The Hongkong Telegraph.
Wednesday, April 28, 1915.
BOY SCOUTS IN HONGKONG.
Special Appeal for Building Fund.
The following appeal has been received from the local association of Boy Scouts:-
The Local Association of Boy scouts having decided to raise by public subscription a small amount to enable a Scouts' hall to be built on a site given by the Military Authorities, desire to give a brief explanation to those interested, of what is meant by scouting and the benefit that the boys derive from the training. By the term scouting is meant the work and attributes of backwoodsmen, explorers and frontiersmen. In giving the elements of these to boys, we supply a system of games and practices, which meet their desires and interests, and is at the same time educative. From the boys' point of view, scouting puts them into fraternity gangs, which is their natural organisation whether it be for games, mischief or loafing; it gives them a smart dress and equipment; it appeals to their imagination and romance, and it engages them in an active and open air life. From the parents' point of view, it gives physical health and development, it teaches energy, resourcefulness and handicrafts; it puts into the lad discipline, pluck, chivalry and patriotism; in a word it developes character, which is more essential than anything else to a lad for making his way in life and which is yet practically untaught in the schools. The method of instruction in Scouting is that of creating in the boy the desire to learn for himself and not by drilling knowledge into him.
From the national point of view, our aim is solely to make the rising generation into good citizens. We do not interfere with the boys' religion of whatever form it may be, though we encourage him to practise that which he professes. Our training divides itself under three heads:- (1) Individual character training in resourcefulness, observation and self-reliance to gain the Scout's badge, (2) Handicrafts or hobbies which may help the boy to make his way in life for which we give proficiency badges, (3) Service for the state, such as fire brigade, ambulance missioner, sailor, life-saving & volunteering. Scouting appeals to boys of every class and can be carried out in all countries.
The following is what we teach and how we get the boys to acquire character. In the first place we make the scout promise on his honour to do his best to carry out the Scout Law, which is:-
A Scout's honour is to be trusted; A Scout is loyal; A Scout's duty is to be useful to help others; A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout, no matter in what social class the other belongs; A Scout is courteous; A Scout is a friend to animals; A Scout obeys orders; A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties; A Scout is thrifty; A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed.
The whole object of Sir Robert Baden Powell in inaugurating this great scheme of Boy Scouts is to seize the boys character in its early stage of enthusiasm and to endeavour to mould it into the right shape. The Chief Scout lays down the necessity of a separate headquarter for the Scouts, a place of their own in which they can practise their various handicraft. In Hongkong for the past 18 months the Scouts have had the privilege of using St. Patrick's Hall and various classrooms at St. Joseph's College. These were not suitable places for various reasons and now that the movement has widened and in all probability will continue to do so it is imperative that a central hall should be available for all scouts irrespective of denomination or creed. The training of a scout is varied and as before noted is calculated to make the boy grow up into a good self reliant citizen. Among the various uses for which the hall would be available would be as a gymnasium, first aid classes, fretwork and wood carving, shortband, etc. all of which tend to improve a lad's mind and help to make him a strong useful member of the community. These compared with the other outdoor attractions will we feel sure show that the movement is worthy of support and combined with the various exercises of outdoor scout work will make the boys of today sturdy useful citizens of tomorrow.
Any Lady or Gentleman desirous of assisting, either as Scoutmasters or lecturers or by subscribing to the Scout's Hall Building Fund, may do so by communicating with the undermentioned Officials:- Lady May, President; Commodore Anstruther, R.N. Commissioner for Scouts; Lieut E.R.Kennedy 18th Infantry, Chief Scout; Mr. N.J.Stabb Treasurer; E.H.Bidgett Farrell, Secretary.