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lily pads. Another channel through which boys drift to a naturalist's life is the capturing of turtles for a turtle derby. In short, let us work on the assumption that nature study goes beyond jars of preservatives and identification charts.
We tried something at one summer camp that is appealing to both children and adults. We introduced our campers to the stars. After our nightly campfire we took them out onto the swimming dock, where I gave a short talk on stars, presenting some unusual facts, and pointed out a few of the better known constellations. Did the boys resent our making them go to school out there beneath the stars? Not at all, for they asked question after question and some of the boys offered a few facts themselves. They were capturing the mood of the true student of nature -the friendly, share-all mood. They were going to school but only in an informal and personal
Demand cooperation but not subordination. Make suggestions but don't give orders. You will get much farther by saying, "Let's see how many different leaves we can collect in thirty minutes,"
than if you commanded, "Today we will each be required to find and bring in the leaves of fifteen different trees."
Whether the study of nature is done in a class or by individuals, the keeping of notes is valuable but should not be required. To force the child to keep a notebook will send him back to school before vacation ends. We found that by placing a small nature notebook at each camper's place at dinner on the first day we had no trouble in persuading him to write in it.
It makes no difference whether you are a child or an adult, whether you are a member of an outdoor club or nature class or a lone explorer wishing to find out what lies beyond the pavement, the same technique will apply. Go into your work as though it were a form of recreation-that is what it actually is. Don't make a boresome job out of nature study. Avoid trying to absorb everything there is to be known in one summer or even a year. An entire lifetime will not be sufficient time to learn all.
Enjoying nature does not necessarily mean study, research and experiment. The hiker, the angler, the hunter and the photographer all enjoy nature. Nature study is not, by any means, an effeminate pastime. It is an ideal form of recreation because it is inexpensive, it is constantly offering something new and exciting, and there are no limits to its scope.
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respects similar to that of all boys' or girls' camps except that it was necessary to give considerable instruction and assistance in correct methods of fire building and cooking. Though it was suggested that each camper bring his own tent and portable cot, few campers did so. It was therefore necessary to give instruction as to the placing of bedding, the preparation of the leaves and twigs for the laying of blankets, and the necessity of finding a level spot.
As expected, the great majority of boys and girls who go on the overnight camp trips are inexperienced as campers. It was found that many of them had never before been away from home or away from parents for two days and a night. The successful conduct of the camp therefore depended on the ability and skill of the camp director to a far greater extent than in larger camps which extend over a much longer period of time and consequently have more adequate facilities which make for easier adjustment to camp life.
WHAT GAMES FOR THE DAY CAMP?
Unless there is a skilled and tested camp leader available the overnight camp would better not be attempted. In localities where the weather is not entirely dependable, and this is certainly true in California in spite of all statements to the contrary, provision or arrangements for shelter in case of unexpected rain must be made. Very often provision may be made for the emergency use of a nearby hayloft, clean stables, or a vacated building. If this cannot be done it is necessary to provide large portable tents or awnings or large sheets of heavy canvas which would suffice until additional shelter could be procured.
Vallejo Plans a Camp
The general plan of overnight camps used in Albany will be adopted in Vallejo this summer. The City Recreation Commission of the City of Vallejo, organized January 1, 1937, has just started its year-round community program. Overnight camping will be one of the features of the first summer's activity schedule. Several desirable sites will be available. More than one location may be needed but arrangements are already being made for the use of a mountain district about fifteen miles out of town known as Green Valley. Green Valley, which is owned by the city, is a beautifully wooded canyon with an abundant supply of good water, and is in use at the present time, to a limited extent, for the city water supply. A part of the area has already been set aside for a Boy Scout Camp.
Numerous Vallejo organizations have been conducting splendid camps for a number of years and many individuals and families have availed themselves of camping at various places throughout the state. In spite of this fact the Vallejo Recreation Commission, in making arrangements for its overnight camps this summer, is planning to accommodate several hundred boys and girls many of whom have never before had the opportunity of experiencing at first hand the joy of living among the wonders of nature's great out-ofdoors.
What Games for the Day Camp?
The hiker bringing in the greatest variety of nature articles or the most unusual, wins the score. The fun element should permeate every phase of the day camp program and the whole program
"Ride a Cock Horse"
They are organized as a boys' mounted police troop and ride over reservation trails, practice police duty, learn the care of their horses, and receive instruction in equitation during each training period. Members of the Watchung Girls' Troop do practically the same things and receive the same instruction as do the Rangers. Each year this group has a mounted picnic and gymkhana at the end of the training period. Formerly only boys and girls with some previous riding experience were allowed to become members of the Rangers and Girls' Troop, but this year beginners were also invited to join. The charge for a season's membership is sixteen dollars, covering a training period of ten weeks.
A Boys' and Girls' Riding Club for children under twelve years of age was organized during 1936. The quota of fifteen members set for this class was soon reached and there is now a waiting list. On Thursday afternoons a women's riding class composed mostly of teachers from Westfield ride at the stable.
Classes from three private and three public schools have used the Watchung Stable for their headquarters all season. Several of these have had classes riding from the Watchung Stable for a number of years.
Activity at the stable continues throughout the year. When heavy snows make it impossible to go horseback riding, the stable rents horse-drawn sleighs for old-fashioned straw rides.
A Sheriff's Posse
The glamour of the pioneer west is not entirely dead. It survives, among other places, in the Sheriff's Posse of El Paso, Texas, made up of hard-riding, straight-shooting descendants of pioneer families.
Although this posse is connected with the Sheriff's Department through the Sheriff, it is not in the employ of the city or county. It is a service and recreational club drawn together by the Sheriff for three major purposes: to give aid in times of emergency, such as plane crashes, and floods, where horses provide the only practical transportation; to participate in endeavors to advertise or further the interests of the picturesque Southwest, and to provide a club of social and recreational nature for men who like to ride.
The forty members are all prominent men doctors, attorneys, bankers and sportsmen. Each
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owns his own horse, saddle, bridle, pistol, rifle, lariat and a club uniform which is typically western from boots to hat and badge.
A business meeting is held one night each week, presided over by the Ranch Boss (President). Other officers include the Foreman (Vice-President). Wagon Boss (Director), and the Country Banker (Treasurer). Every Sunday morning the group meets at an appointed place to ride and take part in any special activities planned by the Activities Committee. These may include relay races, practice roping, target practice, a treasure hunt, group instruction in the care of horses, a simulated fugitive hunt, a rabbit chase or a fox hunt.
El Paso is ideally located for riding and special activities such as these listed. A vast sandy prairie stretches for many miles east of the city, broken by low foothills and arroyos, dotted over with greasewood, yucca and sage brush and uninterrupted by fences.
"I'll See You at Atlantic City!" (Continued from page 90)
One city reports "Our whole board is coming";
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See RECREATION for April, 1937, for a sketch of Theodore Wirth's life and his contribution to the park movement.
ing interests will be well represented at the Congress. Materials from the Federal government will be on display. These, exhibits constitute one of the most practical features of the Congresswhere and what to buy in the equipment line: what to read; what publishers produce recreation literature-will be readily answered by the displays and their personal attendants. The following firms are represented:
Crouse-Hinds Company, Syracuse, N. Y.
C. Howard Hunt Pen Company, Camden, N. J. The P. Goldsmith Sons, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio P. F. Frost, New York City
Golf Register Company, Pittsfield, Mass. Magnus Brush and Craft Materials, Wakefield, Mass.
Universal School of Handicrafts, New York City
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National Broadcasting Company, New York City
Abingdon Press, New York City
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E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., New York City Grosset & Dunlap, New York City
J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, Pa.
National Council Y.M.C.A., New York City