THE BOY SCOUTS
By JOHN L. ALEXANDER
T HE aim of the Boy Scouts is to promote the ability in boys to do things for themselves and others. The method is summed up in the term Scoutcraft, and is a combination of observation, deduction, and handiness, or the ability to do things. Scoutcraft includes instruction in first aid, life saving, tracking, signaling, cycling, nature study, seamanship, camp-craft, woodcraft, chivalry, patriotism, and other subjects. This is accomplished in games and team play, and is pleasure, not work, for the boy. All that is needed is the out-of-doors, a group of boys, and a competent leader.
In all ages there have been scouts, the place of the scout being on the danger line of the army or at the outposts, protecting those of his company who confide in his care.
The army scout was the soldier who was chosen out of all the army to go out on the skirmish line.
The pioneer, who was out on the edge of the wilderness, guarding the men, women, and children in the stockade, was also a scout. Should he fall asleep, or lose control of his faculties, or fail on his watch, then the lives of the men, women, and children paid the forfeit, and the scout lost his honor.
But there have been other kinds of scouts besides war scouts and frontier scouts. They have been the men of all ages who have gone out on new and strange adventures, and through their work have benefited the people of the earth. Thus, Columbus discovered America, the Pilgrim Fathers founded New England, the early English settlers colonized Jamestown, and the Dutch built up New York. In the same way the hardy Scotch-Irish pushed west and made a new home for the American people beyond the Alleghanies and the Rockies.