Educational Work of the Boy Scouts
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SCOUTING AND THE SCHOOLS.
Scouting continues to enjoy the cordial indorsement of school men everywhere all over the country. More and more those interested are coming to see the enormous possibilities of cooperation between the scout movement and the schools. Many schools now give credit for scout work done outside of the schools. Many more are in hearty sympathy with the program as an extraschool activity.
In 1919 there were organized in connection with public schools 1,942 troops and 170 in connection with private schools. The records also show that for the same year 1,623 scoutmasters were also school-teachers. Many troops have their meetings in the school buildings and in turn render good service by taking charge of fire drills, first aid and safety first instruction, yard clean ups, flag drills, etc.
Scout leaders take the utmost pains to see that scout activities do not in any way interfere with school duties, and troop meetings are regularly held on Friday evening for that reason. The best results have been obtained not by formalizing scouting, but by supplementing and vitalizing the book work by the practical activities of the scout program. Through scouting many a boy's healthy curiosity to know has been whetted, so that he comes for perhaps the first time in his life to see "sense" in books. As one school man has said, "Scouting has done what no other system yet devised has done—made the boy want to learn."
The National Education Association, meeting in Chicago in 1919, had a special scouting section which was particularly helpful, interesting, and conducive to closer cooperation between the scout movement and the public schools.
The department of education of the National Council is at present engaged in working out the development of a national policy governing the relations between scouting and the schools, for important and successful as the work has hitherto been, it is believed that only the very outskirts of the possible fields of mutual helpfulness have yet been reached.
SCOUTING AND CITIZENSHIP.
The making of good citizens is one of the chief aims of the scout movement. Everything in its program contributes directly and indirectly to this end. Every boy who associates himself with the movement is impressed with a sense of personal responsibility. If he sees a heap of rubbish that might cause a fire or collect disease-carrying germs, he is taught to report these traps to the proper authorities without delay. He is enlisted in every movement for community betterment and good health. Scouts are organized for service and have participated in hundreds of city-clean-up and city-beautiful, and "walk-rite" campaigns. They fight flies and mosquitoes and fever-carrying rats. They assist forest wardens and park commissioners in preserving and protecting trees and planting new ones. They help the police in handling traffic in crowded conditions, as in parades, fairs, etc., and work with fire departments in spreading public information as to fire prevention, as well as actively participating in cooperation with fire brigades....