Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
received our Silver Medal. From Perth to Perth
I also had the pleasure of handing to the 1st Perth Troop a challenge flag for general efficiency sent out to them by the Perth Scouts in Scotland.
And they were a very smart lot and well earned the championship. The Scottish Scouts may well feel proud of their brother Scouts in Western Australia.
A Camp Fire
In the evening we had in camp the biggest camp fire I have ever seen, and one of the best camp concerts that I have heard by Boy Scouts. So, you see, they can do things in Australia.
The Calling of Animals
When mentioning Australian Scouts previously I said how much I liked the call of their magpie, but that I found it a jolly difficult one to imitate.
At the rally of the Perth Scouts I saw a Magpie Patrol among them, and so I asked them to give their cry. They did, and it was splendidly done, and sounded exactly like a number of those birds singing their chuckling call.
The head of the Zoological Gardens, who had allowed the Scouts to have their camp as well as their rally there, said that he was astonished at the good knowledge the Scouts had about animals, as to their habits and what part of the world they came from; and, he added, they very soon learnt not only to know the different calls of birds and beasts in the Zoo by listening to them at night, but also to imitate them so well that they could call up most of the animals and get them to respond.
I know I tried it on myself in the Zoo at Adelaide by giving the howl of a wolf. The wolves at once began to yowl in reply, and then the dingoes (wild dogs) and jackals all joined in, and this started the eagles and vultures screaming and flapping about their cages. You never heard such a din.
By using calls in this way stalkers can get wild animals to come near to their hiding-places, and they can thus watch their doings and draw or photograph them.
You can easily practise it at home by lowing like a cow to get calves to come up and lick your hand, or you can get up quite a conversation with a dog by growling and whining, either of which can be made good-tempered and playful or quarrelsome to get the same sort of return from the dog.
A boy who is good at it can get a thrush or a pigeon or almost any bird to answer and often to come to him by making its call.
Western Australia is best known for its gold mines. About sixty years ago a farmer named Hargraves lived near Bathurst in New South Wales. He had been gold digging in America, and it struck him that some of the soil in New South Wales was very like that of the Californian gold country. So he started out into the Blue Mountains near Sydney to see if he could find gold.
The way you do this is to take a tin basin, like a shallow wash-hand basin, put a little earth into it and half fill it with water and gently swill it round, gradually pouring off the surface mud until only the heavier stuff remains.
Gold, being the heaviest of all, remains to the last, so that when you have washed all the mud out of the pan the few grains of yellow stuff still remaining are the gold dust.