A View of Camping, 1914

Below is an excerpt from Edward Cave's The Boy's Camp Book, written in 1914. It echoes many of the ideas forwarded by camping professionals today. 

Best of all is camp life, for the reason that in camp you get the maximum of outdoor play, live most healthfully, have the least restraint, and — do not annoy your elders. So no matter what others may say to you about wasting your time in such an "uncivilized" pursuit, feed the fires of your ambition with all the camping out you can get. It will do much to furnish you with the energy and reserve power you must have to get up in the world. Beside, it is mighty good fun.

But do not forget your tether of Caution; let it be your guide to steer you clear of the several ways by which you may be deprived of your precious liberty. Just think of what happens to the colt that tries to gallop through a barbed-wire fence! You cannot afford to cultivate habits in camp that may handicap you elsewhere, hence your liberty is fenced off here and there. Not being a silly colt, you can understand the value those fences are to you — the fences of discipline which encircle and intersect every properly conducted boys' camp.

The Spirit of the Camp. Camp life, especially at a permanent camp, such as we are discussing in this book, is by no means entirely dependent upon location, equipment, and management for its success, although these things constitute the foundation of whatever success there is. The spirit of the camp is the big outstanding thing that counts.

I dare say most boys who take up this book will expect to find it devoted entirely to tents and how to pitch them, sanitation, cooking, and in general the work of the camp. But think a minute. Is that all there is to camping? And now, to go a step further, if we must plan the work carefully, make all preparations — what about the rest? Is it logical to expect that the real pleasures of the camp will just naturally crop up overnight like mushrooms? Hardly. And in preparing for fun, and lots of it, is it not wise to at the same time provide that the location of the camp, the equipment, the arrangement of the work, the camp discipline, and regular scouting activities will dovetail nicely with this program of fun? It certainly is.