Departures: Camp followers

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The Independent Travel
WHAT has happened to the youth of today? Guide camp used to be a damp sleeping bag in a damp tent in a cow- dunged field beside an icy cold river. There were fry-up meals, fireside sing-songs and improving thoughts about helping one's fellow humans.

I was a Boy Scout - I think they are just called Scouts these days - so I do not actually have personal experience of Guide camps, but I imagine they were as miserable as Scout camps. But when I were a lad, nobody thought it was necessary for young people to enjoy themselves: things had to be character-forming.

Lesley M Wood, of Aberdeen, writes to report her experiences of the Hotel Cheyenne at Euro Disney, where it took two-and-a-half hours to check in a party of 20.

For me, the truly shocking part of this story is that Ms Wood's party of 20 was made up of 16 Girl Guides. This was their Guide camp.

'Gone are the days when Guide camp mean draughty canvas tents, communal cooking over an open fire and smelly chemical loos,' says Ms Wood. 'Nowadays they prefer en suite bathrooms and cafeterias. Mind you, so do I' One feels Lord Baden-Powell might not have approved of this feather-bedded attitude.

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