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 small trade centers, with their circle of farm families who come there to trade, are large enough to "carry" a District Merit Badge Exposition. The basic idea of this event is a series of booths, each made the responsibility of a Troop or Patrol or Tribe of Scouts, for them to decorate, fix up with exhibits of work done in that subject and made a live demonstration by showing some Scouts at work on the item in question. For example, in "Beekeeping," the Scouts could have some hives with glass fronts, showing the bees at work. Placards and literature would give information and the skeleton parts of the frames and hives could be shown.
In "Cement Work," samples of finished work, with placards concerning mixtures, forms being made, cement mixed for making various simple projects, such as small book ends or ornamental vase, etc.
In "Beef Production," actual young beeves can be part of the exhibit, pointing out their scoring points with placards telling the story of rations, weight increase in a time period, judging, and methods of feeding. First-aid to animals always commands interest.
The Merit Badges relating directly to farm life will be of especial interest to both farm and rural town community. The models and drawings which may be made to illustrate "Landscape Gardening," "Farm Home and its Planning," "Farm Layout and Building Arrangements," or the blanks involved in "Farm Records and Bookkeeping" will have a wide interest appeal. Where buildings were not available and mild weather permitted, such "Merit Badge Shows" have been put on in a court house square or village street closed off for the purpose. In a small trade center, such demonstrations and exhibits may be put on in a series of show windows on business streets.
In addition to the booths, there may be a central platform or stage where a 15-minute presentation and demonstration is put on, say once every hour, one after another.
The fair is particularly a public event of the rural community and it affords unusual service and demonstration chances to the rural groups, the Rural Patrol of a town Troop, the Neighborhood Patrol, the Lone Scout Tribe or the Lone Scout with the help of his "Friend and Counselor." The exhibits should be so planned that charts show the different ways in which the rural boy may get Scouting. In addition, it is recommended that there be exhibits and demonstrations by representatives of each of these Scout group plans-the Rural Troop, the Neighborhood Patrol, the Lone Scout Tribe, the Lone Scout.
The Merit Badge Show type of booth with explanations, finished products, and work in process makes an excellent "fair" demonstration. Among the types of projects are first-aid demonstrations and service station; fire fighting and general and farm fire prevention and protection including demonstration "carrys"; rope work in halters, actual barrel hitches, pulleys and handling of heavy items with rope; hay rope, tow ropes, lashing, splicing, use of rope and wire in various repairs; first aid to animals, with as many "real" demonstrations as possible; an information service, a guide service, an ushering service, a messenger service, a lost and found service; helping with parking, checking packages and the like-the possibilities are many and varied.
CUBS AT WORK.
Rural Scout leaders need to be alert to the possible presence of undesirable moral influences about some agricultural fairs.