Nine leading principles are kept in view:
(1) This movement is essentially for recreation.
(2) Camp-life. Camping is the simple life reduced to actual practice, as well as the culmination of the outdoor life.
Camping has no great popularity to-day, because men have the idea that it is possible only after an expensive journey to the wilderness; and women that it is inconvenient, dirty, and dangerous.
These are errors. They have arisen because camping as an art is not understood. When intelligently followed camp-life must take its place as a cheap and delightful way of living, as well as a mental and physical saviour of those strained and broken by the grind of the over-busy world.
The wilderness affords the ideal camping, but many of the benefits can be got by living in a tent on a town lot, piazza, or even house-top.
(3) Self-government. Control from without is a poor thing when you can get control from within. As far as possible, then, we make these camps self-governing. Each full member has a vote in affairs.
(4) The Magic of the Camp-fire. What is a camp without a camp-fire? — no camp at all, but a chilly place in a landscape, where some people happen to have some things.
When first the brutal anthropoid stood up and walked erect — was man, the great event was symbolized and marked by the lighting of the first camp-fire.
For millions of years our race has seen in this blessed fire the means and emblem of light, warmth, protection, friendly gathering, council. All the hallow of the ancient thoughts, hearth, fireside, home, is centred in its glow, and the home-tie itself is weakened with the waning of the home-fire. Not in the steam radiator can we find the spell; not in the water coil; not even in the gas-log: they do not reach the heart. Only the ancient sacred fire of wood has power to touch and thrill the chords of primitive remembrance. When men sit together at the campfire, they seem to shed all modern form and poise, and hark back to the primitive — to meet as man and man — to show the naked soul. Your camp-fire partner wins your love, or hate, mostly ..text continues