Published semi-monthly by National Headquarters, Boy Scouts of America
For Scout Officials and Others Interested In Work for Boys
NEW YORK, N. Y., MAY 15,1913
This wave of enthusiasm has passed over
quietly, however. Almost every com-
munity ' has settled down to work.
Leadership, on the whole, is now of a
FIVE MONTHS IN THE FIELD
WITH THE SCOUT MOVEMENT.
By Samuel A. Moffat, National Field Scout Commissioner.
[After a country-wide trip, during which he visited some 26 states and travelled
over 15,000 miles, Mr. Moffat has returned with glowing reports of the National
status of Scouting. The National Field Scout Commissioner, in the course of
his travels, addressed meetings at playground and recreation conferences, state
universities, normal, high and grammar schools, Sunday school conventions, com-
mercial gatherings and other social clubs in the various cities,—all this aside from
his many conferences with Local Councils, Scout officials and Scouts.
A portion of Mr. Moffat's report to Chief Scout Executive West is here given
for the many interested readers. We are hoping to print accounts of his visits and
his conclusions drawn from them, in following numbers.]
I covet for every Scout Master the
opportunity I have recently had of visit-
ing troops and councils in other com-
munities and states. Any doubt as to
the permanency of the Boy Scout idea
or as to the effectiveness of this method
of imparting high ideals for character
development among boys would soon
be dispelled. The more one sees of
Scouts at work, the more apparent does
it become that there are wonderful possi-
bilities inherent in the movement. Much
has already been accomplished to give
keenest satisfaction and amply repay for
all the unselfish service that Scout Mas-
ters have given these boys, but even
yet the surface has not been scratched.
The Scout Movement presents educa-
tional possibilities worthy of most seri-
ous consideration by those who are con-
cerned with the schooling of adolescent
youth. The elasticity of the Scout or-
ganization makes it adaptable to insti-
tutions concerned with the moral and
religious development of boys. Its defi-
nite program, appealing as it does to
the instinctive demand of growing boys
for expression in their play life, makes
it an invaluable asset to any institu-
tion concerned with the play problem of
boys. These fields—the school, the
church and the neighborhood—are yet to
It has been a great source of inspira-
tion to me to find Scout work in practi-
cally every state that I visited far better
organized and generally much more pros-
perous than I had ever anticipated.
When the first great wave of enthusiasm
for Scouting swept over the country,
the greatest concern of the National
Organization was to conserve it an asset
in boy training. The greatest danger
lay in the possibility of leadership get-
ting into the hands of men who were
not personally qualified to lead boys.
The greatest care was exercised in
the selection of Scout Masters, but even
then, very often men who lacked quali-
fications that ' speak for success with
boys, succeeded in securing commissions.
unexpected sources for the organization
and its good citizenship program.
If such unselfish service continues to
the community, state and Nation, the
Boy Scouts of America will become the
most potential social service institution
of the twentieth century.
MR. SAMUEL A. MOFFAT,
National Field Scout Commissioner.
much higher order. Scout Masters are
more carefully selected, and on the
whole are concerned in contributing to
the moral welfare of boy life. During
the last year or two the men unfitted
for leadership have dropped out. The
fittest have survived. The results ob-
tained are telling the story. Some
feared for a time that the tendency
might prevail to emphasize the play and
fun in the program and to overlook the
rugged ideals of the old-time scout as
emphasized in the Scout Laws. But
happily the general tendency has been
otherwise. In almost every community,
words of praise have come from most
The Situation in the Field.
Of course I ran across many troops
that had disbanded and even some com-
munities where Scout work had been dis-
continued, but I have yet to find one
troop that has gone out of existence
owing to the lack of interest on the part
of the boys themselves. Investigation
has shown that the work has been given
up either because the Scout Master has
had to quit or because the boys have be-
come dissatisfied with indifferent leader-
ship. But these same boys are as keen
as ever for Scout work and in most
eases would re-organize their troop to-
morrow could they secure proper leader-
ship. In several instances parents have
personally appealed to me to try and in-
terest some man to take charge of the
disbanded troop to which their boy be-
longed and assured me that these boys
have as individuals endeavored to con-
tinue their Scout work.
I want to make two or three sug-
gestions to the Scout Masters concern-
ing leadership as the boy sees it from
his point of view.
1. Do not expect anything from the
boys that you are not willing to do
yourself. If the Scout Master expects
the boys of his troop to be trustworthy,
loyal, kind, courteous, reverent, etc.,
then he himself must exemplify these
principles in his own life.
2. If Scouts are expected to be punc-
tual at meetings and to be regular in
attendance, the Scout Master must set
the example. Nothing discourages boys
more quickly than to find that the man
with whom they had an appointment has
not kept it.
3. If you expect definite progress in
Scoutcraft from the boys then you your-
self must be prepared to give definite
instruction at Scout meetings. Every
Scout meeting or hike should have a
purpose, something definite to be done,—
a program worked out well in advance,
then well worked out at the meeting.
4. The Scout Master should broaden
his scope of Scout information. The
Handbook for boys will answer many
questions that disturb the average Scout
Master and will suggest many Scout
games that he is looking for. Too many
men are wasting time going out of their
way to look for "something new" when
there is a fund of information rig a
at hand in the Scout Manual.
Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 1, Number 3, May 15, 1913. New York, New York. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth282630/. Accessed May 23, 2015.