[NOT YET EDITED!]
Letters to a Patrol Leader
THE SCOUT PROMISE
My DEAR JIM,
I have just got your letter telling me that you are to be a Patrol Leader. After your experience of Scouting you have certainly deserved it. The great thing about your appointment is that it shows that your Scoutmaster trusts you. It is up to you to show your Scoutmaster that he is right.
You tell me that you mean to have the finest patrol in the Scout Movement. If that is what you are out for, you are up against a pretty tough job, but it is something to be a Leader who is ready to have a try.
It is not succeeding that makes a man so much as trying. If you go on trying hard enough, success will come; but when it does come you need not bother very much about it.
Trying gives a man big muscles, but if a man bothers too much about success it sometimes gives him a swelled head.
The first thing you have to make up your mind about if you want to be a leader is where you want to lead the people who are going to follow you.
There are six other chaps in the Kangaroo Patrol besides yourself. They can jump along pretty well if you tell them where to jump to; but, when I see a lot of Kangaroos jumping about in no particular direction, it makes me feel that it is the Leader himself who had better hop it and give the chance to somebody else who is a bit more of a Scout.
"CALLED TO HIGHER SERVICE"
On July 6th, 1916, the Author of this book, Captain the Hon. Roland E. Philipps, when gallantly leading his men of the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in a charge against a German trench, was killed, or, as we like to call it in the Scout Movement, " Called to Higher Service."
Shortly before this time Captain Philipps had sent the following dedication for this book :
To those Patrol Leaders, young and old, in all parts of the World who are trying daily to be loyal to their Scout promise, and to uphold the honor of their Ten Scout Laws."
We are sure these letters will now be read by Patrol Leaders with a double interest and will probably have a double influence throughout the whole Scout Movement, by the fact that Captain Philipps proved by his own life that he was loyal to the Promise and the Laws upon which he has written for the Leaders whom he loved so much.
WHAT I have often told to gatherings of Patrol Leaders, I repeat now to you who read this, namely, that you have a great power to do good or to do harm to the Scouts placed under your charge. It largely depends on your character and your example to them which way they go.
Here are the three steps you should take:
First, WIN YOUR BOYS by making yourself their friend and helper.
Secondly, INFLUENCE THEM by your example in conduct and in doing things.
Thirdly, CONTROL THEM with your good sense and by keeping them up to the teachings of the Scout Law.
Your key to success is thoroughly to understand the inner meaning of the Scout Law, to carry it out in all that you do and thereby to give the lead to your boys.
The value of the Scout training hinges on the Scout Law. Therefore you will find the following delightful letters from Captain Roland Philipps of the highest value, and of the greatest help to you if you read them carefully.
All success to you!
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
Your job, then, as a Patrol Leader, is to produce seven good Scouts, one of them being yourself, and every time you creep or crawl or walk or run in the direction of good Scouting you are on the road that your Chief asks you to take.
Some people think that a Scout is a bloke with dirty knees and a big hat; other people believe that he is a boy with a clean mind and a big heart.
As you go about the world wearing your Tenderfoot Badge in your buttonhole, you will find that people have mixed ideas as to the meaning of Scouting; but, so long as your own ideas are not mixed, it does not much matter about those of anyone else.
There is only one definition of a Scout.
A Scout is a boy who stands holding up his three fingers and says:
"On my honor I promise that I will do my best: First, to do my duty to God and the King,
Secondly, to help other people at all times, and Thirdly, to obey the Scout Law."
Every boy in the world who has taken that Promise is a Scout, and without taking it nobody can join the Scout Brotherhood.
But the Leader of the Kangaroos must be more than a Scout; he must be a good Scout and not a bad one.
The difference is this:
A bad Scout is a boy who has taken the Promise and does not care very much about it; while a good Scout is a boy who takes the Promise with pride, and is trying every moment of the day to keep it.
A good Scout is always thinking about his Promise; be repeats it to himself in order to remind himself of it. He knows the Scout Laws by heart, and he knows, too, what they mean. He knows what they mean through having practised them.
Unless you know what a law means, you cannot keep it. On the other hand, if you practise it, you find that it has a grand meaning which you would never have discovered if you merely learned it out of a book.
You have made up your mind, then, to have a good patrol; and a good patrol means a patrol of good Scouts.
You are going to meet your patrol for the first time on Thursday night. Make it quite clear to the other chaps what Scouting means-that you intend not only to remember the Scout Law, but also to carry it outand the moment you begin trying to practise the Law you will find that you want to work for a few of those seventy-one badges you were talking to me about the other evening on your way back from work.
You will tell your patrol that they cannot rescue a drowning man by taking off their hats to him and by offering him a seat on the bank of the river instead of a bed in the middle of it.
You will tell them that you cannot help a horse that has got entangled with its harness in the street by stroking its neck and offering it a lump of sugar.
You will explain to them that you cannot help a blind lady across the street if you are too blind yourself to notice her existence, nor can you prevent your pancake on Shrove Tuesday from turning into a scone merely by knowing that the ingredients are flour, milk, and eggs.
In order, then, to be a Scout, you must Practise Scouting. You cannot practise Scouting unless you know something about it, and you cannot know much about it unless you are ready to learn.
One of the best ways of learning is to go in for the Scout Badges. You begin by being a second-rate chap, we call it Second Class, and you go on afterwards and get your First Class Badge and make a bid for or some of the seventy-one others, with the Bushman's Thong in the distance.
If you take a large slice of bread and jam in camp, somebody else may be a slice of bread and jam the less;
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
but you take an Ambulance Badge or a Pathfinder's
but if you will find that somebody else-six others,
Badge, perhaps-is an Ambulance or Pathfinder's Badge the more.
Badges are rather like chicken-pox. When the
spots begin to come out, you know that you are getting them yourself, but you are not sneaking anybody else's. In fact, being a generous-hearted sort of fellow, you are giving even more than you get.
It is just the same with Badges; if you are a good Leader, you get one and give six away to your patrol.
Well, Jim, you will be working very hard with your boys during the coming months; but the great thing is to make them feel the whole time that the backbone
of Scouting is the Scout Promise and the Scout Law. The best way is to devote a quarter of an hour to the Scout Law whenever you meet.
You can take one Law each time and explain as best you can what it means. You will then ask your
patrol what they think it means, and, between the seven of you, you ought to get some splendid ideas.
The next week, when you meet to discuss another
Law, you will ask the patrol whether they have found out any new methods of keeping the one which you yarned about a week ago.
In this way the knowledge and keenness of the patrol will always be increasing, and the Scout Law will begin to take a very large part in the daily lives of the Kangaroos.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 13
SCOUT LAW No. I Scout's Honour is to be Trusted.
My DEAR JIM,
Your Scoutmaster is quite right to tell you that you can do without a Second for the first month. He is going to carry out the Chief's wishes by letting his Leaders choose their own Seconds, and until you have got to know your Scouts very well you would not be certain as to which was the best boy to assist you. It will help you afterwards to have had a month before making your choice.
I This week you are going to make a start by telling them about the first Scout Law.
One of your brother Scouts may raise the question as to why the Law is not put in the form of other laws.
A law is usually put in the form of a command, and instead of "A Scout's Honour is to be Trusted" and " A Scout is Loyal to the King," one might expect to find " A Scout must always speak the Truth" and "A Scout must be Loyal to the King."
The difference between Scout Laws and ordinary laws is this:
A Briton will still remain a Briton even if he is continually breaking the laws of his country; but a Scout who continually breaks the Law will not remain a Scout. This is a very important point to remember.
When the Chief says, "A Scout's Honour is to be Trusted," he means that, unless a boy's honor is to be trusted, the fact of his wearing Scout uniform and of carrying out Scout practices will not in itself make him into a Scout. The ten Laws are worded as facts.
The Chief tells you what a Scout is. A Scout is a boy who is honourable, loyal, useful, a friend both to human beings and to dumb animals, courteous, obedient, cheery, thrifty, and clean.
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
A boy who is not trying to be these things is not a Scout, however many badges he may wear on his arm. This should be made clear to every boy in the Movement, and I know that you can be trusted to make it clear to your patrol.
When the Chief wrote the first Scout Law, he had a vision of a world filled with a new race of boys and men who had got no secret schemes hidden away, no secret thoughts kept in the background, no secret sins unknown.
Everything would be open and straight and clear as the day, for the brotherhood of men would be a brotherhood of Scouts, and a Scout's Honour is to be Trusted.
You will read about brave men and brave women who have sacrificed their pleasures, their comfort, even their lives, for honour's sake, and Scouts will try to Be Prepared to do the same if ever called upon.
A boy will tell you that he is working at a hosier's shop. A customer comes in and asks for socks, and he finds that he has not got the size required. His boss expects him to take the nearest size in stock, and to tell the customer that they will fit, even if he knows this to be untrue.
If a Scout is asked to say this, what is he to do? The answer is that "A Scout's Honour is to be Trusted wherever he is."
It is the same thing in a fruit shop, where a boy is told that when questioned by a customer about any fruit, he is to say that it is "fresh in" that morning.
In many different kinds of employment a boy is expected to be not quite honest; but if a chap is a Scout, he is ready to be sacked rather than tell a lie.
It wants some pluck to tell the truth when it means the prospect of losing a well-paid job, but it is worth losing one's job if one is winning a fight that will help one's brother Scouts.
I told you that a Scout is always on his Honour
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 15
not only when somebody is there to say, "I trust you on your Honour," but also at every moment of his daily life, when the voices of thousands of Scouts all over the country and all over the world seem to be whispering into his ears, "We trust you on your Honour to be a real Scout."
And when I find a boy trying to get chocolate out of a slot machine by putting in things which are not pennies; or when I see a boy hastily getting off a tram in order to complete a penny journey before the conductor has had time to collect a penny fare; or when I see a boy or a man getting through the fence of a football ground to avoid paying to enter at the gate; or when I hear of a man who gave the wrong ages of some boys whom he was taking into camp in order to get them through with half-tickets-when I come across these things, I of thousands of Scouts in the in order that the ideals of a every bit of meanness and which takes place to-day.
only wish that instead Country we had millions Scout might drive away every small dishonesty
You will tell your Scouts that if a boy is working in an office and he makes use of his employer's notepaper or telephone without permission, he is not keeping the first Scout Law.
You will tell them, too, that the Law is being broken by a Leader who writes out patrol notices during office hours, not necessarily because he is taking his employer's note paper, but because he is taking his employer's time.
To take somebody else's time is in many cases every bit as dishonest as to take their stamps or their money.
Some people tell you that all this is an impossible ideal, that such a high standard can never be more than a dream.
But a Scout will not mind about what people say so much as what he himself is trying to do.
if there is not a very high standard of honour in
16 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
business now, he knows that it is worth while being a Scout to try to raise the standard.
If there is a great deal that is dishonest and unfair and underhand, he is going to try to be one of those who bring about a glorious change.
So every day the Kangaroos will go gladly to their work, realizing that a Scout must never in any circumstances fell a lie, and knowing that for them, at any rate, there can be no tampering with honour or with truth.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
SCOUT LAW No. 2
A Scout is Loyal to the King, his Country, his Scouters,
his Parents, his Employers, and to those under him.
My DEAR JIM,
Your patrol seem to have thought of a good many things in connection with a Scout's Honour that
, and you will find each time that my own ideas on the different Scout Laws merely touch the skeleton of the question, and that you will only get at the real thing by talking things over with your brother Scouts.
When you tackle the second Scout Law, you will find that you are not confronted with such personal difficulties as you were in the case of the first, and you will find also that the hardest boy you ever have to tackle will have some ideas of the meaning of loyalty when he has no idea of the meaning of truth.
Loyalty has its outward signs as well as its inward meaning, and these signs are things which no Scout will pass over or easily ignore.
A Scout is Loyal to the King and to his Country,
I did not mention in my letter
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 17
and as a sign of loyal courtesy he is glad and proud to stand at the Alert on the playing of " God Save the King. "
You will find that, at the finish of many entertainments, people hurry away from their seats without paying any attention to the playing of " God Save the King." It is up to a Scout to set an example to the others, and before long things will change for the better through the practice of the second Scout Law.
We honour and respect the King as the representative head of our Country and of the British Commonwealth; and as Scouts we not only honour and respect, but also love him' believing that he is earnestly striving for the good of his people, and that he is setting the highest standard of what we mean by "an English Gentleman. "
In the Scouts we have the privilege of knowing that the King is our patron, and that several members of the Royal Family are members of the Scout and Guide Movements.
You will remember that a Scout salutes the Union Flag as the symbol of the Country's unity, and he also salutes at the playing of the National Anthem, to Scout Flags when carried ceremonially, and to all funerals.
The best way of being loyal to the King is by being loyal to the Country.
I asked a Patrol Leader once what he meant by loyalty to the Country, and he answered:
"The way to be loyal to the Country is by being a Scout. "
That is a splendid answer, because if you are loyal to your Country you want to make her a present, and you can make her no better present than that of a kind, clean, manly, true Boy Scout.
No good Scout will ever speak against his employer, because that is disloyal.
Some chaps manage to raise a laugh amongst their pals by saying something against their boss or the
18 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
firm for which they are working. But you will find that in the long run his pals do not think much of a chap who speaks against his employer.
A boy who is disloyal to his employer will probably be disloyal to his parents, and a boy who is disloyal to his parents may at any moment become disloyal, also, to his friends.
I remember an office where the manager was a very small man, although he had a good deal of sense. There was a big, hulking fellow working under him who continually tried to be funny at the expense of his seniors.
He used to go about asking the riddle: " Why is Mr. - like the definition of a point? " He gave as the answer: " Because he has position and no size." His manager got to hear about this one day and sent for him.
"Well, sir," he said. "I understand that I am similar to the definition of a point as being a person of position but of no size. In future you will differ from me in this important respect, that you will be a person of size but from henceforth of no position."
You may be asked a question about strikes.
Supposing in some big industry such as that of coal-mining, or ' on the railway, the Trades Union to which you belong gives you an order to go on strike against your employer?
Loyalty to your Union tells you to strike, but loyalty to your employer tells you to stick to your job. What is a Scout to do?
It is a fair answer to say that in all the larger industries, and probably in many of the smaller ones also, it is fully recognized as a right that employees should join their Union if they wish to do so.
It is also understood that, as conditions exist at present, to strike is one of the recognized methods of industrial warfare, and that in certain straitened circumstances the Union may resort to the strike as a
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 19
weapon for bargaining just as the employer may resort to locking out his workers.
Strikes and lock-outs cause so much misery, however, that every good Scout will hope that the day may
soon come when we can do without them.
Nothing is more likely to bring about that day than the practice of the ten Scout Laws, both on the part of the employees and also on the part of the employers.
You will speak to your Scouts very strongly about loyalty to their parents, and the fact that you played the game so well at home a few weeks ago when your parents were in trouble will make what you say to the boys carry a great deal more weight, especially with those who know you.
The beginning of loyalty to parents is never in any circumstances to say anything against them, either seriously or in fun, nor to allow anybody else to say anything against them.
I saw a small Patrol Leader teaching his patrol The Scout Law one night at a headquarters in Poplar.
"What you have to do, chaps," he said, not noticing that I was walking up to the group he was talking to, "is to stick to 'em. "
I asked whom you had to stick to and when.
" I was speaking about being loyal to your parents, sir, the second Scout Law. You have to stick to 'em always through thick and thin, or you ain't really a Scout at all."
That, after all, is the secret. A Scout is loyal not only to the King and his Country, his Scouters, his employers, and his parents, but he is loyal to the men and women and children amongst whom he lives. That means that he sticks to them through thick and thin, and tries to do his best for them.
Otherwise, in the words of that small but splendid Patrol Leader, " He ain't really a Scout at all."
Times may come, of course, when two loyalties seem to conflict, when you feel that a situation has
20 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
arisen in which it is impossible to be loyal to two people at the same time.
For instance, if you find one of the boys in your patrol smoking, loyalty to your Scoutmaster might tell you to report him, and loyalty to your brother Scout might tell you to say nothing.
The answer in this case, and in many others of the kind, is that, to say nothing if you find a boy in your patrol smoking, is not loyalty but cowardly leadership.
If you find a chap going wrong, it is your job as a Patrol Leader and a brother Scout to set him right, This is not done by running off to your Scoutmaster, but by speaking to the boy himself.
You will appeal to him in every way that you canthe way in which you do so depends very much upon the boy-and it is only after having tried every other means that you bring the matter before your Court of Honour and you ask your fellow Patrol Leaders and Scoutmaster their advice.
You are never loyal to anybody by helping them to go wrong. If you really mean to stick to them, you will be trying to enable them to go right. In this way you will strengthen your own character, at the same time being able to help a friend.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
SCOUT LAW NO- 3
A Scout's Duty is to be Useful and to Help Others.
My DEAR JIM,
They are starting a new troop in Bethnal Green. I was yarning to the chaps the other night
about Scouting. They were a splendid crew of about
forty boys, all of whom were eager to join.
I told them of a small boy who jumped out from a
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 21
crowd of staring and frightened people to stop a runaway horse that was galloping down the road. I described how difficult a thing it was to do, and how plucky it was of such a small chap to take the risk of trying it.
I asked the boys why they thought he had tried it at all. Their answer was:
"Because it was his duty, sir.
I told them of a particularly gallant act where a woman fell over the edge of a pier just as a big liner was coming alongside, and a boy of thirteen dived down into the water and got her out of the way just in time to avoid being crushed.
I told them of the crowd of people, strong men, many of them, who were standing on the side shouting but doing nothing to help, and I asked them why this boy had been the one to make the first dive into the water.
They gave the same answer as before:
"Because it was his duty, sir. "
The answers that these boys gave me that night showed that they had already learnt a good deal about Scouting in a better way than by hearing a Commissioner talking to them.
They had learnt it by reading of the generous deeds and heroic actions performed by Boy Scouts all over the world, and they had learnt it by their personal acquaintance with the Scouts in their own neighborhood, who, in spite of constant failure, were continually trying to do their duty in the spheres of everyday life.
You will soon be meeting your patrol to speak to them on the third Scout Law, the Law of Duty.
Duty is not the same for everybody. Some people have one duty to perform and some another. It may be one man's duty to emigrate to Canada, while it is another man's duty to look after his mother in England.
It may be one man's duty to work as hard as he
22 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
can for eight or nine hours every day, while in a certain case it might be another man's duty to take a month's holiday for the sake of his health. But the duty of every Boy Scout is the same.
" A Scout's Duty is to be Useful and to Help Others."
The Chief Scout goes on to say that a Scout will do his duty before anything else, even though he gives up his own pleasure, or comfort, or safety to do it. He must Be Prepared at any time to save life or to help injured people.
The question you must ask your patrol is not:
Do you want to do your duty? " but " Can you do your duty?"
A Scout's Duty is to be Useful, but he cannot be useful by merely wanting to be. You must learn how to be useful and how to help others.
A great deal of the Scout training is based upon the knowledge that, unless properly trained, one is quite unable to be loyal to the second Scout Promise and to keep the third Scout Law.
If a man has broken his leg, you cannot help him by knowing how to cook rice pudding and how to make a model airplane to take him home in,
If you find that one of your brother Scouts is walking about the streets on heels made of leather and soles made of flesh owing to the absence of that particular portion of his boots, you will not help him by being a le to tie six kinds of knots blindfolded, nor by blowing a bugle into his left ear, but only by knowing something about the work of a cobbler.
A Scout finds that, if he really means to help others and to make himself useful, he must learn a little about everything, and a good deal about as much as he can,
The principle of knowing something about everything and everything about something is quite a good one for all Scouts to remember.
A Scout who means to be useful will work very hard
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 23
to get his Proficiency Badges. He will be keen to get them, but he will be keener still to deserve them. There will be no idea of swank in his mind when he wears them on his arm.
A Scout will not merely win his Badges, but he will look for opportunities of using them.
The way to use an Ambulance Badge is not to run about looking for people with fractured thighs; nor will an Ambulance Scout be continually getting opportunities of practising what a Tenderfoot once aptly described as "artificial perspiration."
The Ambulance work which a good Scout will practise is the attending to cuts and wounds amongst the other boys in his own troop and his own patrol, and also amongst the little boys whom he may meet from day to day in the street where he lives.
A Scout who is looking for broken thighs is like the man who was waiting for the river to flow past so that he might cross on dry land. He was still on the bank when he died. He died of a broken heart and never so much as hitched up his trousers to have a paddle.
A Missioner Scout can always find missioner work if he likes to look for it. In Hackney, some of the Missioner Scouts give up one night a week to visiting the blind.
In the same way, Scouts may make arrangements to pay regular visits to the children's wards in some of the big hospitals, and also to cheer up crippled people by taking them books and newspapers in their own homes.
A good Leather Worker may show his loyalty to the third Scout Law by giving up one evening a month to repairing the boots of the poorest boys in his patrol.
A . Handyman should never allow a chair or doorhandle at home to remain long broken.
A Carpenter ought to see that there is a bookcase at his troop headquarters; that there is a nice little stool for a Scout who wants to sit down, and that the
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frame for the picture of his Chief has not needed to be purchased from somebody outside.
A boy who has earned his Musician's Badge will try continually to make himself more proficient in order that he may help things along at a concert; while a Scout Naturalist will not stop at sixty wild flowers, but will have a collection of 16o which will be of considerable interest to anyone he may meet who is interested in the study of natural history.
It is easy to talk about being useful, but it is hard to do these things in actual everyday life.
It is not so difficult, however, for a Scout, for the Scouts have got a magnificent way of reminding themselves to keep the third Scout Law.
The way is by tying a knot every morning in the corner of their handkerchief-if they are without a handkerchief an old boot-lace will do equally welland by not untying that knot until some definite Good Turn has been performed.
I know that you yourself have been carrying out this practice quite regularly ever since you joined, and the fact that your Scoutmaster is doing just the same must give a good deal of encouragement to the boys.
You told me the other day that sometimes you found it really difficult to get your Good Turn done until quite late in the evening, and once you failed altogether, and so had to do two special Good Turns on the next day.
Some people who have never tied knots in their handkerchiefs except to remind themselves to have two helpings of pudding for dinner will laugh at Scouts, and tell them that a person with a kind heart does a great deal more than one good action every day.
if anyone tells you that, you must ask them to tie a knot for a week and tell them to get it undone.
The Scout's Good Turn does not mean some kindness that one would do in any case, but it means something
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that one has gone out of one's way to do to help other people.
In one troop they do not count it a Good Turn for a boy to give up his seat in a 'bus or in a tram. " Because," as one of their Seconds told me not long ago, 11 any chap who was a gentleman would do that, whether he was a Scout or not."
The Chief has likened the Boy Scouts to the knights of old, and you will remember that the knights of old took a great deal of trouble in looking for Good Turns to do.
They did not merely stay at home and stroke the cat and make the tea. We know that they were kind to the cats and to all other animals, and being Scoutlike people they would certainly have been able to make excellent tea.
Their Good Turns were done by deliberately going out into the world and looking for people who might need their help, and by giving their help gladly when the opportunity came.
Scouts do the same, they go about the world looking for opportunities of doing Good Turns.
Sometimes a Good Turn may consist in removing a piece of banana peel from the pavement or a bit of broken glass from the road. Sometimes it may consist in rescuing somebody from a burning house or in pulling a child out of a rushing stream.
It does not matter whether the Good Turn is a big one or a small one, whether it takes a long time or whether it takes a short time, whether it is difficult or whether it is easy.
The only thing that matters is that the Scout is moved by a spirit of sacrifice and of service, and that he goes about the world more gladly because he knows that a Scout's Duty is to be Useful and to Help Others. Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
26 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
SCOUT LAW NO. 4
A Scout is a Friend to all, and a Brother to Every Other Scout, no matter to what country, class, or creed, the other may belong.
My DEAR JIM,
As I set out last night for an evening of Scouting, I met two men with a third between them. They were carrying him. He could not stand on his feet, because he was dead drunk. He had been spending his evening in one of the dirtiest public-houses in East London. He went into it because he thought he wanted some beer.
What he really wanted was not beer, but a friend.
One winter I was walking along the London Embankment late at night. There were people sleeping there who had no bed to go to and no home. They had slept there many nights before. They had never, in fact, had much of a chance.
A chance might have come to them if they had ever found a friend.
A lad of eighteen was called up before the magistrates for stealing something out of a shop. He had stolen eleven times before, and was quite likely to steal eleven times again. He had never been into a church in his life, and had hardly heard a kind word from anybody since the day he was born.
Some said that he might be all right if he went into one kind of institution, and some suggested another. It was not so much an institution that he wanted, however. What he really needed was a friend.
Wherever we go, whether north, or south, or east, or west, whether in the country or in the town, we will find men and women and children who need that greatest, perhaps, of all God's blessings-a friend.
Where, then, are these friends to be found?
" We have a Law," is our answer, " and the Law says that a Scout is a Friend to all."
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Some people think the fourth Scout Law is a passive Law.
The third Law tells you that you must go about doing good turns, the sixth Law tells you that you must extend your good turns to animals, while the ninth Law tells you that you must deliberately put by some of the money that you earn. The fourth Law, they suppose, is a more passive Law. There is nothing to trouble about. You merely have to be a friendly person and a nice chap to other Scouts, and there is no more to be said.
This idea is all wrong. The fourth Law is perhaps the most active Law of all. The Chief wants a Scout to earn for himself the name which Kim earned-the name of "Little friend of all the world."
Now, if you read about Kim, you will find that he was not the sort of boy who sits still quite comfortably in a chair, but he was perpetually moving about amongst other human beings.
The people to be a friend to are the people who most need a friend; and it is just those people that a Scout may never meet unless he goes out of his way to do so.
Wherever you may be, either in your family circle at home, or at school, or at work in an office, or at a foundry, or at a club of men or boys, you will find, if you keep your eyes open, that there is at least one person, perhaps more, who feels a bit out of thingswhat we often call "down."
They may have had a piece of bad luck or several turns of bad luck; they may be unwell; they may have suffered loss, either small or great; or they may merely be rather depressed; and it is into the lives of those very people at those very times that we want as Scouts to go.
We must look for those who want a friend, and let them have a friend in us,
You may have heard that, a good many years ago
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when General Gordon was running his boys' club at Dartford, a small, ragged boy who was starting on a two-mile walk to his club room after a day's work was asked by somebody he met why he was going so far.
"Because there's a bloke up there wot loves yer."
That was his answer. It was short, and full of meaning. If any more was wanted it was given by the boy's happy step and sparkling smile as he went along his way.
All the crimes and sins in the country are committed by people who lose their self-respect, and believe that nobody cares whether they go straight or not-who think that they have no friend.
If there are 5oo,ooo Scouts in Great Britain to-day, how grand a thing it would be if 500,ooo happier people who would otherwise be sad could look up brightly and gladly and say:
"Yes; I have got one friend, at any rate. He is a Scout. A Scout is a friend to all, and I know a Scout who is a friend to me."
If you can get your patrol to catch hold of something of this spirit of friendship towards the whole world you will have no difficulty in getting them to be "A Brother to Every Other Scout, no matter to what country, class, or creed, the other may belong."
It is quite a good thing to think now and then:
" Now, which chap in our troop seems to be getting a less jolly time than the rest? "
You will nearly always be able to think of one or two boys who seem to be a little out of things.
Perhaps they are not very cheery. Perhaps there is something about them which makes the other boys laugh. Perhaps they are rather sensitive. Perhaps they are not much good at games. That is when the Kangaroos have a good chance of being loyal to the fourth Scout Law.
Your Scouts will go out of their way to find some other Scout who feels rather down in the mouth, or
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who is rather out of it, and they will make his mouth rise up again in a smile.
The result will be that, instead of being out of it, he will be brought into it by the brotherliness which any of you have the power and opportunity of showing him.
If a Scout meets any other Scout, even though a stranger to him, he must speak to him and help him in any way that he can.
It is important always to wear your Scout Badge, and if you change your coat on Sunday remember to change your Badge also. Then as you go on your way you will meet another boy wearing the same Badge as yourself, the Badge of the threefold Scout Promise; and when you catch his eye you will hold out another Badge of the same Promise-the three fingers of the Scout Salute.
This boy will give you a Salute in reply, and you will know that his Laws are your Laws, and that, although you have never met before, and you may never meet again, yet you are both in your own lives trying to carry out the wishes of your Chief.
Before you met him you were thinking how hard it was to keep the Law at all, and it is easier now, because you have met another Scout who is trying to do the same.
You give him your left hand in the heartiest of handshakes, because the idea of it is that you are giving him your heart; and it is your heart that you want him to have.
You will tell your patrol many stories of fine friendships related in history ever since the world began, so I will say no more now, as one of the best ways of carrying out the fourth Scout Law is by keeping the fifth as well, and I shall be writing to you about that in my next letter.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
30 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
SCOUT LAW No. 5A Scout is Courteous.
My DEAR JIM,
We know that if somebody who is in the habit of being sad practises smiling regularly, both when with other people and also when alone, that person will slip into the better habit of being happy. It has been found to be true, not only that happiness makes one smile, but that smiling gives one happiness.
In just the same way it is true that by behaving like gentlemen we will become gentlemen in the truest sense. A gentleman has been described as one who behaves like one, and there is no better definition than that.
A Scout is courteous, that is to say, he is polite. He is polite to everybody.
Politeness consists not in what you do, but in the way you do it.
One evening I saw a boy give up his seat to a lady on the District Railway. He looked quite angry at having to do it, and while he was standing his face seemed to say: "I hope she will get out at the next station, and then I will be able to sit down again."
The lady looked at him and felt very unhappy. She did get out at the next station, but I have a sort of idea that she had only travelled a pennyworth with a twopenny ticket, and that she could endure his unscoutlike expression no longer.
That boy probably went home thinking that he had been very polite; but as a matter of fact he was quite definitely rude.
The polite way would have been to get up with a smile, and in offering the seat to raise his hat. He would then have stood by looking perfectly happy,
which would make the lady happy, too.
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And if something inside him said: "you have been
g very hard, and you are very tired, so what a
working fool you are not to be sitting down," something else inside him would be able to answer:
What a lucky chap you are! There are 60,000 Scouts in London looking for chances of performing an act of courtesy, and you have had a better chance than any of them. You are a lucky chap in having had the chance; but you are more than that-you are a Scout because you have taken it."
From morning to night every day of your life you are doing things and saying things when you are with other people. All the things you do and all the words you say are done either in one way or in the otherthey are done either with courtesy or without.
The advantage of living a life of courtesy is not only that it adds enormously to the happiness of those one meets, but also that it enriches oneself by making one into a true gentleman.
Every time that we open our mouths we can try to let a kind word pass instead of an unkind word; to let fall something which will help rather than something which will hurt; to be gentle and generous rather than hard and cruel.
It has been well said that we are almost certain sometimes to be unintentionally cruel unless we are trying to be intentionally kind.
One of the secrets of courtesy is to be really kind. By "kind" we mean "considerate," and to think not of oneself, but of the feelings of other people.
If we are always trying to carry out the fourth Scout Law by being kind to people, we find that it almost comes natural to us to be courteous as well.
It is a good habit when one is going to meet somebody to say:
"Now I will soon be in the company of some other human being. He will feel afterwards either the better and the happier for having been with me or
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else the reverse. It is up to me to see that he is the better and the happier."
And then, when one meets the other person, one will try to find out in conversation how one can help.
The most frequent method of helping is not so much by doing them the big Good Turn, but by giving them a kindly word and gentle look which make all the difference.
Not only in words, but also in acts, there are little chances of quiet courtesy wherever we may go.
Sometimes when a man is on trial in the dock, or when a boy has been getting into trouble with his foreman, or even with his Scoutmaster, everybody else wants to push forward and stare at him. They want to see how he looks out of a cruel curiosity.
A Scout will never stare at anybody who is in trouble, and he will never like to see anybody get into a row. His idea will be to get them out of rows and help people to overcome their troubles.
He will never laugh at a man who is down, but will try to help him up again; and he will never make fun of somebody who has made a mistake, but will try to help him not to make the same mistake again.
The Chief tells us that a Scout is polite to all, but to certain people above others.
A Scout is Courteous to women of all ages and of all classes, and whether good or bad. He is courteous to women because he would expect other men and other boys to show special courtesy to his own mother or to his own sister, and he remembers that women are the mothers and the sisters of the human race.
Women often bear the heaviest burden and trouble of the daily life, and often, too, they bear their troubles far more quietly and bravely than men do.
A Scout will never allow a man to say anything insulting or degrading to a woman, even if she be a total stranger to him. A Scout will be ready to sacrifice a great deal to carry out the fifth Scout Law.
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A Scout is also specially courteous to children. They are weaker than he is, and they have not had his experience so that they often want his help.
unkind word hurts a little child far more than it does a grown-up person, so a Scout will go out of his way to be gentle in what he says and does with children.
in the same way, a Scout does all that he can to help people who are old. They have done their day's work, and we would like to feel that through our efforts they are able to pass their last years in happiness and peace. One day we may be looking for others to do the same for us.
A Scout is specially courteous also to invalids and cripples. Through illness or accident they have missed some of the chances which he himself is fortunate enough to possess, and he goes out of his way to make them forget their loss by giving them the benefit of his own health and his own kindly cheeriness.
Last but not least, you will tell your patrol that true courtesy begins at home; that the Scout who is rude to his own parents and brothers and sisters is not likely to be courteous when he meets the parents and brothers and sisters of other people.
With a gentleman courtesy becomes a habit, but a habit can only be acquired by practice, and a Scout practises it the wide world over with whatever men or women or children he happens to be.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
34 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
SCOUT LAW No. 6A Scout is a Friend to Animals.
My DEAR JIM
A rather nervous recruit was being examined on the Scout Law.
His idea of the fourth Scout Law was that " A Scout is a Friend to All and a brother to every other animal, no matter to what social class he may belong."
it was a splendid answer, except that it should have been given as the sixth Scout Law and not as the fourth.
A Scout is a Friend to Animals because he is a friend to all, and a good Scout will certainly try to be a brother to every other animal, quite independently of their social distinctions.
It is true that some animals are a curious kind of breed, without much hair on their backs, while others are woolly or fluffy. But the fact that the first kind are called Scouts, while the second kind are called lambs and kittens, makes not the least difference to the fact that you and they are friends.
They may be tiny little animals like ants, or they may be very large animals like elephants. They may be rather silly animals like mules, or they may be rather clever animals like Scoutmasters.
The great point about them all, however, is that they have two big things in common.
The first is that they were all created by the same Father, God. The second is that they all have a share in the greatest of all possessions, Life.
The nervous Scout was therefore right, for all the animals and human beings in the world are brothers, and it is their duty to treat one another if possible with kindness and respect.
You may say that if a lion meets the Chief Scout in the jungle, it is not at all likely to treat him with either;
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but then a lion has never been to a council school, and it is quite unlike a Leader of the Lions in that it knows nothing at all about the Scout Law.
A Scout has had more of a chance than any other animal of learning something of what are known sometimes as the Christian Virtues; and when a Scout -gets a chance he always uses it.
I remember asking a Scout what he meant by kindness to animals, and he made all the other boys yell with laughter when he said:
" Please, sir, you treat them just as if they were human beings."
The other boys bad a vision, I suppose, of a lady cat being given a seat in an omnibus, or of a blind dormouse being'carefully conducted to the door of a Braille library.
But the " Prize Comic" (as they chose to call their brother Scout) happened to be right, for the idea of the sixth Scout Law is that we should treat animals with just the same kindness and consideration as we show to human beings.
The beginning of being kind to animals is to understand them. We can only understand them if we know something about them.
A Scout will read books about animals, and will take every chance he gets of learning their habits.
1 know a man who has studied ants all his life who would be upset for many months if he thought he had trodden on one when he might have avoided it.
It is not because he is unduly sensitive, but simply because he knows so much of the wonderful work which ants do, that he regards their lives as being precious and not lightly to be taken away.
I Nobody who is fond of animals would ever want to be cruel to them; but it is rather a sad thing to think that boys are not always kind to animals by nature, and unless they. are taught kindness they are likely to be cruel.
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Cruelty often arises from mere foolishness.
Sometimes boys chase a horse round a field or a hen round a yard. Sometimes they throw stones at a dog or fasten something to the tail of a cat. They think it fun.
But this is the kind of fun that a Scout must not allow for a moment. He must use whatever power he possesses to stop these things, whether they are done by his friends or whether they are done by strangers.
Sometimes boys are out looking for birds' nests and they take all the eggs or even pull down the nest.
Both these actions are very cruel, and Scouts will prevent any other boys from indulging in them.
If a Scout collects eggs, he will not take more than one egg from a nest; but the thing is not to collect eggs at all, but to learn to draw a little sketch of the eggs and of the nest together, or to photograph them.
A good Scout can even do this while the bird is sitting without disturbing her. This gives first-rate practice in quiet stalking.
Apart from any sketches or photographs, however, a Scout can keep a notebook in which he enters full particulars giving a description of the nest, where it was found, the color and number of the eggs, and date.
If the nest is in the neighborhood of a country Scout's home, he will also make a note by means of observation of the time it takes for the eggs to hatch; whether the male bird takes a turn in sitting on them as well as the female; on what the little birds are fed, and how long they stay in the nest before they are taught to fly or to run about.
Such a notebook will be of great value and interest.
A Scout will try to be a real friend to animals, both big and small. He will take a pride in the fact that they are not frightened of him, because they have found out that he will not hurt them.
An old gentleman used to be seen standing in Hyde
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park with his hands outstretched and pigeons sitting oil his head and shoulders.
On making inquiries one found that he had visited the Park in the same way every day for twenty years, and that gradually the pigeons had got to know him and to trust him because he was their friend.
You will find the same thing with several of the keepers at the Zoological Gardens. They are able to go amongst some of the most savage animals and feed them out of their hands. The animals know them and trust them, because after long experience they have found them to be loyal and kind. They have found that they are their friends.
You will tell your patrol that if they keep any animals at home they will not only study their habits, but they will give up a minute or two every day to thinking of their requirements and needs.
If this were done by people who kept pets it would never be the case that starving cats were left locked up in houses when the owners go away to the seaside for their holiday.
It would never be the case that bird-cages or rabbithutches were either made too small or else kept in a dirty condition.
Both rabbits and birds are by nature very clean, and for them to have dirt left in their hutches or cages would be just as bad as for a Scout to find his bed night after night filled with some filth or mud.
A great deal of cruelty is shown to dogs by people who think they are fond of them. If a Patrol Leader said that he was fond of his patrol, there are several ways in which you could put the matter to the test. The best of them probably would be to find out whether in his Scout work he was trying to carry out their wishes, or whether he was merely always thinking of his own.
just the same test may be made with the owner of an animal.
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What every dog needs is sufficient exercise, and many dogs become ill through not being exercised nearly enough.
A dog cannot tell you that he wants exercise, but a Scout who possesses a dog will think to himself each day how he can arrange for it to go for a jolly walk, and somehow or other will manage to arrange it.
Another form of cruelty to dogs is by keeping them chained up in a yard to guard the fowls or the house or for some other purpose.
Some dogs are kept day after day fastened up in this way without being allowed to have a run. The result is that they lead a miserable existence and lose all their fine nature. They nearly always become savage, and in some cases they go mad.
If you are a Scout, you will try to set a specially high standard of kindness to dumb animals.
I have sometimes seen Scouts being extremely brutal to crabs on the seashore. They regard them as different from other animals. "Because," as one boy said, "they are trying to hurt you, sir."
This is quite a mistake. Some animals look more ferocious and savage than others, and if anybody tries to play the fool with a crab he remembers it afterwards.
A crab, however, is just as much one of God's creatures as a horse or a dog, and no Scout will ever give it pain if he can avoid doing so.
There are some cases in which animals and insects have to be killed.
Some animals, such as rabbits or sheep, are part of our food; while others, such as wasps, flies, rats, and adders, have to be put to death because they are harmful.
In these cases, however, a Scout will do his very best to see that the killing of such an animal or insect is painless.
If he pulls a fish out of the river or out of the sea,
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he will give it a knock on the head. If he knocks a wasp on to the floor or on to the ground with a knife, or fork, he will put his foot on it at once. He will hate to see steel traps for either rats or rabbits. Rats can be poisoned, and rabbits can be caught in
heir ways which are not so cruel.
Last, and above all, a Scout will not merely "do animals no harm," but he will try to do them a great deal of good.
Ile will not be ashamed to jump out from the pavement and put his shoulder to the wheel when he sees a horse struggling to get along on a muddy day.
If a cart is standing on a hill without a brake, he Will put a stone under the wheel or else back it gently against the kerb.
Again, when horses are slipping about he may throw down
own gravel to enable them to get a better grip; or if he sees a horse that has dropped its nosebag, he will pick it up and replace it.
If he sees a heavy cart being driven out of a field, be will rush to open the gate, in order that the horses may not have the extra strain through the cart having to be brought to a standstill.
On a road he may find a stone or a brick in A rut and
he will pick it out and throw it away.
,On a hill-top far away in the country he will sometimes find a sheep that has
5 fallen over on its back and
cannot get up again. A Scout will be glad that hat he is there, as-by his discovery he may be just in time to save the sheep's life.
I The sixth Scout Law needs a book all to itself, and you must remember that I am only touching little bits of the subject in this letter. It is the most beautiful of all our Laws, because it means that a Scout will want to make a noble and generous study of his fellow creatures.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
40 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
SCOUT LAW No. 7A Scout Obeys Orders of His Parents, Patrol Leader, or Scoutmaster without question.
My DEAR JIM,
I remember seeing a huge shed some years ago in the comer of a large flat field, and inside it there were carpenters and mechanics working for many days constructing a new kind of aeroplane.
This machine was going to be a special kind that would fly far better and far longer and far higher than any that had ever flown before; and, when the day came for its trial flight, there was great excitement amongst all the people living in the neighborhood.
Huge crowds were standing round in breathless anticipation. The inventor took his seat amidst loud applause.
The only thing about the airplane was that it did not start. Everything about it looked perfect. The one imperfection was that a certain part of it did not do what was expected, and therefore the whole thing failed to work.
I remember watching a tug-o'-war. Nobody took much interest in it because one side was so much heavier than the other. The spectators had been watching all the other sports, but when the tug-o'-war came on most of them went off to have their tea.
The curious thing about it was that the smaller side won quite easily. They were not nearly so powerful as their opponents, but they did the one thing which made their success certain-they pulled together, while the heavier team did not.
There were some sports in one of the London Districts not so very long ago. Thirty troops were taking part, and twenty-nine of them knew how to play the game.
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The sports were a complete failure, and one of the worst things that I have had to look at since I took the Scout Promise. The reason was that twenty-nine of the troops knew how to play the game, but the thirtieth troop did not. The whole of the sports were wrecked by that one troop.
The seventh Scout Law tells you that "A Scout Obeys Orders of his Parents, Patrol Leader, or Scoutmaster without question."
The Chief further says that "even if a Scout gets an order he does not like, he must do as soldiers and sailors do, he must carry it out all the same because it is his duty; and after he has done it he can come and state any reasons against it, but he must carry out the order at once. That is discipline."
No Scout ever does anything without reason, and you must be able to give the Kangaroos a reason for carrying out the seventh Scout Law.
The reason a Scout obeys the orders of his Scoutmaster is that if he did not do so his troop would not work. The reason that he obeys the orders of his Patrol Leader is that his patrol would fail to work in the same way.
The reason a Scout obeys his parents is that a Scout's home should work properly, like any other concern with which he is associated. If he disobeys the orders of his parents, his home will be like the airplane It will never be in working order.
Scouting is like a tug-o'-war. The unscout-like spirits in the world, heavy, fat bullies most of them, are standing up in a row at the other end of the rope. The Kangaroos have got to pull them over, and they will never do it unless they pull together.
If you watch a house being built, you will find one man carving a facing on the outside, another man building a wall at the back; and you will find forty or fifty men in different places doing what looks like an independent piece of work.
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But when you make inquiries, you will find that they are all really working together, for they all get their orders from the same foreman, and the foreman could not carry out his job unless he obeyed all the measurements given on a complete plan made out by the architect.
Somebody must be at the head to give the orders, and everybody must be ready to obey him. Otherwise you could never build a house, or an aeroplane, or a Scout Movement, or
Every piece of work in the is carried out by one fellow
a patrol of Kangaroos, or any
world that is successful being put in command and by others being ready to carry out his orders. That is the only way to play the game.
Obeying orders is the most important part of the rules. The thing is to learn the rules of the game as soon as you begin. Then, later on, you will be made captain, and you will be all the better as a captain of the team for having played the game properly when you were a junior.
It has been said that you cannot command unless you know how to obey. The reason is that, unless you have made a practice of obeying the orders of those who are over you, you will be no good at giving fair and straightforward orders to those who are put under you.
It is the same question of each fellow playing his part for the honour and success of the team.
All that I have told you is probably known to every Patrol Leader in the Movement, although different people may express it in different ways.
What many Patrol Leaders do not know is that the best way to make it certain that the seventh Scout Law will be kept is to get a fine spirit of smartness and alertness into all the members of their troops. All orders should be carried out at the double.
If a fellow is going to win the quarter-mile race at
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the sports, when the starter tells him to go he doesn't look round and wonder what to do. He is waiting to run, and the very second he gets the order he runs off as hard as he can.
A good Scout, however, is not only smart on his legs when he carries out an order, but lie is also smart in other ways.
When he goes up to receive an order, he stands at the Alert and salutes, and when the order has been given he salutes again.
When a whistle is sounded for silence, he is silent at once, and quickly comes to the Alert. He has his ears and eyes open the whole time to get an order.
To keep the seventh Scout Law a Scout must always Be Prepared. In one way the ten Scout Laws may be looked upon as orders from our Chief. We have to be ready to carry them out at all times.
When we take the Promise, we have to double off to make friends with our enemies in order to keep the fourth Scout Law, and we have to waste no time in getting instruction in first-aid if we are going to carry out the third.
So you see that a Scout has not only got his daily ,orders, but he has also got his standing orders. The standing orders are to keep the Scout Promise and to obey the Scout Law.
As Patrol Leader, your most important job
to carry out the orders which you yourself receive, rather than to worry about whether other boys are carrying out the orders which you give them.
Some Leaders spend a great deal of time wondering how they can make the Scouts in their Patrol carry out their orders.
One of the best ways is always to set an example of immediate obedience themselves, and in that way they will probably give their patrol a sort of tradition of smart and unquestioning obedience to orders which no boy will break lightly.
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That is the most important way of getting your patrol to obey you, namely, by always obeying orders yourself.
But there are other ways. One of them is to win the respect of the members of your patrol.
A patrol will always find it very much easier to obey a Leader whom they respect.
Let them see that you are a Scout and not a slacker. Let them see that you do not order another boy to do something that you would not like to do yourself. Let them know that you do not give an order quickly without thinking, and that all your orders are given with some purpose.
A good Patrol Leader will never give any unnecessary orders. Orders should be as few as possible.
I once heard a Scoutmaster tell one of his Leaders that he was a P.L. and not a P.C., that is to say, that he was a Patrol Leader and not a Police-constable. That is very true. You want to lead your boys into obedience rather than to drive them into it.
All orders should be clear and decisive. An order sloppily given will be sloppily carried out.
If an order is at all complicated, you should ask the Scout to whom it is given to repeat it. If he cannot repeat it properly, it is probably your own fault for having expressed yourself badly.
One of the difficulties which a Patrol Leader sometimes has, is that there is a cheeky boy in his patrol, who -on getting an order usually tries to be funny (often with success), and answers back.
Dealing with a cheeky boy, the great thing is never to lose your temper. Say as little as possible. Nothing would amuse him more than to see you angry, and he would also like you to argue, as, if you start, he is almost certain to beat you at it.
If you are quiet and calm, and not in the least annoyed, the cheeky boy will soon begin to respect you, and will no longer try to answer you back when he gets an order.
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Another great thing is to study all your boys and to try to understand their difficulties.
It is no good getting angry with a boy because he fails to turn up on parade. The Patrol Leader's job is to find the reason why.
Perhaps there is some trouble at home, and if you go round there you will be able to put matters right.
perhaps the boy has quarrelled with another Scout in his patrol. That is a grand chance for a Leader to show that he is a real Scout. If the two boys who have quarrelled trust their Leader, the quarrel will only last for a short time. Nearly every quarrel is, due to some silly misunderstanding.
Show the Kangaroos that your object above everything else is to bring honour to your patrol, to your troop, and to the Scout Movement, by being a loyal, sympathetic, and manly Leader, and by setting a high example of Scout honour and Scout efficiency.
The whole patrol will then take pride in their smart obedience to all the orders they receive, and they will bring honour to Scouting wherever they may go.
One last thing-before this letter ends.
If you get an order you do not like, you will obey it just the same. That you know.
If you get an order which you think silly and unnecessary, you will carry it out none-the-less. That you also know.
But supposing one day-I hope that it will never happen-you get an order which you know to be wrong. What then? Then you must tell yourself that this may be one of the big moments in your life. You will remember that the first of all your Promises was to do your duty to God.
If ever in your life the two orders seem to clash, you will do your duty to God rather than obey the orders of man.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
46 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
SCOUT LAW No. 8
A Scout Smiles and Whistles under all Difficulties.
My DEAR JIM,
I am surprised that you are looking to a respectable old gentleman like myself to write you a letter about smiling, but I shall have a try.
You will remember that the Law used to be that "A Scout Smiles and Whistles under all Circumstances." The Law is now changed and it reads that "A Scout Smiles and Whistles under all Difficulties."
The Chief changed it because he had heard of some stupid Scout who got the giggles at a funeral or was amused because somebody dropped the offertory in a church.
When the Law was changed, I know that some boys thought that their Scoutmasters could never worry them again on account of their not smiling. They would answer: "Please, sir, I am not under any difficulties."
But remember it is not only under your own difficulties that you must smile, but sometimes also under other people's.
I was acting one day with Scouts in a play and my false moustache kept tumbling off just as I was making love to the heroine. The only think that bucked me up was that a Patrol Leader went into roars of laughter on account of my difficulties.
As a matter of fact, it was quite effective, because he was sitting at the back of the stage as prompter, and the audience thought that the laughter came from the heroine and that she was amused at my efforts at love making.
There are some difficulties, however, that Scouts will smile at without being told. There was one troop where this happened when the Scoutmaster could
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
not collect any subscriptions because he had left his subscription book at home.
To think of smiling makes one smile, but the eighth Law is not entirely a joke. It has a big purpose behind it.
The purpose is that a Scout, by bearing a smile on his face, should drive away trouble both out of his own life and also out of the lives of other people.
Two Scouts were walking one night to their troop headquarters, and some girls they passed burst into fits of laughter at the sight of their knees.
The Scouts were annoyed, but there was no reason why they should have been. It was their duty to cheer up everybody they might meet, and if they could cheer people up by merely wearing short trousers, it is the strongest argument in favor of Scout uniform that has ever yet been put forward.
Once a boy got quite angry because he was called a "brussel sprout," and was not satisfied until his Patrol Leader mentioned on his behalf that he was not nearly so green as he looked.
In London we are sometimes described as " crusty knees," but one can always smile to think that one has not got a crusty temper.
Some people, less polite, tell us that our knees are dirty, but it is difficult to get at them for cleansing purposes if they are carefully concealed behind a pair of long trousers.
Some Scouts were with me once at Earl's Court. We went into a funny little place and found a man who seemed otherwise in his senses standing on his head on the ground with his bowler hat badly indented.
Our surprise was increased when we found that a lady and gentleman were performing the same sort
of acrobatic feats just a little farther away,
The cause of it all was that there was a wheel, a joy-wheel by name, which was quietly and innocently revolving as if it meant nobody any harm. It looked
48 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
so innocent that we all climbed on to it and promised to hold tight.
It is hard to explain the exact reasons, but I can only say that, in spite of the first Scout Law, our promise was not fulfilled. We were seen standing on our heads just the same as the others had done before us.
The secret of a joy-wheel is that it is so full of joy that it does not want to be cheered up by being sat upon by other people.
A Scout smile is just the same as a joy-wheel, and if any troubles ever try to sit down on you, they are flicked away with very much the same sort of method.
If you go and smile into a looking-glass, you will see a funny beggar smiling back at you; but if you go and smile into a room full of Scouts, you will see a lot of funny beggars smiling back at you.
The funny thing about smiling is that if you give away most things you have less, while if you give a smile you have more. You keep your own, and at the same time hand one to a large number of other people.
A cheery companionship is one of the best of all things which you can give to those at home and to the people you may meet both at work and in play.
A clerk in a Liverpool office was sometimes laughed at because he was so often smiling; but one day on his way home an old beggar woman tottered up and shook him by the hand.
"I want to thank you, sir, for all you have done.
" I did not know that I had done an thin " said the clerk.
"Yes, sir," she replied, "you have done a great deal, for in all weathers you have that merry smile on your face and it does an old body like me good "
We have all got this same power of doing good-a power either to throw away, or to use for the happiness of other people and of ourselves.
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 49
There is an East London Scout whose mother is a cripple. I visited her one day and she told me that her Bert had come home in the evenings with a smile on his face ever since he first joined the Scouts a year and a half ago. It had made all the difference to her life.
When I saw Bert, I asked him the secret. He told me in confidence that above the door of his home he had cut a notice with his pen-knife which read: "A Scout smiles and whistles always."
Before crossing the threshold, he made it a point of honour to give one glance at the notice, and for more than 5oo days on end this had reminded him to meet his mother with a merry smile.
When the Chief says that "A Scout Smiles and Whistles under all Difficulties," he does not mean that a Scout both smiles and whistles at the same time. As a matter of fact, I have never seen this done properly yet, but you can ask the Kangaroos to try it for an experiment.
It is important,- however, that a Scout should decide which are the occasions for smiling and which for whistling.
In a house, especially when a baby is asleep, smiling is the more desirable practice, as it is not so noisy.
The best time for whistling is on a sunny morning when one is walking along a country road. It cheers ,up other people whom one may meet, it makes one feel merry oneself, and after constant practice one can have quite a sporting competition with the local thrushes.
As soon as your boys get through their Second Class Test, they will wear on their arms a scroll with the Scout motto "Be Prepared."
The scroll turns up at the edges to remind a Scout that his mouth should do the same. It turns up because he smiles, and he is prepared to smile under
50 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
I difficulties in order that he may leave the world an even jollier place than it was when he found it. Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
SCOUT LAW No. 9A Scout is Thrifty.
My DEAR JIM,
A Scout is thrifty-that is to say, he saves. What does he save? He saves everything that he can.
It was not long ago that a Patrol Leader was bathing with his six brother Crocodiles in the river Lea.
Rather dangerous you might think for the other people in the river! As a matter of fact, it was still more dangerous for the Scouts, because one of them jumped in out of his depth when he had not the least idea how to swim.
As most of the Crocodiles were quite small, he would probably have been drowned, except that his Patrol Leader dived in and brought him safely to the bank just in time. The Patrol Leader had saved his brother Scout.
You ask me whether that is thrift. Well, I think it is.
The whole object of saving is to keep the thing until the time when you need it. That little Crocodile is certain to be needed on many occasions, to do Good Turns, to help his family at home, and perhaps one day to look after his own family when he grows to be a man.
The Patrol Leader, then, was thrifty, because he saved something that was needed-the life of a brother Scout.
It is not often that a Scout has a chance of doing that kind of saving, but every Scout is called upon
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 51
to save his money, his health, and the trouble other people will have to take if he fails to do his own job.
The Chief tells you that a Scout," saves every Penny he can and Puts it into the bank, so that he may have money to keep himself with when out of work, and thus not make himself a burden to others; or that he may have money to give away to others when they need it."
The only way of saving properly is to make it a habit.
When a Kangaroo goes to work, he will try to put aside a few pennies every week. If he saves -3d. a week, he will find that he has saved 13s. by the end of the year, and later on he will get a little interest on it as well.
A Scout is not necessarily thrifty because he saves 3d. a week, nor even if he saves ~io a year. It all depends upon the position he is in and on what money he is earning.
I know a boy who is earning 12s. a week, and he spends nearly all of it getting the proper kind of food for his mother, who is ill. Yet he is a thrifty Scout, because he is saving his mother's health, which is more important than money. When his mother is well again, he means to save some money and get himself a bicycle.
He started being thrifty in this way before he joined the Scouts, and I thought perhaps he would teach his troop more about thrift than they would teach him.
When I last met him I asked him as a joke whether the Scouts had taught him to be thrifty. He said:
" Yes, sir."
He then showed me his boots. They looked a very fine pair, and I asked him where he had got them.
" I have got them from our troop headquarters," he said, with a smile. " My patrol are working for their Leather-worker's Badge, and after three or four lessons we were able to sole and heel our own boots."
52 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
His little sister aged six lives in the street next to mine in Bethnal Green. On her birthday I went round to congratulate her.
As soon as she saw me she ran in to fetch a wonderful little chest of drawers, which had been given her as a present by her brother. It was for her doll's wardrobe, she told me, and it was made entirely out of match boxes (five a penny), which had been glued together to make a little chest of drawers.
"You will have to get some little dresses," I said, "to put inside them."
Then she opened one of the drawers to show me that there was a little dress already there. It is true that it was only made out of a piece of a torn handkerchief, and that its colour had only come from an old bottle of red ink; but, still, there it was-a little present made by a poor Scout for his sister on her sixth birthday.
I looked at her merry smile, and then went home prouder than ever of the East London Scouts, and hoping that other boys would have the unselfishness to carry out the ninth Scout Law in the same way.
Sometimes I am taken to a troop headquarters where the walls are covered with magnificent pictures in beautiful frames, where a display is given with an eight-guinea trek-cart, and where many of the ornaments look as if they had come out of a Royal palace, and had lost their way going home.
Most of these things have been given by the vicepresidents, and if I want to see their names they are set out in full at the top of the troop notepaper.
"What lucky chaps they are!" I think to myself, and they certainly are lucky to get so many presents from kind ladies and gentlemen who are taking an interest in them.
Then I wander off and make my way to Stepney or Poplar. A Scout is standing waiting for me in the street. He gives me a salute and shakes my
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 53
left hand so vigorously that he nearly dislocates my shoulder. He almost carries me off to his headquarters "to see what we are doing, sir."
I come to see. It is true that in opening the door some green paint nearly finds its way into my left eye. It is also true that I nearly knock over a pail of water, and that I do quite knock over a Scout who is kneeling beside it and scrubbing the floor.
Then at last I arrive safely in the middle of the room.
No! They are not doing Ambulance, nor even Signalling, Knot-tying, or Physical Drill.
But although they are doing none of these things, you can take my word for it that they are Scouting with a vengeance, and if the Chief were there it would do him good to see them.
At the far end of the room there is a Patrol Leader putting in a window-pane, while his Second is cutting out a groove for the sash-cord, to enable the window to open and shut after it has been put in.
Three or four Scouts are occupied in painting the walls, while farther round a Scout is carving a design on a picture frame. I ask him what picture the frame is going to hold, and he shows me a jolly photograph of the troop at last year's summer camp. The photograph was taken by one of the boys themselves.
Another Scout is deeply engrossed in some splicing. He is making a rope-ladder, which is going to be suspended from the little loft up above.
"An ordinary ladder would get in the way, sir," he explains, " and we cannot make stairs, as they would take up too much room."
I express a desire to be hoisted up into the loft, although warned by the Scoutmaster that I will get very dusty. However, I manage to get up with the help of two Scouts, who hoist me on their staves.
That loft is certainly dusty, but I would not have missed seeing it for anything, for there I find a patrol of Scouts sitting round with needles repairing the
54 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
holes in some of their tents. One boy has taken a turn on the heel of his stocking by way of variety.
When I get down again, I have another look round.
The wall which is now being painted has five little notice boards, a separate one for each patrol. A little farther along there are some carefully pressed flowers fastened upon a large sheet of cardboard. Beyond that again is a shelf which holds the troop Patrol Cup as well as two model bridges.
The other things on the wall are several cheery mottoes, and a decorated board on which are written the ten Scout Laws. Every one of these things has been made by the boys themselves.
As I walk home, I think of the ninth Scout Law. The boys had set to work on a place which it would have cost perhaps ~io or &5 to convert into a troop headquarters; yet they had not only done it themselves without spending money, but they were actually making themselves considerably richer than when they had started.
They started with nothing and they would finish with a troop headquarters.
But that was not all. There were also at least twenty Badges which they would earn while engaged in this splendid work, and they would have got something which no money can buy, namely, the real Scout spirit of thrift-that is to say, the spirit that makes one desire to be self-supporting in order to be more free to help others in their time of need.
Your sincere brother Scout, ROLAND E. PHILIPPS
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 55
SCOUT LAW No, 10 Scout is Clean in Thought, Word, and Deed.
My DEAR JIM,
A Scout is Clean in Thought, Word, and Deed. That is the tenth Scout Law.
There was a time when there were only nine Laws, and the story goes that when the Chief Scout was first asked why there was no Law that a Scout is pure, he said that purity was the most important thing in the world, and that if he put it as one of the Scout Laws it would look as if it were no more important than the other nine.
But finally the Chief Scout added the tenth Scout Law, and he said this:,
"I believe that if a boy has got the pluck to keep the tenth Scout Law he will be able to keep the whole of the other nine."
That is how our tenth great Law came into being.
A Scout is Clean in Word.
That means to say that, however much he wants to say something dirty, or however much he wants to listen to a dirty story, told by some other boy, he does not say it and he does not listen to it, just because he is a Scout.
It does not matter in the least what the rest of the world do; it does not matter if all the boys at the school to which he goes are unclean in their words, or if all the men in the workshop in which he works are unclean in their talk, a Scout is Clean in Word.
It does not matter how much we are laughed at or bullied; how much other chaps may scoff at us, or tell us that we are milksops-we are going to stick to our guns through it all.
I know one splendid troop of Scouts where it would be quite impossible for a boy to say anything that was
56 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
unclean because none of the other chaps would listen to him.
It was asked once in " The Scout" whether any troops would Be Prepared to take with them into camp some poor boy whose own troop could not afford to have a camp at all; and this particular troop invited an outside boy to share their camp with them -a boy of seventeen.
Before he came, the Scoutmaster had a talk with his boys. He said:
"Now, chaps, would you like to do a splendid troop Good Turn? "
They all said: "Yes, sir."
"Well," continued the Scoutmaster, "I have asked a poorer Scout to come down and stay with us, and he is coming to-night, and I want you to give him a rattling good time."
"Right you are, sir! So we will! " exclaimed the Scouts.
And so this fellow came down to the camp, and on the second night he came to the Scoutmaster's tent, and he said:
" I can't stay here any longer, sir; I am going home."
The Scoutmaster was surprised.
" Why? " he asked. " Is someone ill at home? What do you want to go home for? "
" No; no one is ill, sir, but I can't stick it down here."
"But I thought you were having a grand time, returned the Scoutmaster. " What is the matter? "
" I don't like the way your chaps treat me, sir," said the boy, "they are cutting me. They have not spoken to me all day."
"I am perfectly astonished at this," was the Scoutmaster's reply, "because my chaps had specially made up their minds to give you a really grand time."
Then light suddenly dawned upon him, and he asked:
" Are you perfectly certain that it is nothing you
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 57
have done yourself that has prevented the other boys from talking to you? "
And that chap of seventeen burst into tears, and said:
" Well, sir, the truth of it is that your troop is a different class from the troop I am in. I thought I would get on best with your boys if I told them some yarns-not very clean ones, sir; but your Scouts wouldn't listen to them, sir, and there is not a boy who has spoken to me since."
The Scoutmaster called in his Patrol Leaders and put everything right in a short time.
After another week that poor Scout said good-bye to the troop he had been in camp with, and thanked them for the jolliest time he had ever had in his life.
A Scout is Clean in Deed.
A Scout of fifteen, a Patrol Leader whom I know very well, came to see me one day.
"I can't be a decent Scout, sir," he said.
"Why, what is the matter?" I asked. "Is your patrol going wrong? "
" No, sir, my patrol is splendid, and the troop is going strong; but I can't be a decent Scout myself sir, I can't keep the tenth Scout Law."
" Let's hear the trouble," I said.
" I am going to keep the Law, sir, 11 he began. "I have set my heart on keeping all the Scout Laws. It is only the place I am in that bothers me. I am learning engineering, and the behaviour of the men at the place where I work is sometimes awful; it is worse than anything that you could think of. I can be clean in word, sir, but it is impossible to be clean in deed where I am working; but I shall be leaving the place at the end of the year, when my apprenticeship is over, and then I shall be able to keep the tenth Scout Law."
"If you are ever going to keep the Scout Law you must stand by it always, you must do so now," I said.
58 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER "You have taken your Scout Promise, and you are leader of seven other boys, and if you fight for the Scout Law at the place where you work, you are fighting for all of the hundreds of Scouts in East London. Will you do it? When you gave yourself up to Scouting, we wanted you because we believed you were going to give us not only your keenness, but also your clean body. Are you going to keep it clean for the honour of the Movement? "
"I will, sir," he replied, "if you tell me what I can do when I get back to the place I am working at."
" If any man or boy older than yourself ever tampers with your body," I told him, " put up your fist like that, whoever he may be, and hit him hard and straight. He will never do it again. Have you got the pluck to do it?
"I will, sir," he said, and off he went.
I happened to meet that boy in the Tube about five days afterwards.
" How are things going, Bill? " I asked.
"The troop is going splendidly, sir; but I am out of work at present."
" Why, what has happened?
" I had to hit a man hard and straight, sir."
" You didn't get sacked for that? "
"No," he said, "that was the first morning after I got back to work after our talk, and nobody saw me hit the first man. In the afternoon I had to hit the second, and I got the sack."
" Why on exclaimed.
earth didn't you tell me at once?" I
" Why, you can't go looking for jobs for all the Scouts in London," was his reply, "so I never thought of it, sir. "
" Can you come and see me at ten o'clock to-morrow morning? " I asked him.
"All right," he answered.
"Then I shall expect you."
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 59
I went to see a friend of mine who had once told me that he could give a magnificent opening to an exceptionally good Scout, if I could find one for him.
"Look here., Colonel," I began, "I have found the Splendid Scout, will you take him? "
I "I suppose he is one of those boys covered with Badges? " he said.
"He has only got a few Badges," I replied, " but he is one of the pluckiest chaps I have ever come across. you can trust him anywhere. He is straight as a die. and he would give up everything in the world in order to stick to what he believes to be right."
" If he comes along at eleven o'clock to-morrow," said the Colonel, "I will take him."
The next morning Bill came round to see me at ten o'clock. We did not have many words, but I wrote an address on an envelope and told him to go there at, once. He went there, and is now doing splendidly.
A Scout is Clean in Thought.
That is the hardest of all. If a Scout is clean in thought, he is likely to be clean in word and deed also.
A Liverpool Scout who had never been in the country before went to his first Scout camp one summer when it was very wet. He was walking down a lane in the country with a pal who belonged to a country troop, and the lane was full of mud, and the Liverpool Scout got his boots covered with it; but he kept smiling. After a bit he turned to the other Scout and said:
"I can't keep my feet out of the mud. You seem to keep your boots fairly clean. How do you manage it?
"When you are walking in a muddy place," replied the country boy, " never look at the mud, but look at the spots that are clean, and put your foot on those. If you look at the mud, you will put your foot in it;
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
but if You look at the clean spots you will manage to keep your feet clean."
And it is just like this with our thoughts; look for the clean spots and you will keep yourself clean.
There are lots of third-rate papers and third-rate books, but a Scout does not read them because he knows that if he does he won't be able to keep the tenth Scout Law. He reads clean books and clean papers.
A Scout does not sit down in a soft chair by the fire with the windows shut, because he knows that if he did it would be more difficult to keep the tenth Scout Law. He keeps the windows open to get plenty of fresh air, and if he wants to get warm he does not make love to the fireplace, but he puts on a pair of boxing gloves and has a bout with a pal.
A Scout is not afraid of cold water, partly because he likes to keep his face and his hands and his body
clean, and partly because the Chief Scout tells him to use as much cold water as he can both inside by
drinking it, and outside, by washing himself with it. When a Scout goes to work, he soon sees which are the clean chaps in talk and in action, and which are the dirty ones. He looks for the clean chaps and he mixes with them, because he knows that if he is
walking along a dirty lane, and he wants to keep his boots clean, he has to look for the clean spots to walk on.
The tenth Scout Law is the greatest Law of all.
It is the greatest Law of all because it is the hardest to keep, and it is because it is the hardest Law to keep that it is so grand to keep it-and we mean to
fight to keep it in our great Movement.
Our Brotherhood is a Brotherhood of Peace Scouts and not War Scouts; but although we are Peace Scouts, there is one great war which we shall always have to fight, and that is a war in defence of the honour of the Scout Law.
LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER 61
To enable your patrol to win this fight, the best
he very begin
thing you can do as a Leader is to get an understand amongst the boys in your patrol from the
Some chaps always hide the tenth Law away as if it were something to be ashamed of; 'but there is,
nothing to be ashamed of in purity-it is one of the grandest things in the world.
The only thing to be ashamed of is dirt, and whenever you see it or hear of it You will clear it away and put
it in its proper place-the dust-heap. Law,
When you are fighting to keep the tenth Scout you may be knocked down over and over a a again but
he thing that matters is that you should again pluck to get up again and have another should have the
It is not winning that makes you a mango'
, but fighting;
and it is often the soldier who is most severely wounded
in the battle who is most largely responsible for the victory which is brought about in the end.
Do not resent temptation, or be afraid of it.
If you are practising rowing, you do not always row
row downstream because it is easy, but you row upin because it is hard. It is by doing what is difficult that your muscles get strong and that you win the race.
So, never mind if you fall over and over again. Hop up quickly and bravely, as many Scouts have (lone before and will do again, and sooner or later
you will win yourself; while, after that, you will be able to help other chaps to win, which is the greatest joy of all.
Perhaps after fighting and fighting you will feel
disheartened dishartened and that you are not strong enough;
but then you can think of that splendid chap David.
Do you remember how he came into the Israelite
camp, and found them all shaking their heads, and saying that there was a great, big giant the other side
62 LETTERS TO A PATROL LEADER
of the valley laughing at them, and that nobody was able to defeat him?
And do you remember what the giant was saying? He was saying that he wanted a man to come down and fight him, and that the whole Israelite army could not find a single man to do it.
And then you will read of that wonderful story of how David stepped forward himself, although he was merely a young lad.
They took him in to see Saul, and Saul and all the others laughed at him because he was so young. And then Saul gave David his own armour, a helmet of brass and a coat of mail, in order that David might have more chance of protecting himself.
But David put off the armour which Saul had given him. He had got some armour greater than that.
He remembered how as a boy he had been able to slay both a lion and a bear because God was with him; and he had prayed to God, and knew that God would be with him now.
So without the least hesitation he went out with
just a sling and a stone, and as soon as he set out he
knew that he was certain to win because God was
with him. I
If, then, you are fighting to keep the tenth Scout Law, and you find that your own strength is too small, you will not be ashamed to ask for the Greater Strength to be with you, and then, like David, you will be certain to win because God is at your side.
Your sincere brother Scout,
ROLAND E. PHILIPPS.
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