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.
Tribes differ from Troops in that they
1. Are organized with 5 or more Lone Scouts, while Troops run 8 to 32 or more.
2. The Lone Scouts come in one at a time, then federate to form a Tribe of Lone Scouts which meets usually once a month in the day time. The Troop starts with a substantial number, 8 or more registering at once, usually meets weekly, in the evening.
3. The Tribe is not a community group but is a federation of Lone Scouts from many neighborhoods scattered over a wide area or district, while a Troop is a community group.
Because of these differences, Tribes may be sponsored by the District Committee, which appoints a Tribe Committee and a Tribe Scoutmaster. The District Committee may appoint parents of Lone Scouts in the District as members of the Tribe Committee. In either case, the contact with the "Friends and Counselors" of the Lone Scouts should be established and maintained.
Management of the Neighborhood Patrol has been made very simple in order to make it easy for the two to eight boys, and their homes, to have the benefits of Scouting opportunities. While technically there is no sponsoring institution, as a matter of fact the homes and parents involved constitute the responsible group back of the Neighborhood Patrol (or Den). Three or more parents must approve the Neighborhood Patrol Scoutmaster, thus actually handling the function of the Troop or Tribe Committee. These parents may register, if eligible, as Scouters (or Cubbers) but they are not required so to register. The Neighborhood Patrol Scoutmaster (or Cubmaster), however, must register. It is the responsibility first of the District Organization Committee and later of the Neighborhood Commissioners to keep in touch with these parents who really constitute a volunteer committee and may be so used.
The Lone Scout (or Cub) and his "Friend and Counselor" constitute the "Buddy Unit," the smallest unit in the Boy Scouts of America. Here the "Friend and Counselor" corresponds to the Scoutmaster (or Cubmaster) of the other rural groups.
Inasmuch as he must be acceptable to the boy's parents (or guardians) the boy's own home stands back of his Lone Scout relationship, sharing with the Scout District Organization in responsibility for seeing that this young rural citizen receives a real training experience.
Volunteer Fire Companies as Sponsors
There are thousands* of volunteer companies in the United States which not only have rendered a vital cooperative service in fire protection, but have become important social forces in their communities as well.
* 12,000 in one association.
Many of these have sponsored Scout groups. In Adams County, Pennsylvania, there are 22 volunteer fire companies in towns and villages ranging in population from 150 to 4,500. One volunteer fire company became interested in sponsoring a Scout Tribe, with Patrols in the nearby places. The fire company provided training in the essentials of fire prevention, fire fighting and first aid. It also arranged a demonstration and invited in representatives of the other volunteer fire companies of the County to show them the importance of the work.
Quite independent of the practical things involved, the providing of new interests to these rural boys is full of educational value. It provides free time action, contact with best people of the community and widens the boy's chances to serve his neighborhood, with the citizenship values which that involves.
Such a volunteer fire department plan gives Scouts many chances to be of help while enjoying the whole relationship.
1. The fire prevention training received is passed on to home, school, church, grange and recreation contacts.
2. The removing of fire hazards is done as an organized program.
3. Scouts help in demonstrations, exhibits and campaigns to educate the public in fire prevention. This may be done at fairs, schools and various community gatherings.
4. Scouts can help other fire companies to organize Scout groups and help start and train them.
As Patrols, under a leader, Scouts may:
1. Keep the curious crowd back.
2. Handle first-aid work as required.
3. Run errands and carry equipment.
4. Handle water bucket relay for men fighters.
5. Assist men in fire fighting, one boy for each man.
6. Take care of phone service-for doctor, ambulance, etc.
7. Help care for hand equipment-such as jumping net, wet blankets, brooms, shovels, pails, forks, rakes and operate the small fire-fighting equipment at small fires.
8. Patrol can develop and operate small home-made fire company truck to be used on small fires such as grass, hay, brush, woodlot.
9. Run coffee and lunch service for fire fighters, when necessary.
10. Help fire company survey fire hazards-checking chimneys, inspecting basements, barns, areas of dead grass, timber, railroad grass and brush hazards, and help correct these before they cause fires.
Scouts frequently have aided, after fires, in handling debris as well as in actual assistance to families made homeless by the fire.
How Volunteer Fire Companies Start Scouting
This is done by appointing a committee of three to five men to establish contact with their Scout Local Council and follow the usual organization steps, with this committee of the volunteer fire company serving as a sponsoring committee.