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 is no reason why rural boys 15 years of age or over should not have the advantages of the Sea Scouting program. Some of the best Sea Scout Ships in the country have been located in the heart of the agricultural sections and in the midwest.
Whether the rural Scout is a member of a rural Ship or of a rural Patrol in a town Ship or in a Troop or Tribe, or is a member of a Neighborhood Sea Scout Patrol, there are some items with respect to which the rural differs from the urban Sea Scouting.
1. The Patrol or Ship is probably smaller.
2. The meetings may be less frequent, unless the members happen to live near each other.
3. The "land Ship" meeting room layout may need to be on a portable basis so the equipment can be taken out and put away; where a room had to be used for other purposes at other times, a land Ship may be so constructed that it can be erected in the open at county or state fairs.
4. Meeting places in the small town or village include school, churches, lodge halls, town hall, vacant store, implement storage places, barns and sheds. In some of these, the heating problem in cold weather and any attendant fire hazards must be intelligently worked out.
5. There is no greater problem in finding a suitable leader for the rural than for the urban Ship or Patrol. It is not essential to have a Skipper who has had experience on the sea. It is quite feasible for a man and a group of new Sea Scouts to "start in and learn together." They may explore the lore and practices of the lakes, rivers and sea as set forth in the Sea Scout literature.
6. Advancement may be less rapid but the enjoyment of the program will not be decreased thereby. Items
7. 8 and 9 affect both rural and urban:
7. The lakes and rivers map of the United States shows the remarkable distribution of inland water areas. With the exception of actual semi-arid or arid areas, there are probably very few Scouts who are not within reach of rivers, lakes, ponds and pools where boats might be used. These same rivers, lakes, and the "deep water" make possible the annual cruise of whatever nature it may be. Here skilled leadership will be found as needed, and safety precautions will be taken to meet the National Council and Local Council standards for such trips over land and water areas.
8. Rural Sea Scouts have especial opportunities for service in the interest of safety at the various water places where rural people hold their picnics, go swimming, fishing, hold farm gatherings and camp meetings and other festive events. In fact, the need for such service is probably even greater in the rural than in urban places. Sea Scout training will "prepare" these young men to do such service.
9. Sea Scout meetings offer the rural young man a wealth of personal and social experiences. The following outline tells something of what is done at Sea Scout meetings.
SEA SCOUT CEREMONY AT WASHINGTON JAMBOREE
A. Pre-Opening ("gathering the Crew"). During the pre-opening period there is chance for fellowship, visiting, short committee meetings, preparation of special items; also prepare ship's bell for use at meetings.
B. Opening Ceremony ("hoisting the anchor").
1. Muster in the crews-receive crew reports.
2. "Colors up."
3. "Pipe" the Skipper aboard.
C. Crew Meetings ("set the sails").
1. Business, dues.
2. Projects, skills, instructions.
3. Discussions, plans.
4. Plans for use of water areas in farming.
D. Assembly ("All hands on deck").
2. Reports on projects.
3. Contests (inter-crew).
5. Water Explorations.
E. Closing ("Furl sails-drop anchor").
1. Chanties, other songs.
2. Skipper's minute (a bit of inspiration).
3. Change of "watch."
4. "Pipe" the Skipper ashore.
5. Closing-Colors, benediction.
F. Staff Meeting ("on the bridge").
1. Discussion of meeting.
2. Plans for projects related to farming, marketing and distribution.
3. Plans for next meetings.
In addition to meetings of this sort, with their colorful and educative ceremonies, there are outdoor sessions, monthly or bi-monthly social nights or ladies' nights for Sea Scouts and their leaders and their ladies, where the Sea Scout gains happy experiences in the social amenities and ways of being or becoming a gentleman, both on the surface and at heart.
10. Some rural Sea Scout activities.
Rope work-splices, hoists, tackle.
Issuing Sea Scout magazine (typed or mimeographed or handwritten with carbon paper).
Making furniture for meeting place, Scout's own room and home.
Making various parts of land-ship layout for meeting place-running lights (green) on the starboard (right) side, red on the port (left) side-ship's bell -ship's wheel (made out of old Ford front wheel)- ship's anchor, etc. See full details in "Handbook for Skippers" or "Adventuring for Senior Scouts."
Making crew "ship chests" for crew equipment. Making flags and other ship decorations. Developing radio club (perhaps with amateur sending by someone in club or some government commissioned amateur).
Sea stories and sea heroes.
Dramatic, musical or stunt "open nights" for Sea Scouts, leaders, ladies and families of the neighborhood.
Building a "first aid" rural service squad.
Holding discussions, debates, parliamentary sessions. Making sea-bag.
Developing cooking kits and gear. Making various kinds of models (as desired)-boat models, model buoys and sea ways, anchor models. Building exhibits of rope uses, chart container, building Sea Scout shack and equipment, keeping a pictorial "log" of ship affairs.
Boat building (see "Adventuring for Senior Scouts"). Educational trips; eats. Merit Badge activity. Special crafts.
Agricultural club projects and readings. Profit or "thrift dollar" jobs.
For special outdoor expeditions see "Adventuring for Senior Scouts" for cruises, canoe trips, motor tours, skiing, skating, winter expeditions, geologizing, etc. Swimming meets, pulling or sailing races, repairing boats, waterfront work, charting, sailing models, making soundings.
Navigation, astronomy, weather.
Visiting ships, light houses, hospitals, Coast Guard stations where possible, etc.
Service as Life Guards, Troop instructors or leaders, traffic and safety surveys, first-aid squad, camp leadership, helping with traffic, ushering, feeding at picnics, home comings, fairs, etc., tree planting, helping with insect control measures. Social events such as picnics, home or church or school socials, "pot luck" suppers, mixed programs, stunts, musicals, sings, spelling bees, rural District Bridge of Honor, Harvest Home Festivals and reunions.
Life work contacts through hikes to factories, stores, farms, etc., addresses by experts at meetings, reports, discussions, conferences with Merit Badge Counselors and service club representatives.
Ceremonies of charter presentation, investiture, meeting opening and closing. These are regarded as being as important as they are colorful and interesting as well as educational.
BUILDING A ROW BOAT (See "Adventuring for Senior Scouts" for full details)