To help the Scout make a wise answer to this question of "What Life Work?" is to help him stabilize his life and give it direction, interest, enthusiasm and force.

A choice implies a comparison of several different opportunities, and that is precisely what this chapter aims to encourage-exploring and trying out a number of occupations and then making a comparison.

Some want to ask first about an occupation, "What will it pay?" However, this is really less important than its permanence, its chances for growth and advancement, its chance to serve others and have a constructive place in community life, its chance to make the world a better place, and a chance to enjoy one's life work as a fine game.

After counseling with others and seeking to try out opportunities as suggested in this chapter, and after visiting various farms, plants and businesses and investigating carefully certain occupations, the rural Scout will be in a position to make a comparison. It is urged that he be encouraged to make this comparison in some such written form as the following outline:

Vocations To Be Compared


Their Aims

Kind of Work Contemplated











Is it a profession

An occupation

Is it a necessity

A luxury

Is it crowded

Is it seasonal

Is it permanent

Is entry difficult

How does one enter

Minimum age for apprentice

For full employee

Preparation needed (years)

Elementary School

High School


Professional School

Added Experience

Total Continuing Study and preparation






What Trade Union require-

(Or advantages or limitations

What capital, if any, is necessary to start work in this

What are the hours of work?

What vacations are there?

What wages (or salary) to start? What increases might be ex-

What further financial outlook? What provision for sick benefits?

What effect on one's health? ...

What moral effects in occupation?

What kind of people encount-

What opportunities for social

Does work involve a desirable

Is it a worthy area in which to

Does it afford a chance to be helpful and friendly to people?

In the light of the above rate the

Scouts Watch Summer Harvest New Jersey


The Scoutmasters, the "Friends and Counselors" and the parents of Scouts may aid in answering some of the questions which arise in the Scout's mind as to whether he is making a wise choice of a life work. If he enjoys the work, enthuses over it, turns out high grade products or service results and forgets the clock while at work, or like Edison even forgets the dinner hour, then he may be on his life's work trail and should be encouraged to pursue the line by further training and preparation.

Leaders, even if they are guidance "experts," should be careful and avoid making life work selections for boys.

In reality there are just four steps. As leaders, we can:

1. Raise the question of "What-in life's work?"

2. Stimulate and aid the boy to find information about various callings or vocations.

3. Stimulate and aid the boy to make actual "try-outs" of the work in which he is interested.

4. Encourage him, in the light of available information, observations and advice gathered, to make his own decision.

Guidance experts would undoubtedly have turned down Demosthenes for a public speaking career!!! or Abraham Lincoln for statesman and President of the U. S. A.