Camp Practices




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Camp Practices

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The camp ground should at all times be kept clean and tidy, not only (as I have pointed out) to keep flies away, but also because Scouts are always tidy, whether in camp or not, as a matter of habit. If you are not tidy at home, you won't be tidy in camp; and if you're not tidy in camp, you will be only a tenderfoot and no Scout.'

A broom is useful for keeping the camp clean, and can easily be made with a few sprigs of birch bound tightly round a stake.

A Scout is tidy also in his tent, bunk, or room, because he may be suddenly called upon to go off on an alarm, or something unexpected. If he does not know exactly where to lay his hand on his things, he will be a long time in turning out, especially if called up in the middle of the night.

So on going to bed, even when at home, practice the habit of folding up your clothes and putting them where you can find them at once in the dark and get into them quickly.

Camp Fires

Songs, recitations and small plays can be performed round the camp fire, and every Scout should be made to contribute something to the program, whether he thinks he is a performer or not.

A different Patrol may be responsible for each night of the week to provide for the performance. The Patrols can then prepare beforehand for the camp fire.

Camp fire is one of the happiest hours of camp. 
Songs, recitations and small plays follow each other on the program.

Cleaning Camp Ground

Never forget that the state of an old camp ground, after the camp has finished, tells exactly whether the Patrol or Troop which has used it was a smart one or not. No

Scouts who are any good ever leave a camp ground dirty. They sweep up and bury or burn every scrap of rubbish. Farmers then don't have the trouble of having to clean their ground after you leave, and they are, therefore, all the more willing to let you use it again.

It is a big disgrace for any Troop or Patrol or lone camper to leave the camp ground dirty and untidy.

Remember the only two things you leave behind you on breaking up camp:

  1. Nothing.
  2. Your thanks to the owner of the ground.


Another point to remember is that when you use a farmer's ground you ought to repay him for the use of it. If you do not do this with money you can do it in other ways. You can-and ought to-do jobs that are useful for him. You can mend his fences or gates, or dig up weeds, and so on.

You should always be doing good turns both to the farmer and to the people living near your camp, so that they will be glad to have you there.


The best practice in camping is camping whenever possible-single nights, weekends, and longer camps.

In going to camp with the Troop it is essential to have a few "Standing Orders", which can be added to from time to time, if necessary. The Patrol Leaders are held fully responsible that their Scouts carry them out exactly.

Such orders will contain the camp routine and might point out that each Patrol will camp separately from the others, and that there will be a comparison between the respective cleanliness and good order of tents and surrounding ground.

Each Patrol usually has its tents grouped together, well away from the other Patrol, but within call of the Scoutmaster's tent which generally is in the center.

Bathing in camp is under strict supervision to prevent non-swimmers getting into dangerous water. The following rules should be strictly followed:

(1) No Scout shall be allowed to bathe except under the personal supervision of the Scouter in charge of the party or some responsible adult appointed by him for the purpose. The safety of the place must have been previously ascertained and all reasonable precautions must be taken, including the provision of a life line.

(2) A picket of two good swimmers, preferably trained swimmers and life savers, must be on duty, undressed, in a boat or on shore as the circumstances may demand, ready to help any boy in distress. The picket itself may not bathe until the others have left the water.

In the Boy Scouts of America, a so-called "buddy-system" is used. In this system, the Scouts are divided into pairs, or buddies. The two boys of the buddy team are of about equal swimming ability. When in the water, each buddy is responsible for the safety of the other, under the general supervision of the Scouter in charge of the whole party.

On a camp loom it is easy to weave a comfortable mattress out of 
bracken, ferns, heather, straw or grass.

Making a Camp Loom-Plant a row (No. 1 row) of five stakes, 2 ft. 6 in., firmly in the ground. Opposite to them, at a distance of 6 to 7 ft., drive in a row (No. 2 row) of two stakes and a crossbar (or of five stakes). Fasten a cord or twine to the head of each stake in No. 1 row and stretch it to the corresponding stake in No. 2 row and make it fast here. Then carry the continuation of the cord back over No. 1 row for some 5 ft. extra, and fasten it to a loose crossbar or "beam". Fasten other cords from the other stakes in No. I row to the stakes of No. 2 row, and then to the beam, tying them here the same distance apart that the stakes are apart.

The beam is now moved up and down at slow intervals by one Scout, while another Scout lays bundles of fern or straw in layers alternately under and over the stretched strings. The bundles are thus bound in by the rising or lowering of the cords attached to the beam.

If you move the beam first slightly to the right and then to the left so that the strings fall first on one side and then on the other side of he stretched strings it will twist the cords and make the binding much more secure.


Camp Orders

In going into camp it is essential to have a few "Standing Orders" published, which can be added to from time to time, if necessary. These should be carefully explained to Patrol Leaders, who should then be held fully responsible that their Scouts carry them out exactly.

Such orders might point out that each Patrol will camp separately from the others, and there will be a comparison between the respective cleanliness and good order of tents and surrounding ground.

Each Patrol usually has a tent to itself, well away from any others, but within call of the Scoutmaster's tent.

Patrol Leaders to report on the good work or otherwise of their Scouts, which will be recorded in the Scoutmaster's book.

Rest time for one hour in middle of day.

Bathing under strict supervision to prevent non-swimmers getting into dangerous water.

"Life Guards will be on duty while swimming is going on, and ready to help any boy in distress. These guards will be on shore or in a boat (undressed). They may only swim when the general swimming is over, and the last of the swimmers has left the water. A life-line must be available." The observance of this rule has saved the life of more than one Scout already.

Orders as to what is to be done in case of fire alarm.

Orders as to boundaries of grounds to be worked over, damages to fences, property, good drinking-water, etc.

Note to Parents

Camping is the great point in Scouting which appeals to the boy, and the opportunity for teaching him self-reliance and resourcefulness, besides giving him health.

Some parents who have never had experience of camp life themselves, look upon camping with misgivings as possibly likely to be too rough and risky for their boys. But when they see their lads return full of health and happiness outwardly, and morally improved in the points of practical manliness and comradeship, they cannot fail to appreciate the good which comes from such an outing.

I sincerely hope, therefore, that no obstacle may be placed in the way of the boys taking their holiday on the lines suggested.

See Also:

Outdoor Skills

B-P's Scouting Program

Outdoor Adventure






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.