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.
We should not forget in dealing with the town and even the city boys that the field of agriculture, representing farming as a life's work, and agriculture, as it is related to the professions of agricultural teaching, scientific research and the businesses directly related to farming, have a wide choice for all boys, whether they live in country, big town or city. It is estimated that there are now about forty million people who live on farms and about thirty-six millions make their living through the professions, sciences, agricultural businesses, farm cooperatives and rural leadership lines. In other words, practically fifty per cent of the people of the United States are directly dependent upon agriculture for their living on a profit-making or salaried basis and, of course, we all know that all the rest of us are largely dependent upon agriculture when we consider that from the farms, forests and mines we get all the raw materials representing our three meals per day, our clothing and materials for houses, and materials for all manner of construction.
No effort should be made on the part of leaders to try to segregate farmers from other men in business, industry and the professions. On the contrary, through Scouting and its organization, boys and men should endeavor to blend them together and build for a larger cooperative program and a better rural-urban understanding and appreciation. Our leadership should point the way, not only to an appreciation on the part of farm people for their neighbors and friends of trade centers, but the reverse is also needed, we should endeavor to strengthen the faith of helping to get better understanding and appreciation on the part of town people for the farm population. A blending of the interests of all in trade centers with those in the trade territory will raise the level of cooperative effort, economic well-being and educational advantages of .all American people. To promote or permit too much class organization for selfish or political reasons, is a menace to America as well as to local community strength.
Our Scout leaders, officials and volunteers in the
"game of Scouting" should all have the understanding of the farm family, the farm home and the agricultural problems involved; then they should have enthusiasm for and real appreciation of farming as a mode of living. We should have a burning desire to be of real help on a cooperative basis, so that we do not drive farmers into selfish class organization, class legislation and class struggle.
We in Scouting can do much through Scout boy-man membership to develop better citizenship and a wise neighborly feeling not only between one another in this country, but to all of our neighbors and friends across the nearby borders and the seven seas.
The actual service to the rural boys may be summarized by the following seven points; and illustrates the relationship of the Boy Scout Program to farm, country life and agriculture.
1. It brings the program, the growth, the associations and the ideals of Scouting to the boy and helps him in his relationship to home and community.
2. It trains leaders for the boy at and near his home.
3. It strengthens the arm of the church, school and home in its character building work with boys.
4. It brings boys into helpful contacts with best men.
5. It helps parents to hold the interest of boys longer in relation to home, neighborhood and farm.
6. It helps parents, teachers and church leaders to fill the minds, hands and hearts of boys with interesting games, activities and thoughts, therefore leaving less room for things that destroy.
7. It offers training in outdoor crafts, skills of hand, training for emergencies, training in civic service, leadership and good citizenship.