January 04, 1919


 On the great day when King Albert rode into Brussels after the Germans had cleared out, the Belgian Scouts once more proved their value.  During the war the Germans had, of course, policed the town with soldiers, so that when they went away there was no police force in the place to keep order.

 So the Boy Scouts were called upon to do that duty, and they did it well.  Two thousand of them turned out to act as bobbies, and I was told by one who was present that they cleared the route and held the crowd in order most perfectly.  The streets were not lived with soldiers as is generally done on such big occasions, so that the boys had a most difficult job to carry out-but then they were Scouts, you see, and, of course, they just smiled and did it.


JANUARY 11, 1919


 One of the leading generals in the War Office has written an article in "Blackwood’s Magazine," in which he says how jolly useful the Boy Scouts were as messengers during the war.

 Of course, loads of people used to come there to interview officers about all sorts of useless things.  The Scouts are praised for being able to spot which of these were only time wasters.  So they used to put the time wasters into a waiting room and leave them there for a few hours and then take them in small parties through endless corridors and up and down stairs until they got tired and sick of the whole business, and were only too glad to get out of the building and to go home.

 The same general who wrote this also told me that he had one of these Scouts as his own special orderly.  "He was a wonderful boy.  There was very little he did not know, and nothing he could not do.  He was quite an artist, among other things, and drew the maps for a report of mine on the Dardanells Campaign."

 Then this officer praises the work of foreign Scouts, too, for he says "in 1913 I visited the Peninsular battlefields in Spain, and I came upon two particularly smart Boy Scouts on the field of Vittoria, who knew all the history of the battle and acted as my guides."

 He also wrote:

 "A day or two after taking up my duties at the War Office I wanted to talk with a colonel in charge of one of the branches, but he, too, was a new arrival, and nobody seemed to know exactly which room was his office.  One of the regular War Office messengers was sent to find him, but he returned after a long search empty-handed.  Another War Office messenger sent on the same errand on the morrow proved no more successful.  On the third day I summoned a Boy Scout into my presence-he was a very small one-and commanded him to find that colonel and not to come back without him. 

 In about ten minutes the door of my room was flung open and in walked the Scout, followed by one of the biggest sort of colonels.  "I didn’t know what I had done or where I was being taken," remarked the colonel, "but the Scout made it quite clear that he wasn’t going to have any nonsense; so I thought it best to come quietly."


January 18, 1919


 I was asked by a Scout the other day what I would do about the Jamboree if I were a boy?  Well-as a first step, I should jolly well be in it; not a looker-on.  I should hope that is the feeling of every Scout.  I hate fellows who merely look on, whether at football, or anything else.  I like to see them at it themselves, playing the game whatever it is, whether work, play, or fighting.

 Well, this Jamboree will give lots of openings for almost every king of Scout to show what he is made of; and it will be up to him to do something for the success of the whole thing-"Play the game for your side," you know.

 But I’m getting off the line.  This Scout asked me what I should do if I were a Scout.  Well, I don’t know why, but I immediately thought I should like, with my Patrol, to do a lot of clown stunts such as clowns do in the circus.  It would be something out of the common, would amuse the people, and would be jolly good exercise for oneself and thus for the patrol. 

 I’ve done clown before now.  When I first joined my regiment in India we got up a Christmas pantomime, and I had to paint my face white with red half-moons and stars on it, and I had to learn to jump through the clock faces and tumble about without hurting myself.  It all went off most successfully; too successfully, for people liked it so much that they asked for it again a few months later.  Clowning, even in winter, is warm work, but when it went on in April or May in India it was killing work.  I felt that if it went on for many days there would be nothing left of me but a little spot of melted fat!

 But on winter evenings in England clowning is very good fun and warms you up and at the same time strengthens your sinews and muscles so that you become strong, quick, and active.

 By clowning I mean the art of "tumbling,"  coupled with funniness and enjoyment of it.

 For instance, anyone can run and turn a cartwheel with a frown on and with some exertion, but the fellow who dashes at it with evident delight, with "Oh, I say, isn’t this jolly!"  or some such remark, immediately gets his audience in a laughing humour.

 But the first thing to learn is to be clever, quick, and neat at your different stunts; the funniness should only be added after you have mastered the art of tumbling, and this takes a lot of practice before you are really good at it.  Practices should be short and frequent, not occasional long lessons.  Begin with easy steps and gradually work up to more difficult or sensational ones.  There is a good book on the subject called "Amateur Circus Life,"  by Ernest Balch.  I will quote some of the ideas from this, but I hope that the instructors of some of our best tumbling troops will give us some more tips.

 For a Clown Patrol there should be, as a rule, six performers-the two biggest will be, of course, the ones to take the others on their heads and shoulders; they are known as the "Understanders"-not because they are so wise that they understand everything, but because they are strong and stand under the lighter boys.  The two lightest are called the "Top mounters."

 Of course, every tumbler must be able to roll head over heels neatly and quickly.  It should be done mainly on the hands and back of shoulders-not on the top of the head.  In fact, as you get good and quick at it your head hardly touches the ground at all.

 A quick, smooth action without bumping or pause and up on to the feet at the attitude of the tumbler’s salute-arms and fingers out straight in line with shoulders, back and hands up, and A Smile On.

 You need a mat to learn on-that it, a very thin mattress or three carpets one upon the other.

 Practise this well over till you are really good at it, and then we can go on to the other stunts which I will suggest next week.


January 25, 1919


 What is a good stunt for the Jamboree, or for any troop show or rally?  That is the question that is bothering a lot of Scouts just now.  Generally, we begin to think what kind of show we are best at; perhaps, we are good signallers, so we say, "Oh!  We’ll do a bit of flag drill,"  or if we are pretty handy at first aid work and possess a stretcher we agree to give them a bit of an ambulance show.

 But that is not the way to invent a good stunt.  You must think of what the onlookers would like to se and what could really rouse their excitement and enthusiasm or amusement.  Nine people out of ten cannot judge whether your signalling is good or whether your bandages are properly but on; that sort of show doesn’t interest them, and they see it every time there is a display by Scouts or Cadets, or Boys’ Brigade.

 You’ve heard of Barnum, the great showman.  Why was he so popular?  Wherever he went with his show people flocked to see it, because there was always sure to be something new about it, not always something very wonderful-but something out of the ordinary.

 It is years since I saw his show, and I really can’t remember what there was in it, but I do remember his share in it.  He simply drove into the arena in a beautifully smart little carriage with coachman and footman on the box, and a very fine high-stepping horse to pull it.  He got out dressed in the height of fashion, made a bow to the audience, and got in again and drove out.

 There was nothing clever about it, but it was unusual, it was novel, and therefore it went down with the public.


February 01, 1919


 The very mild weather up to the end of December may mean some hard frosts to make up for it in January, February, and March-this will mean sliding and skating.  That will be "bully," as they say in America.  Yes, but in America the Scouts are Being Prepared for it in another way.  Ice and sliding generally means some noodles falling through bad ice and having to be pulled out again; and on the Scouts comes the duty of rescuing them.

 A troop living near a pond or lake is advised to have its life-saving apparatus ready-a rope, buoy, and plank.

 The rope should be 1\4 in. Manilla, about 75 feet long.  Make a square wooden frame about 2 feet sides, with cross bars to the corners; at each corner a peg.  The rope is coiled round these pegs ready for use.  To the end of the rope affix a 19 inch ring lifebuoy or a wooden ball.  This, of course, is thrown along the ice to the noodle who has fallen in.  You should practise doing it, to get into the way of sending it over the spot you want.  It’s not much good to the noodle if you keep heaving the rope a mile wide of him; he is apt to get disappointed and to drown.

 Then the plank or ladder is, or course, for pushing out until it forms a bridge across the hole in the ice.  Noodle can either catch hold of it and haul himself over or you can crawl along it(best with a rope round your middle) and pull him out.

 If he is all right make him run as hard as he can to the nearest house, and then undress him and rub him down with hot towels and put him in a hot blanket.  If he is insensible first lay him on his face and pump the water out and the air in by the method given in "Scouting for Boys."  A good dodge for timing your pressure on his lower ribs is when you press down to say to yourself, "Out goes the water," and then as you ease up to say "In comes the air."  It comes to about twelve times a minute, which is the right length of time.


February 08, 1919


 "Which do you like the best of the lot ?" asked a Scout the other day, when I told him that half my time was taken up -enjoyably, mind you- in reading the different Scout magazines and newspapers.

 Well, that question was a bit of a poser.  A nice row I should get into with all the others if I said that one particular one was the best!  At the same time I can truthfully say that many of them are the best because they go off on to such different lines.  It is a great delight to me to read one from Ceylon, for instance, and to compare it with that from Barbados or Trinidad.  Then I love to read the polite insults hurled at each other by the different houses in the "Gaytonian"  (Harrow County School).

 And this again is totally different from the Green ‘Un of the "Second to None," with its interesting troop news, or the "British Scouts’ Gazette," which is full of useful information.

 Then again, the "8th Southport Gazette" appeals to me especially, because every month it records "observation" notes of different kinds of locomotives seen on the railway, and, similarly, ships and their dimensions seen on the Mersey.  Also nature notes, giving records as to first crocus seen, first Red Admiral seen, and so on.  Their Scout’s Own also had no less than fifteen of its meetings last year out in the open, studying plants and animals, so as to understand better the wonderful works of the Creator.  Well, all that specially interests me.  But I don’t go so far as to say that that Gazette is the best of the lot-I dare not!!  It is a jolly good one all the same.


February 15, 1919


 The great Jamboree will have to take place next year instead of this because, owing to the war, they will not be able to run excursion trains or give cheap tickets on any of the railway lines so that Scouts can come to the show-and we want everybody to be there.

 But we can’t let this year of Victory and Peace go by without doing something special to honour it.  So we are going to do this:

 Each Scout district will have its own Jamboree this year, and the best "stunts" and the best models and articles that are exhibited will then be sent on, the following year, to the great International Jamboree in London.

 So go ahead with your preparations, get up some good shows, make your model aeroplanes or bridges, push-motors or toys, so that at this year’s show they will win a place for the big one in 1920.


February 22, 1919


 At a meeting of our Sea Scout Commissioners the other day an American officer was present, and he told us how he had come over from America with part of their Army on board a convoy of British transports.  A large number of the soldiers coming from Texas and other inland states had never even seen the sea before.  Of course, they had heard all about the damage done  by the enemy’s submarines, so that when they found themselves for the first time afloat on the ocean, with the knowledge that at any moment their ship might be sunk by a torpedo, they were not altogether in the happiest frame of mind.

 The officer said "there were 1700 men on my ship, and we must have sighted at least 1700 periscopes!"  They were very anxiously keeping a look-out for them.  But soon they noticed that all the ships in the great convoy kept continually talking to each other, by signalling both by day and by night; and the men very soon felt that even if their ship was torpedoed the others would immediately be informed, and would be there on the spot in a very few minutes to help them.

 The officer informed us that what struck him greatly was that this signalling was mainly carried on by boys-Sea Scouts.  He had heard vaguely of Boy Scouts, but never of Sea Scouts before, but he was tremendously taken with them and their good word; he had since then always felt that it was thanks to the Sea Scouts that his men gained confidence and took to their sea voyaging with the greatest cheeriness in spite of the danger. 

 Once more-well done, Sea Scouts!


March 01, 1919


 The Rovers are rolling up into big numbers now.  They are evidently making a good name for themselves as smart and efficient fellows, because we have had many requests from Cadet officers wishing to get them a N.C. O. and junior officers for their corps.

 The Rovers don’t want to leave us as a rule, but in very many cases they find they can carry on both duties.  That is as it should be; and it is what is done very much in Over-seas Dominions.  In some of these countries every boy is obliged to be a Cadet, but a very large number of them are Scouts as well; they find time for both.  Talking of Scouts and Cadets, last month I mentioned in The Scout that a number of our older boys though invited to join Cadet corps preferred to stay on as Scouts because they thereby got a better chance of being used for actual Government duty during the war instead of merely drilling and preparing for being soldiers some day.

 A Cadet wrote to say that this statement was likely to make ill-feeling between the two movements.  But I am sure it won’t.  It was only a bit of bad luck for them that the Cadets were not used, and I am quite confident that if the Government had used them they would have done excellent service.  This same correspondent tells me that there are a  number of Cadets who are, like himself, readers of The Scout.  I am very glad to hear it, because we all want to be in touch with each other as much as possible.

 I have been a Cadet myself, and have been commandant of two Cadet corps, and I have visited the Cadets in almost every one of the British Overseas Dominions; so I know something of the Cadets, and have a close interest and fellow feeling for them.  At the same time I am a Scout. 


March 08, 1919


 When I did clown in our pantomimes in my regiment I learnt how to dive through a window or a clock-face painted on the scene.  Sometimes I did a straight dive, at other times a roll-over.  Both of them took well with the audience, and were also pleasant things to do-when one had got into the way of it.  But like everything else it needed a good deal of steady practice first.

 The straight dive was almost like taking a dive when bathing, only one did it more on the side than tummy downwards.  And, of course, you had to be caught in a sheet or in the arms of men ready for you behind the scene.

 The roll-over was much more difficult-it meant doubling yourself into a ball and going head over heels through the round face of the clock.

 The early practice for this is to practise the dive and roll over through an ordinary wooden hoop held about a foot off the ground.

 You begin learning the "dive and roll" only when you are quite good at the roll-over.  Then a stick is held out horizontally about a foot above the mat.  You walk up to it, put your hands forward over the stick, and drop on to them, tucking in your head, and roll over.  The weight of your body to go on to your hands, not on your head or back.

 This will become an easy trick with a little practice.  As you get good and quick at it you raise the height of the stick.

 After a while stand on a foot-stool to give you a deeper fall, and finally on a chair.

Then you can try through a hoop held up. and when you can do that comfortably have paper stretched across the hoop and dive and roll through that.

 A good stunt is to make a long dive and roll over a number of other boys kneeling in line with heads tucked in.  You begin, of course, with only one at first, and then add another and another.

 When I was at school I invented for myself a sort of diving slide, which I called "The Seal."  I used to take a run at a table, slither across it on my tummy, "dive and roll over" on to the floor, and come up standing.  It was very effective and quite easy-when you once know how.

 All these things that I have been telling you are only the beginnings for doing clown tricks.  These you would do either alone or in combination with other performers.  But before going on to describe these I want to know whether any of my readers are taking up the idea, and want further hints.  If you are not trying them it is no use my going on describing them-the description will only bore you.  But if some of you want more hints just drop a postcard to the Editor and say so.


March 15, 1919


 Again I have heard from a Scout who had been a prisoner of war  in Germany and had made his escape.  He says that his success was due to several things that he had learnt as a Scout.

 One was how to steer himself by the stars and a map.  (Can you do this?)

 Another was how to make a small fire that would not give him away and yet enabled him to cook his food.  And he knows how to cook. (Can you do this?)

 And lastly the habit of carrying a staff saved him from many a false step in the dark which might have been fatal, and it gave him a weapon with which he could knock aside an enemy’s revolver and prod him in the wind so as to knock him senseless.

 Lots of men have brought home with them from the Front the staves they used on service.  I am hoping to have a show of staves at the Jamboree.  It will be in two classes, one section to display staves that have been on active service with the history of what they have gone through.

 The other section to show staves ornamented by Scouts; the best of these will get prizes.

 All of the staves will be returned afterwards to the owners, but I think it will make a jolly interesting collection. 

 Some fellows seem to think that if they cannot buy the ordinary staves they need not, therefore, carry a staff.  This is quite wrong.  A Scout without a staff is only half dressed, and not prepared for action.  I will not inspect Scouts at Rallies who have not their staves with them.  These staves need not necessarily be the ordinary ones you buy in a shop.  A good staff cut in the woods is quite as good if not better.

 For myself I will always much rather have one that I have cut and trimmed with my own hands than one I have bought over the counter.

 Backwoodsmen mostly carry staves, but they don’t go to a shop for them - why should a Scout?


March 22, 1918


I have been in many clubhouses  of many different kinds in my time.  Of course, there is Club and London, where old gentlemen sit in fat armchairs and read newspapers, and have their coffee or cigars brought to them by silent-footed waiters.

 Everything is comfortably done for them, and they have strict rules about no talking loudly or smoking except in the  smoking rooms, so that they should not disturb the comfort of other members.

 I belong to one myself, so I know how very comfortable they are and how very uncomfortable; too starchy for me!

 Then in the French Army there is another kind of club.  It is where the Officers and men can go and can bring back their friends to see the trophies and all the interesting records of the regiment.

 In Kashmir I came across another kind of club.  This was a sort of shed where the old men of the village used to meet in the evenings and tell stories about the tribe and it's history.  Here the younger men collected around to hear the brave deeds of their fathers in battle and in the chase, and so to learn how to become good men in their turn.

 In the Canadian backwoods I have seen log huts put up by hunters and used by themselves or other people coming there for headquarters during their shooting or fishing expeditions.  These huts were built by men themselves and fitted with all the Woodman's clever Dodges such as simple door locks, rough but comfortable furniture, and ornamented with skins and horns that they had secured in the chase, as well as with rough drawings or carved totems.

 That's the sort of club I like best of all.

 Now, a scout's Clubroom is again different from any of these, and yet if it is a good one it has a touch of them all.  If it is to be comfortable, and if it is to be a credit to the troop, it must be kept clean and carried on in an orderly manner so that if not exactly a London Club, at any rate it is not a bear garden.

 Then, like the French Salle D'Honneur, it should have the trophies and records of the troop displayed on its walls, including Rolls of Honor, Records of Prizes and Competitions, Photos of Camps, Flags and Totems, and so on.

 As in the case of the Kashmir village club, the Scouts' Room is a place where young fellows come to hear about the gallant deeds of their forbears and fellow countrymen, and where they pick up the pluck and spirit to do as those men have done.

 The club of which any Scout is proudest is that which he has had a hand in building, or decorating, or furnishing.  I have seen all sorts of Scout Clubs, but by far the best and the most interesting have been those which the boys have made and equipped for themselves, rather than those which have been supplied to them by the generosity of others.


Please remember that this is a historical piece.  The First Aid described in this yarn must not be considered proper First Aid practices for today.

March 29,1919


A Fatal Gunshot Wound

 On another occasion in Zululand, after fighting near a native village, a wounded girl was carried in by one of our native warriors on his back.  We had no doctor with us, so I took charge of the case.  I found that the man’s reason for bringing her in was that she was his niece, otherwise she would have been surely left to die.

 A stray bullet had passed clean through her stomach.  I think that most white women in the circumstances would have been in a state of collapse or fainting.  But not so with this tough Zulu girl.  She knelt up when I told her to, so that I could get at both wounds, where the bullet had entered and where it had gone out; and these I plugged with cotton wool and bound her up with a body bandage.  I laid her by a fire and covered her with some old sacking, since she had no clothes on, and gave her some hot soup and told her uncle to watch by her, and to call me if she wanted any further help.

 It was late at night and the rain was pouring down.  About midnight I roused myself to visit my patient, and I found her lying moaning by the ashes of the fire, while uncle was snoring close by, with her sacking as a blanket for himself!

I went at him rather furiously, in fact, so furiously that he got up and bolted into the darkness and never came back.  So I had to take his place in charge of the girl.

But my help was of little avail, as the poor thing died the next morning.

What To Do With A Case Of Quinsy

 When I was on board ship returning from South America, a fellow passenger recounted to us how he had lately been one of a party travelling over the Andes, and one of their number was suddenly seized with a swelling in the throat-a quinsy-which threatened to suffocate him.

 There wasn’t a doctor present, they were far from help, and no one know exactly what to do.  They had with them a book on first-aid, but it made on mention of quinsy or choking of this kind, and the consequence was that the poor man died.

 The man who told the story wound up by asking us what any one of us would have done in the circumstances.  None of us knew.  So we sent for the doctor of the ship, and he came and gave us a short description of the disease and how it should be dealt with, that is, with hot fomentations of the throat if a slight case, and if it became very dangerous an air passage should be kept open by means of a tube down the throat if possible, or the tonsils lanced, and so on.

 The next day, when I was sitting on deck reading, the doctor ran past, saying:
 "Come along, I have a case of quinsy for you to see."

 And down in the surgery we found one of the firemen almost choking through the swelling up of the glands of his throat.

 While I held a looking-glass so as to reflect a good light into his mouth, the doctor wrapped a piece of clean rag round a lancet till only the point of it was left uncovered, and with it pierced the swollen tonsils, which gave the man immediate relief.

Had it not been for this, I should never have known how to deal with a case had I come across one, as my friend had done on the top of the Andes.

A Fish-hook In The Thumb

 When I was staying at the souse of a friend and was at dinner, after a successful day’s fishing, he was called out of the room to see one of the maids, who, while cutting up a fish, had run her finger on to the fish-hook, so that the point and barb of it were deeply imbedded.

 Fortunately we knew what to do, and pretty quickly cut the fly from the hook and drove it farther forward until it pierced the way out again, when drawing it back was impossible owing to the barb.

 I have performed the same operation on myself when out fishing, and when I had become accidentally caught by my own hook.

 There is no fun whatever in the operation.  It is a nasty, painful one.

What to Aim For in Learning "First Aid."

 Now I have quoted these few instances out of very many in my own experience to show you that it is a most important thing to know about First aid, and how to deal with wounds and injuries of all kinds.

 You are sure some day to meet with cases where people have been injured, and though it is painful to watch their suffering it is far more painful not to be able to help them simply because you don’t know how.

 It is easy to learn if you only put your mind to it, and the chances that you get while a Boy Scout of learning First Aid give you a splendid opportunity, and if you take my advice you won’t neglect it.

 But do not think that because you are smart at your stretcher drill, or are able to tell the difference between a "clavicle" and a "femur" that you are therefore a good first-aider.

 The thing is to know really what is the right thing to be done in the case of each kind of accident, and when you know and have practised the proper methods for all the accidents that are likely to happen, thing of more unlikely ones, such as fish-hooks and quinsies, of torn legs and body wounds when you have no proper bandages or instruments, and practise your methods for dealing with them.

 Don’t forget also that it is a very different thing from binding up another boy on a parade ground when you meet with a case of a badly injured patient, perhaps crying out and groaning, and covered with mud and blood, more like a butcher’s joint than a human being.  But you have got to face all that and to know how to deal with it coolly and calmly, so that you may save him from pain and suffering.  You have to control your own feelings, and must not shrink from playing your part bravely and well.


April 05, 1919


 There was a man named Garnier who wanted to know whether monkeys talked to each other with any meaning when they chatter.  So he went and lived in the jungle for a time and took a gramophone with him.

 This was a recording one which took down what the monkeys said.  He discovered in this way that they used a number of sounds which meant something to them, and there was one word in particular which had a tremendous effect on them. 

 He learnt it himself, and when he mentioned it in the monkey-house at the Zoo it had just the same effect that it had amongst the wild monkeys in the jungle.  The animals went nearly mad with rage.

 Well, there is one word in our language which also, in a similar way, has a very strong effect on anyone who is a gentleman and a man of honour.  It is the word “liar.”

 In the old days if you called a man a liar he would challenge you to a duel with swords or pistols, and would try to kill you for the insult.

 Nowadays duels are forbidden, but still the word rankles just as strongly, and a fellow who cares about his honour, if accused of lying, will knock the man down who says it or will ask him to step outside and have the matter out with fists.

 A Scout, if he is a Scout and keeps his Promise, is a gentleman; that is, he is chivalrous and helpful to others, and is also a man of honour who can be trusted.  So a Scout could not stand being called a liar without putting a stopper upon the man who said it.  This alone is a reason why he needs to know how to box, otherwise he has to take the insult “lying down.”

 I don’t mean that he is therefore to attack or bully people whenever he gets a chance, but it will make other fellows very careful about calling him a liar when they know that to the Scout this is an insult which is likely to bring a thrashing in its train.

 Don’t forget either that just as it is not a word that a Scout likes to hear, so also it is not a word that he should ever use against another fellow without very good cause.

 I remember when I first joined the Army an old officer gave me this advice:
 “Never mention the word lie nor call a man a liar, and never let a man call you one-it is a word or burning disgrace.”


April 12, 1919


 Easter and St. George’s Day always mean to me Spring-the opening of a new year full of enjoyment and of good work to be done.  It is the starting of a new life after the winter, just as the plants burst out into leaf and blossom, and the birds hatch out their young, so the Scouts go forth with new vigour to do their work.

 Spring also brings with it the joys of camping, which is the only true way to enjoy Nature at its best.

 Now that peace is restored, and camping is no longer forbidden, I hope that every Scout will be able to get out into camp; for no Scout is a true Scout till he has lived in camp and knows how to look after himself there.


April 19,1919


       Our Great Day is on us again when every Scout renews his Scout Promise and goes forth like St. George to seek for new adventures in doing good to someone.  He doesn’t mind tackling difficulty or danger in doing it.  If he comes across a very big difficulty, as St. George did when he met the dragon, he doesn’t run away from it, but “goes for” it and tackles it until he overcomes it.

       That was St. George’s way.

       This year St. George’s Day has a bigger meaning than ever it had before for Scouts or ever will again, because it also marks for us the year of Peace after all the upset or war, when we can go ahead again with Scouting on our old lines; that is, instead of having to train ourselves to be good soldiers for fighting and killing our enemies, we can make ourselves into what is much more important, and that is into good, healthy, and skilful citizens.

      But St. George’s Day has also another call for us this year.

      What was one of the biggest jobs that had to be tackled in St. George’s fashion during the war?

      Many and many a time our gallant men went “over the top” to face the greatest possible danger in attacking the enemy’s position, and they succeeded because they stuck to it-in St. George’s way.  But one little point of difference was that they went on foot, while St. George had the extra difficulty of having to manage his horse as well as his weapon.

      I always think that a sailor who has to manage his ship as well as to fight his battle is very like St. George on his horse.

      That splendid attack of our jolly Jack Tars on Zeebrugge and Ostend was for this reason a very St. Georgy performance; don’t you think so?  To save our transports from submarine attacks they attacked these fortresses from the sea, driving their ships right into the dragon’s lair and throwing away their lives that Britain might live.

      And this very gallant action took place on the right day, on St. George’s Day last year.  “Zeebrugge Day”  will therefore always be a great day for our Sea Scouts to remember, and it thus gives them their “Day” on the same day as other Scouts.

      The naval attack on Ostend and Zeebrugge was just like what our forefathers used to do in old days when they sailed their ships into enemy strongholds and “cut our” some of their ships and either destroyed them or brought them away-no matter what the danger was.  At Zeebrugge 1780 officers and men attacked, one in every nine was killed, and one in every four was wounded.

      I have an old picture hanging on my wall of a small sailing gunboat called the Mors aut Gloria, which is the Latin for “Death or Glory.”  She was attached to the frigate H.M.S. Milford, and on November 1st, 1810, she sailed in under fire of a Spanish fortress near Cadiz and attacked a French privateer which had run in there for safety.  She not only captured the privateer but also attacked the fort, which in the end surrendered!

      This action so pleased the Emperor of Austria that he sent a gold snuff-box set with diamonds as a present to the officer who commanded the Death or Glory.  This was Captain W. H. Smyth, who was my grandfather; and I have one of the diamonds and a bit of the gold box with me now!  Captain Smyth was a descendant of the old sea dog, Captain John Smith, who did such splendid St. Georgy things in his time.

      I must tell you all about him one of these days!

      You see, the same spirit had come down from old British sea rovers through the generations down to the present day-from Raleigh and Drake, Hawkins and Greville, through Dampier and Cook, Nelson, and Collingwood to Beatty and Jellicoe, and a host of other gallant seamen.  Sir David Beatty is now in our brotherhood as Chief Sea Scout.


April 26, 1919


 The great conference in Paris is preparing the Peace that is to be made with Germany, and if we don’t have any more fighting that Peace may come soon.

 We Scouts, therefore, ought to Be Preparing for this happy event.

 What about bonfires on the night that Peace is signed?  Well, that is what we propose to do; to light up the whole country-no-more than that, the whole Empire at home and Overseas with big flares on every hill-top.

 The thing is for each troop to look about and choose a spot where its fire can be seen by other troops on other hill-tops.  Then you should get leave to use that spot for your fire.

 In cities, of course, the Scouts will be limited to parks or commons and hills close around.

 Many Scouts helped in making the bonfires throughout the country for the King’s coronation .  These were splendid erections of timber and brushwood, dried gorse and fir trees, paraffin and tar; and they made a splendid blaze.  But now that people have been pouring out their money over the war it is not fair to ask them for subscriptions just to build a fire and be burnt; nor, when coal and fuel are so scarce, is it right to waste any large amount of firewood.

 So our idea is to have Scout “Bon-Flares” instead of bon-fires.  These can Be Prepared beforehand by Scouts and easily moved to the right place, even to the top of mountains, by hand.  They will not destroy the grass in parks, they would cost very little to make, and require no cleaning up afterwards.

 The chief ingredient for them is old rope and plenty of it.  So your first step, after finding a good site for your flare, is for the whole troop, wold cubs and all, to set to work to ask your friends to join in the adventure by each one giving-not money-but any old rope they may have.

 Bonflares are made in various ways by Scouts.  One is to put up two high poles with wires stretched across from one to the other.  On these wires you hang a screen of rope yarns frayed out, and, if possible, dipped in paraffin.  Or you can make a loose straw mat on a camp loom and hang it up, or cotton fluff, or hop vines, bracken, or gorse will do equally well.

 Such a screen when set fire to makes a fine big blaze that can be seen for miles, and yet it doesn’t need much hauling in heavy wagons nor does it burn the turf and do damage to the ground like a bonfire does.


MAY 3, 1919


 Somebody once said that if there was one kind of man in this world who was not likely to go to Heaven it was a gardener; not because gardeners were particularly wicked, but because they has such a good time in this world they could not expect to be equally well off in the next.

 Well-I don’t know, but my feeling is that whatever you may do in the next world you should also try to make your own Heaven in this one.

 That is, if you do your best to help other people, and if you are determined to be content with what you have got and to make the best of things you will be happy and enjoy your life.

But such a lot of fellows are always grousing, always wanting thing they have not got, and hating those who are more lucky than themselves-and so they are always unhappy and make life a Hell instead of a Heaven for themselves.

 A gardener has a good time because, though his is a peaceful occupation yet it gives him lots to do all the year round, and is always to some extent exciting because success or failure of his crop depends on his own doings.

 He takes the little seeds in hand and gently grows them into seedlings, plants them out in carefully prepared ground, and protects and feeds the plants as they grow till they are old enough to look after themselves, and then in their gratitude to him they repay him with all their riches of flower and fruit.

 The gardener is just like a father to his large family and often has the same love for his children that a father has; and so he lives in happiness.

 And he gets to know Nature by knowing his plants and the wonderful laws by which they grow and develop.  He knows the insects that are likely to harm them and those that are good for them.  He knows the different kinds of birds, and which of them help him by destroying insects, and which are his enemies who destroy his crops. So his work is full of interest.

 But then, too, he knows that it is not selfish work.  The fruits and the flowers and vegetables that he manages to grow are all going to help other people to live or to enjoy life, and so he is doing the big thing that brings happiness-a good turn to others.  So you see gardening is true Scouts’ work.


MAY 17, 1919


 I have just been talking to a gallant officer who has lately returned from being a prisoner of war in Germany.  He told me of the awful time he had been through after falling wounded on the battlefield with his thigh smashed.  German Red Cross men came and looked at him but passed him by, partly because he was not a German and partly because they thought he was a “goner.”

 After they had left him for many hours, and then found he was still alive, they carried him, slung on a pole, to their hospital.  Here he was pretty bad, and a German clergyman came to visit him; but instead of giving him much comfort he only told him what fools the British were to try to f8ight against such a noble and splendid country as Germany.

 This riled my friend to such an extent that he roused himself out of his weakness and told the parson what he thought of the German brutes and their blustering Kaiser, and how the allies would beat them in the end. 

 This sent the priest out of the ward in a huff, but though it lost him the priest’s consolation it put new spirit into the wounded man, and he felt determined to live.  So, when the doctor came his rounds he begged him to cut off his wounded leg, which he felt was otherwise going to kill him.

 The doctor said no, he must try to bear it a little longer.  But my friend insisted so warmly that in the end the doctor put him under chloroform and cut his leg off.

 The next day the sick man was so relieved and so ravenous that he ate a whole tin of sardines that a neighbour in hospital had offered him.

 When the doctor cane round he could not help showing his astonishment for, as he then confessed, he had expected the man to die if not before the operation at any rate after it, and here he was alive and gobbling down sardines!

 It was his pluck and “never-say-die-till-you’re-dead” spirit that saved him.

 He confessed that in the long, weary months of illness and pain as a prisoner his spirits sometimes got very low, in spite of the pluck that was in him.  But one day they were suddenly roused within him because he heard bugles outside in the street, and looking out there he saw a big troop of Boy Scouts marching along, hats and staves and bare knees and all!

 He thought for the moment that he was back in England.  They were, after all, German Boy Scouts, but the sight of them had roused him up to think of home and what the Boy Scouts were doing-and in the end he got back his health and strength. 


MAY 24, 1919


 In Liverpool-when on my way to Canada-I have been delighted to see a very large number, not only of boys, but of young men in the streets, wearing the Scouts’ buttonhole badge.

 It is becoming quite the swagger thing to wear now, and it does make it jolly for Scouts to meet each other at every turn and to recognise each other as friends where otherwise they would have passed without knowing it.

 Talking of Scouts meeting at every turn I heard of a curious case the other day.

 A Scoutmaster, who was fighting at the Front, came round the corner of the ruined tower in Ypres and met a young soldier face to face whom he seemed to know.

 He said:
       “You are not Scout D---, are you?”
       “Yes, sir, I am.”
       “But you’re only fifteen.  How do you come to be in the Army?”
       “Oh!  I thought I must help to give the country a leg up!”

 Not bad, was it, for a youngster!

 But to go back to Scout Badges.

 A lady who had won the Scot badge of thanks for doing many good turns to the troops near her home told me that one day lately she was away in a distant part of the country when a boy came up to her and asked it there was anything he could do for her.

 He was a Scout, and with Scout eyes he had noticed the thanks Badge that she was wearing, and very rightly did his duty and offered his services.  She didn’t need them, but I can tell you she was pleased and thinks more of the Scouts now than she ever did before-just thanks to this one Scout behaving as such.

 Always keep your eyes open for Scout badges when you are out-then you will never miss seeing a friend.


MAY 31, 1919


 Some fellows complain of the difficulty of buying tents just now.  My advice is, don’t buy one-make it yourself.  Your own homemade tent is forty times better than the one you buy.

 Here is one which is very simple and inexpensive to construct, it is an easy one to carry, it is easy to pitch, and a delightful one to live in.  It is the “lumberman’s tent,” since it is like the shelters used by lumbermen in the backwoods.

 If you can afford it, “yacht silk” is the best material, being very thin, light, and strong, so that when rolled up you can put the tent in your pocket (if your pocket is big enough!); otherwise use the duck sold by Headquarters at 2s. 6d. per yard, postage extra.

 Anyway, you want fourteen yards of stuff about 30 in. wide.  You cut three strips 10 ft. 3 in. long.  These stitched together, side to side, make the roof and front flap of the tent 7 ft. wide and 4 ft. deep (as shown in the sketch).

 You make a hem 2 in. wide along the back ground edge, with “grummets,” or metal-bound holes, for rope-loops for fastening it to pegs.  And you sew a stout cord or ¾ inch rope across the sheet at 4 ft. from the flap end to form the ridge rope.

Then you cut off a strip 8 ft. 10 in. long and double it over.  On one edge mark a point 2 ft.  2 ½ in. from the doubled end.  On the other edge mark a point 4 ft. 2 ½ in. from the doubled end.  

 Draw a line joining these two points and cut the double strip along this line, and cut the strip in half at the fold (see small left-hand sketch).

 Sew a long and a short piece together and stitch them on to form the side of the whole tent.  

 It will save you many mistakes if you make a model of the tent in paper as a first step before doing it in linen.  You will then see exactly how it goes.

 If you cut out this pattern as a first step and fold and set it up it will give you a good full-sized tent for a man.  They might well be made a foot smaller all round for a Scout’s tent.

 The front flap can either be made into a veranda with  a couple of sticks, or thrown over the roof to give better protection from sun, or can be let down as a curtain in front to keep out the rain.


JUNE 14, 1919


 I was asked once to give my advice to some Scouts as to what they could do to make themselves successful men.  So I told them this:

 “Work hard and play hard!”

 Lots of boys think themselves too poor to play hard and too tired to work hard; so, instead, they loaf hard, and smoke hard, and spit hard.

 But remember this:  however poor you may be and however feeble, you can generally make yourself better off by going and having a good game and then working a bit harder than before.

 You must be in a bad way if you cannot truthfully say to yourself:

 “Well, it might be worse.  Thank god, I am, at any rate, not a cripple, nor blind.  I’ve at least got legs to run with, and hands to work with.  I’ll have another try!”

 As a Scout, you have a better chance of getting play and of getting work, and that is why Scouts generally go ahead and succeed so well when other boys fail.

 They act up to their mottoes of:

      “Do your best.”
      “Try again.”
      “When in a difficulty, smile and whistle.”
      “Stick to it.”
      “Never say die till you’re dead.”


JUNE 28, 1919


 During my voyage to America, I told you that I met a number of Canadian ex-Scouts.  They had some pretty weird tales to tell of their fighting experiences.

 One, a small, tough-looking little colonel was in his dug-out with about a dozen men forming his staff, including that very important functionary-the mess cook.  A call came through on the ‘phone to say:  “Perhaps you don’t know it, but a force of Germans is coming along to attack your dug-out.”

 This was rather startling news, but before the colonel could ask whether it was true the sentry rushed in and reported the enemy already in the trench and only a few yards from the door.

 The colonel called to his men and rushed to meet the Huns.  Finding the trench crowded with them he sprang up on the parapet.  He was shot at by the nearest men as he did so, but fortunately they missed their aim and the next second the little colonel was hurling bombs among them as fast and as strongly as a windmill in a tearing breeze.  He was joined by his gallant men, and the Bosches, crowded together in the trench, some trying to run back and those behind wanting to press forward, fell an easy prey to these dashing Canadians.  

      But the thing that made them turn and run for their life
      Was the cook with a gory great ham-cutting knife!
      And there wasn’t a Hun who survived to get back
      To tell of their “wunderbar-tapfer” attack.

 The numbers in this little show were about twelve Canadians to about one hundred Germans.

 That gives you some idea of the stuff our Canadian brothers are made of.


September 27, 1919


Football is evidently the most attractive game in the world, because of the enormous crowds that go to look on at it. But looking on is no fun at all compared to playing in the game yourself. I hate to look at someone else doing what I feel I ought to be doing myself, and I hope that is how football will strike every Scout - namely, that it is meant to be played, not to be looked at.

Personally, I like polo best of all, because, although it is like football or hockey, yet you have the additional excitement and fun of riding a horse, and making him play the game with you.

At the same time, football is a ripping good game, as you have many more of your pals playing with you. In polo there are only four a side - in football, you can have eleven or fifteen.

As a boy I tried most games - cricket and rackets, boating and fives, swimming and paper chases, but football was the one that I liked best of all. I think I liked it because although you got some pretty hard knocks, and you played yourself out, you did it for the honour and glory of your side, rather than for the honour and glory of yourself.

That is just where I think the Scouts find the joy in Scouting. They are making a name for their Patrole ( that is, for their side ) rather than for themselves, and when they carry on a game or work or war in that spirit, they are not only bound to be successful, but they are bound to enjoy it ever so much more than if they were trying to win glory for themselves.



October 04, 1919


An old Scout who is now a non-commissioned officer belonging to the 7th Indian Division Signal Company, and stationed in Syria, has sent me a most interesting account of how the Scout principles have penetrated to the Land of the Pharaohs. His yarn - here it is - is very characteristic and very gratifying. 

I know from personal experience what a hold the system of baksheesh (or tipping as we call it) has on the natives of the country. 

"While travelling between Cairo and Kantara (writes my correspondent), I witnessed the following incident: 

"A few minutes before my train was due to start, an Englishwoman who had been unable to procure a ticket, having arrived rather late, was intending to board the train without one, when she was informed by the railway official that if she persisted, she would have to pay double fare at the next station. 

"A boy standing near, who had evidently overheard the conversation, offered to go and procure the ticket. 

"The Englishwoman gave him the money, and he returned with the ticket, whereupon he was offered the customary baksheesh, which to the surprise of everybody he refused to accept. 

"Pressed to explain why, he said simply and unaffectedly: 

"Because I am a Scout, and therefore I cannot take it."

"The above incident shows the enormous influence for good which the Scout Movement is capable of exerting, even the conservative East.

"In this case, at any rate, it has struck at the root of the evil, the ‘something for nothing’ attitude that has done more to retard the progress of Egypt than all the centuries of Turkish oppression, i.e., ‘Because I am a Scout’.

"To one who knows the East well, the refusal of baksheesh shows a character far above the ordinary - it is, in fact, the foundation of a higher existence so different from that of the disreputable little boys who scream ‘baksheesh’ at every passer by."



October 11, 1919


Doing is better than talking, making is better than reading.

Model making has often been the means of fortune making by young inventors, and I would strongly recommend any Scout with the airman germ in his blood to start his career by first of all making a small model, and later a larger model of the machine in which he is later on going to win happiness and success.

The very best way of all for learning about the parts of the aeroplane and its rigging, etc., is to make a model aeroplane for yourself. The action of the engine can, of course, only be imitated by elastic. But the actual form of the body, planes, wings, etc., can be accurately made to scale by any Scout with gumption and stiction - that means using his wits, fingers, and patience. 


I am awfully glad to hear from Australia that Admiral Lord Jellicoe has been inspecting the Sea Scouts in Adelaide (South Australia) as well as those in Sydney (New South Wales).

A good judge of what they should be writes:

"The boys were well turned out, smart in appearance, and very steady on parade."

Lord Jellicoe himself evidently thought well of them, too, because he spent a long time in inspecting them and gave them some excellent advice in a cheery and friendly speech he made to them afterwards.

He believes in the Scouts, and especially in the Sea Scouts, particularly after what they did in the war.



October 18, 1919


Major A. G. Wade, who is organising the great Jamboree next year, tells Rovers what they can do to help make it a huge success. 


Recently I wrote to the "Lone" Scouts, this week I write to you; the "Lone" Scouts are the outside edge of the brotherhood and you are the hub.

Later on, I shall write to the Troops; they are the structure of the whole Movement, and from their results its strength can only be judged.

If the Troops are really good, there will be a long waiting list of boys anxious to join. Some of these boys we have made "Lone" Scouts; if they are keen and efficient, we shall know that Scouting is popular.

You Rovers are the finish, the final result of Scout training; if you are good, we shall know that the system is sound, and it is on this principle that I have built the Jamboree Programme.

The "Lone" Scouts will show the public that Scouting is popular, and that boys outside the Movement want it, in fact, are howling to it.

The Rover Scouts will demonstrate what they have learnt.

The Troops, the foundation and the structure of the whole, will show the actual training from Tenderfoot to King’s Scout.

Now for your programme-I want you Rovers to demonstrate the rendering of public service, and in your show put that spirit of self-sacrifice such as your fathers and brothers before you showed in the Great War, when they fought to determine which should rule the world, "Christ or Nietzsche"-"Right or Might." And take for your motto if you like: "I believe in my own dear country."

Before I write any more let me tell you that I am working with Colonel Ulick de Burgh, C.B. your "Rover Chief"; he is, of course, on the Jamboree Committee. He has suggested, and I heartily agree, that you should be asked to make your own programme, so will you please send him at once suggestions for a Rover Display, illustrating in the form of a story the rendering of public service, such as Fire-fighting, Life-saving, Dispatch-carrying, Police Duties, etc. And, of course, a Rover Den must be built.

Don’t stint the paint or the soap; remember that the Boy Scout Jamboree of 1920 is to be the biggest and the best thing that boys have ever shown.

From all centres I hear that you young sailors and soldiers are returning from the scenes of your triumphs and finding your way back to your old clubrooms. I congratulate you and wish you the best of Scouting.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed) A.G. Wade



October 25, 1919


On the moors in Yorkshire, near Kildale, there broke out a great fire one hot day in June. The heather was dry as tinder after the long drought, and a fresh breeze that was blowing quietly fanned the fire into a vast blaze that spread itself across the downs.

Men hurried to the spot and endeavoured to beat down the rushing flames, but soon they got disheartened as the fire drove them back, and some of them trudged off home saying that nothing could be done.

As they went, they met a troop of Boy Scouts hurrying to the scene, led by a lady Scoutmaster. These Scouts were not the sort to give in without a try, even though the men had turned away. In a few minutes they were fighting the flames valiantly with gorse bushes, and sticks and sacks.

Their Scoutmaster, observing the line that the fire was taking, saw that a little stream ran across its path. So here she posted her Scouts on a line nearly a mile long, and told them to let the fire come up to the bank of the stream but to beat out every attempt it made to cross the stream.

Gallantly the boys stuck to their posts, and though the flames roared up several feet into the air and the smoke and hear were suffocating, these lads kept working their hardest to check the further spread. Fortunately, when they were nearly getting driven back, a heavy shower of rain came down an for a minute made the fire die down a bit.

Then the boys redoubled their efforts, and instead of merely defending the bank of the stream they charged forward across it and beat down the fire on its own bank. 

Sometimes they were nearly surrounded by the flames, but they always fought on courageously. 

Gradually, and at last, they gained the upper hand; the fire grew less and less, and after a few more spurts was finally suppressed, and the neighbouring moor was saved. The Scouts had stuck to it successfully!

This is what the Superintendent of the County Police reported:
"The Scoutmaster and Scouts of the Guisborough Troop rendered most valuable assistance in preventing the fire from spreading on to the adjoining moors. They all worked hard and untiringly, with a high sense of duty, which is very creditable to themselves and to the Scoutmaster, Miss Chaloner." 
And this is what one of the men there said of them:
"Talk about the Scouts! Why, they were just splendid and worked like men. If it had not been for them I don’t know where we should have been." 
And this is what I said to them:

               "Well done, Scouts of Guisborough! Here is a Certificate of Merit for the Troop."



November 1, 1919


That is my everlasting call to you Scouts. Make yourselves efficient so as to be ready at any moment to do duty for your country.

Scouts were prepared when war broke out, although up till within a day or two of the outbreak war had not been thought of. Still the Scouts were trained and ready.

Now that the war is over, many Scouts will have thought that there is no use to go on keeping up to the mark, as war is not likely to happen again.

But we are not training to be soldiers; we are training to be all-round useful men for our country.

And this last month the opportunity came suddenly for Scouts to do service again. The railway strike threatened to bring distress and starvation on thousands of poor people, especially the women and children. Trains had to be run in order to save them-and these women and children were in many cases the wives and families of the strikers themselves.

The Scouts promptly volunteered to come and help the authorities to get them fed. It was not a case of strike breaking, but of preventing distress for innocent people. And right well they did it; they took on every kind of work, and by night just as much as by day the Scouts stuck to it and did their job whether anybody was there to see them or not.

I have had dozens of letters praising their behaviour and thanking them for their help. 

Once again I have to say: "Well done, Scouts!" and "Keep yourselves ready and efficient, for you never know when you may be wanted again. Be Prepared."



November 8,1919


At the Jamboree next August, there will be a theatre where troops can give performances of theatricals, concerts, and entertainments on the stage.

What about it, you Scouts who have won the Entertainer’s Badge? Here’s a big chance for you to show what you can do.

A lot of you have been practising clown stunts on the lines of what I wrote in The Scout a few months back; you have got all the winter before you for practising these; why not do so and make a really good troupe for the display?

You know-a hundred years ago, or getting on that way, I used to do a lot of Entertainer’s Badge work myself.

Comic songs? Well, it doesn’t matter whether your voice is so very musical so long as you get out your words clearly and distinctly-that is where you get your success.

You can stand still and never make a grimace and yet the audience will yell with laughter if the words are good and if you make them heard.

Speak to the fellows in the back row of all and be sure that they hear every word you say.

So very many beginners drop their voice at the last word or two of a verse or sentence-and it is generally those words that give the whole joke, and so it is lost to the audience.

It is not a bad practice-and I have used it myself-to get a pal to sit in the back row or topmost gallery and directly he can’t hear what you say he waves a white handkerchief. It serves as a useful hint to you, and you soon learn how to make your voice penetrate all over the theatre.

Play acting is very good fun-and besides speaking clearly the great step to success is to play your part as naturally as you possibly can, just as if you were not in front of a lot of other people but actually doing the things that you are pretending to do. (I needen’t half talk! I was once acting on the stage, and pretending to be asleep-and I really fell asleep and had to be roused up to go on with my part!)

Conjuring? Yes, I’ve done a bit of that, too, but in my experience I found that the simplest tricks went down better than the most carefully apparatused ones.

But all tricks, whether simple or not, should be most carefully rehearsed over and over again, as the slightest mistake will make you look a fool. It is, of course, quite another matter if you make what looks like a mistake and yet bring off the trick successfully all the same. In that way you take in your audience and they are all the more amused in the end.

I once performed a trick where I covered a lady with a black cloth, and informed the audience that before they could count thirty she would have disappeared.

I counted aloud up to twenty, and there she sat motionless in her chair. On and on I counted, purposely looking more and more anxious and counting more and more slowly till we got nearly to thirty, and then I came forward and apologised and said that they must excuse me, as I was only a beginner.

Everybody, of course, felt very sorry for me, and I went back to the lady and whipped off the covering and there stood a donkey!

Well, go ahead, Scouts. Get up good, new and original entertainments now, during the winter evenings. Give a show to amuse your friends, or to make money for your troop funds, and then repeat it again for the Jamboree in the summer.



November 15, 1919


Over sixty troops camped at our camp ground at Gillwell Park, near Chingford, in the months of August and September.

I am glad to hear that lots of troops and patrols mean to go on having week-end camps there through the winter. The couldn’t do better.

Scouts would be awful "mothers’ darlings" if they only went into camp on hot sunny days. No, Scouts like to take the rough with the smooth, and the rough at Gillwell is not so very bad, for if the worst comes to the worst there is lots of room in the house for a whole troop to bed down out of the wet, and there is any amount of firewood!

Some fellows seem to think that because Gillwell Park is called a camp of "woodcraft" that therefore they would be expected to dress up in feathers and fringes and paint their faces red with black streaks like Red Indians. But this is not the case.

I don’t know why the word woodcraft has come to be mixed up with the Red Indian idea, but it really means camping in the Scouts’ or Backwoodsmen’s way, not merely living in a canvas town like soldiers.

At Gillwell Park the camps-there are eight of them-are among trees and beautiful surroundings close against Epping Forest with its endless woodlands for Scouting games. It is near to London, and yet here a troop or a patrol (for there are patrol camp grounds, too) can enjoy real backwoods camping and life in the wild among the forest trees and birds.

I hope I shall meet tons of Scouts enjoying their week-ends there this winter.

Write for particulars to Captain Gidney, the Camp Chief, at Gillwell Park, Chingford.



November 22, 1919


Here are the long winter evenings coming on when many a boy doesn’t know what to do with his time.

The Scout has lots to do in working up for his badges; but also now is the time for making things. This winter especially there will be a great making of things-ready for the Jamboree next August.

Fellows who want to get to the Jamboree from a distance will have to earn the money for the journey, so they will be making things to sell; and then, fellows who want to show what Scouts can do will be making things for the exhibition.

One part of the building at Olympia will be set apart for showing things that have been made by Scouts.

Also it is very enjoyable to make things that you can give away as presents.

There are such loads of things that Scouts can make, that it is hard to suggest where to begin. One troop is already making Red Indian firesticks; toys for children can be easily made and fetch good prices if you want to sell them. And there are any amount of other good ideas which you can adopt.

For Scouts who live in the country, or who do the right thing and take week-end hikes into the country, there is stick-making. Now that winter is coming on, and the sap is not running up into the wood, is the right time for cutting and seasoning walking-sticks; and as the leaves come off the bushes it is more easy to find the likely plants.

In addition to the ordinary walking-sticks, a new kind of stick has cone on into fashion, and that is the thumb-stick. This is the stick that Rovers are entitled to carry instead of a staff-so lost of fellows will be on the look-out for them. But also other people outside the Scouts have taken a fancy to this kind of stick, and you can sell a good one now for two or three shillings. So here is a good opening for Scouts. The best wood for the purpose is hazel or ash.


You will have considerable fun in finding a suitable plant. You may go a long way before you can find a suitable one, or you may be lucky, as I was the other day, and find half a dozen in one bush.

You want a nice, even-growing stick, not so thick as to be heavy, and not so thin as to be whippy and bendable. About ¾-inch thick, that is about 2 ½ to 3 inches round. It should be from 4 ft. to 4 ft. 2 in. long, branching into two at the top, giving a comfortably wide fork for your thumb to rest in. (That’s why it is called a "thumb-stick"-you carry it as my sketch shows.)

You leave the natural bark on, and trim off all rough knobs and twigs with a sharp knife-(not a knife but a sharp knife!)

If the stick is not exactly straight all the way down, you stew it till it is soft and pliable, and then bend it at the proper points till you get it quite straight.

This is the way I stew mine:

I start with an old iron water-pipe about 6 ft. long closed up at one end with a block of wood, metal, or concrete. The pipe is then filled with wet sand, laid on bricks in a little trench, and warmed up with fires or lamps at different points underneath it.

The stick is thrust into this(you can put in several together) and left to boil.


If you are in the neighbourhood of a workshop where they have a steaming-box you can, of course, carry out the process there. The thing is to get the wood into an indiarubbery state, so that you can bend it in any direction.

Then I have an old bench with a small hole cut through the seat of it. I thrust the stick through this hole and bend it at the points where required until it is perfectly straight.

It is then lashed to a straight pole, or with other sticks in a bundle firmly bound up with yards of tape, or hung up with heavy weight at foot, and left for a few weeks to thoroughly dry and season itself.

All knobs and rough bits should be carefully trimmed with a sharp knife and sand papered until quite smooth to the touch.

The whole thing can then be decorated as your fancy dictates, and varnished over.



NOVEMBER 29, 1919


Once more I’ve been asked: "But what is a Jamboree?"

Well-I can only say as I said before, I believe the word must be made up of several others.

There is Jam, for instance. Jam is a nice lot of things mixed up together, so is a Jamboree-and when a thing is good there is a regular "jam" of people to see and enjoy it.

Bore? Well, if it’s a good show it won’t bore you; but you won’t be able to resist going there often, so the cost will bore a hole in your pocket; so Be Prepared and save up for it in good time.

Bore may come from the word Boreas which means a roaring whirlwind-and the Jamboree will be a whirl of enjoyment.

A corrobboree is a joyous festival among Australian aborigines, just as a jubilee is a jollification among other folk.

And a Jamboree is a Scouting mix-up of all these good things. It will take place at Olympia in London for a week during the August Bank Holiday next year and every Scout will, I hope, be there to enjoy the fun.


A north-country Scoutmaster has sent me particulars of a jolly good Jamboree sideshow which any troop can arrange.

"We caused great fun at our County Jamboree, as a result of which several of the spectators now have to order ‘a size larger round the waist please,’ owing to the fattening propensities of the laughter that we caused.

"The responsibility lies with our jazz band. This is how we made our instruments:

"Boxrooms were rummaged, outhouses were stormed, and kitchens were spied into in search of old kettles, coffee-pots, watering cans, gramophone horns, and such like that were of no further use for the purpose for which they were made.

"Having found sufficient, we now bought an equal number of musical kazoos-otherwise known as musical submarines.

"Now we enlisted the help of two of our Big Brother Boy Scout Handymen (who soldered these into the spouts of the articles we had collected.) Next we cleaned them up and painted them to make them look a bit more presentable, and with the aid of two pairs of pan-lid cymbals, two lading-pot side-drums, three bent iron triangles, and a cheesebox bass drum, we had a band that, playing popular airs, acted as a Pied Piper to every small boy within earshot, and helped to make our Jamboree the huge success that it was.

"It cost us twelve shillings, gave us weeks of enjoyment making and practising, and is still in pickle ready for the next musical feast.

"I would recommend any troop to form a jazz band for its next entertainment."



December 06


"No - we want to do this duty in our own Scout uniform and to do it in our capacity as Scouts."

This was the reply give by some Rovers the other day when they were invited to join the Police as Special Constables. They had offered their services as "Emergency Men" to help the Police.

The Police were glad to get them, but suggested they might like to come in as Special Constables.

But the Rovers wanted to do it as Rovers, and nothing else; and in the end the Police were glad to get their help.

I am very pleased to see that the hints which I gave so little time ago have been followed in many places by Rover Patroles, who are now taking up the duties of Emergency Corps.

In some cases, especially in small towns and villages, they are doing it on their own; in others they are working in conjunction with Police and Fire Brigade.

By "Emergency Corps" I mean a body of young men ready to turn out in any emergency to help to deal with accidents or trouble of any kind.

They have to know how to deal with such accidents as a house or clothes on fire, and how to rescue people or animals, horses, etc.; how to deal with explosions of boilers, gas, or bombs, etc.; or gas accidents in sewers or mines; how to act in case of railway accidents, fallen aeroplanes, balloons, etc.; how to help in the case of shipwrecks, floods, and so on; how to rescue people in danger from savage animals, and how to deal with savage bulls, mad dogs, escaped lions, runaway horses, etc. They should learn about and understand the right steps to take in cases of murders or suicides with a view to prevention, rescue, or rendering first-aid.

All these dangers are greatly diminished where there are a few trained men on the spot able to deal with them; and for Rover Scouts it offers a splendid opportunity for being of real service to the community, besides giving them very interesting and often exciting work to practice.



December 13, 1919


This Christmas will be different from those of the past five years because the war is over and we are at peace once more. So it ought to be the merry Christmas that it once used to be.

But though we are at peace with our late enemies, we are hardly at peace among ourselves yet, and that is a great pity. There are quarrels and strikes going on which do very little good to anybody, and do a great deal of harm to people who have nothing whatever to do with the question.

You, Scouts, can do a great deal by showing the example to others of not being selfish. When you want a thing badly, think of other people at the same time, and, if they want it, too, share it with them, You will be all the happier for it afterwards.

"Peace and Goodwill among men" is the motto for Christmas. It is what Christ preached.

All you Scouts who are Christians, that is, who try to carry out what Christ taught, can do it in the best possible way by practising goodwill and kindness towards others.

Other religions which are not Christian, such as the Jewish, Mahommedan, and others, all recognise Christ as having been a good teacher above all others. So you Scouts who belong to these faiths can, without being false to your creed, join in following out the same idea by sinking personal feelings and by practising goodwill and kindness and peace towards others.

Do your best, Scouts, to make it a happier and more kindly world.


"A Happy Christmas to you," that is what I wish for every Scout.

But don’t forget that it is up to yourself to make it happy for yourself, because the greatest happiness comes when you know that you have done your best to make somebody else happy.

So, if you really want to enjoy Christmas, think out some Good Turn to do and do it, and your Christmas will be twice as jolly.



December 20, 1919


I suggested the other day: Why not do more Winter Camping? Fellows who are not old hands at camping seem to think that you can only camp in fine weather. All rot! Of course, you can camp in all weathers, and, what is more, when once you are accustomed to it, you can enjoy it.

I suggested, why not go to Gillwell Park for week-end camps in the winter? We have a hut there for camping in if the weather is really too bad for tents-and, of course, there is always the house if the worst comes to the very worst.

But there is a new attraction at Gillwell Park now-a sewing machine!

This is for the use of Scouts who want to make their own tents. And let me tell you a tent that you make yourself is forty times more interesting and enjoyable than one that you have only bought or hired. There are at Gillwell Park models of different kinds of tents, and you can make your own design, and then, under expert advice, you can cut out the canvas and stitch it together, and so have a portable home of your very own in the course of a few hours.

Think of next summer and Be Prepared for it by having a tent all ready. If you make a second tent, you could probably sell it and earn the cost of your outing to the Jamboree, or you could exhibit it at that show if you want to.

There is a lot of good canvas to be got at Scout Headquarters very cheaply. Send to the Quartermaster, 25, Buckingham Palace Road, London, S.W. 1, for full particulars. 

If you want to make your own tent and cannot manage the trip to Gillwell Park, write to the Editor of THE SCOUT for details of some suitable designs.



December 27, 1919


How to spend Christmas week in the best way?

Well, there’s only one way that I know of - for real enjoyment - and that is in camp.

Of course, it is right and well to be with your family for Christmas Day, Church and festivities, but for the rest of the week, camp is the thing.

Cold? Of course, it will be cold in the northern countries, but in the "down under" lands it will be boiling hot. And what of it? Be Prepared for it and you will enjoy the outing just the same.

I’ve tried both, so I know. Both in South Africa and on the West Coast of Africa I have sweltered through several blazing Christmas Days, and I’ve done the same in deep snow and icy blizzards in Afghanistan. And what is more I enjoyed them, but of the two I preferred the cold, for there at least you can make yourself warm.

I’ll give you just one little tip that is worth knowing for that purpose. If you build a little wall of bricks, or turf, two to three feet high, close round the bottom of your tent, it will make a wonderful difference to the warmth inside. Of course, a double roof helps.

A big tent can be kept comparatively warm by having a hot water boiler in it which gives off heat all round like a radiator. You can’t keep warm if your feet are damp, don’t forget that.

If you are lucky enough to have snow while you are in camp, you can have grand opportunities for tracking and can thereby learn a lot about what animals and birds are in the neighbourhood, or you can have great tracking chases and games among your pals.

A good walking tour or hike is another ripping form of healthy enjoyment at Christmastide. By going from village to village you can probably find in the local Scouts ready-made friends and hosts willing to receive and help you.

In the railway stations, on Smith’s Book-stalls, and in the village post-office, the addresses of the local Scout troops are in many cases put up so that strange Scouts passing through may know where to find them.