Old SM Handbook
Jon Dixon (dixonj@ROCOCO.COLORADO.EDU)
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 23:08:52 -0400
With Chuck Bramlet's post of the Aims of Scouting from 1957, I decided
to check out my grandfather's old SM Handbook from 1930. While I didn't
find anything referring to this, I did find several things I thought I'd
share with the group. Actually, several touch on subjects which we have
discussed in the last few months.
First of all, in addition to a list of "Why Boys Need Scouting" (which I
don't feel like typing in), there is a list of "Why Scoutmasters Need
Scouting" that I thought would be good to share:
Leadership of Scouts brings many "by-products" to the Scoutmaster:
1. His own youth is renewed thru his association with youth -- the real
fountain of youth sought by Ponce de Leon.
2. The outdoor life reacts constructively on his own health.
3. The "outdoor-crafts" become his own knowledge. He, too, comes to "be
4. The Scout Oath and Law clarify his own ideals. He, too, does "good
5. It multiplies his influence in the lives of the troop -- his loyal
friends and staunch supporters.
6. It discovers to the Scoutmaster his own hidden qualities of
leadership, making of him a better "human engineer" in his business.
7. Scouting provides the rare joy of tangible evidence and consciousness
of results--results too, that are built into human life.
On troop size, they quote the Bylaws of the BSA (at that time) that a
Troop consists of "at least one and not more than four Patrols of eight
boys each." It further states that "When a Troop tends to expand, it is
best to find a new Scoutmaster who will organize a second Troop."
On the uniform, it says " As long as the boy is passing the Scout tests
and living the Scout law he is a Scout, whether he has a uniform or
On retention, it suggests that "A Troop losing 20% or more of its
membership in a year should study the reasons why." It suggests keeping
track of how long boys were in the program and what rank they were upon
dropping out, as well as looking at why they decided to drop out, to
look for a pattern of a problem.
There are a number of other things that looked like they might be
interesting, and I think I'll go back and give it a more thorough review
to see what other gems of wisdom I can get from it. If anything seems
to merit posting to the group, I'll do so.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City