Scouting, Volume 1, Number 10, September 1, 1913 Page: 7
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THE BOY WHOSE INTEREST IS
The following interesting communication has
been received from Scout Commissioner Will
Ward Duffield, of Harlan, Ky., which represents
one worker's attitude toward the question of the
half-interested Scout which has been discussed by
Scout Masters during the last month.
BY WILL WARD DUFFIELD,
SCOUT COMMISSIONER, HARLAN, KY.
THE question itself is one of the most
important we have to deal with, and
there is a great deal to be said on
Primarily, the Scout organization wishes
to reach just this sort of boy. In other
words, the bad boys of the community, and
we cannot expect to make perfect Scouts
out of them without a hard and long per-
sistent struggle, particularly on the part of
the Scout Master.
On the first organization of a troop or
council in a community a number of boys
are attracted to the organization out of
curiosity and the novelty of any new
scheme. When this wears off and they
find it necessary, in order to keep in touch
with the organization, to do a certain
amount of Scout work, either in the form
of actual hiking, physical work or study-
ing, their interest lags and they prefer the
picture show or similar attractions rather
than the Scout meetings.
On the other hand, unless discipline and
punishment for neglect of Scout work and
violation of Scout principles is enforced,
you run the danger of losing your hold
on the boys who do live up to the laws
and principles of the organization, and if
the boys get the idea that they can do as
they please, ignore the law or other re-
quirements, and yet have all the benefits in
the way of camp and other activities, you
strike off a very strong incentive to live up
to the law.
The boys themselves, better than any
Scout Master, know their comrades who
live up to and obey the Scout laws, and
therefore, know at once if no attention
is paid to these violations, and that obedi-
ence is not essential to remain in the Scout
organization. If there is not some mode of
punishment or some penalty inflicted for
deliberate and continued violation of the
Scout law you run the risk of losing its
efficiency and its hold upon the boys who
live up to it.
In Harlan we have adopted the plan
where a Scout persistently violates the laws
and requirements to suspend him until he
can have realized that it is an advantage
to belong to the Scouts. For instance, in
our camp this summer we did not have
as many boys as we did last year for the
reason that quite a number of the Scouts
were denied the privilege of camp on ac-
count of their lack of interest and atten-
I believe it has worked well, and that
out of a troop of 100 or more boys en-
rolled, we will have thirty or forty genuine
boy Scouts, and that in the course of an-
other year or so the reputation of these
boys will be such that it will be an honor
to the boy and give him standing in the
community to be ranked as a Scout. It
has already resulted in two or three of our
non-interested boys coming back and be-
ginning their Scout work in earnest again.
I, therefore, believe that, while it is not
desirable to actually drop and expel from
the Scouts the non-interested, delinquent
boy, it is not only desirable, but essential,
to temporarily suspend him.
I may be wrong, and it may be better
to allow the boy to persistently ignore the
law and neglect his Scout work without
penalty, but the other plan has worked well
here, and we propose to continue it for at
least a year or more.
MAGAZINE IS AN INFLUENCE FOR GOOD
PRESIDENT WILSON'S MESSAGE TO 9,000.000 SCHOOL BOYS
THE BOY SCOUTS' MAGAZINE
"Waves of the Moon'
By John Fleming Wilson
PUBLISHED BY THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
COYER, 10 x 8^2, in colors
THE September number of Boys' Life,
the Boy Scouts' monthly magazine,
which is already in the hands of
subscribers and on news-stands in all parts
of the United States, has been received
with enthusiasm. It appeared in a new
dress—a beautiful cover design in colors,
larger and clearer type throughout, more
pictures than in preceding issues, an,d more
fiction. Pictures and fiction are mainly the
things which have to be counted upon to
" catch the boy." The idea back of Boys'
Life is that by presenting these things,
with the " stories " picked for their whole-
some character and good influence, though
they may be veritable " blood and thun-
der " yarns appealing to an appetite that
is almost universal among boys and which
is not dangerous if properly fed and con-
trolled. Along with these pictures and
tales is given helpful information about
boys and things boys like and like to do.
The list of the contributors to the Sep-
tember number, which was given in the
last issue of " Scouting," includes Presi-
dent Woodrow Wilson, Walter Prichard
Eaton, the famous essayist, critic and
novelist; George D. Porter, Director of
Public Safety of the City of Philadelphia;
Daniel Carter Beard, John Fleming Wil-
son, Prof. D. Lange, Leslie W. Quirk, and
Dr. William Brady. These names indicate
something of the character of the men
who are joining in the National Council's
efforts to give in Boys' Life reading which
will be a good influence among all boys.
Others of equal or greater renown will
contribute to future issues.
The organization is making it possible
for every boy in the country to get this
publication without expense to himself.
Pursuing the Scout policy of self-help it
has been arranged that boys, whether
Scouts or not, may pay for the magazine
and get Scout equipment or other useful
articles by taking subscriptions.
Scout Rush Herman's experience with
the August number of Boys' Life is accu-
rately typical of the experiences of the 24
boys who sold the August number on the
streets of New York and took subscrip-
tions for the magazine.
Scout Herman made 55 individual cash
sales. His commission on these, at 4 cents
a copy, was $2.20.
He obtained eight new subscriptions to
the magazine. Each brought him 40 cents
commission, or $3.20.
Thus it will be seen that for getting
eight subscriptions he earned nearly one-
third more than he did by making 55 in-
It is apparent that Scout Masters can
be of greatest service to their boys by ad-
vising and assisting them to take subscrip-
tions, though there is a big revenue to be
gained from single copy sales.
Many valuable premiums are offered,
too. Some of them are mentioned on the
back page of the supply catalog which will
be sent out in a few days. Show that page
to a thrifty Scout of your troop. Urge at
least one of your boys to enter upon this
work right away, and help him to get
Here’s what’s next.
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 1, Number 10, September 1, 1913, periodical, September 1, 1913; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth282642/m1/7/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.