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of transportation for this distance presented too great an obstacle this in-town camp would have solved the immediate need. Before the opening of the Regional Park we had become convinced that the in-town camp, if carefully planned and promoted, could do much toward providing camping activity for many boys and girls of the community. The community that lacks readily accessible out-of-town sites can utilize one of its existing recreation areas and thereby fulfill the normal and healthful desire of children to live, for a time, in the out-of-doors.
Preparing for Camp
Announcements of the camp and the dates on which it was to be held were made known to the community through the usual publicity channels. A special effort was made to get the information before service clubs and PTA organizations. This was done with the purpose of gaining their aid in providing transportation to and from the camp. Camp dates were planned in midweek at different times for boys and for girls, and also on week-ends. In this way conflicts with family week-end plans and with Saturday work done by many of the boys were largely avoided.
Each child was required to register at least three days before the date set for the trip to camp. Registration blanks required the name, address and telephone number of the camper as well as the signature of the parent. Campers provided their own bedding, food and cooking utensils. Upon registering they were instructed to meet at a designated playground and be ready to leave for camp at 9 A. M., and they were told that they would be returned to the same place at 3:30 P. M. the following day. They also received instructions as to the blankets and bedding which would be needed, amount and kinds of food, cooking utensils that would be necessary. Campers were informed that it would not be possible for them to join the group if their bedding, food and utensils were unsatisfactory or inadequate. The enforcing of such a rule is necessary, for we found that regardless of every precaution some children would arrive at camp with inadequate pro
visions which might cause discomfort for all. An incidental fee of twenty-five cents was charged to help defray the cost of hot chocolate which was served to all campers at supper, and lemonade or punch which was served with lunch. In cases where even this small fee could not be paid special arrangements were made. A limited number of blankets and utensils were also provided when it was discovered that lack of these things would prohibit a child's attendance.
When camps were conducted on Saturday nights which extended into Sunday morning, it was made clear in the publicity or announcements that outdoor Sunday morning services would be held under the leadership of a competent director.
Transportation for the eighteen mile trip was provided by an automobile caravan. Members of service clubs donated the use of their cars on one occasion, but it was found that PTA organizations had less difficulty in providing cars with drivers, as the women were free to make the trip during the day. Only those cars were used that were available for both trips to and from the camp. Drivers and owners of cars were always informed that in the case of an accident they would be liable just as on any other occasion. Careful travel by caravan led by the camp director, however, is the best insurance against possible accident. Another method of transportation would be by chartered bus, which would relieve. the Recreation Department of all possibility of responsibility or blame in the case of accident.
Conducting the Camp
No provision for a nurse or doctor was necessary as ambulance service or medical aid which might be needed in case of a serious accident or sudden sickness at camp could be obtained by telephone. Because it was possible to reach parents immediately by the same means, many children were permitted to join the camp whose parents had refused to allow them to attend other camps located at greater distances from home.
"There are few adults today who lived as children in the country or in a sparsely settled residential district, who cannot recall with intense pleasure their childhood experiences in sleeping out-of-doors. Often a spacious back yard supplied all that was needed for a place to pitch a tent, build a camp fire and prepare one's own food, imagining the camp located in the midst of a boundless forest. Nowadays back yards in the city are difficult to find, and city ordinances make open camp fires impossible. Some way must be found of giving children this opportunity."
The conduct of camp and camp activities was in most (Continued on page 110)
What Games for the Day Camp?
OR THE PAST three years, both summer and winter, a Day Outing Camp program has been conducted by the Works
Progress Administration of the City of New York for New York City children. Considerable progress has been made in the development of the program during this time, and the selection of appropriate game material has received special attention.
The purpose of the day camp program is to awaken a consciousness of the joys and values of recreation in woodland, rustic or waterway surroundings, and to implant a kind of outdoors familiarity which will identify individuals with woodlore and nature lore. All this will be a satisfying equipment for leisure time, since such diversion may be engaged in with much or little expenditure of money.
The term day camp was chosen with the idea that in itself it conveyed an immediate impression of primitive conditions, with something of a challenge to adventurous spirit. It is important, therefore, to confine activities to those which most strongly emphasize these interests. In long term camps the day-after-day living conditions contribute to this aim, while the fleeting exposure of day campers to such near-rugged environment as may be found in or close to cities cannot be depended upon to supply the need adequately.
Some part of every program is devoted to games chosen not only for the reasons mentioned, but to add new interests rather than cling to those already known and accepted.
Real effort is made to eliminate the games used on the city streets and playgrounds. For instance, the children's resquests for baseball would be acceded to only with a new group and for the purpose of gaining control or confidence. Other active woods-like games would be substituted as soon as feasible.
In the WPA day camp project are two types of groups. One group is made up of children who attend neighborhood organizations after school hours and Saturdays; the other is made up of the children from the public school class rooms in winter and the Board of Education play schools in summer. For the neighborhood camps the following games are good examples: "Duck on the Rock," "Leap Frog," "Over the Brook," "Midnight," "Hare and Hounds," "Run, Sheep Run," "Ride Him Cowboy," "Stealing Sticks" and "Prisoner's Base." Instructions for these may be found in any game book.
Many common games can be played with the use of short branches and rocks instead of regulation equipment. Where the Indian theme is stressed, branches of proper thickness can be cut into required lengths and decorated with symbols
"A Nature game is not a substitute
-William G. Vinal.
and painted. "Club Snatch Bombardment" and "Poison" are games that can well use such natural material to replace the usual Indian clubs.
Among the games that will crystalize nature lore are the following:
Trees and the Wind. Players are divided into two equal
WHAT GAMES FOR THE DAY CAMP?
sides "Trees" and "Wind"-each side having a home marked off at opposite ends of play space with the wind. "Trees" pick a tree such as oak, sumac or birch. They walk over to the "Wind" who stand on their line ready to run and guess what tree the other side may be. As soon as the right tree is named all the trees run for home the wind chasing after them. Any trees caught become prisoners of the wind. The rest of the trees play with the wind again taking a different name until all the trees have been caught in a given time. Then the wind and trees exchange places.
This is a combination of running and guessing, correlating nature study with play and using names of familiar trees, such as the following:
Birdcatcher. Type-Tag game
Number of Players-Ten to thirty
"Birdcatcher" stands in clearing. Other players are given names of birds. Each group of "birds" is divided in two subgroups of equal number, which are placed in "nests," marked on opposite sides of clearing.
When the birdcatcher calls the name of a bird, all the birds bearing that name must change nests. The birdcatcher tries to catch them while they are in the clearing. All the players who are tagged are put into the cage (marked at one end of clearing). When all the birds are in the cage the first bird caught becomes the birdcatcher. If the group is large have two birdcatchers. Use names of familiar birds such as: 1. Starling
6. Hawk (Sparrow) 7. Woodpecker (Downy) 8. Flicker
4. Sparrow (English) 9. Quail 5. Blue Jay
Beast, Bird, Fish. All Ages. Team Type of Animal Games.
Divide the players into teams A and B. Seat teams opposite each other in any convenient manner. Parallel lines are best. An A member starts the game by throwing an object, such as a knotted handkerchief, soft ball or bean bag to any B member, calling, as he throws, one of the words: "beast, bird, fish." The instant after calling he starts to count ten. Before he reaches ten the B
player who received the object must name either a beast, bird or fish, depending upon what the A player called. If the B player fails to name a correct object before, the thrower counts ten, one point is scored for A team. Similarly, a point is scored if an object that was previously named is mentioned a second time. The teams throw alternately; the one wins that has the greater number of points at the end of a time limit.
Notes for leaders: It adds to the fun to permit a player who cannot think of a name quickly to throw the handkerchief to a team mate at least two players distant. He calls "Help" while throwing.
Nature Chase. This is a woodsy adaptation of birds, trees and flowers to a playground game of chase.
Two captains choose sides and determine which team shall be "chasers" and which "runners." Then the playing space, usually a road, is marked with three lines-one a starting line 60 to 100 feet from the second or take-off line, which is three feet from the third or safety line. The runners and chasers, respectively, retire behind their safety and starting lines. The runners decide upon the name either of a bird, tree, flower or plant, keeping the decision secret from the chasers. To illustrate, if they decide upon a bird, say woodpecker, the runners advance to the take-off line and announce to the chasers that they are birds. Now the game actually starts.
Under the direction of their captain, the chasers huddle in a compact mass and decide upon a number of birds. Each player is then assigned a certain bird. They return to the starting line, three feet from the opponents, who are behind the take-off line, and the active part of the game begins. The first chaser calls loudly the name of the bird assigned to him. If it is not the one selected by the runners they yell in unison. "Wrong."
The next chaser then names a bird. When "Woodpecker" is called, the runners instantly dash for safety behind the safety line, pursued by the chasers. The chasers receive one point for each player tagged. The team wins that has more points at the end of an even number of innings.
Notes for leaders: It is advisable to permit players to select only such nature objects as are indigenous to the part of the country in which they live. When players fail to name the object selected by their opponents, after each member named one thing, they tend to give up. They
safely into a tree. If team A succeeds in getting the bird safely into a tree, team B must give up one of its hawks and then they take the ball and team A becomes the birds of prey and team B tries to send the bird safely into a tree. The team having the larger number of men at the end of the game is declared the winner.
Catch of Fish. A goal is marked off at each end of the field, and the players, divided into two equal groups, take their positions in the two goals. The players in one goal join hands and stand in
alternately fish and net until all of one side are caught.
Other Types of Games
The children from the public schools have a program arranged so that during the regular school term their class room work will be emphasized in all their camping experiences.
Numbers is one game that is used to stress arithmetic. Players form a circle and each player is given a number. Leader stands in the center of
WHAT GAMES FOR THE DAY CAMP?
the circle and calls a number, for example 8. The player whose number is 8 must run into the circle and catch the ball before it touches the ground. If he fails to catch the ball one point is scored against him; three points put him out of the game. If he catches the ball he becomes the leader. Division, subtraction, addition and multiplication may be used. Example: to call the number 6, the leader may call any of the following ways, 12 divided by 2, 18 divided by 3, 10 minus 4, or to make it more difficult, 3 times 8 plus 4 minus 10 divided by 3, etc.
Another device used was to step off distances between opposing lines, counting the number of children for each leader, calculating how many periods of recreation were possible in the time allotted.
My Friend is a game used in connection with geography. Players are arranged in a circle. One child in the center, who is "it," says "My friend wears wooden shoes," and counts while pointing to some one in the circle. If this person does not say "Netherlands" or "Holland" before ten is counted, he must replace the person in the center, "It" may say "My friend lives in a country where or "My friend's national emblem is the Shamrock, Thistle, Dragon, etc."
Old Man of the Woods is a good day camp game for use with the children of the public schools. The players are divided into two groups, which form into two lines facing each other a short distance apart. One group is chosen to "act" (after deciding upon some action representing Old Man's occupation). They advance a few steps saying "Here comes Old Man from the Woods." The second group says "What can he do?" First group replies "Anything." Second group says "Work away." At this command all players in first group imitate an occupation such as chopping wood, sawing lumber, picking fruit, rowing a boat, building a fire. The second group guesses what the action represents, and, if correct, they take a turn at performing. If the guess is wrong the first group retires to decide on another occupation, returns and acts it until the second group guesses correctly, when the order is reversed.
A class that is learning about Switzerland may use a rope and alpine stock (improvised from branch of tree) and hike over the rockiest and hilliest route in the park. They will probably make weird attempts at yodeling!
I Like is a game that may be adapted to any subject that has been taught in the class room and lends itself very well to nature subjects. Five to fifteen may play and will need a large soft ball. Players form a line with "It" standing in front a few feet away. All players take the name of a rock, for instance, that has been discussed previously. One "rock" is chosen to be "It." "It" stands on a line with one hand on the ball ready to throw at the rocks who are standing in the line marked off about four feet away. When the rock who is "it" calls out "granite," all the players start to run and the player who is "granite" must run up to "it," take the ball and call out "Halt"! Runners must stop immediately when he tries to hit one of the running rocks. The rock who is hit then becomes "it" and the game proceeds until a player has been hit three times. This player is then put "through the mill" or some other form of penalty.
Note: Rocks common to New York City day camp sites are slate, marble, gneiss, sandstone, fieldspar and quartz. Names of trees, birds, insects, flowers, or any nature subject may be used instead of rocks.
"All fun" games will find a place in day camps, and directions for playing these will be found in Rodgers' A Handbook of Stunts. These are especially good to use for Council Ring ceremonies.
Singing Games. Many of the singing games may be used to introduce folk dancing. Some of these are "Lads and Lassies," "Jump Jim Crow," "Pop Goes the Weasel."
Sense Games. Among the popular sense games are the following:
Sight-Find an object in plain sight. The first one to see it sits down but does not tell.
Touch-Blindfold the children and have one child come up to be examined (felt) as to wearing apparel, etc., for identification.
Hearing - Find an object by loud and soft music.
Smell-Blindfold and guess articles by odors. Taste-Blindfold and guess nature samples by
It is difficult to distinguish between activities that fall into the category of games and those of slightly more woodcraft nature, for there are hikes of many sorts that might almost be classed as games. The "compass" hike or "point to point" hike is of this type. The collection hike is another. (Continued on page 111)