While the rural boy has less free time than the usual run of city boys-and while he bears more responsibility and does more work than most of his city friends -yet the rural boy passes through the same cycles of development as do other boys.

From 9-12, roughly speaking, he passes through the individualistic or ME stage; from 12-15, he is in the lonesome or WE stage; after puberty, at about 15, he transits on into a romantic or SHE age period.

In recognition of the progressive differences at these ages or developmental levels, the Boy Scouts of America has developed a sequence of programs of activity-for ages 9-12, Cubbing; for 12 to 15 (plus), the original Scouting program; for 15 to 21 (plus), either Senior Scouts in the Troop, Sea Scouting or Exploring; with Rovering for the years 18 to 21.

Action and Development

Rural boys, like all boys, enjoy doing things-things they want to do-things that interest them-things that fit into the plans of their own affairs.

When a rural boy is tired from doing chores, or haying, or hoeing-a hike may attract him less than the quiet rest of fishing, or of reading, or of meditation or just "resting." The point is that whatever the program of action, it must be suited to the individual boy and his interests and fatigues at the time when the Scout program and he get together.

Here is where the subtle psychology of Scouts "building their own programs" can be seen as especially important for rural Boy Scouts.

Fortunately, the Scout Program includes so wide a range of "projects to do" that a "suitable" and acceptable one can be found to fit individual need.

However, this should not imply that "things to do" are less important to the country boy. Action-doing -experience-these are the soil of development. They are essential for mere growth and for physical development-they are even more essential for mental and social growth and the development of skills.


One of the important services to be rendered the rural boy through Scouting is to add to and supplement the normal activities of the farm with other items which together broaden into a balanced set of experiences.

Farm and vocational interests, work, responsibility, handling animals, crops and machines-these experiences need to be supplemented by such things as- an accurate acquaintance with first aid; emergency, fire and safety techniques; the idea of civic service; camping and outdoor cookery; and the development of various skills and crafts-all dominated by the Scout ideals of individual and group living and being helpful to others. Such a combination gives the country boy a richer educative experience than would come if living in town or city.

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