Scout Kaiarahi have the overall responsibility to ensure that their Scouts camp according to the recognised methods of the Scout Section. Bearing in mind that the advent of technology in camp equipment will provide a degree of sophistication in use of gear and equipment, the Scout Section has evolved its own style of high standard camping based on years of experience with, as its guiding principles, the following points –­

  • minimal actual equipment in use
  • total cleanliness and hygiene
  • preservation of the Team (or Patrol) identity
  • a training method aimed at creating a temporary community within the camp.

The New Zealand Scout Campsite is fundamentally its own style of camping and while, generally, the World Organisation of Scout Movements has the same goals, each Scout nation will vary its camping style according to its –

  • social circumstances
  • environment (geographic, climatic)
  • Scout heritage
  • specific objective.

Scoutcraft is basically the set of skills a Scout uses for their camping having been trained in their application.

The intention is to indicate the skills that a Scout Leader might look for as a measure of a Camping Standard. These should be regarded as basic to the maintenance of a good camp and depending on actual equipment in use, may vary moderately.

The annual (or standing) campsite


  • Pitched without warp or creasing.
  • Rolling hitches on guys.
  • Pegs in straight rows.
  • Ventilated daily (interior ground as well).
  • Storm lashings in position.
  • Entrance partially open at night.
  • Guys slackened for nighttime.
  • Tentage arranged for optimum use of sunlight.
  • Not positioned directly under trees.

Store tent

  • Well aired cool position.
  • Food off ground, muslin covered.
    Arranged according to type.
  • Cleaning agents away from food (wash powders, detergents).
  • Meat safe available (Scout made).
  • Camp tools and gear stored elsewhere.
  • Animal proof (at night particularly).


  • Effective private screens.
  • Wash basin on tripod with disinfectant.
  • Toilet paper in tin with lid.
  • Night light in use.
  • Separate urinal with stones in bottom.
  • Privacy of pit.
  • Correctly marked at end of camp.

Kitchen preparation area

  • Roped off.
  • Preparation table in use (gadget).
  • Hand wash bowl in use.
  • Kitchen utensils close at hand.
  • Adjacent to fireplace.
  • Billies cleaned thoroughly and airing.
  • Clean dish cloth.


  • Roped off.
  • Camp oven in use.
  • Suitable grate.
  • Properly turfed and turfs piled separately.
  • Hot water always available.
  • Wood pile graded and ready (covered at night).
  • Fire out fully at night.

Axemanship area

  • Roped off — treat as restricted area.
  • Axes masked.
  • Firm shoes only area.
  • Very sharp axes in use.
  • Wood stacked tidily.

Gear tent

  • Camp tools stored neatly – spade, trenching tools, etc.
  • Axes masked.
  • Bush saw masked.
  • Lantern fuel stored properly.
  • Ropes coiled.
  • Games equipment stored correctly.
  • Oilstones, files available.

Dining shelter

  • Tabletop scrubbed clean.
  • Pitched to allow easy entry with food.
  • Plastic tablecloth.
  • Proper container for butter, salt, etc. at mealtimes.

Flagpole area

  • New Zealand Ensign signifies a Scout camp.
  • Patrol pennants in use.
  • Noticeboard organised.
  • Room enough for Patrols to form for prayer, flag break, etc.

Personal gear of the Scout in camp

  • Packs tidily organised.
  • Dry towel folded on top of pack. Soap in container.
  • Wet towels out on Team (or Patrol) clothesline.
  • Sleeping bags turned out both ways for a period of time.
  • No food in sleeping tents.
  • Uniforms hung on hangers (gadget).
  • Shoes arranged tidily.
  • Wet swimming togs hung outside.
  • Personal (or Patrol) clothes washing gear available.
  • Scout First Aid Kit ready.
  • Each Scout has a hussif.
  • Eating utensils in dixie bag at dining shelter.
  • Tea towel aired daily.
  • Dirty socks, underwear washed.
  • Scout Progress Book available.

The dry pit

  • Provided with flyproof dry cover.
  • Deep enough to be useful.
  • Only dried materials emptied into same (which will decay).
  • Nothing burnable tipped down the pit.
  • Correctly marked at end of camp.

The wet pit (or grease trap)

  • Thick grass or leaf coverage (20-25 mm thick).
  • Cover must trap the grease.
  • Liquid in pit must be grease free.
  • Select a site with proper drainage.
  • Burn trap cover daily.
  • Correctly marked at end of camp.

Other useful items in camp?

  • Endless length of rope.
  • One kilogram of Elbow Grease.
  • Sunken bath.
  • Archimedes Egg Timer.
  • Identification Chart for Gnomes.

Common faults in the Scout camp community

  • Failure of the Patrol Leader to delegate the tasks.
  • Planning of the meal preparation: How often does the custard boil while the potatoes are being peeled?
  • Wrong order in erecting the tentage e.g. store tent goes up before sleeping tent.
  • Trying to kindle a fire without having gathered sufficient wood.
  • Use of an axe with bare feet or sandshoes.
  • Erecting a sleeping tent right under a tree.
  • Attempting to wash dishes without very hot water. Lack of forethought and anticipation.
  • Trenching when it starts to rain!
  • The inevitable, smeared tea towels because the Scout has not been trained how to wash utensils.
  • Failure to “soap” the outside of billies prior to use.
  • Grace isn’t spoken or sung before eating.
  • Wet pits without thick grease trap covers. Often insufficient depth as well.
  • Items of food in sleeping tents.
  • Clothes shoved into packs.
  • Unnecessarily creased uniforms – tends to lack pride.
  • Tents not aired properly.
  • Teams (or Patrols) without an image; could have a pennant or poker work Patrol name on wood.
  • The untidy tent: Clothes on the ground, sweet wrappers, biscuit papers, wet swimming togs, towels, etc. Is it necessary?
  • Wastage of food – mostly due to poor cooking; sometimes, however, due to ineffective menu planning.
  • Listless Scouts due to over-activity – rest periods are required.
  • Cooking in direct flame, rather than using the energy of hot embers.

Adapted from The New Zealand Scout Leader by M.J. Andrew, The Scout Association of New Zealand, 1980.