The greatest help after all is to take the children back to the garden that the Lord God planted. A boy must learn to sleep under the open sky and to tramp ten miles through the rain if he wants to be strong. He must learn what sort of men it was who made America, and he must not get into this fuss and flurry of our American civilization and think that patent leather shoes and white kid gloves are necessary for the salvation of his life.–Edward Everett Hale.
Selecting a camp site and general directions for the laying out of the camp grounds is treated very fully in the chapter on Camp Sanitation, so that this chapter will be devoted to methods that to the experienced camper may seem trite, but which the novice will appreciate.
Laying Out a Camp
If the camp is a large one it is usually customary to send an advance party several days ahead to erect the tents and get the camp in readiness for the larger party. The successful management of a camp depends very much upon placing the tents in such a position as to give plenty of room and yet be compact. When tents are scattered the difficulty of control is increased. The above diagram is a suggestion for the laying out of a camp which provides for room and control.
Plan of Grounds:
The following hints will help the advance party to layout the camp in a systematic and scientific manner. To find the right angle of the camp square, drive a peg at A, another 3 feet distant at B; attach a 5-foot cord from the peg at B, and a 4 foot cord from the peg at A. The point at which the two cords meet at C, where another peg may be driven in, will be the line at right angles to B-A.
Right Angle of Camp Square
The illustrations opposite show a device by which a camp, baseball grounds, running track, tennis court or any distance may be quickly and accurately measured. The first thing to do is to get an inch board and cut a round disc (a) about 12 inches in diameter.
Cut two of them and tack them together. The diagram “b” is easier to cut out and will serve the purpose just as well. When the two are temporarily tacked together, bore a hole through the centre for the axle. The eight spokes should be of light material and not too pointed or they will sink in the ground and prevent accuracy. The spokes are tacked on one disc as shown in “c” and then the other disc is nailed on the outside.
A Measuring Device:
Paint the end of one spoke red, so that you can count it every time it comes around. By having the points that touch the ground exactly 9 inches apart, one revolution of the wheel will measure six feet. For an axle use a small piece of broom handle, and for a handle use a long light pole. By varying the length of the spokes you can make the wheel measure any desired distance.
The line of the camp having been laid out, the next thing is the erection of the tents. The best way of setting up a wall tent (either the 12 x 14 or 14 x 16 size), the type used in most of the boys’ camps, is the method used by the army and described in Kephart’s “Book of Camping and Woodcraft.” Four boys or men proceed as follows:
Nos. 1 and 2 procure canvas, and Nos. 3 and 4 the poles.
Nos. 3 and 4 lay the ridge pole on the ground, in the direction that the tent is to stand; then lay the uprights at each end of ridge-pole and at right angles to it, on the side opposite that from which the wind blows. Then drop the tent pins and hammers at their respective ends of the tent; then drive a pin at each end of the ridge to mark front and rear. Meanwhile Nos. 1 and 2 unroll the tent and spread it out over the ridge-pole and on both sides of it.
Nos. 1 and 3 now go to the rear, and Nos. 2 and 4 to the front, and slip the pins of the uprights through the ridge-pole and tent. If a fly is used, it is placed in position over the tent, and the loops of the long guys over the front and rear pole pins. No. 4 secures center (door) loops over center pin in front, and No. 1 in rear. Each goes to his corner, No. 1 right rear, No. 2 right front, No. 3 left rear, No. 4 left front.
All draw bottom of tent taut and square, the front and rear at right angles to the ridge, and fasten it with pins through the corner loops, then stepping outward two paces from the corner, and a pace to the front (Nos. 2 and 4) or rear (Nos. 1 and 3) each securely sets a long pin, over which is passed the extended corner guy rope. Care must be taken that the tent is properly squared and pinned to the ground at the door and four corners before raising it.
Shelter Tents, Seton Tepee, Tent Made Of A “Fly”, Wall Tent:
Nos. 1 and 3 now go to the rear, and Nos. 2 and 4 to the front pole, and raise the tent to a convenient height from the ground, when Nos. 2 and 3 enter and seize their respective poles, and all together raise the tent until the upright poles are vertical. While Nos. 2 and 3 support the poles, Nos. 1 and 4 tighten the corner guys, beginning on the windward side.
The tent being thus temporarily secured, all set the guy pins and fasten the guy ropes, Nos. 1 and 2 to the right, Nos. 3 and 4 left, and then set the wall pins.
To prevent the upright poles from sinking in the ground under the pressure of the canvas, place a flat stone or piece of wood under the pole.