Traditionally, in the Falklands, everything outside Stanley is camp, and camp has been a synonym for hospitality. The term itself derives from the Spanish campo (countryside), and it’s a common usage among Anglo-Argentines and Anglo-Chileans as well.
In the heyday of sheep farming, Falklands settlements were small company towns on or near sheltered harbors. Since the land reform and subdivision of the 1980s, though, this pattern has changed; many campers have moved to Stanley, the settlements have fewer residents, and many farmers now live in isolated homesteads, at what were once “outside houses.” Still, on East and West Falkland, an improved road network has partly compensated for the decline of traditional settlements and their social amenities.
While many camp residents are still involved in sheep farming, an increasing number work wholly or partially in tourism and cottage industries. Some of the best wildlife sites — Sea Lion, Bleaker, Pebble, Saunders, and Carcass Islands, for instance — now boast comfortable lodges and/or self-catering accommodations.
Not so long ago, the idea of charging someone who came to spend a weekend in camp was almost unthinkable — though it was customary to present the host with rum or another small gift. Now, for better or worse, the custom of a free bed has nearly disappeared. Pebble Island Hotel’s Allan White claims, “I preferred the old way,” but the pressure for economic diversification has nearly — though not entirely — eliminated that option. Even so, the hospitality remains.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition