Scouting, Volume 31, Number 5, May 1943 Page: 2
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Food for Character
by Wheeled McMillan,
The pioneer American very often went camping.
Why? To be closer to his work.
His work frequently took him away from houses.
He may have been clearing, hunting, surveying,
or exploring, but it was hard work. His camp was a
welcome place of rest, even though it sometimes
was only the shelter of a log.
This year work calls to the boy pioneers of Amer-
ica, the Boy Scouts. The boy pioneer worker of 1943
may camp in a tent or live in a house, but his
work is going to be tremendously important.
EVERY SCOUT CAN DO A MAN'S WORK this
year at producing food. A tomato will grow just as
big for a boy as for a man. Every Scout hour de-
voted to food production may be just as important
to victory as a man hour spent making airplanes.
Garden and farm are essential war industries.
No war was ever won on an empty stomach. A
super-abundance of food is vitally necessary. No
hungry soldier can fight well. No hungry ship-
worker can build ships fast. No hungry civilian can
carry on with his task. No hungry boy or girl can
build strength for the future. No hungry ally in
Africa or Europe or Asia will fight along with our
men so loyally and so hard as a well-fed ally. Food
raising is the challenge of the hour.
For Scouters it is an opportunity for doing a patri-
otic service that includes a highly constructive as-
pect of Scouting.
This food-growing job has a very fundamental ap-
peal to the depths of a boy's character. First of all a
boy wants to be a man. Next to that, he wants to
feel that he is doing a man's work.
May I remark that it was work that built Amer-
ica? Work is a great character-builder.
No finer opportunity to carry forward every ideal
of Scouting has come to the Boy Scouts than is
present in this food production program. Every boy
who takes part in it will know that he is doing
something important. He will welcome the chance
to express himself in useful work. He will discover
that useful work is as delightful a form of Scouting
as the many excellent recreation and play activities
to which he has been accustomed.
Those boys who receive the opportunity to camp
in farm areas, and to associate with good farm fam-
ilies, will return with a new understanding of many
things. They will be aware that the bottle of milk
on the doorstep has a history of hard work behind
it. They will know what a meal costs in terms of
effort. This experience will help close the gap of
misunderstanding which tends to widen between
city and country.
Wise Scouters will, I think, welcome this signif-
icant opportunity to build their Scout season around
work instead of around play. The boys will benefit,
their country will benefit from their work, and fine
new Merit Badge achievements will be possible.
Indeed, this year's experience with boys at work
may point the way toward a new and more useful
emphasis in future Scout policy,
Here’s what’s next.
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Boy Scouts of America. Scouting, Volume 31, Number 5, May 1943, periodical, May 1943; New York, New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth313093/m1/4/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Boy Scouts of America National Scouting Museum.