The spirit of camping is too frequently destroyed by over-emphasis upon competitive games. Play is necessary for the growing boy and play that engages many participants has the most value. America today is suffering from highly specialized, semi-professional athletics and games. “When athletics degenerate into a mere spectacle, then is the stability of the nation weakened. Greece led the world, while the youth of that great country deemed it an honor to struggle for the laurel leaf, and gymnasiums were everywhere and universally used and the people saw little good in an education that neglected the body. It is a significant fact that the degeneracy of Greece was synchronous with the degrading of athletics into mere professional contests. What had been the athletics of the people became a spectacle for the people.” 
[Footnote 1: Emmett D. Angell in “Play,” p. 19.]
Do not allow the athletics and games of the camp to become a mere spectacle for the campers. Something should be planned for every boy and every boy encouraged to participate in the program. Nothing has yet taken the place of the good old American game of baseball. Divide the camp boys into teams. Have a league playing a series of games. The teams may be named after the different colleges or prominent cities or as one camp named the league, the “Food League” after popular camp dishes, such as: “Prunes,” “Beans,” “Soup,” “Hash,” “Mush,” “Chipped Beef.” It is needless to state that the boys in the league not only had a lot of fun, but the camp paper contained very amusing accounts of the games played.
Arrange a schedule of games and keep accurate records of all games played either in the “Camp Log” or camp paper. A dinner given to the winning team adds to the excitement of the league’s existence. Do not neglect the younger boys; have two “Midget” teams engage in a series for best two out of three games. Occasionally a game between the leaders and older boys is the exciting game of the season, especially if the leaders are defeated.
The same rule of participation should govern the athletics of the camp. Inter-tent games help to develop group loyalty, cooperation, fair play, and courtesy to opponents so desirable.
In some camps the boys are divided into two groups,
those under five feet
in height and those over five feet. Events are planned for these two
groups. The system of grouping suggested by the School Athletic League, is
that of grouping the boys according to physiological rather than
chronological age, as follows:
Pre-pubescent boys under 90 pounds.
Pubescent boys or juniors, 90 to 110 pounds.
Post-pubescent or intermediates, 110 to 130 pounds.
Seniors, above 130 pounds.
The boys are weighed in competing costume. This system is looked upon as being fair and practical.
What to Avoid