University of New BrunswickGeodesy and Geomatics Engineering

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Why Is a Survey Camp Called a Camp?

To start with, let's look at the definition of the word camp. According to the Gage Canadian Dictionary, camp can mean:

The Department has been fortunate enough to retain photos depicting survey camps going back to the early 1900s in which we can see both meanings of the word being put into practice.

Although today we do not provide such wilderness settings for the survey camps, the word is still relevant in that our students do form a temporary community, in the sense that several students work together to accomplish a project. They also must sometimes take shelter under temporary structures. We may use the word camp for reasons of nostalgia as well: It makes the exercise of attending survey camp sound like fun, like a special outing, like a chance to get away from it all and commune with nature. Maybe we still call it a camp to fool the students into thinking that it is going to be a fun one or two weeks at the end of the winter term? And maybe we still use the word camp because no one has ever come up with a better alternative!!

Below are photos taken at a camp set up in Taymouth, N.B. in 1903.