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Camping For Boys By H. W. Gibson Characters: 8427

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03



Very little thought is given by the boy to what he eats, as long as it suits his taste, and there is an ample supply. The causes of most skin diseases are largely traceable to diet. Chew the food slowly. Don't "bolt" food. Your stomach is not like that of a dog. Food must be thoroughly masticated and moistened with saliva. Hasty chewing and swallowing of food makes masses which tend to sour and become poison. This often accounts for the belching of gas, sense of burning and pain, and other forms of distress after eating. Drink before or after meals. Don't overeat. Conversation aids digestion. Eating between meals is detrimental to good digestion. Regular meal hours should prevail. After dinner is the best time to eat candy or sweets.

[Illustration: Camp Tooth Brush]

The Teeth

If the tooth brush gets lost make one out of a dry stick, about six inches long, which can be frayed out at the ends like the illustration. A clean mouth is as important as a clean body. The teeth should be cleaned twice a day, morning and evening. Insist upon the bringing of a tooth brush to camp. Impress upon the boys that time spent upon teeth cleansing will prevent hours of agony upon a dentist chair. Cleansing the teeth of sticky deposits by running fine threads between them, in addition to the use of a brush and a simple powder, prevents deposits from becoming the starting point of decay.

The Hands

Care of hands and nails is much neglected in camp, Nails should be properly trimmed and the "mourning" removed from underneath the nails. The habit of biting the finger nails is dangerous. Finger nails should be cut once a week with sharp scissors or "clip." If the nails be neglected and a scratch received from the infected fingers the system may be inoculated with disease. The cleansing of the hands after using the lavatory needs special emphasis, for in no place do more germs collect and spread. Boys should not be permitted to use each other's towels, combs, brushes, or soap. A towel may carry germs from one boy to another.

The Eyes

Never strain the eyes. When reading, always let the light come over the shoulder and upon the page, the eyes being in the shadow. Do not read with the sunlight streaming across the page. When writing have the light come from the left side. Do not rub the eyes with the hands. Headaches and nervousness are due largely to defective vision. "Work, play, rest and sleep, muscular exercise, wise feeding, and regular removal of the waste-these and all other hygienic habits help to keep the eyes sound and strong."-Sedgewick.

The Ear

It is dangerous to put a pointed pencil or anything sharpened into the ear. "Boxing" the ear, shouting in the ear, exploding a paper bag, may split the drum and cause deafness. The best way to remove excess wax from the ear is to use a soft, damp cloth over the end of the finger. Ear-wax is a protection against insects getting in from the outside.

The Nose

Keep the nose free from obstructions, and avoid the use of dirty handkerchiefs. Always breathe through the nose and not through the mouth. Boys who observe this rule will not get thirsty while on a hike or get out of breath so easily. They don't breathe in all sorts of microbes or seeds of disease, and they don't snore at night.

The Hair

In washing the hair avoid using soap more than once a week, as it removes the natural oil of the hair. Frequent combing and brushing adds to the lustre, and the head gets a beneficial form of massage. Wear no hat at camp, except to protect from sun rays or rain.

The Feet

Footwear is a matter of importance. Shoes should never be worn too tight. They not only hinder free movements, but also hinder the blood circulation, and cause coldness and numbness of the extremities. Sore feet, because of ill-fitting shoes, are a detriment to happy camp life. Have good, well-fitting, roomy shoes, and fairly stout ones. Keep the feet dry. If they are allowed to get wet, the skin is softened and very soon gets blistered and rubbed raw.

[Illustration: Figure 1. Figure 2.]

Figure 1 shows a perfectly shap

ed foot. This is the natural shape, and if the boy is allowed to go barefooted or wear sandals, his foot will assume this shape. Figure 2 shows the distorted shape brought about by cramped shoes. The best thing to wear is thick moccasins of moose hide.

Internal Organs

Constipation is a frequent camp complaint, and is usually the result of change in diet and drinking water. The habit of having a daily movement of the bowels is of great importance to a boy's health. The retention of these waste products within the body for a longer period tends to produce poisonous impurities of the blood, a muddy-looking skin, headaches, piles, and many other evils. Eat plenty of fruit, prunes, and graham bread. Drink plenty of water. Take plenty of exercise.


One bath a day in fresh water is all that is necessary. Boys go into the water too often and remain too long. This accounts for the rundown appearance of some boys. The body gives off heat every minute it is in cool water, and also when exposed wet to the breezes, and heat is life. All boys should be encouraged to take a dip before breakfast with a rapid rubdown. Then a good swim in the warm part of the day. Usually about 11:30 A.M. is a good time for the swim. If a swim is taken after supper, be careful to dress warm afterward.


Normal boys need nine or ten hours sleep. Sleep is a time for physical growth. Have the tent open back and front at night to insure plenty of fresh air. There must be a complete change of clothing on retiring. Flannel clothing should be worn at night. Sleep alone. Nine o'clock or nine-thirty, at latest, should find every boy in bed.


Wear clean clothing, particularly underwear. Frequently a rash appearing on the body is a result of wearing dirty-shirts. The wearing of belts tends to constrict the abdomen, thus hindering the natural action of the intestines, which is essential to good digestion. Hernia (ruptures) may result from wearing tightly drawn belts. To dress the body too warm lessens the power to resist cold when there happens to be a change in the atmosphere. Put on extra clothing at sundown, without waiting to begin to feel cold. During eating of meals it is well to have the legs and arms covered when it is at all cool. The cooling of large surfaces of the body while eating, even if it is not noticed, retards digestion, and taxes the vitality. Many a boy gets a cold by neglecting to take this precaution.


Two flannel shirts are better than two overcoats.

Don't wring out flannels or woolens. Wash in cold water, very soapy, and then hang them up dripping wet, and they will not shrink.

If you keep your head from getting hot, and keep your feet dry, there will be little danger of sickness.

If your head gets too hot, put green leaves inside your hat.

If your throat is parched and you can get no water, put a pebble in your mouth. This will start the saliva and quench the thirst.


"Keep thyself pure."

"Health is wealth."

"A sound mind in a sound body."

"Fresh air and sunshine are necessary to good health."

"Cleanliness is the best guard against disease."

"A clean mouth is as important as a clean body."

"Virtue never dwelt long with filth."

"Temperance, exercise, and repose

Slam the door on the doctor's nose."


"Cleanliness is next to Godliness."

"Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other."


"Nor love, nor honor, wealth nor power,

Can give the heart a cheerful hour,

When health is lost. Be truly wise.

With health, all taste of pleasure flies."


"Health is a second blessing that we mortals are capable of: a blessing that money cannot buy." -Walton.

"There are three wicks, you know, to the lamp of a man's life: brain, blood, and breath. Press the brain a little, its light goes out, followed by both the others. Stop the heart a minute, and out go all three of the wicks. Choke the air out of the lungs, and presently the fluid ceases to supply the other centres of flame, and all is soon stagnation, cold, and darkness." -O. W. Holmes.

[Illustration: Bending the Bow-Camp Kineo]

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