“Hiking, too, where you go farther afield, exploring new places every day, is a glorious adventure. It strengthens you and hardens you so that you won’t mind wind and rain, heat and cold. You take them all as they com, feeling that sense of fitness that enables you to face any old trouble with a smile, knowing that you will conquer in the end.
But, of course, to enjoy camping and hiking, you must know haw to do it properly. You have to know how to put up a tent or a hut for yourself; how to lay and light a fire; how to cook your food; how to tie logs together to make a bridge or a raft; how to find your way by night, as well as by day, in a strange country, and many other things.
Very few fellows learn these things when they are living in civilized places, because they have comfortable houses, and soft beds to sleep in. Their food is prepared for them, and when they want to know the way, they just ask a policeman. Well, when those fellows try to go scouting or exploring, they find themselves quite helpless.” ~ Baden-Powell
Scouting was made for the outdoors. This is one thing that will never grow outdated. No matter how computerized our future gets, we will always have the same beginning. A big part of Scouting is going back to the beginning, back to a world without computers, cars, or restaurants. When we go camping, we leave the comforts of civilization and go to a place where our survival depends upon the skill of our hands, not the money in our wallets.
When we go camping, we learn self-reliance, how to take care of ourselves. We must know how to cook our food, clean up, build shelter, and survive off of only what we can carry on our back. This not only strengthens our body, it strengthens our character. People of weak character go around taking credit for anything good that happens and blaming everything bad on someone else. They don’t take responsibility for their own actions and their own future; instead, they feel like they deserve being looked after by others.
Scouts are just the opposite. By going camping, we put ourselves in a place where nothing can take care of us other than ourselves and our Patrol. By going camping, we also learn something else that is very important. We learn how to work together with our Patrol to get things accomplished. When we all pitch in and help each other, things get easier and we can do things with our Patrol that we couldn’t do by ourselves.
When we go camping, we don’t treat it as if we were trying as hard as we can to bring civilization into the wilderness. That is tourist camping. As Scouts, the more simple our equipment is, the better. We cook over fires as much as we can. On long camps, we build our own camp furniture rather than hauling in some manufactured contraptions. Skill and experience takes the place of expensive equipment.
The benefits of camping are great, but apart from that camping is just plain fun! The Joy and Appeal of Camping, as well as its benefits, will never grow old. Has your Troop Rediscovered the Scout Camp?