The China Mail.
Hongkong, Thursday, September 25, 1924.
SCOUTS AND GIRLS.
SUCCESSFUL YEAR'S WORK.
The Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, the Commissioner of the Hong kong Boy Scouts' Association, reporting on the local Boy Scouts for the year 1923, says the period shows a general advance.
"The Pinewood Battery was rented from the military authorities for a training camp. While the camp is undeniably useful, the uncertainty of length of tenure has prevented large expenditure in the necessary plant, but on the future appointment of a trained and qualified deputy camp chief to superintend this branch of scout activity we hope to see a great advance made in the use of the ground at our disposal. The place is in frequent use, and is available in all weather, there being ample shelter and storage space.
In May the first of the rallies which form a part of the Prince of Wales' Banner competition was held in the Happy Valley. The results were satisfactory, and some of the troops were surprisingly efficient, the actual winners being the Ellis Kadoorie School Troop.
Owing to bad weather throughout the summer there was not much camping, though then and through the year troops arranged many "hikes" in various parts of the Colony, the most ambitious of these being a four days' trek carried out by a small party in the New Territory, with their luggage on a pony.
The census taken at the end of September showed a distinct drop in numbers, though the general all round efficiency was clearly in advance of previous years.
The closing months of the year brought a great increase in the number of Scouts, the majority of new members being in the junior branch, the Wolf Cub. The Ashen Totem Pole, the Cub's equivalent to the Scouts' Prince of Wales' Banner, had only two Packs competing for it, the winners being the Six attached to the 5th Troop of Scouts, but the end of the year found no less than six Packs either in existence or in process of formation.
The years began with eight Troops of Scouts, as going concerns, while on December 31, ten troops were actively at work, and two were in process of formation, two more also being on the books as possibilities. Of these troops eight are attached to schools or college, three are supported by religious bodies, two are independent, and one is drawn from among the garrison boys. At the time of writing some 300 boys are receiving scout training."
Mr. Waldegrave concludes with a reference to the splendid work by the Scouts in vaccinating 14,000 persons during the smallpox epidemic.
Reporting on the activities of the local Girl Guides' movement, for last year, Lady Stubbs states:
"It is now three years since the Girl Guide Association began life in Hongkong. It has at times been uphill work owing to the difficulty of finding officers, but this year we are in a better position in this respect and are able to work more regularly and systematically. There are at present four Companies of Girl Guides (girls over eleven) and five Packs of Brownies (children under eleven). They are:- 1st Kowloon Co., 2nd Kowloon Co., 1st Murray Co., 1st Wanchai. There is an enthusiastic Pack of Peak Brownies in addition to these.
The standard of work is not as high as one would like in some ways owing to the aforesaid difficulties in the past, but the children are all wonderfully keen; and of the one hundred and fifty we began with, not more than two have given up Guiding for any other reason than that of leaving the Colony.
The aim of the movement is to make efficient women citizens, good home keepers and mothers.
The method to bring this about is by training the girls through activities which appeal to them, to develop character handicraft, service for others, health and hygiene. In Hongkong last December Sports and Games among the four Guide Companies and the five Brownie Packs took place at Government House, all the children showing keenness and interest. On April 23rd, St. George's Day, intercompany competitions were held for H.R.H. the Prince of Wales' Banner, the Guides being judged on general knowledge, first aid, knot tying, relay racing, and tracking. These took place in the garden of Government House, and the Banner was won, for this year, by the Central British School.
It is hoped that we may be able to give a display of Games and Work by the Guides during the winter, and so show parents and all who are interested in the movement what Girl Guiding in Hongkong is doing. I should like to thank the School authorities who in the case of each School Company have given us their sympathy and cooperation. This has been of the greatest help."