During the early twentieth century, as fresh-air camps evolved, children attended camp without their mothers. Leaving their everyday lives behind, they experienced a rural life at camp. Youngsters learned self-reliance through tasks such as building fires, cooking outside, and constructing shelters. These activities promoted healthy minds, bodies, and spirits.
Salvation Army Founder General William Booth, witnessed the power of the scouting program through the Boy Scouts. In 1910, he asked leaders to introduce the Character Building curriculum into the camp schedule.
Order of the Black Arrow
After many years of successful scouting and guarding programs, Central Territory leaders initiated the Order of the Black Arrow Program in 1933. Based on Native American traditions, Black Arrow’s purpose was to promote spirtiual growth, honor outstanding campers in the Girl Guard or Boy Scout programs, develop leadership skills, provide support and service to camps, and to learn about Native American culture. Some Black Arrow chapters served as support staff during summer camp programs and met at separate encampments for spiritual retreats, fellowship, and to perform work projects to help the camps prepare for upcoming seasons.