Camp, to those youngsters who are fortunate enough to be able to go, is a grand summer adventure. Home government is far away, and they can go "native" or "Indian" in a big way. Naturally, they look forward to all the sports and games that go with camping. Swimming, horseback riding, hiking, shooting, archery, etc., are all part of the picture.
Archery is unique in that it combines sport and handicraft. It offers interesting exercise, competitive play and makes hikes doubly interesting. As a handicraft project, the making of bows and arrows is well within the abilities of boys and young men. Bow staves may be bought in the square or so shaped and fashioned that very little work is required to turn them into excellent bows. Arrow materials, too, may be had in various stages of finish, so that making a set of decent arrows is not too much work. The fabrication of quivers, armguards, shooting gloves and "tabs" offers the camper leather work on which he may exercise all the ingenuity and craftsmanship of which he is capable.
All camps have a building or part of the mess hall or recreation room set aside for handicrafts. Facilities for those who wish to make bows and arrows can easily be provided. Only simple hand tools are needed—small block planes, coarse and fine wood rasps, a hack saw, a six inch flat file with thin edge, two or three round, rat-tailed files six to eight inches long, a scraper (The Hook Scraper is fine), a jackknife or two, medium and fine sandpaper.
For making arrows you need a couple of small flat containers for mixing glue, assorted paint brushes and enamels for decorating the arrows, some large headed pins for holding feathers in place on arrows, scissors and penknives.
Ten or fifteen years ago, it was rather difficult to find councillors who knew anything at all about archery or the making of bows and arrows. Now, among those who go in for camp work, the archercraftsman is not a rarity.
Making archery targets is a project that will save money. Round burlap sacks may be bought. These come in various sizes 24", 30", 36" and 48" diameter. Straw, hay, leaves, etc. are always available in the country, and with this material the sacks are stuffed. Then they are tufted or sewn like a mattress. A slip-on target face, with draw string, fits over these backs. In laying out your target range, it is well to use the tournament size 48". Beginners in archery should be permitted to get quite close to the target so they hit it promptly. Later they may be moved off, and eventually the junior American Round for boys and junior Columbian Round for girls should be shot.
Whether the bows are "boughten" ones or made in camp, they should be lengths as described under "The Bow" in "The Fundamentals of Archery". Arrow lengths should also conform to the scale given.