Boston University. School of Education.

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Fundamentals of Child Study

— Prof. BdwinA Kirkpatrick 1.25

8chool Hygiene— Dr. B. R. Shaw 1 .00

Interest and Education— Dr. Charles DeGarmo x .00

The Teaching of English— Prof . Perctral Chubb 1 .00

n The Teaching of Elementary Mathematics

—Dr. D. E. Smith x.oo

Regular price
The Elements of General Method— Dr. C. A. McMurry $.90

The Method of the Recitation

—Dr. C. A. and P. M. McMurry .90
Special Method in Primary Reading

-Dr. C. A. McMurry .60
Special Method in Elementary Science

-Dr. C. A. McMurry .75
8pecial Method in Geography— Dr. C. A. McMurry. . .70
8pecial Method in the Reading of English Classics. .

-Dr. C. A. McMurry
Special Method in History- Dr. C. A. McMurry ....

The books included in this Pedagogical Library have been endorsed by leading educa-
tors and newspapers in America and Europe. In sixteen (16) volumes of 4700 pages
practically every subject of interest to the modern teacher has been discussed. A
careful reading of these books will put teachers abreast of present day educa-
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The Augsburg System of Drawing


An Entirely New System of Drawing for Schools

of the System are

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Directness and simplicity.

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contained in three books— Book I. , Book II . ,
and Book III. , — containing over 2,000 draw-
ings, illustrating every phase of the work.

'B00K /• is a Teacher's Hand Book,
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*BooK Mil. contains short yet complete
courses in brush drawing, water-color work,
pen drawing, chalk modeling, drawing the
human head and figure, designing and
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system there is also included a series of
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Second, each fifth leaf is heavier and of
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for a permanent record. On one side of
each fifth leaf is the permanent work of the
pupil, and on the other side the outline for
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These practice books follow an orderly and
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Third, these practice books also contain,
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Water Colors.

Soofr /.. //. and III. Cloth. Trice 73 Cent* Bach
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By Henry P. Emerson, Superintendent of Education, Buffalo, New York, and
Ida C. Bender, Supervisor of Primary Grades, Buffalo, New York.

A Complete Course for the Grades. These books are the work of authors who
know thoroughly the needs of the New York Schools and have kept them
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provided for with a fine sense of proportion.


First Lessons in United States History. Designed especially for the Sixth Year.
A Short History of the United States. For the Grammar Grades.
A Student's History of the United States. For the More Advanced High School


Selected and Annotated by Albert Bushnell Hart, Professor of History in

Harvard University.

No. 1. Colonial Children. No. 2. Camps and Firesides of the Revolution.

No. 3. How Our Grandfathers Lived. No. 4. The Romance of the Civil War.

The best collection of source material from American History for the Grades,
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A thoroughty modern and carefully graded series, covering all grades in which

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For grades 4, 5 and 6

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For Composition and Rhetoric

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BOOK III, 1 1.00

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The following outlines will be published in Ameri-
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life of Johnson
Gareth and Lynette
Lancelot and Elaine
The Passing of Arthur
Lays of Ancient Rome



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American Education


Vol. IX.

MARCH, 1906

No. 7

Summer Camps For Boys

Their educational Value


TO educate means not simply to teach,
* in the restricted sense of imparting
information — to educate means " to bring
up." And the process of education must
include instruction, and development, and
training — mental, moral, and physical.

It is the object of this paper to show
that, except for the simple imparting of
formal book knowledge, there are no con-
ditions under which, in an equal period of
time, a boy can be carried further in the
process of education for life more surely
and truly than at a well conducted summer
camp for boys.

In the following paper we will discuss
the value to a boy of life in a summer camp
owned and conducted by a man with ex-
perience in this line of work, who should
also be a real educator with sympathy for
and a knowledge of boys. We will take
it for granted that the site has been care-
fully selected with a view to healthfulness
and attractiveness, and that the camp is
fully equipped, and properly conducted —
and by this we mean with the highest-

In the education of boys we must realize
the close relationship in boyhood between
soul and mind and body. A healthy boy
is primarily a good animal. The young
boy who is not fundamentally a good little
animal is lacking in the first requisite for
perfect manhood, and needs to be devel-
oped physically. There is no place where
this can be more surely done than at the
summer camp. In camp, the boy, unfet-

tered by the chains which modern civiliza-
tion so frequently throws around him, is
free to receive from nature the benefits she
so delights to give.

The boys' clothing at camp is entirely
of flannel, and is as light as possible, con-
sistent with warmth. When tramping or
climbing among the higher mountains
where it is cool, a plain suit of clothes is
worn with a flannel shirt. Around camp,
on the ball fields, tennis grounds, etc., a
simple athletic suit is worn, consisting of
a sleeveless shirt, and running pants which
are short of the knee, and the little shoes
called " sneaks." Mornings and evenings,
when it is cool, a sweater, and stockings
rolled down below the knee, are worn. On
the water frequently even the light sneaks
are discarded ; and often the boys prefer to
wear simply the worsted bathing suit.
With such light clothing the young body
is as free for motion as could possibly be,
and the skin can breathe the fresh air, and
absorb vitality from the sun.

As for exercise, there are the tramps and
mountain climbing expeditions, and all
forms of athletics and water sports, in
which the boy may indulge freely, thus
gaining, as the Indian boy did in the past,
that health and strength and skill which
only an out-door life can give. But the
leader of the camp plans, in addition,
definite physical training for ■ the boys.
Each boy should take the special exercises
that an examination has shown him to
need. Also there is a general drill, in

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which, in a definite way, the muscles are
developed and trained to respond readily
to the will ; and by breathing exercises and
setting-up drill the body is given an erect
carriage. With all the physical develop-
ment that the boys acquire, both in the
formal exercises and in the general sports,
they learn to see quickly, to use judgment,
to be courageous but not rash, and to con-
trol the body and the temper. Take, for
example, two forms of exercises, one on
land and the other on water, and study
their educational possibilities.

The game of basket-ball requires ac-
tivity of body and mind. The internal
organs are exercised and strengthened by
the constant trunk bendings in every direc-
tion, and the bodily functions are improved.
The muscles of the entire body — trunk,
neck, legs, and arms — are developed, es-
pecially in ability to act quickly. The
mind learns the importance of competition
(against the opposing team) and the value
of co-operation (with the other players on
the same side) and is trained to act quickly
and accurately, and to control the body.
And morally the boy learns to play fairly.
If the game of basket-ball is supervised
properly by a competent referee or coach,
who realizes the educational importance of
the game, it is capable of producing greater
educational results, not only physically, but
especially mentally and morally, than it
would be possible to attain in the same
amount of time by any kind of formal in-
instruction either from books or by word
of mouth. It is the tremendously active
life of the game that trains the boy in body,
mind, and character.

Now let us consider canoeing, as an
example of water sport, and see what edu-
cational value it may have. Probably the
ordinary idea is that canoeing is fun for
the boy, but dangerous, and a cause of
anxiety to the parent. Let us realize that
in every well conducted camp no boy can
enter a canoe till he has learned to swim
well, and to dive. Then he is given lessons

in paddling by a camp counsellor who ac-
companies him in the canoe. The boy
learns a skillful procedure in handling the
paddle, and he learns to use his eyes in
observation, his mind in judgment, and to
be steady. The boy is next taught to take
a possible accident coolly by being put
through "the actual experience of an up-
set, several times, with a counsellor by his
side. The boy is first told carefully sev-
eral times what to do when upset, and then
is practised in doing as told. Thus each
one becomes perfectly confident and capa-
ble, and is without fear or the possibility
of being frightened, for anything that
could happen has already happened in his
experience. When all this has been ac-
complished and the boy has proved to the
camp leader his ability to handle himself
well in a canoe or in the water, and to be a
boy who uses judgment and can be trusted,
then he is allowed to go in a canoe alone.
In such manner the boy is trained, and ac-
quires qualities that are of character.

A mother once sent a lad to camp wish-
ing above everything else that her fun-
loving boy would in some way learn to con-
trol his ceaseless and almost nervous ac-
tivity, and learn at least to be able to be
serious at times, and to control his im-
petuous nature. The lad learned to swim
and to dive, and then wanted to use a
canoe, and was sure he could " go it alone."
He was warned, but allowed to try, under
supervision. In a minute a careless mo-
tion caused an upset and a ducking, and the
first lesson of caution and self-control had
been learned. With practice the lad ac-
quired a steady and knowing eye, that
could observe the coming puffs of wind
and uneven waves, and a poise of body
that could prevent mishaps, and a strength
and skill of stroke that enabled him to
handle his canoe with remarkable dexterity.
The healthy camp life and general train-
ing had quieted the boy's nerves, and the
practice in canoeing especially had given

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him the ability to concentrate his mind and
control his activities.

Bathing, diet and rest are so regulated
that the boy can live this active life without
fatigue or harm in any way, btit with, on
the contrary, a very distinct gain in health,
and strength.

The hours of sleep are early stnd long,
and during the entire summer, night as
well as day, the boy breathes the vital air
of forest and mountain, At call in the
morning, after a short period of exercise
(in most camps), a "dip" is taken in a
cool spot in the lake, and the body given a
rub-down in the still cool morning air.
Even delicate boys profit by this, the ex-
ercise preventing "taking cold," and the
procedure never having any ill effect, and
doing much to harden the system. The
boys dress quite warmly, put blankets out
to air, and sit down for a simple break-
fast. After breakfast squad duty keeps all
hands busy, for (excepting the cook) there
are no servants in camp, and each man
must do his share to keep things in order.
The work is soon over, and then comes the
day of sport. The noon swim is one of
the best-liked activities of camp. The sun
bath which follows is enjoyed as naturally
as the swim. After this blankets are
brought in and bunks made up, and dinner
is ready. All meals are prepared with a
view to giving the growing boy the food he
needs, without any of the harmful things
which make up so great a part of modern
civilized diet, and the fare is most heartily
enjoyed. And it is quite possible, even
with a large party of boys, for the meals
to be quiet and orderly. Under proper
leadership boys from homes of culture will
return from camp no less refined. After
dinner a period of rest is most valuable.
By such means vitality is gained.

Some camps have a regular school ses-
sion. This may be necessary for some
boys. But it is preferable for a boy at
camp to be free from such work as is done
at school during the winter. A work shop

should be part of the equipment, however,
for boys like to learn to make things, and
this is valuable. Nature study of all kinds,
and instruction in practical camping and
woodcraft is most valuable and attractive
to the boys. In the limited space of this
article it will not be possible to go into
details concerning nature study, but the
general plan may be considered. The
writer's method is to have but little formal
instruction, but to give "talks," either
while resting on an outing, or around the
camp-fire at night, the subject being such
as is suggested by some event, or condition
of the weather, or scene, or question asked.
An outline of the subjects to be covered

Online LibraryBoston University. School of EducationAmerican education → online text (page 60 of 99)