The Hongkong Telegraph.
Thursday, June 29, 1922.
THE BOY SCOUTS.
Report For 1921.
Hongkong's Scouts Commissioner reports as follows for last year:
The total number of youths and boys in the Colony of Hongkong now receiving Scout training is approximately 300. Since October steady progression has been shown in all Troops, the junior branch, Wolf Cubs, in particular making great headway. All troops have been steadily improving their positions by insisting that only such boys as attend troop parades and meetings regularly shall be kept on the Troop Rolls. This has the effect of making it possible to give the training more in accordance with the principles of the movement, which aim at placing the main responsibility of discipline and instruction in scoutcraft on the leading boys.
Apparently when the Association was first restarted in the Colony there was a tendency to aim at numbers, but the weakness of this policy quickly became apparent, as there was a comparatively early decrease in attendances. The result has been that in the case of at least two troops the number of the boys on the Roll has been halved, and other troops have also suffered in a similar way. Hence the course taken as stated above, with wholesome and beneficial consequences.
A great source of weakness has been the lack of training for officers, and it is now the aim of the Association to get in motion a scheme of training for officers and senior scouts by course of lectures, and practical lessons in training camps, so soon as a satisfactory site and equipment have been acquired. Instruction is also given by combined "Rallies," and by means of the official organ, the "Silver Wolf."
Various troops have taken the opportunity of going to camp at weekends and during holidays, and all would have done so but for the non-arrival of camp equipment from England owing to the shipping strike.
The feeling of Brotherhood has been encouraged by troops visiting troops in their respective headquarters, and the exchange of ideas has been correspondingly beneficial.
The Commissioner cannot but speak with admiration of those men who spending all the week in schools and other educational establishments, give up their spare time as well to running scout troops.
He is also surprised at the extremely able way in which the Chinese Scoutmasters have grasped the main idea of a system entirely novel to them, and at the keenness which they are succeeding in implanting it in their scouts.
At the same time there is no doubt that very careful guidance is necessary to enable them to give and to get full value out of the training not only in the Scoutcraft side of the work but also from the more important moral point of view.
It is to be hoped that many men now in offices will soon see their way clear to assisting with the movement, and thus enable the Association to spread its influence still further.
On October 1st last, last Summer Sea Scout Troop came to an end. It was formed in order to give temporary sea training to a few scouts from each troop during the summer, and was to cease at the date above stated. In spite of a keen desire of the Instructor and scouts to continue, it was felt better to keep to the original plan, as when Troops restarted work after the hot weather, Scoutmasters found themselves handicapped by the absence of their smartest scouts with the Ses Scouts. The intention since then has been to organise a permanent Sea Scout Troop, and this will be done so soon as a suitable scoutmaster has been discovered. Meanwhile the thanks of the Association are due to Lt. Beauchamp, R.N., and certain petty officers from H.M.S. Tamar, who with the kind support and consent of Commodore W. Bowden-Smith, C.D.F., R.N. most ably undertook the training of the Sea Scout Patrols last summer.
The thanks of the Association are also due to those kind friends without whose practical help in money few troops could have been started.
Mr. A.J.S. Weyman as Honorary Secretary has carried out most valuable work, and his advice as an old Scout of many years experience is most helpful and greatly appreciated.