This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
Camping, by the Boy Scouts of America, is educational as well as recreational. It is something more than billeting a boy with a crowd of other boys with a centrally directed mass program. It is a group of chums going to camp under their own leader, and there to find growth and self expression and cooperation opportunities.
The following statement of Troop camping policy was prepared by Mr. A. A. Schuck, Director of the Division of Operations, and was published as a part of the "Report of the Commission on Camping," at the French Lick Conference.
He says: "Troop (or group) camping is not merely a way but is the only Scout Way of Camping. Mass camping is not real Scouting.
"The fundamental thing in the Scout camping idea is recognition of the group organization as such; providing for boys from the same Troop (Tribe or group) to come to camp at the same time; quartering them together and assigning to their recognized officers- Scoutmasters, Assistants and Patrol Leaders - the direct responsibility for the conduct, discipline and instruction of their own boys; and using the designation of the particular group's own name or numeral instead of some unrelated name such as 'stockade' or 'cabin' in order to strengthen Scout group pride and loyalty."
1. THE IDEAL CONDITION IS THE CHARTERED SCOUT GROUP in charge of its own Scoutmaster, Assistants and Patrol Leaders, on its own exclusive site in the council camp, working in cooperation with other groups and their leaders, and each having the assistance and supervision of the professional staff provided by the council to coordinate and to supplement the leadership of the regular group officers by furnishing additional health, safety and technical personnel.
2. THE NEXT BEST CONDITION IS THE PROVISIONAL GROUP OR TROOP on its own allotted site in the council camp, in which Patrols are made up of boys from the same group with their own Patrol Leaders, the Troop or Tribe retaining its identity as such, but with a qualified Scoutmaster and Assistant appointed by the Camp Director to serve during the time the group is in camp. In such a group there may be Patrols from two or three different home Scout groups which are combined for the sake of economy and convenience in operating the camp.
3. THE SEMI-PROVISIONAL TROOP OR GROUP in which Patrols are recruited indiscriminately from campers who are members of many home groups with the officers, professional or volunteer, provided by the Camp Director.
WATCHING A BUSY FAMILY-NEW JERSEY.
4. THE INDEPENDENT GROUP CAMP-on a site away from other Troops or Tribes and without the presence of council officers other than the volunteer leaders of the groups-the council staff giving encouragement and such supervision as can be given at long range. This situation is not considered as ideal but it is the only practical solution of the problems of certain neighborhood situations, and with trained leadership, careful planning and council supervision, may be entirely satisfactory."
The Council or District Camping Committee, the sponsoring committees and the Scoutmasters - all need to have before them the minimum camp standards, when they are making plans for the all-year camping of their Scouts.
These are issued from time to time by the National Camping and Activities Service and cover the various kinds of camping experience.
In addition to statements on the fundamental significance of camping, by Dr. James E. West and the essence of the policy of encouraging Troop and Group Camping, by Mr. A. A. Schuck-the minimum standards outline includes the following important divisions relating to Camping:
Leadership and Organization
Health, Sanitation and Safety
Troop, Tribe and Patrol
Finance Accounting and Records
In addition there are standards applying to Local Councils:
Local Council officers' relation to organized Scout groups in Council Camp.
Local Council Service to Scout groups.
Protection-Insurance and Contracts. Applications for various permits for regular camps as well as for moving camps or tours.
Recommendations of the Camping Commission
These, as adopted by the Scout Executives at the French Lick National Training Conference, included:
1. Our purpose, in all Scout Camping, is character building and citizenship training.
2. Our obligation in camping is, first of all, to leaders of Scout groups.
3. Our measure of camping effectiveness shall be in terms of Troop and boy character development for participating citizenship.
NEGRO TROOPS DEMONSTRATE CAMPING-VIRGINIA
4. Our efforts shall be toward making Camping a reality for all organized Scout groups.
5. Our training for all leaders should include continuous camping training.
6. Our thinking shall always include the camping needs of less-chance Scouts.
7. Our planning will be for twelve months camping every year.
8. Our camp staff shall be an advisory and supporting service for Scout leaders.
9. Our camp facilities must fit the needs of the Scout group.
10. We shall provide a camping program for a span of camping years and make possible for our Scouts a consecutive and cumulative progressive camping experience that will meet the range of boyhood ages that we are pledged to serve.