Scouting, Volume 1, Number 1, April 15, 1913 Page: 3
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Scout Commissioner Martin.
Edgar S. Martin, Scout Commissioner,
Boy Scouts of America, Washington,
D. C., was urged by the director of the
American Red Cross Society to go to
Ohio immediately after the floods to
help organize Boy Scouts and other
boys into sanitary squads. The aim of
the Relief Committee in Ohio is to use
Boy Scouts in cleaning up the flooded
places and instruct them in sanitation
so that they may spread that informa-
tion to others and prevent disease.
The request is a tribute both to Mr.
Martin and to the Boy Scouts. It is a
NEED OF SCOUTCRAFT IN SMALL TOWNS.
By Samuel A. Moffat, National Field Scout Commissioner.
Photo copyright by Harris & Swing.
EDGAR S. MARTIN
Scout Commissioner of Washington, D. C.
tribute to the Boy Scouts because
through the principles of scouting boys
have taken up sanitation and have proved
themselves helpful in questions of seek-
ing health. It is a tribute to Mr. Mar-
tin because of his remarkably deep in-
terest in the Scout movement, his exec-
utive ability as an organizer of Scout
troops, his magnetism as a leader of
boys and his devotion to the boys them-
Mr. Martin has been an asset to the
movement. He is an educator, having
devoted his time in his early life to
teaching school, afterward taking up
boy work. Through his education and
his ability as an instructor, he has been
able to develop scoutcraft along educa-
tional lines. Scouting is essentially edu-
cational, and Mr. Martin has proved
that by his work.
Both as a worker among boys and as
a Scout leader he has won distinction.
He had charge of the 1,500 or more Boy
Scouts who gave such brilliant service
in Washington during the inaugural fes-
tivities. Under his direction the boys
lined up along Pennsylvania Avenue and
kept back the throng of men who were
insulting the suffragists. During the
day of the inaugural parade the Boy
Scouts rendered first aid to the injured
and did many things that proved to
hundreds of thousands of people the
value of the Scout movement.
I HAVE just reached Billings, Mon-
tana. I have had some very good
meetings at other towns both with
Scouts and adults. This side trip into
the smaller towns has given me a
broader conception of the great value
of the Boy Scout Movement in the
small cities of the country. In fact,
the Scout Movement has proved a
godsend to small cities and country
towns. Heretofore these communi-
ties have been utterly neglected by
other organizations that are promo-
ting work for boys. These organiza-
tions and associations have found it
impossible to include such towns in
their plans because they find it neces-
sary to raise a large amount of money
for ground, buildings and other equip-
ment before any work can be started.
The inevitable follows. Either the
community is not rich enough for the
boys or else it has not yet been suf-
ficiently aroused to the importance of
such work to pay the price, so they
You will appreciate, then, what I
mean when I say that the Scout Move-
ment is proving a godsend to these
communities. Everywhere throughout
this Western country, the men of the
small towns who are concerned in an
unselfish way about the future citi-
zenship of their state and nation are
utilizing Scouting as the attraction
around which* to rally the boys and
the method by which to train them in
higher ideals of living. This is not
alone true of boy groups that are or-
ganized as Scouts and registered at
headquarters but also of unregistered
groups of one name and another that
are basing their work upon the high
standards of living as set forth in our
Scout Oath and Laws.
The Scout Movement is proving of
practical value to these; men who
want to do something for boys, be-
cause no expensive equipment is nec-
essary, and the work can be main-
tained from year to year without any
cost for overhead supervision.
I'm afraid I can't adequately make
you or anyone living in a big city
grasp the significance of what this
all means to the boys in these neg-
lected towns. They have no Y. M.
C. A., playgrounds, gymnasiums, club
houses or other forms of organized
activities, and as an editor in one
such town told me recently about
the only place he could safely advise
a working boy to go at night was the
town library. He strongly urged the
development of Boy Scout work in
And the boys. If they're only given
a chance, they take to it like ducks
In the East, I heard so much about
the boys of the far West and especial-
ly of the Pacific Coast having so much
outdoor life, fishing, hunting, riding
and camping that there- wasn't so
much need of Scout work or so much
demand for it that I felt at one time
that there might be something in this
argument. It sounds logical but it
is absolutely unsound as a practical
experiment. In fact it's only the ex-
cuse of the unconcerned and indiffer-
ent who are too much absorbed in
other things to give any time or
thought to the boy problem.
The great need in connection with
the recreational pursuits of boys to-
day, whether in-city or town, East or
West, is that adequate adult super-
vision be provided in ordqjr that en-
vironment may be made to contribute
richly to their highest development,
and that from such training may come
ideals for present and future that
will prove a life-long incentive.
With best personal wishes to all,
SAMUEL A. MOFFAT.
March 28, 1913.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Questions Propounded by Scout Masters.
FROM time to time we want to dis-
cuss in these columns questions
which are vital to all our Scout
Masters, and we want every Scout
Master who reads the bulletin to write
us, giving very frank opinion on these
matters. It is only by getting the bene-
fit of criticisms from the field that we
at Headquarters can hope to co-operate
with the various troops in the most effi-
One Scout Master had suggested
that we work out a ritual or some
form of regular ceremony. There is
much to be said in favor of this and
there is much that is unfavorable.
What do you think?
Another Scout Master urges, "that
the matter of boys procuring the official
Boy Scout uniform be given every en-
couragement. That the boy be taught
that his uniform is really a badge of
honor to distinguish him from the or-
dinary boys of the street. That he be
taught that the official Scout uniform is
good enough for him, and that such
ideas as having a tailor-made uniform
at a price prohibitive to poorer boys
be discouraged, and that he be encour-
aged to wear the official clothing, and
not something that he likes better per-
sonally, as a 'cow-puncher's' hat, or
English riding or puttee leather leg-
gings, or decorations from certain
military organizations. If we are go-
ing to be Boy Scouts, let us be Boy
Scouts, first, last, and all the time."
The question of how we shall disci-
pline Scouts for minor misdemeanors
when necessary, is a subject that every
Scout Master is interested in, and we
feel that a frank discussion will be
Another Scout Master brings up the
matter of transfer of Scouts from one
troop to another. How can this best
be worked out?
It may not be possible to publish all
letters received about these problems,
but the gist of them will be given. If
you like the idea, say so.
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 1, Number 1, April 15, 1913, periodical, April 13, 1913; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth282629/m1/3/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.