personality Change, 106, 161. 
Philosophy of Cooperative Camping, 

Physical Education Introduced, 22. 
PoLLiTzKR, Margaret, 168. 
Pioneer and Primitive Camping, 141. 

Progressive Camps & Schools, 138. 

Progressive Education Assn., 157. 

Program Policy, 117. 

Promotion Materials, 152. 

Public Education and Camping, 169. 

Public School Camp, Origin, 32, 35. 

Questionnaires for Parents, 109. 

Reaction Against City Life, 6, 21. 

Recruiting Campers, 152. 

Recapitulation Theory of Child 
Growth, 23. 

Robinson, E. M.. 16, 36. 

Rothrock, J. T., 5. 

RouiLLON, Louis, 19. 

Safety. 162. 

Sanders, Edward J.. 148, 151, 162. 

Sargent, Porter, 5, 8. 

Scouting Introduced, 27. 

SCY Camp, 55, flf. 

School "Camp-Outs," 4. 

School Calendar, American, 7. 

vSeminars, George Williams College, 

Seton, E. T., 27. 

Sears, George W., 4. 

Self Government in Camp, 85. 

Sharp, Lloyd B., 34. 

Southern Col. of Y. M. C. A.. 55. 

Stone, Walter L., 106, 160. 

SoRENSON, Roy, 146. 

Solomon, Ben, 36. 

Statten. Taylor, 29. 

Summer Camps, Sargent's Hand- 
books, 5, 8. 

Talbot, W. T., 21. 

Taylor, Charles K., 31. 

Taylor, J. Madison, 35. 

ThorEau, Henry David, 4. 

Thorndyke, E. L., 75. 

Virginia Education Association, 169. 

Volunteer Camp Leaders, 36. 
, V.OI.UNTARISTTC Philosophy, 138. 
'VVarren, Gertrude, 34. 

\Vatson. Goodwin. 149. 

West, Jas. E., 27. 

Weber. Verrel. 145. 
.Woodcraft and Pioneering Organiza- 

: tions, 27, 64. 

Woodcraft Indians, 28, 42. 

Woodcraft Council Ring Program, 

World War and Camping, 31. 

Y. M. C. A. Boys Workers Assembly, 
Estes Park, 123. 

Y. M. C. A. and Standardization, 140. 

Y. W. C. A. and Camping, 140. 



Free Library of Philadelphia 

796.7 W21 

Ward, Carlos Edgar. 

Organized camping and progress 

3 2222 03882 9927 


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