“Give them association with manly things,” he reportedly said. “Strong men that represent the ideal of relationships, a man who is vigorous and knows the power he holds.”
I've written here before that this was a major reason I was sent to an all-boys summer camp for several years. From my 8th to 10th year. To "man me up". A very primitive place, kinda like an Outward Bound in more recent times.
I later said that nothing I did during my subsequent military career was tougher than what I did in that camp. Well, maybe some of it was tougher, but I was prepared for it. Hell, we ate on sectioned steel food trays, identical to Army issue, inside what would have passed for a WWII Army mess hall. And we had an unheated detached latrine (same word as the Army used) that had the same lack of toilet privacy, and no hot water, which at least the Army gave us except in the field.
How familiar those sectioned food trays looked to me years later in real mess halls. Slept on the ground during hikes, no tents, no sleeping bags, just a single wool blanket. Again, that were identical to Army issue. Although soldiers at least usually got 2-man pup tents, or larger "GP" tents for groups.
We swam naked in cold streams, learned survival skills, were continuously competing in tests of strength & endurance. It was, in those paranoid 1950s days of anti-commie hysteria that Republicans thrived upon, a kind of pre-Basic Training.
It was expected at some point we'd wear a military uniform (the Draft still in full swing, even got Elvis Presley), and so our training, nay, indoctrination, began at a young age. And also served the purpose of my parents, because I really was something of a delicate flower at that age. Not any more.
Or perhaps I should say a bit of both. Today I sorta live in 2 worlds. That delicate & sensitive world that was my natural destiny, and the tougher world into which I was pressed. I can pass in either, but I excel in neither. Maybe better if I had never been sent to summer camp?