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Downloaded from: “The Dump” at Scoutscan.com http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/ Editor’s Note: The reader is reminded that these texts have been written a long time ago. Consequently, they may use some terms or use expressions which were current at the time, regardless of what we may think of them at the beginning of the 21st century. For reasons of historical accuracy they have been preserved in their original form. If you find them offensive, we ask you to please delete this file from your system. This and other traditional Scouting texts may be downloaded from the Dump. WOODCRAFT WISDOM By J. G. CONE Illustrated by the Author LONDON C. ARTHUR PEARSON, LIMITED TOWER HOUSE, SOUTHAMPTON STREET STRAND, W.O.2 1 WOODCRAFT IN my camp-fire pow-wows, I rarely mention how we did our scouting in the very early days. I have found it is not exactly wise, because one may be considered somewhat of a boaster, or perhaps looked upon as one of those folk who never fail to repeat, “Now when I was your age I did this and I did that.” The early days cannot really be compared with the conditions of today. It is true that many things have changed, but there is one thing which has not altered and that is Woodcraft. Nature has not changed at all. The trees, the wild flowers, the birds, the animals, the wind and the rain are still the same today as they were forty-two years ago. Tracking, trailing, stalking, ob- serving, pioneering, the study of nature and all those activities which go to make up what is known as Woodcraft were there long before we were called Boy Scouts. Let me yarn of the years, say 1906-7. I can recall when, with a bow of willow and a few arrows made of straight hazel sticks, we played Indians and cowboys. We revelled in putting up an imaginary fight against the settlers. Our prairie was the heath land, our pine forest in the Rockies was the woods where we erected our bivouacs and bivvies. Sometimes we would be the settlers moving across the country. We would send out scouts to watch for hostile Indians, and the redskins would be on the look out for them. On our imaginary bronchos we would race back with information, and prepare for battle. That was scouting before it was called Scouting. In these games we climbed trees, hid ourselves, followed trails, made camp fires, rigged up shacks, learned quite a lot about the trees, the birds and their eggs, which, I am now sorry to say, were often collected. It was great fun trying to emulate the backwoodsman, and it was the stuff we were so keen on. It was Woodcraft. We had very few other things to do and consequently we had to make our own recreations. That is why, I repeat, conditions were much different then to what they are today. Then came Scouting. In 1908, B.P. gave us Scouting for Boys. Here was something which was what we wanted. We were given a lead. Our gang formed themselves into the Wolf Patrol. We could get into some sort of order. We could have all our excitement and adventure, and at the same time be useful and do a bit of good. There was a lot more to learn. It was tough going at first. We had no real equipment, no headquarters where we could meet, except the corner of the street, under the gas lamp, but on Saturday afternoons we were back to our old playground, the heath land. We had then to make and do, to use our imagination and improvise - billy- cans from tins with wire handles, tents from tarpaulins. Shops hadn’t got as far as stocking Scout gear. We read in Scouting for Boys that we should acquire the knowledge of animals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, plants and trees. B.P. told us how to stalk, how to hide ourselves, how to observe, how to read signs, how to make camp gadgets. All this can be summed up in one word - Woodcraft. We were filled with tremendous enthusiasm. B.P. gave us just the guidance we needed, although we didn’t realise it then. In these days of hustle, mechanisation and mass production, we are liable to let this part of our training get crowded out. We must not lose our grip. The skill of the backwoodsman must not be lost. The adventurous spirit, the knowledge of the wide open spaces, and nature, God’s wonderful creation, must not be forgotten. Of course, it is understood that we who live in the towns and cities, ‘mid bricks and mortar, cannot spend all our time in the wide-open spaces, but we can get out whenever possible. We can be woodcraft minded - that is, alert, observant, useful and self-reliant. We can create a woodcraft atmosphere in our headquarters, and in our den. Make them look like places where those who follow the woodcraft trail gather together. We should endeavour to be useful and make things for ourselves, as B.P. put it - “Pioneers are always handymen.” There are regulation belts, hats and other parts of Scout uniform, but the pioneer or bushman was not like us. These fellows had to make them. I am not suggesting that Scouts should not wear the regulation belt and hat, but a good Scout will endeavour to make a plaited waistband and other parts of camp equipment. In my book Make and Do the Woodcraft Way, how to make many things are described, and in response to those who have read it, this little book has been written as a further instalment. In the chapters which follow, it is hoped that the ideas given therein may prove a helpful guide to all those who wish to seek knowledge and adventure in the great out-of-doors, to keep alive the spirit of the backwoodsman, and enjoy making and doing things the Woodcraft Way. To symbolise all our activities I give you a sign which was created many moons ago - the Sign of Woodcraft. First - the Tree. The tree of knowledge - knowledge of all that is good and evil - knowledge of the arts and sciences - knowledge of the stars, wind, the rain - knowledge of the woods, of the wood folk and the great out-of-doors. Next, the Horns - the Horns of Power - power attained through the tree of knowledge - knowledge is power. Then, the Circle. The circle of unity, eternity, forever, unity of the great Universe - unity of our world-wide brotherhood of Scouts. 2 THE DEN WHEN we think of the word “Den” or talk of the Scout Den, don’t we imagine straight away a place where the gang meets, where all the souvenirs collected from the various expeditions, hikes and camps are hung about. We never picture the den looking like a front parlour of a suburban villa. No, a den has to have the atmosphere of the backwoods, although it may be surrounded by the bricks and mortar of an industrial town. As much as we would like to, we cannot all fix up our den in the heart of the pine forest or backwoods, but we can bring the backwoods atmosphere into our den and make it look like a pioneer’s log cabin in the heart of the bush. It is all a part of woodcraft, and no den, when possible, should have bare drab walls without any sign or resemblance of the woodcraft touch. A stranger walking in should be able to tell at a glance that he is in a Den, and it should be an interesting place for anyone to visit. What Scout, Senior Scout or Rover hasn’t a bit of woodcraft spirit in him? Is there a Scout who is not thrilled at the thought of the life of those old pioneers and their cabins, their life in the Rockies, their adventures on the plains? We are not all able to lead that kind of life but it is part of our training to copy their example and lead a clean life in the great out-of-doors as much as we can. That is why we should furnish our headquarters to resemble as much as possible the homes of those sturdy fellows. It is realised that lots of troops are unable to decorate their headquarters as they wish because the place does not belong to them and it is used for other purposes when they are not meeting, but there are many who have their own Show and have not yet made a den of it. This little chapter is specially written to meet many requests for ideas on how to set about decorating. There are several things to consider before you start furnishing. It is like going into an empty house. The first thing to consider is wall decoration before anything can be hung up. Then there is the ceiling and the floors. These should all be considered in the general scheme of things. If it is a brick or plaster wall then it can be painted. If it is a wooden wall then lots more can be done in the way of decoration because wooden walls can be made to look like a real log cabin. Ceilings, if they are plaster, will either have to remain whitewashed or papered and panelled. Nothing can be laid down as a rule, but must be left to individual ideas. The main idea is to effect a wood craft setting; therefore vivid wallpapers and friezes are taboo. If money will run to it, panelling brick or plaster walls, either in log cabin style or squares, is the ideal. Failing this, papering in imitation wood panelling is the next best thing, and when this is varnished it looks quite effective. Wooden walls need no treatment beyond varnish. A plaster or wooden ceiling can be made to look really good by fixing up imitation beams to represent a shack. On these can be hung all kinds of woodcraft gadgets and souvenirs. In my den which of course isn’t as big as one which could be used for a patrol or troop, I have a solid oak beam 6 inches x 6 inches running right across the centre. To this beam I added four more, crisscross fashion, as shown in Figure No. I. These extra beams are not solid but made up of three long pieces screwed together as shown in the section. Although they are hollow they appear to be solid, as all traces of joining have been removed, the edges and surfaces made rough, and, with a few imitation cracks put in, stain and varnish applied, one cannot tell the difference between the real and the imitation. If funds will allow, a beamed ceiling looks most effective, especially if the bottom plank of the beam is left uncut, that is the outside of the tree trunk with the bark stripped off. To match this treatment, the walls of the den can be treated by fixing planks of floorboard vertically against the wall to give the appearance of a wooden framework holding up the roof. Fig. 2 shows the effect of flat panelling. This is made of lengths of batten, anything from 1 inch X 4 inches to 2 inches x 6 inches according to the area of the ceiling to be covered. This panelling should be stained and varnished. The squares in between the beams can either be whitewashed if it is a plaster ceiling, or papered and painted white. Once the ceilings are panelled and painted, it will last for years, and is really the most economical in the end. Panelling the walls of a den is not such a colossal task as one would imagine. Fig. 3. shows what appears to be a somewhat ambitious and expensive attempt. To panel a large area entirely in timber would certainly be expensive, but this need not be so, because the whole wall can be “papered” with imitation wood. This paper, which can also be obtained in panels, is now on the market, and although it is among the best quality of wall coverings, it is by far the cheapest to use. Once applied properly and varnished it will last very many years. This paper of course is only suitable for flat plaster walls. There are a few points to remember regarding the application of this material. The walls should be washed down if distemper has been previously applied. If papered, this should be stripped off. The walls should be sized very well. The paper should be pasted twice, one coat being applied, allowed to soak in well before another coat is put on. The walls should also be “pasted,” the strip of paper applied and pressed firmly down with a soft rag to remove all bumps caused by air between wall and paper. Slats of thin timber can now be nailed on the top of this covering to form panels as shown. These should be stained to tone with the background, and the whole, both wood and paper, given a couple of coats of varnish. A shelf running all round the top of the panelling may be added if desired. The panelling should not reach to the top of the ceiling, but 18 inches to 24 inches left to form a frieze. In Fig. 4 you will see depicted yet another method of treating walls. This is suitable for either rough brickwork, plaster or wood, and is composed of the “first cuts” off logs, the section of which is shown in the sketch. This timber should be stripped of bark, stained and varnished. The corner-pieces should be cut as illustrated. The electric lamps can be made to look like old-time chandeliers and candle-holders. One often sees loads of logs being taken round for sale as winter fuel. So even if you live in the town you can get the material from which useful and artistic articles can be made. Things made from rough wood are most attractive and are really woodcraft style. They are produced cheaply and quite easily made. Provided the wood is not “green,” but well dried out, the articles will last for years. Table lamps, chandeliers, chairs, tables, cupboards. hat-racks, benches and forms are some of the very many things that can be made. Joining the wood together is quite simple. The joints should be a good fit, but not necessarily equal to that of an expert carpenter or cabinet maker. Nails and screws can be used for fixing together, but it is far better to make use of wooden pegs. Small nails are used for any small pieces of ornamentation. The bark of the wood can be left on provided it is intact, that is, not cut or split here and there. Stripping and treating with stain and varnish makes a nice job. To begin with, I am showing you a few ideas on how to make joints. This is the most important point to produce a good strong article with rough wood. To do this you must have a decent saw and sharp chisels. Much of the marking out will have to be done by guesswork, as obviously with material of this kind one cannot use the usual thumb gauge, set square, etc., as is done on planed wood, so every care should be taken when measuring up for grooves, etc. Remember, it is easy to cut a piece off, but impossible to put a piece on, so cut under rather than over. If the hut contains a fireplace this too can have a log surround made to fit and cover up the modem tiling. Log fireplaces are quite simply made. The main thing is to obtain a decent sound log for the two side pieces. This should be cut straight down the centre. You can get this done at a timber yard where there is a circular saw. The whole surround can quite easily be made. Each piece of wood round the mantelpiece is screwed to a piece of batten. This batten is then screwed to the bottom of the mantel board which is screwed to the top of the side logs. The other pieces of log underneath the mantel board are screwed to pieces of batten which are let into grooves in the side logs, as shown in the diagram. A slow-combustion stove is O.K. and needs no alteration. With regard to the floors, nothing can be done if these are concrete or tiled, and nothing need be done if the floor is of plain floor boarding beyond keeping it clean and laying limo strips down where wear occurs. After the walls, ceiling and floor have been completed, the next thing to think about is furnishing with woodcraft furniture. 3 WOODCRAFT TROPHIES CUPS and shields are the usual kinds of trophies which are given to the winning team or individuals for various sports events or contests. These are all very good, but I think an original trophy is much better, and I suggest the award of a hand-made article, more in keeping with Scout activities: one which would indicate at a glance what event it represents. Several attempts have been made by manufacturers to produce trophies cast in metal representing a cricketer, a swimmer, foot-bailer, crossed rackets, hockey sticks, and so on, which are mounted on the top of a cup or fixed to a large metal plaque. These are quite good but here again they are not unique. Many of each kind are made. I think a carved trophy of an original design, symbolising the activity for which it is competed is what we should aim at. From time to time I have designed woodcraft trophies and each one which I have worked out has been different. The designs which are given in this chapter are merely suggestions. The same symbols can be used but arranged in a different form. Of course there may be some who are unable to carve or have no means of getting one made. In this case some other ready-made article could be adopted, such as a well-polished tent peg, mounted on a small wooden base. It doesn’t cost much I know, but it is a good trophy to award to the best camper of the year. I am not suggesting that you should scrap all those cups and shields which have generously been given to the troop by some prominent local body. Keep these by all means, but the next time you want to award a Troop Trophy, work out one the woodcraft way. Start off with a good straight rough holly or ash stick about 5 feet long. Don’t have the broomstick kind of thing. Bark should be left on and the branches cut off to within about half an inch. A holly is of course the real thing for this. Carve the top into a symbol, representing the particular activity for which the staff is to be competed. The carving should be painted in brilliant colours; an undercoat of white paint applied first will give brilliance to the colours. You can varnish afterwards. Do not be afraid of the carving. A rough cut-out symbol is what is wanted. The symbols are just roughly cut out, but they convey the idea. The winners of the staff can be indicated by whittling or burning out their patrol sign and date. Avoid the use of metal discs. Keep the whole thing a woodcraft trophy. There are lots of activities for which a trophy can be awarded. For instance, give one for hiking, marathon, camping, swimming, scouting, handwork, football, cricket or shooting. WOODCRAFT TOTEMS There is nothing new in totems. The totem of the Indian is an emblem or badge of an individual, or tribe or clan, usually represented by an animal taken by them on account of a supposed relationship. They are not worshipped by them but are regarded more or less as their tribal symbol, just in the same way as a lion is representative of England, the tiger of India, the eagle of America, the bear of Russia, the kangaroo of Australia and so on. We of the Scout movement take an animal or bird to represent our patrol, and consequently we should learn the habits, colouring, calls and all there is to know of the particular creature. Every patrol should be proud of its patrol sign or totem. There are also individual totems which are symbols of the woodcraft names awarded to Scouts for some particular ability, maybe for swimming (Otter) ; running (Deerfoot) ; observation (Eagleye) and so on. These totems can be carved on the top of a Scout staff and the majority of the sketches in this chapter are designed for this purpose. A troop totem is a much larger affair and should include all the totems or patrol animals or birds of the various patrols. This should be carved out of a large piece of pine log and set up in the entrance of the Scout Headquarters or placed in a suitable spot in the permanent camping ground if the troop is fortunate enough to possess one. It should be remembered that the designs are symbols; therefore it is not necessary for one to be a professional woodcarver or sculptor. The Indians were not expert woodcarvers but they knew how to symbolise their totem signs. These are more or less caricatures, the prominent features being brought out in the design; for example, on many Indian totems you will find that the eagle is depicted with a large beak and claws which are the prominent features of the bird. You will see that the suggestions for totems illustrated in this book are all cut straight - that is, there are no curves. This simplifies carving and makes it possible for anyone, who is able to use a small saw, to cut out a totem. Carving your Totem. - My carving all started with a Scout knife and a piece of stick. I used to spend a lot of time when in camp whittling and carving. I use practically the same thing today except for the addition of a few files, small penknife, small saw (for getting off the rough stuff), bits of glass, sandpaper. The wood is tough - so much the better for carving. Soft wood is liable to break away and so spoil your efforts. In carving any shape on your staff, I have found it best to cut it out roughly first. You can do this with a saw or coarse file. Never mind the fiddling bits - like making a drawing, rough it out first. Be very careful because if you cut away too much you cannot put a piece on, so remember better too little than too much. Don’t be in a hurry. It needs patience. I have drawn a few sketches to give you an idea of how to proceed. Follow these and you should make a good job of it. If I actually made all the totems I illustrate I would have a tremendous collection and it would take me all my time to produce them. How then do I know the practicability of the suggestions I give if I don’t actually carve them all out of wood? Well, I work it out first by sketches, all in straight lines, and when I have done this to my satisfaction, I get a potato and then carve it out according to the sketch. By this method I know that the carving is practical and I could carve a wooden - afterwards. Tools. - I have already mentioned the tools I use for small individual totems, but there are a few larger ones required for big totems. These consist of a sharp tenon saw, one or two chisels of various sizes, a mallet, a plane for smoothing, one or two small wood files of various shapes and of course glass paper. Colouring your Totem. - After carving, the totem should be smoothed over with fine glass paper and then given two coats of white undercoating paint. Do not paint too thickly. When this has been thoroughly dried, paint in bright colours. The paintwork should be well varnished. Totems look much better after the colouring begun to age and is not so brilliant. If paint is not used at all, then stain the totem with wood dye and varnish. Colours all have their place in the general scheme of things and each colour has its significance; therefore a little thought should be given when painting a totem. If the colouring is used for purely decorative purposes, then consideration should be given to the blending. The interior of a building is usually decorated in colours which are pleasing and restful to the eyes. For example, one never sees the walls of a hospital ward painted a vivid red, or the interior of a theatre or cinema black. Tele- phone kiosks, fire alarms, post-boxes are all painted red to give them prominence, while police call-boxes are painted blue. Therefore it will be seen that colours have their purpose. Apart from decoration, many colours are used to signify a particular meaning: red for danger; black for sorrow, mourning, darkness; white for purity, peace faith, gaiety; green for fertility, all clear, and so on. When painting your totem you should consider whether it is merely to look pretty or whether you really want the colour to represent something. For instance, the wavy representing water would be painted blue and white; the sun would be painted yellow, the fire orange, the trees green with the trunk brown. Each patrol of course has its own particular colour. There is yellow for Cubs, green for Scouts, maroon for Senior Scouts and red for Rovers, so when painting the symbols representing any of these sections of the movement, the appropriate colour should be used. There are no signs or symbols by which colours can be represented in woodcraft picture writing, therefore when it is necessary to depict a colour, actual colour should be shown. Individual Totems. - These represent the woodcraft name a Scout and are usually carved on the top of the Scout staff. When doing this it should be realised that as the staff is used for many purposes, the totem should not be of a delicate design where there are small thin pieces which could easily be knocked off. If the design is one where outstretched wings are incorporated, these can easily be made detachable. Patrol Totems. - These are representative of the patrol emblem and are carved on a larger scale than a Scout staff totem. The totem can also be carved separately and fixed to the top of a pole. The pole itself can contain a record of the patrol activities, woodcraft names of its members, whittled or carved from top and bottom. A pole about 6 to 7 feet high and 4 to 5 inches wide at top makes a substantial affair. Troop totems. - A nice thick pine anything from 8 to 9 feet high (adding say 3 feet to go into the ground) is really what is required for a good troop totem. With a pole of this size there is great scope for all manner of records. Each patrol can be represented together with records of special achievements, such as the winning of various trophies, summer camps and so on. Like a well-written log book, this is something which can be handed down as the years go by. My own totem is now over 30 years old and is looked upon as a family heirloom, and doubt be handed down from one generation to another. THE PATROL SIGN Here are a few simple drawings for your patrol signs. See now that all your patrol kit is properly marked with these signs. I have found that canvas can be effectively marked with Indian ink. If you carry canvas water buckets you should also differentiate between drinking and washing water buckets by marking them; drinking water marked as at A and washing water as at B, as shown in sketch. 4 CAMPING IN COMFORT I HAVE said that those who rough it when camping are not camping at all. If you camp properly you will camp in comfort. The old-timer will always be comfortable and warm, whether it be hail, rain or snow. Yes, even camping in the snow a real camper will not feel cold. There are already many books written on camping out; therefore it is not proposed to go into the general principles of the art, with which most of you are familiar, but to yarn about the ways of the backwoodsman and old-timer. Many commence camping at Easter, and the nights can be very cold and often there is a keen wind at this time of the year. Naturally they go fully prepared. A serviceable tent is needed, not necessarily made of thick duck material. A lightweight with a flysheet is just as good. (1) The Tent. - Before you set out on a camping expedition, whether troop, patrol or just two or three, you should always see that each tent is quite sound. That is of course if it is not a new one, but has been used before. Examine seams, edges, wall joins, eyelets, etc. Stitch up or reinforce where there is any sign of excessive wear and tear. Check at the top where pole fits. Replace any missing eyelets or guy ropes. Fit new guy lines where they are required. Examine poles. If bamboo, see that there is no sign of splitting. Count out your pegs. See that there are sufficient sound ones with two or three to spare. Remember a good mallet. (Not a hammer; this will break pegs.) If your tent needs water-proofing, a preparation can be purchased for this purpose. If the fabric has rotted then it’s not worth waterproofing. If you haven’t a valise for your tent, make one. A sandbag is quite suitable. (2) Groundsheet and Blankets. - See that your groundsheet is waterproof. If it is a rubber-covered one, and you find when unfolding it that it has stuck together, there isn’t a lot you can do about it because the rubber has perished. Get a new one, and before putting it away next time see that it is clean and rub the rubber side over with French chalk. Roll it instead of folding if it is not being used for some time. See that the eyelets are O.K., and have a few metal skewers to peg it to the ground. Now about blankets. See that these are clean and dry. You will find a pillow comfortable, so fix yourself up with a small linen bag. This, stuffed with clean dry straw, bracken or grass, makes quite a good pillow, but be sure that whatever it is stuffed with is perfectly dry. (3) Cooking Utensils. - These should have been put away since last season after being thoroughly cleaned dried and greased to prevent rust. If you didn’t do this, well you’ve got to see they are fit to use now. Well now, briefly there should be billy-cans and fry pan (one fits into the other), small enamel plate, canvas water bucket and the usual pothooks and hangers; a jack-knife with tin opener, flour and tea bags, containers for butter, sugar and other foodstuffs, also a container for condiments. (4) Sanitary Gear. - Unless you are going to a permanent campsite where you know lats., etc., are already erected, you should see that you have lat. screens, and that these are quite sound and complete with poles and guy lines. Don’t just rig up any old piece of sacking full of rents and tears, slung up anyhow. It doesn’t look at all good, and decent lat. screens are just as important as other parts of a good camp layout. To dig the pits you must have a spade or entrenching tool. I know you do not usually carry a spade on a hike, but a small strong trowel with a short detachable handle will serve the purpose for digging a small pit. It takes longer, but does the trick. If you are taking a trek cart, take a small pick and shovel. Don’t forget disinfectant powder. A sandbag makes a good waste- paper bin. (5) Ablutions. - See that you have a place for washing. No bench is needed for one or two fellows hiking or camping together, but for a couple of patrols or more you should have some canvas or metal wash bowls. These, for a long - camp, should be fixed up on an ablution bench. A piece of canvas cut to shape and fastened to short poles or sticks on the site can be easily made. (6) Other Gear. - An axe is needed for chopping wood and for making camp gadgets. If you find that someone has been chopping flints with it, get it ground and sharpened, and see that it is not ill-used again. A length of rope and some strong twine is useful to rope off the kitchen and for fixing up other things. Make a wooden drill for making holes in the ground in which to push the forked sticks when making your kitchen gadgets. You will find it much easier. This is shown among the camp gadgets. DRYING CLOTHES It is not usual for a Scout to get soaked so that he has to dry his clothes, but it does happen that a patrol is caught in a sudden downpour of rain without raincoats. The job then, of course, is to dry the gear, and if there isn’t much sun, rig up a drying rack, and it doesn’t take long. The sketch shows you how. After you have fixed up the rack, light a good fire in the centre, using some hefty pieces of wood to make a good supply of hot embers. When the sparks and smoke have died down, you can hang your shirts, shorts, stockings and other wet articles of clothing round the rack to dry. CAMP FIRES The cooking fire should be carefully dug and not too large.’ Concentrated heat is the idea, so dig the fire trench just large enough to take all the billy- cans and deep enough to hold a nice lot of wood ash. Dig the trench running parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind and on the leeward side of the camp. One fellow should be made responsible for the cooking fire and camp kitchen. The sketches clearly show you the various kinds of cooking fires. These can be enlarged according to the number of utensils to be placed on the lire at once. Woods to Use. - A camper cannot always pick and choose the kind of wood to burn, but whatever wood is used, dead wood is the best to keep the fire going. There is really a lot one can learn about camp fires and the woods to use. An old-timer doesn’t just throw a chunk of wood upon the embers and expect it to burn. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Fires want feeding properly. To keep a fire in when you are not cooking, it should be fed occasionally with a few pieces of dry wood. Oak, ash, pine, beech, sycamore, maple are all good woods to burn. Apple is also good and gives off a very nice perfume when burning. Chestnut is not too good. One of the woods to avoid if possible is poplar. This will scarcely burn at all if wet and will give off a thick acrid smoke which irritates the eyes. So don’t use this for a camp-fire sing song. Elm is not good. Spruce should be burned with care because of its liability to give off sparks which may alight on a tent or blankets and burn a hole in them. Don’t fret if your wood is soaking wet. You can kindle it quite easily. Just take hold of a bundle of fine twigs. It doesn’t matter how wet they are. Lay them across the fire trench, then take a sheet of newspaper, twist it up in the form of a whisk, light one end and hold it underneath the twigs. As the paper burns, push the flames under the twigs and by the time the whisk has burned away your twigs will be well alight. This is illustrated with the camp fires. Of course, you must have some more twigs ready to feed the fire. It works all right, so just fold up a couple of sheets of newspaper and pack them away just in case. If you haven’t a newspaper handy to light your fire by this method, then you can search around underneath the hedges, and you will find a sufficient number of very thin twigs with which to start your fire in the usual way. Of course, you can keep a few dry twigs under cover, in case it turns out wet. 5 HOW TO BUILD SHACKS AND SHELTERS CAMPING WITHOUT A TENT LET’S get out into the heart of the forest, across the rolling plains. We are carrying all our kit - blankets, groundsheets, pots and pans, food and all the little things that are necessary. Let us be like the old backwoodsman, exploring new territory, blazing a new trail, steering our course by the stars, packing down for the night, after a long day’s tramp, ‘neath the starry sky, or in the shelter of a rock on the mountainside - a wanderer into the unknown. You’ve read all about these stout fellows. You’ve been thrilled at their adventures, their spirit of determination, their fight against the elements and how these chaps in the early days won through against great odds. Those were the days. But don’t think all this adventure is a thing of the past, something only to be read about in books or acted by film stars on the movies. Oh no! There is still adventure in abundance. We cannot all pack up and hike into the heart of the Rockies, or trek through the jungle, because there is a job of work to do here in our own home town. We can, however, copy the example of the pioneer and get out with a rucksack and staff into the great out-of-doors. We can practise living as simply as he lived. We can learn to steer a course by the stars and, at the close of day, we can learn how he cooked his meal on the embers of a small camp fire and slept quite comfortably in the open beneath the canopy of Heaven. These fellows were not burdened with the weight of a tent, poles and pegs. They relied on the natural resources for a night’s shakedown - sometimes sleeping in the open by he fire, sometimes in a dugout or in the shelter of a tree, or in a shack roughly built of leafy branches to protect them from the elements. For a long stay the old pioneer would build a more permanent type of structure with logs. Then came the real log cabin, the very mention of which captures our imagination. Our thoughts at once fly to the backwoods with a great longing to be right there. Don’t let us just wish. Let’s be practical, and see how we would get on out in the wilds with no sign-posts. Of course, we cannot just wander about the countryside hacking away at trees and shrubs, but there are many such places where we can obtain the necessary material, such as a wood or copse, where permission can be obtained to cut a few small leafy branches to build a “bivvy.” Get out and away without a tent and see how you would fare as a backwoodsman on the trail. 6 CAMP KIT OF course one of the main items of camp kit is the tent. Many folk would probably say that a tent is the most important item, but there are several other items just as important which are required for camping out. A waterproof groundsheet is most essential, as any old-timer will tell you. However, with regard to the tent, there are quite a variety, from one-man hike to large patrol tents, which can be purchased nowadays, so it is not proposed to yarn about these. All the information can be obtained from the various manufacturers’ catalogues. For lone camping I use the one-man Hike. This is a single pole with one front guy line, and can be used with or without a flysheet. For two or three campers, I do not think one can do better than use the “A” type; some are with and some are without walls. For a long stay anywhere it is preferable to have a tent with walls, and also, I believe in having a flysheet. The sketches will give you some idea of shapes of the most common types in use. A Scout, or anyone else for that matter, is always proud of something he has made himself. I know this is so of the fellows I have met, who have made their own tents. I have found that they put all kinds of extra work into their handiwork, which is not always found in the factory-made article. Those who wish to make their own tent will find the following hints useful. Having decided on the approximate size and shape of the tent required, the first thing to do is to make a scale model using stiff drawing paper. When working out measurements - the width of material to be used must of necessity be taken into consideration. Some material is 36 inches wide, some 54 inches wide; therefore to avoid cutting material to waste, you work out the dimensions according to the width of the material. For instance, as the seams of the material in the roof should always run down the tent and not across, two widths of 36 inch material will make a small tent 6 feet long while three widths will make a larger tent 9 feet long. The larger tent will of course have two seams running down the roof. From the sketches it will be seen how the material can be cut economically without any awkward angles, thus avoiding any waste. It always pays in the long run to tape all seams. Sewing together is a colossal task by hand, so if you haven’t a sewing machine, arrangements should be made for the loan of one. Commence first by sewing together the pieces comprising the roof, with one row of stitching; then tape these seams with 1 inch tape, two rows of stitching, thus each seam has three rows of stitching. After finishing the roof, stitch on the doors, finishing up with the walls, if walls are being used. It is easier to tape all seams as you go along. A double tape should be used along the ridge of the tent. The sides of the roof should be turned in and taped, all corners and ends of seams being reinforced with small pieces of material, as shown in the sketch. When this has all been completed, it must be decided whether eyelets or tape and rings are to be used to fix on the guy lines. If the material used is lightweight, i.e. balloon or parachute fabric, then rings and tapes are best. For Green Duck, which is a much thicker material, brass eyelets can be used. These can be purchased at most ironmongers, and can be fixed on the required position, usually at the ends of the seams, as shown in the sketches. For the top of the tent where the pole will come, a hole should be cut and reinforced with a metal ring. Another method is to use a large eyelet. Before inserting the eyelet or ring, the tent should of course be rein forced with another piece of the duck for strength. Around the bottom of the walls and the doors a piece of good-quality Hessian about 6 inches wide should be sewn. This is known as the sod sheet and is tucked under the waterproof sheet to prevent draught. One door each end should also have a strip sewn down the edge. This strip is clipped to the other door when they are closed to prevent draught. The doors can either be fastened by tapes or press studs on the inside and outside as illustrated. The Poles. - It is quite easy to judge the length of the pole required by measuring from the apex of the tent to the bottom of the door. About an inch should be allowed to enable the top to be pointed to fit into the eyelet at the top of the tent. The poles can either be made of a good straight ash pole or straight bamboo. I emphasise straight because this is essential and care should be taken when making the centre joint. See that the tube, which should be a drawn brass, fits in line with the half pole to which it is fitted. If bamboo is used, a wooden plug should be made to fit into the hollow at the top, the pointed end fitting into the eyelet in the tent. See sketch. Making a Flysheet . - This is quite easy and is done precisely the same way as making the roof of the tent, except that it should of course be a little longer from top to bottom, but the length from pole to pole will be the same. A porch each end is quite easily made by cutting a full length of material in halves, then cut each half again diagonally and sew together. With a flysheet it is always best to use a ridge pole. This pole can be in either two or three sections fitted together with drawn brass tube. With the aid of strips of strong canvas, the tent is hung on the ridge pole. In this case the tent poles should be at least an extra 6 inches longer and should be passed right through the top of the tent as illustrated. A small brass or steel rod should be fitted in the top of each pole, these rods being passed through a small hole in each end of the ridge pole. This is really a simple operation and the fitting of a flysheet does ensure protection against all weathers, especially if the tent is made of lightweight material. The flysheet can also be used as an awning in the sunny weather. REPAIRING A TENT Treated properly, a tent should last a good number of years. For instance my one-man lightweight has been used by me nearly twenty years and is still quite serviceable. There is only one patch in this where a field mouse nibbled its way through the side. This tent is described in my previous book Make and Do the Woodcraft Way. The secret of keeping a tent in good condition is to examine the weak spots; in other words, examine the parts where wear and strain are likely to occur most. These are at the top where the pole goes through the tent; the corners to which guy lines are fixed and often flap if the lines are not kept taut, and again if they are not eased off a bit in wet weather. The doors should also be watched, and tapes kept sewn on. In fact, the tent should have regular examination for signs of wear. There are of course times when accidents do happen; someone tripping over a guy line will tear away the tape or eyelet; a little slit may occur through something sticking into it; a spark may burn a tiny hole, and damage may be caused in many other ways. If anything does happen the repair should be carried out properly. It is no good just sewing up a hole in the roof with cotton. If there are signs of the top giving way where the pole is held, then reinforce. If the eyelet has been pulled out it may mean a new patch and eyelet. Remember a stitch in time will save a big patch. Wind can play havoc with a tent so always see that the guy-lines are securely fastened to the tent and the tent securely fastened to the ground. A few sketches of general methods of repair are given here which have been found quite successful. Of course a lot depends upon the extent of the damage. ENLARGING A TENT When necessary a tent can usually be made longer but not wider without a considerable amount of alteration. It can be made higher by the addition of an extra piece being sewn to the walls and doors. If the tent has no walls, it is quite simple to raise the height by fitting walls. If this is done, a piece must be added to the bottom of each door. This will not give any more floor space and is hardly worth doing unless the tent is made larger as described by the following methods. One of the simplest methods is to add a piece on the bottom of the doors at one end, and then fix a detachable flap from the top of the doors to the bottom by press studs, the doors being kept pulled open, as shown in the sketch (Method A). A permanent enlargement can be made by letting another strip of material in the centre and also on the walls. This will make the tent much longer in proportion to the width, as shown in Method B. Another method which I have found very effective is to remove the doors from one end and make this end a half pyramid or half a bell. This method gives a little extra work but the space provided by it will be found very useful for storage of kit at night and the tent does not look out of proportion. The exact measurements can easily be ascertained by pitching the tent and fixing sticks in the ground where the walls of the extension is proposed, and fastening string from the top of the tent to the ground. You can then take the necessary measurements from these as shown in sketches marked C. In all cases it is advisable to use the same kind of material as that of which the tent is made when making enlargements, i.e. do not sew duck to a lightweight fabric. Of course a complete Duck flysheet can be used over a lightweight tent. CANVAS EQUIPMENT Before buckets and bowls were invented, or rather mass produced, the primitive man used skins for holding and carrying water. Later came the making of earthenware vessels. Even today we still find that water is carried in skin bags across the desert by the camel trains. The Turkish bath is not a product of the later ages. The Indian had one. He had a large hole hollowed out in the ground inside an enclosed “Tipi.” The hollow was lined with skins to make it watertight and then filled with cold water. Large stones were made hot in the fire, then taken to the Tipi and placed in the cold water. The stones naturally made the water hot. All openings of the Tipi being closed, the steam given off from the water made what is known now as a Turkish bath. Today it is easy to buy all the gear you want, but there just isn’t any fun in it. Does a real camper pay someone to take his tent, pitch it and lay out his camp, cook his meals? Not he, because it wouldn’t be camping. He likes to do all these things himself. A real old-timer doesn’t rely on the Universal Stores either. He likes to make all his things. As well as his tent, there are lots of other items of kit which he makes. This brings us back to buckets and bowls. Of course it is easy to buy them in the same manner as it would be to pay someone to pitch the tent and do the cooking, but it just isn’t done. When you go away with a troop, quite a number of things are provided; water buckets, washbowls, dixies and so forth are packed on the trek-cart so that the individual has no need to worry, but for a short week-end camp of two or three, things are different. The troop utensils are far too large and cumbersome to carry in a rucksack, so the real woodcraft Scout has his own for such occasions. With some odd pieces of waterproof canvas, it is an easy matter to make things to one’s own individual requirements. Of course, these are not made all at once. As time goes by, experience shows that there is a necessity for this and that, and so bit by bit a real comprehensive camping kit is built up. The sketches I have drawn will give you an idea how to start about making these things. The square-type bucket shown in Fig. 1 is very simple and is quite efficient. As will be seen, it should be made from one piece, but if this is not possible, the bottom can be made separately. A point to remember is that the top edges should be hemmed and the edge of the hem should be on the inside of the articles when they have been stitched together and turned inside out. Fig. 2 is the round-type bucket, a bit more complicated. Here the bottom is cut separately. Note how the sides of the bucket slope inwards towards the top. The bowl and bath shown in Figs. 3 and 4 are made precisely the same way except that the sides of the bowl (Fig. 3) slope outwards towards the top. This is done to prevent the sides from touching the forked sticks when erected. The loops are used for this purpose. The bath is used for standing in when washing one’s feet and legs. Here the sides slope inwards towards the top as in the case of the buckets. Here again, as in the case of Figs. 1 and 3, the bottom can be made separately if the material used isn’t large enough to cut all in one piece. A word or two with regard to stitching together. This should be done with fairly strong sewing thread, on a machine if one is available. If not, it should be done by hand, using a run and back stitch. Remember to do the corners well and each end, fastening off with an extra stitch or two. These canvas articles will probably leak a little when dry and first used, but as the material gets wet, they will be quite watertight. The handles can either be of rope through small eyelets, or can be made of a strip of material stitched on. There are many other articles of camp kit which will be found most useful and can be made from odd pieces, such as a hold-all, a very useful part of kit, in which to carry needles, pins, cotton, buttons and so on. Remember “a stitch in time . . Instead of just pushing your cutlery into your rucksack with the possibility of the fork penetrating some article of clothing, just make a little case for them. Your toilet requisites also need a container - towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, face flannel, nail-brush, hairbrush and comb can all be neatly rolled up together in a little case of thin canvas or linen. So much for canvas kit, but there are many other articles which are required to hold food. Food bags to hold bread, tea, sugar, flour and other commodities are always carried by a good camper. Fats and suchlike should be packed in plastic or metal containers. If the latter is used, then the fats, such as butter, lard, etc., should be wrapped in greaseproof paper first. The sketches will give you some idea how these are made. 7 CAMP-FIRE COSTUMES NOW we all like to dress up and put on some sort of costume to suit the particular occasion. For the camp fire it is a habit for everyone to put a blanket round the shoulders. These blankets get ornamented from time to time with signs and symbols, then cut a bit here and there, until they eventually develop into robes used only at the camp fire. At a properly organised camp fire a programme is arranged beforehand. One person is made responsible for this and acts as Camp Fire Leader. Another looks after the fire and ensures that there is sufficient fuel and keeps it burning brightly. There’s nothing like a blazing fire to brighten things up. These are the two principals of the camp fire and they wear camp - fire robes or robes of office. The Fire Keeper and other costumes I have given in Make and Do the Woodcraft Way. I am now giving you designs for the Camp Fire Leader, Keeper of the Camp (Sanitation, Garbage, etc.), First Aid Man, Totem Keeper, Camp Cook, Troop Leader and Patrol Leader. They are very simple. The decorations can either be cut out of coloured material and sewn on to an ordinary blanket, or the robe can be made in the form of a fringed jerkin decorated likewise as shown in the sketches. Coloured braid or wool make effective decorations. Whatever symbols you use, let them mean something. Be original. Include your woodcraft name somewhere and make the signs bold, not skimpy things which cannot be recognised unless examined very carefully. Let the colours be brilliant. The signs used in my illustrations are easily recognised. In that of the Camp Fire Leader, the winged heart means happiness, joy, gladness (glad heart) and the mask is laughter. The heart also means good health, as shown in the Keeper of the Camp. With regard to the camp-fire blanket, I have given you an illustration showing how to cut this out from an ordinary blanket, also designs for decoration. The heads of animals or birds are usually placed on the back. Here are a few hints on how to transfer a design to the material. First of all, draw out your design on a piece of tracing paper, then with a fine needle prick out the lines on the paper. Lay this in position on the material from which the design is to be cut, keeping it firm with pins and quite flat, design side upwards. Stretch the material as much as possible, then take some French chalk and powder over the holes. Use French chalk for dark material or a dark powder for white material so that the spots will show up. Now just pencil or paint over the dotted lines on the material and cut out the design, allowing about inch all round for turning under when stitching to the blanket. When you have completed the design, pin it in position on your blanket and sew it all round the edges with a blanket stitch. If you have not a special camp-fire blanket, here is the way to fold one of your other blankets, so that it makes a good ceremonial dress. Place the whole of the blanket lengthwise behind you so that the centres of the two sides come in front of you. Now the top end of the blanket is carried over your shoulders and the other ends tucked under the front of the blanket and held in place with a pin. The sketch makes this quite clear. It almost appears to be a tradition for fellows at camp to wear some sort of camp headgear. Apart from parades, the Scout hat is rarely worn because, no doubt, of its size and shape. In scouting games and boisterous camp activities, the broad brim of a Scout hat usually suffers badly when rolled upon, the brim resembling a switchback railway. This is probably one of the reasons for the adoption of a variety of camp headgear which is so often seen. Some of these head coverings (they can hardly be called hats) are real souvenirs emblazoned with all kinds of badges collected at various camps, at home and abroad, usually by barter and exchange from members of other troops. Quite interesting they are too. Some fellows seem to turn all sorts of things into camp headgear, from the crown of a bowler hat to a kiddy’s Tam O’shanter. Some of the varieties serve a useful purpose as a sun protector whilst others are just ornamental. The Scout scarf worn over the head, with the ends hanging down at the back of the neck is quite good to wear as a neck shade. An old felt hat which can be tucked away in a kit-bag, a beret or a monk’s cowl are just the things. Lots of them come in handy as part of a costume when giving a camp-fire item. The sketches below give some idea of what can be used when you are thinking of making camp headgear. A woggle is quite an important part of a Scout’s dress. You may be interested to read how I made mine. It is a bone one. Many years ago I saw an old bone underneath a hedge, smothered with ants. I liked the look of it because it was a nice oval shape. I picked it up, cleaned it and then I cut the bone up into lengths, allowing a little over the actual depth. Next I filed out the centre with a half-round file and also filed the outside a bit to make it quite uniform. Now having sketched out the design I wanted to carve I marked it out in pencil. The carving on my woggle is in relief and also undercut. I commenced by scraping away the outer line of the symbol which happened to be my totem sign. When this was finished I filed the rest of the waste away. I did my scraping with a file and penknife. I find a knife quite useful if the blade is kept sharp. After I had cleared away the surplus I carefully carved out the details of the design. This has to be done very carefully so it cannot be rushed. Having completed the detail I then commenced the undercutting. This was slowly done with a thin pointed blade of a penknife. That was the centre completed. The edge was then carved as shown in the sketch. The whole was smoothed over, scrubbed with soap and water, then polished. I have made a sketch of my woggle together with a few suggestions for other designs. Quite good woggles can be made from old briar pipes, and a fine polish can be made on them too. Just cut off. the bowl to the length required, then scrape away the charred part of the inside. You can carve these quite well. ROPE SANDALS To make a pair of rope sandals for camp, some quarter-inch rope as used for clothes line is needed, and for an average size pair of say, 10 inches from heel to toe, you will want at least 8 yards. Get also a pair of socks, not woollen ones of course, but cork, leather or other similar material. These should be a size larger than your foot - or alternatively, cut a pair from an old felt hat, but remember, when doing so, not to cut them too small. You can always cut them down to fit inside the sandals when finished. With the aid of the sketch, you can see how to start off with the sewing of the rope together. Fig. 1 shows you how to commence. You can see the size of the first coils in relation to the size of the sock. Next sew the rope round to the shape as shown in Fig. 2. Here again you can see the length of the other coil. When you have sewn this together continue on round and round as shown in Fig. 3. Fasten off by flattening or tapering the end of the rope as shown. A word on sewing. This is done on the inside of the rope as shown in Fig. 4. Keep the rope flat all the time to prevent it twisting, and don’t pull too tightly round the toes and heels. If you sew on the inside by pushing your needle in horizontally, you should have no stitches showing when they are drawn together. Use strong waxed thread doubled and a thick needle. You will find the rope stitches together quite neatly. Keep on going round until you have a sole large enough for your foot. Right. The soles are made. Now for the heel pieces and front band. Fig. 5 shows you the shape to which these should be cut. Make a paper pattern first to get the correct size. At the top you will see a series of small slits. These are to take the webbing tie-up. The V-cut at the back when sewn up will help it to cling to the heel. Turn up along the dotted line and sew to the top of the outer coil of rope. Sew it on strongly as it has to hold the sandal firmly on the foot. Likewise the front band. This is just a wide strip. Of course strong elastic is a good material to use. Having done all this, place your felt or leather sock in each and you have a real pair of rope sandals. 8 NATURE STUDY IT is a great thing to be on a hike in the country, and be able to recognise the various kinds of trees, to know the different varieties of birds, to tell them by their flight or by their peculiar notes. It really does make a walk very much more interesting. Nature is an ever-open book. There is always something to learn, and woodcraft nature lore embraces so many things, each one being really a study in itself. There are the trees, the wild flowers, the birds, insects, the furry folk, the fish in the streams and rivers, the stars, the clouds, the wind and the rain. One might ask, what is there to know about the rain? Can everyone tell when rain is likely? Does everyone know the various cloud formations and what they foretell? The backwoodsman, the pioneer and those folk who lived in the forests and bush got to know all these things because they lived next to nature. They knew how to forecast the weather by the wind and clouds. They obtained their sense of direction by the stars, and could tell the hour of the day by the sun. These fellows had no books to guide them and they were never taught these things at school. We can never hope to know our woodcraft as those old-timers did because they were born and bred wood-craftsmen and lived all their lives among the trees and wild folk. They knew the trails as well as we know the streets of our own home town. Modern civilisation with its brick and mortar has put many of us out of touch with nature, and has shut us off from the great out- of-doors for the best part of our lives so that when we get out into the country we appear to be in a different world. We feel a little lost. It is like visiting a museum without a guide. We see the exhibits but know nothing about their origin or their history. With someone to guide us or with a descriptive catalogue the visit is made most interesting and becomes worth while. All those who wish to follow the woodcraft trail should learn something about the countryside and the wonders of nature. To write all there is to know about the countryside is impossible within the space of this chapter. There are many books already available which give all the detailed information of every wild creature as well as the trees and so forth. These notes are therefore to help those who, having read about the identification of particular birds, animals, etc., wish to be more practical and actually observe them in their natural surroundings. This chapter is just a guide to observation. Observing is an art and there is a lot to learn to make it a success. There are two kinds of observers. One is the casual observer, that is one who observes things but is not actually engaged upon looking for the things he observes. The other is the real observer, the wood-craftsman, the one who actually goes out to look for those things he wishes to see. Before the days of aircraft, men had no fear of being attacked from the sky, consequently he was never trained to meet an enemy from above. Neither was he very much worried about an approach in the rear of his defence line. Nowadays men have to keep watch in all directions. It is a question of all- round defence, and consequently he must avoid all those things which make him conspicuous, such as shape, shine and shadow. The shape of a man or of a particular thing is quite easily observed by a keen observer, therefore the shape must be broken up by the addition of bits and pieces of tree branches, earth, etc., or by concealment amongst the available foliage. The shine or glitter of metal, such as a hat badge, buttons or metal parts of equipment, spectacles and so on are all likely to reveal a person. These shiny objects are therefore dulled or covered up. Although concealed from the view of the observer at eye level a shadow cast along the ground is soon spotted from above or cast on a tree trunk or wall it can easily be seen from below. My sketch will show you what I mean. All this is known as field craft, the art of concealment and camouflage. An observer of nature must therefore be as alert and as cunning as the wild folk whose very existence depends upon being wary and conscious of danger from above and below. In military operations a reconnaissance party, that is a party of two or three men who are sent out on a mission to observe the enemy and bring back information as to his whereabouts, strength and probable intentions, would weigh up a few details before commencing their task. First there is “what” are they going to observe, “where” it is to be observed, “when” to observe and finally “how” to observe - that is what cover for concealment is available. This plan of operation is precisely what the observer of wild life has to follow before going out on an expedition of observation. For example, if it is desired to study the haunts and habits of such creatures as the water vole, moorhen or wild duck, one would obviously wander along the banks of the river, where also would be found the willow tree. Again to observe the squirrel, the jay, woodpigeon, woodpecker, blackbird, thrush and suchlike, one would naturally look for these in the woods, whilst the plover, curlew, lark would be found in the open countryside. The average folk on a ramble through the countryside would probably see and hear nothing, except perhaps the scurry of a startled rabbit or the squeak of a frightened bird. But for these sudden happenings the woods seem devoid of wild life. Sit quietly in the shadow of a tree, or amongst the undergrowth, keep perfectly still and listen. Your patience will not be long before it is rewarded by many sounds and a glimpse of the dwellers of the woodland, which is actually teeming with wild life. Tap two small pebbles together or clip two coppers between the thumb and forefinger and listen. Soon the answer will come from robin redbreast who has probably been watching from above. Having studied the rules of observation, take a little walk into the country and practise this game of patience. Choose an inconspicuous spot with a good field of view, sit comfortably and above all keep perfectly still, avoiding the movement of the hands or head. Listen and watch. The trained observer would notice many things which the ordinary folk would miss. A slight rustle among the dried leaves and a field mouse is on the move. It may not be seen at once but with a little patience its presence is revealed moving cautiously in and out of the undergrowth. The slightest movement of hand or foot and it has disappeared. Sit amongst the rushes beside the river, watch the opposite bank among the overhanging trees where the roots protrude from the dark muddy soil. The water vole can frequently be observed running about and swimming across the water. Maybe a kingfisher with its brilliant blue feathers will be seen, or a moorhen. Sometimes a pied wagtail will show itself, dabbling in the mud with its long tail bobbing up and down. A gaily coloured dragonfly will hover quite near over the water then suddenly dart off higher up the stream. From the many books on birds, animals, etc., the beginner should make a few notes as to when and where a particular creature is to be seen, making special note of the peculiar markings to assist in the identification of the particular specie. Begin in a simple way by locating the more common creatures first. Quite a variety of birds can be observed even in the towns. A little encouragement is all that is needed. It is quite easy to make a small bird table. Bird tables can really be made of any old thing. Even a broken, plate placed on the ground would do, but they should be raised off the ground as a protection of the feathered friends against prowling cats. A neat little covered-in table makes an ornament to any garden, however small, and it is very interesting and restful to watch the birds feeding. The illustrations given show two or three different kinds. Fig. 1 is a simple wooden tray type nailed to a pole. The bottom of a box will easily make this. Fig. 2 is constructed from rough batten and board, the roof of which is made of feather edging or weatherboard. The addition of a roof gives added weather protection to the actual table or tray. This roof can be thatched as shown in Fig. 4. The table can either be made a fixture by fastening it to a pole sunk in the ground, or made on a stand so that the whole can be stood upon crazy paving and moved to any desired position. Fig. 3 is merely the end of an oil drum fixed to a post. An ordinary tea tray would do just as well, but the disadvantage of a metal table is that rainwater will collect on the top unless there are holes in the bottom for it to drain away. Fig. 4 shows a more elaborate attempt, and straw is made use of for thatching. Straw covers which are taken off wine bottles will be found quite good for thatching. Thatching is not a difficult art in this instance, even though house thatching is a trade in itself. Like tiling, the straw should be laid on the bottom of the roof first so that each layer overlaps the other. The straw is easily held firm with small nails and strong string. This, like the woodwork of the roof, should be treated with creosote to prevent rot. Place the table in a spot not too near the house, where it can be observed easily from the window and you will be surprised at the different kinds of birds that will be seen feeding from it. Of course, to attract a variety of species it is necessary to put out more than just bread-crumbs. Various kinds of bird seed can be bought and sprinkled over, together with a piece of apple, nuts or fat meat. The latter can be hung on a string for the blue tits. Don’t forget a little dish of water. This should not be too big otherwise it will be used as a splash bath, and very little water will be left for drinking purposes. Use a small meat jar. Nest-boxes are also quite easily made from a small wooden box. I have shown you three types in my illustration. Fix one up on the south side of the garden shed or even on a pole. The little blue tits are sure to discover it and commence building a wonderful nest. They fly to and fro unceasingly from dawn to dusk, carrying pieces of grass, wool, moss, feathers and all kinds of material. The sight of six or seven tiny little yellow youngsters flying around after being pushed out of the nest-box is worth seeing. They will settle on your shoulders if you stand still. Be sure the hole in the nest-box is only small, otherwise larger birds will use the box. The rarer birds will of course not be found in the neighbourhood of a town, but the robin, starling, chaffinch, greenfinch and of course the common chirpy sparrow, etc., can be seen. Bird watching is a very fascinating hobby. Many lovers of nature, especially amongst the camping fraternity, spend a great many hours in search of a glimpse of the more rare species. These fellows are usually armed with a notebook or nature diary, in which is recorded what, where and when an uncommon bird is seen. They soon get to know much about their habits and haunts from this practical experience. To assist them in their search, and in order to get a close-up view, many provide themselves with an optical instrument, such as a telescope or field glasses. There are two kinds of the latter, one being prismatic binoculars and the other non-prismatic, or to give them their correct name “Galilean binoculars”. For those readers who wish to provide themselves with such equipment, the prismatic binocular is by far the best, being easier to carry than the telescope. They also have a much larger magnification than the non- prismatic, and a wider field of view. Again the telescope requires some kind of tripod upon which to rest it. Binoculars of various degrees of magnification or power can be obtained quite easily, and the experience of many has proved that prismatic binoculars with a magnification of 6 x is the most suitable for the bird watcher. Observation and hide-outs, from which one can watch a particular area, are often erected. To do this it is not necessary to transport a ready-made bulky affair. The best and most effective hides can be made almost entirely from the material available on the spot. A few forked sticks rigged up in the manner of building a shack, with a few pieces of Hessian, foliage, etc., arranged so that it will blend with the surroundings, leaving an aperture from which to observe, make a good hide-out. This should not be made a fixture, but should be constructed so that it can be moved to another position if necessary. This is where the art of camouflage will be found useful. In my book Make and Do the Woodcraft Way I gave you some useful information with regard to the identification of trees, birds, furry folk, the stars and the clouds, so I do not propose to deal with these items again, but, as I have already mentioned, you can find many books on these subjects. 9 SKETCHING Every Scout should practise the art of sketching. It is a real woodcraft activity. To be able to express oneself by means of pictures or, shall we say, picture writing, needs just practice. Who does not admire those delight-full little sketches which our Founder drew from time to time? How many of us have not expressed the wish to be able to draw as he did? Well, as I have already said, to do this needs just practice. The Chief gave this advice and also said, “Draw anything and everything at any odd moment.” Drawing is an ancient art. Before the days of the alphabet, pens and pencils, the primitive man wrote messages and expressed his thoughts by sketches, scratching these on stone and bone. In this way, they learned to draw. Examples of these early sketches are shown in the chapter on woodcraft picture writing. Even now, some of the uncivilised natives can, with just a piece of charred wood for a pencil and coloured mud as paint, make quite good pictures of the wild animals. To be able to draw is a matter for the individual. No art school ever made an artist. The art school can only give guidance, teach the rules and give a criticism. The pupil must make himself master of the art. Like other arts and crafts, there are rules to be observed. This is the ground work, which the art school teaches, and once the ground work has been mastered and the rules are followed, sketching becomes quite easy, and you will find that your drawings are in proportion. What I mean is that if you were sketching a human figure, for instance, you would not get the legs too long or the body short. Try this by drawing a centre line, then marking off the position of the various parts of the body as shown on the next page. This rule cannot be applied to buildings and other objects because the length, breadth and height vary in each, but the measurements of these in relation to each other can be determined by holding a pencil vertically at arm’s length, using the thumb for measuring on the pencil to find out in what proportion the length compares with the height or the depth. The centre of the object can also be found by this method. The pencil is of course held vertically for height and horizontally for length. To begin with, draw as few lines as possible. When you have mastered the art, you can then attempt to put in the various details. Fig. 3 gives some idea of how simple sketches should be made. Panorama Sketching. - To see the countryside from a hill-top is really a glorious sight. Here one can catch a bird’s eye view of the landscape, stretching far away into the horizon. It is most interesting to study the scenery, picking out the various kinds of trees, the fields of different crops, the farm houses, the village church with its tower or steeple nestling amongst the trees. To be able to sketch a panorama is not a difficult task with the aid of a little gadget which can easily be made. This consists of a strip of transparent celluloid which is divided up into squares. It is quite a good thing for the celluloid to be fixed into a thin frame of stiff cardboard as shown in the sketch. A length of string is fixed to one side of the framework. The use of this enables one who is sketching the scenery to place the various objects in their correct position. To do this, the paper or sketch-block is divided lightly with pencil into squares similar to the celluloid. By taking the celluloid and holding it at a distance from the eyes, the landscape is viewed through the squares marked on the celluloid. The nearer the celluloid is held to the eyes, the larger will be the field of view; therefore it should be decided how much of the landscape it is pro- posed to sketch, then adjust the distance from the eyes accordingly. To keep this at the right distance every time a measurement is made, the string mentioned above is used. This is held by the teeth or tied to a button on the coat, the string being lengthened or shortened according to the field of view required. Some object on the landscape should be taken as a central point; the centre lines on the celluloid should cut through this whenever a measurement is taken. The landscape can be divided up into three parts, foreground, middle distance, horizon. Let us view the scene through the celluloid. The centre object is perhaps the church steeple. This is just above the middle distance. The steeple is now drawn in on the sketch-block accordi- ngly, i.e. on the centre line just above the centre horizontal line. Let us now take another prominent feature. This may be perhaps a cottage on the right which is seen just inside the third square from the right and second square from the bottom. The cottage is now drawn in the sketch-block in the relative position, and so on. When all the prominent features, such as hills, buildings, large trees, roads, etc., have been put in lightly, the panorama sketch can then be completed by adding a little light and shade. Objects which are in the foreground should be drawn darker than those in the middle distance, where the objects should have very little detail, while objects on the horizon should be very faint without detail. This gives the appearance of distance. The sketch gives an idea of the various stages of construction of a panorama sketch. When making sketches of buildings, ancient monuments, and suchlike which we often see when out on a ramble, there are a few simple rules to be adhered to if the perspective of the sketches is to be made correctly. One must remember that all lines above your eye level will slope down towards the horizon, all those below will slope upwards towards the horizon. All horizontal lines will eventually meet at what is known as the vanishing- point. Another thing is that the nearest point of the object which you are drawing will be the lowest. Further, when making a sketch, it is always best to actually build up the object by drawing in lightly the lines which cannot be seen. By this method one cannot fail to get the correct shape. Let us prove all this by making same simple drawings of a matchbox. The drawing of a steeple or tower on a church is made quite simple by drawing a vertical line from the centre of the base. The exact centre of the base is found by drawing two diagonal lines from the corners as shown in the sketch. Where these diagonal lines cross will of course be the centre. The apex of the roof is found in the same manner. If these simple rules are always applied, one cannot fail to make a success of sketching. 10 SIGNS AND SYMBOLS SINGS and symbols are as old as the hills. Long before the alphabet was thought of, signs were used by man to express his thoughts, to convey messages from one to another, as a means of keeping records and for many other purposes. There are hundreds of signs with which we are all familiar. We have only to look around us to see the vast number of signs and symbols which are being used everywhere every day. These signs are readily understood by anyone, and the object of them is to convey to the observer information, warnings or instructions at a glance no matter what nationality he may be. On many occasions a visitor to a foreign country who does not understand the language has found that by drawing simple signs and symbols he has made himself understood quite easily. Children, before they can read or write, are given picture books, because they can at once understand a picture. We have only to draw simple little signs and the smallest child will know what they are meant to convey at once. This is really picture writing. This picture writing has gradually increased right from the early ages. Even the cave dwellers scratched pictures on the rocks. Some of these can be seen today in many parts of the world. Consider the Road Signs. These are amplified by the written word, but the symbols are shown for quick recognition from a distance. Take an Ordnance Map. Glance over this and you will find very many signs and symbols which are easily recognisable. Trees, buildings, roads and rivers, wind-mills and railways are denoted by signs in place of the written word. Just study the coat-of-arms of our various towns and cities, the trade marks of manufacturers and even the symbols of various countries, such as the lion of England, the maple leaf of Canada, and many others too numerous to mention. Woodcraft picture writing is a combination of signs and symbols which we use to illustrate our various activities by recording them in our log books, or by a more solid method of carving them on our totems. A log book illustrated with small sketches, signs and symbols is the real thing. There is no comparison between that and an ordinary minute book. A woodcraft log book is alive and, to make the book more interesting, the Keeper of the Log should endeavour to add little thumbnail sketches. Little drawings of objects, such as buildings, churches, trees, bridges and so forth are not at all difficult, and these only require a mere outline, devoid of any minute details, so don’t try to put in too much. If you want to draw figures in action, practise depicting the action with just a line or two. Never mind about shoulder knots, scarf, garters or any dress at all. Take a mental snapshot of the movement; when you do this you don’t see anything else. When you’ve practised the art, then you can dress the figure later. In my talks on this, I usually end up by getting some fellows to “have a go” with the blackboard and chalk. The result is that they are always surprised at their ability. This is because they have never thought of trying it before, as they didn’t think they could do it. It only needs a little practice and will be found quite fascinating. It is just a matter of observation. If a map is necessary, this can be amplified by a simple little sketch of interesting building, cross roads ,bridges and so on. If all the details of a building are required for a complete write-up, then it is quite good to insert a small photo graph or cutting from a picture. For instance, a really good detailed sketch of a particular camp could not be made, so a small photograph is used. Again a group picture of the troop could be inserted with the date. With too many photographs, the log book would develop into a photographic album, so keep to thumb nail sketches as much as possible. In Make and Do the Woodcraft Way, illustrations are given on how to write messages, and letters, and how to keep records in woodcraft picture writing. Since this was written, many readers have asked me to give the woodcraft sign for such words as “it ,” ‘“for”, “whilst,” “the”. Now this can not be done. A message or record is not written as one would write in ordinary longhand. Just two or three symbols can be used for a whole sentence, the “of’s” and “the’s” being left out. There are several examples given in my illustrations. The arrow which is a universal sign of direction can be used for very many words. An arrow pointing towards an object would obviously be “to” or “towards,” while an arrow pointing in the opposite direction would mean “away from.” Remember then that an arrow pointing to the right in a message means “to,” and one pointing to the left means “from.” Using a circle to represent any particular place or object, the signs will give you the idea how the arrow can be used for many purposes. The time of day can also be denoted by means of an arrow, together with the Roman figures for the actual hour. Let me give you the signs for day and night, morning and evening. In these sketches, the horizontal line represents the horizon, and the sun rising on the left and setting on the right. Now let us use the arrow in conjunction with these signs. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, morning, afternoon and evening can all be symbolised as follows: Particular days of the week are shown thus: The months are shown like this: The months signs shown above are only applicable to the Northern Hemisphere, as the seasons differ to those in the Southern Hemisphere. For those who live in the southern part of the Globe, the following moon or month signs have been devised: The signs for the four seasons, which will be seen are combinations of three months each, are depicted by these signs: The sign for a year is very simple. This is shown by the symbol for snow, i.e. three curly vertical lines, and a circle or curved line running from one side of the snow to the other, meaning from snow to snow or winter to winter - one year. With a combination of the day, the month and the year, (the actual year being inserted in Roman figures in the circle), the date can easily be shown. Here is an example: In the sketches on page 99 there are examples of how our various scouting activities can be depicted by drawing small pin-men sketches. These will be found very useful as none can fail to understand the signs because of the actions. You really draw the individual carrying out the particular activity, such as walking, running, swimming, climbing, and all the rest of the training which we do. This method is very similar to that used hundreds of years ago by the Indians, Egyptians and others of ancient times. Our notices which we use in camp should all be done in picturesque signs. It is in keeping with the woodcraft way of doing things. There are many of these, such as “This way to the camp,” which can be depicted by a wigwam and an arrow. This is a sign which everyone could understand. Then there are signs which should be posted up outside the tent wherein dwells such fellows as “The Fire Keeper,” “The First Aid Man,” “The Keeper of the Camp,” and so on. These can be made of wood, gaily painted, and used year after year. being handed from one to another whenever somebody else takes over the particular duty. The same signs can be placed on the Camp Fire Blankets of those who hold the office. A few suggestions of camp signs are shown on page 101. It is not possible to show here all the symbols for every word which may be required. This would more than fill a few books. Those which are shown are given as a lead. Many of these are from ancient picture writings and are still used today. There is a distinct sign for man and woman, also male and female. The latter are taken from the mathematical signs. This applies also to the signs given for plus, minus, divide, therefore, because, equal, unequal and so on. With the sign for man and woman, together with the use of the arrow, symbols can be devised to denote relationship, such as father, mother, son, daughter, and with the key given in the examples below, a combination of various symbols can be arranged to show any relationship which may be required right down to great-great-grandfather or grandmother. The sketch below is a typical example of how to send a letter in woodcraft. In this it should be noted that it is not addressed as one would an ordinary letter, that is “Dear So-and-So,” neither does it end in the usual way, such as “Yours sincerely.” It is simply addressed thus: “To Eagleye - Greeting,” and ending with “Peace Good Hunting” or “Peace and Good Camping, smooth trailing, happy landing” (for air scouts), “Fair winds and smooth sailing” (sea scouts). I have given you the interpretation of this letter at the end of this chapter, but try to read it first. SYMBOLS FOR TOWNS When you are away at the summer camp, find out something about where you are staying. Turn up local history, seek out places of interest or sketch the coat-of-arms, then devise a symbol to represent the town. Carve this on your staff with the date of the camp. Put it in the log book. If you saw some of the symbols I have drawn below, I don’t think you would fail to recognise the towns which they are supposed to represent, although they are not the coat-of-arms of the particular place. They represent (1) London, (2) Blackpool, (3) Dover, (4) Salisbury, (5) Coventry, (6) Isle of Wight. SMOKE SIGNALS This is how you make smoke signals. You want a calm day. Light a fire and get plenty of red embers, then lay on some damp leaves or grass. This causes a volume of smoke. You know what an allotment fire is like when it is banked up with clods of grass. Now you want a large wet sack or old blanket. Lay this over the fire. The smoke will then be dispersed. Remove one side and up goes a column of smoke. You form the dots and dashes by rolling back the sack at short and long intervals. It’s a slow method, but a real Indian way. THE INTERPRETATION OF WOODCRAFT LETTER PINEWOOD, CAMP, Thursday, 7th April, 1950. To BUFFALO - Greetings. Saturday morning hike to Stonehenge (Salisbury) meet me, Eagleye, 7 a.m. bring two days food. Wait over bridge to meet three Rover Scouts from Scotland, who are hiking to London, camping two nights, going Monday. Peace and Good Hunting, EAGLEYE. THE SIGN OF SILENCE This sign takes the form of a totem, carved or cut out in wood, set up on a staff or hung in a prominent position where it can be seen by everyone, whenever silence is required. When the camp is closed for the night and all are turning in, the sign should be set up in the centre of the site and taken down again at reveille. To keep the troop or patrol on the alert, the sign is put up occasionally during the day. When this is done, everyone in camp carries on whatever they are going without talking - like the old Indian, in silence. This is good practice and it is surprising how many activities can be carried out in perfect silence. Just another woodcraft way of doing things. Try it. PITCHING CAMP IN SILENCE By using sign language a patrol or troop can arrive at the camp site, pitch tents, and lay out the whole of the camp very speedily without a word being spoken. Of course, this requires practice and organisation, in that every Scout should know his job and get on with it. Striking camp and clearing of the whole site, with the troop ready to leave, can also be done in a very short time if it is well planned out. Here again, each Scout must know his job. It means real teamwork from beginning to end, and once the fellows are used to doing things this way, everything runs smoothly without waste of time. Isn’t this far better than leaving things to a few fellows? Each Scout can do his share. Try it out in a small way with your patrol. You can practise tent-pitching and striking, camp lay-out, fire lighting, dixie boiling, etc. To give out instructions without speaking a word, means that few simple hand signs are used. These are as illustrated. Each fellow should get to know them. 11 CAMP-FIRE SING-SONG A CAMP-FIRE sing-song is one of the big items of camp. There is a great deal of romance and lots of fun, and a camp without a camp fire is not complete. This event should not be just a scratch affair, but should be properly organised, and each camper should be prepared to contribute to the programme - whether as a single tarn or in a concerted item. There are many little booklets obtainable which give the details of campfire activities; therefore this little chapter is devoted to the arrangements necessary for the proper organisation. The camp fire should always open and close with a little ceremony, because there is more to it than a pile of wood. Imagine a camp without the traditional camp fire, without the merry gatherings around its glowing embers - no sound of songs or the crackle of burning timber. There is romance in the fire and the smell of wood smoke. From the moment when man first discovered the means of liberating the stored up heat of the sun, and turned it into a visible flame, fire has been one of man’s great gifts from God throughout the ages. When the bitter winds of winter swept through the primitive forests, it served to keep man warm. When the wild beasts were on the prowl in search of their victims, the bright glow of the fire kept them at bay. The Indian, the pioneer and the backwoodsman all had their council and camp fires. Whenever men met in peace, it was always around a lire. So today the same fire burns at all our camps; it is the fire of friendship, and the fire of brotherhood. To carry out the Ceremony of the Camp Fire, a campfire chief or leader must be appointed. A leader’s task is no simple job; whoever does it must therefore have plenty of “go” and really lead the singing. There must also be someone responsible for the laying, lighting and maintenance of the fire. This fellow is the Keeper of the Fire. He should know how to really light a fire and keep it going properly, so that it does not die down, with the inevitable result that it becomes a smoky affair when more wood is put on. This makes it very uncomfortable for those people who happen to be seated in the way of the wind. It is a matter of “Keep the Camp Fire Burning.” Both the Camp Fire Leader and the Fire Keeper should wear an appropriately decorated Camp Fire Blanket, or, if you like, ceremonial robes. These things do really make the camp fire gathering picturesque. I have shown you how to make these robes in one of the previous chapters. Well, so much for the camp fire and all that it means. The fire having been laid ready for lighting when the moment arrives, all are standing around in a circle ready for the little opening ceremony. The Camp Fire Leader steps forward to the centre, and the Fire Keeper kneels on one knee ready to kindle the fire which of course should not fail to burn up. The Camp Fire Leader says a few words of welcome to the visitors, and proceeds with the ceremony which might well be something on these lines - C.F. L. Keeper of the Fire, kindle the spark, make the fire to burn, that the flames may rise within this, our Camp Fire Circle. K. of F. It shall be done. I am the Keeper of the Fire. I make the Fire to burn. (Lights the fire. This is done by lighting a torch first, then applying the torch to various parts of the pile.) (Slowly.) First the Spark, then the Smoke, then the Fire - the Fire the symbol of ceaseless energy. The Fire that has burned throughout the countless ages. The Fire that sheltered the ancient folk from the bitter winds of winter. The Fire that guarded them from the beasts of prey. The Fire around which men gathered in council and in peace That same Fire now burns within our midst. The Fire of Friendship and Brotherhood. The Fire of Peace. Burn. Fire burn. The Fire shall never die. THE TROOP. The Fire shall never die. (C.F. L. gives sign to sit. All sit.) C.F. L. With song and jest we’ll do our best To make our Camp fire bright. So let your voices ring aloud And echo in the night. We’ll turn our troubles into joy Our little worries bury, So while the Fire of Friendship burns, Come let us all make merry. (Opening Chorus by all.) When the last item has been rendered the camp fire could close as follows: C. F. L. This is the end of our story, The Fire is burning low, The day is done So ends our fun. ‘Tis time for all to go. (C.F. L. gives the sign to stand. All stand.) C.F. L. Keeper of the Fire, our camp fire being ended, I call upon you to watch the flames until nothing but the white wood ash remains. These you will scatter to the four winds of heaven. You will then replace the soil so that those who follow shall read no sign to tell that once fire burned upon this ground. K. of F. It shall be done. Then follows a closing hymn, prayers and the breakaway in silence. There are other ceremonies which can be carried out around the camp fire, such as the presentation of badges, the awarding of special honours, trophies, etc. There are lots of troops who give special awards to members of the troop for some outstanding achievement. Many moons ago in my troop an award of a very small Jay’s feather was given to those who did some special act. It was not too easy to get a “feather in your hat.” These awards were always given round the camp fire. No Scout could use a woodcraft name unless he earned it, and it was given to him with due ceremony. This always took place round the fire because without the fire the ceremony could not be carried out. The ceremony was a simple naming ceremony. The troop is assembled by patrols in a circle round the fire. The S. M. or G. S. M. steps forward in to the centre holding a piece of birch-bark and proceeds - “Brother Scouts - we have assembled this - sun of the - moon to award to one amongst you who has been tried and proved worthy to receive a woodcraft name. John Brown, I call upon you to step forward and stand within our midst. (JOHN BROWN stands before the G. S. M.) G. S. M. Upon this birchbark strip is written the name “John Brown.” I commit this to the fire so that it shall burn, and as it rises up in smoke the name will leave you. Because of your great skill and prowess as a runner, you have proved yourself worthy to receive a woodcraft name - henceforth amongst us here assembled you will be known as “Deerfoot.” You may now carve your sign upon your staff and set up your totem.” The G. S. M. then hands Deerfoot a piece of hazel wood, upon which is written the woodcraft name. He shakes hands with the candidate. The troop then spells out the name loudly D-E-E-R-F-O-O-T, Deerfoot. The candi- date then salutes and goes back to his place. Several Scouts can be named at the same time. There is nothing like putting over a few stunts or a burlesque or two to make a camp fire go with a bang, whether it be held round an imitation camp fire in a hail, or round a blazing fire at camp. By the way, when you make that imitation fire see that it really lights up and looks like a real glowing camp fire with the red glow shining on all the faces - not just a bundle of dying embers. Put two or even three bulbs underneath. Make it flicker also. I have made a little sketch to show you how to do this. If you are giving a show indoors you will have every opportunity of collecting together or making the necessary props. and costumes which may be required, so little need be said about the ways and means of acquiring them under these circumstances. It is when away at camp one meets with difficulty. With a camp-fire show held prob ably on the last evening of your summer camp, when invitations are extended to some of the local inhabitants, such as the farmer, on whose land you are camping, his wife, and other folk in the district, it is a different proposition unless you go prepared. One doesn’t usually carry a complete theatrical outfit, but there are just one or two things which can quite easily be included in the camp gear. So if you have a particular skit which your patrol usually does which requires one or two things, such as moustaches, hats, and a little make-up, go prepared to put it over by slipping these things in your kit. When away at camp you must also use your imagination and improvise from the few things available. It may of course be possible to borrow a few items locally, such as an old suit of clothes, skirts and hats. It is great fun rigging up pantomime horses, making oneself into an ancient Briton, a Roman Gladiator, bull fighter, Indian, Spivs and so on. Remember these stunts are burlesque and however ridiculous the costumes look, the more the fun. I am giving you some ideas which I hope will help you to improvise these” get-ups.” Here are one or two things which need no illustrations. Chain Armour - This can be made by brushing washing-up coarse mesh swabs with stove polish. Hair - This can easily be made from crepe hair, which is sold in plaited lengths. Hair can also be made from wool, tow or unwound rope. These are quite effective when pulled out and tucked under the sides of a hat. Crepe hair can be bought in various colours. The costume of an ancient Briton is quite easily made from a couple of old sacks. One is used as a jumper, and the other is cut up to bind round the legs and feet. The jumper should be a loose fit and should be smeared here and there with charcoal, red brick, etc., to make it represent skin. Long hair can be made as already stated from rope or tow. A stone axe or club is quite easily made from material available. Sacking can also be used with success for an Indian costume. The sides of the trousers and bottom of the jumper should be frayed out and should hang loose. If no large feathers are obtainable, these look quite effective if made from white cardboard, blackened at the tip and lined down the sides. The Pirate shown in the sketch is made up from a coloured shirt, a pair of striped pyjamas, rubber top boots and a coloured scarf for the head. A black eye shield is easily made from a piece of cardboard. As for the cutlass and a dagger, these can quite easily be made from a piece of thin wood, such as a strip off an orange box. A little aluminium paint will give them a metallic effect. Noise Effects. - When doing a camp-fire show, it may be necessary to produce various noises, such as that of a train, a galloping horse and so on. This is how some of them can be made: Aeroplane. - Elastic band on wire, swung round on the end of string. Horse. - Two half coconut shells clapped together. Train starting off. - Two pieces of coarse glass paper rubbed together. Thunder. - Sheet of tin shaken. Rain. - Peas shaken around a tin bowl. Make Up. - Grease paints may be a bit difficult to obtain when away at camp but if it is necessary to make up at all, burnt cork can be used to blacken the face for a nigger minstrel. Red ochre or even cocoa would do for an Indian, but when red is required, then it is quite easy to get a lipstick. A little blacking will do no harm for marking in black whiskers or eyebrows and crowsfeet at the corners of the eyes. Improvised Camp Fire Orchestra. - There are several ways to make musical instruments when in camp, and you can have a bit of fun forming an impromptu orchestra. One way of making a good whistle is to select a piece of green willow or sycamore in the spring or early summer. Cut off a piece about 5 or 6 inches long. Cut through the bark all round where shown in the illustration. Then cut the end of the stick on the slant, and also cut a notch out of the top. When this has been done it is necessary to slide the bark off the stick without breaking it. This is done by dipping the stick in water and gently tapping all round without injuring the bark. The stick should be dipped in water several times while you are tapping. After this you should be able to slip off the bark complete. Clean off the sticky sap. Now the notch in the centre part should be enlarged by cutting with a sharp knife, and a strip of wood should be cut off the top as illustrated. All you have to do now is to slip the bark back on to the stick again, and the whistle should blow with a shrill clear note. If you want to make a whistle on which you can play a tune cut several notches in the stick and join these up by cutting a long notch in the centre stick as shown in the sketch. You can make a flute quite easily by removing the pith from a piece of elder or syringa with a wire drill by just twisting and pulling. Then cut or burn out the holes as shown, blocking up one end with a disc of wood. You blow this as an ordinary flute. The Pipes of Pan are made in the same way as the flute. The lengths of each pipe are cut to give the various notes. The bottom ends are blocked up, and the pipes are bound together by two thin strips of wood and string. It’s fun whilst in camp to have a competition to see which Scout can make the best musical instrument from materials to be found in and around the camp. Music can also be obtained from a few bottles. These should be as far as possible the same size and they should be hung on a pole. To get the different notes add various quantities of water, and tap with the handle of a fork. Pieces of iron piping, saucepans, large tins hung on string all go to make up a percussion band, not forgetting the music that can be produced by “paper and comb,” tin whistle, harmonica, Jew’s harp and other instruments which can be packed into the pocket. Get your orchestra together and appoint a conductor, complete with baton. To ensure success, have a few rehearsals. Impromptu stunts, improvised orchestras and choruses make any camp fire go with a swing, and never fail to leave behind memories of happy days which we shall always remember. CONCLUSION THE fire bums low and we have talked of many things, which are but few along the way of Woodcraft - for Woodcraft is a never-ending trail. There is always new ground to be covered, new signs to be found, so lay on the logs. Let the fire burn brightly that many may see its glow, that it may guide them along the trail of the great out-of-doors. May these few pages help to encourage the spirit of Woodcraft. Peace and smooth trailing. J. G. CONE hen doing a camp-fire show, it may be necessary to produce various noises, such as that of a train, a galloping horse and so on. This is how some of them can be made: Aeroplane. - Elastic band on wire, swung round on the end of string. Horse. - Two half coconut shells clapped together. Train starting off. - Two pieces of coarse glass paper rubbed together. Thunder. - Sheet of tin shaken. Rain. - Peas shaken around a tin bowl. Make Up. - Grease paints may be a bit difficult to obtain when away at camp but if it is necessary to make up at all, burnt cork can be used to blacken the face for a nigger minstrel. Red ochre or even cocoa would do for an Indian, but when red is required, then it is quite easy to get a lipstick. A little blacking will do no harm for marking in black whiskers or eyebrows and crowsfeet at the corners of the eyes. Improvised Camp Fire Orchestra. - There are several ways to make musical instruments when in camp, and you can have a bit of fun forming an impr