Spare Time Activities/Foreword

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Spare Time Activities: Foreword 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25


I’ve lived longer than any of you who are likely to read this book, but in all that long time I don’t remember ever having had an idle time. I have often looked forward to it, but it never came (I daresay that is why I have had such a happy life). I have had spare time, but this spare time has always been filled up with some sort of activity. So my advice is this: If you want to enjoy your life never have an idle minute, but let your spare time be filled up with activities. This book will show you a lot of activities that you can get to work on, especially in your winter evenings. When you have done them it will be a big satisfaction to you to record them, as “Gilcraft” suggests, on your Scout staff with the signs which he has drawn at the beginning of each chapter.

Chief Scout.

Many of the articles described in these pages are suitable for wearing with Scout Uniform, whilst some will be found more appropriate for other occasions.


Such things as lighting a fire in the Indian way, inventing camp gadgets, making a pair of moccasins, axe cases, a woodcraft knife sheath, hiking gear, belts, hatbands, shirts and Eskimo jumpers are all things that can be done by any fellow who has a bit of gumption, and can handle a few simple tools; and it is to help this kind of chap that the following chapters are written dealing with all the above stunts and dozens of others besides, under the general title of Spare Time Activities (which we will call Esses Toe Ac’s for short). If you try your hand at these things whenever you have a few odd moments in camp or elsewhere, there is no reason why you should not keep a permanent record of your skill which might count for points in your Patrol competitions. A good scheme would be to record permanently every spare time activity on your staff by means of branding. To help you with this, at the head of each chapter is shown a suggested design for a staff brand – so when you have made, say, a “noggin,” you will burn on your staff a conventional sign which will proclaim you to the initiated as a noggin maker, and so on with all the other Esses Toe Ac’s. Nothing is described which has not actually been made and tried out by a troop of Scouts, so don’t say “It can’t be done.” After all, what one fool has done another jolly well can do – so get busy.