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Scouting for Boys

Scouting for Boys

    Editor’s Note:


    The reader is reminded that these texts have been written a long time ago.   Consequently, they may use some terms or use expressions which were current at the time, regardless of what we may think of them at the beginning of the 21st  century.   For reasons of historical accuracy they have been preserved in their original form.
    If you find them offensive, we ask you to please delete this file from your system. This and other traditional Scouting texts may be downloaded from the Dump.


    Scouting has been described by more than one enthusiast as a revolution in education. It is not that.

    It is merely a suggestion thrown out at a venture for a jolly outdoor recreation, which has been found to form also a practical aid to education.

    It may be taken to be complementary to school training, and capable of filling up certain chinks unavoidable in the ordinary school curriculum. It is, in a word, a school of citizenship through woodcraft.

    The subjects of instruction with which it fills the chinks are individual efficiency through development of — Character, Health, and Handicraft in the individual, and in Citizenship through this employment of this efficiency in Service.

    These are applied in three grades of progressive training for Wolf Cubs, Scouts, and Rovers. Their development, as this book will show you, is mainly got through camping and backwoods activities, which are enjoyed as much by the instructor as by the boy;  indeed, the instructors may aptly be termed leaders or elder brothers since they join in the fun, and the boys do the educating themselves.
    This is perhaps why Scouting is called a revolution in education.

    The fact is true, however, that it aims for a different point than is possible in the average school training. It aims to teach the boys how to live, not merely how to make a living. There lies a certain danger in inculcating in the individual the ambition to win prizes and scholarships, and holding up to him as success the securing of pay, position, and power, unless there is a corresponding instruction in service for others.
    With this inculcation of self-interest into all grades of society it is scarcely surprising that we have as a result a country divided against itself, with self-seeking individuals in unscrupulous rivalry with one another for supremacy, and similarly with cliques and political parties, religious sects and social classes, all to the detriment of national interests and unity.
    Therefore the aim of the Scout training is to replace Self with Service, to make the lads individually efficient, morally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for the service of the community.

    I don’t mean by this the mere soldiering and sailoring services; we have no military aim or practice in our movement; but I mean the ideals of service for their fellow-men. In other words, we aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life and dealings, and not merely the profession of its theology on Sundays.
    The remarkable growth of the Scout movement has surprised its promoters as much as its outside sympathisers. Starting from one little camp in 1907, of which this book was the outcome, the Movement has grown and expanded automatically.

    This points to two things: first, the attraction that Scouting has for the boys; secondly, the volume of that innate patriotism which underlies the surface among the men and women of our nation in spite of the misdirection of their education towards Self. Thousands of these form a force of voluntary workers, from every grade of society, giving their time and energies for no reward other than the satisfaction of helping the boys to become good citizens.
    The teaching is by example, and the boys are quick to learn service where they have before them this practical exposition of it on the part of their Scoutmasters. The effects of this training where it has been in competent hands have exceeded all expectation in making happy, healthy, helpful citizens.
    The aim of these leaders has been to help not merely the promising boys, but also, and more especially, the duller boy. We want to give him some of the joy of life and at the same time some of the attributes and some of the opportunities that his better-off brother gets, so that at least he shall have his fair chance in life.
    All countries have been quick to recognise the uses of Scouting, and have in their turn adopted and developed the training exactly on the lines given in this book.

    As a consequence there is now a widespread brotherhood of Boy Scouts about the world numbering at present some 6,000,000 (1954) members, all working for the same ideal under the same promise and Law, all regarding each other as brothers, and getting to know each other through interchange of correspondence and personal visits on a considerable scale.
    It needs no great imagination to foresee vast international possibilities as the outcome of this fast-growing brotherhood in the near future. This growing spirit of personal friendship and wide-minded goodwill among the future citizens of the nations behind it may not only give it that soul, but may prove a still stronger insurance against the danger of international war in the future. This may seem but a wild dream, but so would it have been a wild dream had anyone imagined forty years ago that this little book was going to result in a Brotherhood of over six million Boy Scouts to-day and a corresponding sisterhood of some three and a quarter million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
    But such is the case.

    And such vision is not beyond the range of possibility, if men and women come in to take their share in the promotion of the work.

    The co-operation of tiny sea insects has brought about the formation of coral islands. No enterprise is too big where there is goodwill and co-operation in carrying it out. Every day we are turning away boys anxious to join the Movement, because we have not the men or women to take them in hand. There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation to-day, mainly because it sees no direct opportunity for expressing itself. Here in this joyous brotherhood there is vast opportunity open to all in a happy work that shows results under your hands and a work that is worth while because it gives every man his chance of service for his fellow-men and for God.
    Old Socrates spoke truly when he said, “No man goeth about a more godly purpose than he who is mindful of the right upbringing not only of his own, but of other men’s children.”

    N.B.:The statistics on membership have been brought up-to-date (1954) and are three times as large as when B-P. last revised this preface.

    N.B.— Sentences in italics throughout the book are addressed to Scoutmasters (instructors).

    By the term “scouting” is meant the work and attributes of backwoodsmen, explorers, and frontiersmen.

    In giving the elements of these to boys we supply a system of games and practices which meets their desires and instincts, and is at the same time educative.

    From the boys’ point of view Scouting puts them into fraternity-gangs which is their natural organization, whether for games, mischief, or loafing; it gives them a smart dress and equipment; it appeals to their imagination and romance; and it engages them in an active, open-air life.
    From the parents’ point of view it gives physical health and developnzent; it teaches energy, resourcefulness, and handicrafts; it puts into the lad discipline, pluck, chivalry, amid patriotism; in a word, it develops “character”, which is more essential than anything else to a lad for taking his way of life.
    The principle on which Scouting works is that the boy’s ideas are studied, and he is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed.
    The principle is in accord with that of the most up-to-date educationalists. The training is progressive and adapted to the changing psychology of the growing boy.

    The Wolf Cubs, encouraged to develop themselves as individuals, mentally and physically. The Boy Scouts, developing character and sense of service.

    The Rover Scouts, for practice of the Scout Ideals of Service in their citizenship.
    From the national point of view our aim is solely to make the rising generation into good citizens.

    We do not interfere with the boy’s religion, of whatever form it may be, though we encourage him to practise whichever he professes.

    Our training divides itself under four heads:—

    1. Individual character training in resourcefulness, observation, self-reliance to gain the Scout’s Badge.

    2. Handicrafts or hobbies which may help a boy to make his way in life, for which we give “Proficiency” badges.
    3. Physical Health, by encouraging the boy to take plenty of exercise and to look after his body.

    4. Service for the State, such as fire brigade, ambulance, missioner, life-saving, or other collective public duty by the troop.

    Scouting appeals to boys of every class, and can be carried out in towns just as well as in the country.
    When a Scoutmaster has not sufficient knowledge in any one subject he can generally get a friend who is an expert to come and give his troop the required instructions.

    Funds must be earned by the Scouts themselves, by their work, not by begging. Various ways of making money are given in this book.

    A Wolf Cub Pack, Scout Troop, and Rover Crew form what is called a Group under a Group Committee which co-ordinates the work of all branches.
    Wolf Cubs.— The training of the Wolf Cubs is founded on the romance of the jungle, and is kept as dissimilar as possible from that of the Scouts in order that, on the one hand, the Scouts shall not feel that they are playing a “kid’s game”, while the Cubs, on their part, will look forward to the new atmosphere and novel activities they will come in for when they attain the age and qualifications for “going up” into the Scout Troop.
    The details of the organization and training of Wolf Cubs will be found in “The Wolf Cub’s Handbook” and “Tenderpad to Second Star”
    Rover Scouts.— Rover Scouts are Scouts over 17 and in exceptional cases younger. They are organized in Rover Crews in their Group.

    The object of their institution is to complete the sequence of the Wolf Cub, Scout, and Rover. The training of the Cubs and Scouts is largely a preparation for rendering Service which is consummated in practice by the Rover. Such Service in many cases takes the form of helping in the administration and training of the group. Thus the progressive cycle becomes complete from Cub to Scoutmaster. In this way the Scoutmaster, while retaining the young man under good influence at the critical time of his life, gains valuable help for himself in his work, and, in such cases as are fit for it he turns out further recruits for the ranks of the Scoutmasters, while for the nation he supplies young men trained and qualified for making good useful citizens.
    The details of organization and training of Rovers are to be found in the Headquarters hand- booklet, “Plan for Rover Scouts”, while the spirit and moral ideas are given in “Rovering to Success”

    Girl Guides.— The Girl Guides’ Association is a sister organization for girls on precisely similar lines and principles, though differing of course in detail.

    The Scout programme is applicable to other existing boy organization and has had particularly good results in schools for Deaf Mutes, the Blind, the Handicapped, Boys’ Training Schools and the Churches.


    I Was A Boy Once.

    The best time I had as a boy was when I went as a sea scout with my four brothers about on the sea round the coasts of England. Not that we were real Sea Scouts, because Sea Scouts weren’t invented in those days. But we had a sailing boat of our own on which we lived and cruised about, at all seasons and in all weathers, and we had a jolly good time—taking the rough with the smooth.
    Then in my spare time as a schoolboy I did a good lot of scouting in the woods in the way of catching rabbits and cooking them, observing birds and tracking animals, and so on. Later on, when I got into the Army, I had endless fun big-game hunting in the jungles in India and Africa and living among the backwoodsmen in Canada. Then I got real scouting in South African campaigns.
    Well, I enjoyed all this kind of life so much that I thought, “Why should not boys at home get some taste of it too?” I knew that every true red-blooded boy is keen for adventure and open-air life, and so I wrote this book to show you how it could be done.
    And you fellows have taken up so readily that now there are not only hundreds of thousands of Boy Scouts but over six millions about the world!
    Of course, a chap can’t expect to become a thorough backwoodsman all at once without learning some of the difficult arts and practices that the backwoodsman uses. If you study this book you will find tips in it showing you how to do them— and in this way you can learn for yourself instead of having a teacher to show you how.
    Then, you will find that the object of becoming an able and efficient Boy Scout is not merely to give you fun and adventure but that, like the backwoodsmen, explorers, and frontiersmen whom you are following, you will be fitting yourself to help your country and to be of service to other people who may be in need of help. That is what the best men are out to do.

    A true Scout is looked up to by other boys and by grownups as a fellow who can be trusted, a fellow who will not fail to do his duty however risky and dangerous it may be, a fellow who is jolly and cheery no matter how great the difficulty before him.

    I’ve put into this book all that is needed to make you a good Scout of that kind. So, go ahead, read the book, practise all that it teaches you, and I hope you will have half as good a time as I have had as a Scout.


    Chief Scout of the World.



    Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth and Empire
    To those who are reading this new edition of Scouting for Boys for the first time it may be of interest to set down what information it has been possible to glean about the way in which the book was composed.
    Owing to the kindness of Lady Baden-Powell, B.-P.’s private diaries and letters have been read, and from these some fresh facts can be given. Another source of information is the portion of the original manuscript now in the possession of I.H.Q. The story is far from complete, but we now know much more than was available even twelve months ago.
    The manuscript is on many kinds of paper and was evidently written at many times and in many places. The earliest dated portion, the yarn on “Tracking,” contains one page written on notepaper addressed “Harwood, Bonchester Bridge, Hawick, N.B.” (Perhaps it should be explained that” N.B.” stands for” North Britain “ and is an outmoded way of saying “Scotland.”). The date of this is June 18, 1907. B.-P. had an amusing habit of occasionally using notepaper for his manuscripts ; one page, for instance, is on Savoy Hotel paper; others are from addresses in Kensington and Newcastle.

    The diary shows that actually on that date, June 18th, B.-P. was staying at the Izaak Walton Hotel, Dovedale, on a fishing holiday. The entry under June 18th is marked with a large red cross and reads, “Got 6½ brace.” Then for June 19th, “Wrote S for B most of the day—writing 9 hours.”

    The next date is July 15th with the entry “Wimbledon; a letter to his mother from Mill House, Wimbledon, dated July 16th, contains the following passage, “It is perfectly delightful here, and I am getting on with my writing very well—being entirely my own master—and very quiet sitting out in the garden all day.”
    Nothing further is given until the diary entry of December 22nd, when B.-P. was at Middleton in Teesdale; he noted,

    “Worked all morning on S for B.”

    One point of interest is that one of his letters to his mother (dated December 21, 1907) is on Boy Scout notepaper.

    The next date is December 26th, and the diary reads, “Went into residence at Mill House” (i.e. Wimbledon).

    A letter to his mother dated December 30th contains this passage, “All goes well here, I am working hard—enjoying frequent walks between whiles in this splendid air.” Though Scouting for Boys is not mentioned here, we know that he was then writing it because Sir Percy Everett has told us how he used to visit B.-P. at Wimbledon and discuss the book.
    From the diary we learn that he left Mill House on January 6th, 1908, but there is no evidence of how far at that date the book was completed. Although publication began that month, the whole was not ready, for under the date February 24th is the note, “Sent in Part V of S for B.” That is the last reference.
    The manuscript suggests that Part VI gave him the most trouble; this, however, is a conjecture, since the surviving manuscript is not complete. There are three drafts for this Part—it was entitled “Notes for Instructors; it was later called “Principles and Methods.” In two of the drafts much space is given to developing the theme, “T he same causes which brought about the fall of the great Roman Empire are working to-day in Great Britain.” B.-P. had been deeply impressed by an anonymous pamphlet entitled “The Decline and Fall of the British Empire. A brief account of those causes which resulted in the destruction of our late Ally, together with a comparison between the Britis h and Roman Empires. Appointed for use in the National Schools of Japan, Tokio, 2005.” This was published in 1905. (History seems to have reversed the roles of Great Britain and Japan !). It was, as the title indicates, an imaginative account of what might happen if we did not pull up our socks. So greatly was B.-P. impressed that his first two drafts for the last part of Scouting for Boys were mainly on this theme and hardly touched on many of the topics he later discussed; and now it has all been condensed to a sentence. The main text of the book was not radically changed in any of the later editions revised by B.-P., but this last part he altered considerably from edition to edition.
    It is important to realise that every development of Scouting has been produced on the demand of the boys themselves. B.-P. indeed never intended that Scouting for Boys should be other than an addition to the training already provided by the Boys’ Brigade, the Y.M.C.A., and other organisations. It was the boys who got hold of the Book, formed their own Patrols and found their own Scoutmasters. It was because the sisters would not stay away that the Guides were born;  the little brothers made the Wolf Cubs inevitable, and the unwillingness of those who had outgrown the Scout Troop to sever all connections with it brought in Rovering.
    Once again in recent years the older boys in many places wanted more virile activities than were possible for the 11 and 12-year-old. Senior Scouts were the only answer. Many of the Courts of Honour had already banded the older boys into Patrols of their own and the new branch was merely a recognition of established fact. Scouting provides, if we use it rightly, what the boys want; not what we older people think they should want.
    Scouting for Boys remains the basis for Scouting and the source of inspiration for Scoutmasters. When Scouting has failed it has been because we have departed from the Patrol System and have failed to trust the boys with responsibility, because we have made our Scouting too nearly a school subject and not a life of joyous adventure. Boys, particularly those who have reached adolescence, demand a challenge to their powers of mind, body and spirit. Scouting can and does provide that challenge if we use it aright. Read this book, not just once nor even twice, but constantly. Each reading will provide something new. Each reading will give us just that inspiration which we require to prevent us from becoming stale. We must recognise that through all the changes in our national life, in our educational system and our ideas of recreation, B.-P. did “know best.” While minor amendments may be necessary from time to time, the fundamentals of Scouting which have produced the most universal brotherhood of youth the world has seen, remain secure as a monument to one of the greatest benefactors to mankind.

    1951 Chief Scout.




    Instruction in scouting should be given as far as possible through practices, games, and competitions.
    Games should be organized mainly as team matches, where the patrol forms the team, and every boy is playing, none merely looking on.

    Strict obedience to the rules to be at all times insisted on as instruction in discipline.

    The rules given in the book as to games may be altered by Scout-masters where necessary to suit local conditions.

    The ideas given here are merely offered as suggestions, upon which it is hoped that instructors will develop further games, competitions, and displays.

    Several of the games given here are founded on those in Mr. Thompson Seton’s “Book of Woodcraft”, called “Spearing the Sturgeon” (Whale Hunt), “Quick Sight” (Spotty Face), “Spot the Rabbit”, “Bang the Bear”, “Hostile Spy” (Stop Thief), etc.
    A number of non-scouting games are quoted from other sources.

    The following is a suggestion for the distribution of the work for the first few weeks. It is merely a Suggestion and in no sense binding.
    Remember that the boy on joining, wants to begin “Scouting” right away; so don’t dull his keenness, as is so often done, by too much preliminary explanation at first. Meet his wants by games and scouting practices, and instil elementary details bit by bit afterwards as you go along.
    N.B.— The previous paragraph was in the former editions of this book, but it was in some cases ignored by Scoutmasters, with the result that their training was a failure.

    Remember also to start small. Six or eight carefully chosen boys will be enough to begin with, and after they have received Scout training for a month or two, they will be fit to lead and instruct fresh recruits as they are admitted.



    Address the boys on ‘Scoutcraft”, giving a summary of the whole scheme, as in this chapter, with demonstrations or lantern slides, etc.

    Form Patrols, and give shoulder-knots.


    Practical work, outdoors if possible, from the following:— Alternatives according to whether in town or country, indoors or out.

    Parade, break National Flag and salute it.

    Scouting game: e.g., “Scout Meets Scout” (see page 47). Practise salutes, signs, patrol calls, scouts’ chorus, etc. Practise making scout-signs on ground.

    Tie knots.
    Make ration bags, leather buttons, etc

    Self-measurement by each Scout of span, cubit, finger, joint, stride, etc. (see page 105).

    Send out scouts independently or in pairs to do a “good turn”, to return and report how they have done it (page 23).

    March out the Patrol to see the neighbourhood.

    Make them note direction of starting by ‘compass, wind, and sun (see pages 64-72).

    Notice and question them on details seen, explain “land marks”, etc. (see page 65).

    Practise Scout’s pace (see page 63).

    Judge distances (see page 106).

    Play a Scouting Wide Game (see “Games”, page 181).

    Or indoors if wet— ”Ju Jitsu”, “Scouts’ War Dance”, Boxing, Scouts’ Chorus and Rally, etc.

    Camp Fire Yarns from this book or from books recommended. Or rehearse a Scout play, or hold Debate, Kim’s Game, etc.

    Patrols to continue practice in these throughout the week in their own time or under the Scoutmaster, with final games or exercises on the following Saturday afternoon.
    If more evenings than one are available in the week one of the subjects might be taken in turn more fully each evening and rehearsals carried out of a display.


    Peace Scouts - Kim - Boys of Mafeking

    I suppose every boy wants to help his country in some way or other.

    There is a way by which he can so do easily, and that is by becoming a Boy Scout.

    A scout in the army, as you know, is generally a soldier who is chosen for his cleverness and pluck to go out in front to find out where the enemy is, and report to the commander all about him.


    The colonists, hunters, and explorers all over the world are all scouts.  They must know how to take care of themselves.

    But, besides war scouts, there are also peace scouts—men who in peace time carry out work which requires the same kind of pluck and resourcefulness.

    These are the frontiersmen of the world.

    The pioneers and trappers of North America, the colonists of South America, the hunters of Central Africa, the explorers and missionaries over Asia and all wild parts of the world, the bushmen and drovers of Australia, the constabulary of NorthWest Canada and of South Africa — all these are peace scouts, real men in every sense of the word, and good at scoutcraft:

    They understand how to live out in the jungle. They can find their way anywhere, and are able to read meanings from the smallest signs and
    foot tracks. They know how to look after their health when far away from doctors. They are strong and plucky, ready to face danger, and always keen to help each other. They are accustomed to take their lives in their hands, and to risk them without hesitation if they can help their country by doing so.

    They give up everything, their personal comforts and desires, in order to get their work done.


    The life of a frontiersman is a grand life, but to live it, you must prepare yourself in advance for difficulties that may arise.

    They do it because it is their duty.

    The life of the frontiersmen is a grand life, but it cannot suddenly be taken up by any man who thinks he would like it, unless he has prepared himself for it. Those who succeed best are those who learned Scouting while they were boys.

    Scouting is useful in any kind of life you like to take up. A famous scientist has said that it is valuable for a man who goes in for science. And a noted physician pointed out how necessary it is for a doctor or a surgeon to notice small signs as a Scout does, and know their meaning.

    So I am going to show you how you can learn scoutcraft for yourself, and how you can put it into practice at home. It is very easy to learn and very interesting when you get into it.

    You can best learn by joining the Boy Scouts.

    The Adventures of Kim

    A good example of what a Boy Scout can do is found in Rudyard Kipling’s story of Kim.

    Kim, or, to give him his full name, Kimball O’Hara, was the son of a sergeant of an Irish regiment in India. His father and mother died while he was a child, and he was left to the care of an aunt.

    His playmates were all native boys, so he learned to talk their language and to know their ways. He became great friends with an old wandering priest and travelled with him all over northern India.

    One day he chanced to meet his father’s old regiment on the march, but in visiting the camp he was arrested on suspicion of being a thief. His birth certificate and other papers were found on him, and the regiment, seeing that he had belonged to them, took charge of him, and started to educate him. But whenever he could get away for holidays, Kim dressed himself in Indian clothes, and went among the natives as one of them.

    After a time he became acquainted with a Mr. Lurgan, a dealer in old jewelry and curiosities, who, owing to his knowledge of natives, was also a member of the Government Intelligence Department.

    This man, finding that Kim had such special knowledge of native habits and customs, saw that he could make a useful agent for Government Intelligence work. He therefore gave Kim lessons at noticing and remembering small details, which is an important point in the training of a Scout.

    Kim’s Training

    Lurgan began by showing Kim a tray full of precious stones of different kinds. He let him look at it for a minute, then covered it with a cloth, and asked him to state how many stones and what sorts were there. At first Kim could remember only a few, and could not describe them very
    accurately, but with a little practice he soon was able to remember them all quite well. And so, also, with many other kinds of articles which were shown to him in the same way.

    At last, after much other training, Kim was made a member of the Secret Service, and was given a secret sign—namely, a locket or badge to wear round his neck and a certain sentence, which, if said in a special way, meant he was one of the Service.

    Kim in Secret Service

    Once when Kim was travelling in the train he met a native, who was rather badly cut about the head and arms. He explained to the other passengers that he had fallen from a cart when driving to the station. But Kim, like a good Scout, noticed that the cuts were sharp, and not grazes such as you would get by falling from a cart, and so did not believe him.

    While the man was tying a bandage over his head, Kim noticed that he was wearing a locket like his own, so Kim showed him his. Immediately the man brought into the conversation some of his secret words, and Kim answered with the proper ones in reply. Then the stranger got into a corner with Kim and explained to him that he was carrying out some Secret Service work, and had been found out and was hunted by some enemies who had nearly killed him. They probably knew he was in the train and would therefore telegraph down the line to their friends that he was coming. He wanted to get his message to a certain police officer without being caught by the enemy, but he did not know how to do it if they were already warned of his coming. Kim hit upon the solution.


    Kim disguised the man as a beggar, with a mixture of flour and ashes.

    In India there are a number of holy beggars who travel about the country. They are considered very holy, and people always help them with food and money. They wear next to no clothing, smear themselves with ashes, and paint certain marks on their faces. So Kim set about disguising
    the man as a beggar. He made a mixture of flour and ashes, which he took from the bowl of a pipe, undressed his friend and smeared the mixture all over him. He also smeared the man’s wounds so that they did not show. Finally, with the aid of a little paint-box which he carried, he painted the proper face marks on the man’s forehead and brushed his hair down to look wild and shaggy like that of a beggar, and covered it with dust, so that the man’s own mother would not have known him.

    Soon afterwards they arrived at a big station. Here, on the platform, they found the police officer to whom the report was to be made. The imitation beggar pushed up against the officer and got scolded by him in English. The beggar replied with a string of native abuse into which he mixed the secret words. The police officer at once realized from the secret words that this beggar was an agent. He pretended to arrest him and marched him off to the police station where he could talk to him quietly and receive his report.

    Later Kim became acquainted with another agent of the Department—an educated native—and was able to give him great assistance in capturing two officers acting as spies.

    These and other adventures of Kim are well worth reading because they illustrate the kind of valuable work a Boy Scout can do for his country in times of emergency if he is sufficiently trained and sufficiently intelligent.

    Boys of Mafeking

    We had an example of how useful boys can be on active service, when a corps of boys was formed in the defence of Mafeking, 1899-1900, during the South African War.

    Mafeking, you may know, was a small, ordinary country town out on the open plains of South Africa. Nobody ever thought of it being attacked by an enemy. It just shows you how, in war, you must be prepared for what is possible, not only what is probable.


    Here is a map of South Africa. If you look carefully, you will find Mafeking and many other places mentioned in this book.

    When we found we were to be attacked at Mafeking, we ordered our garrison to the points they were to protect—some 700 trained men, police, and volunteers. Then we armed the townsmen, of whom there were some 300. Some of them were old frontiersmen, and quite equal to the occasion. But many of them were young shopmen, clerks, and others, who had never handled a rifle before.

    Altogether, then, we only had about a thousand men to defend the place, which was about five miles round and contained 600 white women and children and about 7,000 natives.

    Every man was of value, and as the weeks passed by and many were killed and wounded, the duties of fighting and keeping watch at night became harder for the rest.

    The Mafeking Cadet Corps

    It was then that Lord Edward Cecil, the chief staff officer, gathered together the boys of Mafeking and made them into a cadet corps. He put them in uniform and drilled them. And a jolly smart and useful lot they were. Previously, we had used a large number of men for carrying orders and messages, keeping lookout and acting as orderlies, and so on. These duties were now handed over to the boy cadets, and the men were released to strengthen the firing-line.


    The boys of Mafeking did excellent service. They were gathered together into a cadet corps, put into uniform and drilled.

    The cadets, under their sergeant- major, a boy named Goodyear, did good work, and well deserved the medals they got at the end of the war.

    Many of them rode bicycles, and we were thus able to establish a post by which people could send letters to their friends in the different forts, or about the town, without going out under fire themselves. For these letters we made postage stamps which had on them a picture of a cadet bicycle orderly.

    I said to one of these boys on one occasion, when he came in through a rather heavy fire:

    “You will get hit one of these days riding about like that when shells are flying.”

    “I pedal so quick, sir, they’ll never catch me!” he replied.

    These boys didn’t seem to mind the bullets one bit. They were always ready to carry out orders, though it meant risking their lives every time.

    Would You Do It?

    Would any of you do that? If an enemy were firing down this street, and you had to take a message across to a house on the other side, would you do it? I am sure you would—although probably you wouldn’t much like doing it.

    But you want to prepare yourself for such things beforehand. It’s just like taking a header into cold water. A fellow who is accustomed to diving thinks nothing of it—he has practised it over
    and over again. But ask a fellow who has never done it, and he will be afraid.

    So, too, with a boy who has been accustomed to obey orders at once, whether there is risk about
    it or not. The moment he has to do a thing he does it, no matter how great the danger is to him,
    while another chap who has never cared to obey would hesitate, and would then be despised even by his former friends.

    But you need not have a war in order to be useful as a scout. As a peace scout there is lots for you to do—any day, wherever you may be.


    Living in the Open - Woodcraft
    Chivalry Saving Life - Endurance
    - Love of Country


    The following things are what you have to know about to become a good scout:

    Living in the Open

    Camping is the joyous part of a Scout’s life. Living out in God’s open air, among the hills and the trees, and the birds and the beasts, and the sea and the rivers—that is, living with nature, having your own little canvas home, doing your own cooking and exploration—all this brings health and happiness such as you can never get among the bricks and smoke of the town.

    Hiking, too, where you go farther afield, exploring new places every day, is a glorious adventure. It strengthens you and hardens you so that you won’t mind wind and rain, heat and cold. You take them all as they come, feeling that sense of fitness that enables you to face any old trouble with a smile, knowing that you will conquer in the end.

    But, of course, to enjoy camping and hiking, you must know how to do it properly.

    You have to know how to put up a tent or a hut for yourself; how to lay and light a fire; how to cook your food; how to tie logs together to make a bridge or a raft; how to find your way by night, as well as by day, in a strange country, and many other things.

    Very few fellows learn these things when they are living in civilized places, because they have comfortable houses, and soft beds to sleep in. Their food is prepared for them, and when they want to know the way, they just ask a policeman.

    Well, when those fellows try to go scouting or exploring, they find themselves quite helpless.

    Take even your sports “hero” and put him down in the wilderness, alongside a fellow trained in camping, and see which can look after himself. High batting averages are not much good to him there. He is only a “tenderfoot”.


    Woodcraft is the knowledge of animals and nature.

    You learn about different kinds of animals by following their tracks and creeping up to them so that you can watch them in their natural state and study their habits.

    The whole sport of hunting animals lies in the woodcraft of stalking them, not in killing them. No Scout willfully kills an animal for the mere sake of killing but only when in want of food—unless it is harmful. By continually watching animals in the open, one gets to like them too well to shoot them.

    Woodcraft includes, besides being able to see the tracks and other small signs, the power to read their meaning, such as at what pace the animal was going, whether he was frightened or unsuspicious, and so on. It enables the hunter also to find his way in the jungle or desert. It teaches him which are the best wild fruits and roots for his own food, or which are favourite food for animals, and, therefore, likely to attract them.

    In the same way in inhabited places you read the tracks of men, horses, bicycles, automobiles, and find out from these what has been going on. You learn to notice, by small signs, such as birds suddenly starting up, that someone is moving near, though you cannot see him.

    By noticing the behaviour or dress of people, and putting this and that together, you can sometimes see that they are up to no good. Or you can tell when they are in distress and need help or sympathy—and you can then do what is one of the chief duties of a Scout, namely, help those in distress in any possible way you can.

    Remember that it is a disgrace to a Scout, when he is with other people, if they see anything big or little, near or far, high or low, that he has not already seen for himself.



    Just like Saint George of old, the Boy Scouts of today fight against everything evil and unclean

    In the old days the Knights were the real Scouts and their rules were very much like the Scout Law which we have now.

    The Knights considered their honour their most sacred possession.

    They would not do a dishonourable thing, such as telling a lie or stealing. They would rather die than do it. They were always ready to fight and to be killed in upholding their king, or their religion, or their honour.

    Each Knight had a small following of a squire and some men-at-arms, just as our Patrol Leader has his Second (or Assistant) and four or five Scouts.

    The Code of the Knights

    The Knight’s patrol used to stick to him through thick and thin, and all carried out the same idea as their leader—namely:

    Their honour was sacred.
    They were loyal to God, their king, and their country.

    They were particularly courteous and polite to all women and children, and weak people.

    They were helpful to everybody.

    They gave money and food where it was needed, and saved up their money to do so.
    They taught themselves the use of arms in order to protect their religion and their country against enemies.
    They kept themselves strong and healthy and active to be able to do these things well.

    You Scouts cannot do better than follow the example of the Knights.

    One great point about them was that every day they had to do a Good Turn to somebody, and that is one of our rules.

    When you get up in the morning, remember that you have to do a Good Turn for someone during the day. Tie a knot in your handkerchief or neckerchief to remind yourself of it.

    If you should ever find that you had forgotten to do your daily Good Turn, you must do two the next day. Remember that by your Scout Promise you are on your honour to do it. But do not think that Scouts need do only one Good Turn a day. They must do one, but if they can do fifty, so much the better.

    As a Scout, you are obliged to do at least one Good Turn ever y day.

    A Good Turn need only be a very small one. It is a Good Turn even if it is only putting a coin into a poor-box, or helping an old woman to cross the street, or making room on a seat for someone, or giving water to a thirsty horse, or removing a bit of banana skin off the pavement. But one must be done every day, and it only counts when you do not accept any reward in return.

    Saving Life

    The man who saves the life of a fellow-being, as he may do in the sudden appalling accidents which occur in big cities, mines, and factories, in everyday life, is no less a hero than the soldier who rushes into the thick of the fight to rescue a comrade amid all the excitement of battle.

    Thousands of Boy Scouts have won medals for life-saving, and I hope that many more will do the same.

    It is certain that many of you will, at one time or another, get a chance to save a life. But you must BE PREPARED for it. You should know what to do the moment an accident occurs— and do it then and there.

    It is not enough to read about it in a book and think that you know what to do. You must actually practice, and practice often, the things to be done, such as how to cover your mouth and nose with a wet handkerchief to enable you to breathe in smoke; how to tear a sheet into strips and
    make a rope for escaping from a fire; how to open a manhole to let air into a gassy sewer; how to lift and carry an insensible person; how to save, and revive apparently drowned people, and so on.

    When you have learned all these things you will have confidence in yourself, so that when an accident happens and everybody is in a state of fluster, not knowing what to do, you can quietly step out and do the right thing.


    To carry out all the duties and work of a scout, a fellow has to be strong, healthy, and active. He can make himself so if he takes a little care about it.

    It means a lot of exercise, like playing games, running, walking, cycling, and so on.

    A Scout should sleep much in the open. A boy who is accustomed to sleep with his window shut may catch cold when he first tries sleeping out. The thing is always to sleep with your windows open, summer and winter, and you will not catch cold. Personally I cannot sleep with my
    window shut or with blinds down, and when I stay in the country I like to sleep outside the house.

    A short go of exercises every morning and evening is a grand thing for keeping you fit—not so much for making showy muscle as to work all your internal organs, and to work up the circulation of the blood in every part of you.

    Every real Scout takes a daily bath. If he cannot get a bath, he takes a good rub down daily with a wet rough towel.

    Scouts breathe through the nose, not through the mouth. in this way they don’t get thirsty. They don’t get out of breath so quickly. They don’t breathe all sorts of disease germs that are in the air, and they don’t snore at night.

    Deep breathing exercises are of great value for developing the lungs, and for putting fresh air (oxygen) into the blood, provided that they are carried out in the open air, and are not overdone. For deep breathing the breath must be taken in slowly and deeply through the nose, not through the mouth. till it opens out the ribs to the greatest extent. Then, after a time, it should be slowly and steadily breathed out again without strain. But the best deep breathing after all is that which comes naturally from plenty of running exercise.

    Love Your Country

    My country and your country did not grow of itself out of nothing. It was made by men and women by dint of hard work and hard fighting, often at the sacrifice of their lives— that is, by their whole-hearted patriotism.

    In all you do, think of your country first. Don’t spend the whole of your time and money merely to amuse yourself, but think first of how you can be of use to the common good. When you have done that, you can justly and honestly enjoy yourself in your own way.

    Perhaps you don’t see how a mere small boy can be of use to his country. but by becoming a Scout and carrying out the Scout Law every boy can be of use.

    “My country before myself”, should be your aim. Probably, if you ask yourself truly, you will find you have at present got them just the other way about. I hope, if it is so, that you will from this moment put yourself right and remain so always. Don’t be content, like the Romans were, and some people now are, to pay other people to play your football or to fight your battles for you. Do something yourself to help keep the Flag flying.

    If you take up Scouting in that spirit, you will be doing something. Take it up, not merely because it is good fun, but because by doing so you will be preparing yourself to be a good citizen not only of your country but of the whole world.

    Scouts learn endurances in the open. Like explorers, they carry their own burdens and “paddle their own canoes”.

    Then you will have in you the truest spirit of patriotism, which every boy ought to have if he is worth his salt.


    (The following story, which in the main is true, illustrates generally the duties of a Boy Scout.)

    A brutal murder took place many years ago in the North of England. The murderer was caught, convicted, and hanged chiefly through the scoutcraft of a shepherd boy.

    Woodcraft—The boy, Robert Hindmarsh, had been up on the moor tending his sheep, and was finding his way home over a wild out-of-the-way part of the hills, when he passed a tramp sitting on the ground with his legs stretched out in front of him eating some food.

    Observation—The boy in passing noticed the tramp’s appearance, and especially the peculiar nails in the soles of his boots.


    Robert Hindmarsh, the boy, noticed the appearance of the tramp, without attracting much attention from the man.

    Concealment—He did not stop and stare, but just took in these details at a glance as he went by without attracting much attention from the man, who merely regarded him as an ordinary boy.

    Deduction—When the boy got near home, some five or six miles away, he came to a crowd round a cottage. The old woman (Margaret Crozier) who inhabited it had been found murdered. All sorts of guesses were made about who had done the deed, and suspicion seemed to centre on a small gang of three or four tramps who were going about the country robbing and threatening death to anyone who made any report of their misdeeds.

    The boy heard all these things. Then he noticed some peculiar footprints in the little garden of the cottage. The nail-marks agreed with those he had seen in the boots of the man on the moor, and he naturally deduced that the man might have something to do with the murder.

    Chivalry—The fact that it was a helpless old woman who had been murdered made the boy’s chivalrous feeling rise against the murderer, whoever he might be.

    Pluck and Self-discipline— So, although he knew that the friends of the murderer might kill him for giving information, he cast his fears aside. He went at once to the constable and told him of the footmarks in the garden, and where he could find the man who had made them—if he went immediately.

    Health and Strength—The man up on the moor had got so far from the scene of the murder, unseen, except by the boy, that he thought himself safe, and never thought of the boy being able to walk all the way to the scene of the murder and then to come back, as he did, with the police.
    So he took no precautions.

    But the boy was a strong, healthy hill-boy, and did the journey rapidly and well, so that they found the man and captured him without difficulty.

    The man was Willie Winter, a gipsy.

    He was tried, found guilty, and hanged at Newcastle. His body was then brought and hung on a gibbet near the scene of the murder, as was the custom in those days.

    Two of the gipsies who were his accomplices were caught with some of the stolen property, and were also executed at Newcastle.

    Kind-heartedness— But when the boy saw the murderer’s body hanging there on the gibbet he was overcome with misery at having caused the death of a fellow creature.

    Saving Life—However, the magistrate sent for him and complimented him on the great good he had done to his fellow countrymen, probably saving some of their lives, by ridding the world of such a dangerous criminal.

    Duty—He said: “You have done your duty, although it caused you personally some danger and much distress. Still, you must not mind that. It was your duty to help the police in getting justice done, and duty must always be carried out regardless of how much it costs you, even if you have to give up your life.”

    Example—Thus the boy did every part of the duty of a Boy Scout.

    He exercised—Woodcraft; Observations without being noticed; Deduction; Chivalry; Sense of Duty; Endurance; Kindheartedness.

    He little thought that the act which he did entirely of his own accord would years afterwards be held up as an example to you other boys in teaching you to do your duty.

    In the same way, you should remember that your acts may be watched by others after you, and taken as an example, too.

    So try to do your duty the right way on all occasions.


    The Scoutmaster shows the boy the way to become a Scout and helps him on the Scouting trail.


    Tenderfoot Test - Scout Law. Scout Promise. Scout

    Sign and Salute. Investiture - Scout Uniform

    To be a Scout you should join a Scout Patrol or a Scout Troop in your neighbourhood, with the written permission of your parents.

    But before becoming a Scout, you must pass the Tenderfoot Test. This is a simple test just to show that you are worth your salt and mean to stick to it. The requirements for this are not very difficult and you will find all you want to know in this book.

    When you have satisfied your Scoutmaster, the man in charge of your Troop, that you can do all the things and do them properly, you will be invested as a Scout and be entitled to wear the Tenderfoot Badge.

    Scout Law

    The Scout Law contains the rules which apply to Boy Scouts all the world over, and which you promise to obey when you are enrolled as a Scout. The Scout Law is on the inside front cover of this book. Study it carefully so that you understand the meaning of every point.

    Scout Promise

    At your investiture as a Scout you will make the Scout Promise in front of the rest of the Troop. The Scout Promise you will find on the inside front cover. This Promise is a very difficult one to keep, but it is a most serious one and no boy is a Scout unless he does his best to live up to his Promise.

    So you see, Scouting is not only fun, but it also requires a lot from you, and I know I can trust you to do everything you possibly can to keep your Scout Promise.

    Scout Motto

    The Scout Motto is:    BE PREPARED

    which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.

    Be Prepared in Mind by having discip lined y ourself to be obedient to every order, and also by havin g thought out beforehand any accid ent or situation that might occur, so that y ou know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willin g to do it.

    Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

    Scout Badge

    The Scout Badge is the arrowhead which shows the North on a map or on a compass. It is the Badge of the Scout because it points in the right direction, and upwards. It shows, the way in doing your duty and helping others. The three points of it remind you of the three points of the Scout Promise.

    This arrowhead has come to be the Badge of the Scouts in almost every country in the world. In order to distinguish one nationality from the other, the country’s own emblem is often placed on the front of it. You see this, for instance, in the United States where the eagle and the national shield of America stand in front, backed by the Badge of the world-wide Scout Brotherhood. The same is the case in many other countries.

    Under the arrowhead is a scroll with the Scout Motto, “Be Prepared”. The scroll is turned up at the ends like a Scout’s mouth, because he does his duty with a smile and willingly.

    Beneath the scroll is a cord with a knot tied in it. This knot is to remind you to do a good turn daily to someone.


    The three points of the Scout Badge and the three fingers o f the Scout Sign remind a Scout of the three parts of the Scout Promise.

    Scout Sign and Salute

    The Scout Sign is made by raisin g your right hand, palm to the front, thumb resting on the nail of the little finger, and the other fingers up right, pointing upwards. The three fingers remind a Scout of the three parts of the Scout Promise. The Scout Sign is given at the making of the Promise, or as a gr eeting. When the hand held in this way is raised to the forehead, it is the Scout Salute.

    When to Salute

    All wearers of the Scout Badge salute each other once a day . The first to see the other Scout is the first to salute, irrespective of rank.

    Scouts will always salute as a token of respect, at the hoisting of the Flag; at the playing of the National Anthem; to the uncased National Colours; to Scout Flags, when carried ceremonially; and to all funerals. On these occasions, if the Scouts are acting under orders, they obey the orders of the person in charge in regard to saluting or standing to the alert. If a Scout is not acting under orders he should salute independently. In all cases, leaders if covered should salute.

    The hand salute is only used when a Scout is not carry ing his staff, and is always made with the right hand. Saluting when carrying a staff is done by bringing the left arm smartly across the body in a horizontal position, the fingers showing the Scout Sign just touching the staff.

    When in uniform a Scout salutes whether he is wearing a hat or not, with one exception, namely at religious services, when all Scouts must stand at the alert, instead of saluting.

    The Meaning of t he Salute

    A man once told me that “he was just as good as any body else; and he was blowed if he ever would raise a finger to salute his so-called ‘betters’; he wasn’t going to be a slave and kow-tow to them, not he!” and so on.

    That is a churlish spirit, which is common among fellows who have not been brought up as Scouts.

    I didn’t argue with him, but I might have told him that he had the wrong idea about saluting.

    A salute is a sign between men of standing. It is a privilege to be able to salute any one.

    In the old days freemen were all allowed to carry weapons, and when one met another each would hold up his right hand to show that he had no weapon in it, and that they met as friends. So also when an armed man met a defenceless person or a lady .

    Slaves or serfs were not allowed to carry weapons, and so had to slink past the freemen without making any sign.


    A Scout shakes hands with another Scout with the left hand, in the Scout Handshake.

    Nowadays people do not carry weapons. But those who would have been entitled to do so, such as knights, esquires, and men-at-arms, that is, those living on their own property or earning their own living, still go through the form of saluting each other by holding up their hand to their hat, or even taking it off. “Wasters” are not entitled to salute, and so should slink by, as they generally do, without taking notice of the freemen or wage-earners.

    To salute merely shows that you are a right sort of fellow and mean well to the others. There is nothing slavish about it.

    If a stranger makes the Scout Sign to you, you should acknowledge it at once by making the Sign back to him, and then shake hands with the LEFT HAND — the Scout Handshake. If he then shows his Scout Badge, or proves that he is a Scout, you must treat him as a Brother Scout, and help him.

    Investiture of a Scout

    Here is a suggested ceremon ial for a recru it to be invested as a Scout:

    The Troop is formed in horseshoe formation, with Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster in the gap .

    The recruit with his Patrol Leader stands just inside the circle, opposite to the Scoutmaster. The Assistant Scoutmaster holds the staff and hat of the recruit. When ordered to come forward by the Scoutmaster, the Patrol Leader brings the recruit to the centre. The Scoutmaster then asks: “Do you know what your honour is?”

    The recruit rep lies: “Yes. It means that I can be trusted to be truthful and honest” (or words to that effect).

    “Do you know the Scout Law?”

    “Can I trust you, on your honour, to do your best to live up to the Scout Promise?”

    Recruit then makes the Scout Sign, and so does the whole Troop while he gives the Scout Promise.

    Scoutmaster: “I trust you, on your honour, to keep this Promise. You are now one of the great World Brotherhood of Scouts.”

    The Assistant Scoutmaster then puts on him his hat and gives him his staff. The Scoutmaster shakes hands with him with the left hand. The new Scout faces about and salutes the Troop . The Troop salutes. The Scoutmaster gives the word, “To your Patrol, quick march”.

    The Troop shoulders staves, and the new Scout and his Patrol Leader march back to their Patrol.

    Going on in Scouting

    When you have been invested as a Scout you can go on to the next grade, that of Second Class Scout: For this you will learn the beginnings of many useful subjects. The Badge of the Second Class Scout is the scroll alone, with the Scout Motto.

    No Scout will want to remain Second Class for long and so you will become a First Class Scout as soon as you can. This will mean hard work tackling signalling, map-reading, hiking, first aid, and many other things. The First Class Badge consists of the arrowhead and the scroll both.

    You can also win Proficiency Badges for your hobbies.

    The Scout Uniform, used around the world, is very like the uniform worn by the men of the South African Constabulary.

    Scout Uniform

    The Scout Uniform is very like the uniform worn by my men when I commanded the South African Constabulary. They knew what was comfortable, serviceable, and a good protection against the weather. So Scouts have much the same uniform.

    With a few minor alterations the original Scout Uniform has met the ideas of Scouts around the world and has been universally adopted. Of course, in extreme climates it has to be modified to suit the seasons, but on the whole the different nations in the temperate climates are dressed uniformly alike.

    Starting at the top, the broad-brimmed khaki hat is a good protection from sun and rain. It is kept on by a bootlace tied in a bow in front on the brim and going round the back of the head. This lace will come in handy in many ways when you camp . The hat has four dents in it.

    Then comes the neckerchief or scarf which is folded into a triangle with the point at the back of the neck. Every Troop has its own scarf colour, and since the honour of your Troop is bound up in the scarf, you must be very careful to keep it clean and tidy . It is fastened at the throat by a knot, or a slide or “woggle”, which is some form of ring made of cord, metal, or bone, or any thing you like. The scarf protects your neck from sunburn and serves many purposes, such as for a bandage or as an emergency rope.

    The Scout shirt (or jersey) is a free-and-easy thing, and nothing could be more comfortable when the sleeves are rolled up . All Scouts have them rolled up because this tends to give them greater freedom, but also as a sign that they are ready to carry out their Motto. They only roll them down when it is very cold or when their arms may become sunburnt. In cold weather the shirt can be supplemented with warmer garments over or, better, under it.

    Shorts are essential to hard work and to climbing, to hiking and to camping. They are less expensive and more hygienic than breeches or trousers. They give freedom and ventilation to the legs. Another advantage is that when the ground is wet, you can go about without stockings and none of your clothes gets damp .

    The stockings are held up by garters, with green tabs showing below the turnover of the stocking top.

    Personally, I consider shoes more suitable than high boots since they give better ventilation to the feet and therefore diminish the danger of chills and of chaffs which come from damp stockings softening the feet when tightly laced boots are worn.

    Wearing the Uniform

    The Scout kit, through its uniformity, now constitutes a bond of brotherhood among boys across the world.

    The correct wearing of the Uniform and smartness of turnout of the individual Scout makes him a credit to our Movement.

    It shows his pride in himself and in his Troop.

    One slovenly Scout, on the other hand, inaccurately dressed may let down the whole Movement in the eyes of the public.

    Show me such a fellow and I can show you one who has not grasped the true Scouting spirit and who takes no pride in his membership of our great Brotherhood.

    Scout Staff

    The Scout staff is a useful addition to the kit of the Scout.

    Personally , I have found it an invaluable assistant when traversing mountains or boulder-strewn country and especially in night work in forest or bush. Also, by carving up on it various signs representing his achievements, the staff gradually becomes a record as well as a treasured companion to the Scout.

    The Scout staff is a strong stick about as high as your nose, marked in feet and inches for measuring.

    The staff is useful for all sorts of things, such as making a stretcher, keeping back a crowd, jumping over a ditch, testing the depth of a river, keeping in touch with the rest of your Patrol in the dark. You can help another Scout over a high wall if you hold your staff horizontally between
    your hands and make a step for him; he can then give you a hand from above. Several staves can be used for building a light bridge, a hut or a flag staff.

    There are many other uses for the staff. In fact, you will soon find that if you don’t have your staff with you, you will always be wanting it.

    If you get the chance, cut your own staff. But remember to get permission first.


    The Scout staff is useful for a great number of out-door activities.



    Patrol System - a Patrol Leader - Patrol Signs


    Each Scout troop consists of two or more Patrols of six to eight boys.

    The main object of the Patrol System is to give real responsibility to as many boys as possible. It leads each boy to see that he has some individual responsibility for the good of his Patrol. It leads each Patrol to see that it has definite responsibility for the good of the Troop. Through the Patrol System the Scouts learn that they have considerable say in what their Troop does.

    The Patrol Leader

    Each Patrol chooses a boy as leader. He is called the Patrol Leader. The Scoutmaster expects a great deal from the Patrol Leader and leaves him a free hand in carrying out the work in the Patrol. The Patrol Leader selects another boy to be second in command. This boy is called
    Second (or Assistant Patrol Leader). The Patrol Leader is responsible for the efficiency and smartness of his Patrol. The Scouts in his Patrol obey his orders, not from fear of punishment, as is often the case in military discipline, but because they are a team playing together and backing up their leader for the honour and success of the Patrol.

    A Word to Patrol Leaders

    I want you Patrol Leaders to go on and train your Patrols entirely yourselves, because it is possible for you to get hold of each boy in your Patrol and make a good fellow of him. It is no use having one or two brilliant boys and the rest no good at all. You should try to make them all fairly good.

    The most important step to this is your own example, because what you do yourselves, your Scouts will do also.

    Show them that you can obey orders whether they are given by word of mouth or are printed or written rules, and that you carry them out whether your Scoutmaster is present or not. Show them that you can earn Badges for Proficiency, and your boys will follow with very little persuasion. But remember that you must give them the lead and not the push.

    And the Patrol Leader, in training and leading his Patrol, is gaining practice and experience for being a fellow who can take responsibility.

    Also, besides training his Patrol, the Patrol Leader has to lead it, that is, he must be at least as good as any of his Scouts at the different jobs they have to do. He must never ask a fellow to do anything he would not do himself. And he must never be “down” on anyone but must get the enthusiasm and willing work of everyone by cheerily encouraging their efforts.

    In every line of life young men are wanted who can be trusted to take responsibility and leadership. So the Patrol Leader who as made a success with his Patrol has every chance of making a success of his life when he goes out into the world.

    Most of your work in the Patrol consists in playing Scouting games and practices by which you gain experience as Scouts.

    The Court of Honour

    The Court of Honour is an important part of the Patrol System. It is a standing committee which settles the affairs of the Troop. A Court of Honour is formed of the Scoutmaster and the Patrol Leaders, or, in the case of a small Troop, of the Patrol Leaders and Seconds. In many Courts the Scoutmaster attends the meetings but does not vote. Patrol Leaders in a Court of Honour have in many cases carried on the Troop in the absence of the Scoutmaster.

    The Court of Honour decides programmes of work, camps, rewards and other questions affecting Troop management. The members of the Court are pledged to secrecy. Only those decisions which affect the whole Troop, that is, competitions, appointments, and so on, would be made public.

    Patrol Names and Signs

    Each Troop is named after the place to which it belongs. Each Patrol in the Troop is named after an animal. It is a good plan to choose only animals and birds found in your district. Thus the 33rd London Troop may have five Patrols which are respectively the “Curlews”, the “Bulldogs”, the “Owls”, the “Bats” and the “Cats.

    Each Patrol Leader has a small flag on his staff with his Patrol animal shown on it on both sides.

    Each Scout in a Patrol has his regular number. The Patrol Leader is No. 1, the Second No. 2. The other Scouts have the consecutive numbers after these. Scouts usually work in pairs as comrades, Nos. 3 and 4 together, Nos. 5 and 6 together, and Nos. 7 and 8.


    This is the Patrol flag of the Wolf

    Patrol of the 1st London Troop

    Patrol Motto

    Each Patrol chooses its own motto, which generally applies in some way to the Patrol animal. For instance, the Eagles could take as their guiding words “Soar High”, or the Beavers could say “Work Hard”, the Hounds “True till Death”, and so on.

    Patrol Call

    Each Scout in the Patrol has to be able to make the call of his Patrol animal—thus every Scout in the “Bulldogs” must be able to imitate the growl of the bulldog. This is the signal by which Scouts of a Patrol can communicate with each other when hiding or at night. No Scout is allowed
    to use the call of any Patrol except his own. The Patrol Leader calls his Patrol at any time by sounding his whistle and giving the Patrol call.

    [Five pages of patrol animals, signs, calls and colours omitted from this edition]

    Woodcraft Trail Signs

    Scout trail signs are made on the ground, close to the right-hand side of the road. They should never be made where they will damage or disfigure private property.


    When a Scout makes signs on the ground for others to read he also draws the head of the Patrol animal. Thus if he wants to show that a certain road should not be followed he draws a Sign across it that means “Not to be followed”, and adds the head of his Patrol animal to show which

    Patrol discovered that the road was no good, and his own number to show which Scout discovered it, thus:

    At night sticks with a wisp of grass round them or stones should be laid on the road in similar forms so that they can be felt with the hand.


    Each Scout should learn the call of his Patrol animal. He should be encouraged to know all he can about its habits, etc. This can be a first step in nature lore.

    Each Scout should know how to make a simple drawing of his Patrol animal. The Scouts should use this as their Patrol signature.

    The special Scout signs should be used out-of-doors. They can be made in the dust, or by using sticks, and so on. A good tracking game can be arranged by using signs only.

    Acting in all forms should be encouraged: Mock trials and impromptu plays are excellent training and useful for evenings around the camp fire or when you have to be indoors.


    Scout Meets Scout

    Single Scouts, or pairs of Scouts or complete Patrols, are taken out about two miles apart. They are then made to move towards each other, either alongside a road, or by giving each side a landmark to move toward, such as a steep hill or big tree which is directly behind the other party and will thus ensure their coming together. The Patrol which first sees the other wins. This is signified by the Patrol Leader holding up his Patrol flag for the umpire to see, and sounding his whistle. A Patrol need not keep together, but that Patrol wins which first holds up its flag; so it is well for the Scouts to keep in touch with their Patrol Leaders by signal, voice, or message.

    Scouts may employ any ruse they like, such as climbing into trees, hiding in carts, etc., but they must not dress up in disguise unless specially permitted.

    This game may also be practised at night.


    A good exercise for a winter’s evening in the meeting room is to hold a debate on any subject of topical interest, with the Scoutmaster acting as chairman. He will see that there is a speaker prepared beforehand to introduce and support one view of the subject, and another speaker
    prepared to expound another view. After hearing them, he will call on the others present in turn
    to express their views. In the end he takes the votes for and against the motion.

    At first boys will be very shy of speaking unless the subject selected by the Scoutmaster is one which really interests them and takes them out of themselves.

    After a debate or two they get greater confidence, and are able to express themselves coherently. They also pick up the proper procedure for public meetings, such as seconding a motion, moving amendments, obeying chairman’s ruling, voting, according votes of thanks to chair, etc.

    Mock Trial

    In place of a debate a mock trial may be of interest as a change.

    For instance, the story of the Elsdon Murder given in Yarn No. 2 might form the subject of a trial.

    The Scoutmaster acts as judge, and details boys to the following parts:
    Prisoner . . . William Winter.
    Witness . . . Boy, Robert Hindmarsh.
    Witness . . . Police Constable.
    Witness . . . Villager.
    Witness . . . Old woman (friend of the murdered woman).

    Counsel for Prisoner.

    Counsel for Prosecution.

    Foreman and Jury (if there are enough Scouts).

    Follow as nearly as possible the procedure of a court of law. Let each make up his own evidence, speeches, or cross-examination according to his own notions and imagination, along the lines of the story, but in greater detail. Do not necessarily find the prisoner guilty unless the prosecution proves its case to the jury.

    In summing up, the Scoutmaster may bring out the fact that the boy, Hindmarsh, carried out each part of the duty of a Scout, in order to bring home the lesson to the boys.

    Unprepared Plays

    The plot of a short, simple play is given, and each player is assigned his part, with an outline of what he has to do and say. The Scouts act is, making up the required conversation as they go along.

    This develops the power of imagination and expression.

    Play acting is good fun. It doesn’t matter what kind of voice you have so long as you get out your words clearly and distinctly.

    In all games and competitions it should be arranged, as far as possible, that all the scouts should take part, because we do not want to have merely one or two brilliant performers and the others no use at all. All ought to get practice, and all ought to be pretty good. In competitions where there are enough entries to make heats, ties should be run off by losers instead of the usual system of by winners, and the game should be to find out which are the worst instead of which are the best. Good men will strive just as hard not to be worst as they would to gain a prize, and this form of competition gives the bad man most practice.

    Scout War Songs

    The Scout’s Chorus. This is a chant that the African Zulus used to sing to their Chief. It may be shouted on the march, or used as applause at games and meetings and camp fires. It must be sung exactly in time.

    Leader: Eengonyama—gonyama.

    Chorus: Invooboo. Ya-Boh! Ya-Boh! Invooboo! The meaning Is— Leader: “He is a lion!”
    Chorus: “Yes! he is better than that; he is a hippopotamus!”

    The Scouts Rally. To be shouted as a salute, or in a game, or at any other appropriate time.

    Leader: Be Prepared!
    Chorus: Zing-a-Zing! Bom! Bom!

    (Stamp or bang something at the “Bom! Bom!”)

    The Scout’s Call. For Scout to whistle to attract attention of another Scout,

    Scout’s War Dance

    Scouts form up in one line with leader in front, each holding his staff in the right hand, and his left on the next man’s shoulder.

    Leader sings the Eengonyama song. Scouts sing chorus, and advance a few steps at a time, stamping in unison on the long notes.

    At the second time of singing they step backwards.

    At the third, they turn to the left, still holding each other’s shoulders, and move round in a large circle, repeating the chorus until they have completed the circle.

    They then form into a wide circle, into the centre of which one steps forward and carries out a war dance, representing how he tracked and fought with one of his enemies. He goes through the whole fight in dumb show, until he finally kills his foe. The Scouts meantime sing the Eengonyama chorus and dance on their own ground. As soon as he finishes the fight, the leader starts the “Be Prepared” chorus, which they repeat three times in honour of the Scout who has just danced.

    Then they recommence the Eengonyama chorus, and another Scout steps into the ring, and describes in dumb show how he stalked and killed a wild buffalo. While he does the creeping up and stalking of the animal, the Scouts all crouch and sing their chorus very softly, and as he gets close to the beast, they simultaneously spring up and dance and shout the chorus loudly. When he has slain the beast, the leader again gives the “Be Prepared” chorus in his honour, which is repeated three times, the Scouts banging their staffs on the ground at the same time as they stamp “Bom! bom!” At the end of the third repetition, “Bom! bom!” is given twice.

    The war dance of the young men of the Kikuyu tribe in Africa provided the inspiration for the Scout’s “war dance”.

    The circle then closes together, the Scouts turn to their left again, grasping shoulders with the left hand, and move off, singing the Eengonyama chorus, or, if it not desired to move away, they break up after the final “Bom! bom!”

    The Eengonyama song should be sung in a spirited way, and not droned out dismally like a dirge.



    Although the war dance and songs may seem at first sight to be gibberish— especially to those who have never had much to do with boys— yet there is a certain value underlying them as a corrective of self-consciousness.

    If you want, for instance, to get discipline among your lads it means their constantly bottling up some energy that requires an occasional vent or safety-valve. A war dance supplies such vent, but still in a certain disciplined way.

    Also it forms an attraction to wilder spirits who would never join a band of quieter boys.

    Mr. Tomlin, “the hooligan tamer”, catches and gets his lads in hand entirely by the force of energetic singing and action in chorus.

    Most schools and colleges have their “Ra-ra-ra” choruses, of which “Zing-a-zing: bom, bom” is a type.


    Arctic Expedition

    Each Patrol makes a toboggan with ropes and harness, for two of their number to pull (or for dogs if they have them, and can train them to the work). Two Scouts go a mile or so ahead; the remainder with the toboggan follow, finding the way by means of the spoor, and by such signs as
    the leading Scout may draw in the snow. All other signs seen on the way are to be examined, noted, and their meaning read. The toboggan carries rations and cooking pots, and other supplies.


    Build snow huts. These must be made narrow, according to the length of branches available for forming the roof, which can be made with brushwood, and covered with snow.

    Snow Fort

    The snow fort may be built by one Patrol according to the boys’ own ideas of fortification, with loopholes for looking out. When finished it will be attacked by hostile Patrols, using snowballs
    as ammunition. Every Scout struck by a snow ball is counted dead. The attackers should, as a rule, number at least twice the strength of the defenders.

    Siberian Man Hunt

    One Scout as fugitive runs away across the snow in any direction he may please until he finds a good hiding-place, and there conceals himself. The remainder, after giving him twenty minutes’ start or more, proceed to follow him by his tracks. As they approach his hiding-place, he shoots
    at them with snowballs, and everyone who is struck must fall out dead. The fugitive must be struck three times before he is counted dead.

    In Towns

    Scouts can be very useful in snowy weather by working as a Patrol under their leader in clearing away the snow from pavements, houses, etc. And in fog by acting as guides. This they may either do as a Good Turn, or accept money to be devoted to their funds.





    Exploration - Mountaineering - Patrolling - Night Work
    Finding the Way - Finding the North - Weather Wisdom


    IN SOUTH AFRICA the finest of the tribes were the Zulus. Every man was a good warrior and a good scout, because he had learned scouting as a boy.

    When a boy was old enough to become a warrior, he was stripped of his clothing and painted white all over. He was given a shield with which to protect himself and an assegai or small spear for killing animals or enemies. He was then turned loose in the “bush”.

    If anyone saw him while he was still white he would hunt him and kill him. And that white paint took about a month to wear off—it would not wash off.

    So for a month the boy had to hide away in the jungle, and live the best he could.

    He had to follow up the tracks of deer and creep up near enough to spear the animal in order to get food and clothing for himself. He had to make fire to cook his food, by rubbing two sticks together. He had to be careful not to let his fire smoke too much, or it would catch the eye of scouts on the lookout to hunt him.

    He had to be able to run long distances, to climb trees, and to swim rivers in order to escape from his pursuers. He had to be brave, and stand up to a lion or any other wild animal that attacked him.

    He had to know which plants were good to eat and which were poisonous. He had to build himself a hut to live in, well hidden.

    From boy to man among the Zul us we have the Urn- Fan (mat boy), the young warrior, and the Ring-Kop veteran.

    He had to take care that wherever he went he left no foot tracks by which he could be followed up.

    For a month he had to live this life, sometimes in burning heat, sometimes in cold and rain.

    When at last the white stain had worn off, he was permitted to return to his village. He was then received with great joy, and was allowed to take his place among the young warriors of the tribe. He had proved that he was able to look after himself.

    In South America the boys of the Yaghan tribe—down in the cold, rainy regions of Patagonia—also undergo a test of pluck before they are allowed to consider themselves men. For this test the boy must drive a spear deep into his thigh and smile all the time in spite of the pain.

    It is a cruel test, but it shows that these savages understand how necessary it is that boys should be trained to manliness and not be allowed to drift into being poor-spirited wasters who can only look on at men’s work.

    The ancient British boys received similar training before they were considered men.

    If every boy works hard at Scouting he will, at the end of it, have some claim to call himself a Scout and a man, and will find that he will have no difficulty in looking after himself.

    Training for the Backwoods

    An old Canadian scout and trapper, over eighty years of age, Bill Hamilton, once wrote a book called My Sixty Years in the Plains describing the
    dangers of the adventurous life of the early pioneer:

    “I have often been asked,” Hamilton wrote, “why we exposed ourselves to such dangers? My answer has always been that there was a charm in the open-air life of a scout from which one cannot free himself after he has once come under its spell. Give me the man who has been raised among the great things of nature. He cultivates truth, independence, and self-reliance. He has generous impulses. He is true to his friends, and true to the flag of his country.”


    The Cub looks up to the Boy Scout, and the Boy
    Scout looks up to the Old Scout or pioneer.

    I can fully endorse what this old scout has said, and, what is more, I find that those men who come from the farthest frontiers—from what we should call a rude and savage life—are among the most generous and chivalrous of their race, especially toward women and weaker folk. They become “gentle men” by their contact with nature.

    “Play Hard—Work Hard”

    Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America (1901-1909), also believed in outdoor life. When returning from his hunting trip in East Africa he inspected some Boy Scouts in London, and expressed great admiration for them. He wrote:— “I believe in outdoor games,
    and I do not mind in the least that they are rough games, or that those who take part in them are occasionally injured. I have no sympathy with the overwrought sentiment which would keep a young man in cotton-wool. The out-of-doors man must always prove the better in life’s contest. When you play, play hard; and when you work, work hard. But do not let your play and your sport interfere with your study.”

    I knew an old colonist who, after the South African War, said that he could not live in the country with the British, because when they arrived in the country they were so “stom”, as he called it—that is, so utterly stupid when living on the veldt (the plains of South Africa) that they did not now how to look after themselves, to make themselves comfortable in camp, to kill their food or to cook it, and they were always losing their way in the bush. He admitted that after six months or so many of them learned to manage for themselves fairly well if they lived so long,
    but many of them died.

    Learn to Look after Yourself

    The truth is that men brought up in a civilized country have no training whatever in looking after themselves out on the veldt or plains, or in the backwoods. The consequence is that when they go into wild country they are for a long time perfectly helpless, and go through a lot of hardship and trouble which would not occur if they learned, while boys, to look after themselves in camp. They are just a lot of “tenderfoots”.

    They have never had to light a fire or to cook their own food—that has always been done for them. At home when they wanted water, they merely had to turn on the tap—therefore they had no idea of how to set about finding water in a desert place by looking at the grass, or bush, or by scratching at the sand till they found signs of dampness. If they lost their way, or did not know the time, they merely had to ask somebody else. They had always had houses to shelter them, and beds to lie in. They had never had to make them for themselves, nor to make or repair their own boots or clothing.

    That is why a “tenderfoot” often has a tough time in camp. But living in camp for a Scout who knows the game is a simple matter. He knows how to make himself comfortable in a thousand small ways, and then, when he does come back to civilization, he enjoys it all the more for
    having seen the contrast.


    The trained backwoodsman knows the ways of the woods.
    He can make hi mself comfor table in a thousand small ways.

    And even there, in the city, he can do very much more for himself than the ordinary mortal, who has never really learned to provide for his own wants. The man who has to turn his hand to many things, as the Scout does in camp, finds that when he comes into civilization he is more easily able to obtain employment, because he is ready for
    whatever kind of work may turn up.


    A good form of Scout work can be done by Scouts going about either as Patrols on an exploring expedition, or in pairs like knight- errants of old on a pilgrimage through the country to find people who need help, and then to help them. This can be done equally well on bicycles as on foot.

    Scouts in carrying out such a tramp should never, if possible, sleep under a roof. On fine nights they should sleep in the open wherever they may be. In bad weather, they would get permission to occupy a hay loft or barn.

    You should on all occasions take a map with you, and find your way by it without having to ask the way of passers-by.

    Reading a Map

    Topographic maps and one-inch ordnance survey maps are good maps for exploring. “One-inch” means that one inch on the map represents one mile in the terrain.

    On these maps, woods, rivers, lakes, roads, buildings, and so on, are indicated with conventional signs. Hills are usually shown by contour lines. A contour line is a line that connects all the points that have the same height. A line marked “200”, for example, goes through the points that
    are 200 feet above sea level. Sometimes a hill is indicated by “hachures”—fine lines that spread out from the top of the hill like rays from the sun.

    To use a map, you must “set” it, that is, arrange it so that the directions on it fit the directions of the country where you are. The simplest way is to turn the map so that a road on it runs parallel with the actual road. You can also use a compass. The top of a map is usually north—you therefore turn the map so that the top of it is where the compass shows north. If there is a magnetic north line on your map, turn the map so that this line fits with north of your compass.

    You should notice everything as you travel the roads and remember as much of your journey as possible, so that you could give directions to anybody else who wanted to follow that road afterwards.


    A clever Scout made these sketches for his exploring log or journal

    Map Sketching

    Also make a sketch-map. This does not need to be elaborate, as long as someone else can find his way by it. Be certain to include the north line and a rough scale.

    Explorers, of course, keep a log or journal, giving a short account of each day’s journey, with simple drawings or photos of interesting things they see.

    The Object of Your Expedition

    As a rule you should have some object in your expedition: That is to say, if you are a Patrol of town boys, you would go off  with the idea of scouting some special spot, say a mountain, or a famous lake, or possibly some old castle or battlefield, or a seaside beach. Or you may be on
    your way to join one of the larger camps.

    If, on the other hand, you are a Patrol from the country, you can make your way up to a big town, with the idea of seeing its buildings, its zoological gardens, circuses, museums, etc.

    You would, of course, have to do your daily good turn whenever opportunity presented itself, but besides that, you should do good turns to farmers and others who may allow you the use of their barns and land, as a return for their kindness.


    Mountaineering is grand sport in many parts of the world. Finding your way and making yourself comfortable in the mountains bring into practice all your Scoutcraft.

    In mountain climbing you are continually changing your direction, because, moving up and down in the deep gullies of the mountainside, you lose sight of the landmarks which usually guide you. You have to watch your direction by the sun and by your compass, and keep on estimating in what direction your proper line of travel lies.

    Then again you are very liable to be caught in fogs and mists, which upset the calculations even of men who know every inch of the country.


    On steep hill sides the Scout staff will often come in handy for balancing yourself.

    Lost in the Mountains

    I had such an experience in Scotland one year, when, in company with a Highlander who knew the ground, I got lost in the mist. Supposing that
    he knew the way, I committed myself entirely to his guidance. But after going some distance I felt bound

    to remark to him that I noticed the wind had suddenly changed. It had been blowing from our left when we started, and was now blowing hard on our right cheek. However, he seemed in no way disturbed and led on. Presently I remarked that the wind was blowing behind us, so that either
    the wind, or the mountain, or we ourselves were turning round.

    Eventually it proved, as I expected, that it was not the wind that had turned, nor the mountain. It was ourselves who had wandered round in a complete circle. We were back almost at the point
    we started from.

    Using Climbing Ropes

    Scouts working on a mountain ought to practise the art of roping themselves together, as mountaineers do on icy slopes.

    When roped together each man has about fourteen feet between himself and the next man. The rope is fastened round his waist, by a loop, with the knot on his left side. A loop takes up about 4 ft. 6 in. of rope, and should be a bowline at the ends of the rope, and a manharness knot for
    central men on the rope.

    Each man has to keep well back of the man in front of him, so that the rope is tight all the time. Then if one falls or slips, the others lean away from him with all their weight, and hold him up till he regains his footing.


    Scouts go about Scouting as a Patrol or in pairs, or sometimes singly.

    When patrolling, the Scouts of a Patrol seldom move close together. They spread out to see more country. Also, in this way, they will not all get caught if cut off or ambushed by the “enemy”.

    A Patrol of six Scouts best moves in the shape of a kite with the Patrol Leader in the centre. No. 2 Scout is in front, Nos. 5 and 4 to the right and left, No. 3 to the rear, and No. 6 with the leader (No. 1) in the centre.

    If there are eight in the Patrol, the Patrol Leader takes the Tenderfoot with him, No. 2 takes No. 6, and No. 3 takes No. 7.

    Patrols going over open country where they are likely to be seen by enemies or animals should get across it as quickly as possible, by moving at Scout’s Pace, walking and running alternately for short spells of fifty paces from one point of cover to another. As soon as they are hidden in cover they can rest and look round before making the next move.

    If you are the leading Scout and get out of sight ahead of your Patrol, you can bend branches of bushes or of reeds and grass every few yards, making the heads point forward to show your path. In this way the Patrol or anyone coming after you can easily follow and can judge from the freshness of the grass pretty well how long ago you passed. Besides, you can always find your way back again. Or you can make marks in the sand, or lay stones, or show which way you have gone by the signs which I have given you in Yarn No. 4.

    Night Work

    Scouts must be able to find their way equally well by night or by day. But unless they practise it frequently, they are very apt to lose themselves by night. Distances seem greater and landmarks are hard to see. Also you are apt to make more noise than by day, by accidentally treading on dry sticks or kicking stones.

    If you are watching for an enemy at night, you have to trust much more to your ears than to your eyes. Your nose will also help you, for a Scout is well-practised at smelling out things. A man who has not damaged his sense of smell by smoking can often smell an enemy a good distance away. I have done it many times myself.

    When patrolling at night, Scouts keep closer together than by day, and in very dark places, such as woods, they keep touch with each other in single file by each catching hold of the end of the next Scout’s staff.

    When working singly in the dark, the Scout staff is most useful for feeling the way and pushing aside branches.

    Scouts working apart from each other at night keep up communication by occasionally giving the call of their Patrol animal.

    All Scouts should know how to guide themselves by the stars.

    Finding the Way

    Among the Red Indian scouts, the man who was good at finding his way in a strange country was termed a “pathfinder”. It was a great honour to be called by that name.

    Many a “tenderfoot” has become lost in the veldt or forest, and has never been seen again, because he knew no scouting, nor had what is called “eye for the country”.

    In one case a man got off a coach, which was driving through Matabeleland, while the mules were being changed, and walked off a few yards into the bush. When the coach was ready to start the drivers called for him in every direction, then searched for him. They followed the man’s
    tracks as far as they could, in the very difficult soil of that country, but could not find him. At last, the coach, unable to wait any longer, continued its journey, after someone else had taken over the search.

    Several weeks afterwards, the man was discovered, dead, nearly fifteen miles from where he had left the coach.

    Don’t Get Lost

    It often happens that when you are tramping alone through the bush, you become careless in noticing in what direction you are moving. You frequently change direction to get round a fallen tree, or over a rock or other obstacle and, having passed it, do not take up exactly the correct
    direction again. A man’s inclination somehow is to keep edging to his right, and the consequence is that when you think you are going straight, you are really not doing so at all. Unless you watch the sun, or your compass, or your landmarks, you are very apt to find yourself going round in a big circle.

    In such a case a “tenderfoot”, when he suddenly finds he has lost his bearings, at once loses his head and gets excited. He probably begins to run, when the right thing to do is to force yourself to keep cool and give yourself something useful to do—that is, to track your own footprints back again; or, if you fail in this, to collect firewood for making signal fires to direct those who will be looking for you.

    The main point is not to get lost in the first instance.

    Notice the Directions

    When you start out for a walk or on patrolling, note the direction, by the compass. Also notice which direction the wind is blowing; this is a great help, especially if you have no compass, or if the sun is not shining.

    Every old scout notices which way the wind is blowing when he turns out in the morning.

    To find the way the wind is blowing when there is only very light air, throw up little bits of dry grass. Or hold up a handful of light dust and let it fall. Or wet your thumb and let the wind blow on it; the cold side of it will then tell you from which direction the wind comes.

    Using Landmarks

    Then you should notice all important landmarks for finding your way.

    In the country the landmarks may be hills or prominent towers, steeples, curious trees, rocks, gates, mounds, bridges— any points, in fact, by which you could find your way back again, or by which you could instruct someone else to follow the same route. If you remember your landmarks going out you can always find your way back by them; but you should take care occasionally to look back at them after passing them, so that you can recognize them for your return journey.

    The same holds good when you arrive in a strange town by train. The moment you step out from the station notice where the sun is, or which way the smoke is blowing. Also notice your landmarks—which is this case would be prominent buildings, churches, factory chimneys, names of streets and shops—so that when you have gone down several streets you can turn round an d find your way back to the station without difficulty. It is wonderfully easy when you have practised it a little, yet many people get lost when they have turned a few corners in a town they do not know.

    Concentrate on Your Job

    When you are acting as scout or guide for a party, move ahead of it and fix your whole attention and all your thoughts on what you are doing. You have to go by the very smallest signs, and if you talk and think of other things you are very apt to miss them. Old scouts generally are very silent people, from this habit of fixing their attention on the work in hand.

    Very often a “tenderfoot” out for the first time will think that the leading scout looks lonely and will go up to walk or ride alongside of him and begin a conversation—until the scout shows by his manner or otherwise that he does not want the ‘‘tenderfoot” there.

    On small steamers you may see a notice, “Don’t speak to the man at the wheel”. The same thing applies to a scout who is guiding a party.

    Using a Compass

    I am certain that you know that the needle of a compass has the habit of swinging round until it points in one definite direction.

    If you followed the direction indicated by one end of the needle you would come out at a spot north of Canada, about 1400 miles from the North Pole. The reason for this is that at this spot there is a powerful magnetic force. It is this force which attracts the north point of the needle and
    makes it point to “Magnetic North”.

    North is only one of the compass points. Every sailor knows the other points of the compass by heart, and so should a Scout. I have talked a
    good deal about north, but that is only because we usually figure north as a starting point. That is just for convenience—we could just as well use south.


    Explorers seldom refer to compass points. They use compass degrees instead because they are more exact.

    When you look at the compass chart you will notice that it is marked not only with the points, but also with figures running clockwise from 0
    at the north point round to north again which also has the figure 360. So any point can be given either as a compass name or as a degree number. Thus, east is 90 degrees, south is 180, west is 270, and so on. Instead of saying S.E. we can say 135 degrees.

    How a Compass Helped My Career

    Knowing the right way to use a compass helped to give me a good start in my army career.

    It was this way:

    With a number of other young officers I was being tested in surveying. We had to take a reading with our compass to a certain spot, and from there to another point, and from there to a third point. If one did it correctly, this last reading should land us exactly at the spot whence we started.

    But it means extreme care to take an accurate reading. If you misread your compass’ by not much more than a hair’s breadth you would fail. Only one of our party had been exact enough to succeed, and who do think that was?

    Little me!

    As a result of this and a few good marks in other subjects, I got promoted with extra pay, with which I was able to buy the best horse I ever had.

    Compass work means extreme care to take an accurate reading

    Finding the North without a Compass

    Besides the “Magnetic North” which you find with your compass, there is the other north of the North Pole at the top of the earth. This
    is the real north and for that reason is named “True North”.

    North by the Sun

    If you have no compass to show you “Magnetic North”, the sun will tell you by day where “True North” is, and from that you can figure out the other directions.

    At six o’clock in the morning (standard time) the sun is east. At nine he is south-east. At noon he is south. At three o’clock in the afternoon he is south-west, and at six o’clock he is west. In winter he will have set before six o’clock, but he will not have reached west when he is set. This
    applies roughly in the Northern Hemisphere. (In the Southern Hemisphere, at six o’clock the sun is east, at nine north-east, at noon north, at three north-west, at six west.)

    The Phoenicians who sailed round Africa in ancient times noticed that when they started the sun rose on their left-hand side—they were going south. Then they reported they came to a strange country where the sun rose in the wrong quarter, namely on their right hand. The truth was that
    they had gone round the Cape of Good Hope, and were headed north again, up the east side of


    When the sun is out, a watch will help you find your direction

    To find the south at any time of day by the sun, hold your watch flat, face upwards, so that the sun shines on it. Turn it round till the hour hand points at the sun. Without moving the watch, lay a pencil or stick across the face of the watch so that it rests on the centre of the dial and points out half-way between the figure XII and the hour hand. The direction in which it points is south. This applies only in the Northern Hemisphere. (In the Southern Hemisphere turn the XII, instead of the hand, to the sun, and south will then lie between the two as before.)

    North by the Stars

    Various groups of stars have been given names because they seemed to make some kind of picture outline of men and animals.


    Two stars of the Plough or Big Dipper point towards the Pole Star

    The Big Dipper or Plough is an easy one to find. It is shaped something like a dipper or a plough. It is the most useful star group for a Scout to know, because in the northern part of the world it shows him where north is. The Plough is part of the Great Bear. The stars in the curve make its tail. It is the only bear I know that wears a long tail.

    Pole Star—The two stars in the Plough called the Pointers tell you where the North or Pole Star is. It is the last star in the tail of the Little Bear. All stars and constellations move round the sky during the night, but the Pole Star remains fixed in the north.

    Orion—Another group of stars, or constellations, represents a man wearing a sword and belt, and is named Orion. It is easily recognized by three stars in a line, the “belt”, and three smaller stars in another line, close by, the “sword”. Two stars to right and left below the sword are Orion’s feet, two more above the belt are his shoulders, and a group of three small stars between them make his head.

    The Zulus call Orion’s belt and sword the “Ingolubu”, or three pigs pursued by three dogs. The Masai tribe in East Africa say that the three stars in Orion’s belt are three bachelors being followed by three old maids. You see, scouts all know Orion, though under different names.

    The great point about Orion is that by him you can always tell which way the North or Pole Star lies, and you can see him whether you are in the south or the north part of the world.

    If you draw a line, by holding up your staff against the sky, from the centre star of Orion’s belt through the centre of his head,
    and carry that line on through two big stars till it comes to a third, that third star is the North or Pole Star.

    A line through Orion will eventually
    reach the Pole or North Star


    In the Southern Hemisphere,
    the Southern Cross tells the directions.

    Southern Cross—On the south side of the world, in South Africa, South America, New Zealand and Australia, the Plough is not visible. Here the Southern Cross points toward south (see diagram). If you carry your eye along the same direction, A, as the long stem of the Cross for a distance of about three times its length, the point you hit will be about due south. Or if you imagine a line between the two Pointers and another imaginary line, B, standing upright on this first line and continued until it cuts the line A in continuation of the stem of the Cross, the point where A and B cut each other will be the south.

    Weather Wisdom

    Every Scout ought to be able to read signs of the weather, especially when going camping, and to read a barometer.
    He should remember the following points:

    Red at night, shepherd’s delight (i.e. fine day coming).
    Red in morning, shepherd’s warning (i.e. rain).
    Yellow sunset means wind.
    Pale yellow sunset means rain.
    Dew and fog in early morning mean fine weather.
    Low dawn means fine weather.
    High dawn means wind (high dawn is when the sun rises over a bank of clouds, high above the horizon).
    Soft clouds, fine weather. Hard-edged clouds, wind.
    Rolled or jagged clouds, strong wind.

    “When the ‘wind’s before the rain, 
    Soon you may make sail again;

    When the rain’s before the ‘wind 
    Then your sheets and halyards mind.”


    Use compass directions whenever possible, such as “N.W. corner of room”, “E. side of camp site”, etc.

    Practice moving in the direction of a compass point. Take a direction, say N.E. Pick out some landmark—tree, mound, rock—in line with the direction given; this mark should not be too far away. Walk to that point, and repeat the operation by picking out another mark on which to

    Then continue further practice using degrees instead of points. Practice finding compass directions with watch and by the stars.
    Send out Patrols with compass directions to take them by separate routes to meeting place.

    When possible, point out constellations in night sky. Learn to recognize the Big Dipper and the
    Pole Star and Orion.

    Night movements can be practiced in daylight by covering the eyes with a bandage made of several thicknesses of black crepe or similar material. The staff should be used.

    Use local map for map reading and finding way by the map.


    Follow the Map

    A Patrol is taken in patrolling formation into a strange town or into an intricate piece of strange country, with a map. Here sealed instructions are opened, telling where the Patrol is, and where it is to go to. Each Scout now in turn leads the Patrol, say, for seven minutes if cycling, fifteen minutes if walking. Each Scout is to find the way entirely by the map, and points are given for ability in reading.

    Mountain Scouting

    At daybreak three Scouts are sent out as “hares” to hide themselves in the mountains. After breakfast, a party of “hounds” set out to find the “hares” before a certain hour, say 4 P.M. If the hounds find them, even with field-glasses, it counts, provided that each finder can say definitely what “hare” he spotted. Certain limits of ground must be given, beyond which anyone would be out of, bounds, and therefore disqualified.