Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong Saturday, February 20th, 1915.
BOY SCOUTS OF THE PEAK.
A TROOPS OF "WOLF CUBS."
A troop of small boys of the Peak District, technically known as "Wolf Cubs," was started a short time ago, and, in order to interest parents in the movement as well as to organize it on proper lines, Miss Skinner of the Peak School, gave an "At Home" in the Peak Hotel yesterday afternoon. About 50 ladies were present including Lady May, Mrs. Kelly, Lady Rees Davies, Mrs. Anstruther, and many of the parents, as well as Mr. Ralphs (Inspector of Schools), Commander Basil Taylour, R.N., and other gentlemen interested in the matter.
A very pleasant afternoon was enjoyed, in the course of which Major Bowen, A.P.D., already associated with the Boy Scout movement through the St. Joseph's College Troop, gave a very interesting address tracing the Scout movement, which has been described by Lord Rosebery as the greatest movement of modern times, from its introduction by Sir Robert Baden-Powell down to the present moment, when its organisation spreads from China to Peru. The notable results attained are due, he explained, to two characteristics of the movement:- First, it places a high ideal before the Scout and his master and, secondly, it makes the ideal practical by subjecting the boy to a very definite well-thought-out system of training. Handicrafts of every kind are taught and encouraged. Carpentry, boat-building, gardening, anything that tends to make a boy useful and healthily occupied, comes under the scope of Boy-Scout training; no menial labour, however humble, comes amiss, and the Boy Scout's uniform simple and yet so neat, is wonderfully adapted to honest and manly work. There is one thing only the Scout must not do; that is to keep his hand in his pockets and let others do for him what he can very well do for himself. It is not a military movement, though it possesses a training on modified military lines; a military caste of organization and discipline; and a distinct uniform. Its essential object is not to make our boys into soldiers, but into better men and better citizens. The whole aim of the movement is "to develop good citizenship among boys by forming their character, training them in habits of observation, obedience, and self-reliance, inculcating loyalty and thoughtfulness for others, and teaching them services useful to the public and handicrafts useful to themselves." The Boy Scout is taught to make his way about in all kinds of country and all sorts of places, and to play other games dear to boys' hearts, but in doing so he is taught something more, and something of great value to him in after life; namely, the signs of nature, woodcraft and fieldcraft and skycraft, to observe, to remember, to make inductions. With the instinct of genius Sir Robert Baden-Powell based all his training from the first on the observance of a Scout Law, at once simple, luminous and complete. Any little boy can understand it; but if any lad lives up to it perfectly he has already advanced a very long way towards the goal of a noble and useful life. A Scout is kind to all; a Scout is courteous; a Scout is pure in thought, word and deed. No knight of chivalry ever has a nobler ideal placed before him.
At the conclusion of Major Bowen's speech, Mr. Ralphs, Inspector of English Schools, said, "Although this gathering is quite informal I am sure we should all like to express our gratitude to Major Bowen for the very excellent address he has given on the Boy Scout Movement, and to Miss Skinner for giving us the opportunity of meeting here this afternoon (Applause.) The Peak Boy Scouts will, of course, all be young boys, none of them old enough to join the Cadet Company, but we want all boys who are eligible to join. The Troop will be called, I am told, "The Wolf Cubs,"- whether there is in the title an implied compliment to a well-known genial official I am not in a position to say. However, to help on the movement it is proposed to form the Peak Boy Scout Association, consisting of parents and others who will take an interest in the boys and their doings. Lady May has very kingly consented to become President, and under her gracious and energetic governance we may be assured that success is certain, Mrs. Churchill, who is, I regret to say, unable to attend this afternoon through sickness, will act as Vice-President. Then we shall shortly want a gentleman, preferably a Peak resident, to act as Scout Master. I should like to mention here that the Hon. Mr. Severn has very kindly offered to afford facilities for the boys to go out sailing and bathing and to learn to swim during the summer, and has further offered them the use of the lawn attached to his residence for drill and exercise. I think all that remains for me to do now is to ask all those who are willing to join the Association to give their names to Miss Skinner, to Major Bowen or to me before leaving.
Bishop Lander then said: Miss Skinner has asked me to say a few words to second the vote of thanks which Mr. Relphs has proposed for Major Bowen for the address to which we have listened with such pleasure. I think we are all agreed that the Boy Scout movement is an excellent one. It is especially aimed at the formation of character, and anything that tends to form character is valuable. I remember that some years ago I was working among a very poor class of boys in Liverpool. We then had a Corps which was a sort of predecessor of the Boy Scouts, I mean the Boys' Brigade. I can testify to the excellent work ours did. Previous to this, nothing had been attempted which appealed to the boys' imagination, but when we put them into a uniform and gave them drill they took to it wonderfully, and we found boys who came to us of the worst type soon quite easy to manage. Boys' Brigades were doing then what I believe the Boy Scout Movement is doing on a larger scale and I shall be very glad to see it taken up more extensively among the youth of this Colony- (Applause.)
Major Bowen announced that Captain Basil Taylour had just consented to become Scout Master to the "Wolf Cubs," an announcement that gave the greatest satisfaction.
The form which the Association should take was then discussed.
A small committee to run the Troop was appointed, with Lady May as President, Mrs. Churchill as Vice-President, Mrs. Ralphs as Hon. Treasurer, and Miss Skinner as Hon. Secretary; while Commander Basil Taylour very kindly consented to act as Scoutmaster. With such a Committee there can be little doubt that the success of the Troop is assured.
The troop of "Wolf Cubs" is, of course, confined to boys of British parentage residing in the Peak District, who are too young to join the Cadet Corps. Those who remain long enough in the Colony may, no doubt, be drafted into the Cadet Corps later on. Meanwhile, they will have an opportunity of developing their faculties in the way so interesting to boys through the regular course of Scout training by having entered thus young into the great and universal brotherhood of Boy Scouts.