Scouting, Volume 3, Number 16, December 15, 1915 Page: 3
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
COL. ROOSEVELT CALLS
SCOUTING NATIONAL ASSET
Ex-President Gives His Views as to Neces-
sity of Training Boys in Patriotism
and Good Citizenship.
AMONG the many letters received by
the Advisory Committee in charge of
the financial campaign in Greater New
York, was a remarkable letter from Colonel
Theodore Roosevelt, expressing his point
of view as to the character of training that
should be given to boys.
Colonel Roosevelt makes very clear that
boys should be taught to realize that as men
they owe an obligation to their community
and to their country in any emergency. As
he expressed it, this obligation is just as
binding as the obligation for one to pay
He heartily commends the Scout Move-
ment as an asset to the country. He shows
himself to be in full agreement with the
scouting program as it has been conducted
here during the past five years as a non-
military movement for adolescent boys. He
points out that boys over eighteen years of
age who^ might receive supplementary mili-
tary training will acquire it more readily
because of their experience in scouting
activities. Col. Roosevelt's letter in full,
Dec. 10, 1915.
Mr. James E. West, Chief Scout Execu-
tive, B. S. A., New York City.
My Dear Mr. West: I wish you all
success in the effort to raise $200,000 for
the Boy Scouts of America. I would have
hesitated to do this if events had not made
clear that the Boy Scouts must "be pre-
pared" and are being prepared in such
fashion as to fit them not only to be good
citizens in time of peace, but ready for
supplementary military training which shall
make them able to render efficient service
to the nation in time of war.
Events of the past year in Europe have
shown that the possession by a nation of
all the virtues of peace will avail it
literally nothing unless it has also the
stern and rugged qualities that will en-
able it to hold its own when menaced by
war, and, finally, unless it has so trained
itself, so prepared itself in advance, that
these qualities of soul and the correspond-
ing qualities of body will be available for
immediate use if the nation's vital honor
or vital interests are assailed.
Training of Boys Essential
Until a nation has fitted itself to defend
itself it is not of fundamental importance
what other form its activities take. There-
fore, the boys and young men of the nation
must steadily be trained with this thought
in view. We should copy the example of
Switzerland and Australia, two of the most
absolute democracies in the world, and
should train our boys in the schools after
they reach a certain age, so that at some
period between the ages of 18 and 21 they
may be trained by actual service in the
field with the colors to be a real and not
a sham citizen soldiery. This is the only
In a democracy no man has any right to
escape military training and, if necessary,
military service, any more than he has the
right to escape the payment of taxes. One
obligation should no more be treated as vol-
untary than the other. I am glad to learn
that you give merit badges for marksman-
ship, to be striven for by the older boys
under carefully supervised conditions.
Every boy should be trained to know
that every able-bodied citizen owes a civic
duty to the nation all the time, and a
soldier's duty in time of war. This is not
a matter of voluntary action. It is not open
to the right-thinking boy or man to decide
whether he will volunteer to be patriotic or
volunteer to have somebody else patriotic
for him. It is his duty to be patriotic.
Primarily he must show his patriotism by
his service to the nation in time of peace;
but in time of war he owes a soldier's duty
to the nation. It may not be in the fight-
ing line, but it is wherever he is best fitted
to work. He should, while a boy, have
such training as will help his whole gen-
eral development as a useful all-round
citizen of the country.
As an incident to this, his training must
be such that on reaching a point between
the ages of 18 and 21 there will be rela-
tively little left to teach him in order that
in the event of war he can do his duty to
the nation as a soldier, not much more than
can be absorbed in three to six months
of intensive training. The Boy Scouts, like
all the other boys of the country, should
get into their heads clearly the idea that
a true democracy involves not only man-
hood suffrage, but also manhood obliga-
tions and service in time of need, and that
a man who admits his obligation and makes
no adequate preparation to discharge it is
a poor citizen.
Responsibility and Self-Reliance
Of course there can be no adequate
preparedness for war unless there is pre-
paredness for the duties of peace, just
exactly as it is useless to prepare for the
duties of peace unless we prepare also to
defend ourselves. This is true in indus-
trialism and it is even more true in train-
ing for the social attitude. The Boy Scouts
should be sedulously trained, so that they
can act together, and at the same time each
increase his individual self-reliance. There
must always be the power of acting in co-
operation with others and the willingness
and ability to accept responsibilities and to
act on one's own individual initiative. The
virtues of courtesy, kindness, unselfishness,
desire to help others, and desire to join
with others for mutual help must all be
encouraged. Together with these virtues,
we must also encourage the sterner vir-
tures without which the milder ones amount
to so little.
As the Boy Scout develops in body and
soul he must learn not only himself to
treat others well, but to be able to inter-
fere to prevent injustice by the strong
against the weak. These two sets of quali-
ties are indispensable in private life, and
they are no less indispensable in national
and international life.
The Boy Scout Movement is distinc-
tively an asset to our country for the
development of efficiency, virility, and
good citizenship. It is essential that its
leaders be men of strong, wholesome char-
acter, of unmistakable devotion to our
country, its customs and ideals, as well
as in soul and by law citizens thereof,
whose whole-hearted loyalty is given to
this nation and to this nation alone.
With all good wishes.
Humane Society Pledges
A scoutmaster in Pennsylvania suggests
that_ troops which are devoting special at-
tention to humane work may be glad to
obtain the pledges of the humane society
for their boys to sign. These pledges can
be obtained from the state departments of
the Humane Society. The pledge reads as
follows: "I will try to be kind to all living
creatures and try to protect them from
Scout Leaders desirous of ex-
tending Christmas greetings in sim-
ple form to members of their
troops will welcome the following:
1916 Scout Dairy
Revised and Up-to-date
Filled with Scout Lore
Some of the Features
"How to Tell
' ' Semaphore
Code," i 11 u s -
Scouts to Tie."
Law and Re-
ord of promo-
tions in the
ment. How to
tell time by
the stars. Whistles and hand sig-
nals. Boxing the compass. Wood-
craft and First Aid Hints.
Regular Paper Edition, 10c.;
100 or more, each 8*4 c.
Scoutmaster's Edition, Souvenir Edition,
Flexible Cloth 25c. Limp Leather 50c.
Official Xmas and
New Year Cards
Five artistic designs in colors;
ten different greetings as follows.
Designs will be assorted.
Boy Sccftit Diary
ORDER BY LETTER
A. A thousand good Christmas Wishes are
marching your way.
B. I am wishing you a Merry Christmas
that will last through all the year.
C. For the merriest Christmas that one
Scout ever wished to another.
D. Tor the happiest Christmas a boy ever
E. I've wished you a happy Christmas and
a very happy New Year.
F. I've wished you the happiest Christ-
mas you ever had.
G. I am only one of many Scouts who are
wishing you Christmas happiness.
H. For the happiest Christmas you ever
I. I am signalling you "Merry Christ-
J. To have all the fun I'm wishing you
on Christmas Day.
Two for Sc. Ten assorted, 25c
ORDER DIRECT OF
DEPARTMENT OF EQUIPMENT
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
200 Fifth Avenue New York City
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 3, Number 16, December 15, 1915, periodical, December 15, 1915; New York, New York. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth282777/m1/3/: accessed June 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.