The Scottish Housing Association opened School Camps in the Edinburgh district in 1939. These camps were intended to give city children one term's education in the country during their school education.
When the war started in September 1939 the camps were used as Evacuation schools and children were sent to them from Edinburgh nominally, for the duration of the war. There are two camps, at Middleton near Gorebridge and at Broomlee near West Linton. The children are housed in huts with central heating and double decker iron bunks. The dining hall, recreation hall, washing and sanitary accommodation are separate and each dormitory has a teacher's bed-room at one end and a class room or study room adjoining it. The feeding is undertaken by a camp manager and comes to 1/- per head per week. The food is excellent, varied and well cooked. The teaching staff and headmasters are from Edinburgh schools. The children have approximately the same school hours as in the Edinburgh day schools, the same holidays and are allowed visitors at week-ends. They are also allowed to go home during the holidays.
An investigation was undertaken to find whether over 6 months children improved physically in school camps. A group of children was taken and controls found from children at school in Leith and North Edinburgh. Parallel measurement shows a slightly greater gain in weight from both boys and girls in the camps than from those in the day school. This gain was disappointing in size and not as much as was expected. Height was not gained as fast by the camp children as by their controls, but the gain over such a short period is too small for the measurement to be satisfactory with ordinary methods. Increase in strength was also measured and a new method of testing strength with inexpensive and easily portable apparatus described. There was a gain in strength in the camp cases greater than that in the controls. Fallacies arising from this test were discussed. It was found that children grew well and were fairly content for 2-4 months at camp and then their growth slowed down.
As a check to the control rate of growth and a further investigation a section of the child population of the town was examined. The mean height and weight, chest measurements, hip measurement and strength was found, graphed and tabulated and an index "The Physical Quotient" explained and criticised.
Further work on this line is indicated and a normal size and strength for children in each town or district at convenient age levels would be a useful guide to medical officers. A graph such as graph 3 would answer quickly and easily the frequently heard and trying question "But, Doctor, is she not too small for her age?"