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.
Whether boys live in the country, town or city, good citizenship and sound character are fundamentals of life. The Scout Movement was developed in the United States to contribute, as Dr. James E. West has stated so often, "to filling America's greatest need -men of character, trained for citizenship." Under its Federal Charter, the Boy Scouts of America offers its program to all boys wherever they are-in their own institutions, neighborhoods and homes. Scouting therefore is for both rural and urban boys.
Paved roads, electricity, better schools, libraries have usually come to cities first, due to natural causes of numbers, distance and expense. When Scouting was started in America (see "History of the Boy Scouts of America," by William D. Murray), the cities reached for it because they were organized to do so. For years many people thought of the city as the place to which the country boy should go to get all the city advantages. Thoughtful people, however, saw that the rural boy should not be forced to "emigrate" from his home neighborhood. Good roads and quick transportation therefore were not only a means "to go from" but "to bring to" the rural boys what America has to offer them.
City and large town conditions were suited to the development of the Scout Troop with its weekly meetings. At first this was the only form through which Scouting could be had. Experience revealed, however, that all that was necessary to adapt Scouting to rural conditions was to offer it to the numbers that there were in any neighborhood in terms of their own needs, conditions, numbers and distance from towns.
RURAL SCOUTING is offered through a) Rural Troops (8 to 32 boys) b) Rural Patrols of town Troops (8 boys) c) Neighborhood Patrols (2 to 8 boys) d) Lone Scouts (1 boy and 1 man) e) Lone Scout District Tribes (and their Patrols)
RURAL SENIOR SCOUTING is available in five ways: a) Rural Explorer Troops, or Sea Scout Ships, or Rover Crews b) Patrols-Rural Explorer or Sea Scout in a town Troop or Ship or Rural Rover "Team" in a town Rover Crew c) Neighborhood Patrols of Explorers, or Rovers d) Lone Explorers, Lone Rovers e) Explorer District Tribes
TOWN CUBS LEARN ABOUT PLOWING.
4. The Rural Scout Worker must KNOW
Anyone who would serve country life and rural homes must KNOW rural conditions and people.
A Leader must: Know his field Know his people Know the farm family Know rural agencies and institutions Know rural organizations Know the "best" rural men
Know (via survey) the needs of boys, their homes, neighborhoods
Know and talk "rural language" and interests
Know Scouting rural plans, methods, programs and organization procedures Know rural sales methods
Know how to train leaders for their neighborhood jobs.
5. The Form of Organization must be made Acceptable to Rural People
The program brought to the rural home and its boy to be effective must be brought in such a way that the rural people and their leaders see it and accept it as:
Adaptable to their rural conditions.
Understood by rural leaders.
Acceptable to rural agencies.
Workable in rural neighborhoods.
Result-getting to meet local needs.
Helpful in recruiting and training rural leaders.
Helpful to bring about rural-urban understanding and cooperation. "
Helpful in building rural institutions.
Helpful to parents in making a more satisfactory village and country life.
Helpful to churches and schools in serving rural communities.
With all of the above, Scouting must be PRIMARILY HELPFUL TO BOYS in relation to men and to one another as boys in building character and training for citizenship.
6. Town and Country Cooperate through Scouting
True to the spirit of the Scout Law, the town and country parts of a Scout Council cooperate, each supplementing the other. In over 90% of the Scout Councils there are large rural areas.
TYPICAL FARM VISTAS.
Each is interested in boyhood. Each helps to serve boyhood. Council annual programs and plans therefore include even-handed service to both and through both to all. Recognizing the differences, the Council makes provision for each variety of boy need.
How Council territory is classified into types of urban and rural communities:
City Communities and The Country with its:
Neighborhoods with Towns their: Villages Commercial zones Hamlets Main streets Open country neighbor-Apartment houses hoods Residential sections Lumber industry neigh-Suburban sections borhoods Industrial sections Mining sections Subsistence homes Subsistence Homesteads Special sections or farms
Special and transient
7. The General Plan of Approach-the District
An Area Council, once it is properly set up, operates as an association of Districts, the District being the field organization unit of a Scout Council. The following outline of steps covers items which are treated in detail in various of the following chapters.