Care of hands and nails is much neglected in camp, Nails should be properly trimmed and the “mourning” removed from underneath the nails. The habit of biting the finger nails is dangerous. Finger nails should be cut once a week with sharp scissors or “clip.” If the nails be neglected and a scratch received from the infected fingers the system may be inoculated with disease. The cleansing of the hands after using the lavatory needs special emphasis, for in no place do more germs collect and spread. Boys should not be permitted to use each other’s towels, combs, brushes, or soap. A towel may carry germs from one boy to another.
Never strain the eyes. When reading, always let the light come over the shoulder and upon the page, the eyes being in the shadow. Do not read with the sunlight streaming across the page. When writing have the light come from the left side. Do not rub the eyes with the hands. Headaches and nervousness are due largely to defective vision. “Work, play, rest and sleep, muscular exercise, wise feeding, and regular removal of the waste—these and all other hygienic habits help to keep the eyes sound and strong.”—Sedgewick.
It is dangerous to put a pointed pencil or anything sharpened into the ear. “Boxing” the ear, shouting in the ear, exploding a paper bag, may split the drum and cause deafness. The best way to remove excess wax from the ear is to use a soft, damp cloth over the end of the finger. Ear-wax is a protection against insects getting in from the outside.
Keep the nose free from obstructions, and avoid the use of dirty handkerchiefs. Always breathe through the nose and not through the mouth. Boys who observe this rule will not get thirsty while on a hike or get out of breath so easily. They don’t breathe in all sorts of microbes or seeds of disease, and they don’t snore at night.
In washing the hair avoid using soap more than once a week, as it removes the natural oil of the hair. Frequent combing and brushing adds to the lustre, and the head gets a beneficial form of massage. Wear no hat at camp, except to protect from sun rays or rain.
Footwear is a matter of importance. Shoes should never be worn too tight. They not only hinder free movements, but also hinder the blood circulation, and cause coldness and numbness of the extremities. Sore feet, because of ill-fitting shoes, are a detriment to happy camp life. Have good, well-fitting, roomy shoes, and fairly stout ones. Keep the feet dry. If they are allowed to get wet, the skin is softened and very soon gets blistered and rubbed raw.
[Illustration: Figure 1. Figure 2.]
Figure 1 shows a perfectly shaped foot. This is the natural shape, and if the boy is allowed to go barefooted or wear sandals, his foot will assume this shape. Figure 2 shows the distorted shape brought about by cramped shoes. The best thing to wear is thick moccasins of moose hide.