These books give valuable hints on Archery, which is peculiarly adapted for camp life and sport.
The Witchery of Archery—Maurice Thompson. Charles Scribner’s Sons, $1.50. Fascinating and entertaining.
[Illustration: A Lesson in Nature’s Classroom]
CHAPTER XVIII—NATURE STUDY
The out-door instinct
Antiquity of nature study
the modern idea
new kind of hunting
outdoor talks on nature
If nature is to be a resource in a man’s life, one’s relation to her must not be too exact and formal, but more that of a lover and friend.—John Burroughs.
“The boy is always nearer to the heart of nature than the grown man. He has a passionate love of the open air and of the fields and woods; he is never really happy indoors. Nature has planted this outdoor instinct in the boy’s heart for the good of the race.” Day and night teach him their lessons. The boy will absorb much that is interesting and also much that will be of real value in giving him a broader outlook upon life. Camping gives abundant opportunity for the study of nature.
Nature study is not a fad of modern times. Nearly three hundred and fifty years before Christ, Alexander the Great placed at the disposal of his tutor, Aristotle, the services of one thousand men throughout Asia and Greece with instructions to collect and report details concerning the life, conditions and habits of fishes, birds, beasts and insects. To this magnificent equipment of assistants, Alexander added fifteen thousand dollars in gold for books and laboratory supplies.
Prof. L. H. Bailey says, “The modern idea of Nature Study is, to put the boy in a sympathetic attitude toward nature for the purpose of increasing the joy of living. Nature study is not science. It is not knowledge. It is spirit. It is concerned with the boy’s outlook on the world.... This Nature spirit is growing, and there are many ways of knowing the fields and woods. A new literature has been born. It is the literature of the out-of-doors.”
Boys are natural born collectors. They are interrogation points, full of curiosity, like the “man from Missouri,” they want to know. The wise leader will say, “Let us find out some thing about this tree, or plant, or bird, or whatever it may be, and together we will be learners.” The textbook method will not work in a boys’ camp. “Go find me a flower” is the true method, and let us see what it is. Nature study books and leaflets should be used merely as guides, not as texts.