Camping – how has it changed?

Camping style, and in particular equipment, has changed hugely over the past 100 years

Look at this photo from our collection, of the 1939 camping catalogue to compare with your experience of present-day equipment. Click to enlarge the photo.

Picture of 1939 camping catalogue

Now look at these photos which have been copied from a photograph album compiled by Phillipa Patteson, one of the Patteson sisters who originally lived in Hautbois House and gave it to Girlguiding Anglia. They also gave some land to Girlguiding Norfolk where first Patteson Lodge was built, and subsequently our Archive Resource Centre (ARC).

The pictures show the skills and patrol duties undertaken in the past; look very carefully and answer the questions below each picture. Click on the picture for a bigger image.

We’d love to see your answers on the camping post on our Facebook page.

Photo of bed making in front of bell tents from 1929

1. Bed making:

What is actually happening here in this photo?Look at the beds: Why was it done? Is it still done nowadays? Do they
look the same as yours? What’s the same/different?
Look at the tents: what do you call what they have done to the walls of the
tents? Why has that been done? What type of tent is it?

Girls at camp, Aug 9 to Aug 17 in 1929

2. Camp August 9th -17th 1929

How long was that camp? How does that
compare with today’s camps? How many years ago was that?
What do you think the girls are doing?
What can you see inside the tent?
What is hanging from their belts?

Girls holding flag ceremony in camp 1929

3. Colours

What is the meaning of that word in this context? Do you still do
this at your meeting place, or at camp?
This is a large group… how many girls, how many leaders? Is it easy to tell?
Are they all from the same companies do you think? Why/why not?
Look how high the guylines are to keep up the flagpole… could you do that?

Photo of girls carrying water buckets at 1929 camp

4. The Cook Patrol

What are they doing? How might you describe the
person in the middle?

Photo of girl managing cooking fire at 1929 camp

5. Too much smoke?

What is this person doing?

Any thoughts about what she is wearing, and what she is doing? What are
the poles for around the fireplace? What’s on top of some of them? Why?

Photo of gils washing items in tin buckets at 1029 camp

6. Around a tin bowl

What’s happening in this picture?
What do you notice about hair fashion?

Photo of girls relaxing outside tents

7. Rest Hour

Do you have rest hour? Do you like it, or not? Why?
Can you name the two different types of tents?
Some have been prepared to help them dry, but others haven’t. Any ideas
why, why not?

Photo of girl having a sling put on by two helpers

8. Gibsone, CEP and Elsie Ipish

What are the girls doing? Can you do that? Is it still a useful skill?

Photo of girls practicing tying knots
9. Knot Tying

What knot do you think they are tying?
Can you tie a reef knot?
Can you do it behind your head?
Can you do it with your eyes shut?
Who is in the background? What are they discussing do you think?
And what else is in the background?

In summary

If you look really carefully at all the photos you might notice something
about these girls….
Is there anything unusual, that you might pick out?

These girls were called extension Guides, because they didn’t always belong
to regular companies…. Any ideas why they were extension guides and
perhaps why they had their own special camp?

Now you have finished this activity, have a look at Camping – making a shelter, and have go at making your own.


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