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Last summer our family went on a camping trip into the mountains. We went as far as Sayles Flat. You all know that is where Sacramento city has its' camping grounds.
The camp is operated by the playground department, and gives the people of Sacramento a vacation, including board, housing and transportation to and from the camp. This costs only $25 for two weeks, for it is a non-money-making enterprise.
The camp site is a 25-acre tract, leased to the city by the United States government without cost. It is located on the beautiful South Fork of the American River, just at the end of the famous "Slippery Ford grade."
It is divided into two meadows, the upper and the lower. The upper meadow is about 30 feet above the river which flows idly through the camping ground. The location of the camp is called "The Center of the Sierras."
The river is shallow and is supplied with No Dragging trout. There are no snakes within miles of the Hours
camp. There are many hikes from the camp, both long and short. On these hikes, one can go to Desolation Valley, to Fallen Lake, Leaf Lake or by easy trail to Ralston Peak, from which may be seen Tahoe and many other lesser mountain gems.
We stayed there three or four days. We cooked our meals on some iron rods and in a little stove. We kept the camp in order. While there we took a trip to Lake Tahoe. There were a great many campers at the lake, as it was the Fourth of July. Some of the children had firecrackers and other fireworks, and it gave us a feeling of patriotism.
After leaving Sayles Flat, we went to Camp Echo which is about a quarter of a mile from Echo Lake. The altitude is so
a great at this beautiful lake that the climate is very cold. A hermit made his home here, and his place was very interesting. His house was low and he had different kinds of labels from cans on the ceiling and walls. He had snowshoes in his bunk. Outside we saw heads of animals carved from wood.
There is a saw-mill near the camp and I watched the men run several large logs through. It doesn't take long to make lumber out of a log.
We took a long hike through the mountains, Paths of the
going over the trail that the immigrants took Pioneers
on their way to California "in the days of old,
the days of gold, the days of '49.” It looked almost impossible for them to come up those steep and rocky grades. We all know that they did, however, and their children and grandchildren are following their example in ever pressing on to make California one of the greatest states of the Union.
We made a trip to beautiful Lake Tahoe. The water seemed to be of several different colors—blue, green, reddish and clear. The water was so clear we could see little trout as we stood on the wharf.
We went back to Sayles Flat to hear the Sacramento boys' band. The band had been given its vacation by the Chamber of Commerce. The boys were practicing for the State Fair.
When we came home from our pleasure trip it was Fair time. After the Fair, school began, and the vacation came to an end.
Charles Schirmer, 8-B,
Framingham's Health Camp for Children
To provide special care for delicate children, to alleviate the burden of mothers who find it advantageous to work, to demonstrate to the town the value of the general health program by serving as an index of the town's health, these are some of the purposes of the Framingham Children's Summer Camp. It is not solely a local affair because it is being conducted as a special demonstration through the National Tuberculosis Association and furnishes a study to other communities desiring to offer hygienic as well as recreational opportunities to their children.
Since 1917 when the first camp was held in an old schoo. building on the outskirts of the town,--the Framingham Park Department has made available an old fair grounds building which was advantageously situated for camp needs. Here the children stay during the day, returning to their homes in the late afternoon by cars. They are kept busy from nine until four-thirty through supervised and free play, wading pool, sand pile, hand-washing and toothbrush drills.
During the day medical and dietary facts are being gathered from which the child's record is made.
thorough medical examination has preceded his admittance to camp so that his exact physical condition is known from the beginning. All measures that will strengthen resistance, build up physique and encourage hygienic livng are followed closely so that despite unfortunate home conditions each child is noticeably benefited.
The food preparation and dietary of the children are under the direction of an expert dietitian and although the children have their own breakfasts and suppers at home, the nourishing menu at camp supplies the needed balance,-the final results of the summer showing that the average gain in weight was one pound, fifteen ounces.
Educationally the camp routine emphasizes hygienic living. The children are provided with individual towels and separate wash basins and are encouraged to wash their hands before eating, brush their teeth regularly and sleep and rest adequately. Home visits are made not only in the selection of the children but in the follow-up work after the camp period. A careful record is made of home conditions and an effort made to correct undesirable conditions, thus making home life supplement the hygienic life of the camp. Many of the mothers were appreciative of the camp advantages; and some of them, because of their own ill health, stated that they believed the children were better cared for at the camp than would have been the case at home. One mother requested an interview with the nurse to inquire into the camp routine so that she might play the game of "Children's Camp" with her three children at home. In a more recent visit it was learned that the mother's own experiment was very satisfactory, the children showing a marked gain.
The question might arise whether or not it is a physical loss for the children to return to their homes every evening. It has been found that the contact with the home which this daily return furnishes is a splendid opportunity for studying and benefiting the home conditions affecting the lives of the children; the mothers are more content for their children to be away regularly every day if they return at night; and the careful records of the housing conditions which are obtained prove in the end to be more valuable than would the extra. time spent by the child in camp.
Providing play for crippled children is largley a problem of finding among the games which all children play, games which are possible for each individual child. If a child has the normal use of his legs or if he is only slightly lame, most of the regular games are possible for him. When all the children in a group are crippled, as in homes or hospitals for crippled children, it is not difficult to play ordinary games for each child has some handicap but one crippled child in a group of normal children is at an unfair disadvantage.
For children who will not be injured by strenuous exercise, the problem is simple. Just as with normal children a leader is necessary to encourage inactive children to enter into the games and to create a better spirit of fair play among those inclined to be rough or selfish or to disregard the rules of the game. Children can not be depended upon to choose the right kind of games for themselves for the child who needs more strenuous exercise may probably be timed and unaccustomed to such activity and a child who should play only quiet games is quite likely to be more energetic and so sensitive about his deformity that he will try to disguise it by taking an active part in all games.
As far as possible it is better to make no changes in the games to adapt them to the use of crippled children for they will prefer to play them just as other children do. Tag, hideand-seek, prisoners' base, puss-in-the-corner, indoor baseball, playground ball, volley ball and other playground games are played by these children with enthusiasm and skill. One person who was greatly impressed by the ability of these children to overcome their handicaps has said, "To witness a game of baseball in which every player wears a brace or carries a crutch and to see the life and enthusiasm which animate the games is a revelation".
Apparatus work is exceedingly beneficial for crippled children: traveling rings, swings, horizontal bars, slides and teeters can all be used by children who have very little use of their legs. Coasting is always fun for these children and the ones who can walk will help the other less fortunate ones pull their sleds to the top of the slide. Some of the institutions for crippled children have inclined walks in place of steps on the porches by which the children on crutches or in wheel chairs can more easily get in and out of the building. These walks make an excellent place for coasting if no toboggan is provided or if there is no available terrace or other natural coasting place. Lame children can also enjoy roller skating and they sometimes have roller skating races.
Group athletics are just as important in a home for crippled children as they are in a school. The object is to get everyone to participate. The children may form themselves in several groups, those from one ward competing against those in another, or perhaps the play leader may suggest some other way of dividing the children so that they may be as evenly matched as possible. In these contests that group wins whose average is best. For example, instead of competing the best jumpers of one group against the best jumpers of another group, all, or nearly all, must jump and the victory goes to the group which has the best average. Some good events for group athletics are running, jumping, chinning, and throwing for accuracy, or for distance if space permits.
Outdoor games requiring less strength and vigor are quiet ball games such as teacher or pass ball, bean bag games, quoits and croquet. "Teacher" is a very simple game and may be played with an indefinite number of players who stand in a line all facing the teacher. The latter throws the ball to each in turn. Each one missing goes to the foot of the line and the one at the head of the line takes the teacher's place when the teacher misses. The action should be as rapid as possible.
Pass ball is also simple. The players form a circle and count off in two's. Two medicine balls are given, one to l's and one to 2's; the balls are passed to the right. l's passing to l's and 2's to 2’s. As soon as one ball overtakes the other the side whose ball was overtaken loses.
Bean bag games may be played by the children who will think up many varieties of the original game. The bags can be easily made, perhaps by the children themselves, and a simple target made of two boxes one about a foot and a half square, and the other somewhat larger. The smaller box is 'fastened in the larger one. The boxes are then put up at the proper angle and a line drawn a certain distance from the