Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
mayor and town council elected from among themselves.
Well, at this place which I visited, at Freeville, in America, there is a village occupied by boys and girls who manage their own affairs entirely, just as if they were a community of grown-up people, and they do it just as well as grown-ups could do it.
Most of the houses in the village are lodging-houses or hotels, some for boys, others for girls. Other buildings are the bakery, the laundry, the carpenter’s, blacksmith’s, printer’s, and grocer’s shops, the dairy and farm, the church, gymnasium, court-house, school, hospital, and hostel.
The “republic” is managed by one of the boys as president, and others as the chief justice, treasurer-general, secretary of state, chief of police, and so on.
These make laws and carry them out. If a citizen breaks the law, he is taken before the judge and tried by a jury of boys and girls in a regular court-house, and, if found guilty, he is condemned to a term of imprisonment in the gaol. All this is carried out exactly as it would be in a grown-up community.
The republic has its own money coinage, and every citizen has to pay his board and lodging in the ordinary way.
In order to get money for this he can engage himself to work in any one of the shops he likes. There he gets regular pay according to his ability as a workman. It just depends on himself what sort of food and lodging he can afford according as he earns little or much pay.
If he chooses to be idle and not earn anything he is “run in” as a vagrant and gets sentenced to hard labour. For this he receives pay, but unless he works hard it is only just sufficient to buy him plain food. The government do not feed him for nothing.
The citizens seem a delightful and happy lot.
I went to a supper party at one of the girls’ hotels when they had boys in as their guests, and we had a very cheery party.
Also, they have their football, baseball, and basketball games, and I saw a fine match of basketball in which the republic played against a team from a neighbouring town. It is really a splendid game when well played and on strict rules as was the case here.
It was very interesting to see the boys working in the baker’s shop; they turn out most excellent cakes and biscuits as well as bread. And the carpenter’s and joiner’s shops turn out excellent work for which they earn very good prices.
Altogether, the whole republic is exceedingly well managed and just shows that boys can be as sensible and hardworking as grown-up men if they have the right grit in them.
Niagara under Ice
The Niagara River forms the boundary between America and Canada, and close to Niagara City it makes a sharp bend where there is, a big cliff dropping down 160 ft., and the water falls over this in a magnificent cascade about three-quarters of a mile long.
In summer this causes clouds of spray to fly into the air and to fall like rain all around.
In winter this spray goes up, but as it falls it freezes and turns into snow and ice. The consequence is that great mounds and hillocks of snow form on the rocks at the foot of the falls and keep on growing higher and higher till they become nearly as high as the falls themselves.
Then, wherever there are small trickles of water down the cliffs, the frost turns them into icicles, small at first but increasing day by day as the water continues to run down them till the whole of