Friday, May 23, 2014

Boy Scout Handbook

Boy Scout Handbook
First Edition 1911
(all illustrations are from the 1911 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook)
There was a time when people just lived sufficiency. It was just the way of life not a 
concept to learn. A time when children were simply taught how to do things that were
I was amazed as I was skimming through this 400 plus page document. I can't begin to list everything that this covers. But here are some highlights.
From the Scout motto of "Be Prepared" (does that sound familiar?) there is a wealth of 
information. For example there is a smattering of what is required to earn various badges.
To obtain a merit badge for Agriculture a scout must  1. State different tests with grains.  2. Grow at least an acre of corn which produces 25 per cent. better than the general average.  3. Be able to identify and describe common weeds of the community and tell how best to eliminate them.  4. Be able to identify the common insects and tell how best to handle them.  5. Have a practical knowledge of plowing, cultivating, drilling, hedging, and draining.  6. Have a working knowledge of farm machinery, haymaking, reaping, loading, and stacking.  7. Have a general acquaintance of the routine seasonal work on the farm, including the care of cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs.  8. Have a knowledge of Campbell's Soil Culture principle, and a knowledge of dry farming and of irrigation farming. 
To obtain a merit badge for First Aid a scout must 1. Be able to demonstrate the Sylvester and Schaefer methods of resuscitation. 2. Carry a person down a ladder. 3. Bandage head and ankle. 4. Demonstrate treatment of wound of the neck with severe arterial hemorrhage. 5. Treat mangling injury of the leg without severe hemorrhage. 6. Demonstrate treatment for rupture of varicose veins of the leg with severe hemorrhage. 7. Show treatment for bite of finger by mad dog. 8. Demonstrate rescue of person in contact with electric wire. 9. Apply tourniquet to a principal artery. 10. State chief differences between carbolic poisoning and intoxication. 11. Explain what to do for snake bite. 12. Pass first aid test of American Red Cross Society.
To obtain a merit badge for Gardening, a scout must
1. Dig and care for during the season a piece of ground containing not less than 144 square feet.
2. Know the names of a dozen plants pointed out in an ordinary garden.
3. Understand what is meant by pruning, grafting, and manuring.
4. Plant and grow successfully six kinds of vegetables or flowers from seeds or cuttings.
5. Cut grass with scythe under supervision.
To obtain a merit badge for Poultry Farming a scout must  1. Have a knowledge of incubators, foster-mothers, sanitary fowl houses, and coops and runs.
2. Understand rearing, feeding, killing, and dressing birds for market.
3. Be able to pack birds and eggs for market.
4. Raise a brood of not less than ten chickens.
5. Report his observation and study of the hen, turkey, duck, and goose.
The information just goes on and on. I was fascinated by this Camp loom, for making mats and mattresses.
This post is written by Perky Prepping Gramma and was derived under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License online at
Boy Scouts Handbook
The First Edition, 1911
This entire publication is free online, to include the wonderful illustrations. I am actually taking the time and money to print this document out, which I something I don't normally do. There is so much information and will be a guideline for my learning journey for some time now. 
Then it goes into details of various skills such a knot tying, how to start a fire and even how to build a log cabin!
Also, for fun there are wonderful pictures of advertisements from the era for equipment 
and books. Including this first aid kit.
All in all, this FREE resource is phenomenal! I would be very curious to know who actually would consider printing the handbook out.

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