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.
Why is it important for a local Boy Scout Council to have a Rural Planning Committee, selected and appointed to advise and represent the council in the development of Scouting in the rural areas? Here are a few reasons:
By having a Rural Scouting Committee, the council is more apt to select men who understand the rural field, rural people and rural organizations; men who have influence and leadership strength in this particular field.
This Committee of rural men will have the approach to rural organizations, institutions and agencies and can secure the cooperation of these organizations and their leaders. The Rural Committee can give actual leadership on a voluntary basis to the organization and development of the District Organizations of the council. This Committee can advise and give guidance to the whole program of Scouting when operating in the rural territory.
The Rural Committee can help the council devise ways and means to set up a Finance Organization Plan to raise funds from rural territory to help meet the council needs so that adequate work and leadership may be available to the area.
Some councils of the United States are so rural that most members of the Executive Board, Troop Organization Committee and other Standing or Operating Committees are rural men. In such cases it may not be necessary to have a special Rural Committee, provided, of course, that the Council will make sure that men are on the Executive Board and Committees of the Council who will carry out the program for rural development.
The duties of this Rural Scouting Planning Committee, as set forth in the standard Local Council Constitution and By-Laws, are:
Northwestern Threshing Direct From Field.
1. Plan ways and means by which the Council may develop helpful, cooperative relations with rural churches and schools, granges, farm bureaus, agricultural schools and colleges, farm cooperatives and other rural groups.
2. It shall suggest to those related, methods of acquainting the general public with the Rural Scouting Program and the opportunities to enjoy Scouting which are available to boys on farms, rural villages and towns,
3. It shall guide those related in making rural boy-fact surveys and in developing programs based on the needs as revealed in such surveys.
5. It shall advise with the Finance Committee of the Council in developing financial support for the Council program in the rural sections of the Council territory.
6. This Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Executive Board, the Operating Committees and the Administrative officers of the Council concerning any problem which may arise incident to the promotion and administration of Scouting in the rural field.
This committee should cooperate with the Scout Executive in securing and having before them the answers to three questions:
1. What rural population do we have and where located?
2. What boys are we now serving in this rural population?
3. What institutions, groups, areas should we approach next to reach rural boys not now having the opportunities of Scouting?
These three questions boil down to:
1. What boys are in our area?
2. What ones are now served by Scouting?
3. What ones, not now served, should be?
To answer these questions and make them the basis of action, the Council and the Rural Committee need to analyze the Council Area.