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1939 About Those Boy Scouts

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1939 About Those Boy Scouts Baden-Powell. Booklet, printed on card, 7pp, 8 line drawings

This took the form of a facsimile of an open hand-written letter, with pen and ink drawings, to prospective financial sponsors.

The document is a well-directed adult recruiting tool. The psychology is excellent as it takes the form of a very informal handwritten letter direct from Baden-Powell. To break up the pages and keep the mood light, there are eight delightful cartoon caricatures that could not fail to raise a smile.

The reader is cajoled into realising that they are just the right person to help, though some of B-P's criteria would rule many of us out today, "Can you ... stalk your own stag ... milk a cow ... stop a runaway horse?" "9 out of 10 of our workers", writes B-P had what they thought were valid reasons for not helping, "before they joined and before they found themselves up to the neck – heart and soul - in it, in spite of them."

Whatever the age or condition of the reader, there was to be no escape! B-P wanted hobby instructors, organizers, physical trainers etc, "and the number of invalids whom Scouting has led to forget their ills is very large." (this enlivened with a caricature of a very old and be-whiskered gent leap-frogging over a Scout!)

The Scoutmaster, we are told, does not need to demonstrate every virtue, the only requirement is an understanding of "the boy". "The prevalent crime throughout our nation is self–interest", claimed B-P, but goes on to say that there is something in Scouting for the individual, because, besides helping the country and youngsters, it would bring the helper, "close to God". He concludes:

"May I send you some further information on the subject?"


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