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.
There are many public events in rural areas in spite of greater distances, fewer people, crop and stock feeding duties-the rural public events held are of great social importance to all. These may be fewer in number but they gain in importance. Coming less often, generally, they are events which the whole family attends.
The safe rule in planning such affairs is to have a generous representation of farm people on the planning group-thus guaranteeing that the convenience of the farm dwellers will not be overlooked as to time of day, day of week, rush crop seasons and other distinctively rural factors.
In the average area council with several counties in its territory, distance will keep many from attending central council events - although automobiles and good roads will permit many better-conditioned families to attend, it is unwise to require farm and village people to go far to attend council events.
From the angle of sound rural programming, it is highly desirable to bring the events as close as possible to the rural home, which is what the District Scout events do.
The leading, big public events of the council year now are several-the Circus type, the Merit Badge
Exposition, the country town Scout Street Show, and the Camporal or Camporee. These have replaced the Scout Field Day, although this type of rally is still popular and valuable in rural territory, especially as district affairs. Generally speaking, area councils now try to have at least one big council-wide public event on each year's program. In rural territory, the country (or other) fair is a major council opportunity and should be so recognized.
In addition to these, there are many possible council events such as Patriotic Pilgrimages, Patriotic Observances and Holidays, Mobilizations, Treasure Hunts, Scouters' Congresses, Sea Scout Regattas, Water Carnivals, indoor or outdoor, Achievement Round-ups, Scouters' Outings at Council Camps, Rover Moot, Rural Explorer Expeditions, Rural Leaders' Conferences, Scout Alumni Rallies, Citizenship Inductions, Service Mobilizations, Camper Reunions, Boy Scout Week Celebrations, Scout Street Demonstrations and Store Window Displays. The district public events are of particular importance to the rural people, being closer at hand and more of the nature of home affairs for which they are responsible in part.
The larger, or older, or more energetic districts throughout the country have developed the District Circus, the District Merit Badge Exposition and the District Camporee, in addition to the District Field Day, now popular as a district rather than an area council event. The school athletic field, the local baseball field, fair grounds, accessible camp and picnic grounds, or suitable farm fields can be used for outdoor events. The school gymnasium, if one is available, is well adapted to indoor demonstrations and events-though it is surprising what can be done in almost any type of vacant lot or building big enough to accommodate the project. Any of the many odd events listed above for the council may be conducted in the district, adapting it of course to the numbers involved, both as to Scouts and audience.
COVERED WAGON AT DANIEL BEARD PILGRIMAGE.
While in large events it is desirable to enable each Scout to have some part in the affair, in smaller districts and neighborhood plans it is absolutely necessary to "overlook" no one. Families and neighborhoods are interested in their own youngsters and like to see them taking part and will come to see them. This solves the transportation problem for rural Scouts, as the whole family can come together-as they should.