Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
The best kind of British Scout does his work at a run, whereas the American is apt to do his in a more leisurely fashion, and on parade there is more talking and looking about in America than in England; but I think this is largely because the leaders of patrols in America have not yet taken charge of their Scouts quite so fully as they have done at home, and so this will come right in a very short time.
At any rate, the American Scouts are jolly keen, sharp fellows, and, my word, they can cheer.
The cordial way in which they received me was, indeed, astonishing and delightful. And when I told them that their brother Scouts in Great Britain would gladly welcome any of them in the Old Country, they sent up a cheer of greeting which might have been heard across the Atlantic.
An interesting point in the rally of the Scouts in New York was that among the troops on parade was one composed entirely of Chinese boys – and they drilled well and smartly; also one of negro boys; and also one composed half of blind boys, the other half of boys who could see, each of whom acted as leader and comrade to a blind boy. This idea might well be carried oat in other places.
From New York to Albany gives one an interesting run on the railway for miles alongside the great Hudson River, which at this season of the year is frozen over.
It is curious to see the ice harvest going on. Every half-mile or so is a great storehouse into which blocks of ice are being hauled. These are cut by means of ice-ploughs drawn by horses, which cut long, straight furrows followed by cross furrows, dividing the ice into neat squares. These are then split off by men with crowbars, and hooked up and slid along to the factory.
Over some parts of the frozen river, where ice-collecting is not going on, one sees ice-boats sailing about at tremendous speed. These are practically toboggans or sledges with masts and sails to them, and they move with a good breeze faster than any other kind of vehicle used by men.
At Albany we saw more Boy Scouts, and I was interested to hear that one English Boy Scout had come there and gone into a business house. Then it was that he did credit to the Scouts of the Old Country, for his new Scoutmaster soon found that he was different from the local Boy Scouts in one particular point.
The Albany Scouts were good fellows in camp and at woodcraft, manly and able to take care of themselves, but they lacked two things which the English boy had, and they were courtesy and politeness. He afforded them an example in his respect to his seniors, his saluting and calling them “sir,” and general politeness, and showed that a Scout should be a gentleman as well as a backwoodsman; and the Albany Scouts have now taken up the idea.
They have some good patrol-leaders there, too.
One of them told me that he was going to take his patrol on a really fine “hike,” or what we call a “tramp camp,” of a hundred miles, but he would not start until every one of them had gained his first-class badge. “He was not going to lead a lot of second-class fellows about the country.”
A Boys’ Republic
I visited a place that would be of great interest to Scouts, because, in some ways, it is like our Scouts’ Farm at Buckhurst Place.
As you know, the Scouts there have their own farmsteads, and manage their own affairs, having a