The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre
Observe degree, priority and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office and custom, in all lines of order.
-Troilus and Cressida. Act 1, Scene 3.
It matters very little if the camp be a large or small one, all will agree that system and organization must prevail if the camp is to be a “place of known delight and proved desire.” Order is said to be Heaven’s first law, and a boys’ camp should not be operated contrary to this recognized law. What is everybody’s business usually becomes nobody’s business. Much soup has been spoiled by the stirring of too many cooks. A boys’ camp becomes a place of discord when everybody takes a hand in “running it.” There must be one whose word is absolute and final, and who is recognized as the leader or director of the camp; at the same time the campers should have a voice in the government and share in planning and participating in its activities. (See chapter on Leadership.)
The following charting of organization will explain the “degree, priority and place” of those who are to be responsible for the administration and welfare of the camp.
This form of organization recognizes maturity, experience, ability, cooperation, justice and altruistic service. Self-government wholly by the boys is unwise. There must always be a paternal guidance of hot, impulsive and indiscriminate youth. Boys desire adult leadership and where a wise combination is formed of man and boy working together, there will be found the highest type of efficient, wholesome, happy and purposeful camp life.
Frequent council meetings should be held. When the senior council, composed of the leaders and director, meet for planning and to discuss the work, it should be understood that whatever is said or discussed at the meeting, must not be talked over in the presence of the boys, particularly matters of discipline, awarding of honors and camp policy. Joint meetings of the junior and senior councils should be held weekly. Each “tent” is represented on the junior council by electing one of their tent-mates, who shall present the views of his constituents at council meetings.
[Illustration: Camp Organization Chart]
The director should have the power of appointing the chairmen or heads of departments, and the chairmen the privilege of selecting associates from the two councils. The policy of each department must be ratified by a joint meeting of the councils before it becomes operative. Prevent bickering over minor parliamentary details. Keep in mind first, last and always, the highest welfare of the camp. Let the “voice of the people” be heard, yet see that the legislation introduced is in the interest of the highest good of the campers. The chart suggests the work of the various departments.