The most fruitful source of supply of leaders should be the colleges and preparatory schools. No vacation can be so profitably spent as that given over to the leadership of boy life. Here is a form of altruistic service which should appeal to purposeful college men. Older high school boys who have been campers make excellent leaders of younger boys. A leader should always receive some remuneration for his services, either carfare and board or a fixed sum of money definitely agreed upon beforehand. The pay should never be so large that he will look upon his position as a “job.” Never cover service with the blinding attractiveness of money. The chief purpose of pay should be to help deepen the sense of responsibility, and prevent laxness and indifference, as well as to gain the services of those who must earn something.
Do not take a man as leader simply because he has certificates of recommendation. Know him personally. Find out what he is capable of doing. The following blank I use in securing information:
Leader’s Information Blank, Camps Durrell and
College or school
Do you sing? What part (tenor or bass)?
Do you swim?
Do you play baseball? What position?
Do you play an instrument? What?
Will you bring it (unless piano) and music to camp?
Have you won any athletic or aquatic events? What?
Will you bring your school or college pennant with you?
Have you ever taken part in minstrel show, dramatics, or any kind
of entertainment; if so, what?
What is your hobby? (If tennis, baseball, swimming, nature study,
hiking, photography, athletics, etc., whatever it is, kindly tell
about it in order to help in planning the camp activities.)
[Illustration: A Leader’s Pulpit—Sunday Morning in the “Chapel-by-the-Lake”—Camp Becket.]
Leaders should not be chosen in order to secure a baseball team, or an athletic team. Select men of diverse gifts. One should know something about nature study, another about manual training, another a good story-teller, another a good athlete or baseball player, another a good swimmer, another a musician, etc. Always remember, however, that the chief qualification should be moral worth.
Before camp opens it is a wise plan to send each leader a letter explaining in detail the purpose and program of the camp. A letter like the following is sent to the leaders of Camps Durrell and Becket.
Suggestions to camp leaders.
Read and re-read.
The success of a boys’ camp depends upon the hearty cooperation of each leader with the superintendent. The boys will imitate you. A smile is always better than a frown. “Kicking” in the presence of boys breeds discontent. Loyalty to the camp and its management is absolutely necessary if there is to be harmony in the camp life.