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 quarter turn of the 20th Century found town and country understanding one another, and coming more closely together in cooperation. Careful thinkers had long recognized that town and country interests were of mutual values and supplemented each other-yet for years the false emphasis had been pretty much a "one-way road" to the town or trade center. The local interests of trade tried to attract the farmers to town to stimulate spending, while the less scrupulous elements of the urban population sometimes exploited their rural visitors. The Scout Area Council and district organization brings town and country folk together in their common interests as related to boyhood.
To further this, the "District Organization" was developed as a local democratic unit where the people from all walks of life from the entire district are organized to be responsible for activities for their own boys. Here the rural dwellers and the small town or city people are represented on the District Committees-thus each catches a vision of the other's problems and cooperates toward solving them on a mutual interest basis.
The really far-reaching contribution to progress came when these "District Organizations" were developed, instead of inviting rural boys to come to town to get Scout training, took steps to reverse the process and bring Scouting to the rural boy in his own home and neighborhood, and to do so using any one of several plans best adapted to meet the situation of the rural boy,--.as a Lone Scout, a Lone Scout in a Tribe, as a member of a neighborhood Patrol or a Rural Troop. The development of rural Merit Badge subjects, the opening up of certain Merit Badges to Second Class Scouts, and the adoption of rural alternatives in Scout requirements were further steps to serve rural Scouts in a fair and practical way.
A NATIONAL PLANNING GROUP.
These and the introduction of rural life materials into the Handbook and the Scout program for boys, in 1926, has proven to the rural people that towns were joining with them to serve rural boys in their own home neighborhoods.
This cooperation marks the beginning of a new era of understanding and mutual helpfulness, which has been instantly reflected in increased enrollments of rural boys, as well as in the stabilization of area council finances due to the enlistment of a new group of supporters from rural territory.
SOME RURAL MERIT BADGES
This bringing opportunities to the farm boy has re-enforced the rural home and strengthened it as a social unit, by holding its members together and doing more for them in and around the home circle.
Any and all programs must recognize that this home circle is the most shaping force both in our individual as well as our national life.
Citrus Fruit Culture
Farm Home and Its Planning