Camping should give to the boy that self-reliance which is so essential in the making of a life, that faith in others which is the foundation of society, that spirit of altruism which will make him want to be of service in helping other fellows, that consciousness of God as evidenced in His handiwork which will give him a basis of morality, enduring and reasonable, and a spirit of reverence for things sacred and eternal. He ought to have a better appreciation of his home after a season away from what should be to him the sweetest place on earth.
the term leader
how to get leaders
variety of Talent
suggestions to leaders
opportunity of leadership
The success or failure of a boys’ camp depends upon leadership rather than upon equipment. Boys are influenced by example rather than by precept. A boys’ camp is largely built around a strong personality. Solve the problem of leadership, and you solve the greatest problem of camping.
No matter how large or how small the camp, there must be one who is in absolute control. He may be known as the director, superintendent, or leader. His word is final. He should be a man of executive ability and good common sense. He should have a keen appreciation of justice. A desire to be the friend and counsellor of every boy must always govern his action. He will always have the interest and welfare of every individual boy at heart, realizing that parents have literally turned over to his care and keeping, for the time being, the bodies and souls of their boys. To be respected should be his aim. Too often the desire to be popular leads to failure.
Aim to secure as assistant leaders or counsellors young men of unquestioned character and moral leadership, college men if possible, men of culture and refinement, who are good athletes, and who understand boy life.
“They should be strong and sympathetic, companionable men. Too much care cannot be exercised in choosing assistants. Beware of effeminate men, men who are morbid in sex matters. An alert leader can spot a ‘crooked’ man by his actions, his glances, and by his choice of favorites. Deal with a man of this type firmly, promptly, and quietly. Let him suddenly be ’called home by circumstances which he could not control.’” The leader must have the loyalty of his assistants. They should receive their rank from the leader, and this rank should be recognized by the entire camp. The highest ranking leader present at any time should have authority over the party.
In a boys’ camp I prefer the term “leader” to that of “counsellor.” It is more natural for a boy to follow a leader than to listen to wise counsellors. “Come on, fellows, let’s—” meets with hearty response. “Boys, do this,” is an entirely different thing. Leaders should hold frequent councils regarding the life of the camp and share in determining its policy.