During his lifetime Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, wrote many books and articles directed to Scouters.
Each Sunday I’ll publish a selection from his writings in the hope that you’ll draw inspiration and understanding from his timeless ideas.
The object of a camp is (a) to meet the boy’s desire for the open-air life of the Scout, and (b) to put him completely in the hands of his Scoutmaster for a definite period for individual training in character and initiative and in physical and moral development.
These objects are to a great extent lost if the camp be a big one. The only discipline that can there be earned out is the collective military form of discipline, which tends to destroy individuality and initiative instead of developing them; and, owing to there being too many boys for the ground, military drill has to a great extent to take the place of scouting practices and nature study.
So it results that Scouts’ camps should be small — not more than one Troop camped together; and even then each Patrol should have its own separate tent at some distance (at least 100 yards) from the others. This latter is with a view to developing the responsibility of the Patrol Leader for his distinct unit. And the locality of the camp should be selected for its Scouting facilities.
From B.P.’s Outlook