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 Federal Charter of the Boy Scouts of America says:
"The purpose of this Corporation shall be to promote, through organization, and COOPERATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by Boy Scouts" by placing emphasis upon the Scout Oath and Law for character development, citizenship training and physical fitness.
"Cooperation with other agencies" is therefore a fundamental policy of the Movement and particularly so, as the Scouting Program is offered for use to sponsoring institutions like schools, churches, granges, luncheon clubs and farm organizations or in rural neighborhoods cooperation is offered to groups of interested citizens.
In the rural community there are many strong, well established agencies with which the Scouting Movement seeks to cooperate-each helping the other and for the purpose of a larger and better service to rural families.
Cooperation, working with and for the rural home, is the first obligation of any rural program for boys. The rural home is the central institution and around it are builded the life of the family and the industry of the farm. Scouting's cooperation must take the form of pulling toward the rural home, not away from it. Cubbing has the same basic social philosophy. Lone Scouting, Lone Explorers and Lone Cubbing bring the Scouting opportunities to the isolated boy in his home circle. The boy's "Friend and Counselor" (see Chapter XXXIII (The "Lone" Plan For Cubs And Scouts)), is selected by the boy out of his own immediate circle of contacts.
Similarly the Neighborhood Patrol, or Rural Cub Den, serves a small group of two to eight boys in the small rural neighborhood. (See Chapter XV (Sponsoring Rural Scouts And Cubs).) This is set up with a minimum of overhead organization and fitted into and centering around the home and neighborhood. This makes it easy for a boy to start Scouting and harder to let it go. Good roads are cited by some people as making it easy for rural people to go to town or city. For Rural Scouting, good roads means "easy to come to" the farm home, rather than the emphasis "easy to go away from" it. Its aim is to "bring to" not take from the rural home and neighborhood. The Handbooks and Program, the projects and Merit Badges of Scouting all include farm interests, enterprises, hobbies and skills. Here we have Scouting brought to the farm home, made easy to get in terms of local conditions, and so administered as to point toward the farm community. One third of all the Scout Merit Badge subjects are directly related to farm life and the rural industries. (See Chapter XXXI (Rural Explorer Scouting).)
FARM IMPLEMENTS LEFT IN "THE BIG SHED".
The Rural School is our government's most impressive and significant contribution to rural life.
It is a democratic institution under local control, stimulated, however, by county, state and national standards. It reaches into every home and neighborhood. In general, it is of three types: a) the time-honored one, two or three room schools, of which there are still about 300,000; b) the nearby village school, particularly at the high school level where about one-half of the enrollment comes from open country; c) the consolidated school where a township, or sizable area votes itself into a school unit, with central educational facilities and tax-supported transportation. The Parent-Teacher Association in the Rural School constitutes an ideal group to sponsor and help further Rural Scouting in its various forms.
The County and District Superintendents of Schools are key men for Rural Scout Districts, as they are related to all the rural schools and two-way cooperation should be explored through them.
In the smaller communities, the volunteer fire company becomes something more than a trained group ready to fight fires-it has become an important social organization. As a result this group can be aided in various ways in their work and in turn they can help with sponsorship, finding leaders, serving as instructors, helping with all Scout programs. A rural Troop, Tribe or Patrol or Lone Scout can help them in fire-hazard surveys, clean-up campaigns, distribution of fire prevention literature, and many other similar services. (See Chapters XXV and XV.)
We have in the United States many thousands of rural letter carriers. They are very familiar with their own section of the open country. Each calls on 150-300 farm homes and mail boxes daily and has a wide acquaintance among those served. They are quite permanent, being under Civil Service, and have national, state and county organizations. Get acquainted with them and invite them into the council Scouter service.
The National Grange (of the Patrons of Husbandry) was organized in 1867 to serve as a farmer's fraternity for fraternal, educational, social, legislative and economic benefits to farmers. Its membership approximates over a million throughout the United States. The growing number of its Grange Halls in 1937 numbered over 3,600 and were valued at $25,000,000. They served over a million young people through use of their Grange Halls by 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts and others. They have sponsored many rural Troops, Tribes and Patrols.
With its membership of from a million to one and a half millions it seeks to advance the general cause of farmers and farming. Its national, state and county Farm Bureaus have young people's departments called Junior Farm Bureaus. It cooperates with the Agricultural Extension Service, teachers of Vocational Agriculture, the Four-H Clubs, the Future Farmer Clubs of America and the Boy Scouts of America.
In addition to the "Four-H Clubs" and "Future Farmers of America" contacts mentioned, the State Agricultural Colleges and their Extension Service (of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the State Colleges) are available for many kinds of invaluable cooperation. There are over 4,600 County Agents covering the 3,097 agricultural counties in the United States. The kinds of two-way cooperation are indicated by the sample "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Extension Service of a State College of Agriculture which is reproduced in the Appendix.
A list of ways of two-way cooperation with Four-H Clubs is in the next paragraph.
The Four-H Clubs are a part of the Agricultural Extension Service of the State Agricultural Colleges in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. National, state and county adult leaders are government employees, while local club leaders are volunteers and serve a million and a half rural young people, 10 to 21 years of age.
There are over 30 different phases of farm and homemaking activities which may be undertaken as projects by Four-H Club members. There has been a close cooperative relation between the Four-H Clubs and Rural Scouting in most of the States, including mutual recognition of the other's projects. Memoranda of understanding are developed in most of the states providing for state-wide cooperation between the two agencies.
The following list of suggestions was informally accepted by a group of New Jersey Scout Executives and Four-H Club agents as a basis of cooperative effort in the interest of all boys. (See sample Cooperative Agreement in Appendix.)