Every camp has some use for bulletin boards, notices, signs, exhibits, and similar means of giving information, pointing directions, outlining step-by-step projects, interesting campers and staff, and so forth. Good arrangement of such notices and directions will result in more attention to the particular item, and use of visual aids, color, interesting printing, and pictures will help to catch the eye and tell the story. Too often a bulletin board is so cluttered with bits of paper that no one bothers to look at any of them; sometimes a nature trail is carefully laid, but the signs are so difficult to read that no one takes time to read them; the camp newspaper may be full of well-written news items, but unless the pages are attractive and interesting and well arranged, few will ever know what is in them. So an arts and crafts point of view may well go hand in hand with the interest that lays out the nature trail, the interest that fosters creative writing for the camp newspaper, or the interest that calls for posters for Saturday's special activities. The craftsmen of the camp may wish to have an exhibit for Visitors' Day; the photographers may sponsor a snapshot contest; the campcraft counselors may be encouraging a campcraft area where anyone who wanders may learn by reading and looking.
A few general hints will help in arrangement and planning any visual aid:
Be brief-be clear.
Use sketches, pictures, cutouts, colored paper to highlight.
Plan the poster, exhibit, etc., before making final copy. Make the message fit the size and shape of the background.
On bulletin boards, or group notices, use colored paper for background. Make it so interesting that everyone must stop to read!
It is important that some one person (or group) be responsible for each bulletin board (see Chap. X for making bulletin boards), to keep it up-to-date, to remove out-of-date notices, to group items together, to present special, interest-catching items that will make people come to read. Bulletin boards need constant "editing" to keep people coming to read them. They are of little use, no matter how important the messages, unless the groups for whom they are intended read them. Interest, color, high lights, legibility of notices, and brevity all contribute to reader-participation (Figs. XI-1 A and B). The place where the bulletin is hung will also have an effect on the degree of use. Bulletins that are on the beaten paths will be read more than those tucked away in some poorly lighted, out-of-the-way corner. Posters that spotlight a special event are most effective when they appear in unexpected places-where there usually are no such notices.
In the counselors' room, in unit huts, at the waterfront, in the campcraft supply hut, at the craft workshop, in the office, or in the infirmary, there may be bulletin boards that need constant care to make them do the job for which they were intended, and to bring about the results hoped for by some staff members or campers. (See also chapter on Photography, Figs. XXI-1 and 2.)
Exhibits may be displayed in many different areas of the camp. They may be changed or added to by individuals or groups as the days progress; they may be set up for a special occasion, such as Visitors' Day or the joint campfire of two units or cabins. Some exhibits take place out-of-doors, as in the campcraft area (Fig. XI-2).
For craft exhibits, it is well to have dark paper or cloth to put under the articles. Exhibits need good signs which tell the story without further explanation. One should avoid cluttering up the exhibit with too many articles. But it is also important to exhibit the work of all grades of craftsmen, not just those who excel. Age, experience, new interests, all serve to make a craft article interesting to the viewer, and such details should be included in the identification, when there is such a label.
Use colored paper as backgrounds for dull colored, objects or black and white.
Use neutral background, like gray or cream for paintings.
Compfire area. Exhibits
In the nature den, the camp library, the craft workshop, the campcraft storeroom, at the waterfront, or almost anywhere in camp, there is need of labels and notices and signs. Since the purpose of these is to give information, to call attention, or to give directions, it is important that they be neat, well lettered, attractive, interest-catching. Good printing and margins produce legibility that puts over the message; pictures and sketches lighten the subject matter, and colors attract the eye. Labels, notices, and signs may be made of cardboard or paper, tin or other metals, or of wood.
Equipment needed: lettering pens and brushes or felt nib brush pens; ruler and pencil.
Equipment needed: tin shears; files; drill or punch; paint brushes; felt marking pens.
Materials needed: ends of tin cans; sheets of metal (see Chap. VI); wire or binder twine; enamel paint.
Equipment needed: woodcarving or woodburning tools; sandpaper; saw; brushes.
Materials needed: wood scraps; wire or binder twine; paint or varnish or shellac.
Here are some hints for sign or label making:
Make a rough sketch on paper-actual size. Fit message to size and shape of paper. Keep it brief. Don't crowd it. Keep it clear. Make it interesting.
Draw guide lines for lettering, to keep it straight.
Use large letters for important words, smaller letters for explanatory matter. Use twig letters sometimes.
Add a sketch or a picture cut out of a magazine or a silhouette, for eye appeal and to help tell the story.
Use the question technique sometimes.
Use good combinations of colors-dark letters on light background, light or white on dark background.
For metal labels, use enamel paint and/or cutouts.
Make rustic holders for cards.
For cards that hold articles, use round elastic to hold articles, tie in back with square knot (see Chap. II, Fig. II-16).
Use borders of paint, ink, tape, etc.
Varnish or spray with plastic all signs to be used out-of-doors, to make them waterproof.
Although the writing of items for the camp newspaper may fall in departments other than the arts and crafts department, the layout and design of the paper will fall into the art field. Many of the suggestions for signs and bulletins will guide the editors and layout chairmen. Dummies help in good arrangement. Clear-cut headings and key letters, and occasional sketches, will make the pages more interesting and readable. "White space" on each page will make for more attractive pages as well. If the paper is to be mimeographed by the campers, the job of cutting the stencils should be done by someone who knows how to do it. A good working space for the printers should be arranged and carried out. Good workmanship habits can be learned by the committee in charge of printing, and a well-done page turned out to the satisfaction of producers and readers.