The Patrol Leader
If I Were a Patrol Leader
(After S. P. Walsh) Questions for the Patrol Leader
1. Do I know about every Scout in my Patrol--each fellow's strong and weak points; ambitions; home life; special needs?
2. Can I plan and conduct Patrol meetings worth while enough to insure the bunch attending, and steady enough to provoke a second invitation from the fellow's parents in whose home we meet?
3. Can I salute and report "All present or accounted for," at every Troop meeting roll call?
4. Can I interest the fellows in continuous and thorough work for advancement in their Scout rank?
5.Can I divide the actual leadership of the Patrol so that every Scout gets a chance to do his best part in helping pith the meetings, hikes, games, "Good Turns," new recruits, etc, so that all the fellows in my Patrol have a chance to develop leadership?
6.Cab I patiently handle any boneheads or wise guys or. rough necks, so that they will either come through with the right Scout spirit, Or when every possible chance has been given them, eliminate them for the good of the, Patrol and the Troop'
7.Can I keep the "GOOD TURN" idea strong in the minds of all boys in my Patrol, so that "Good Turns" are a habit?
8. Can I make the fellows proud of our Patrol's appearance, dependability, progress-so that the Patrol spirit will be strong and wholesome'
9. Can I plan a Patrol hike and lead it well enough so that eventually my Scoutmaster can trust me with the Patrol for: a day without adult supervision?
10. Can I wisely lead my Patrol in its part of the Troop enterprises and have brains enough to think of new things for the patrol to do besides--e.g., for farmer boy members?
11. Can I justify my Scoutmaster's confidence in my loyal and thoughtful co-operation under his leadership for the development of the whole Troop?
12. Finally, can I make my own Scout life an unboastful example and encouragement to every fellow in my Patrol, commending thereby respect and confidence?
To hike over hills and through deep valleys, under big trees and along murmuring streams is one of life's real pleasures. Fine air, fine exercise, the fun of seeing old friends in the woods and the fun of meeting new friends --birds, bees, beetles, blossoms, brooks. One can walk the woods for a half-century and still find new joys therein.
And after the hike, a cool plunge and then the call to mess !!! For a Scout to enjoy his hiking he must know some of the things that veteran hikers: have learned and have passed on to us. Indeed, adult leadership of hikes is a real safety measure.
Clothing-- enough to keep warm in while walking AND something MORE for use when quiet or in the cool of the evening.
Shoes--Hiking is best done in old, heavy soled, but soft-uppered shoes. Avoid "breaking-in" a new pair of shoes on a long hike.' Be sure YOUR shoes are big enough! Canvas shoes are unsuited for hiking.
They tend to weaken the arches.
Stockings--avoid light materials; and wear heavier woolen the year round for walking comfort. They air and ventilate the feet.
Food-food supply should be carefully worked out in advance, perchance with some little, light extra "iron-ration" to use in emergencies.
First Aid Kit--It is wise to carry a simple First Aid kit to meet emergencies for yourself or someone you may need to help.
Other Equipment--Knife, short rope, matches properly protected from moisture, perhaps a canteen with pure water. If going for overnight a pair of medium weight blankets will bring comfort. A poncho should be carried as a protection against the rain and as a ground cloth under blankets at night.
Leave your food where ants or animals cannot molest it. Perishable foods will spoil if carried long. Drinking water should be used only after knowing its condition. A Scout is clean, so meeting nature's needs he will see that all excrement is buried. When swimming be sure and have someone near who can rescue you in case of an emergency.
Scouts are often given privileges in great forest preserves and public and national parks, because they respect the property and rights of the owners.
Trees must never he damaged; the Scout Axe is not a plaything indeed many Councils allow only First Class Scouts to carry them.
Fires, should only be builded at proper distances from trees and grass AND must be ABSOLUTELY PUT OUT with water or sand and earth.
Fences, and all improvements, all live stock must be carefully protected for the farmer.
In passing houses, pass quickly without loud disturbances.
Policing Grounds, after Scouts have used a site they should carefully remove all the waste paper,
fragments of food, and similar waste and burn or bury LEAVING THE SITE CLEAN AND READY FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
Do not trespass on railroad property nor enter private grounds or farms without special permission.
(a) A hike is not a speed event or a long distance endurance record. Soldiers on the march rarely average more than 15 miles a day.
(b) To secure your parents' permission before going, and if delayed beyond time of proposed return, try to get word to them.
Hikes need not be to the woods. They may be to the museum, or to some near-by factory where interesting processes may be seen. Hikes are often made to nearly Historical Shrines--the oldest house,- the first settlement--where some distinguished son of the community was born, to some farm, etc.
Hikes may be made for the shier pleasure of enjoying God's out-of doors AND may also be used to : PASS SCOUT TESTS or learn Scout outdoor craft.
Requirement No. 7
"Proved ability to build fire in the open using not more than two matches -- care for and put it out.'"
Pick a dry place or on a rock--away from trees and cleared so that fire cannot spread to the grass or bushes.
Get dry twigs, or if in rain split open piece of log and get dry interior. Cut into long thin slivers.
Pile these with some slightly larger pieces on end into a cone or pyramid and light them below and on the windward side. No paper or dangerous kerosene may be used.
Especial care should be exercised to avoid spread of fire and upon leaving a fire BE SURE it is OUT. Plenty of water or sand or damp earth may be used--especially water, but BE SURE IT's OUT.
Requirement No. 8
"Cook a quarter of a pound of meat and two potatoes in the open without any cooking utensils.''
In passing this test prepared meat may not be used.
The Cooling Fire is a Small Fire.
While there are many ways in which to cook meat and potatoes without the aid of cooking utensils of any kind, a most satisfactory method is the one described by Mr. James A. Wilder in his book on the PINE TREE PATROL. It is called "KABOB" and is cooked in the following manner: purchase the required quarter pound of meat and cut it into pieces the size of a half-dollar. Procure a small straight branch and taste of the bark to be sure that it is not bitter. (If it is cast it aside and try again.) Sharpen the small end of the stick selected and impale the piece of meat on it as shown on page 168. After the fire has burned long enough to become "steady" with some coals, place the meat over
it and turn from time to time, salting it the while. Searing it first will produce a' burn on the outside which will prevent the juices from dripping onto the fire and being lost. The length of time required for cooking depends upon the heat of the fire and the desire of the Scout as to whether he likes his food rare or well done. In placing the beef upon the stick always sharpen the small end and impale the meat from this side. On account of the thickness of the stick varying in diameter a piece of meat impaled from the large end will not cling fast and consequently will not turn when the stick is twisted in cooking. Slices of onions introduced between the squares of meat give it a delicious flavor. A word is necessary though, regarding the method of putting the slices of onion on the stick. Peel the outer skin from the onion and with a sharp pointed stick make a hole through it, then slice it at right angles to the above and you will be able to place them on the stick without splitting. Slice the onion first and it will be impossible to make the onion stay together after it has been pierced.
The safe way to cook potatoes is to use two fires. First dig out a hole larger than needed to hold the potatoes-line it with small stones if they are available. Build a fire in the hole to heat the stones. When this fire dies down--put in the potatoes, cover them with damp earth --then on top of-this build an l8 inch criss-cross fire and let it burn down. Start these potatoes an hour before you want them and cook other parts of the meal on the same fires.
The Scout watches and finds his fun, when with any other people, in ways which do not disturb or annoy them in any way.
The heart of good manners is in caring about other people, in being as thoughtful and considerate of them as we would want them to be of us. In entering a house, it means that one cleans his feet. In a Pullman wash--room, it means leaving the basin clean for the next man; in entering a car in cold weather, it means closing the door; in walking on the streets or public stairways it means walking on the right hand side and not crossing in front of people but rather crossing behind them.
Tile spirit of good manners like the spirit of "Tile Good Turn" calls for no unusual setting, but rather it enters into the frequent common relationships of every-day living. Indeed if you will re-examine the Scent Law and The Scout Oath and "The Good Turn" you will find that every true Scoot, every Scout who obeys his Oath and lives The Law IS courteous and thoughtful. And that is one of the reasons why the Scout is honored, because he has learned how to act toward others so as to get along effectively with them. "A Scout is Courteous."
The following article on "Fire by Friction" is not a requirement but every Scout will want to master this method which is widley used to start Council Fires.
How to Make Fire without Matches
By DR. Walter Hough, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
I always was attracted by tile evening campfire in the desert. Sitting by it in the night, hearing a coyote
"yap, yap" in the distance, tile fire asserts its importance , almost demands attention. The fire becomes near to you, it seems almost part of you; perhaps most of tile Boy Scouts will know how difficult it is to describe the relationship of fire and man. Perhaps some of the meaning is in the word companionship.
Someone asks whether man was ever without fire and I answer, "I don't know." If we could imagine such a thing, let us cast about for ways by which lie might get it. We think of lightning-struck trees. Right! That is a common
and frequent source used in later times when the need for fire was established. But this imagined fireless man does not know that he needs fire, so we will set him down alongside, not too near, a fire of nature's making, say a flow of re cent lava from a bumptious volcano, where he will get all sorts of fire education, including; quickly getting out of the way of it at times when the mountain lets off. So he gets the habit of fire and begins to drudge, keeping campfires in fuel all over his world.
Campfires, as everyone knows, have a fashion of going out even in the best regulated families, and this was, to say the least, a great inconvenience. We guess that here arose the need for matches. We do not know
how long it was before this need was supplied by fire sticks or "rub-a-lights." Seemingly it was a long while during which the things going to make up the fire drill were brought together gradually as a result of experience, till the "ancestor of matches" began his grindings. Bay Scouts who have gone through the process of making fire by wood friction are sure to feel a great respect for that unknown Edisons of the past who brought together the various inventions making up the complex
Kinds of Wood
Scouts should be on the lookout for wood and tinder. There is nothing so good as questioning nature yourself; you may thus become a discoverer.
The best wood is dry and long seasoned till it begins to show signs of decay, as in a dead branch. It must not be gummy or resinous or fibrous like walnut or pine, or acid like oak, ash and chestnut. The test of all wood is that the dust ground off is real dust and not gritty. Try the dust in the fingers and if it feels sandy try some other wood. 'Elm, linden, poplar, soft maple, sycamore, and buckeye will often furnish good wood. Among the best woods are the roots of the, cottonwood of the west and the willow.
Root wood is better than stem wood as a rule. The flowering stalks of the yucca are excellent for fire making
The bow is 17 inches long, 5/8 inch wide, 1/2 inch thick, and has a curve 1/2 inch high on the belly. It can thus be whittled out of a strip 1 1/8 inches wide. The ends are swelled a little and holes put through for the cord.
The thong may be of belt lacing 5/16 inch wide or
of any good pliable leather. One end of the thong is split, put through the hole, the other end put through the slit and drawn down. Merely run the thong through the other hole in the bow The nut is a block 6 inches long, 11/2 inches square. Set in the middle a piece of soapstone and make a small smooth pit in the soapstone (Some recommend a braided thong.)
Bows are of two kinds, elastic and rigid. if elastic the spindle can be set in on a stretched cord, but this sort of how does not give good results. In the rigid bow the spindle is set in with a loose cord, the cord is then drawn tight and given a turn around under tile hand against the how to secure it. Then reach forward the thumb and pinch the cord down against the curved forefinger. By moving the thumb up and down the cord is tightened or slackened as desired. A little practice will show the relation between the pressure on the top of the spindle and the tension of the cord. This has to be learned and thoroughly under control before fire can he successfully made. Keep the spindle straight up and keep the bow away from it, The spindle must not joggle or the hearth shake, or you will lose the fire. Both fire-making pieces may be of the same wood; indeed, it is better that they should he the same. Some tribes, when their wood is not long enough to make a spindle, splice a bit of the good wood in at the point of another piece.
EDITORIAL NOTE -- Two Kinds of bows are indicated here -- one, the rigid bow developed from ancient usage; the other elastic bow as described by Smith. The scout may desire to try these out to see which is the best suited for his own use
As to the tinder or first fuel, this is of many kinds and may be found anywhere by any Scout. Soft finely divided, inflammable material is needed. Cedar bark, inner chestnut bark, inner red elm bark, bird and field mice nests, crushed spruce needles, beaten or charred rope fibre, etc., etc.: whatever comes handy,
rubbed and reduced to a fluffy mass. Have ready also a bunch of long-stemmed grass, a strip of bark, or anything that can be bent over the new fire.
How I Made fire in 6 2/5 SECONDS
By DUDLEY WINN Smith Independence, Mo., Assistant Scout Master and Eagle Scout Now, I believe any Scout can make a fire and can make it fast, provided he has good materials; of course, almost any wood will make a fire, but I consider elm and yucca the very best. The elm should be old and, seasoned by nature., Don't try lumber-yard wood--it is never properly seasoned. The elm wood must be solid, not punky. The yucca stalk, after it is dried, is always good and can always be depended upon for speed; although it wears down more quickly than elm,
The dimensions of my fire set: board of elm or yucca, 3/8 inches or less in thickness, and width and length; spindle, 8-sided, 5/8 inch in diameter about ten inches long. Bow made of and wood, 30 inches long, and having at least a three inch bend and a 3/8 inch wide green lace leather thong attached by holes in each end of bow. Tinder: made of red cedar bark and prepared by roughings up and beating with a wooden club. The top or thunderbird: a block of any wood, shaped to fit the palm, with the top knob, of a glass percolator inserted and sealed in with bees wax.
Some Important Pointers in Speed Fire-Making:
1. -Bore the new fire-pit with tile spindle before cutting the notch.
2. -Cut the notch U-shaped and not V-shaped, also not quite to the center.
3. -Keep the end of the spindle as nearly flat as possible.
4. -In making the flame, take long steady blows and do not wave the tinder.
5. -Take long strokes with the bow-. Eliminate the short choppy strokes.
6. -Bear down hard on the spindle from the start. Do not decrease or increase the pressure.
7. -Hold the board steady, and also the spindle. 8.-Do not let the tinder fill up the notch.
The real test of whether or not you are firemaker is, if YOU can go into the woods and make a fire, using only, natural materials and your boot lace, knife and axe Good luck to prospective record-breakers and beginners!
EDITORIAL NOTE.--Smith rates woods in the following order: Yucca, American elm, red elm, Balsam fir , red ceder, willow root. cypress, basewood , sycamore, cottonwood popular, soft maple, white pine.
Flint and Steel
Steel, when struck a glancing blow against flint or
quartz or agate, etc., will give off sparks. If these be "caught" in charred cotton, fuse rope, candle wicking, charred cotton flannel -- a single spark will start a fire. Such an outfit can be easily carried in one's pocket
PRACTICE WILL PRODCUCE SKILL
Requirement No, 7
"Prepare and cook satisfactorily, in the open, using camp cooking utensils, two of the following articles as may be directed; Eggs and bacon, hunter's stew, fish, fowl, game, pancakes, hoecake, biscuit, hardtack, or a "twist," baked on. a stick, and give an exact measurement of the cost of materials used; explain to another boy the method followed."
In fire building, on page 166, the Scout has already met several kinds of fire- now comes the time to USE them.
The Scout should be able to cook as many as possible of the dishes cited. For his test he must cook palatably any two before the Scoutmaster or examiner.
Boiled: Heat water to boiling point. Place eggs in carefully. Boil steadily for three minutes if you wish them soft. If wanted hard boiled, put them in cold water, bring to a boil, and keep it up for twenty minutes.
The yolk will then be mealy and wholesome
Fried: Melt some butter or fat in fryinp-pan or on a piece of tin or metal
; when it hisses drop in eggs carefully. Fry them three minutes.
Scrambled: First stir the eggs up and after putting some butter in the frying-pan, stir the eggs in it after adding a little milk.
Poached: Bring a frying pan of water to boil and drop in your eggs being careful not to break yolk. Serve on toast when egg has hardened to the desired state.
Cut quite thin and remove rind. Some like to parboil it first, but this is not necessary. Drop slices in warm frying pan or on piece of tin or thin rock. Bacon can be fried on a sharp stick over hot coals. A "nest" of three or four slices of bacon with the egg, in the centre and over the bacon edges is "not hard to take."
To make a hunter's stew, chop the meat into small chunks about an inch or one and one-half inches square. Then scrape and chop up any vegetables that are easily obtained--potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions, etc.; and put them into the mess kit, adding clean water, or soup, till the mess kit is half full. Mix some flour, salt, and pepper together and rub the meat well into the mixture, then place this in the mess kit or kettle, seeing that there is just sufficient water to cover the food--and no more. The stew should be ready after simmering for about an hour and a quarter.
Clean well. Small fish should be fried whole with the back bone severed to prevent curling up; large fish should be cut into pieces, and ribs loosened from back bone so as to lie flat in pan. Rub the pieces in corn meal or powdered crumbs, thinly and evenly (that browns them), fry in plenty of hot fat to a golden brown sprinkling lightly with salt just as the color turns. If fish has not been wiped dry it will absorb too much grease. If the frying fat is not very hot when fish are put in, they will be soggy with it.
Fish, fowl, rabbits, small pigs may be cooked without utensils in a hole in the ground. A hole a foot and a half each way, and the same depth, is lined with stones then the hole is filled with kindling and twigs and over it a cries cross two foot pile of two to three inch hardwood. In perhaps an hour the wood has burned and the hole is full of hot stones. Rapidly clean out the embers put on a heavy layer of sweet leaves (basswood, sweet gum, wild grape, maple, sassafras or vegetable tops).
Place the chicken or fish on these leaves in a center of the hole with any potatoes, corn on the cob, close to the fish or fowl or animal-- THEN cover with leaves and stones spread over it with wet canvass or burlaps and then cover it completely with earth. Ina couple of hours this IMU is ready! Come quickly!!
After game has been bled, skinned and drawn--it may be boiled, "imued," fried, or broiled.
A simple broiler can be made from a long forked green twig, or meat can be broiled oil a few green sticks over a small fire of coals.
Green Sweet Corn
1. Roast direct on long stick over the coals.
2. 2. Bake in ashes (like potatoes) after first cleaning out silks, then twist husks on tightly again and bury. In about an hour - Come and get it! (see page 255)
3. Boil 30 minutes in enough salted water to cover.
4. When too hard to use as green corn, it may be grated and the grating salted and baked In little patties (old corn may be used if first soaked overnight in water).
Mutton or Lamb Chops (or Pork) these can be cooked in their own grease. Rub the hot pan (or piece of tin or flat stone) with the fat of the chop and then put in and salt as it begins to turn slightly red on top. Turn and repeat salting process. Continue turning until done to suit. The juice will butter your as follows: With the heel make a small trench in the direction the wind is blowing. Use small dry twigs and small fire
Seneca Indian Dinner
One time a Seneca friend named Moses Shongo, one of the finest men I ever knew, told me how to prepare a big meal for a crowd with the least labor. One must dig a hole in the ground about two feet deep, line the bottom with rocks and allow a hot fire to burn in this hole for an hour. Since potatoes cook slower than corn, these are placed in the coals, covered with two inches of moist earth, and another fire built on this, which lasts perhaps half an hour. Then ears of corn with the husks on are laid as thick as possible in the coals, with eggs placed on top carefully, and covered with two inches-of moist earth again. Once more a fire is built and maintained for an hour. When the coals have nearly died out the feast supply is ready to be opened. You may ask why Indians used chicken eggs, when these fowl are not native of America? But the answer is that the custom began long ago by using sea-gull eggs, also wild turkey duck, grouse and even crow, -Radph Hubbard.
James A. Wilder of Honolulu cuts hammered flank steak into pieces about an inch in diameter and strings them on a small sharp stick perhaps alternating an onion slice-he rolls it in a bit of flour and THEN after searing it close to the fire he salts it and turns till ready! It's glorious! Try it.
(See Page 167)
Wash and dry potatoes thoroughly, bury them deep in a good bed of coals, cover them with hot coals until well done. It will take about forty minutes for them to bake. Then pass a sharpened hard-wood sliver through them from end to end, and let the steam escape and use immediately, as a roast potato soon becomes soggy and bitter.
If it has not moulded can be dipped quickly in water --then put in oven to freshen, or may be toasted and put in hot (but not boiled) milk with a bit of butter and a pinch of salt, or it may be fried (French Toast) after dipping slices into eggs whipped with 1/2 cup milk for each egg and a little dash of salt.
Beat one egg, tablespoonful of sugar, one cup diluted condensed milk or new milk. Mix enough self-rising flour to make a thick cream batter. Grease the griddle with rind or slices of bacon for each batch of cakes. Be sure to have the griddle hot.
In general, biscuit or other small cakes should be baked quickly, by a rapid or ardent heat; large leaves require a slower, more even heat, so that the outside: will not harden until the inside is nearly done. For a dozen biscuits use:
1 1/2 pints flour.
1 1/2 heaping teaspoonful baking powder.
1/2 heaping teaspoonful salt.
1 heaping tablespoon cold grease.
1/2 pint cold water.
The amount of water varies according to the quality of hour. Too much water makes the dough sticky and prolongs the baking. Baking powders vary in strength; the directions on the can should be followed in each case.
Mix thoroughly with a big spoon or wooden paddle, first the baking powder with the flour and then the salt. Rub into this the cold grease (which may be lard, cold pork fat or drippings) until there are no lumps left and no grease adhering to bottom of the pan. This is a little tedious, but it doesn't pay to shirk it; complete stirring is necessary for success. Then stir in the water and work it with the spoon until the result is rather a stiff dough. Squeeze or mold the dough as little as possible; because the gas that makes the biscuit light is already forming and should not be pressed out. Do not use the fingers in molding; it makes biscuit "sad." Flop the mass of dough to one side of the pan, dust flour on bottom of the pan, flop dough back over it, and dust flour on top of the loaf. Now rub some flour over the bread board, flour the hands, and gently lift the loaf on the board. Flour the bottle or bit of peeled sapling which is to be used as a rolling pin, and also the edges of the can or can cover to be used as biscuit cutter. Gently roll the loaf to three quarters of an inch in thickness. Stamp out the biscuits and lay them in the pan. Roll out the culls or leftover pieces of dough and make biscuits of them, too. Bake until the front row turns brown; reverse the pan and continue until the rear row is similarly done. ten to fifteen minutes is required in a closed oven, and somewhat longer over the campfire or camp earth or stone oven.
"Twist" Baked on a Stick
Work the dough, prepared as for biscuit, into a ribbon two inches wide. Get a club of sweet green wood (birch, sassafras, poplar, or maple) about two feet long and three inches thick, peel the large end, and sharpen the other and stick it into the ground, leaning toward the fire. When the sap simmers wind the dough spirally around the peeled end. Turn occasionally while baking. Several sticks can be baking at once. Bread enough for one man's meal can be quickly baked in this way on a peeled stick as thick as a broomstick, holding it over fire and turning it from time to time.
Take bread and crackers with you for camp. Pack butter in small jar; cocoa, sugar, and chocolate in small cups or heavy paper; also salt and pepper. Wrap bread in a moist cloth to prevent drying-up; bacon and dried or chipped beef in wax paper. Pickles can be purchased gut up in small bottles. Use the empty bottle as candlestick.
Can be made quickly and will keep almost indefinitely.
2 1/2 pints of flour.
1 scant tablespoonful of salt.
1 tablespoonful of sugar.
Mix with water to a stiff dough and knead and pull. Roll out thin like crackers and mark into squares with knife. Use as little water as possible if you want it to "keep." A teaspoonful of lard or butter worked in with the flour is good but reduces the "keeping" qualities.
Corn Batter Bread
1 pint fresh corn meal.
2 pints milk (or water). 2 eggs.
1 teaspoonful salt.
Beat the eggs until light, add salt, then the meal and milk a little at a time until thoroughly mixed. A spoon of butter or lard will add somewhat to the flavor. Bake about half an hour.
(Hoecake may be made by omitting the eggs and frying the cakes on both sides. Carefully cleaning and greasing the pan each time.)
Build large criss-cross fire over two feet high. Distribute stones in the pile of wood. When the fire burns down, cover the hot: stones with damp sea weed (not too wet)--then lay on the clams--cover the entire pile With sea weed and let them steam some twenty minutes for little necks and twice that long for round clams.
Steamed Fish Place the large stones heated as for clam bake in a hole some two feet deep and wide enough for your fish.
Fill the hole with hot stones nearly to the top, then
put on a layer of cold stones, on these lay your fish ready to cook. It may be tied to a non-resinous board which would then be turned '"fish side down" or similarly protected before covering the whole thing with clay or earth.
Make a hole into the pit with a stick and pour in half a bucket of water. Close up the hole and let it
Half to three-quarters of an hour will steam your fish
Requirement No, 8
"Read a map correctly, and draw, from field notes made on the spot, an intelligible rough sketch map, indicating by their proper marks important buildings, roads, trolley Lines, main landmarks, principal elevations, etc. Points out a compass direction without the help of the compass".
Map Reading and Map Making
By F. E. MATTHES ii. S. Geological Survey (What a Scout should know about maps.)
In this age of travel, by land, water, and air, a person who can not read a map well enough to find his way with the aid of one is at a great disadvantage. Certainly a Scout should be able to read the simple road maps that are beings used nowadays by motorists, but he should also learn to understand topographic maps, such as are issued by the U. S. Geological Survey. Likewise Sea Scouts should be able to read the charts of coastal waters which are prepared by the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Map Reading (Symbols)
The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the different symbols, or conventional signs used on maps
(See pages 263, 265)
Always look first for the scale, otherwise you won't know whether an inch on the map represents 100 feet or 10
miles. The scale is placed usually on the lower margin. It may he given:
a. In the form of a ratio or fraction, as for instance, 1:24,000, or 1/24,000.
b. In the form, 2,000 feet to the inch; two inches to the mile, etc.
c. The scale is always given also in the form of a bar, or lines, divided into lengths, representing miles, thousands of feet , or other units. The bar scale is useful for the scaling off of distances on the map
Direction of North
The top of a, map is not invariably the north side. On all modern maps, however, the direction of true north is shown by an arrow or a simple line.
Why, you may ask, does not the compass needle point the true north? Because it is attracted by the magic poles of the earth, and these do not coincide with geographic poles, which are the points through
First Class--Req. 8
which the earth's axis of rotation passes and to which all the meridians converge. The north magnetic pole is about 1,400 miles distant from the north pole, being situated on the northern edge of Canada,-to be precise near the western coast of the Boothia Peninsula. The south magnetic pole is situated approximately the same distance from the South Pole, in the Antarctic Ocean.
Because the north magnetic pole is so much nearer to us than the north pole, the compass needle points to the west of true north in the eastern parts of the United States, and to the east of true north in the western parts.
Inasmuch as the north magnetic pole is slowly migrating northwestward the magnetic declination in all places in the United States will change in the course of time. The western declination in the eastern states will increase, the eastern declination in the western states will decrease. It is thus necessary on any map to give the particular year for which the figures hold good. The figures quoted above are for 1925. The annual variation is shown on the map.
HRow to Orient a Map (Finding North)
Suppose you are lost in the woods, so badly "turned around" that you can not decide in which direction to travel in order to reach camp. There are several mountain tops in view through the trees, but you can not identify them. You carry a map of the region on which these mountains are shown, but even this map, will not help you in identifying them until it: is properly oriented,--that is to say, fumed so that its meridians actually point to the north. By what methods can you determine north and orient the map?
a. By means of a pocket compass. Turn the map until its magnetic north line points in the direction of the compass needle. Do not use the true north line. Remember that in many parts of the coun-