The Regional Review

Volume I - No. 5

November, 1938



Greatly increased use of organized camps developed by the Service on Recreational Demonstration Areas is revealed by newly compiled figures which embrace camping activities for the years 1936-38, inclusive. The number of camper days gained by nearly 1,000 per cent during the three-year period and that of the using organizations by more than 1,500 per cent. Progress throughout the four regions is shown by the following summary:

1936  1937  1938  
Number of camps operated92049
Number of camper days37,310100,769376,173
Number of using organizations941151

Of the total camper days of the 1938 season, more than 200,000 were provided by the 26 camps and two tent camping sites developed in Region One. (v. The Regional Review, vol. I, No. 4, pp. 13 et seq.).

Meanwhile, final tabulations on use of the newly developed day area at Swift Creek Recreational Demonstration Area, in Chesterfield County, near Richmond, disclose that during July and August more than 100,000 persons---a figure approximating the total for all Virginia state parks---utilized the facilities provided there.

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An item of $249,950 has been included in Estimates of Appropriations, fiscal year ending June 30, 1940, for the administration, protection and maintenance of Recreational Demonstration Areas. This is a new item in the Estimates and is considered of vital importance to the Service.

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About 60 Service officials and their wives participated in an overnight outing arranged recently at Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area, Thurmont, Maryland. Making use of the accommodations provided for children and adults of Baltimore, Washington and surrounding communities, the National Park Service party gained first-hand knowledge of the Catoctin organized camping facilities and took opportunity to drive and hike over some of the new roads and trails that serve the 10,000-acre reservation. Among officials from outside the Service who enjoyed the outing were A. V. Keene, Bureau of the Budget; John Harvey, Chief of the Classification Division, Interior; Robert Fechner, Director of CCC; Carlos Zinser, son of the Chief Conservationist of Mexico; C. C. Davison, Interior and Floyd E. Dotson, Chief Clerk, Interior.

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Successful correction of speech defects in a group of children by the use of physical facilities provided by the Service is described in a report made by the directors of the California Experimental Camp operated during the vacation season at Laurel Hill Recreational Demonstration Area, Pennsylvania, where the California State Teachers College cooperated with the Pennsylvania State Convention of the Brethern Church.

"Much more was accomplished in the past season due to the added time and excellent facilities of this government camp," says an excerpt from the report. "The camp is ideal for such [speech rehabilitation] work as well as for nature study, which was also a part of our program for college students and teachers. This summer we had 16 cases, ranging in age from seven to 24. Ten of these were stutterers, four were characterized by sound substitutions and omissions, one had a bad voice condition, and one retarded speech. Ten campers remained the full seven weeks, and three for three weeks. Twelve different communities were represented. Of the ten children remaining the entire season, eight were satisfactorily and completely readjusted. The other two made very definite improvement. Those remaining shorter periods showed improvement in direct proportion to the time they stayed and the nature of their difficulty.

"Why is the camp plan a good way of treating speech disorders? Speech retraining involves breaking down wrongly established habits and setting up others until the new habits are stronger than the wrong ones and can supplant them. It means removing the fears, inhibitions, complexes, and feelings of inferiority which have been brought on the children as a result of not being able to communicate as others in their social group. In camp life the group lives speech correction from the time they get up until they go to bed. Much is done while playing tennis, volley ball, horseshoes, in swimming, and at the table, as well as in the regular periods of instruction. The camp atmosphere, free from the social repressions and inhibitions to which the child has been accustomed, is conducive to a rapid adjustment to normal speech. The help from those prospective teachers in addition to the work of the speech clinician permits much more thorough supervision and more individual help than would otherwise be possible.

sketch of cabin

"Every case receives three hours of individual instruction daily in the retraining of his own particular difficulty -- all under the close supervision of the speech clinician. in addition, three periods of group instruction are held daily. Speech cases, clinicians, and teachers live, work and play together. All activities of the camp are planned with the purpose of developing personality and character together with the habits of normal speech.

"Boys and girls are assigned to separate units of the camp a considerable distance apart. They are further grouped according to age and type of defect."

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Date: 04-Jul-2002