THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA





Headquarters--Purpose--Scout law--How to form a patrol of

scouts--Organization of a troop--Practical activities for scouts--A

scout camp--Model programme of a Sir R.S.S. Baden-Powell scout camp





The Boy Scout movement that has recently been introduced both in

England and America with such wonderful success is so closely related

to nearly all branches of outdoor recreation and to the things that

boys are interested in that this book would be incomplete without

mention of the object and purposes of this organization. It is a

splendid movement for the making of better citizens, and it cannot be

too highly recommended.



The Boy Scouts of America is a permanent organization, and it has its

headquarters at 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City. From the central

office, patrols and troops are being formed all over the United

States. Any information with reference to the movement may be

obtained by applying to this office.



Through the courtesy of the managing secretary, Mr. John L. Alexander,

certain facts are presented concerning the organization, which are

obtained from their published literature, for which due credit is

hereby given.



The Boy Scouts is an organization the purpose of which is

character-building for boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen.

It is an effort to get boys to appreciate the things about them and to

train them in self-reliance, manhood, and good citizenship. It is

"peace-scouting" these boys engage in, living as much as possible out

of doors; camping, hiking and learning the secrets of the woods and

fields. The movement is not essentially military, but the military

virtues of discipline, obedience, neatness and order are scout

virtues. Endurance, self-reliance, self-control and an effort to help

some one else are scout objectives. Every activity that lends itself

to these aims is good scoutcraft.



The Boy Scouts were started in England by Gen. Sir Robert

Baden-Powell. He was impressed with the fact that 46 per cent. of the

boys of England were growing up without any knowledge of useful

occupations, and wanted to do something that would help the boy to

become a useful citizen. He emphatically stated that his intention was

not the making of soldiers. In his work. General Baden-Powell has

touched the boy's life in all its interests and broadened a boy's

outlook by the widest sort of activities. In two and a half years over

half a million Boy Scouts have been enrolled, and twenty thousand of

these have been in parade at one time in London.



The scout idea has sprung up spontaneously all over America. In

Canadian cities the Boy Scouts number thousands. In the United States,

towns and cities are being swept by the idea. Gangs of boys are to be

seen on every hand, doing their best at scoutcraft, "doing a good turn

every day to some one," and getting fun out of it. Prominent business

men and educators are behind the movement.



The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing

educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things

for themselves and others. The method is summed up in the term

"scoutcraft" and is a combination of observation, deduction and

handiness--or the ability to do. Scoutcraft consists of "First Aid,"

Life Saving, Tracking, Signalling, Cycling, Nature Study, Seamanship

and other instruction. This is accomplished in games and team play and

in pleasure, not work, for the boy. The only equipment it needs is the

out-of-doors, a group of boys and a leader.



Before he becomes a scout, a boy must take the scouts' oath thus:



"On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, 1. To do my duty to

God and my country. 2. To help other people at all times. 3. To obey

the scout law."



When taking this oath the scout will stand holding his right hand

raised level with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on

the nail of the little finger, and the other three fingers upright

pointing upward. This the scouts' salute and secret sign.



When the hand is raised shoulder high it is called "the half salute."



When raised to the forehead it is called "the full salute."



The three fingers held up (like the three points on the scouts' badge)

remind him of his three promises in the scouts' oath.



There are three classes of scouts. A boy on joining the Boy Scouts

must pass a test in the following points before taking the oath:



Know the scouts' laws and signs and the salute.



Know the composition of the national flag and the right way to fly it.



Tie four of the following knots: Reef, sheet bend, clove hitch,

bowline, middleman's, fisherman's, sheep-shank.



He then takes the scouts' oath and is enrolled as a tenderfoot and is

entitled to wear the buttonhole badge.





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