This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
The farmer feeds the world. America looks to her soil for her food, and for her raw materials for industry and commerce.
Rural America also is our major source of "human resources" as its higher birth-rates attest. Despite the trend of continued influx into industrial centers, 47.8% of our annual crop of Cub and Scout age boys are in the rural area-in places under 1.000 population and in open country.
Scout-age Boy Population.
While the cities of 100,000 and larger have 29.6% of the total population, they have but 25.1% of the Cub-and-Scout-age boys. In the rural territory, however (under 1,000 and the open country), with 40% of the total population, they have 47.8% of the Cub-and-Scout-age boys. The Cub ages are 9 to 12 and the Scout ages run from 12 on to 21.
The rural territory, therefore, contains the most boys. It is also the place where the percentage of boys reached by Scouting is the smallest.
Number such places
% Total population in such places
12-yr.-old boys* in such places
Scout groups in such places
500,000 and over
100,000 to 499,999
25,000 to 99,999
10,000 to 24,999
5,000 to 9,999
2,500 to 4,99
1,000 to 2,499
Under 1,000 and open country
(* Note-The 12-yr.-old-boys are a fair cross section of Scout-age boys hence the use of that figure.)
This analysis shows that the percentage of Scout Troops, Tribes, Patrols, Ships, as compared with population, is low only in two divisions-in the very largest cities, and in the rural territory, or communities and neighborhoods under 1,000 population.
In the largest cities we have council organization which is in the city-in the presence of the opportunity. In the rural areas, we have to set up the district organization necessary to bring Scouting to the scattered small groups and individuals.
While the rural territory has more boys, it has fewer Troops, Patrols, Tribes and fewer new boys recruited, as the following analysis shows:
DELAWARE BOY BUILDS CHICKEN COOP.
No. Troops available per
100 12-yr.-old boys
New Scouts recruited per each 100
100,000 and over
10,000 to 100,000
1,000 to 10,000
Under 1,000 -villages and open country
(Note-The 100 12-yr.-old boys are a convenient unit, mathematically, for figuring what we have done and what yet needs to be done.)
At present with 80% of rural boys wanting the chance to be Scouts, we have only 1.2 Troops, Patrols, Tribes, etc., for every 100 twelve-year-olds, and we only recruited 9.1 new Scouts per 100 twelve-year-olds in the country-which records are only 1/5 and 1/6 of what is being done in the small cities.
Here then, in the neighborhoods and homes of rural America, is the great opportunity and responsibility of the Scout Movement-to bring to rural boys experiences and opportunities that will aid in building character and sound citizenship.
With the majority of the Scout councils of the United States having rural territory - the careful organization and proper operation of these rural districts constitute the major opportunity for most councils.