The Library of Work and Play
OUTDOOR SPORTS AND GAMES
CLAUDE H. MILLER, PH.B.
Garden City New York Doubleday, Page & Company
The human body a perfect machine—How to keep well—Outdoor sleeping—Exercise and play—Smoking—Walking.
II. The Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters—Purpose—Scout Law—How to form a patrol of Scouts—Organization of a troop—Practical activities for Scouts—A Scout camp—Model Programme of Sir R.S.S. Baden-Powell Scout camp.
III. Camps and Camping
How to select the best place to pitch a tent—A brush bed—The best kind of a tent—How to make the camp fire—What to do when it rains—Fresh air and good food—The brush leanto and how to make it.
IV. Camp Cooking
How to make the camp fire range—Bread bakers—Cooking utensils—The grub list—Simple camp recipes.
The use of an axe and hatchet—Best woods for special purposes—What to do when you are lost—Nature's compasses.
VI. Use of Fire-arms
Importance of early training—Why a gun is better than a rifle—How to become a good shot.
Proper tackle for all purposes—How to catch bait—The fly fisherman—General fishing rules.
VIII. Nature Study
What is a true naturalist?—How to start a collection—Moth collecting—The herbarium.
IX. Water Life
The water telescope—How to manage an aquarium—Our insect friends and enemies—The observation beehive.
X. The Care of Pets
Cats—Boxes for song birds—How to attract the birds—Tame crows—The pigeon fancier—Ornamental land and water fowl—Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice—How to build coops—General rules for the care of pets—The dog.
XI. The Care of Chickens
The best breed—Good and bad points of incubators—What to feed small chicks—A model chicken house.
XII. Winter Sports
What to wear—Skating—Skiing—Snowshoeing—Hockey.
How to become a good rider—The care of horses—Saddles.
XIV. How to Swim and to Canoe
The racing strokes—Paddling and sailing canoes.
How to organize a team and to select the players—The various positions—Curve pitching.
XVI. How to Play Football
The various positions and how to select men for them—Team work and signals—The rules.
XVII. Lawn Tennis
How to make and mark a court—Clay and sod courts—The proper grip of the racket—Golf—The strokes and equipment.
The selection of a camera—Snapshots vs. real pictures—How to make a photograph from start to finish.
XIX. Outdoor Sports for Girls
What to wear—Confidence—Horseback riding—Tennis—Golf—Camping.
XX. One Hundred Outdoor Games
A Boy's Camp
A Child's May-day Party
Fishing is the One Sport of Our Childhood that Holds Our Interest Through Life
The Moth Collector and His Outfit
The Exciting Sport of Ski-running
Swimming is One of the Best Outdoor Sports
In Canoeing Against the Current in Swift Streams a Pole is Used in Place of the Paddle
Photographs of Tennis Strokes Taken in Actual Play
How an Expert Plays Golf
The human body a perfect machine—How to keep well—Outdoor sleeping—Exercise and play—Smoking—Walking
Suppose you should wake up Christmas morning and find yourself to be the owner of a bicycle. It is a brand-new wheel and everything is in perfect working order. The bearings are well oiled, the nickel is bright and shiny and it is all tuned up and ready for use. If you are a careful, sensible boy you can have fun with it for a long time until finally, like the "One Hoss Shay" in the poem, it wears out and goes to pieces all at once. On the other hand, if you are careless or indifferent or lazy you may allow the machine to get out of order or to become rusty from disuse, or perhaps when a nut works loose you neglect it and have a breakdown on the road, or you may forget to oil the bearings and in a short time they begin to squeak and wear. If you are another kind of a boy, you may be careful enough about oiling and cleaning the wheel, but you may also be reckless and head—strong and will jump over curbstones and gutters or ride it over rough roads at a dangerous rate of speed, and in this way shorten its life by abuse just as the careless boy may by neglect.
It is just so with the human body which, after all, is a machine too, and, more than that, it is the most wonderful and perfect machine in the world. With care it should last many years. With abuse or neglect it may very soon wear out. The boy who neglects his health is like the boy who allows the bearings on his wheel to become dry or the metal parts rusty. The chief difference is that when the bicycle wears out or breaks down we may replace the parts or even buy another machine, but when our health is injured, money will not restore it.
In order to keep well we must observe certain rules of health. By exercise we keep the working parts in good order. If we are lazy or indolent we are like the bicycle that is allowed to go to pieces from lack of use. If we are reckless and foolhardy we may injure some part of the delicate machinery from excessive exercise or strain.
Play is the most natural thing in the world but we must use judgment in our play. A boy or girl who is not allowed to play or who is restrained by too anxious parents is unhappy indeed. Nearly all animals play. We know, for instance, that puppies, kittens, and lambs are playful. It is a perfectly natural instinct. By proper play we build up our bodies and train our minds. The healthy man never gets too old to play. He may not care to play marbles or roll hoops, but he will find his pleasure in some game or sport like tennis, golf, horseback riding, camping, fishing or hunting.
In this book we shall talk about some forms of play and recreation that are not strictly confined to children, but which we may still enjoy even after we have become grown men and women. We shall also talk about some children's games that some of the older readers may have outgrown. While we play we keep our minds occupied by the sport, and at the same time we exercise our muscles and feed our lungs and our bodies with oxygen.
It is unfortunate that in school or college athletics those who need exercise the most are often those who are physically unfitted to play on the school teams. In other words, we select our runners and jumpers and football players from among the stronger boys, while the weaker ones really need the benefit of the sport. Every boy should take part in school games when possible even if he is not as swift or as strong as some other boys.
It is very unmanly of one boy to make fun of another because he is weak or clumsy or unskilful. After all, the thing that counts and the thing that is most creditable is to make the most of our opportunities whatever they may be. If an undersized or timid boy becomes stronger or more brave because he joins in games and sports, he deserves a hundred times more credit than the big, strong boy whom nature has given a sturdy frame and good lungs and who makes a place on the school team without any real effort.
If we live a natural, open-air life we shall have but little need of doctors or medicine. Many of our grandmothers' notions on how to keep well have changed in recent years. Old-fashioned remedies made from roots and herbs have been almost completely replaced by better habits of life and common-sense ideas. We used to believe that night air was largely responsible for fevers and colds. Doctors now say that one of the surest ways to keep well is to live and sleep in the open air. In many modern houses the whole family is provided with outside sleeping porches with absolutely no protection from the outside air but the roof. I have followed the practice of sleeping in the open air for some time, and in midwinter without discomfort have had the temperature of my sleeping porch fall to six degrees below zero. Of course it is foolish for any one to sleep exposed to rain or snow or to think that there is any benefit to be derived from being cold or uncomfortable. The whole idea of open-air sleeping is to breathe pure, fresh air in place of the atmosphere of a house which, under the best conditions, is full of dust and germs. If we become outdoor sleepers, coughs and colds will be almost unknown. General Sherman once wrote a letter in which he said that he did not have a case of cold in his entire army and he attributed it to the fact that his soldiers slept and lived in the open air.
One can almost tell a man who sleeps in the open by looking at him. His eye is clear and his cheek ruddy. There is no surer way to become well and strong than to become accustomed to this practice. Then you can laugh at the doctor and throw the medicine bottles away. In stating this I know that many parents will not agree with me, and will feel that to advise a boy to sleep in the open when the weather is stormy or extremely cold is almost like inviting him to his death. It is a fact just the same that every one would be healthier and happier if they followed this practice. In a few years I expect to see outdoor sleeping the rule rather than the exception. Progressive doctors are already agreed on this method of sleeping for sick people. In some hospitals even delicate babies are given open-air treatment in midwinter as a cure for pneumonia. My own experience is that in the two years that I have been an outdoor sleeper, with the snow drifts sometimes covering the foot of the bed, with the wintry winds howling about my head in a northeaster, I have been absolutely free from any trace of coughs or colds. Thousands of others will give the same testimony. According to old-fashioned ideas such things would give me my "death of cold." It rarely happens that one begins the practice of sleeping out without becoming a firm believer in it.
One of the children of a friend in Connecticut who had just built a beautiful home was taken ill, and the doctor recommended that the child's bed be moved out on the porch. This was in December. The father also had his own bed moved out to keep the baby company. My friend told me that after the first night he felt like a changed man. He awoke after a refreshing sleep and felt better than he had in years. The whole family soon followed and all the beautiful bedrooms in the house were deserted. The baby got well and stayed well and the doctor's visits are few and far between in that household.
By all means sleep in the open if you can. Of course one must have ample protection from the weather, such as a porch or piazza with a screen or shelter to the north and west. A warm room in which to dress and undress is also absolutely necessary. If your rest is disturbed by cold, as it will probably be until you become accustomed to it and learn the tricks of the outdoor sleeper, you simply need more covers. In winter, the bed should be made up with light summer blankets in place of sheets, which would become very cold. Use, as a night cap, an old sweater or skating cap. A good costume consists of a flannel shirt, woollen drawers, and heavy, lumberman's stockings. With such an outfit and plenty of covers, one can sleep out on the coldest night and never awaken until the winter's sun comes peeping over the hill to tell him that it is time to get up.
Besides fresh air, another important thing in keeping well is to eat slowly and to chew your food thoroughly. Boys and girls often develop a habit of rapid eating because they are anxious to get back to play or to school. Slow eating is largely a matter of habit as well, and while it may seem hard at first it will soon become second nature to us. Remember to chew your food thoroughly. The stomach has no teeth. We have all heard of Mr. Horace Fletcher, that wonderful old man who made himself young again by chewing his food.
There is no fun in life unless we are well, and a sensible boy should realize that his parents' interest in him is for his own benefit. It may seem hard sometimes to be obliged to do without things that we want, but as a rule the judgment of the older people is better than our own. A growing boy will often eat too much candy or too many sweet things and then suffer from his lack of judgment. To fill our stomachs with indigestible food is just as foolish as it would be to put sand in the bearings of our wheel, or to interfere with the delicate adjustment of our watch until it refuses to keep time.
While we play, our muscles are developed, our lungs filled with fresh air and the whole body is made stronger and more vigorous. Some boys play too hard. Over-exertion will sometimes cause a strain on the delicate machinery of the body that will be very serious in after life. The heart is especially subject to the dangers of overstrain in growing boys. We are not all equally strong, and it is no discredit to a boy that he cannot run as far or lift as much as some of his playmates or companions. You all remember the fable of the frog who tried to make himself as big as the ox and finally burst. The idea of exercise is not to try to excel every one in what you do, but to do your best without over-exertion. If a boy has a rugged frame and well developed muscles, it is perfectly natural that he should be superior in most sports to a boy that is delicate or undersized.
To be in good physical condition and to laugh at the doctor we must keep out of doors as much as possible. Gymnasium work of course will help us to build up our strength and develop our muscles, but skill in various acrobatics and gymnastic tricks does not give the clear eye and ruddy cheek of the person whose life is in the open air. Outdoor sports, like tennis, baseball, and horseback riding are far superior to chestweights or Indian clubs as a means of obtaining normal permanent development.
Parents who criticize school or college athletics often forget that the observance of the strict rules of training required from every member of a team is the very best way to keep a boy healthy in mind and body.
Tobacco and alcohol are absolutely prohibited, the kind of food eaten and the hours for retiring are compulsory, and a boy is taught not only to train his muscles but to discipline his mind. Before a candidate is allowed to take active part in the sport for which he is training he must be "in condition," as it is called.
There are a great many rules of health that will help any one to keep well, but the best rule of all is to live a common-sense life and not to think too much about ourselves. Systematic exercises taken daily with setting up motions are very good unless we allow them to become irksome. All indoor exercise should be practised with as much fresh air in the room as possible. It is an excellent plan to face an open window if we practise morning and evening gymnastics.
There are many exercises that can be performed with no apparatus whatever. In all exercises we should practise deep regular breathing until it becomes a habit with us. Most people acquire a faulty habit of breathing and only use a small part of their total lung capacity. Learn to take deep breaths while in the fresh air. After a while it will become a habit.
Just how much muscle a boy should have will depend upon his physical make-up. The gymnasium director in one of our largest colleges, who has spent his whole life in exercise, is a small, slender man whose muscles are not at all prominent and yet they are like steel wires. He has made a life-long study of himself and has developed every muscle in his body. From his appearance he would not be considered a strong man and yet some of the younger athletes weighing fifty pounds more than he, have, in wrestling and feats of strength, found that the man with the largest muscles is not always the best man.
There is one question that every growing boy will have to look squarely in the face and to decide for himself. It is the question of smoking. There is absolutely no question but that smoking is injurious for any one, and in the case of boys who are not yet fully grown positively dangerous. Ask any cigarette smoker you know and he will tell you not to smoke. If you ask him why he does not take his own advice he will possibly explain how the habit has fastened its grip on him, just as the slimy tentacles of some devil fish will wind themselves about a victim struggling in the water, until he is no longer able to escape. A boy may begin to smoke in a spirit of fun or possibly because he thinks it is manly, but more often it is because the "other fellers" are trying it too.
My teacher once gave our school an object lesson in habits which is worth repeating. He called one of the boys to the platform and wound a tiny piece of thread around the boy's wrists. He then told him to break it, which the boy did very easily. The teacher continued to wind more thread until he had so many strands that the boy could break them only with a great effort and finally he could not break them at all. His hands were tied. Just so it is with a habit. The first, second, or tenth time may be easy to break, but we shall finally get so many tiny threads that our hands are tied. We have acquired a habit. Don't be a fool. Don't smoke cigarettes.
Walking is one of the most healthful forms of exercise. It may seem unnecessary to devote much space to a subject that every one thinks they know all about, but the fact is that, with trolley cars, automobiles, and horses, a great many persons have almost lost the ability to walk any distance. An excellent rule to follow if you are going anywhere is this: If you have the time, and the distance is not too great, walk. In recent years it has been the practice of a number of prominent business and professional men who get but little outdoor exercise to walk to and from their offices every day, rain or shine. In this way elderly men will average from seven to ten miles a day and thus keep in good condition with no other exercise.
It is very easy to cultivate the street car habit, and some boys feel that they must ride to and from school even if it is only a few blocks or squares. We have all read of the old men who are walking across the country from New York to California and back again and maintaining an average of forty miles a day. There is not a horse in the world that would have the endurance to go half the distance in the same time and keep it up day after day. For the first week or ten days the horse would be far ahead but, like the fable of the hare and the tortoise, after a while the tortoise would pass the hare and get in first.
In walking for pleasure, avoid a rambling, purposeless style. Decide where you are going and go. Walk out in the country if possible and on roads where the automobiles will not endanger your life or blow clouds of dust in your face. Never mind the weather. One rarely takes cold while in motion. To walk comfortably we should wear loose clothing and old shoes. Walking just for the sake of exercise can easily become a tiresome occupation, but the active mind can always see something of interest, such as wild flowers, gardens, and all the various sides of nature study in the country, and people, houses and life in the city.
A tramping vacation of several days furnishes a fine opportunity to see new scenes and to live economically, but near a city you may have difficulty in persuading the farm-wife where you stop that you are not a tramp who will burn the house in the night. If you intend to live by the wayside, the surest way to inspire confidence is to show in advance that you have money to pay for your accommodations. Also try to avoid looking like a tramp, which is quite different from looking like a tramper.
There seems to be a great difference of opinion on the question of how fast one can walk. The popular idea is "four miles an hour" but any one who has tried to cover a mile every fifteen minutes will testify that such a rate of speed is more like a race than a walk and that it will require great physical exertion to maintain it for any considerable distance. An eighteen or twenty-mile walk is about all the average boy should attempt in a day, and this is allowing the full day for the task from early morning until sunset.
Short and frequent rests are much better than long stops, which have a tendency to stiffen the muscles. The walker on a long tramp must pay especial attention to the care of his feet. They should be bathed frequently in cold water to which a little alum has been added. A rough place or crease in the stocking will sometimes cause a very painful blister.
Mountain climbing is a very interesting branch of walking. It is sometimes very dangerous as well and in such cases should only be attempted under the guidance of some one familiar with the neighbourhood. For rough climbing our shoes should be provided with iron hob nails. Steel nails often become very slippery and will cause a bad fall on rocks.
Cross-country running and hare and hound chases are much more common in England than in America. Our runners as a rule excel in the sprints and short dashes, although in the recent Olympic sports we have shown that our trained athletes are the equal of the world in nearly all branches of sport.
In many of the English schools it is a regular part of the school work for the teacher to organize hare and hound chases. The hares are given a start of several minutes and leave a trail by means of bits of paper or confetti, which they carry in a bag. In this kind of running the object to be sought is not so much speed as endurance. An easy dog trot with deep regular breathing will soon give us our second wind, when we can keep on for a long distance.
After any kind of physical exertion, especially when we are in a perspiration, care must be exercised not to become chilled suddenly. A rub down with a rough towel will help to prevent soreness and stiff muscles. The lameness that follows any kind of unusual exercise is an indication that certain muscles have been brought into use that are out of condition. A trained athlete does not experience this soreness unless he has unduly exerted himself, and the easiest way to get over it is to do more of the same kind of work until we are in condition.
THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Headquarters—Purpose—Scout law—How to form a patrol of scouts—Organization of a troop—Practical activities for scouts—A scout camp—Model programme of a Sir R.S.S. Baden-Powell scout camp
The Boy Scout movement that has recently been introduced both in England and America with such wonderful success is so closely related to nearly all branches of outdoor recreation and to the things that boys are interested in that this book would be incomplete without mention of the object and purposes of this organization. It is a splendid movement for the making of better citizens, and it cannot be too highly recommended.
The Boy Scouts of America is a permanent organization, and it has its headquarters at 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City. From the central office, patrols and troops are being formed all over the United States. Any information with reference to the movement may be obtained by applying to this office.
Through the courtesy of the managing secretary, Mr. John L. Alexander, certain facts are presented concerning the organization, which are obtained from their published literature, for which due credit is hereby given.
The Boy Scouts is an organization the purpose of which is character-building for boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen. It is an effort to get boys to appreciate the things about them and to train them in self-reliance, manhood, and good citizenship. It is "peace-scouting" these boys engage in, living as much as possible out of doors; camping, hiking and learning the secrets of the woods and fields. The movement is not essentially military, but the military virtues of discipline, obedience, neatness and order are scout virtues. Endurance, self-reliance, self-control and an effort to help some one else are scout objectives. Every activity that lends itself to these aims is good scoutcraft.
The Boy Scouts were started in England by Gen. Sir Robert Baden-Powell. He was impressed with the fact that 46 per cent. of the boys of England were growing up without any knowledge of useful occupations, and wanted to do something that would help the boy to become a useful citizen. He emphatically stated that his intention was not the making of soldiers. In his work. General Baden-Powell has touched the boy's life in all its interests and broadened a boy's outlook by the widest sort of activities. In two and a half years over half a million Boy Scouts have been enrolled, and twenty thousand of these have been in parade at one time in London.
The scout idea has sprung up spontaneously all over America. In Canadian cities the Boy Scouts number thousands. In the United States, towns and cities are being swept by the idea. Gangs of boys are to be seen on every hand, doing their best at scoutcraft, "doing a good turn every day to some one," and getting fun out of it. Prominent business men and educators are behind the movement.
The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things for themselves and others. The method is summed up in the term "scoutcraft" and is a combination of observation, deduction and handiness—or the ability to do. Scoutcraft consists of "First Aid," Life Saving, Tracking, Signalling, Cycling, Nature Study, Seamanship and other instruction. This is accomplished in games and team play and in pleasure, not work, for the boy. The only equipment it needs is the out-of-doors, a group of boys and a leader.
Before he becomes a scout, a boy must take the scouts' oath thus:
"On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, 1. To do my duty to God and my country. 2. To help other people at all times. 3. To obey the scout law."
When taking this oath the scout will stand holding his right hand raised level with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on the nail of the little finger, and the other three fingers upright pointing upward. This the scouts' salute and secret sign.
When the hand is raised shoulder high it is called "the half salute."
When raised to the forehead it is called "the full salute."
The three fingers held up (like the three points on the scouts' badge) remind him of his three promises in the scouts' oath.
There are three classes of scouts. A boy on joining the Boy Scouts must pass a test in the following points before taking the oath:
Know the scouts' laws and signs and the salute.
Know the composition of the national flag and the right way to fly it.
Tie four of the following knots: Reef, sheet bend, clove hitch, bowline, middleman's, fisherman's, sheep-shank.
He then takes the scouts' oath and is enrolled as a tenderfoot and is entitled to wear the buttonhole badge.
A SECOND-CLASS SCOUT
Before being awarded a second-class scout's badge, a boy must pass the following tests:
1. Have at least one month's service as a tenderfoot.
2. Elementary first aid bandaging.
3. Signalling. Elementary knowledge of semaphore or Morse alphabet.
4. Track half a mile in twenty-five minutes, or if in a town describe satisfactorily the contents of one store window out of four, observed for one minute each.
5. Go a mile in twelve minutes at "scouts' pace."
6. Lay and light a fire using not more than two matches.
7. Cook a quarter of a pound of meat and two potatoes without cooking utensils other than the regulation billy.
8. Have at least twenty-five cents in the savings bank.
9. Know the sixteen principal points of the compass.
Before being awarded a first-class scout's badge, a scout must pass the following test in addition to the tests laid down for a second-class scout:
1. Swim fifty yards. (This may be omitted where the doctor certifies that bathing is dangerous to the boy's health).
2. Must have at least fifty cents in the savings bank.
3. Signalling. Send and receive a message either in semaphore or Morse, sixteen letters per minute.
4. Go on foot or row a boat alone to a point seven miles away and return again, or if conveyed by any vehicle or animal go a distance of fifteen miles and back and write a short report on it. It is preferable that he should take two days over it.
5. Describe or show the proper means for saving life in case of two of the following accidents: Fire, drowning, runaway carriage, sewer gas, ice breaking, or bandage an injured patient or revive an apparently drowned person.
6. Cook satisfactorily two of the following dishes as may be directed: Porridge, bacon, hunter's stew; or skin and cook a rabbit or pluck and cook a bird. Also "make a damper" of half a pound of flour or a "twist" baked on a thick stick.
7. Read a map correctly and draw an intelligent rough sketch map. Point out a compass direction without the help of a compass.
8. Use an axe for felling or trimming light timber: or as an alternative produce an article of carpentry or joinery or metal work, made by himself satisfactorily.
9. Judge distance, size, numbers and height within 25 per cent. error.
10. Bring a tenderfoot trained by himself in the points required of a tenderfoot.
THE SCOUTS' LAW
1. A scout's honour is to be trusted. If a scout were to break his honour by telling a lie, or by not carrying out an order exactly, when trusted on his honour to do so, he may be directed to hand over his scouts' badge and never to wear it again. He may also be directed to cease to be a scout.
2. A scout is loyal to his country, his officers, his parents and his employers. He must stick to them through thick and thin against any one who is their enemy or who even talks badly about them.
3. A scout's duty is to be useful and to help others. He must be prepared at any time to save life or to help injured persons, and he must try his best to do a good turn to somebody every day.
4. A scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout, no matter to what social class the other belongs.
5. A scout is courteous, especially to women, children, old people, invalids, and cripples. And he must never take a reward for being courteous.
6. A scout is a friend to animals. Killing an animal for food is allowable.
7. A scout obeys orders of his parents, patrol leader, or scout master without question.
8. A scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.
9. A scout is thrifty and saves every penny he can and puts it into the bank.
The scout master is the adult leader of a troop. A troop consists of three or more patrols. The scout master may begin with one patrol. He must have a deep interest in boys, be genuine in his own life, have the ability to lead and command the boys' respect and obedience, and possess some knowledge of a boy's ways. He need not be an expert on scoutcraft. The good scout master will discover experts for the various activities.
To organize a patrol, get together seven or more boys, explain to them the aims of the Boy Scouts, have them elect a leader and corporal from their own number and take the scout oath as tenderfeet. To organize a local committee, call together the leading men of a town or city, teachers, business men, professional men, and all who are interested in the proper training of boys, for a committee to superintend the development of the scout movement.
There are a number of divisions to scouting depending upon the place where the boys live and upon their opportunities. For instance, to obtain:
An Ambulance Badge: A scout must know: The fireman's lift. How to drag an insensible man with ropes. How to improvise a stretcher. How to fling a life-line. The position of main arteries. How to stop bleeding from vein or artery, internal or external. How to improvise splints and to diagnose and bind fractured limb. The Schafer method of artificial respiration. How to deal with choking, burning, poison, grit in eye, sprains and bruises, as the examiners may require. Generally the laws of health and sanitation as given in "Scouting for Boys," including dangers of smoking, in continence, want of ventilation, and lack of cleanliness.
Aviator: A scout must have a knowledge of the theory of aeroplanes, ball balloons and dirigibles, and must have made a working model of an aeroplane or dirigible that will fly at least twenty-five yards. He must also have a knowledge of the engines used for aeroplanes and dirigibles.
Bee-farmer: A scout must have a practical knowledge of swarming, hiving, hives, and general apiculture, including a knowledge of the use of artificial combs, etc.
Blacksmith: A scout must be able to upset and weld a one-inch iron rod, make a horseshoe, know how to tire a wheel, use a sledge hammer and forge, shoe a horse correctly, and rough-shod a horse.
Bugler: A scout must be able to sound properly on the bugle the Scouts' Rally and the following army calls: Alarm, charge, orderlies (ord. corpls.), orders, warning for parade, quarter bugle, fall in, dismiss, rations, first and second dinner calls (men's), reveille, last post, lights out.
Carpenter: A scout must be able to shoot and glue a four-foot straight joint, make a housing, tenon and mortise, and halved joint, grind and set a chisel and plane iron, make a 3 ft. by 1 ft. 6 in., by 1 ft. by 6 ft. dovetailed locked box, or a table or chair.
Clerk: A scout must have the following qualifications: Good handwriting and hand printing. Ability to use typewriting machine. Ability to write a letter from memory on the subject given verbally five minutes previously. Knowledge of simple bookkeeping. Or, as alternative to typewriting, write in shorthand from dictation at twenty words a minute as minimum.
Cook: A scout must be able to light a fire and make a cook-place with a few bricks or logs; cook the following dishes: Irish stew, vegetables, omelet, rice pudding, or any dishes which the examiner may consider equivalent; make tea, coffee, or cocoa; mix dough and bake bread in oven; or a "damper" or "twist" (round steak) at a camp fire; carve properly, and hand plates and dishes correctly to people at table.
Cyclist: A scout must sign a certificate that he owns a bicycle in good working order, which he is willing to use in the scouts' service if called upon at any time in case of emergency. He must be able to ride his bicycle satisfactorily, and repair punctures, etc. He must be able to read a map, and repeat correctly a verbal message. On ceasing to own a bicycle the scout must be required to hand back his badge.
Dairyman: A scout must understand: Management of dairy cattle; be able to milk, make butter and cheese; understand sterilization of milk, safe use of preservatives, care of dairy utensils and appliances.
Electrician: A scout must have a knowledge of method of rescue and resuscitation of persons insensible from shock. Be able to make a simple electro-magnet, have elementary knowledge of action of simple battery cells, and the working of electric bells and telephone. Understand and be able to remedy fused wire, and to repair broken electric connections.
Engineer: A scout must have a general idea of the working of motor cars and steam locomotives, marines, internal combustion and electric engines. He must also know the names of the principal parts and their functions; how to start, drive, feed, stop, and lubricate any one of them chosen by the candidate.
Farmer: A scout must have a practical knowledge of ploughing, cultivating, drilling, hedging and draining. He must also have a working knowledge of farm machinery, hay-making, reaping, heading and stacking, and a general acquaintance with the routine seasonal work on a farm, including the care of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs.
Fireman: A scout must know how to give the alarm to inhabitants, police, etc. How to enter burning buildings. How to prevent spread of fire. Use of hose, unrolling, joining up, hydrants, use of nozzle, etc. The use of escape, ladders, and shutes; improvising ropes, jumping sheets, etc. The fireman's lift, how to drag patient, how to work in fumes, etc. The use of fire extinguishers. How to rescue animals. How to salve property, climb and pass buckets. "Scrum" to keep back crowd.
First Aid to Animals: A scout must have a general knowledge of the anatomy of domestic and farm animals, and be able to describe treatment and symptoms of the following: Wounds, fractures and sprains, exhaustion, choking, lameness. He must understand shoeing and shoes, and must be able to give a drench for colic.
Gardener: A scout must dig a piece of ground not less than twelve feet square, know the names of a dozen plants pointed out in an ordinary garden, understand what is meant by pruning, grafting and manuring, plant and grow successfully six kinds of vegetables or flowers from seeds or cuttings, cut and make a walking stick, or cut grass with scythe under supervision.
Handyman: A scout must be able to paint a door or bath, whitewash a ceiling, repair gas fittings, tap washers, sash lines, window and door fastenings, replace gas mantles and electric light bulbs, hang pictures and curtains, repair blinds, fix curtain and portiere rods, blind fixtures, lay carpets, mend clothing and upholstery, do small furniture and china repairs, and sharpen knives.
Horseman: A scout must know how to ride at all paces, and to jump an ordinary fence on horseback. How to saddle and bridle a horse correctly. How to harness a horse correctly in single or double harness, and to drive. How to water and feed, and to what amount. How to groom his horse properly. The evil of bearing and hame reins and ill-fitting saddlery. Principal causes and remedies of lameness.
Interpreter: A scout must be able to carry on a simple conversation, write a simple letter on subject given by examiner, read and translate a passage from a book or newspaper, in either Esperanto or any language that is not that of his own country.
Leather Worker: A scout must have a knowledge of tanning and curing, and either (a) be able to sole and heel a pair of boots, sewn or nailed, and generally repair boots and shoes: or (b) be able to dress a saddle, repair traces, stirrup leathers, etc., and know the various parts of harness.
Marksman: A scout must pass the following tests for miniature rifle shooting from any position: N.R.A. Standard Target to be used. Twenty rounds to be fired at 15 or 25 yards. Highest possible, 100 points. A scout gaining 60 points or over to be classified as marksman. Scoring: Bull's-eye, 5 points; inner, 4 points; magpie, 3 points; outer 2 points. Also: Judge distance on unknown ground: Five distances under 300 yards, 5 between 300 and 600 yards, with not more than an error of 25 per cent. on the average.
Master-at-arms: A scout must attain proficiency in two out of the following subjects: Single-stick, quarter-staff, fencing, boxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling.
Missioner: The qualifications are: A general elementary knowledge of sick-nursing; invalid cookery, sick-room attendance, bed-making, and ventilation. Ability to help aged and infirm.
Musician: A scout must be able to play a musical instrument correctly other than triangle, and to read simple music. Or to play properly any kind of musical toy, such as a penny whistle, mouth-organ, etc., and sing a song.
Pathfinder: It is necessary to know every lane, by-path, and short cut for a distance of at least two miles in every direction around the local scouts' headquarters in the country, or for one mile if in a town, and to have a general knowledge of the district within a five-mile radius of his local headquarters, so as to be able to guide people at any time, by day or night. To know the general direction of the principal neighbouring towns for a distance of twenty-five miles, and to be able to give strangers clear directions how to get to them. To know, in the country, in the two-mile radius, generally, how many hayricks, strawricks, wagons, horses, cattle, sheep and pigs there are on the different neighbouring farms; or, in a town, to know in a half-mile radius what livery stabling, corn chandlers, forage merchants, bakers, butchers, there are. In town or country to know where are the police stations, hospitals, doctors, telegraph, telephone offices, fire engines, turncocks, blacksmiths and job-masters or factories, where over a dozen horses are kept. To know something of the history of the place, or of any old buildings, such as the church, or other edifice. As much as possible of the above information is to be entered on a large scale map.
Photographer: A scout must have a knowledge of the theory and use of lenses, and the construction of cameras, action of developers. He must take, develop and print twelve separate subjects, three interiors, three portraits, three landscapes and three instantaneous photographs.
Pioneer: A scout must have extra efficiency in pioneering in the following tests, or suitable equivalents: Fell a nine-inch tree or scaffolding pole neatly and quickly. Tie eight kinds of knots quickly in the dark or blindfolded. Lash spars properly together for scaffolding. Build model bridge or derrick. Make a camp kitchen. Build a hut of one kind or another suitable for three occupants.
Piper: A scout must be able to play a march and a reel on the pipes, to dance the sword-dance, and must wear kilt and Highland dress.
Plumber: A scout must be able to make wiped and brazed joints, to cut and fix a window pane, repair a burst pipe, mend a ball or faucet tap, and understand the ordinary hot and cold water system of a house.
Poultry Farmer: A scout must have a good knowledge of incubators, brooders, sanitary fowl-houses and coops and runs; also of rearing, feeding, killing, and dressing birds for market; also he must be able to pack birds and eggs for market.
Printer: A scout must know the names of different types and paper sizes. Be able to compose by hand or machine, understand the use of hand or power printing machines. He must also print a handbill set up by himself.
Seaman: A scout must be able to tie eight knots rapidly in the dark or blindfolded. Splice ropes, fling a rope coil. Row and punt a boat single-handed, and punt with pole, or scull it over the stern. Steer a boat rowed by others. Bring the boat properly alongside and make it fast. Box the compass. Read a chart. State direction by the stars and sun. Swim fifty yards with trousers, socks, and shirt on. Climb a rope or pole of fifteen feet, or, as alternative, dance the hornpipe correctly. Sew and darn a shirt and trousers. Understand the general working of steam and hydraulic winches, and have a knowledge of weather wisdom and knowledge of tides.
Signaller: A scout must pass tests in both sending and receiving in semaphore and Morse signalling by flag, not fewer than twenty-four letters per minute. He must be able to give and read signals by sound. To make correct smoke and flame signals with fires. To show the proper method of signalling with the staff.
Stalker: A scout must take a series of twenty photographs of wild animals or birds from life, and develop and print them. Or, alternately, he must make a collection of sixty species of wild flowers, ferns, or grasses, dried and mounted in a book and correctly named. Or, alternately, he must make coloured drawings of twenty flowers, ferns or grasses, or twelve sketches from life of animals and birds. Original sketches, as well as the finished pictures, to be submitted. Or, alternately he must be able to name sixty different kinds of animals, insects, reptiles, or birds in a museum or zoological garden, or from unnamed coloured plates, and give particulars of the lives, habits, appearance and markings of twenty of them.
Starman: A scout must have a general knowledge of the nature and movements of the stars. He must be able to point out and name six principal constellations. Find the north by means of other stars than the Pole Star in case of that star being obscured by clouds, etc., and tell the hour of the night by the stars or moon. He must have a general knowledge of the positions and movements of the earth, sun and moon, and of tides, eclipses, meteors, comets, sun spots, planets.
Surveyor: A scout must map correctly, from the country itself, the main features of a half a mile of road, with 440 yards each side, to a scale of two feet to the mile, and afterward re-draw same map from memory. Measure the heights of a tree, telegraph pole and church steeple, describing method adopted. Measure width of a river, and distance apart of two objects a known distance away and unapproachable. Be able to measure a gradient, contours, conventional signs of ordnance survey and scales.
Swimming and Life Saving: A scout must be able to dive and swim fifty yards with clothes on (shirt, trousers, socks as minimum). Able to fling and use life-line or life-buoy. Able to demonstrate two ways of rescue of drowning person, and revival of apparently drowned.
The simplest way to form a patrol of scouts is to call together a small group of boys over twelve years of age. A simple recital of the things that scouts do, with perhaps an opportunity to look over the Manual, will be enough to launch the organization. The selection of a patrol leader will then follow, and the scouting can begin. It is well not to attempt too much at the start. Get the boys to start work to pass the requirements for the tenderfoot.
The Patrol Leader: Each patrol should have a patrol leader—preferably a boy. The choice of this leader has much to do with the success of the patrol. He should be a recognized leader among the boys in the group. Do not hesitate to entrust him with details. Let him feel that he is your right-hand man. Ask his opinion on matters pertaining to the patrol. Make him feel that the success of the organization depends largely upon him, being careful, of course, not to overdo it. You will find that this attitude will enlist the hearty cooperation of the boy and you will find him an untiring worker, with the ability to bind the boys closer together than you could ever hope to do alone.
POINTS OF INTEREST
1. Scouting does not consist in wearing a khaki suit or a lot of decorations. It is in doing the things that are required for the tenderfoot, second-class and first-class scout badges and the badges of merit.
2. Scouts do not wish any one to buy things for them. They buy their own equipment and pay their own way.
3. Scouts do their best to keep the scout oath and law.
4. The glory of scouting is "to do a good turn to some one every day without reward."
5. Scouts regard the rights of others, and do not trespass on the property or feelings of others.
6. Scouting means obedience and discipline. The boy who can't obey will never command.
7. Scouts are always busy and getting fun out of it—at work, at school, at home, at play. Be a good scout.
HOW TO ORGANIZE A TROOP
First: Write to Headquarters, which is at 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City, for a scout master's certificate.
Second: Either combine three or more patrols or having one patrol, appoint several patrol leaders and enlist boys for the new patrols.
Third: The minimum number of patrols in a troop is three, and the maximum the number a scout master can rightly handle. Care should be taken not to organize for the sake of a big showing.
Hints on starting: In actually starting a troop, it has been found better to start in a small way. Begin by one or two leader-men making a careful study of "Scouting for Boys" and as soon as the main ideas have been grasped, get together a small number of boys, and go through with them the initial stages step by step, until the boys bubble over with scouting ideals, and until the notion of a fancy uniform and games in the country have given place to a definite desire to qualify for manhood and citizenship. These boys will make the nucleus round which to form a troop, and should pass on their training and enthusiasm to the boys who are enlisting under them. It has been found better to obtain distinctly older fellows for patrol leaders: the scout masters should invariably be men who feel the great responsibility of having boys under their charge, and the possibility of leading the boys from the moment when they enlist in the scouts to the time they pass out again to be fully fledged men.
Finances: The finances necessary to run a troop of scouts should be met by the scouts themselves. It is a main principle of scouting to teach the boys to be self-reliant, and anything which will militate against the constant sending round of the hat will be a national good.
The Scout Master: The scout master is the adult leader of a troop. The scout master may begin with one patrol. He must have a deep interest in boys, be genuine in his own life, have the ability to lead and command the boys' respect and obedience and possess some knowledge of a boy's ways. He need not be an expert on scoutcraft. The good scout master will discover experts for the various activities. Applications for scout masters' certificates may be made at the Headquarters, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
From the outset, the scout master must have the interest of each boy at heart. He must not play favourites with any of the boys in his patrol or troop. While there are sure to be boys in the group who will develop more rapidly than others, and whose keenness will be sure to call forth the admiration of the scout master, he should not permit himself to be "carried away" by the achievements of these "star boys" to such an extent that he will neglect the less aggressive boy. The latter boy is the one who needs your attention most, and your interest in him must be genuine. Every effort he makes, no matter how poor it may be, should be commended just as heartily as the better accomplishments of the more handy boy.
PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES FOR SCOUTS
1. Scoutcraft: Boy Scouts' organization, scout laws, discipline, scouts' secret signs, badges, etc.
2. Campaigning: Camp life and resourcefulness. Hut and mat making. Knots. Fire lighting. Cooking. Boat management. Judging distances, heights and numbers. Swimming. Cycling. Finding the way.
1. Do not have in the same patrol boys of great disparity in ages. For instance, the boy of twelve should not be in the same group with the sixteen-year-old boy, if it can possibly be avoided. You must remember that in most cases the things that appeal to the younger boy will have no attraction for the older boy.
2. Do not enroll boys under twelve. If you do you are certain to lose your older boy. The movement is distinctly for boys of the adolescent period and is designed to help them to rightly catch the spirit of helpfulness.
3. Do not try to do everything yourself. Try to remember that the boys are always willing and anxious to take hold. Let the boys understand that the whole proposition is theirs. It is what they make it. Your contract with them should be largely of a big brother nature.
4. Do not burden nor weary the boys with excessive military drills and tactics. The movement is not a military one. The military virtues of obedience, neatness, order, endurance and erect, alert bearing, however, are scout virtues. Use everything that develops boys. This is good scoutcraft.
5. Do not confine the activities of the patrols to things of one character. Touch every activity as far as possible. Do not omit anything. Get the proper agencies to cooperate with you for these ends—a military man for signalling; a naturalist for woodcraft; a physician for first aid, etc.
6. Do not permit the boys to fail in the proper keeping of the scout oath and law.
7. Never fail to keep an engagement with your patrol or troop. If something should delay your coming or should you find yourself unable to keep an appointment with them, be sure to notify the patrol leaders beforehand. It might be well to require the same of the boys.
8. A real danger point is the failure of a scout master to visit the boys in their homes. Knowing the boys' parents means much, and their cooperation will be much heartier when they know the man to whose care they entrust their boy, after he has discussed with them the real purpose of the scout movement.
9. Do not hesitate to give a boy a hard task, but not an impossible one. A boy likes to do hard things.
10. Do not attempt right at the start to give the boy every bit of detail regarding the activities of the troop. Work out the plans with the boys from time to time, always reserving some things of interest for the next meeting. Your attempt to give them everything at one time will cause the whole proposition to assume the nature of a task instead of pleasurable education, as was originally intended.
11. Hold frequent tests for advancement to the classes of scouthood. Get your fellows to really win their badges.
12. As a scout master use good judgment. If there are other scout masters in your town, or a scout council or local committee, cooperate with these. To be a scout master, you must have the spirit of '76, but be sure to work with others. The boys will benefit by the lesson.
THE SCOUTS' CAMP
To go camping should mean more than merely living under canvas away from the piles of brick and stone that make up our cities. To be in the open air, to breathe pure oxygen, to sleep upon "a bed of boughs beside the trail," to look at the camp fire and the stars, and to hear the whisper of the trees—all of this is good. But the camp offers a better opportunity than this. It offers the finest method for a boy's education. Between twelve and eighteen years the interests of a boy are general ones, and reach from the catching of tadpoles and minnows to finding God in the stars. His interests are the general mass interests that are so abundant in nature, the activities that give the country boy such an advantage for the real enjoyment of life over the city lad. Two weeks or two months in camp, they are too valuable to be wasted in loafing, cigarette smoking, card playing or shooting craps. To make a camp a profitable thing there must needs be instruction; not formal but informal instruction. Scouting, nature study, scout law, camp cooking, signalling, pioneering, path finding, sign reading, stalking for camera purposes, knowledge of animals and plants, first aid, life saving, manual work (making things), hygiene, sex instruction, star gazing, discipline, knowing the rocks and trees, and the ability to do for one's self, in order that a boy may grow strong, self-reliant, and helpful. This is a partial list of the subject in the camp curricula.
A model scout camp programme is given here. It takes eight days to carry it out, but there is material enough to run ten times the number of days specified.
A SIR R.S.S. BADEN-POWELL SCOUT CAMP MODEL PROGRAMME
First Day: Preliminary work: settling into camp, formation of patrols, distribution of duties, orders, etc.
Second Day: Campaigning: camp resourcefulness, hut and mat making, knots, fire lighting, cooking, health and sanitation, endurance, finding way in strange country, and boat management.
Third Day: Observation: noticing and memorizing details far and near, landmarks, tracking, deducing meaning from tracks and signs, and training the eyesight.
Fourth Day: Woodcraft: study of animals, birds, plants and stars; stalking animals, noticing people, reading their character and condition, and thereby gaining their sympathy.
Fifth Day: Chivalry: honour, code of knights, unselfishness, courage, charity and thrift; loyalty to God, country, parents and employers, or officers; practical chivalry to women; the obligation to do a "good turn" daily, and how to do it.
Sixth Day: Saving life: from fire, drowning, sewer gas, runaway horses, panic, street accidents, improvised apparatus, and first aid.
Seventh Day: Patriotism: national geography, the history and deeds that won our world power, the navy and army, flags, medals, duties of a citizen, marksmanship, helping the police.
Eighth Day: A summary of the whole course: sports comprising games and competitive practices in all subjects of the course.
6.30 a.m. Turn out, bathe, etc. 7.00 " Breakfast 8.00 " Air bedding in sun if possible 9.00 " Scouting games and practice 11.00 " Swimming 12.00 m. Dinner 1.00 p.m. Talk by leader 2.00 " Water games, etc. 6.00 " Supper 7.30 " Evening council around camp fire Order of business: Opening council Roll-call Record of last council Report of scouts Left-over business Complaints Honours New scouts New business Challenges Social doings, songs, dances, stories Closing council (devotional services when desired) 10.00 p.m. Lights out.
The father of scouting for boys in America, and in fact the inspiration for the movement in England under Lieut-Gen. Sir Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, K.C.B., is Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton, the distinguished naturalist and nature student.
The official handbook of the organization may be obtained from Doubleday, Page and Company, Garden City, N.Y., the publishers of this book, or from the national headquarters of The Boy Scouts of America.
CAMPS AND CAMPING
How to select the best place and to pitch the tent—A brush bed—The best kind of a tent—How to make the camp fire—What to do when it rains—Fresh air and good food—The brush leanto and how to make it
Going camping is the best fun in the world if we know how to do it. Every healthy boy and girl if given an opportunity should enjoy living outdoors for a week or two and playing at being an Indian. There is more to camping however than "roughing it" or seeing how much hardship we can bear. A good camper always makes himself just as comfortable as he can under the circumstances. The saying that "an army travels on its stomach" means that a soldier can not make long marches or fight hard unless he has good food. The surest sign of a "tenderfoot" is the boy who makes fun of you because you try to have a soft dry bed while he prefers to sleep on the ground under the mistaken idea that it is manly or brave. He will usually spoil a trip in the woods for every one in the party.
Another poor kind of a camper pitches his tent so that his bed gets wet and his food spoiled on the first rainy day, and then sits around cold and hungry trying hard to think that he is having fun, to keep from getting homesick. This kind of a boy "locks the door after the horse is stolen." If we go camping we must know how to prevent the unpleasant things from happening. We must always be ready for wind and rain, heat and cold. A camping party should make their plans a long time ahead in order to get their equipment ready. Careful lists should be made of what we think we shall need. After we are out in the woods, there will be no chance to run around the corner to the grocer's to supply what we have forgotten. If it is forgotten, we must simply make the best of it and not allow it to spoil our trip.
It is surprising how many things that we think are almost necessary to life we can get along without if we are obliged to. The true woodsman knows how to turn to his use a thousand of nature's gifts and to make himself comfortable, while you and I might stand terrified and miserable under the same conditions.
Daniel Boone, the great wilderness traveller, could go out alone in the untracked forest with nothing but his rifle, his axe and a small pack on his back and by a knowledge of the stars, the rivers, the trees and the wild animals, he could go for weeks travelling hundreds of miles, building his bed and his leanto out of the evergreen boughs, lighting his fire with his flint and steel, shooting game for his food and dressing and curing their skins for his clothing and in a thousand ways supplying his needs from nature's storehouse. The school of the woods never sends out graduates. We may learn something new every day.
The average city boy or girl does not have an opportunity to become a skilled master of woodcraft, but because we cannot learn it all is no reason why we should not learn something. The best way to learn it is in the woods themselves and not out of books.
A party of four boys makes a good number for a camping trip. They will probably agree better than two or three. They can do much of the camp work in pairs. No one need to be left alone to look after the camp while the others go fishing or hunting or to some nearby town for the mail or for supplies. There is no reason why four boys of fifteen who are resourceful and careful cannot spend a week or two in the woods in perfect safety and come back home sounder in mind and body than when they left. It is always better to take along some one who has "camped out" before. If he cannot be found, then make your plans, decide what you will do and how you will do it, take a few cooking lessons from mother or the cook—if the latter is good-natured—and go anyway. First elect a leader, not because he is any more important than the rest but because if some one goes ahead and gives directions, the life in camp will run much more smoothly and every one will have a better time.
If it is your first experience in camping, you had better go somewhere near home. The best place is one that can be reached by wagon. If we have to carry our supplies on our backs or in a canoe, the amount we can take will be much less. After you have had some experience near home you can safely try the other way. Where you go is of comparatively little importance. Near every large city there is some lake or river where you can find a good camping site. Campers always have more fun if they are near some water, but if such a place is not easily found near where you live, go into the woods. Try to get away from towns or villages. The wilder the place is, the better.
You had better make sure of your camping ground before you go by writing a letter to the owner of the land. It isn't much fun after we have pitched the tent and made everything shipshape to have some angry landowner come along and order us off because we are trespassers.
In selecting a place to camp, there are several very important things to look out for.
1. Be sure you are near a supply of drinking water. A spring or a brook is best, but even the lake or river will do if the water is pure and clean. The water at the bottom of a lake is always much colder and cleaner than the surface water. When I was a boy, I used a simple device for getting cold water which some of you may like to copy. I took an old-fashioned jug and fastened a strong string to the handle and also fastened this string to the cork of the jug as the drawing shows. The jug was weighted so that it would sink, by means of a piece of stone tied to the handle. We used to go out to the middle of the lake where the water was the deepest and lower the jug over the side of a boat. When it reached bottom we would give the string a sharp tug and thus pull out the cork. The bubbles coming to the surface showed us when the jug was full. We then hauled it on board and had clear, cold, drinking water from a lake that on the surface was warm enough for swimming.
2. The next important thing in selecting a camp is being near a supply of firewood. A week in camp will consume an amazing amount of wood, especially if we have a camp fire at night to sit around and sing and tell stories before turning in. In most sections there is plenty of dead wood that we can use for camp fires. This does not mean a lot of twigs and brush. There is no use trying to go camping unless some one knows how to use an axe. In another chapter I will tell you something about the proper use of axes and hatchets. For the present it is sufficient to say that an excellent place to practise handling an axe is on the family woodpile. You will thus combine business and pleasure, and your efforts will be appreciated by your family, which would not be the case if, like George Washington, you began your lessons in woodcraft on the favourite cherry tree.
Almost any kind of wood will burn when it is dry, but it takes experience to know the kinds of trees that will burn when they are green. If there is no dry wood in the neighbourhood, and we are obliged to cut a tree down to get our supply, it is very important to pitch our camp somewhere near the right kind of a tree and not be obliged to carry our firewood a long distance. The best "green wood" for the campers' fire is hickory, although birch is excellent. Hickory is also the best dry wood. Other trees that will burn well when green are cedar, white ash, locust or white oak. There are comparatively few places, however, where dry wood is not available and of course it is always best to avoid such a place.
3. The camp site should be in a fairly open spot. Thick woods and underbrush are either hot or "damp" cool. If you can find a site that is shaded during the heat of the day so much the better. It is unwise to pitch the tent under a tree that stands alone on account of possible danger from lightning. If your tent is shaded by a tree be sure there are no dead limbs to blow off and wreck it during a storm.
Be sure that the drainage is good, so that in case of heavy rains, the water will run off and not flood the camp. It is very important if your camp is along some river or stream to be high enough to avoid the danger of sudden floods. This can usually be determined by talking to some one who knows the country. You can also tell it by studying the previous high water marks in the trees. In case of floods there are always some wisps of straw, pieces of brush, etc., caught and held by the limbs of trees after the water settles back to its former level. It is a good chance to practise your woodcraft by trying to find them.
Damp locations are very bad. The higher we can get, the drier it will be. We avoid both fogs and mosquitoes. Usually there is some prominent place that will give us a good outlook and where the breezes can reach us.
There are both good and bad points in pitching our tent on the site of a former camp. As long as the former campers have not scoured the surrounding neighbourhood for firewood nor have left a place littered up with all sorts of rubbish and garbage to draw flies and vermin, they may have fixed up things around the camp site to save us work and to add to our comfort and pleasure. Each case will have to be decided on its own merits.
The three important things then are the water supply, the firewood supply, and good drainage.
Next in importance to the camp site is the outfit, and the most important thing is the tent. For a party of four boys on their first camping trip, the best kind will be a wall tent. A tent, 11 x 14 feet will be large enough to provide sleeping quarters and to have every one comfortable. A simple shelter of canvas outside can be provided as a dining-room but this is more of a luxury than a real necessity.
Canvas or duck is the common material from which tents are made. The standard eight-ounce khaki duck used in the United States army will, for this size tent, cost about twenty dollars. This will include a fly, which is merely a second roof to the tent. The best material for tents is balloon silk. It is much more waterproof than canvas and only weighs a quarter as much. It is also much more expensive. A tent can be made at home, which is of course the cheaper way. They can also be hired from previous campers or from some awning maker who is also usually a tent maker.
A canvas tent without a fly will leak in a rain storm if the roof is touched on the inside either by our hands or our clothing. It may be made partially waterproof by a coating of paraffine which has been previously dissolved in turpentine. The simplest and at the same time the warmest tent for an experienced camper who knows the tricks of the trade is a leanto tent, one with one side entirely open, in front of which a blazing fire may be kept burning. This is hardly adapted for boys on their first trip, however.
Another very good and very simple tent is the "A" tent used in the army. This looks like a "V" turned upside down. We can pitch it without the aid of tent poles by simply hanging it be ween two trees to which a rope has been stretched.
The Hudson Bay tent, trapper's tent, forester's tent, canoe tent, and a dozen others, including an Indian tepee and wigwam, are all good tents for special purposes. The pictures show the different styles and all of them are designed for special uses, either for warmth or lightness in carrying or ease in pitching. If we go camping in summer and can have our equipment or "duffle," as the woodsmen call it, carried by team, the wall tent will be the best one to take.
Tent pegs can always be cut in the woods, but it is far more satisfactory to get them ready at home before we leave. If you do cut your own pegs, select hardwood saplings to make them from and to further harden the points, char them slightly in a fire. If you spend a few winter evenings at home making the pegs, it will save you a lot of time and trouble when you reach the camping ground. The best pegs are made of iron or steel. This is especially true when the ground where they are to be driven is hard or rocky, which is usually the case. Steel tent pins may be bought for six cents apiece or possibly the local blacksmith will make them for less. They should be a foot long.
A sod cloth is a strip of canvas eight or ten inches wide fastened to the bottom of the tent wall. Its purpose is to keep the wind and rain from blowing under the tent. After the tent is pitched a ditch should be dug all around it to catch the rain and carry it away. The earth that is dug from this trench may be thrown on the sod cloth to hold it down.
It is an excellent idea, if you are a beginner, to practise pitching the tent at home so that you will understand it better when you are in the woods. Besides this, you can try sleeping out a night or two to see how you are going to like it.
When you reach your camping place, the first step is to clear the ground of all rubbish, loose stones, sticks and brush to have a clean floor. Then unpack the tent and fit the pegs of the two upright poles through the two holes in the ridge pole. Next raise the tent and peg the guy ropes on the four corners first. A little practice will show you how to do this. After all the ropes are pegged at a proper distance from the tent, they should be tightened and the tent made secure.
Always plan to have a full four hours of daylight to make your camp ready. If the drive is a long one and you are obliged to get up very early in the morning, you will have to do it, that is all. I made my first camping trip when I was twelve years old. We had just reached the camping ground, unloaded our kit and sent the team home that brought us when—bang! over the mountain across the lake from where we were going to camp, a terrific thunder shower came up and in a few minutes it was pouring. There was our whole outfit—tent, bedding and food—getting soaked because, instead of hurrying along during the day, we had fooled away our time trying to catch fish in wayside brooks that had never seen a fish and not realizing how important it is to make haste as well as hay while the sun shines.
We quickly pitched the tent, not as it should have been pitched, but in a heap over the rest of our goods to keep out as much water as possible and then ran for a nearby barn where we spent a cold hungry night, wetter but wiser. The next day, out came the sun and dried our things, but if the rain had continued we certainly should have been obliged to go home or at least to a farmhouse to stay until the weather cleared. We soon forgot our unpleasant experience but we have not forgotten the lesson it taught—and that is not to waste time along the road when there is work to be done at the journey's end.
Next to a good tent, the most important thing for the camper is a good bed. It is even more important than good food because if we sleep well, hunger will furnish the sauce for our grub, but if we spend the night trying to dodge some root or rock that is boring into our back and that we hardly felt when we turned in but which grew to an enormous size in our imagination before morning, we will be half sick and soon get enough of being an Indian. A canvas cot makes the best camp bed if it can be taken along conveniently. There is one important thing to look out for in sleeping on a cot. In my first experience of the kind, I nearly froze. I kept piling things on me until all my clothing, and even the camp towels and table-cloth were pressed into service and was thinking about pulling some dry grass to pile on the rest of the stuff. Still I shivered until I discovered that the cold was coming up from underneath because there was nothing to keep it out but the single thickness of canvas. When I put one of my blankets under me, I was as warm as toast.
Very often it is impossible to carry cots on a trip, and that is where a knowledge of woodcraft comes in. The softest, sweetest, downiest bed in the world can be made with no other materials but those which grow in the forest—if we know how. At least the tired camper will think it is soft and will sleep on it like a top and wake up refreshed in the morning. Perhaps if we had our choice we would prefer our own bed at home, but in the woods we do not have this choice. Most people call this a bed of "pine boughs."
Why I do not know as it never should be made of pine under any circumstances. The best wood for the bough bed is balsam. If this does not grow in the neighbourhood, hemlock, spruce, or even cedar will do. To make a bough bed properly means a lot of work. The first step is to cut four straight sticks. The side pieces should be six feet and a half long and the end pieces three feet and a half. They should be notched on the ends with an axe and either nailed or tied together from saplings or from a tree that you have felled. Small balsam boughs should be broken off with the fingers and laid one on the other until the whole bed is filled with them. On this, the rubber blanket or poncho should be spread and the blankets over all. All the boughs should be shingled with the stems down to keep them in the best condition. This kind of a bed will require remaking every day.
A better bed for the boy camper is made as follows: Take a piece of heavy bed ticking and sew it into a bag about three feet by six feet. When you reach camp you can make a regular mattress by filling it with whatever material is most easily found. Dry leaves? grass, hay, even moss or wet filler can be used if nothing dry can be found, but in this case the rubber blanket will be an absolute necessity. Of course it is much better to use some dry material.
Be sure to have a comfortable bed. No matter what ideas you may have about cowboys and soldiers rolling up in their blankets and snatching a few hours' sleep under the stars by lying on the bare ground, a boy who is used to a good bed at home will never have much fun out of a camping trip if he tries to sleep on the ground with a rock for his pillow.
For a summer camping trip, one blanket is enough. You must learn to roll up in it. Lie flat on your back and cover the blanket over you. Then raise up your legs and tuck it under first on one side and then the other. The rest is easy. This beats trying to "roll up" in it, actually. The common summer blankets used at home are not much use for the camper. These are usually all cotton. A camper's blanket should be all wool. You can buy a standard U.S. Army blanket, size 66 x 84 inches, for five dollars. They can often be purchased in stores that deal in second hand army supplies for much less and are just as good as new except for some slight stain or defect.
A sleeping bag is expensive but is excellent for cold weather camping. It is much too hot for the boy camper in summer.
Do not sleep in your clothing. Unless it is too cold, undress, about as you do at home. If the blanket feels tickly, it would not be a great crime, no matter what the tenderfoot says who wanted you to sleep on the ground, to take along a sheet. I have never done this, however.
At the end of this chapter, you will find a list of things to take with you.
The camp fire and the cooking fire should be separate. Almost any one can kindle a fire with dry materials. It takes a woodman to build a fire when it has been raining and everything is wet. The boy's method of taking a few newspapers, and a handful of brush or leaves will not do.
First look around for an old dead top of a pine or cedar. If you cannot find one, chop down a cedar tree. Whittle a handful of splinters and shavings from the dry heart. Try to find the lee side of a rock or log where the wind and rain do not beat in. First put down the shavings or some dry birch bark if you can find it, and shelter it as well as you can from the rain. Pile up some larger splinters of wood over the kindling material like an Indian's wigwam. Then light it and give it a chance to get into a good blaze before you pile on any larger wood and put the whole fire out. It sounds easy but before you try it in the woods I advise you to select the first rainy day and go out near home and experiment.
To make a fire that will burn in front of the tent all night, first drive two green stakes into the ground at a slant and about five feet apart. Then lay two big logs one on each side of a stake to serve as andirons. Build a fire between these logs and pile up a row of logs above the fire and leaning against the stakes. You may have to brace the stakes with two others which should have a forked end. When the lower log burns out the next one will drop down in its place and unless you have soft, poor wood the fire should burn for ten hours. With this kind of a fire and with a leanto, it is possible to keep warm in the woods, on the coldest, night in winter.
This is the way to build a brush leanto: First cut two sticks and drive them into the ground. They should have a point on one end and a fork on the other. Lay a stout pole across the two forks like a gypsy fire rig. Then lean poles against the crosspiece and finally thatch the roof with spruce, hemlock or other boughs and pile up boughs for the sides. A brush camp is only a makeshift arrangement and is never weather proof. It is simply a temporary shelter which with the all-night fire burning in front will keep a man from freezing to death in the woods. Any kind of a tent is better or even a piece of canvas or a blanket for the roof of the leanto will be better than the roof of boughs. Be careful not to set the leanto on fire with the sparks from your camp fire.
Mosquitoes have probably spoiled more camping trips that any other one thing. The best tents have mosquito net or cheese cloth fronts which may be held close to the ground by a stick on the bottom. Perhaps the easiest way to secure protection is for each boy to take along a few yards of cotton mosquito netting and by means of curved sticks build a canopy over his bed.
A smoky fire called a "smudge" will sometimes keep the pests away from the neighbourhood of the tent or if we build it in the tent will drive them out, but the remedy is almost as bad as the disease. As a rule they will only be troublesome at night and the net over our bed will enable us to sleep in peace.
The most common "dope" used in the woods to keep off mosquitoes is called oil of citronella. It has a very pungent odour that the mosquitoes do not like and the chances are that you will not like it either. At the same time it may be a good plan to take a small bottle along.
You may safely count on finding mosquitoes, no matter where you go or what the people tell you who live there. Perhaps they have never tried sleeping in the woods and do not know. Be sure therefore to take along some netting or cheese cloth to protect yourself against them.
Everything that you can do at home to get ready for your camping trip will add to your pleasure when you get out in the woods. If any part of your kit needs fixing, fishing rods wound or varnished, your jackknife ground, your camera fixed, or if your clothing needs any patches or buttons, do it at home.
No one ever does half that he plans to on a trip like this unless he does not plan to do anything. Take along a few books to read for the rainy days and have them covered with muslin if you ever expect to put them back into your library.
If you have been putting off a visit to the dentist, by all means do it before you get out where there are no dentists. An aching tooth can spoil a vacation in the woods about as easily as anything I know of.
As a final word of advice to the beginner in camping, let me tell you a few things that my own experience has taught me.
A felt hat is better than a cap as it is sun and rain proof.
Wear a flannel shirt and take one extra one. You can wash one and wear the other. Be sure to have a new shirt plenty loose in the neck as camp washing in cold water will make it shrink. Do not go around in gymnasium shirts or sleeveless jerseys. One of my companions did this once and was so terribly sunburned that his whole trip was spoiled.
Two sets of underwear are plenty, including the one you wear.
Take along a silk handkerchief to wear around your neck.
Wear comfortable shoes. A camping trip is a poor place to break in new hunting boots or shoes.
Take bandanna handkerchiefs and leave your linen ones at home.
If you have to choose between a coat and a sweater take the sweater and leave the coat at home. A coat is out of place in the woods.
Khaki or canvas trousers are excellent. So are corduroy. An old pair of woollen trousers are just as good as either.
A poncho is almost necessary to your comfort. It is merely a rubber or oilskin piece with a slit in it to put your head through. The right size is 66 x 90 inches. With it you can keep dry day or night, either using it as a garment or as a cover. When you are not using it you can cover it over your bed or food supply.
Take along a good pocket knife and compass. Better leave the revolver home. Also always carry a waterproof box of matches.
You will require some kind of a waterproof "duffle" bag to carry your personal things—tooth brush, extra clothing, mirror, fishing tackle, towel, soap, medicine, in fact whatever you think you will need. If it is your first camping trip you will come home without having had any use whatever for more than half the things you take. That is the experience of every one, so do not become discouraged.
If you camp within reach of a post-office, address some stamped envelopes to your home in ink before you leave. Then you will have no excuse for not writing a letter home.
You can make an excellent pillow by rolling up your trousers. Be sure to take everything out of the pockets first, including your knife, and roll them with the top inside so that the buttons or your belt buckle will not bore into your ear.
If you fall overboard and come ashore to dry out, stuff your shoes full of dry grass or old paper to keep them from shrinking. When they are dry, soften them with tallow or oil. Every one who goes camping at some time or other gets wet. The only advice I can give you is to get dry again as soon as possible. As long as you keep moving it will probably not injure you. Waterproof garments are of little use in the woods. They are always too warm for summer wear and by holding the perspiration, are more of an injury than a benefit.
Never wear rubber boots in the woods or you will surely take cold. Better have wet feet. The best foot wear is moccasins. If you wear them see that they are several sizes too large and wear at least two pairs of heavy woollen stockings with them.
How to make the camp fire range—Bread bakers—Cooking utensils—The grub list—Simple camp recipes
Most boys, and I regret to say a few girls too, nowadays, seem to regard a knowledge of cooking as something to be ashamed of. The boy who expects to do much camping or who ever expects to take care of himself out in the woods had better get this idea out of his head just as soon as possible. Cooking in a modern kitchen has been reduced to a science, but the boy or man who can prepare a good meal with little but nature's storehouse to draw on and who can make an oven that will bake bread that is fit to eat, with the nearest range fifty miles away, has learned something that his mother or sister cannot do and something that he should be very proud of. Camp cooking is an art and to become an expert is the principal thing in woodcraft—nothing else is so important.