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Title: Outdoor Sports and Games
Author: Miller, Claude Harris
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: A Boys’ Camp]

The Library of Work and Play




Garden City
New York
Doubleday, Page & Company



I. Introductory

     The human body a perfect machine—How to keep well—Outdoor
     sleeping—Exercise and play—Smoking—Walking.

II. The Boy Scouts of America

     Headquarters—Purpose—Scout Law—How to form a patrol of
     Scouts—Organization of a troop—Practical activities for
     Scouts—A Scout camp—Model Programme of Sir R.S.S.
     Baden-Powell Scout camp.

III. Camps and Camping

     How to select the best place to pitch a tent—A brush bed—The
     best kind of a tent—How to make the camp fire—What to do when
     it rains—Fresh air and good food—The brush leanto and how to
     make it.

IV. Camp Cooking

     How to make the camp fire range—Bread bakers—Cooking
     utensils—The grub list—Simple camp recipes.

V. Woodcraft

     The use of an axe and hatchet—Best woods for special
     purposes—What to do when you are lost—Nature’s compasses.

VI. Use of Fire-arms

     Importance of early training—Why a gun is better than a
     rifle—How to become a good shot.

VII. Fishing

     Proper tackle for all purposes—How to catch bait—The fly
     fisherman—General fishing rules.

VIII. Nature Study

     What is a true naturalist?—How to start a collection—Moth
     collecting—The herbarium.

IX. Water Life

     The water telescope—How to manage an aquarium—Our insect
     friends and enemies—The observation beehive.

X. The Care of Pets

     Cats—Boxes for song birds—How to attract the birds—Tame
     crows—The pigeon fancier—Ornamental land and water
     fowl—Rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice—How to build
     coops—General rules for the care of pets—The dog.

XI. The Care of Chickens

     The best breed—Good and bad points of incubators—What to feed
     small chicks—A model chicken house.

XII. Winter Sports

     What to wear—Skating—Skiing—Snowshoeing—Hockey.

XIII. Horsemanship

     How to become a good rider—The care of horses—Saddles.

XIV. How to Swim and to Canoe

     The racing strokes—Paddling and sailing canoes.

XV. Baseball

     How to organize a team and to select the players—The various
     positions—Curve pitching.

XVI. How to Play Football

     The various positions and how to select men for them—Team
     work and signals—The rules.

XVII. Lawn Tennis

     How to make and mark a court—Clay and sod courts—The proper
     grip of the racket—Golf—The strokes and equipment.

XVIII. Photography

     The selection of a camera—Snapshots vs. real pictures—How to
     make a photograph from start to finish.

XIX. Outdoor Sports for Girls

     What to wear—Confidence—Horseback riding—Tennis—Golf—Camping.

XX. One Hundred Outdoor Games


  A Boy’s Camp

  A Child’s May-day Party

  Fishing is the One Sport of Our Childhood
    that Holds Our Interest Through Life

  The Moth Collector and His Outfit

  The Exciting Sport of Ski-running

  Swimming is One of the Best Outdoor Sports

  In Canoeing Against the Current in Swift Streams
    a Pole is Used in Place of the Paddle

  Photographs of Tennis Strokes Taken in Actual Play

  How an Expert Plays Golf



The human body a perfect machine—How to keep well—Outdoor
sleeping—Exercise and play—Smoking—Walking

Suppose you should wake up Christmas morning and find yourself to be
the owner of a bicycle. It is a brand-new wheel and everything is in
perfect working order. The bearings are well oiled, the nickel is
bright and shiny and it is all tuned up and ready for use. If you are
a careful, sensible boy you can have fun with it for a long time until
finally, like the “One Hoss Shay” in the poem, it wears out and goes
to pieces all at once. On the other hand, if you are careless or
indifferent or lazy you may allow the machine to get out of order or
to become rusty from disuse, or perhaps when a nut works loose you
neglect it and have a breakdown on the road, or you may forget to oil
the bearings and in a short time they begin to squeak and wear. If you
are another kind of a boy, you may be careful enough about oiling and
cleaning the wheel, but you may also be reckless and head—strong and
will jump over curbstones and gutters or ride it over rough roads at a
dangerous rate of speed, and in this way shorten its life by abuse
just as the careless boy may by neglect.

It is just so with the human body which, after all, is a machine too,
and, more than that, it is the most wonderful and perfect machine in
the world. With care it should last many years. With abuse or neglect
it may very soon wear out. The boy who neglects his health is like the
boy who allows the bearings on his wheel to become dry or the metal
parts rusty. The chief difference is that when the bicycle wears out
or breaks down we may replace the parts or even buy another machine,
but when our health is injured, money will not restore it.

In order to keep well we must observe certain rules of health. By
exercise we keep the working parts in good order. If we are lazy or
indolent we are like the bicycle that is allowed to go to pieces from
lack of use. If we are reckless and foolhardy we may injure some part
of the delicate machinery from excessive exercise or strain.

Play is the most natural thing in the world but we must use judgment
in our play. A boy or girl who is not allowed to play or who is
restrained by too anxious parents is unhappy indeed. Nearly all
animals play. We know, for instance, that puppies, kittens, and lambs
are playful. It is a perfectly natural instinct. By proper play we
build up our bodies and train our minds. The healthy man never gets
too old to play. He may not care to play marbles or roll hoops, but he
will find his pleasure in some game or sport like tennis, golf,
horseback riding, camping, fishing or hunting.

In this book we shall talk about some forms of play and recreation
that are not strictly confined to children, but which we may still
enjoy even after we have become grown men and women. We shall also
talk about some children’s games that some of the older readers may
have outgrown. While we play we keep our minds occupied by the sport,
and at the same time we exercise our muscles and feed our lungs and
our bodies with oxygen.

It is unfortunate that in school or college athletics those who need
exercise the most are often those who are physically unfitted to play
on the school teams. In other words, we select our runners and jumpers
and football players from among the stronger boys, while the weaker
ones really need the benefit of the sport. Every boy should take part
in school games when possible even if he is not as swift or as strong
as some other boys.

It is very unmanly of one boy to make fun of another because he is
weak or clumsy or unskilful. After all, the thing that counts and the
thing that is most creditable is to make the most of our opportunities
whatever they may be. If an undersized or timid boy becomes stronger
or more brave because he joins in games and sports, he deserves a
hundred times more credit than the big, strong boy whom nature has
given a sturdy frame and good lungs and who makes a place on the
school team without any real effort.

If we live a natural, open-air life we shall have but little need of
doctors or medicine. Many of our grandmothers’ notions on how to keep
well have changed in recent years. Old-fashioned remedies made from
roots and herbs have been almost completely replaced by better habits
of life and common-sense ideas. We used to believe that night air was
largely responsible for fevers and colds. Doctors now say that one of
the surest ways to keep well is to live and sleep in the open air. In
many modern houses the whole family is provided with outside sleeping
porches with absolutely no protection from the outside air but the
roof. I have followed the practice of sleeping in the open air for
some time, and in midwinter without discomfort have had the
temperature of my sleeping porch fall to six degrees below zero. Of
course it is foolish for any one to sleep exposed to rain or snow or
to think that there is any benefit to be derived from being cold or
uncomfortable. The whole idea of open-air sleeping is to breathe pure,
fresh air in place of the atmosphere of a house which, under the best
conditions, is full of dust and germs. If we become outdoor sleepers,
coughs and colds will be almost unknown. General Sherman once wrote a
letter in which he said that he did not have a case of cold in his
entire army and he attributed it to the fact that his soldiers slept
and lived in the open air.

[Illustration: A Child’s May-Day Party (Photograph by Mary H.

One can almost tell a man who sleeps in the open by looking at him.
His eye is clear and his cheek ruddy. There is no surer way to become
well and strong than to become accustomed to this practice. Then you
can laugh at the doctor and throw the medicine bottles away. In
stating this I know that many parents will not agree with me, and will
feel that to advise a boy to sleep in the open when the weather is
stormy or extremely cold is almost like inviting him to his death. It
is a fact just the same that every one would be healthier and happier
if they followed this practice. In a few years I expect to see outdoor
sleeping the rule rather than the exception. Progressive doctors are
already agreed on this method of sleeping for sick people. In some
hospitals even delicate babies are given open-air treatment in
midwinter as a cure for pneumonia. My own experience is that in the
two years that I have been an outdoor sleeper, with the snow drifts
sometimes covering the foot of the bed, with the wintry winds howling
about my head in a northeaster, I have been absolutely free from any
trace of coughs or colds. Thousands of others will give the same
testimony. According to old-fashioned ideas such things would give me
my “death of cold.” It rarely happens that one begins the practice of
sleeping out without becoming a firm believer in it.

One of the children of a friend in Connecticut who had just built a
beautiful home was taken ill, and the doctor recommended that the
child’s bed be moved out on the porch. This was in December. The
father also had his own bed moved out to keep the baby company. My
friend told me that after the first night he felt like a changed man.
He awoke after a refreshing sleep and felt better than he had in
years. The whole family soon followed and all the beautiful bedrooms
in the house were deserted. The baby got well and stayed well and the
doctor’s visits are few and far between in that household.

By all means sleep in the open if you can. Of course one must have
ample protection from the weather, such as a porch or piazza with a
screen or shelter to the north and west. A warm room in which to dress
and undress is also absolutely necessary. If your rest is disturbed by
cold, as it will probably be until you become accustomed to it and
learn the tricks of the outdoor sleeper, you simply need more covers.
In winter, the bed should be made up with light summer blankets in
place of sheets, which would become very cold. Use, as a night cap, an
old sweater or skating cap. A good costume consists of a flannel
shirt, woollen drawers, and heavy, lumberman’s stockings. With such an
outfit and plenty of covers, one can sleep out on the coldest night
and never awaken until the winter’s sun comes peeping over the hill to
tell him that it is time to get up.

Besides fresh air, another important thing in keeping well is to eat
slowly and to chew your food thoroughly. Boys and girls often develop
a habit of rapid eating because they are anxious to get back to play
or to school. Slow eating is largely a matter of habit as well, and
while it may seem hard at first it will soon become second nature to
us. Remember to chew your food thoroughly. The stomach has no teeth.
We have all heard of Mr. Horace Fletcher, that wonderful old man who
made himself young again by chewing his food.

There is no fun in life unless we are well, and a sensible boy should
realize that his parents’ interest in him is for his own benefit. It
may seem hard sometimes to be obliged to do without things that we
want, but as a rule the judgment of the older people is better than
our own. A growing boy will often eat too much candy or too many sweet
things and then suffer from his lack of judgment. To fill our stomachs
with indigestible food is just as foolish as it would be to put sand
in the bearings of our wheel, or to interfere with the delicate
adjustment of our watch until it refuses to keep time.

While we play, our muscles are developed, our lungs filled with fresh
air and the whole body is made stronger and more vigorous. Some boys
play too hard. Over-exertion will sometimes cause a strain on the
delicate machinery of the body that will be very serious in after
life. The heart is especially subject to the dangers of overstrain in
growing boys. We are not all equally strong, and it is no discredit to
a boy that he cannot run as far or lift as much as some of his
playmates or companions. You all remember the fable of the frog who
tried to make himself as big as the ox and finally burst. The idea of
exercise is not to try to excel every one in what you do, but to do
your best without overexertion. If a boy has a rugged frame and well
developed muscles, it is perfectly natural that he should be superior
in most sports to a boy that is delicate or undersized.

To be in good physical condition and to laugh at the doctor we must
keep out of doors as much as possible. Gymnasium work of course will
help us to build up our strength and develop our muscles, but skill in
various acrobatics and gymnastic tricks does not give the clear eye
and ruddy cheek of the person whose life is in the open air. Outdoor
sports, like tennis, baseball, and horseback riding are far superior
to chest-weights or Indian clubs as a means of obtaining normal
permanent development.

Parents who criticize school or college athletics often forget that
the observance of the strict rules of training required from every
member of a team is the very best way to keep a boy healthy in mind
and body.

Tobacco and alcohol are absolutely prohibited, the kind of food eaten
and the hours for retiring are compulsory, and a boy is taught not
only to train his muscles but to discipline his mind. Before a
candidate is allowed to take active part in the sport for which he is
training he must be “in condition,” as it is called.

There are a great many rules of health that will help any one to keep
well, but the best rule of all is to live a common-sense life and not
to think too much about ourselves. Systematic exercises taken daily
with setting up motions are very good unless we allow them to become
irksome. All indoor exercise should be practised with as much fresh
air in the room as possible. It is an excellent plan to face an open
window if we practise morning and evening gymnastics.

There are many exercises that can be performed with no apparatus
whatever. In all exercises we should practise deep regular breathing
until it becomes a habit with us. Most people acquire a faulty habit
of breathing and only use a small part of their total lung capacity.
Learn to take deep breaths while in the fresh air. After a while it
will become a habit.

Just how much muscle a boy should have will depend upon his physical
make-up. The gymnasium director in one of our largest colleges, who
has spent his whole life in exercise, is a small, slender man whose
muscles are not at all prominent and yet they are like steel wires.
He has made a life-long study of himself and has developed every
muscle in his body. From his appearance he would not be considered a
strong man and yet some of the younger athletes weighing fifty pounds
more than he, have, in wrestling and feats of strength, found that the
man with the largest muscles is not always the best man.

There is one question that every growing boy will have to look
squarely in the face and to decide for himself. It is the question of
smoking. There is absolutely no question but that smoking is injurious
for any one, and in the case of boys who are not yet fully grown
positively dangerous. Ask any cigarette smoker you know and he will
tell you _not to smoke_. If you ask him why he does not take his own
advice he will possibly explain how the habit has fastened its grip on
him, just as the slimy tentacles of some devil fish will wind
themselves about a victim struggling in the water, until he is no
longer able to escape. A boy may begin to smoke in a spirit of fun or
possibly because he thinks it is manly, but more often it is because
the “other fellers” are trying it too.

My teacher once gave our school an object lesson in habits which is
worth repeating. He called one of the boys to the platform and wound a
tiny piece of thread around the boy’s wrists. He then told him to
break it, which the boy did very easily. The teacher continued to wind
more thread until he had so many strands that the boy could break them
only with a great effort and finally he could not break them at all.
His hands were tied. Just so it is with a habit. The first, second, or
tenth time may be easy to break, but we shall finally get so many tiny
threads that our hands are tied. We have acquired a habit. Don’t be a
fool. Don’t smoke cigarettes.

Walking is one of the most healthful forms of exercise. It may seem
unnecessary to devote much space to a subject that every one thinks
they know all about, but the fact is that, with trolley cars,
automobiles, and horses, a great many persons have almost lost the
ability to walk any distance. An excellent rule to follow if you are
going anywhere is this: If you have the time, and the distance is not
too great, walk. In recent years it has been the practice of a number
of prominent business and professional men who get but little outdoor
exercise to walk to and from their offices every day, rain or shine.
In this way elderly men will average from seven to ten miles a day and
thus keep in good condition with no other exercise.

It is very easy to cultivate the street car habit, and some boys feel
that they must ride to and from school even if it is only a few blocks
or squares. We have all read of the old men who are walking across the
country from New York to California and back again and maintaining an
average of forty miles a day. There is not a horse in the world that
would have the endurance to go half the distance in the same time and
keep it up day after day. For the first week or ten days the horse
would be far ahead but, like the fable of the hare and the tortoise,
after a while the tortoise would pass the hare and get in first.

In walking for pleasure, avoid a rambling, purposeless style. Decide
where you are going and go. Walk out in the country if possible and on
roads where the automobiles will not endanger your life or blow clouds
of dust in your face. Never mind the weather. One rarely takes cold
while in motion. To walk comfortably we should wear loose clothing and
old shoes. Walking just for the sake of exercise can easily become a
tiresome occupation, but the active mind can always see something of
interest, such as wild flowers, gardens, and all the various sides of
nature study in the country, and people, houses and life in the city.

A tramping vacation of several days furnishes a fine opportunity to
see new scenes and to live economically, but near a city you may have
difficulty in persuading the farm-wife where you stop that you are not
a tramp who will burn the house in the night. If you intend to live by
the wayside, the surest way to inspire confidence is to show in
advance that you have money to pay for your accommodations. Also try
to avoid looking like a tramp, which is quite different from looking
like a tramper.

There seems to be a great difference of opinion on the question of how
fast one can walk. The popular idea is “four miles an hour” but any
one who has tried to cover a mile every fifteen minutes will testify
that such a rate of speed is more like a race than a walk and that it
will require great physical exertion to maintain it for any
considerable distance. An eighteen or twenty-mile walk is about all
the average boy should attempt in a day, and this is allowing the full
day for the task from early morning until sunset.

Short and frequent rests are much better than long stops, which have a
tendency to stiffen the muscles. The walker on a long tramp must pay
especial attention to the care of his feet. They should be bathed
frequently in cold water to which a little alum has been added. A
rough place or crease in the stocking will sometimes cause a very
painful blister.

Mountain climbing is a very interesting branch of walking. It is
sometimes very dangerous as well and in such cases should only be
attempted under the guidance of some one familiar with the
neighbourhood. For rough climbing our shoes should be provided with
iron hob nails. Steel nails often become very slippery and will cause
a bad fall on rocks.

Cross-country running and hare and hound chases are much more common
in England than in America. Our runners as a rule excel in the sprints
and short dashes, although in the recent Olympic sports we have shown
that our trained athletes are the equal of the world in nearly all
branches of sport.

In many of the English schools it is a regular part of the school work
for the teacher to organize hare and hound chases. The hares are given
a start of several minutes and leave a trail by means of bits of paper
or confetti, which they carry in a bag. In this kind of running the
object to be sought is not so much speed as endurance. An easy dog
trot with deep regular breathing will soon give us our second wind,
when we can keep on for a long distance.

After any kind of physical exertion, especially when we are in a
perspiration, care must be exercised not to become chilled suddenly. A
rub down with a rough towel will help to prevent soreness and stiff
muscles. The lameness that follows any kind of unusual exercise is an
indication that certain muscles have been brought into use that are
out of condition. A trained athlete does not experience this soreness
unless he has unduly exerted himself, and the easiest way to get over
it is to do more of the same kind of work until we are in condition.



Headquarters—Purpose—Scout law—How to form a patrol of
scouts—Organization of a troop—Practical activities for scouts—A scout
camp—Model programme of a Sir R.S.S. Baden-Powell scout camp

The Boy Scout movement that has recently been introduced both in
England and America with such wonderful success is so closely related
to nearly all branches of outdoor recreation and to the things that
boys are interested in that this book would be incomplete without
mention of the object and purposes of this organization. It is a
splendid movement for the making of better citizens, and it cannot be
too highly recommended.

The Boy Scouts of America is a permanent organization, and it has its
headquarters at 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City. From the central
office, patrols and troops are being formed all over the United
States. Any information with reference to the movement may be
obtained by applying to this office.

Through the courtesy of the managing secretary, Mr. John L. Alexander,
certain facts are presented concerning the organization, which are
obtained from their published literature, for which due credit is
hereby given.

The Boy Scouts is an organization the purpose of which is
character-building for boys between the ages of twelve and eighteen.
It is an effort to get boys to appreciate the things about them and to
train them in self-reliance, manhood, and good citizenship. It is
“peace-scouting” these boys engage in, living as much as possible out
of doors; camping, hiking and learning the secrets of the woods and
fields. The movement is not essentially military, but the military
virtues of discipline, obedience, neatness and order are scout
virtues. Endurance, self-reliance, self-control and an effort to help
some one else are scout objectives. Every activity that lends itself
to these aims is good scoutcraft.

The Boy Scouts were started in England by Gen. Sir Robert
Baden-Powell. He was impressed with the fact that 46 per cent. of the
boys of England were growing up without any knowledge of useful
occupations, and wanted to do something that would help the boy to
become a useful citizen. He emphatically stated that his intention was
not the making of soldiers. In his work. General Baden-Powell has
touched the boy’s life in all its interests and broadened a boy’s
outlook by the widest sort of activities. In two and a half years over
half a million Boy Scouts have been enrolled, and twenty thousand of
these have been in parade at one time in London.

The scout idea has sprung up spontaneously all over America. In
Canadian cities the Boy Scouts number thousands. In the United States,
towns and cities are being swept by the idea. Gangs of boys are to be
seen on every hand, doing their best at scoutcraft, “doing a good turn
every day to some one,” and getting fun out of it. Prominent business
men and educators are behind the movement.

The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing
educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things
for themselves and others. The method is summed up in the term
“scoutcraft” and is a combination of observation, deduction and
handiness—or the ability to do. Scoutcraft consists of “First Aid,”
Life Saving, Tracking, Signalling, Cycling, Nature Study, Seamanship
and other instruction. This is accomplished in games and team play and
in pleasure, not work, for the boy. The only equipment it needs is the
out of doors, a group of boys and a leader.

Before he becomes a scout, a boy must take the scouts’ oath thus:

“On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, 1. To do my duty to
God and my country. 2. To help other people at all times. 3. To obey
the scout law.”

When taking this oath the scout will stand holding his right hand
raised level with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on
the nail of the little finger, and the other three fingers upright
pointing upward. This the scouts’ salute and secret sign.

When the hand is raised shoulder high it is called “the half salute.”

When raised to the forehead it is called “the full salute.”

The three fingers held up (like the three points on the scouts’ badge)
remind him of his three promises in the scouts’ oath.

There are three classes of scouts. A boy on joining the Boy Scouts
must pass a test in the following points before taking the oath:

Know the scouts’ laws and signs and the salute.

Know the composition of the national flag and the right way to fly it.

Tie four of the following knots: Reef, sheet bend, clove hitch,
bowline, middleman’s, fisherman’s, sheep-shank.

He then takes the scouts’ oath and is enrolled as a tenderfoot and is
entitled to wear the buttonhole badge.


Before being awarded a second-class scout’s badge, a boy must pass the
following tests:

1. Have at least one month’s service as a tenderfoot.

2. Elementary first aid bandaging.

3. Signalling. Elementary knowledge of semaphore or Morse alphabet.

4. Track half a mile in twenty-five minutes, or if in a town describe
satisfactorily the contents of one store window out of four, observed
for one minute each.

5. Go a mile in twelve minutes at “scouts’ pace.”

6. Lay and light a fire using not more than two matches.

7. Cook a quarter of a pound of meat and two potatoes without cooking
utensils other than the regulation billy.

8. Have at least twenty-five cents in the savings bank.

9. Know the sixteen principal points of the compass.


Before being awarded a first-class scout’s badge, a scout must pass
the following test in addition to the tests laid down for a
second-class scout:

1. Swim fifty yards. (This may be omitted where the doctor certifies
that bathing is dangerous to the boy’s health).

2. Must have at least fifty cents in the savings bank.

3. Signalling. Send and receive a message either in semaphore or
Morse, sixteen letters per minute.

4. Go on foot or row a boat alone to a point seven miles away and
return again, or if conveyed by any vehicle or animal go a distance of
fifteen miles and back and write a short report on it. It is
preferable that he should take two days over it.

5. Describe or show the proper means for saving life in case of two of
the following accidents: Fire, drowning, runaway carriage, sewer gas,
ice breaking, or bandage an injured patient or revive an apparently
drowned person.

6. Cook satisfactorily two of the following dishes as may be directed:
Porridge, bacon, hunter’s stew; or skin and cook a rabbit or pluck and
cook a bird. Also “make a damper” of half a pound of flour or a
“twist” baked on a thick stick.

7. Read a map correctly and draw an intelligent rough sketch map.
Point out a compass direction without the help of a compass.

8. Use an axe for felling or trimming light timber: or as an
alternative produce an article of carpentry or joinery or metal work,
made by himself satisfactorily.

9. Judge distance, size, numbers and height within 25 per cent. error.

10. Bring a tenderfoot trained by himself in the points required of a


1. A scout’s honour is to be trusted. If a scout were to break his
honour by telling a lie, or by not carrying out an order exactly, when
trusted on his honour to do so, he may be directed to hand over his
scouts’ badge and never to wear it again. He may also be directed to
cease to be a scout.

2. A scout is loyal to his country, his officers, his parents and his
employers. He must stick to them through thick and thin against any
one who is their enemy or who even talks badly about them.

3. A scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others. He must be
prepared at any time to save life or to help injured persons, and he
must try his best to do a good turn to somebody every day.

4. A scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout, no
matter to what social class the other belongs.

5. A scout is courteous, especially to women, children, old people,
invalids, and cripples. And he must never take a reward for being

6. A scout is a friend to animals. Killing an animal for food is

7. A scout obeys orders of his parents, patrol leader, or scout master
without question.

8. A scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.

9. A scout is thrifty and saves every penny he can and puts it into
the bank.

The scout master is the adult leader of a troop. A troop consists of
three or more patrols. The scout master may begin with one patrol. He
must have a deep interest in boys, be genuine in his own life, have
the ability to lead and command the boys’ respect and obedience, and
possess some knowledge of a boy’s ways. He need not be an expert on
scoutcraft. The good scout master will discover experts for the
various activities.

To organize a patrol, get together seven or more boys, explain to them
the aims of the Boy Scouts, have them elect a leader and corporal from
their own number and take the scout oath as tenderfeet. To organize a
local committee, call together the leading men of a town or city,
teachers, business men, professional men, and all who are interested
in the proper training of boys, for a committee to superintend the
development of the scout movement.

There are a number of divisions to scouting depending upon the place
where the boys live and upon their opportunities. For instance, to

_An Ambulance Badge_: A scout must know: The fireman’s lift. How to
drag an insensible man with ropes. How to improvise a stretcher. How
to fling a life-line. The position of main arteries. How to stop
bleeding from vein or artery, internal or external. How to improvise
splints and to diagnose and bind fractured limb. The Schafer method of
artificial respiration. How to deal with choking, burning, poison,
grit in eye, sprains and bruises, as the examiners may require.
Generally the laws of health and sanitation as given in “Scouting for
Boys,” including dangers of smoking, in continence, want of
ventilation, and lack of cleanliness.

_Aviator_: A scout must have a knowledge of the theory of æroplanes,
ball balloons and dirigibles, and must have made a working model of an
æroplane or dirigible that will fly at least twenty-five yards. He
must also have a knowledge of the engines used for æroplanes and

_Bee-farmer_: A scout must have a practical knowledge of swarming,
hiving, hives, and general apiculture, including a knowledge of the
use of artificial combs, etc.

_Blacksmith_: A scout must be able to upset and weld a one-inch iron
rod, make a horseshoe, know how to tire a wheel, use a sledge hammer
and forge, shoe a horse correctly, and rough-shod a horse.

_Bugler_: A scout must be able to sound properly on the bugle the
Scouts’ Rally and the following army calls: Alarm, charge, orderlies
(ord. corpls.), orders, warning for parade, quarter bugle, fall in,
dismiss, rations, first and second dinner calls (men’s), reveille,
last post, lights out.

_Carpenter_: A scout must be able to shoot and glue a four-foot
straight joint, make a housing, tenon and mortise, and halved joint,
grind and set a chisel and plane iron, make a 3 ft. by 1 ft. 6 in., by
1 ft. by 6 ft. dovetailed locked box, or a table or chair.

_Clerk_: A scout must have the following qualifications: Good
handwriting and hand printing. Ability to use typewriting machine.
Ability to write a letter from memory on the subject given verbally
five minutes previously. Knowledge of simple bookkeeping. Or, as
alternative to typewriting, write in shorthand from dictation at
twenty words a minute as minimum.

_Cook_: A scout must be able to light a fire and make a cook-place
with a few bricks or logs; cook the following dishes: Irish stew,
vegetables, omelet, rice pudding, or any dishes which the examiner may
consider equivalent; make tea, coffee, or cocoa; mix dough and bake
bread in oven; or a “damper” or “twist” (round steak) at a camp fire;
carve properly, and hand plates and dishes correctly to people at

_Cyclist_: A scout must sign a certificate that he owns a bicycle in
good working order, which he is willing to use in the scouts’ service
if called upon at any time in case of emergency. He must be able to
ride his bicycle satisfactorily, and repair punctures, etc. He must
be able to read a map, and repeat correctly a verbal message. On
ceasing to own a bicycle the scout must be required to hand back his

_Dairyman_: A scout must understand: Management of dairy cattle; be
able to milk, make butter and cheese; understand sterilization of
milk, safe use of preservatives, care of dairy utensils and

_Electrician_: A scout must have a knowledge of method of rescue and
resuscitation of persons insensible from shock. Be able to make a
simple electro-magnet, have elementary knowledge of action of simple
battery cells, and the working of electric bells and telephone.
Understand and be able to remedy fused wire, and to repair broken
electric connections.

_Engineer_: A scout must have a general idea of the working of motor
cars and steam locomotives, marines, internal combustion and electric
engines. He must also know the names of the principal parts and their
functions; how to start, drive, feed, stop, and lubricate any one of
them chosen by the candidate.

_Farmer_: A scout must have a practical knowledge of ploughing,
cultivating, drilling, hedging and draining. He must also have a
working knowledge of farm machinery, hay-making, reaping, heading and
stacking, and a general acquaintance with the routine seasonal work on
a farm, including the care of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs.

_Fireman_: A scout must know how to give the alarm to inhabitants,
police, etc. How to enter burning buildings. How to prevent spread of
fire. Use of hose, unrolling, joining up, hydrants, use of nozzle,
etc. The use of escape, ladders, and shutes; improvising ropes,
jumping sheets, etc. The fireman’s lift, how to drag patient, how to
work in fumes, etc. The use of fire extinguishers. How to rescue
animals. How to salve property, climb and pass buckets. “Scrum” to
keep back crowd.

_First Aid to Animals_: A scout must have a general knowledge of the
anatomy of domestic and farm animals, and be able to describe
treatment and symptoms of the following: Wounds, fractures and
sprains, exhaustion, choking, lameness. He must understand shoeing and
shoes, and must be able to give a drench for colic.

_Gardener_: A scout must dig a piece of ground not less than twelve
feet square, know the names of a dozen plants pointed out in an
ordinary garden, understand what is meant by pruning, grafting and
manuring, plant and grow successfully six kinds of vegetables or
flowers from seeds or cuttings, cut and make a walking stick, or cut
grass with scythe under supervision.

_Handyman_: A scout must be able to paint a door or bath, whitewash a
ceiling, repair gas fittings, tap washers, sash lines, window and door
fastenings, replace gas mantles and electric light bulbs, hang
pictures and curtains, repair blinds, fix curtain and portiere rods,
blind fixtures, lay carpets, mend clothing and upholstery, do small
furniture and china repairs, and sharpen knives.

_Horseman_: A scout must know how to ride at all paces, and to jump an
ordinary fence on horseback. How to saddle and bridle a horse
correctly. How to harness a horse correctly in single or double
harness, and to drive. How to water and feed, and to what amount. How
to groom his horse properly. The evil of bearing and hame reins and
ill-fitting saddlery. Principal causes and remedies of lameness.

_Interpreter_: A scout must be able to carry on a simple conversation,
write a simple letter on subject given by examiner, read and translate
a passage from a book or newspaper, in either Esperanto or any
language that is not that of his own country.

_Leather Worker_: A scout must have a knowledge of tanning and
curing, and either (a) be able to sole and heel a pair of boots, sewn
or nailed, and generally repair boots and shoes: or (b) be able to
dress a saddle, repair traces, stirrup leathers, etc., and know the
various parts of harness.

_Marksman_: A scout must pass the following tests for miniature rifle
shooting from any position: N.R.A. Standard Target to be used. Twenty
rounds to be fired at 15 or 25 yards. Highest possible, 100 points. A
scout gaining 60 points or over to be classified as marksman. Scoring:
Bull’s-eye, 5 points; inner, 4 points; magpie, 3 points; outer 2
points. Also: Judge distance on unknown ground: Five distances under
300 yards, 5 between 300 and 600 yards, with not more than an error of
25 per cent. on the average.

_Master-at-arms_: A scout must attain proficiency in two out of the
following subjects: Single-stick, quarter-staff, fencing, boxing,
jiu-jitsu and wrestling.

_Missioner_: The qualifications are: A general elementary knowledge of
sick-nursing; invalid cookery, sick-room attendance, bed-making, and
ventilation. Ability to help aged and infirm.

_Musician_: A scout must be able to play a musical instrument
correctly other than triangle, and to read simple music. Or to play
properly any kind of musical toy, such as a penny whistle,
mouth-organ, etc., and sing a song.

_Pathfinder_: It is necessary to know every lane, by-path, and short
cut for a distance of at least two miles in every direction around the
local scouts’ headquarters in the country, or for one mile if in a
town, and to have a general knowledge of the district within a
five-mile radius of his local headquarters, so as to be able to guide
people at any time, by day or night. To know the general direction of
the principal neighbouring towns for a distance of twenty-five miles,
and to be able to give strangers clear directions how to get to them.
To know, in the country, in the two-mile radius, generally, how many
hayricks, strawricks, wagons, horses, cattle, sheep and pigs there are
on the different neighbouring farms; or, in a town, to know in a
half-mile radius what livery stabling, corn chandlers, forage
merchants, bakers, butchers, there are. In town or country to know
where are the police stations, hospitals, doctors, telegraph,
telephone offices, fire engines, turncocks, blacksmiths and
job-masters or factories, where over a dozen horses are kept. To know
something of the history of the place, or of any old buildings, such
as the church, or other edifice. As much as possible of the above
information is to be entered on a large scale map.

_Photographer_: A scout must have a knowledge of the theory and use of
lenses, and the construction of cameras, action of developers. He must
take, develop and print twelve separate subjects, three interiors,
three portraits, three landscapes and three instantaneous photographs.

_Pioneer_: A scout must have extra efficiency in pioneering in the
following tests, or suitable equivalents: Fell a nine-inch tree or
scaffolding pole neatly and quickly. Tie eight kinds of knots quickly
in the dark or blindfolded. Lash spars properly together for
scaffolding. Build model bridge or derrick. Make a camp kitchen. Build
a hut of one kind or another suitable for three occupants.

_Piper_: A scout must be able to play a march and a reel on the pipes,
to dance the sword-dance, and must wear kilt and Highland dress.

_Plumber_: A scout must be able to make wiped and brazed joints, to
cut and fix a window pane, repair a burst pipe, mend a ball or faucet
tap, and understand the ordinary hot and cold water system of a house.

_Poultry Farmer_: A scout must have a good knowledge of incubators,
brooders, sanitary fowl-houses and coops and runs; also of rearing,
feeding, killing, and dressing birds for market; also he must be able
to pack birds and eggs for market.

_Printer_: A scout must know the names of different types and paper
sizes. Be able to compose by hand or machine, understand the use of
hand or power printing machines. He must also print a handbill set up
by himself.

_Seaman_: A scout must be able to tie eight knots rapidly in the dark
or blindfolded. Splice ropes, fling a rope coil. Row and punt a boat
single-handed, and punt with pole, or scull it over the stern. Steer a
boat rowed by others. Bring the boat properly alongside and make it
fast. Box the compass. Read a chart. State direction by the stars and
sun. Swim fifty yards with trousers, socks, and shirt on. Climb a rope
or pole of fifteen feet, or, as alternative, dance the hornpipe
correctly. Sew and darn a shirt and trousers. Understand the general
working of steam and hydraulic winches, and have a knowledge of
weather wisdom and knowledge of tides.

_Signaller_: A scout must pass tests in both sending and receiving in
semaphore and Morse signalling by flag, not fewer than twenty-four
letters per minute. He must be able to give and read signals by
sound. To make correct smoke and flame signals with fires. To show the
proper method of signalling with the staff.

_Stalker_: A scout must take a series of twenty photographs of wild
animals or birds from life, and develop and print them. Or,
alternately, he must make a collection of sixty species of wild
flowers, ferns, or grasses, dried and mounted in a book and correctly
named. Or, alternately, he must make coloured drawings of twenty
flowers, ferns or grasses, or twelve sketches from life of animals and
birds. Original sketches, as well as the finished pictures, to be
submitted. Or, alternately he must be able to name sixty different
kinds of animals, insects, reptiles, or birds in a museum or
zoological garden, or from unnamed coloured plates, and give
particulars of the lives, habits, appearance and markings of twenty of

_Starman_: A scout must have a general knowledge of the nature and
movements of the stars. He must be able to point out and name six
principal constellations. Find the north by means of other stars than
the Pole Star in case of that star being obscured by clouds, etc., and
tell the hour of the night by the stars or moon. He must have a
general knowledge of the positions and movements of the earth, sun
and moon, and of tides, eclipses, meteors, comets, sun spots, planets.

_Surveyor_: A scout must map correctly, from the country itself, the
main features of a half a mile of road, with 440 yards each side,
to a scale of two feet to the mile, and afterward re-draw same map
from memory. Measure the heights of a tree, telegraph pole and church
steeple, describing method adopted. Measure width of a river, and
distance apart of two objects a known distance away and unapproachable.
Be able to measure a gradient, contours, conventional signs of ordnance
survey and scales.

_Swimming and Life Saving_: A scout must be able to dive and swim
fifty yards with clothes on (shirt, trousers, socks as minimum). Able
to fling and use life-line or life-buoy. Able to demonstrate two ways
of rescue of drowning person, and revival of apparently drowned.


The simplest way to form a patrol of scouts is to call together a
small group of boys over twelve years of age. A simple recital of the
things that scouts do, with perhaps an opportunity to look over the
Manual, will be enough to launch the organization. The selection of a
patrol leader will then follow, and the scouting can begin. It is well
not to attempt too much at the start. Get the boys to start work to
pass the requirements for the tenderfoot.

_The Patrol Leader_: Each patrol should have a patrol
leader—preferably a boy. The choice of this leader has much to do
with the success of the patrol. He should be a recognized leader among
the boys in the group. Do not hesitate to entrust him with details.
Let him feel that he is your right-hand man. Ask his opinion on
matters pertaining to the patrol. Make him feel that the success of
the organization depends largely upon him, being careful, of course,
not to overdo it. You will find that this attitude will enlist the
hearty cooperation of the boy and you will find him an untiring
worker, with the ability to bind the boys closer together than you
could ever hope to do alone.


1. Scouting does not consist in wearing a khaki suit or a lot of
decorations. It is in doing the things that are required for the
tenderfoot, second-class and first-class scout badges and the badges
of merit.

2. Scouts do not wish any one to buy things for them. They buy their
own equipment and pay their own way.

3. Scouts do their best to keep the scout oath and law.

4. The glory of scouting is “_to do a good turn to some one every day
without reward_.”

5. Scouts regard the rights of others, and do not trespass on the
property or feelings of others.

6. Scouting means obedience and discipline. The boy who can’t obey
will never command.

7. Scouts are always busy and getting fun out of it—at work, at
school, at home, at play. _Be a good scout._


_First_: Write to Headquarters, which is at 200 Fifth Avenue, New York
City, for a scout master’s certificate.

_Second_: Either combine three or more patrols or having one patrol,
appoint several patrol leaders and enlist boys for the new patrols.

_Third_: The minimum number of patrols in a troop is three, and the
maximum the number a scout master can _rightly_ handle. Care should be
taken not to organize for the sake of a big showing.

_Hints on starting_: In actually starting a troop, it has been found
better to start in a small way. Begin by one or two leader-men making
a careful study of “Scouting for Boys” and as soon as the main ideas
have been grasped, get together a small number of boys, and go through
with them the initial stages step by step, until the boys bubble over
with scouting ideals, and until the notion of a fancy uniform and
games in the country have given place to a definite desire to qualify
for manhood and citizenship. These boys will make the nucleus round
which to form a troop, and should pass on their training and
enthusiasm to the boys who are enlisting under them. It has been found
better to obtain _distinctly older fellows for patrol leaders_: the
scout masters should invariably be men who feel the great
responsibility of having boys under their charge, and the possibility
of leading the boys from the moment when they enlist in the scouts to
the time they pass out again to be fully fledged men.

_Finances_: The finances necessary to run a troop of scouts should be
met by the scouts themselves. It is a main principle of scouting to
teach the boys to be self-reliant, and anything which will militate
against the constant sending round of the hat will be a national

_The Scout Master_: The scout master is the adult leader of a troop.
The scout master may begin with one patrol. He must have a deep
interest in boys, be genuine in his own life, have the ability to lead
and command the boys’ respect and obedience and possess some knowledge
of a boy’s ways. He need not be an expert on scoutcraft. The good
scout master will discover experts for the various activities.
Applications for scout masters’ certificates may be made at the
Headquarters, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

From the outset, the scout master must have the interest of each boy
at heart. He must not play favourites with any of the boys in his
patrol or troop. While there are sure to be boys in the group who will
develop more rapidly than others, and whose keenness will be sure to
call forth the admiration of the scout master, he should not permit
himself to be “carried away” by the achievements of these “star boys”
to such an extent that he will neglect the less aggressive boy. The
latter boy is the one who needs your attention most, and your interest
in him must be genuine. Every effort he makes, no matter how poor it
may be, should be commended just as heartily as the better
accomplishments of the more handy boy.


1. _Scoutcraft_: Boy Scouts’ organization, scout laws, discipline,
scouts’ secret signs, badges, etc.

2. _Campaigning_: Camp life and resourcefulness. Hut and mat making.
Knots. Fire lighting. Cooking. Boat management. Judging distances,
heights and numbers. Swimming. Cycling. Finding the way.


1. Do not have in the same patrol boys of great disparity in ages. For
instance, the boy of twelve should not be in the same group with the
sixteen-year-old boy, if it can possibly be avoided. You must remember
that in most cases the things that appeal to the younger boy will have
no attraction for the older boy.

2. Do not enroll boys under twelve. If you do you are certain to lose
your older boy. The movement is distinctly for boys of the adolescent
period and is designed to help them to rightly catch the spirit of

3. Do not try to do everything yourself. Try to remember that the
boys are always willing and anxious to take hold. Let the boys
understand that the whole proposition is theirs. It is what they make
it. Your contract with them should be largely of a big brother nature.

4. Do not burden nor weary the boys with excessive military drills and
tactics. The movement is not a military one. The military virtues of
obedience, neatness, order, endurance and erect, alert bearing,
however, are scout virtues. Use everything that develops boys. This is
good scoutcraft.

5. Do not confine the activities of the patrols to things of one
character. Touch every activity as far as possible. Do not omit
anything. Get the proper agencies to cooperate with you for these
ends—a military man for signalling; a naturalist for woodcraft; a
physician for first aid, etc.

6. Do not permit the boys to fail in the proper keeping of the scout
oath and law.

7. Never fail to keep an engagement with your patrol or troop. If
something should delay your coming or should you find yourself unable
to keep an appointment with them, be sure to notify the patrol leaders
beforehand. It might be well to require the same of the boys.

8. A real danger point is the failure of a scout master to visit the
boys in their homes. Knowing the boys’ parents means much, and their
cooperation will be much heartier when they know the man to whose care
they entrust their boy, after he has discussed with them the real
purpose of the scout movement.

9. Do not hesitate to give a boy a hard task, but not an impossible
one. A boy likes to do hard things.

10. Do not attempt right at the start to give the boy every bit of
detail regarding the activities of the troop. Work out the plans with
the boys from time to time, always reserving some things of interest
for the next meeting. Your attempt to give them everything at one time
will cause the whole proposition to assume the nature of a task
instead of pleasurable education, as was originally intended.

11. Hold frequent tests for advancement to the classes of scouthood.
Get your fellows to really win their badges.

12. As a scout master use good judgment. If there are other scout
masters in your town, or a scout council or local committee, cooperate
with these. To be a scout master, you must have the spirit of ’76,
but be sure to work with others. The boys will benefit by the lesson.


To go camping should mean more than merely living under canvas away
from the piles of brick and stone that make up our cities. To be in
the open air, to breathe pure oxygen, to sleep upon “a bed of boughs
beside the trail,” to look at the camp fire and the stars, and to hear
the whisper of the trees—all of this is good. But the camp offers a
better opportunity than this. It offers the finest method for a boy’s
education. Between twelve and eighteen years the interests of a boy
are general ones, and reach from the catching of tadpoles and minnows
to finding God in the stars. His interests are the general mass
interests that are so abundant in nature, the activities that give the
country boy such an advantage for the real enjoyment of life over the
city lad. Two weeks or two months in camp, they are too valuable to be
wasted in loafing, cigarette smoking, card playing or shooting craps.
To make a camp a profitable thing there must needs be instruction; not
formal but _informal_ instruction. Scouting, nature study, scout law,
camp cooking, signalling, pioneering, path finding, sign reading,
stalking for camera purposes, knowledge of animals and plants, first
aid, life saving, manual work (making things), hygiene, sex
instruction, star gazing, discipline, knowing the rocks and trees, and
the ability to do for one’s self, in order that a boy may grow strong,
self-reliant, and helpful. This is a partial list of the subject in
the camp curricula.

A model scout camp programme is given here. It takes eight days to
carry it out, but there is material enough to run ten times the number
of days specified.


_First Day_: Preliminary work: settling into camp, formation of
patrols, distribution of duties, orders, etc.

_Second Day_: Campaigning: camp resourcefulness, hut and mat making,
knots, fire lighting, cooking, health and sanitation, endurance,
finding way in strange country, and boat management.

_Third Day_: Observation: noticing and memorizing details far and
near, landmarks, tracking, deducing meaning from tracks and signs, and
training the eyesight.

_Fourth Day_: Woodcraft: study of animals, birds, plants and stars;
stalking animals, noticing people, reading their character and
condition, and thereby gaining their sympathy.

_Fifth Day_: Chivalry: honour, code of knights, unselfishness,
courage, charity and thrift; loyalty to God, country, parents and
employers, or officers; practical chivalry to women; the obligation to
do a “good turn” daily, and how to do it.

_Sixth Day_: Saving life: from fire, drowning, sewer gas, runaway
horses, panic, street accidents, improvised apparatus, and first aid.

_Seventh Day_: Patriotism: national geography, the history and deeds
that won our world power, the navy and army, flags, medals, duties of
a citizen, marksmanship, helping the police.

_Eighth Day_: A summary of the whole course: sports comprising games
and competitive practices in all subjects of the course.


     6.30 a.m. Turn out, bathe, etc.
     7.00  „   Breakfast
     8.00  „   Air bedding in sun if possible
     9.00  „   Scouting games and practice
    11.00  „   Swimming
    12.00  m.  Dinner
     1.00 p.m. Talk by leader
     2.00  „   Water games, etc.
     6.00  „   Supper
     7.30  „   Evening council around camp fire
                 Order of business:
                   Opening council
                   Record of last council
                   Report of scouts
                   Left-over business
                   New scouts
                   New business
                   Social doings, songs, dances, stories
                   Closing council (devotional services when desired)
    10.00 p.m. Lights out.

The father of scouting for boys in America, and in fact the
inspiration for the movement in England under Lieut-Gen. Sir Robert
S.S. Baden-Powell, K.C.B., is Mr. Ernest Thompson Seton, the
distinguished naturalist and nature student.

The official handbook of the organization may be obtained from
Doubleday, Page and Company, Garden City, N.Y., the publishers of this
book, or from the national headquarters of The Boy Scouts of America.



How to select the best place and to pitch the tent—A brush bed—The
best kind of a tent—How to make the camp fire—What to do when it
rains—Fresh air and good food—The brush leanto and how to make it

Going camping is the best fun in the world if we know how to do it.
Every healthy boy and girl if given an opportunity should enjoy living
outdoors for a week or two and playing at being an Indian. There is
more to camping however than “roughing it” or seeing how much hardship
we can bear. A good camper always makes himself just as comfortable as
he can under the circumstances. The saying that “an army travels on
its stomach” means that a soldier can not make long marches or fight
hard unless he has good food. The surest sign of a “tenderfoot” is the
boy who makes fun of you because you try to have a soft dry bed while
he prefers to sleep on the ground under the mistaken idea that it is
manly or brave. He will usually spoil a trip in the woods for every
one in the party.

Another poor kind of a camper pitches his tent so that his bed gets
wet and his food spoiled on the first rainy day, and then sits around
cold and hungry trying hard to think that he is having fun, to keep
from getting homesick. This kind of a boy “locks the door after the
horse is stolen.” If we go camping we must know how to prevent the
unpleasant things from happening. We must always be ready for wind and
rain, heat and cold. A camping party should make their plans a long
time ahead in order to get their equipment ready. Careful lists should
be made of what we think we shall need. After we are out in the woods,
there will be no chance to run around the corner to the grocer’s to
supply what we have forgotten. If it is forgotten, we must simply make
the best of it and not allow it to spoil our trip.

It is surprising how many things that we think are almost necessary to
life we can get along without if we are obliged to. The true woodsman
knows how to turn to his use a thousand of nature’s gifts and to make
himself comfortable, while you and I might stand terrified and
miserable under the same conditions.

Daniel Boone, the great wilderness traveller, could go out alone in
the untracked forest with nothing but his rifle, his axe and a small
pack on his back and by a knowledge of the stars, the rivers, the
trees and the wild animals, he could go for weeks travelling hundreds
of miles, building his bed and his leanto out of the evergreen boughs,
lighting his fire with his flint and steel, shooting game for his food
and dressing and curing their skins for his clothing and in a thousand
ways supplying his needs from nature’s storehouse. The school of the
woods never sends out graduates. We may learn something new every day.

[Illustration: With a head shelter and a sleeping bag he can keep dry
and warm]

The average city boy or girl does not have an opportunity to become a
skilled master of woodcraft, but because we cannot learn it all is no
reason why we should not learn something. The best way to learn it is
in the woods themselves and not out of books.

A party of four boys makes a good number for a camping trip. They will
probably agree better than two or three. They can do much of the camp
work in pairs. No one need to be left alone to look after the camp
while the others go fishing or hunting or to some nearby town for the
mail or for supplies. There is no reason why four boys of fifteen who
are resourceful and careful cannot spend a week or two in the woods in
perfect safety and come back home sounder in mind and body than when
they left. It is always better to take along some one who has “camped
out” before. If he cannot be found, then make your plans, decide what
you will do and how you will do it, take a few cooking lessons from
mother or the cook—if the latter is good-natured—and go anyway.
First elect a leader, not because he is any more important than the
rest but because if some one goes ahead and gives directions, the life
in camp will run much more smoothly and every one will have a better

If it is your first experience in camping, you had better go somewhere
near home. The best place is one that can be reached by wagon. If we
have to carry our supplies on our backs or in a canoe, the amount we
can take will be much less. After you have had some experience near
home you can safely try the other way. Where you go is of
comparatively little importance. Near every large city there is some
lake or river where you can find a good camping site. Campers always
have more fun if they are near some water, but if such a place is not
easily found near where you live, go into the woods. Try to get away
from towns or villages. The wilder the place is, the better.

You had better make sure of your camping ground before you go by
writing a letter to the owner of the land. It isn’t much fun after we
have pitched the tent and made everything shipshape to have some angry
landowner come along and order us off because we are trespassers.

In selecting a place to camp, there are several very important things
to look out for.

1. Be sure you are near a supply of drinking water. A spring or a
brook is best, but even the lake or river will do if the water is pure
and clean. The water at the bottom of a lake is always much colder and
cleaner than the surface water. When I was a boy, I used a simple
device for getting cold water which some of you may like to copy. I
took an old-fashioned jug and fastened a strong string to the handle
and also fastened this string to the cork of the jug as the drawing
shows. The jug was weighted so that it would sink, by means of a piece
of stone tied to the handle. We used to go out to the middle of the
lake where the water was the deepest and lower the jug over the side
of a boat. When it reached bottom we would give the string a sharp tug
and thus pull out the cork. The bubbles coming to the surface showed
us when the jug was full. We then hauled it on board and had clear,
cold, drinking water from a lake that on the surface was warm enough
for swimming.

[Illustration: The jug by which we obtained pure, cold water]

2. The next important thing in selecting a camp is being near a supply
of firewood. A week in camp will consume an amazing amount of wood,
especially if we have a camp fire at night to sit around and sing and
tell stories before turning in. In most sections there is plenty of
dead wood that we can use for camp fires. This does not mean a lot of
twigs and brush. There is no use trying to go camping unless some one
knows how to use an axe. In another chapter I will tell you something
about the proper use of axes and hatchets. For the present it is
sufficient to say that an excellent place to practise handling an axe
is on the family woodpile. You will thus combine business and
pleasure, and your efforts will be appreciated by your family, which
would not be the case if, like George Washington, you began your
lessons in woodcraft on the favourite cherry tree.

Almost any kind of wood will burn when it is dry, but it takes
experience to know the kinds of trees that will burn when they are
green. If there is no dry wood in the neighbourhood, and we are
obliged to cut a tree down to get our supply, it is very important to
pitch our camp somewhere near the right kind of a tree and not be
obliged to carry our firewood a long distance. The best “green wood”
for the campers’ fire is hickory, although birch is excellent. Hickory
is also the best dry wood. Other trees that will burn well when green
are cedar, white ash, locust or white oak. There are comparatively few
places, however, where dry wood is not available and of course it is
always best to avoid such a place.

3. The camp site should be in a fairly open spot. Thick woods and
underbrush are either hot or “damp” cool. If you can find a site that
is shaded during the heat of the day so much the better. It is unwise
to pitch the tent under a tree that stands alone on account of
possible danger from lightning. If your tent is shaded by a tree be
sure there are no dead limbs to blow off and wreck it during a storm.

Be sure that the drainage is good, so that in case of heavy rains, the
water will run off and not flood the camp. It is very important if
your camp is along some river or stream to be high enough to avoid the
danger of sudden floods. This can usually be determined by talking to
some one who knows the country. You can also tell it by studying the
previous high water marks in the trees. In case of floods there are
always some wisps of straw, pieces of brush, etc., caught and held by
the limbs of trees after the water settles back to its former level.
It is a good chance to practise your woodcraft by trying to find them.

Damp locations are very bad. The higher we can get, the drier it will
be. We avoid both fogs and mosquitoes. Usually there is some prominent
place that will give us a good outlook and where the breezes can reach

There are both good and bad points in pitching our tent on the site of
a former camp. As long as the former campers have not scoured the
surrounding neighbourhood for firewood nor have left a place littered
up with all sorts of rubbish and garbage to draw flies and vermin,
they may have fixed up things around the camp site to save us work and
to add to our comfort and pleasure. Each case will have to be decided
on its own merits.

[Illustration: A wall tent]

The three important things then are the water supply, the firewood
supply, and good drainage.

Next in importance to the camp site is the outfit, and the most
important thing is the tent. For a party of four boys on their first
camping trip, the best kind will be a wall tent. A tent, 11 x 14 feet
will be large enough to provide sleeping quarters and to have every
one comfortable. A simple shelter of canvas outside can be provided
as a dining-room but this is more of a luxury than a real necessity.

Canvas or duck is the common material from which tents are made. The
standard eight-ounce khaki duck used in the United States army will,
for this size tent, cost about twenty dollars. This will include a
fly, which is merely a second roof to the tent. The best material for
tents is balloon silk. It is much more waterproof than canvas and only
weighs a quarter as much. It is also much more expensive. A tent can
be made at home, which is of course the cheaper way. They can also be
hired from previous campers or from some awning maker who is also
usually a tent maker.

A canvas tent without a fly will leak in a rain storm if the roof is
touched on the inside either by our hands or our clothing. It may be
made partially waterproof by a coating of paraffine which has been
previously dissolved in turpentine. The simplest and at the same time
the warmest tent for an experienced camper who knows the tricks of the
trade is a leanto tent, one with one side entirely open, in front of
which a blazing fire may be kept burning. This is hardly adapted for
boys on their first trip, however.

Another very good and very simple tent is the “A” tent used in the
army. This looks like a “V” turned upside down. We can pitch it
without the aid of tent poles by simply hanging it be ween two trees
to which a rope has been stretched.

[Illustration: An “A” tent]

The Hudson Bay tent, trapper’s tent, forester’s tent, canoe tent, and
a dozen others, including an Indian tepee and wigwam, are all good
tents for special purposes. The pictures show the different styles and
all of them are designed for special uses, either for warmth or
lightness in carrying or ease in pitching. If we go camping in summer
and can have our equipment or “duffle,” as the woodsmen call it,
carried by team, the wall tent will be the best one to take.

Tent pegs can always be cut in the woods, but it is far more
satisfactory to get them ready at home before we leave. If you do cut
your own pegs, select hardwood saplings to make them from and to
further harden the points, char them slightly in a fire. If you spend
a few winter evenings at home making the pegs, it will save you a lot
of time and trouble when you reach the camping ground. The best pegs
are made of iron or steel. This is especially true when the ground
where they are to be driven is hard or rocky, which is usually the
case. Steel tent pins may be bought for six cents apiece or possibly
the local blacksmith will make them for less. They should be a foot

A sod cloth is a strip of canvas eight or ten inches wide fastened to
the bottom of the tent wall. Its purpose is to keep the wind and rain
from blowing under the tent. After the tent is pitched a ditch should
be dug all around it to catch the rain and carry it away. The earth
that is dug from this trench may be thrown on the sod cloth to hold it

It is an excellent idea, if you are a beginner, to practise pitching
the tent at home so that you will understand it better when you are in
the woods. Besides this, you can try sleeping out a night or two to
see how you are going to like it.

[Illustration: A trapper’s tent]

When you reach your camping place, the first step is to clear the
ground of all rubbish, loose stones, sticks and brush to have a clean
floor. Then unpack the tent and fit the pegs of the two upright poles
through the two holes in the ridge pole. Next raise the tent and peg
the guy ropes on the four corners first. A little practice will show
you how to do this. After all the ropes are pegged at a proper
distance from the tent, they should be tightened and the tent made

Always plan to have a full four hours of daylight to make your camp
ready. If the drive is a long one and you are obliged to get up very
early in the morning, you will have to do it, that is all. I made my
first camping trip when I was twelve years old. We had just reached
the camping ground, unloaded our kit and sent the team home that
brought us when—bang! over the mountain across the lake from where we
were going to camp, a terrific thunder shower came up and in a few
minutes it was pouring. There was our whole outfit—tent, bedding and
food—getting soaked because, instead of hurrying along during the
day, we had fooled away our time trying to catch fish in wayside
brooks that had never seen a fish and not realizing how important it
is to make haste as well as hay while the sun shines.

[Illustration: An Indian tepee]

We quickly pitched the tent, not as it should have been pitched, but
in a heap over the rest of our goods to keep out as much water as
possible and then ran for a nearby barn where we spent a cold hungry
night, wetter but wiser. The next day, out came the sun and dried our
things, but if the rain had continued we certainly should have been
obliged to go home or at least to a farmhouse to stay until the
weather cleared. We soon forgot our unpleasant experience but we have
not forgotten the lesson it taught—and that is not to waste time
along the road when there is work to be done at the journey’s end.

Next to a good tent, the most important thing for the camper is a good
bed. It is even more important than good food because if we sleep
well, hunger will furnish the sauce for our grub, but if we spend the
night trying to dodge some root or rock that is boring into our back
and that we hardly felt when we turned in but which grew to an
enormous size in our imagination before morning, we will be half sick
and soon get enough of being an Indian. A canvas cot makes the best
camp bed if it can be taken along conveniently. There is one important
thing to look out for in sleeping on a cot. In my first experience of
the kind, I nearly froze. I kept piling things on me until all my
clothing, and even the camp towels and table-cloth were pressed into
service and was thinking about pulling some dry grass to pile on the
rest of the stuff. Still I shivered until I discovered that the cold
was coming up from underneath because there was nothing to keep it out
but the single thickness of canvas. When I put one of my blankets
under me, I was as warm as toast.

Very often it is impossible to carry cots on a trip, and that is
where a knowledge of woodcraft comes in. The softest, sweetest,
downiest bed in the world can be made with no other materials but
those which grow in the forest—if we know how. At least the tired
camper will think it is soft and will sleep on it like a top and wake
up refreshed in the morning. Perhaps if we had our choice we would
prefer our own bed at home, but in the woods we do not have this
choice. Most people call this a bed of “pine boughs.”

[Illustration: How the bough bed is made]

Why I do not know as it never should be made of pine under any
circumstances. The best wood for the bough bed is balsam. If this does
not grow in the neighbourhood, hemlock, spruce, or even cedar will do.
To make a bough bed properly means a lot of work. The first step is to
cut four straight sticks. The side pieces should be six feet and a
half long and the end pieces three feet and a half. They should be
notched on the ends with an axe and either nailed or tied together
from saplings or from a tree that you have felled. Small balsam boughs
should be broken off with the fingers and laid one on the other until
the whole bed is filled with them. On this, the rubber blanket or
poncho should be spread and the blankets over all. All the boughs
should be shingled with the stems down to keep them in the best
condition. This kind of a bed will require remaking every day.

A better bed for the boy camper is made as follows: Take a piece of
heavy bed ticking and sew it into a bag about three feet by six feet.
When you reach camp you can make a regular mattress by filling it with
whatever material is most easily found. Dry leaves? grass, hay, even
moss or wet filler can be used if nothing dry can be found, but in
this case the rubber blanket will be an absolute necessity. Of course
it is much better to use some dry material.

Be sure to have a comfortable bed. No matter what ideas you may have
about cowboys and soldiers rolling up in their blankets and snatching
a few hours’ sleep under the stars by lying on the bare ground, a boy
who is used to a good bed at home will never have much fun out of a
camping trip if he tries to sleep on the ground with a rock for his

For a summer camping trip, one blanket is enough. You must learn to
roll up in it. Lie flat on your back and cover the blanket over you.
Then raise up your legs and tuck it under first on one side and then
the other. The rest is easy. This beats trying to “roll up” in it,
actually. The common summer blankets used at home are not much use for
the camper. These are usually all cotton. A camper’s blanket should be
all wool. You can buy a standard U.S. Army blanket, size 66 x 84
inches, for five dollars. They can often be purchased in stores that
deal in second-hand army supplies for much less and are just as good
as new except for some slight stain or defect.

A sleeping bag is expensive but is excellent for cold weather camping.
It is much too hot for the boy camper in summer.

Do not sleep in your clothing. Unless it is too cold, undress, about
as you do at home. If the blanket feels tickly, it would not be a
great crime, no matter what the tenderfoot says who wanted you to
sleep on the ground, to take along a sheet. I have never done this,

At the end of this chapter, you will find a list of things to take
with you.

The camp fire and the cooking fire should be separate. Almost any one
can kindle a fire with dry materials. It takes a woodman to build a
fire when it has been raining and everything is wet. The boy’s method
of taking a few newspapers, and a handful of brush or leaves will not

First look around for an old dead top of a pine or cedar. If you
cannot find one, chop down a cedar tree. Whittle a handful of
splinters and shavings from the dry heart. Try to find the lee side of
a rock or log where the wind and rain do not beat in. First put down
the shavings or some dry birch bark if you can find it, and shelter it
as well as you can from the rain. Pile up some larger splinters of
wood over the kindling material like an Indian’s wigwam. Then light it
and give it a chance to get into a good blaze before you pile on any
larger wood and put the whole fire out. It sounds easy but before you
try it in the woods I advise you to select the first rainy day and go
out near home and experiment.

To make a fire that will burn in front of the tent all night, first
drive two green stakes into the ground at a slant and about five feet
apart. Then lay two big logs one on each side of a stake to serve as
andirons. Build a fire between these logs and pile up a row of logs
above the fire and leaning against the stakes. You may have to brace
the stakes with two others which should have a forked end. When the
lower log burns out the next one will drop down in its place and
unless you have soft, poor wood the fire should burn for ten hours.
With this kind of a fire and with a leanto, it is possible to keep
warm in the woods, on the coldest, night in winter.

[Illustration: The frame for a brush leanto]

This is the way to build a brush leanto: First cut two sticks and
drive them into the ground. They should have a point on one end and a
fork on the other. Lay a stout pole across the two forks like a gypsy
fire rig. Then lean poles against the crosspiece and finally thatch
the roof with spruce, hemlock or other boughs and pile up boughs for
the sides. A brush camp is only a makeshift arrangement and is never
weather proof. It is simply a temporary shelter which with the
all-night fire burning in front will keep a man from freezing to death
in the woods. Any kind of a tent is better or even a piece of canvas
or a blanket for the roof of the leanto will be better than the roof
of boughs. Be careful not to set the leanto on fire with the sparks
from your camp fire.

Mosquitoes have probably spoiled more camping trips that any other one
thing. The best tents have mosquito net or cheese cloth fronts which
may be held close to the ground by a stick on the bottom. Perhaps the
easiest way to secure protection is for each boy to take along a few
yards of cotton mosquito netting and by means of curved sticks build a
canopy over his bed.

A smoky fire called a “smudge” will sometimes keep the pests away from
the neighbourhood of the tent or if we build it in the tent will drive
them out, but the remedy is almost as bad as the disease. As a rule
they will only be troublesome at night and the net over our bed will
enable us to sleep in peace.

The most common “dope” used in the woods to keep off mosquitoes is
called oil of citronella. It has a very pungent odour that the
mosquitoes do not like and the chances are that you will not like it
either. At the same time it may be a good plan to take a small bottle

You may safely count on finding mosquitoes, no matter where you go or
what the people tell you who live there. Perhaps they have never tried
sleeping in the woods and do not know. Be sure therefore to take
along some netting or cheese cloth to protect yourself against them.

Everything that you can do at home to get ready for your camping trip
will add to your pleasure when you get out in the woods. If any part
of your kit needs fixing, fishing rods wound or varnished, your
jack-knife ground, your camera fixed, or if your clothing needs any
patches or buttons, do it at home.

No one ever does half that he plans to on a trip like this unless he
does not plan to do anything. Take along a few books to read for the
rainy days and have them covered with muslin if you ever expect to put
them back into your library.

If you have been putting off a visit to the dentist, by all means do
it before you get out where there are no dentists. An aching tooth can
spoil a vacation in the woods about as easily as anything I know of.

As a final word of advice to the beginner in camping, let me tell you
a few things that my own experience has taught me.

A felt hat is better than a cap as it is sun and rain proof.

Wear a flannel shirt and take one extra one. You can wash one and wear
the other. Be sure to have a new shirt plenty loose in the neck as
camp washing in cold water will make it shrink. Do not go around in
gymnasium shirts or sleeveless jerseys. One of my companions did this
once and was so terribly sunburned that his whole trip was spoiled.

Two sets of underwear are plenty, including the one you wear.

Take along a silk handkerchief to wear around your neck.

Wear comfortable shoes. A camping trip is a poor place to break in new
hunting boots or shoes.

Take bandanna handkerchiefs and leave your linen ones at home.

If you have to choose between a coat and a sweater take the sweater
and leave the coat at home. A coat is out of place in the woods.

Khaki or canvas trousers are excellent. So are corduroy. An old pair
of woollen trousers are just as good as either.

A poncho is almost necessary to your comfort. It is merely a rubber or
oilskin piece with a slit in it to put your head through. The right
size is 66 x 90 inches. With it you can keep dry day or night, either
using it as a garment or as a cover. When you are not using it you can
cover it over your bed or food supply.

Take along a good pocket knife and compass. Better leave the revolver
home. Also always carry a waterproof box of matches.

You will require some kind of a waterproof “duffle” bag to carry your
personal things—tooth brush, extra clothing, mirror, fishing tackle,
towel, soap, medicine, in fact whatever you think you will need. If it
is your first camping trip you will come home without having had any
use whatever for more than half the things you take. That is the
experience of every one, so do not become discouraged.

If you camp within reach of a post-office, address some stamped
envelopes to your home in ink before you leave. Then you will have no
excuse for not writing a letter home.

You can make an excellent pillow by rolling up your trousers. Be sure
to take everything out of the pockets first, including your knife, and
roll them with the top inside so that the buttons or your belt buckle
will not bore into your ear.

If you fall overboard and come ashore to dry out, stuff your shoes
full of dry grass or old paper to keep them from shrinking. When they
are dry, soften them with tallow or oil. Every one who goes camping at
some time or other gets wet. The only advice I can give you is to get
dry again as soon as possible. As long as you keep moving it will
probably not injure you. Waterproof garments are of little use in the
woods. They are always too warm for summer wear and by holding the
perspiration, are more of an injury than a benefit.

Never wear rubber boots in the woods or you will surely take cold.
Better have wet feet. The best foot wear is moccasins. If you wear
them see that they are several sizes too large and wear at least two
pairs of heavy woollen stockings with them.



How to make the camp fire range—Bread bakers—Cooking utensils—The
grub list—Simple camp recipes

Most boys, and I regret to say a few girls too, nowadays, seem to
regard a knowledge of cooking as something to be ashamed of. The boy
who expects to do much camping or who ever expects to take care of
himself out in the woods had better get this idea out of his head just
as soon as possible. Cooking in a modern kitchen has been reduced to a
science, but the boy or man who can prepare a good meal with little
but nature’s storehouse to draw on and who can make an oven that will
bake bread that is fit to eat, with the nearest range fifty miles
away, has learned something that his mother or sister cannot do and
something that he should be very proud of. Camp cooking is an art and
to become an expert is the principal thing in woodcraft—nothing else
is so important.

We often hear how good the things taste that have been cooked over the
camp fire. Perhaps a good healthy appetite has something to do with
it, but it is pretty hard even for a hungry boy to relish half-baked,
soggy bread or biscuits that are more suitable for fishing sinkers
than for human food. A party without a good cook is usually ready to
break camp long before the time is up, and they are lucky if the
doctor is not called in as soon as they get home.

There is really no need for poor food in the woods. Very few woodsmen
are good cooks simply because they will not learn. The camp cook
always has the best fun. Every one is ready to wait on him _“if he
will only, please get dinner ready”_

One year when I was camping at the head of Moosehead Lake in Maine, I
had a guide to whom I paid three dollars a day. He cooked and I got
the firewood, cleaned the fish and did the chores around camp. His
cooking was so poor that the food I was forced to eat was really
spoiling my trip. One day I suggested that we take turns cooking, and
in place of the black muddy coffee, greasy fish and soggy biscuit, I
made some Johnny-cake, boiled a little rice and raisins and baked a
fish for a change instead of frying it. His turn to cook never came
again. He suggested himself that he would be woodchopper and scullion
and let me do the cooking. I readily agreed and found that it was
only half as much work as being the handy man.

The basis of camp cooking is the fire. It is the surest way to tell
whether the cook knows his business or not. The beginner always starts
with a fire hot enough to roast an ox and just before he begins
cooking piles on more wood. Then when everything is sizzling and
red-hot, including the handles of all his cooking utensils, he is
ready to begin the preparation of the meal. A cloud of smoke follows
him around the fire with every shift of the wind. Occasionally he will
rush in through the smoke to turn the meat or stir the porridge and
rush out again puffing and gasping for breath, his eyes watery and
blinded and his fingers scorched almost like a fireman coming out of a
burning building where he has gone to rescue some child. The chances
are, if this kind of a cook takes hold of the handle of a hot frying
pan, pan and contents will be dumped in a heap into the fire to
further add to the smoke and blaze.

When the old hand begins to cook, he first takes out of the fire the
unburned pieces and blazing sticks, leaving a bed of glowing coals to
which he can easily add a little wood, if the fire gets low and a
watched pot refuses to boil to his satisfaction. When the fire is
simply a mass of red coals he quietly goes to cooking, and if his fire
has been well made and of the right kind of wood, the embers will
continue to glow and give out heat for an hour.

Of course, if the cooking consists in boiling water for some purpose,
there is no particular objection to a hot fire, the fire above
described is for broiling, frying and working around generally.

[Illustration: A type of camp fire that will burn all night]

There are all sorts of camp fireplaces. The quickest one to build and
one of the best as well, is the “hunter’s fire,” All you need is an
axe. Take two green logs about six to eight inches thick and five feet
long and lay them six inches apart at one end and about fourteen
inches at the other. Be sure that the logs are straight. It is a good
plan to flatten the surface slightly on one side with the axe to
furnish a better resting place for the pots and pans. If the logs roll
or seem insecure, make a shallow trench to hold them or wedge them
with flat stones. The surest way to hold them in place is to drive
stakes at each end. Build your fire between the logs and build up a
cob house of firewood. Split wood will burn much more quickly than
round sticks. As the blazing embers fall between the logs, keep adding
more wood. Do not get the fire outside of the logs. The object is to
get a bed of glowing coals between them. When you are ready to begin
cooking, take out the smoky, burning pieces and leave a bed of red-hot
coals. If you have no axe and can find no logs, a somewhat similar
fireplace can be built up of flat stones, but be sure that your stone
fireplace will not topple over just at the critical time.

If you only have your jack-knife, the best fire is a “Gypsy Rig”. Cut
two crotched sticks, drive them into the ground and lay a crosspiece
on them just as you would begin to build the leanto described in the
preceding chapter, but of course not so high above the ground. The
kettles and pots can be hung from the crossbar by means of pot hooks,
which are pieces of wood or wire shaped like a letter “S.” Even
straight sticks will do with two nails driven into them. These should
be of different lengths to adjust the pots at various heights above
the fire, depending on whether you wish to boil something furiously or
merely to let it simmer. Do not suspend the kettles by running the bar
through them. This is very amateurish. With a gypsy fire, the frying
pan, coffee pot and gridiron will have to be set right on the bed of

An arrangement for camp fires that is better and less work than the
logs is obtained by using fire irons, which are two flat pieces of
iron a yard or so long resting on stones and with the fire built

The whole object of either logs or irons is to furnish a secure
resting place for cooking utensils above the fire.

There are several kinds of ovens used for baking bread and roasting
meat in outdoor life. The simplest way is to prop a frying pan up in
front of the fire. This is not the best way but you will have to do it
if you are travelling light. A reflector, when made of sheet iron or
aluminum is the best camp oven. Tin is not so satisfactory because it
will not reflect the heat equally. Both the top and bottom of the
reflector oven are on a slope and midway between is a steel baking pan
held in place by grooves. This oven can be moved about at will to
regulate the amount of heat and furthermore it can be used in front of
a blazing fire without waiting for a bed of coals. Such a rig can
easily be made by any tinsmith. A very convenient folding reflector
oven can be bought in aluminum for three or four dollars. When not
used for baking, it makes an excellent dishpan.

[Illustration: A reflector camp oven]

The standard camp oven that has been used by generations of pioneers
and campers is the Dutch oven. It is simply an iron pot on short legs
and is provided with a heavy cover. To use it, dig a hole in the
ground large enough to hold it, build a fire and fill the hole with
embers. Then scoop out a place for the pot, cover it over with more
embers and ashes and let the contents bake.

For the boy who wants to go to the limit in depending on his own
resources, the clay oven is the nearest to real woodcraft. This is
made in the side of a bank by burrowing out a hole, with a smoke
outlet in the rear. A hot fire built inside will bake the clay and
hold it together. To use this oven, build a fire in it and when the
oven is hot, rake out the coals and put in your bread or meat on flat
stones. Close the opening with another stone and keep it closed long
enough to give the oven a chance. This method is not recommended to
beginners who are obliged to eat what they cook, but in the hands of a
real cook, will give splendid results. The reflector oven is the best
for most cases if you can carry it conveniently.

The kind of a cooking equipment that we take with us on a camping trip
will depend on what we can carry conveniently, how much we are willing
to rough it and what our stock of provisions will be. One thing is
sure—the things that we borrow from home will rarely be fit to
return. In making a raid on the family kitchen, better warn the folks
that they are _giving_ us the pots and pans instead of merely
_lending_ them. Very compact cooking outfits can be bought if one
cares to go to the expense. An aluminum cook kit for four people, so
made that the various articles nest one into the other, can be bought
for fifteen dollars. It weighs only ten pounds and takes up a space
of 10 x 12 inches. Such a kit is very convenient if we move camp
frequently or have to carry our outfit with us, but for the party of
boys going out by team it is not worth the expense. You will need
several tin pails, two iron pots, a miner’s coffee pot—all in one
piece including the lip—two frying pans, possibly a double boiler for
oatmeal and other cooked cereals, iron spoon, large knife, vegetable
knife, iron fork and broiler. A number of odds and ends will come in
handy, especially tin plates to put things on. Take no crockery or
glassware. It will be sure to be broken. Do not forget a can opener.

Camp fire utensils should never be soldered. Either seamless ware or
riveted joints are the only safe kind. Solder is sure to melt over a
hot open fire.

The personal equipment for each boy should be tin cup, knife, fork,
and spoons, deep tin plate, extra plate and perhaps one extra set of
everything for company if they should happen to drop in. A lot of dish
washing can be avoided if we use paper or wooden plates and burn them
up after the meal.

The main question is “What shall we take to eat.” A list of food or as
it is commonly known “the grub list” is a subject that will have to be
decided by the party themselves. I will give you a list that will
keep four hungry boys from staying hungry for a trip of two weeks and
leave something over to bring home. If the list does not suit you
exactly you can substitute or add other things. It is an excellent
plan for the party to take a few home cooked things to get started on,
a piece of roasted meat, a dish of baked beans, some crullers, cookies
or ginger snaps. We must also consider whether we shall get any fish
or game. If fishing is good, the amount of meat we take can be greatly
cut down.

This list has been calculated to supply a party who are willing to eat
camp fare and who do not expect to be able to buy bread, milk, eggs or
butter. If you can get these things nearby, then camping is but little
different from eating at home.


Ten lbs. bacon, half a ham, 4 cans corned beef, 2 lbs. cheese, 3 lbs.
lard, 8 cans condensed milk, 8 lbs. hard tack, 10 packages soda
crackers, 6 packages sweet crackers, 12½ lbs. of wheat flour,
12½ lbs. of yellow cornmeal, can baking powder, ½ bushel
potatoes, 1 peck onions, 3 lbs. ground coffee, ½ lb. tea, sack salt,
7 lbs. granulated sugar, 3 packages prepared griddle cake flour, 4
packages assorted cereals, including oatmeal, 4 lbs. rice, dried
fruits, canned corn, peas, beans, canned baked beans, salmon,
tomatoes, sweetmeats and whatever else you like.

Be sure to take along plenty of tin boxes or tight wooden boxes to
keep rain and vermin away from the food. Tell your grocer to pack the
stuff for a camping trip and to put the perishable things in tight
boxes as far as possible.

If you are going to move camp, have some waterproof bags for the
flour. If you can carry eggs and butter, so much the better. A tin
cracker box buried in the mud along some cold brook or spring makes an
excellent camper’s refrigerator especially if it is in the shade.
Never leave the food exposed around camp. As soon as the cook is
through with it let some one put it away in its proper place where the
flies, ants, birds, sun, dust, and rain cannot get at it.

Always examine food before you cook it. Take nothing for granted. Once
when camping the camp cook for breakfast made a huge pot of a certain
brand of breakfast food. We were all tucking it away as only hungry
boys can, when some one complained that caterpillars were dropping
from the tree into his bowl. We shifted our seats—and ate some more,
and then made the astonishing discovery that the breakfast food was
full of worms. We looked at the package and found that the grocers had
palmed off some stale goods on us and that the box was fairly alive.
We all enjoy the recollection of it more than we did the actual

It is impossible in a book of this kind to say very much about how to
cook. That subject alone has filled some very large books. We can
learn some things at home provided that we can duplicate the
conditions in the woods. So many home recipes contain eggs, milk and
butter that they are not much use when we have none of the three.
There is a book in my library entitled “One Hundred Ways to Cook Eggs”
but it would not do a boy much good in the woods unless he had the
eggs. If you ask your mother or the cook to tell you how to raise
bread or make pies and cakes, be sure that you will have the same
ingredients and tools to work with that she has.

It might be well to learn a few simple things about frying and
boiling, as both of these things can be done even by a beginner over
the camp fire. There are a few general cooking rules that I will
attempt to give you and leave the rest for you to learn from

You use bacon in the woods to furnish grease in the frying pan for
the things that are not fat enough themselves to furnish their own

Condensed milk if thinned with water makes a good substitute for sweet
milk, after you get used to it.

To make coffee, allow a tablespoonful of ground coffee to each cup of
water. Better measure both things until you learn just how full of
water to fill the pot to satisfy the wants of your party. Do not boil
coffee furiously. The best way is not to boil it at all but that would
be almost like telling a boy not to go swimming. Better let it simmer
and when you are ready for it, pour in a dash of cold water to settle
the grounds and see that no one shakes the pot afterward to stir up
grounds—and trouble.

A teaspoonful of tea is enough for two people. This you must not boil
unless you want to tan your stomach. Pour boiling water on the tea and
let it steep.

Good camp bread can be made from white flour, one cup; salt, one
teaspoonful; sugar, one teaspoonful and baking powder, one
teaspoonful. Wet with water or better with diluted condensed milk.
Pour in a greased pan and bake in the reflector oven until when you
test it by sticking a wooden splinter into it, the splinter will come
out clean without any dough adhering to it.

If you want to make the kind of bread that has been the standard
ration for campers for hundreds of years you must eat johnny-cake or
pone. It is really plain corn bread. Personally I like it better than
any of the raised breads or prepared flours that are used in the
woods. It should always be eaten hot and always broken by the hands.
To cut it with a knife will make it heavy. The ingredients are simply
one quart of yellow meal, one teaspoonful of salt and three cups—one
and one-half pints—of warm water. Stir until the batter is light and
bake for a short hour. Test it with the wooden splinter the same as
wheat bread. It may be baked in an open fire on a piece of flat wood
or by rolling up balls of it, you can even roast it in the ashes. A
teaspoonful of sugar improves it somewhat and it can be converted into
cake by adding raisins or huckleberries. For your butter, you will use
bacon grease or gravy.

Indian meal, next to bacon, is the camper’s stand-by. In addition to
the johnny-cake, you can boil it up as mush and eat with syrup or
condensed milk and by slicing up the cold mush, if there is any left,
you can fry it next day in a spider.

The beginner at cooking always makes the mistake of thinking that to
cook properly you must cook fast. The more the grease sputters or the
harder the pot boils, the better. As a rule, rapid boiling of meat
makes it tough. Game and fish should be put on in cold water and after
the water has boiled, be set back and allowed to simmer. Do not throw
away the water you boil meat in. It will make good soup—unless every
one in camp has taken a hand at salting the meat, as is often the

All green vegetables should be crisp and firm when they are cooked. If
they have been around camp for several days and have lost their
freshness, first soak them in cold water. A piece of pork cooked with
beans and peas will give them a richer flavour. The water that is on
canned vegetables should be poured off before cooking. Canned tomatoes
are an exception to this rule, however.

Save all the leftovers. If you do not know what else to do with them,
make a stew or soup. You can make soup of almost anything. The Chinese
use birds’ nests and the Eskimos can make soup of old shoes. A very
palatable soup can be made from various kinds of vegetables with a few
bones or extract of beef added for body.

The length of time to cook things is the most troublesome thing to
the beginner. Nearly everything will take longer than you think.
Oatmeal is one of the things that every beginner is apt to burn, hence
the value of the double boiler.

Rice is one of the best camp foods if well cooked. It can be used in a
great variety of ways like cornmeal. But beware! There is nothing in
the whole list of human food that has quite the swelling power of
rice. Half a teacupful will soon swell up to fill the pot. A
tablespoonful to a person will be an ample allowance and then, unless
you have a good size pot to boil it in, have some one standing by
ready with an extra pan to catch the surplus when it begins to swell.

There are certain general rules for cooking which may help the
beginner although they are not absolute.

Mutton, beef, lamb, venison, chicken, and large birds or fish will
require from ten to twenty minutes’ cooking for each pound of weight.
The principal value of this is to at least be sure that you need not
test a five-pound chicken after it has been cooking fifteen minutes to
see if it is done.

Peas, beans, potatoes, corn, onions, rice, turnips, beets, cabbage,
and macaroni should, when boiled, be done in from twenty to thirty
minutes. The surest test is to taste them. They will be burned in
that many seconds, if you allow the water to boil off or put them in
the middle of a smoky fire where they cannot be watched.

Fried things are the easiest to cook because you can tell when they
are done more easily. Fried food however is always objectionable and
as little of it should be eaten as possible. You are not much of a
camp cook if a frying pan is your only tool.

A bottle of catsup or some pickles will often give just the right
taste to things that otherwise seem to be lacking in flavour.

In frying fish, always have the pan piping hot. Test the grease by
dropping in a bread crumb. It should quickly turn brown. “Piping hot”
does not mean smoking or grease on fire. Dry the fish thoroughly with
a towel before putting them into the pan. Then they will be crisp and
flaky instead of grease-soaked. The same rule is true of potatoes. If
you put the latter on brown butcher’s paper when they are done, they
will be greatly improved.

Nearly every camper will start to do things away from home that he
would never think of doing under his own roof. One of these is to
drink great quantities of strong coffee three times a day. If you find
that after you turn in for the night, you are lying awake for a long
time watching the stars and listening to the fish splashing in the
lake or the hoot owl mournfully “too-hooing” far off in the woods, do
not blame your bed or commence to wonder if you are not getting sick.
Just cut out the coffee, that’s all.



The use of an axe and hatchet—Best woods for special purposes—What
to do when you are lost—Nature’s compasses

The word “woodcraft” simply means skill in anything which pertains to
the woods. The boy who can read and understand nature’s signboards,
who knows the names of the various trees and can tell which are best
adapted to certain purposes, what berries and roots are edible, the
habits of game and the best way to trap or capture them, in short the
boy that knows how to get along without the conveniences of
civilization and is self-reliant and manly, is a student of woodcraft.
No one can hope to become a master woodsman. What he learns in one
section may be of little value in some other part of the country.

A guide from Maine or Canada might be comparatively helpless in
Florida or the Tropics, where the vegetation, wild animal life, and
customs of the woods are entirely different. Most of us are hopeless
tenderfeet anywhere, just like landlubbers on shipboard. The real
masters of woodcraft—Indians, trappers, and guides—are, as a rule,
men who do not even know the meaning of the word “woodcraft.”

Some people think that to know woodcraft, we must take it up with a
teacher, just as we might learn to play golf or tennis. It is quite
different from learning a game. Most of what we learn, we shall have
to teach ourselves. Of course we must profit from the experience and
observation of others, but no man’s opinion can take the place of the
evidence of our own eyes. A naturalist once told me that chipmunks
never climb trees. I have seen a chipmunk on a tree so I know that he
is mistaken. As a rule the natives in any section only know enough
woods-lore or natural history to meet their absolute needs. Accurate
observation is, as a rule, rare among country people unless they are
obliged to learn from necessity. Plenty of boys born and raised in the
country are ignorant of the very simplest facts of their daily
experience. They could not give you the names of a dozen local birds
or wildflowers or tell you the difference between a mushroom and a
toadstool to save their lives.

[Illustration: The wilderness traveller]

On the other hand, some country boys who have kept their ears and eyes
open will know more about the wild life of the woods than people who
attempt to write books about it; myself, for example. I have a boy
friend up in Maine who can fell a tree as big around as his body in
ten minutes, and furthermore he can drop it in any direction that he
wants to without leaving it hanging up in the branches of some other
tree or dropping it in a soft place where the logging team cannot
possibly haul it out without miring the horses. The stump will be
almost as clean and flat as a saw-cut. This boy can also build a log
cabin, chink up the cracks with clay and moss and furnish it with
benches and tables that he has made, with no other tools than an axe
and a jack-knife. He can make a rope out of a grape-vine or patch a
hole in his birch bark canoe with a piece of bark and a little spruce
gum. He can take you out in the woods and go for miles with never a
thought of getting lost, tell you the names of the different birds and
their calls, what berries are good to eat, where the partridge nests
or the moose feeds, and so on. If you could go around with him for a
month, you would learn more real woodcraft than books could tell you
in a lifetime. And this boy cannot even read or write and probably
never heard the word “woodcraft.” His school has been the school of
hard knocks. He knows these things as a matter of course just as you
know your way home from school. His father is a woodchopper and has
taught him to take care of himself.

If you desire to become a good woodsman, the first and most important
thing is to learn to use an axe. Patent folding hatchets are well
enough in their way, but for real woodchopping an axe is the only
thing. One of four pounds is about the right weight for a beginner. As
it comes from the store, the edge will be far too thick and clumsy to
do good work. First have it carefully ground by an expert and watch
how he does it.

If I were a country boy I should be more proud of skilful axemanship
than to be pitcher on the village nine. With a good axe, a good rifle,
and a good knife, a man can take care of himself in the woods for
days, and the axe is more important even than the rifle.

The easiest way to learn to be an axeman is to make the acquaintance
of some woodchopper in your neighbourhood. But let me warn you. Never
ask him to lend you his axe. You would not be friends very long if you
did. You must have one of your own, and let it be like your watch or
your toothbrush, your own personal property.

A cheap axe is poor economy. The brightest paint and the gaudiest
labels do not always mean the best steel. Your friend the woodchopper
will tell you what kind to buy in your neighbourhood. The handle
should be straight-grained hickory and before buying it you will run
your eye along it to see that the helve is not warped or twisted and
that there are no knots or bad places in it. The hang of an axe is the
way the handle or helve is fitted to the head. An expert woodchopper
is rarely satisfied with the heft of an axe as it comes from the
store. He prefers to hang his own. In fact, most woodchoppers prefer
to make their own axe handles.

You will need a stone to keep a keen edge on the axe. No one can do
good work with a dull blade, and an edge that has been nicked by
chopping into the ground or hitting a stone is absolutely inexcusable.

To chop a tree, first be sure that the owner is willing to have it
chopped. Then decide in which direction you wish it to fall. This will
be determined by the kind of ground, closeness of other trees, and the
presence of brush or undergrowth. When a tree has fallen the
woodchopper’s work has only begun. He must chop off the branches, cut
and split the main trunk, and either make sawlogs or cordwood lengths.
Hence the importance of obtaining a good lie for the tree.

Before beginning to chop the tree, cut away all the brush, vines, and
undergrowth around its butt as far as you will swing the axe. This is
very important as many of the accidents with an axe result from
neglect of this precaution. As we swing the axe it may catch on a bush
or branch over our head, which causes a glancing blow and a possible
accident. Be careful not to dull the axe in cutting brush. You can
often do more damage to its edge with undergrowth no thicker than
one’s finger than in chopping a tree a foot through. If the brush is
very light, it will often be better to use your jack-knife.

[Illustration: The right way to chop a tree—make two notches on
opposite sides]

In cutting a tree, first make two nicks or notches in the bark on the
side to which you wish it to fall and as far apart as half the
diameter of the tree. Then begin to swing the axe slowly and without
trying to bury its head at every blow and prying it loose again, but
with regular strokes first across the grain at the bottom and then in
a slanting direction at the top. The size of the chips you make will
be a measure of your degree of skill. Hold the handle rather loosely
and keep your eye on the place you wish to hit and not on the axe. Do
not work around the tree or girdle it but keep right at the notch you
are making until it is half way through the tree. Do not shift your
feet at every blow or rise up on your toes. This would tire even an
old woodchopper in a short time. See that you do not set yourself too
fast a pace at first. A beginner always starts with too small a notch.
See to it that yours is wide enough in the start.

[Illustration: The wrong way—this looks like the work of a beaver]

When you have cut about half way through, go to the other side of the
tree and start another notch a little higher than the first one. A
skilled man can chop either right-or left-handed but this is very
difficult for a beginner. If you are naturally right-handed, the
quickest way to learn left-handed wood chopping is to study your usual
position and note where you naturally place your feet and hands. Then
reverse all this and keep at it from the left-handed position until it
becomes second nature to you and you can chop equally well from either
position. This you may learn in a week or you may never learn it. It
is a lot easier to write about than it is to do.

When the tree begins to creak and show signs of toppling over, give it
a few sharp blows and as it falls jump sideways. Never jump or run
backward. This is one way that men get killed in the woods. A falling
tree will often kick backward like a shot. It will rarely go far to
either side. Of course a falling tree is a source of danger anyway, so
you must always be on your guard.

If you wish to cut the fallen tree into logs, for a cabin, for
instance, you will often have to jump on top of it and cut between
your feet. This requires skill and for that reason I place a knowledge
of axemanship ahead of anything else in woodcraft except cooking.
With a crosscut saw, we can make better looking logs and with less

Next to knowing how to chop a tree is knowing what kind of a tree to
chop. Different varieties possess entirely different qualities. The
amateur woodchopper will note a great difference between chopping a
second growth chestnut and a tough old apple tree. We must learn that
some trees, like oak, sugar maple, dogwood, ash, cherry, walnut,
beech, and elm are very hard and that most of the evergreens are soft,
such as spruce, pine, arbor vitae, as well as the poplars and birches.
It is easy to remember that lignum vitae is one of the hardest woods
and arbor vitae one of the softest. Some woods, like cedar, chestnut,
white birch, ash, and white oak, are easy to split, and wild cherry,
sugar maple, hemlock, and sycamore are all but unsplitable. We decide
the kind of a tree to cut by the use to which it is to be put. For the
bottom course of a log cabin, we place logs like cedar, chestnut, or
white oak because we know that they do not rot quickly in contact with
the ground. We always try to get straight logs because we know that it
is all but impossible to build a log house of twisted or crooked ones.

It is a very common custom for beginners to make camp furniture,
posts, and fences of white birch. This is due to the fact that the
wood is easily worked and gives us very pretty effects. Birch however
is not at all durable and if we expect to use our camp for more than
one season we must expect to replace the birch every year or two.
Rustic furniture made of cedar will last for years and is far superior
to birch.

Getting lost in the woods may be a very serious thing. If you are a
city boy used to signboards, street corners, and familiar buildings
you may laugh at the country boy who is afraid to go to a big city
because he may get lost, but he knows what being lost means at home
and he fails to realize when he is in a city how easy it is to ask the
nearest policeman or passer-by the way home. Most city boys will be
lost in the woods within five minutes after they leave their camp or
tent. If you have no confidence in yourself and if you are in a
wilderness like the North woods, do not venture very far from home
alone until you are more expert.

It is difficult to say when we are really lost in the woods. As long
as we think we know the way home we are not lost even if we may be
absolutely wrong in our opinion of the proper direction. In such a
case we may soon find our mistake and get on the right track again.
When we are really lost is when suddenly a haunting fear comes over us
that we do not know the way home. Then we lose our heads as well as
our way and often become like crazy people.

A sense of direction is a gift or instinct. It is the thing that
enables a carrier pigeon that has been taken, shut up in a basket say
from New York to Chicago, to make a few circles in the air when
liberated and start out for home, and by this sense to fly a thousand
miles without a single familiar landmark to guide him and finally land
at his home loft tired and hungry.

No human being ever had this power to the same extent as a pigeon, but
some people seem to keep a sense of direction and a knowledge of the
points of compass in a strange place without really making an effort
to do it. One thing is sure. If we are travelling in a strange country
we must always keep our eyes and ears open if we expect to find our
way alone. We must never trust too implicitly in any “sense of

Forest travellers are always on the lookout for peculiar landmarks
that they will recognize if they see them again. Oddly shaped trees,
rocks, or stumps, the direction of watercourses and trails, the
position of the sun, all these things will help us to find our way
out of the woods when a less observing traveller who simply tries to
remember the direction he has travelled may become terrified.

Rules which tell people what to do when they are lost are rarely of
much use, because the act of losing our way brings with it such a
confusion of mind that it would be like printing directions for terror
stricken people who are drowning.

Suppose, for example, a boy goes camping for a week or two in the
Adirondacks or Maine woods. If he expects to go about alone, his first
step should be to become familiar with the general lay of the land,
the direction of cities, towns, settlements, mountain ranges, lakes,
and rivers in the section where he is going, and especially with the
location of other camps, railroads, lumber camps, and so on in his
immediate neighbourhood, say within a five-mile radius. It is an
excellent plan to take along a sectional map which can usually be
bought of the state geologist. One can by asking questions also learn
many things from the natives.

Such a boy may start out from his camp, which is on the shore of a
lake, for example, on an afternoon’s fishing or hunting trip. If he is
careful he will always consult his compass to keep in mind the general
direction in which he travels. He will also tell his friends at camp
where he expects to go. If he has no compass, he at least knows that
the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and he can easily
remember whether he has travelled toward the setting sun or away from
it. Rules for telling the points of compass by the thickness of the
bark or moss on trees are well enough for story books. They are not of
much value to a man lost in the woods.

Suddenly, say at four o’clock, this boy decides to “turn around” and
go back to camp. And then the awful feeling comes to him that he
doesn’t know which way to turn. The woods take on a strange and
unfamiliar look. He is lost. The harder he tries to decide which way
the camp lies, the worse his confusion becomes. If he would only
collect his thoughts and like the Indian say “Ugh! Indian not lost,
Indian here. Wigwam lost,” he probably would soon get his bearings. It
is one thing to lose your way and another to lose your head.

When you are lost, you are confused, and the only rule to remember is
to sit down on the nearest rock or stump and wait until you get over
being “rattled.” Then ask yourself, “How far have I gone since I was
not sure of my way?” and also, “How far am I from camp?” If you have
been out three hours and have walked pretty steadily, you may have
gone five miles. Unless you have travelled in a straight line and at a
rapid pace, the chances are that you are not more than half that
distance. But even two or three miles in strange woods is a long
distance. You may at least be sure that you must not expect to find
camp by rushing about here and there for ten minutes.

We have all heard how lost people will travel in circles and keep
passing the same place time after time without knowing it. This is
true and many explanations have been attempted. One man says that we
naturally take longer steps with our right leg because it is the
stronger; another thinks that our heart has something to do with it,
and so on. Why we do this no one really knows, but it seems to be a
fact. Therefore, before a lost person starts to hunt for camp, he
should blaze a tree that he can see from any direction. Blazing simply
means cutting the bark and stripping it on all four sides. If you have
no hatchet a knife will do, but be sure to make a blaze that will show
at some distance, not only for your own benefit but to guide a
searching party that may come out to look for you. You can mark an
arrow to point the direction that you are going, or if you have
pencil and note-book even leave a note for your friends telling them
your predicament. This may all seem unnecessary at the time but if you
are really lost, nothing is unnecessary that will help you to find

As you go along give an occasional whack at a tree with your hatchet
to mark the bark or bend over the twigs and underbrush in the
direction of your course. The thicker the undergrowth the more blaze
marks you must make. Haste is not so important as caution. You may go
a number of miles and at the end be deeper in the woods than ever, but
your friends who are looking for you, if they can run across one of
your blazes, will soon find you.

When you are certain that you will not be able to find your way out
before dark, there is not much use of going any farther. The thing to
do then is to stop and prepare for passing the night in the woods
while it is still daylight. Go up on the highest point of ground,
build a leanto and make your camp fire. If you have no matches, you
can sometimes start a fire by striking your knife blade with a piece
of flint or quartz, a hard white stone that is common nearly
everywhere. The sparks should fall in some dry tinder or punk and the
little fire coaxed along until you get a blaze. There are many kinds
of tinder used in the woods, dried puff balls, “dotey” or rotten wood
that is not damp, charred cotton cloth, dry moss, and so on. In the
pitch pine country, the best kindlings after we have caught a tiny
blaze are splinters taken from the heart of a decayed pine log. They
are full of resin and will burn like fireworks. The Southerners call
it “light-wood.”

Dry birch bark also makes excellent kindlings. A universal signal of
distress in the woods that is almost like the flag upside down on
shipboard is to build two smoky fires a hundred yards or more apart.
One fire means a camp, two fires means trouble.

Another signal is two gunshots fired quickly, a pause to count ten and
then a third. Always listen after you have given this signal to see if
it is answered. Give your friends time enough to get the gun loaded at
camp. Always have a signal code arranged and understood by your party
before you attempt to go it alone. You may never need it but if you do
you will need it badly.

Sometimes we can get our bearings by climbing a tree. Another aid to
determine our direction is this: Usually all the brooks and water
courses near a large lake or river flow into it. If you are sure that
you haven’t crossed a ridge or divide, the surest way back home if
camp is on a lake is to follow down the first brook or spring you come
across. It will probably bring you up at the lake, sooner or later.

On a clear night you can tell the points of compass from the stars.
Whether a boy or girl is a camper or not, they surely ought to know
how to do this. Have some one point out to you the constellation
called the “dipper.” It is very conspicuous and when you have once
learned to know it you will always recognize it as an old friend. The
value of the dipper is this: The two stars that form the lower corners
of its imaginary bowl are sometimes called the “north star pointers.”
The north star or Polaris, because of its position with reference to
the earth, never seems to move. If you draw an imaginary line through
the two pointers up into the heavens, the first bright star you come
to, which is just a little to the right of this line, is the north
star. It is not very bright or conspicuous like Venus or Mars but it
has pointed the north to sailors over the uncharted seas for hundreds
of years. By all means make the acquaintance of Polaris.



Importance of early training—Why a gun is better than a rifle—How to
become a good shot

Whether a boy of fifteen should have a gun or a rifle is a question
that parents will have to settle for themselves. There is no question
but that a careful boy who has been taught by some older person how to
handle a gun is more to be trusted than a man who has never learned
the proper use of firearms and who takes up the sport of hunting
after he is grown up. Most of the shooting accidents are caused by
inexperienced men who have never been accustomed to guns in their
younger days. Once or twice I have just missed being shot by friends
who had never been hunting before, and who became so excited when they
unexpectedly kicked up a rabbit or walked into a flock of quail that
they fired the gun without knowing whether any of their friends were
in range or not. When a boy is allowed to have a gun it should be a
real one. Air rifles and small calibre guns are all the more
dangerous, because they are often looked upon as toys.

In handling a gun, always treat it as though it were loaded, no matter
if you _know_ it is empty. By this means it will soon become second
nature to you never to point the gun at any one even carelessly or in
fun. A guide once said to me, “A gun is a dangerous critter without
lock, stock, or barrel, and if a feller ever points one at me I think
he means business.”

[Illustration: A double barrelled hammerless shot-gun]

A gun can never be trusted. Accidents happen so quickly that it is
over before we know it and the terrible damage is done. Sometimes the
trigger will catch on a coat button or a twig, and, bang! an
unexpected discharge takes place and if you were careless just for an
instant, it may cost some one his life. Especial care must be taken in
loading and unloading a gun. It is at this time that a gun is most
likely to go off unexpectedly.

The best way to learn how to handle a gun is to watch the methods of
an old hand. Never fire a gun when you are standing behind another
person. You may know that you are not aiming at him, but the
concussion of the air near the end of the barrel is terrific, and your
friend may have a split ear drum as a result.

A shot-gun is better for a boy than a rifle, for the reason that most
real shooting except for big game is done with a shot-gun, and
besides, it takes a lot of practice to shoot well with it. A shot-gun
is not a weapon for play but a real tool. In almost every section of
the country there is some small game to be hunted and there is usually
also an opportunity to practise at clay pigeons.

No one would think of hunting quail, ducks, or rabbits with a rifle,
and even if you were an excellent rifle shot at a still mark you might
not be able to hit moving game at all. A shot-gun is less dangerous
for the reason that its range is limited to a little over a hundred
yards, while a rifle may carry a mile. A cheap shot-gun is far more
dangerous than a cheap rifle. Until it is possible to buy a good one
it is better to have none at all. A good American-made gun can be
bought for about twenty-five dollars. A gun suitable for its owner
should fit just as his clothing fits him. When a gun is quickly
brought to the shoulder in firing position, there is no time in actual
hunting to shift it around. When you buy a gun, remember that your
canvas or corduroy hunting coat makes more of a bulge at the shoulder
than an ordinary suit and accordingly see that the stock is the proper
length. The “drop” of a gun is the number of inches that the stock
falls below the line of the barrel. If the stock is bent too much you
will shoot under your game. If it is too straight the tendency will be
to shoot over game. The average stock is made to fit most people and
will probably answer most purposes unless you can afford to have a
stock made especially. The principal thing is to do all your
practising with your own gun until it becomes second nature to bring
it up quickly and have the eye find the barrel instantly. A shot-gun
is not aimed in the same way as a rifle. The method of good shots is
rather to keep their eye on the game and when they “feel” that the gun
is pointed right to fire. A skilful shot can tell whether he is
shooting too high or too low just as he pulls the trigger. The brain,
head, and eyes and trigger-finger must all work in harmony or you will
never be a good shot. Never flinch as you shoot. This is a very common
fault of beginners and it is fatal to becoming a marksman.

The first lesson in handling a gun is to understand perfectly how it
works. If it is a hammerless gun, remember that it is always cocked.
When you open the barrels you cock the gun automatically. For this
reason there is some kind of a safety device provided, which should
always be left at “safe” except at the actual instant of firing. It is
just as easy to learn to push the safety off when you fire as it is to
learn to pull the trigger, if one starts right.

Never carry your gun with your finger on the trigger. Wait until you
put the gun up as you are ready to shoot. Don’t forget the safety. A
great many shots are missed because the hunter forgets whether he has
left it on or off and in his anxiety to hit the game will tug and pull
on the trigger until, just as the game disappears out of range, he
will remember that he did not release it. This shows the importance of
acquiring the proper habit at first.

It is harder to correct bad habits in handling a gun than to teach the
beginner the proper way at first. On your first lesson in the field,
walk on the left side of your teacher so that your gun will be
pointing away from him. If you come across any game, try to take your
time before you fire. Nearly every one shoots too quickly. As most
shot-gun shooting is what is called snap shooting, there isn’t much
time at best, but a good shot will be sure that he has covered his
game before he fires, while a beginner will trust to luck. This will
be the hardest fault to correct. Consequently a beginner should if
possible hunt alone for a while, as the presence of another gun
alongside of him makes him too anxious to get in the first shot, and
gets him into bad habits.

If your teacher also has a gun, he must assure you that he does not
intend to shoot and then you will try harder to get the game and run
less chance of missing. Always unload a gun before going into a house,
under or over a fence, or in or out of a boat or carriage. If you
leave your gun, even for a minute, unload it. Never rest a loaded gun
against a tree or building. Never pull a gun loaded or empty toward
you by the muzzle. In unloading always point it toward the ground. A
jar will sometimes discharge a gun and very often a discharge will
take place when closing the breech on a tight shell.

Always be ready for game. In hunting, we never can tell at what
instant it will rise up in front of us. “Be ready” does not mean
having the muscles and nerves constantly on a tension. It is simply
to carry your gun in such a position that you can quickly bring it to
the shoulder at any time. It is a good plan to practise aiming at
various objects as you go along until you gradually overcome your

It is difficult to say what makes a good shot with a gun. There is no
question but that practice will make any one a better shot than he
would be without it, but some people are better shots with very little
practice than others with a great deal. One very important thing is to
do your practising under conditions similar to the actual hunting. If
the cover is thick where you hunt, a swamp or brush lot for example,
you will not derive much benefit from practising entirely in the open.
A pigeon trap is an inexpensive way to learn to shoot. Some
experienced hunters will say that practice at clay pigeons does not
help in the field, but at the same time a good brush shot is almost
always a good trap shot and if you can become skilful enough to break
an average of eighteen to twenty clay pigeons out of twenty-five at
sixteen yards rise, you may be sure that you will get your share of
game under actual hunting conditions.

The most difficult part of bird hunting is to learn to give the game a
start. The average shot-gun will kill quail at sixty yards and duck
at forty. The farther the game is away from us, provided it is within
range, the more the shot will spread. I once saw a half-dozen hunters
fire at a covey of quail that rose in an open field before they had
gone thirty yards and every hunter scored a clean miss. Any one of
these men could bring down his bird under the same conditions nine
times out of ten if he had taken his time. On this occasion when their
guns were empty another hunter who had withheld his fire said, “Are
you all done, boys?” and shot a bird with each barrel at a measured
fifty-eight yards. To kill a bird that another man has shot at is
called “wiping his eye,” and it is the chief joy of an old hunter to
do this with a beginner. If you do not want to let the old hunter wipe
your eye, take your time.

Learn to shoot with your head well up and with both eyes open. When
the game rises, keep your eye on it and at the instant that you see it
on the end of your gun barrel, fire. The greatest joy of hunting is to
see the game appear to tumble off the end of your gun barrel when it
is hit. If there is a doubt as to whose bird it is, and this happens
constantly as two people often shoot at the same time at the same
bird, do not rush in and claim it. Remember you are a gentleman, but
if you are sure that you hit it, at least stand for your rights.

So much of the pleasure of hunting depends on our companions that we
must be considerate of the feelings of others as well as our own.
Always hunt if possible with experienced hunters. You will not only
have more fun, but you will run much less risk. In rabbit hunting, one
is especially at the mercy of the beginner who fires wildly without
any thought as to whose life he may be endangering, so long as he gets
the rabbit. If you hunt with some one who owns the dogs, be very
careful not to interfere with them by giving commands. As a rule the
owner of a well-trained dog prefers to handle him without any help,
and, while he may not tell you, you may be sure that he will resent it
if you try to make the dog do your bidding when his master is around.

The pattern of a gun, as it is called, is the number of shot it will
put within a circle at a given distance. As a rule the factory test
pattern will be found on a tag attached to the gun. If not, you can
easily get the pattern yourself. The usual distance for targeting a
new gun is thirty yards, and the standard circle is thirty inches.
Make a circle on the barn door with a piece of chalk and string
fifteen inches long. First drive a nail into the wood and fasten the
string to it with the chalk on the loose end. Then describe and
measure ninety feet from the target. Fire as nearly as you can at the
centre of the circle and count the shot that are inside the chalk
mark. In order not to count the same shot twice mark them off with a
pencil. Perhaps a surer way would be to fire at the door first and in
the centre of the load of shot drive the nail and describe a circle
afterward. The chief advantage of studying the pattern of your gun is
to know just how much it scatters and how far it may be depended upon
to shoot and kill.

In a choke-bore gun, the end of the barrel is drawn in slightly and
made smaller to keep the shot together. Guns that are used in duck and
goose hunting are usually full choked as most of the shots are long
ones, but for ordinary brush and field shooting a gun that has a full
cylinder right barrel and a modified choke on the left will be the
best for general purposes.

The best size is 12-bore or gauge. Ten gauge guns are entirely too
heavy for general use and the smaller bores, such as sixteen or even
twenty gauge, while they are very light and dainty, are not a typical
all around gun for a boy who can only afford to have one size. The
smaller bores, however, have become very popular in recent years and
much may be said in their favour.

The standard length of barrels is either twenty-eight or thirty
inches. The shorter length will probably be just as satisfactory and
makes a much better proportion between the stock and barrels. You can
easily test the amount of choke in a 12-gauge gun. A new ten-cent
piece will just go inside the end of the barrel of a full cylinder gun
and just fail to go into one that has been slightly choked.

While it is impossible to give any written directions for shooting
that are as valuable as actual practice, the important thing for a
beginner is to get his form right at first, just as in golf or
horseback riding, and then to make up his mind that every shot has got
to count.

Rifle shooting is entirely different from shot-gun shooting and skill
in one branch of the sport of marksmanship does not mean much in the
other. A boy may be an excellent rifle shot at a stationary target and
still not be able to hit “a flock of barns,” as the country boys say,
with a shot-gun. Skill with a rifle is chiefly of value to those who
are interested in military affairs and more rarely to those who are
fortunate enough to have an opportunity for hunting big game. In
settled communities there is a strong feeling against allowing boys to
have rifles. Practically the only game that can be hunted will be our
little friends, the song birds, and no self-respecting boy will shoot
them. A small calibre rifle such as a 22-calibre Flobert will afford
considerable pastime at target practice and is also excellent to hunt
snakes and frogs along some brook or creek, but generally a boy with a
rifle is a public nuisance, and as a rule is liable to arrest in
possessing it. If we fix up a rifle range where there are no dangers
of damage from spent bullets or badly aimed shots it is well enough to
practise with a small rifle.

A real sporting rifle, such as is used for big game, is a very
dangerous fire-arm and cannot be used with safety anywhere but in an
absolute wilderness or on a target range. Such guns will kill at a
mile and go through a tree a foot or two in diameter; to use such a
weapon in even a sparsely settled section is very dangerous indeed. If
a boy has any chance of going hunting for deer or moose, he will
surely need practice and for this purpose a range will have to be
selected where there is absolutely no danger to any one within a mile
or two. A good practice range is across a lake or river with a bank
of earth or clay to stop the bullets. Big game hunting is done so
frequently from canoes that it is well to get practice from a boat,
both moving and stationary. To shoot successfully from a sitting
position in a canoe is a very difficult feat. Just as with a shot-gun
the universal tendency is to shoot too quickly, with a rifle it is to
shoot too high. The reason is that we hold our head so high up in
looking at our game that we fail to see the rear sight at all. Be sure
your head is low enough to see both sights.

[Illustration: The modern sporting rifle that will kill at a mile. An
unsafe weapon for boys]

Always hold your breath while you are taking aim. Learn to shoot from
all sorts of positions, lying, sitting, kneeling, and standing. If the
shot is a long one, be sure that your rear sight is properly elevated
for the distance. Most of the shots at big game are stationary shots
and within a hundred yards; consequently accuracy counts for more than

With a magazine or repeating rifle be sure that you have emptied your
magazine before you leave the gun. With a shot-gun there is a
possibility that the “person who didn’t know it was loaded” may not
kill his victim outright. With a sporting rifle it is practically sure

The general rules of care apply to both rifles and shot-guns. Always
clean the gun after you have taken it into the field. This is
necessary whether you have fired the gun or not, as a gun barrel will
always collect a certain amount of dampness. It is an excellent
practice to keep a gun covered with oil or vaseline except when it is
in use. It not only prevents rust, but the grease also discourages
visitors and friends from handling the gun, snapping the trigger, or
otherwise damaging it.

In this chapter, I have not said anything about revolvers or pistols,
because I do not believe that any sensible boy will care to own one. A
revolver is a constant source of danger owing to its short barrel, and
as it has no practical value except as a weapon of defence, and as
there is a severe penalty for carrying a concealed weapon, I should
not care to recommend any boy to own a revolver.

The final question whether we may have a gun and what kind it should
be, will depend very largely on the place we live. Any kind of a gun
is very much out of place in cities or towns. The boy who does not
really have an opportunity to use a gun should be too sensible to ask
for one, for surely if we own it we shall constantly want to use it
even at some risk. It will be far better to ask for something we can
use and leave the gun question until the time when we have a real

Finally we must remember that the one who has the gun in his
possession is rarely the one that is accidentally shot. We should
therefore avoid companions who do own guns and who are careless with
them. No amount of care on our part will prevent some careless boy
friend from risking our lives. The safer way is to stay home.



Proper tackle for all purposes—How to catch bait—The fly
fisherman—General fishing rules

Fishing is one sport of boyhood that we never outgrow our love for.
Some of the most enthusiastic fishermen are gray-haired men. We often
hear about the boy with the bent pin and the piece of thread who
catches more fish than the expert fisherman with modern, up-to-date
tackle, but I doubt if it is so. As a rule the better our tackle the
more fish we shall catch. If the country boy catches the most fish, it
is simply because he is better acquainted with the places where the
fish hide or feed. He knows their habits better and the best kind of
bait to use. A lover of fishing should take a personal interest in his
equipment and should desire to have the best he can afford.

The chief requirement of a successful fisherman is patience. Next to
that is a knowledge of the waters fished in and the habits of the fish
and how to attract them. A man or a boy who will sit all day in the
hot sun waiting for a bite is not always a good fisherman. He must
use common sense as well as patience.

A game fish may be defined as one that will make a good fight for its
life and that is caught by scientific methods of angling. Almost any
fish will struggle to escape the hook, but generally by game fish we
understand that in fresh water the salmon, bass, or trout family is
referred to. Pickerel and pike are also game fish, but in some
sections they are considered undesirable because they rarely rise to
the fly, which is the most scientific method of fishing.

A fisherman who is a real sportsman always uses tackle as light as he
can with safety and still have a chance of landing the fish. If the
angler will take his time he can, with skill, tire out and land fish
of almost any size. Tunas and tarpon weighing over a hundred pounds
are caught with a line that is but little thicker than a grocer’s
twine, and even sharks and jewfish weighing over five hundred pounds
have been caught in the same way. Sometimes the fight will last all
day, and then it is a question whether the fisherman or the fish will
be exhausted first.

[Illustration: Fishing is the One Sport of Our Childhood That Holds
Our Interest Through Life]

In selecting our tackle, we must always keep in mind the kind of fish
we expect to catch. For general, fresh-water use, except fly
casting, an eight-foot rod weighing seven or eight ounces will fill
most purposes. A fly rod should be a foot longer and at least two
ounces lighter. The best rods are made of split bamboo, but cheap rods
of this material are not worth having. The best cheap rods (i.e.,
costing five dollars or less) are either lancewood or steel. See that
your rod has “standing guides” and not movable rings. Most of the wear
comes on the tip, therefore it should if possible be agate lined. A
soft metal tip will have a groove worn in it in a very short time
which will cut the line. The poorest ferrules are nickel-plated. The
best ones are either German silver or brass. To care for a rod
properly, we must keep the windings varnished to prevent them from
becoming unwound. Spar varnish is the best for this purpose but
shellac will answer. In taking a rod apart, never twist it. Give a
sharp pull, and if it refuses to budge, it can sometimes be loosened
by slightly heating the ferrule with a candle. If a ferrule is kept
clean inside, and if the rod is taken apart frequently, there is no
reason why it should stick.

A multiplying reel holding sixty yards is large enough for most
fishing. The raised pillar reels are the best, one of good quality
costing about four dollars. A cheap reel soon goes to pieces.

Silk lines are better than linen because greater strength is obtained
with the same thickness. Always dry a line every time it is used, or
it will soon rot and be worthless. The back of a chair is excellent
for this purpose. Never tie a knot in a line that you expect to use
with rod and reel. The knot will always catch in one of the guides
just at the time when you are landing your “biggest” fish.

[Illustration: Actual sizes of hooks]

Hooks come in a great variety of shapes and models but there are none
better than the standard “Sproat.” It is the general favourite of
fishermen everywhere, although of course the other leading models,
Carlisle, Limerick, Pennell, Aberdeen, Sneck and a number of others
all have their friends.

A great many fishermen make the mistake of using hooks that are too
large. The hook sizes that are commonly used are numbered from 6/0,
which is the largest, to No. 12, which is a tiny thing about right to
catch minnows. Where we expect to catch fish a pound or two in weight,
the No. 1 size is about right. Such a hook will catch much larger fish
if they happen to come along. I have caught a twelve-pound lake trout
on a No. 4 Sproat hook and the hook did not show that it had bent in
the least.

Our tackle box should contain an assortment of sizes however. Snelled
hooks are better than ringed hooks and those of blued steel better
than black enamel. No matter how inexpensive the rest of the equipment
is, be sure that your hooks are of good quality. Keep the points
sharp. A tiny bit of oil stone, a file, or a piece of emery cloth are
all good for this purpose. It takes a sharp point to penetrate the
bony jaw of a fish. Always inspect your hook after you have caught it
on a rock or snag.

Fishing is generally divided into four classes: fly casting, bait
casting, trolling, and still fishing. The average boy is a still
fisherman, which means not only that he must keep still, but that his
bait remains in one place instead of being trolled or cast about. The
usual strings of fish that boys catch, such as perch, sunfish,
bullheads, catfish, and whitefish, are called pan fish. This is not
entirely a correct name as I have seen some catfish that it would take
a pretty big pan to hold. One caught in the Mississippi River weighed
over a hundred pounds.

Fly casting is the most scientific method of fishing and gives the
greatest pleasure to the fisherman after he has once become an expert.
No matter what method we follow in fishing, we must never try to catch
fish by any method which the laws may prohibit, such as spearing, set
lines, or nets. Each state has its own laws which the fisherman must
learn and obey.

Worms are the best all around bait for fishing. They are as a rule
easily obtained and may be kept for a long time. The boy’s method of
placing them in a tin can with a mixture of mud will soon kill them,
however, especially if the worms are exposed to the sun for a time. A
half-buried soap box makes a very good place to keep a supply of worms
which will be ready for use at any time without the necessity of
digging them. Worms may be fed on the white of a hard-boiled egg, but
if given plenty of room they will usually find enough food in the
soil. By placing worms in sand they will soon scour and turn pink when
they are far more attractive as bait. The large worms, or “night
walkers,” can be caught at night with a lantern. These large worms are
best obtained after a rain or on lawns that are sprinkled frequently,
when they will be found moving about on top of the ground but always
with one end in the hole from which they have emerged and into which
they can dart if they are disturbed.

For big fish, the best bait is minnows. In trolling with them it will
make but little difference whether dead or alive, but for still
fishing the minnows must not only be alive, but, to attract the fish,
lively as well. The regulation minnow bucket consists of one pail
fitted inside of another, the inner one being made of wire mesh to
permit the free circulation of the water. This enables us to change
the water frequently without handling the fish. When we reach a place
where fresh water is obtainable, we simply remove the inner pail, pour
out the stale water from the other pail, and fill it as quickly as
possible. To keep bait alive in warm weather we must change the water
frequently. Another method where fresh water is not available, as on a
long drive, is to aerate it by pouring from one pail to another. It is
an excellent plan to place a piece of ice on top of the minnow pail.
With this arrangement, it will not be necessary to give them fresh
water for a long time.

[Illustration: An excellent device for catching minnows]

The simplest way to catch minnows is with a drop net. Take an iron
ring or hoop such as children use and sew to it a bag of cotton
mosquito netting, half as deep as the diameter of the ring. Sew a
weight in the bottom of the net to make it sink readily and fasten it
to a pole. When we reach the place which the minnows frequent, such as
the cove of a lake, we must proceed very cautiously, lowering the net
into the water and then baiting it with bits of bread or meat, a very
little at a time, until we see a school of bait darting here and there
over the net. We must then give a quick lift without any hesitation
and try to catch as many as possible from escaping over the sides. The
minnow bucket should be close at hand to transfer them to and care
must be used not to injure them or allow them to scale themselves in
their efforts to escape. The common method of capturing minnows is to
use a sweep net, but it takes several people to handle one properly
and for our own use the drop net method will probably supply us with
all the bait that we need.

Fish are very fickle in their tastes. What will be good bait one day
will absolutely fail the next and sometimes even in an hour this same
thing will take place. Why this is so no one has been able to explain
satisfactorily, but that it is a fact no fisherman will deny. We
should therefore have as great a variety of bait in our equipment as
possible. Worms, crawfish, minnows, frogs, grasshoppers, grubs and
helgramites are all good at times in fresh water, as well as various
kinds of artificial baits, spoons, spinners, and rubber lures.

[Illustration: A trolling spoon]

Sometimes fish will take very unusual baits. Black bass have been
caught on young bats. The famous old trout in the Beaverkill River in
New York State, which had refused all the ordinary baits and flies
that were offered him for years and that on bright days could be seen
in a pool lying deep down in the water, finally fell a victim to a
young mouse that was tied to the hook with pink silk.

Fly fishing is the most expert and scientific method of angling. It is
the poetry of fishing. The fly fisherman usually wades in the brook or
stream where he is fishing, although it is sometimes possible to cast
a fly from the bank or a boat. It is useless to go fly fishing while
there is snow water in the brooks but just as soon as the first warm
days of spring come, then fishing is at its best.

The whole idea of casting a fly is to drop it in the most
likely-looking places and to strike the fish just as soon as he seizes
the hook. To do this we must always have the line under perfect
control, therefore do not attempt to cast a line too great a distance.
If we do not fix the hook into the fish’s mouth at the instant that
he seizes the fly, he will very soon find that what he thought was a
nice fat bug or juicy caterpillar is nothing but a bit of wool and
some feathers with a sting in its tail, and he will spit it out before
we can recover our slack line.

It is a common mistake to use flies that are too large. Ordinary trout
flies are the proper size for bass and the smallest size trout flies
are plenty large enough for trout. There are hundreds of kinds of
flies of various combinations of colours and no one can say which is
the best. This question has been argued by fishermen ever since the
days of Izaak Walton.

The universal rule of trout and bass fishermen who use a fly is to
select small dark flies for bright days or when the water is very
clear or low and the more brightly coloured ones when the day is dark
or the water dark or turbid. The fly book should contain a varied
assortment to meet these conditions.

The best lines for fly fishing are made of braided enamelled silk.
Some fly lines are tapered but this is not necessary and is a needless
expense. Twisted lines are much cheaper but very unsatisfactory.

Fly fishing is not only the most scientific and sportsmanlike method
of fishing but it is also the most difficult to acquire skill in. It
is of course possible to catch trout and salmon on other bait than
flies. In fact, there is really no better bait for brook trout than
common fish worms that have been scoured in sand. The use of a fly,
however, is more satisfactory where the pleasure derived in fishing is
more important than the size of the string.

[Illustration: An artificial fly; used for salmon]

In learning to cast a fly, you can practise at home, either in an open
space or wherever there is room to work the line. It is not necessary
to practise with the actual hooks or flies on the line. Simply tie a
knot in it. Hold the rod lightly but firmly in the right hand. Point
your thumb along the line of the rod and start by pulling out a little
line from the reel with the left hand. With a steady sweep, cast the
end of the line toward some nearby object and with each cast pull out
a little more line until you reach a point when you are handling all
the line you can take care of without effort or without too much of a
sweep on the back cast. You must not allow the line to become
entangled in trees or other obstacles. The wrist does most of the work
in casting. The elbow should be close to the side. If you find that
the line snaps like a whip on the back cast, it is because you start
the forward cast before the line straightens out behind.

When you can handle twenty-five or thirty feet accurately, you can
safely get ready to go fishing. The most successful fly fishermen use
a short line, but they use it with the utmost accuracy and can make
the flies land within a foot of the place they are aiming at almost
every time. When a trout strikes your fly, you must snub him quickly
or he will surely get away. If the flies you are using do not cause
the fish to rise, and if you are certain that it is not due to your
lack of skill, it will be well to change to some other combination of
colours; but give your first selection a fair trial.

Bait casting is much easier than fly casting as the weight of the bait
will help to carry out the line. It is the common method of fishing
with minnows, frogs, small spoons and spinners, and other artificial
lures. Some fishermen practise the method of allowing the line to run
from the reel. The principal point in this way of fishing is to stop
the reel by using the thumb as a brake at the instant that the bait
strikes the water. This prevents the reel from spinning and causing
the line to overrun. Neglect of this precaution will cause a very
annoying tangle that is sometimes call a “backlash” but more often
characterized by much harsher names by the impatient fisherman who has
the misfortune to experience it.

In live bait casting, start with the line reeled to within fifteen
inches of the end of the rod, holding the thumb on the reel spool.
With a rather strong overhead sweep, bring the rod forward. At the
proper instant, which is just as the point of the rod goes over your
head, release the pressure of your thumb and the bait will go forward
as the line runs out rapidly. When the bait lands, reel in slowly and
with various motions try to give to the bait as life-like an
appearance as possible. If you have a strike, allow the fish
sufficient time to obtain a secure hold of the bait and by a sudden
jerk fix the hook in his mouth.

Bait casting is as a rule a very effective method of catching fish,
especially in shallow lakes and where fly fishing is not practised. In
deep water, trolling or still fishing are usually the best methods of
catching fish and often the only methods that will be successful.
Trolling consists simply in rowing or paddling slowly with the bait or
spoon trailing behind. It is not a scientific way of fishing and
requires but little skill. When the fish strikes, it usually hooks
itself and all that remains is to reel it into the boat and land it.
The conditions on large lakes often make it necessary to follow one of
these methods of trolling or still fishing, especially during the warm
weather when the big fish have left the spawning grounds and are in
deep water. There are trolling devices called spinners that have
several gangs of hooks, sometimes as many as fifteen. No real
fisherman would use such a murderous arrangement which gives the fish
practically no chance at all and in many states their use is properly
prohibited by law. A single hook, or at most a single gang of three
hooks, is all that any one should ever use.

[Illustration: A raised pillar multiplying reel]

Every boy knows what still fishing is. It is the common method of
baiting our hook, casting it from the shore or from a boat and
waiting for a bite. In still fishing it is customary to use a light
sinker to keep the bait near the bottom and a float or “cork” which
serves the double purpose of keeping the bait away from snags, stones,
or weeds on the bottom and also of showing us when we have a bite. The
more expert still fishermen never use a float, as they prefer to tell
by the pull on the line when a fish has taken the bait.

A fishing boat should be thoroughly seaworthy and also have plenty of
room. Flat-bottom boats make the best type for fishing, provided that
we do not have to row them far or if the place where we use them is
not subject to sudden squalls or rough water. The middle seat should
contain both a fish well and a minnow box with a dividing partition
and with two hinged lids fitted into the seat. Such a boat can be
built by an ordinary carpenter and should not cost over ten or twelve
dollars. It should be painted every year to keep it in good condition.
Use clear white pine or cedar for the sides. The bottom boards should
not be fitted tightly together but left with cracks fully a half-inch
wide to allow for the swelling of the wood when the boat is launched.
The best oarlocks are fastened to the oars and fit in the sockets with
a long pin. This arrangement permits one to fish alone, and if
trolling to drop the oars quickly and take up the rod without danger
of losing them.

[Illustration: A landing net should be a part of every fisherman’s

A landing net should be a part of every fishing outfit. More fish are
lost just as they are about to be lifted from the water than at any
other time. A gaff is used for this same purpose with fish too large
to go into a landing net. A gaff is a large hook without a barb
fastened into a short pole. If you have no net or gaff and have
succeeded in bringing a large fish up alongside the boat, try to reach
under him and get a firm grip in his gills before you lift him on
board. If it is a pickerel, look out for his needle-like teeth.

The best time to fish is either in the early morning or just before
sundown. During the heated part of the day most game fish stop feeding
and seek the cool, deep places in the lake or river.

In many states, fishing is prohibited by law until after the fish are
through the spawning season.

In all kinds of fishing, the rule is to keep as quiet as possible.
Talking does not make so much difference, but any sudden noises in the
water or on the bottom of the boat are especially likely to frighten
the fish.

Never fish in your own shadow or that of your boat. Try to have the
sun in front of you or at your side.

Never be in a hurry to land a big fish. Remember that some of the
so called “big game fish” of the ocean will take all day to land. You
must use skill to tire your fish out or by keeping his gills open to
drown him. The rod and line are not intended as a lever to force the
fish to the landing net but merely as a guide to lead him about and by
his struggles to force him to become exhausted. A very interesting
experiment has demonstrated that a skilful fisherman can with a fly
rod and light line in a very short time tire out a strong swimmer to
which the line has been attached and force him to give up the struggle
and come to the side of a boat.

Methods of fishing differ so much in different localities that aside
from the ordinary equipment of rods, reels, lines, leaders, and hooks,
the fisherman going to a new locality had better first ascertain what
the general methods of fishing are, or else, if possible, secure his
equipment after he reaches his fishing grounds.



What is a true naturalist?—How to start a collection—Moth
collecting—The Herbarium

There is nothing in the world that will bring more pleasure into the
life of a boy or girl than to cultivate a love for nature. It is one
of the joys of life that is as free as the air we breathe. A nature
student need never be lonely or at a loss for friends or companions.
The birds and the bugs are his acquaintances. Whenever he goes afield
there is something new or interesting to see and to observe. He

“——_tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones
and good in everything_.”

To love nature and her mysteries does not necessarily mean to be some
kind of a queer creature running around with a butterfly net or an
insect box. A true naturalist is simply a man or boy who keeps his
eyes and ears open. He will soon find that nature is ready to tell him
many secrets. After a time, the smell of the woods, the chirp of a
cricket and the rustling of the wind in the pines become his

The reason that people do not as a rule know more about nature is
simply because their minds are too full of other things. They fail to
cultivate the power of accurate observation, which is the most
important thing of all. A practical start in nature study is to go out
some dewy morning and study the first spider web you come across,
noting how wonderfully this little creature makes a net to catch its
food just as we make nets to catch fish, how the web is braced with
tiny guy ropes to keep the wind from blowing it away in a way similar
to the method an engineer would use in securing a derrick or a tall
chimney. When a fly or bug happens to become entangled in its meshes,
the spider will dart out quickly from its hiding place and if the fly
is making a violent struggle for life will soon spin a ribbon-like web
around it which will hold it secure, just as we might attempt to
secure a prisoner or wild animal that was trying to make its escape,
by binding it with ropes. A spider makes a very interesting pet and
the surest way to overcome the fear that many people have of spiders
is to know more about them.

There is no need to read big books or listen to dry lectures to study
nature. In any square foot that you may pick out at random in your
lawn you will find something interesting if you will look for it. Some
tiny bug will be crawling around in its little world, not aimlessly
but with some definite purpose in view. To this insect the blades of
grass are almost like mighty trees and the imprint of your heel in the
ground may seem like a valley between mountains. To get an adequate
idea of the myriads of insects that people the fields, we should
select a summer day just as the sun is about to set. The reflection of
its waning rays on their wings will show countless thousands of flying
creatures in places where, if we did not take the trouble to observe,
we might think there were none.

There is one very important side to nature that must not be
overlooked. It consists in knowing that we shall find a thousand
things that we cannot explain to one that we fully understand.
Education of any kind consists more in knowing when to say “I don’t
know and no one else knows either” than to attempt a foolish
explanation of an unexplainable thing.

If you ask “why a cat has whiskers,” or why and how they make a
purring noise when they are pleased and wag their tails when they are
angry, while a dog wags his to show pleasure, the wisest man cannot
answer your question. A teacher once asked a boy about a cat’s
whiskers and he said they were to keep her from trying to get her body
through a hole that would not admit her head without touching her

No one can explain satisfactorily why the sap runs up in a tree and by
some chemical process carries from the earth the right elements to
make leaves, blossoms or fruit. Nature study is not “why?” It is
“how.” We all learn in everyday life how a hen will take care of a
brood of chicks or how a bee will go from blossom to blossom to sip
honey. Would it not also be interesting to see how a little bug the
size of a pin head will burrow into the stem of an oak leaf and how
the tree will grow a house around him that will be totally unlike the
rest of the branches or leaves. That is an “oak gall.” If you
carefully cut a green one open you will find the bug in the centre or
in the case of a dried one that we often find on the ground, we can
see the tiny hole where he has crawled out.

Did you ever know that some kinds of ants will wage war on other kinds
and make slaves of the prisoners just as our ancestors did in the
olden times with human beings? Did you ever see a playground where
the ants have their recreation just as we have ball fields and
dancing halls? Did you ever hear of a colony of ants keeping a cow? It
is a well known fact that they do, and they will take their cow out to
pasture and bring it in and milk it and then lock it up for the night
just as you might do if you were a farm boy. The “ants’ cow” is a
species of insect called “aphis” that secretes from its food a sweet
kind of fluid called “honey dew.”

The ten thousand things that we can learn in nature could no more be
covered in a chapter in this book than the same space could cover a
history of the world. I have two large books devoted to the discussion
of a single kind of flower, the “orchid.” It is estimated that there
are about two hundred thousand kinds of flowers, so for this subject
alone, we should need a bookshelf over a mile long. This is not stated
to discourage any one for of course no one can learn all there is to
know about any subject. Most people are content not to learn anything
or even see anything that is not a part of their daily life.

The only kind of nature study worth while is systematic. It is not
safe to trust too much to the memory. Keep a diary and record in it
even the most simple things for future reference. All sorts of items
can be written in such a book. As it is your own personal affair, you
need not try to make it a work of literary merit. Have entries such as

    First frost—Oct. 3rd

    First snow—3 inches Thanksgiving day

    Skating—December 3rd

    Weather clear and bright on Candlemas day, Feb. 2nd and
    therefore ground-hog saw his shadow

    Heard crows cawing—Feb. 18th. Last year—Jan. 26th

    Saw first robin—March 14th

    Last snow—April 28th

There is scarcely anything in nature that is not interesting and in
some way useful. Perhaps you will say “How about a bat?” As a matter
of fact a bat is one of our best friends because he will spend the
whole night catching mosquitoes. But some one will say “he flies into
your hair and is covered with a certain kind of disgusting vermin.”
Did you ever know of a bat flying into any one’s hair? And as for the
vermin science tells us that they are really his favourite food so it
is unlikely that he would harbour a colony of them very long.

The subject of snakes is one in which there is more misinformation
than any other common thing. There are only three venomous kinds of
snakes in America. They are the rattlesnake, copperhead and moccasin.
All of them can be distinguished by a deep pit behind the eye, which
gives them the name of “pit vipers.” The general impression that puff
adders, pilots, green snakes or water snakes are poisonous is
absolutely wrong, and as for hoop snakes and the snake with a sting in
his tail that all boys have heard about, they are absolutely fairy
tales like “Jack and the Bean Stalk” or “Alice in Wonderland.” We have
all heard about black snakes eight or ten feet long that will chase
you and wind themselves around your neck, but of the many hundreds of
black snakes that a well known naturalist has seen he states that he
never saw one that did not do its best to escape if given half a
chance. Why so much misinformation about snakes exists is a mystery.

Nature study has recently been introduced into schools and it is a
very excellent way to have the interesting things pointed out to us
until our eyes are trained to see for ourselves. The usual methods of
nature study may be roughly divided into, 1. Keeping pets. 2. Bird
study. 3. Insect study. 4. Systematic study of flowers and plants. 5.
Wild animal life. The basis of nature study consists in making
collections. A collection that we have made for ourselves of moths or
flowers, for instance, is far more interesting than a stamp or coin
collection where we buy our specimens. If we go afield and collect for
ourselves, the cost is practically nothing and we have the benefit of
being in the air and sunshine.

One kind of collecting is absolutely wrong—that of birds’ eggs,
nests or even the birds themselves. Our little feathered songsters are
too few now and most states have very severe penalties for killing or
molesting them. A nature student must not be a lawbreaker.

The outfit for a butterfly or moth collection is very simple and
inexpensive. We shall need an insect net to capture our specimens.
This can be made at home from a piece of stiff wire bent into the
shape of a flattened circle about a foot across. Fasten the ring
securely to a broom handle and make a cheesecloth net the same
diameter as the ring and about two feet deep.

[Illustration: The cyanide bottle]

It is very cruel to run a pin through insects and to allow them slowly
to torture to death. An insect killer that is generally used is called
“the cyanide bottle.” Its principle ingredient, cyanide of potassium
is a harmless looking white powder but it is the _most deadly poison
in the world_. Unless a boy or girl knows fully its terrible danger,
they should never touch it or even breathe its fumes. One of your
parents or the druggist should prepare the cyanide bottle for you and
as long as you do not look into the bottle to watch the struggles of a
dying bug or in any way get any of the contents of the bottle on your
fingers, you are safe.

Take a wide-mouthed bottle made of clear glass and fit a cork or
rubber stopper to it. Then wash the bottle thoroughly and dry it,
finally polishing the inside with a piece of soft cloth or tissue
paper. Place one ounce of cyanide of potassium into the bottle and
pour in enough dry sawdust to cover the lumps of poison. Then wet some
plaster of paris until it is the consistency of thick cream and
quickly pour it over the sawdust, taking care that it does not run
down the sides or splash against the bottle. Place the bottle on a
level table and very soon the plaster of paris will set and harden
into a solid cake.

Sufficient fumes from the cyanide will come up through the plaster to
poison the air in the bottle and to kill any living thing that
attempts to breathe it. As you capture your specimens of moths, bugs
or butterflies afield you place them into the bottle, and as soon as
they are dead, you remove them; fold them carefully in stiff paper and
store them in a paper box or a carrying case until you get home. They
should then be mounted on boards or cork sheets, labelled carefully
with the name of the specimen, date and place of capture and any
other facts that you may wish to keep.

[Illustration: How insects are spread to dry them in a natural

Considerable skill is required to mount insects properly and in a
life-like position. If they are out of shape you must “spread” them
before they dry out. Spreading consists in holding them in the proper
position by means of tiny bits of glass and pins until they are dry.

As moths are, as a rule, night-flying creatures the collector will
either obtain them in a larval stage, or will adopt the method of
“sugaring,” one of the most fascinating branches of nature study. A
favourable locality is selected, a comparatively open space in
preference to a dense growth, and several trees are baited or sugared
to attract the moths when in search of food. The sugar or bait is made
as follows: Take four pounds of dark brown sugar, one quart of
molasses, a bottle of stale ale or beer, four ounces of Santa Cruz
rum. Mix and heat gradually. After it is cooked for five minutes allow
it to cool and place in Mason jars. The bait will be about the
consistency of thick varnish.

Just before twilight the bait should be painted on a dozen or more
trees with a strip about three inches wide and three feet long. You
will need a bull’s-eye lantern or bicycle lamp and after dark, make
the rounds of your bait and cautiously flash the light on the baited
tree. If you see a moth feeding there, carefully bring the cyanide
bottle up and drop him into it. Under no circumstances, clap the
bottle over the specimen. If you do the neck of the bottle will become
smeared with the bait and the moth would be daubed over and ruined.
You will soon have all the specimens that you can care for at one time
and will be ready to go home and take care of them.

The moths are among the most beautiful creatures in nature and a
reasonably complete collection of the specimens in your neighbourhood
will be something to be proud of.

[Illustration: The Moth Collector and His Outfit (Photograph by
F.W. Stack)]

The plant and flower collector should combine his field work with a
study of botany. Like most subjects in school books, botany may seem
dry and uninteresting but when we learn it for some definite purpose
such as knowing the wild flowers and calling them our friends, we must
accept the few strange words and dry things in the school work as a
little bitter that goes with a great deal of sweet.

A collection of dried plants is called an herbarium. It is customary
to take the entire plant as a specimen including the roots. Separate
specimens of buds, leaves, flowers and fruit taken at different
seasons of the year will make the collection more complete. Specimens
should be first pressed or flattened between sheets of blotting paper
and then mounted on sheets of white paper either by glue or by strips
of gummed paper.

After a flower is properly identified, these sheets should be
carefully numbered and labelled and a record kept in a book so that we
can readily find a specimen without unnecessarily handling the
specimen sheets. The sheets should be kept in heavy envelopes of
manila paper and placed in a box just the size to hold them. The
standard or museum size of herbarium sheets is 11½ x 16½ inches.
Specimens of seaweed or leaves can be kept in blank books.

A typical label for plants or flowers should be as follows:

  Common names    Yellow adder’s tongue   Date collected, May 16th, 1908
                  Dog tooth violet
  Botanical name  Erythronium Americanum  REMARKS: John Burroughs
  Family          Lilies                    suggests that the name
  Where found     Rockaway Valley near      be changed either to
                     Beaver Brook           fawn lily because its
                                            leaves look like a spotted
                                            fawn or trout lily
                                            because they always
                                            appear at trout fishing

A boy or girl living in a section where minerals are plentiful, can
make a very interesting collection of stones and mineral substances,
especially crystals. This should be taken up in connection with school
work in chemistry and mineralogy. To determine the names of minerals
is by no means as easy as that of flowers or animals. We shall need to
understand something of blow-pipe analysis. As a rule a high school
pupil can receive a great deal of valuable instruction and aid from
one of his teachers in this work. Mineral specimens should be mounted
on small blocks or spindles using sealing wax to hold them in place.

There are unlimited possibilities in nature for making collections.
Shells, mosses, ferns, leaves, grasses, seeds, are all interesting and
of value. An observation beehive with a glass front which may be
darkened will show us the wonderful intelligence of these little
creatures. The true spirit of nature study is to learn as much as we
can of her in all of her branches, not to make a specialty of one
thing to the neglect of the rest and above all not to make work of

We see some new side to our most common things when we once learn to
look for it. Not one person in ten thousand knows that bean vines and
morning glories will twine around a pole to the right while hop vines
and honeysuckle will go to the left and yet who is there who has not
seen these common vines hundreds of times?

No one can give as an excuse that he is too busy to study nature. The
busiest men in national affairs have had time for it and surely we
with our little responsibilities and cares can do so too. I once went
fishing with a clergyman and I noticed that he stood for a long time
looking at a pure white water lily with beautiful fragrance that grew
from the blackest and most uninviting looking mud that one could find.
The next Sunday he used this as an illustration for his text. How many
of us ever saw the possibility of a sermon in this common everyday



The water telescope—How to manage an aquarium—Our insect friends and
enemies—The observation beehive

The eggs of so many insects, toads, frogs and other interesting
creatures are laid and hatched in water that a close study of pools,
brooks and small bodies of water will disclose to the nature student
some wonderful stories of animal life. To obtain water specimens for
our collection, we shall need a net somewhat similar to the butterfly
net described in the previous chapter but with a much stronger frame.

One that I have used for several years was made by the village
blacksmith. The ring or hoop is of quarter-inch round iron, securely
fastened to a stout handle and bent to a shape as shown in the
drawing. To this ring is fastened a regular landing net such as
fishermen use, with an extra bag of cheesecloth to fit inside to
capture insects too small to be held by the meshes of the outside net.
For frogs, turtles, and minnows, the single net is all that is

This device is almost strong enough to use as a shovel. It will scoop
up a netful of mud without bending. This is important as muddy ditches
and sluggish ponds will yield us more specimens than swiftly running
brooks. In addition to the net, the collector will require a small
pail to hold his trophies. A fisherman’s minnow bucket is excellent
for this purpose and the water can easily be freshened and the
contents of the pail reached by simply lifting out the inside pail
from the water, which will drain out.

[Illustration: A heavy net is useful to capture aquarium specimens]

To study the animal life under the surface of a clear and shallow
lake, a water telescope is a great aid. It is simply a wooden box a
foot or so long and open at both ends. The inside should be painted
black to prevent cross reflection of light. A square of clear glass
should be fitted into one end and puttied tight to keep out the water.
To use the water telescope, we simply shove the glass end under water
and look into the box. A cloth hood or eye piece to keep out the
outside light will make it more effective. The best way to use a water
telescope is to lie in the bottom of a boat which is drifting about,
and to look through the telescope over the side. As you study the
marvellous animal and plant life that passes along under you like a
panorama, see to it that in your excitement you do not fall overboard
as a boy friend of mine once did.

The care of an aquarium is a never ending source of interest to the
nature student. If a boy is handy with tools he can build one himself.
It is by no means an easy task however to make a satisfactory
water-tight box with glass sides, and my advice is not to attempt it.
Glass aquaria may be bought so cheaply that it is doubtful if you can
save any money by making one at home. If you care to try it, this is
the way it is usually done:

Use a piece of seasoned white wood 1¼ inches thick for the bottom.
If you wish your aquarium to be, say, 16 inches wide and 30 inches
long, this bottom board should be 20 x 34 to give a margin at the
edge. The size of a home-made aquarium can be anything that you
desire. It is customary to allow a gallon of water to each three-inch
gold fish that will inhabit it. By multiplying the three dimensions,
length, width and height of your box and by dividing your result,
which will be in cubic inches, by 231 (the number of cubic inches in a
gallon) you can tell how many gallons of water it will hold. Of course
the rule for gold fish is not absolute. The nature student will
probably have no gold fish at all. They are not nearly so interesting
as our native kinds. Besides nearly all varieties of fresh water fish
will either kill gold fish or if they are too large to kill will at
least make life so miserable for them that to keep them together is
cruelty to animals. If we keep in our aquarium the specimens that we
collect in our neighbourhood, beetles, newts, crawfish, snails, and
tiny sunfish the number may be greatly increased. Overcrowding however
is very bad. The ideal we should strive for is not “how many
specimens” but “how many kinds” we can have in our collection.

The white wood board should have three or four hardwood cleats screwed
to the bottom to prevent warping. The corner pieces of our glass box
may either be made of sheet copper or heavy tin, or of wood, if we
cannot work in metals. The wooden strips and the bottom board should
have grooves ploughed in them to hold the glass. All the woodwork
should be given several coats of asphalt varnish and to further
waterproof it and as a final coat use some kind of marine copper paint
that is used to coat the bottoms of vessels. Never use the common
white lead and linseed oil paint for an aquarium.

You can sometimes buy aquarium cement or prepared putty at a “gold
fish” store. This you will need to putty in the glass. If you cannot
buy it, make it yourself from the asphalt varnish and whiting. Be sure
that the paint and putty of an aquarium is thoroughly dry before you
fill it with water.

Perhaps the most satisfactory way to study fish and insect life in
water is to use all glass boxes and globes. So many kinds of fish and
insects are natural enemies, even though they inhabit the same
streams, that they must be kept separate anyway. To put them in the
same aquarium would be like caging up two game roosters. If we were
studying the development of mosquitoes, for instance, from the larvae
or eggs to the fully developed insect, we should not get very far in
our nature study if we put them in an aquarium with fish. A fish will
soon make short work of a hundred mosquito wigglers just as a large
frog will eat the fish, a snake will eat the frog and so on.

Rectangular glass boxes such as are commonly used for aquaria cost
less than a dollar per gallon capacity. Goldfish globes cost about the
same. White glass round aquaria are much cheaper and those made of
greenish domestic glass are the cheapest of all, a glass tank holding
eight gallons costing but two dollars.

[Illustration: A self-sustaining or balanced aquarium]

Any transparent vessel capable of holding water, even a Mason jar will
make an aquarium from which a great deal of pleasure may be derived.
The old way of maintaining aquaria in good condition required a great
deal of care and attention. The water had to be changed at least once
a day if running water was not available, and altogether they were so
much trouble that as a rule owners soon tired of them.

Modern aquaria are totally different. By a proper combination of fish
and growing plants we can almost duplicate the conditions of nature
and strike a balance so that the water need never be changed except
when it becomes foul or to clean the glass.

These are called “self-sustaining” aquaria and they are the only kind
to have unless we can furnish running water from a public water
supply. Self-sustaining aquaria are very simple and any boy or girl
living near a brook can stock one at no expense whatever.

The method is as follows: First cover the bottom of the aquarium with
a layer of sand and pebbles to a depth of about two inches. Then plant
in the bottom some aquatic or water plants that you have collected
from a nearby lake. Any kind of water plants will do—the kind of
plants boys always call seaweed, even a thousand miles from the sea.
In collecting the plants, choose small specimens and obtain roots and

If you can find it, the best plant is fanwort. Other good kinds are
hornwort, water starwort, tape grass, water poppy, milfoil, willow
moss, and floating plants like duckweed. Even if you do not know
these by name they are probably common in your neighbourhood. Fill the
tank with clean water. That taken from a spring or well is better than
cistern water. After two or three days, when the plants seem to be
well rooted, put in your fish. You may keep your aquarium in a light
place, but always keep it out of the sun in summer and away from the
heat of a stove or radiator in winter.

The nature student will not attempt to stock up his aquarium
immediately. He should always leave room for one more fish or bug. One
year I started with a lone newt and before the summer was over I had
thirteen sunfish, pickerel, bass, minnows, catfish, carp, trout, more
newts, pollywogs or tadpoles, five kinds of frogs, an eel and all
sorts of bugs, waterbeetles and insects. I soon found that one kind of
insect would kill another and that sometimes my specimens would grow
wings over night and fly away. But to learn these things, even at our
own disappointment is “nature study.” If we knew it all in advance, we
would not have much use for our experimental aquarium.

Always keep a few snails and tadpoles, for they are the scavengers and
will eat the refuse stuff and keep the glass free from greenish scum.
Boys and girls are almost sure to overfeed fish. This is a great
mistake. The best standard feed is dried ants’ eggs that can be bought
for a few cents a box at any bird and fish store. Do not feed pieces
of bread and meat. Study what their natural food is and if possible
get that for them.

If your fish seem sickly, give them a five-minute bath in salt water
every day for a week. The kind of an aquarium above described is
intended to fill an entirely different purpose from the usual gold
fish globe. In your excursions you will find all sorts of queer
looking eggs and specimens. Some of the eggs are so tiny that they
look almost like black or white dust on the water. Another kind will
be a mass like a jellyfish with brown dots in it, still others will be
fastened in masses to the under side of a leaf in the water or perhaps
on the bottom. What are they? That is just the question and that is
why you will carefully collect them and take them home to await

Always keep an accurate note-book with dates and facts. Also keep a
close watch on your specimens. Sometimes they will hatch and be eaten
by the other bugs before you could read this chapter.

A nature student will need some part of the house that he may call his
very own. Here he can keep his specimens, his aquarium, his herbarium
and what not. Around the wall he can hang the twigs with their
cocoons, oak galls, last year’s wasp and bird nests and other
treasures. He should also have a work table that a little glue or ink
will not injure and a carpet that has no further use in the household.
Usually one corner of the attic or cellar is just the place.

See to it that you do not make other people uncomfortable in the
pursuit of your hobby. You will find that almost every one is afraid
of bugs and toads and that most people live in a world full of
wonderful things and only see a little beyond the end of their noses.

There is a very practical side to nature study and the principal way
that we can make it really pay, is to know our friends from our
enemies in the animal and insect world. There are insects that chew,
suck and bore to ruin our orchards and grain crops. They are our
enemies. If we know their life story, where they hide and how they
breed, we can fight them better. For every dollar’s worth of crops
that a farmer grows, it is estimated that his insect enemies eat
another dollar’s worth. A little bug called the “San José” scale has
nearly ruined the orchards of some of the Eastern states. To fight
him, we must know how he lives. That is nature study. By study we
learn that the hop-toad is our best garden friend. He will spend the
whole night watching for the cutworms that are after our tomato
plants. When we see a woodpecker industriously pecking at the bark of
our apple trees, we know that he is after the larvae of the terrible
codling moth and we call him our friend.

After we learn that a ladybug lives almost entirely on plant lice and
scale insects, we never kill one again except perhaps to place a
specimen In our collection. Naturalists say that without ladybugs, our
orchards would soon be entirely killed off.

The dragon fly or mosquito hawk as well as “water tigers,” water
striders and many kinds of beetles are the natural enemies of
mosquitoes and as they never harm our crops we should never harm them.
Nearly every living creature has some enemies.

You have perhaps heard the famous verse of Dean Swift:

    “So naturalists observe, a flea
    Has smaller that upon them prey
    And these have smaller still to bite ’em
    And so proceed _ad infinitum_.”

Among our insect friends the leading place belongs either to the honey
bee or the silkworm. As silkworms are not especially successful in
this country and as their principal food, mulberry trees, are not
common, the nature student who cares to study our beneficial insects
had better devote his attention to honey bees. An observation beehive
is simply a glass box or hive instead of a wooden one. When we are not
engaged in studying our bee city, the hive must be covered with a
blanket as bees prefer to work in the dark. A boy or girl living in
the country can also keep bees profitably and thus combine business
with pleasure. A single hive will in a few years produce enough swarms
to give us a good start as “bee farmers.”

[Illustration: An observation beehive]



Cats—Boxes for song birds—How to attract the birds—Tame crows—The
pigeon fancier—Ornamental land and water fowl—Rabbits, guinea pigs,
rats and mice—How to build coops—General rules for pets—The dog

In this chapter on pets, I regret exceedingly that I cannot say much
in favour of the family cat. Like nearly all children, I was brought
up to love kittens and to admire their playful, cunning ways. When a
kitten becomes a cat my love for it ceases. Cats will do so many mean,
dishonourable things, and will catch so many song birds and so few
rats and mice that it simply has become a question whether we shall
like the song birds or the cat. So many people do like cats that it is
unfair perhaps to condemn the whole race for the misdeeds of a few. If
a cat is carefully watched or if we put a bell on its neck, these
precautions will to a certain extent keep the cat from catching birds,
but most people have something better to do than to act as guardian
for a cat. The fact is that a cat is a stupid animal seldom showing
any real affection or loyalty for its owner and possessing but little
intelligence. It is very difficult to teach a cat even the simplest
tricks. We never know when a cat will turn on its best friend. They
have the “tiger” instinct of treachery. A cat which one minute is
contentedly purring on our lap may sink its claws into us the next.

The only way to force a cat to catch mice is to keep it half starved.
Then instead of catching mice, it will probably go after birds if
there are any in the neighbourhood. I have shut a cat up in a room
with a mouse and it is doubtful whether the cat or the mouse were the
more frightened. The cat does more damage to the song birds of this
country than any other enemy they have. If kept at home and well fed,
cats sometimes become so fat and stupid that they will not molest
birds but this is due to laziness and not to any good qualities in the
cat. In normal condition they are natural hunters.

The habits of a cat are unclean, its unearthly cries at night are
extremely disagreeable and altogether it is a nuisance. A famous
naturalist, Shaler, once said “A cat is the only animal that has been
tolerated, esteemed and at times worshipped without having a single
distinctly valuable quality.”

A few years ago a quail had a nest under a rock opposite my house.
Quail raise their young like poultry rather than like robins or wrens
or the other song birds. As soon as the tiny quail chicks are hatched,
the mother takes them around like a hen with a brood of chickens. This
mother quail was my especial care and study. She became so tame that I
could feed her. Finally she hatched out ten tiny brown balls of
feathers. Our cat had been watching her, too, but not from the same
motives and one day the cat came home with the mother quail in her
mouth. She ran under the porch just out of reach and calmly ate it.
The little brood were too small to look out for themselves so of
course they all died or fell an easy victim to other cats. The mother
was probably an easy prey because in guarding the young, a quail will
pretend to have a broken wing and struggle along to attract attention
to her and away from her little ones, who scurry to high grass for
safety. I have never been very friendly to cats since I witnessed this

It has been estimated that the average domestic cat kills an average
of one song bird a day during the season when the birds are with us.
In certain sections a cat has been known to destroy six nests of
orioles, thrushes and bobolinks in a single day. The worst offenders
are cats that live around barns and old houses in a half wild
condition. Many people who say they “haven’t the heart to kill a cat”
will take it away from home and drop it along the road. A thoughtless
act like this may mean the death of a hundred birds in that
neighbourhood. It takes less heart to kill the cat than to kill the
birds. So much for the cat.

[Illustration: A bird house]

Birds make splendid pets, but in keeping them in captivity, we must be
sure that we are not violating the game laws of the state we live in.
Nearly everywhere it is unlawful to keep in cages any native song
birds or those that destroy harmful insects—the so called
“insectivorous birds.” This includes thrushes, wrens, robins,
bluebirds, orioles or, in fact, practically all birds but crows,
blackbirds and kingfishers. It does not cover canaries, parrots, or
any birds that are not native. It is an excellent law and every boy or
girl should act as a special policeman to see that his friends and
companions do not molest either birds or their nests. It is cruel to
cage a wild bird anyway for a cage is nothing but a prison. There is
no law against taming the birds or making friends of them and after
all this is the most satisfactory way.

If we build houses for the birds to nest in, provide feed for them and
in other ways do what we can to attract them, they will soon learn
that we are their friends. We must study their habits and always avoid
frightening them. Next to a cat, the worst enemies of our song birds
are the English sparrows. A sparrow is always fair game for the boy
with a slingshot or rifle. In many places these sparrows have driven
practically all the other birds out of the neighbourhood, have robbed
their nests and in other ways have shown themselves to be a public
nuisance. Until 1869 there were no sparrows in this country and now
they are more numerous than any other variety of birds, and sooner or
later, the Government will have to take steps to exterminate them or
we shall have no song birds at all.

The usual size of a bird house is six inches square and about eight
inches high. It should always be made of old weather-beaten boards in
order not to frighten away its prospective tenants by looking like a
trap of some kind. The chances are that the sparrows will be the
first birds to claim a house unless we keep a close watch and drive
them away.

One way to keep them out is to make the entrance doorway too small for
them to enter. A hole an inch in diameter will admit a wren or
chickadee and bar out a sparrow, but it will also keep out most of the
other birds. The usual doorway should be two inches in diameter. It is
surprising how soon after we build our bird house we find a tiny pair
making their plans to occupy it and to take up housekeeping. Sometimes
this will happen the same day the bird house is set up. Always provide
some nesting material near at hand; linen or cotton thread,
ravellings, tow, hair and excelsior are all good. Of course we must
not attempt to build the nest. No one is skillful enough for that.

Nearly all of our native birds are migratory, that is they go south
for the winter. The date that we may look for them to return is almost
the same year after year. Some few birds—bluebirds, robins, cedar
birds and song sparrows will stay all winter if it is mild but as a
rule we must not expect the arrival of the feathered songsters until
March. The phoebe bird is about the first one we shall see.

In April look for the brown thrasher, catbird, wren, barn, eave and
tree swallows, martins, king birds and chipping sparrows. In May the
principal birds of our neighbourhood will return—thrushes, vireos,
tanagers, grosbeaks, bobolinks, orioles. The game birds—quail,
partridge, meadowlarks and pheasants do not migrate as a rule. At
least they do not disappear for a time and then return. When they
leave a neighbourhood, they rarely come back to it.

All the song birds begin nesting in May. Consequently we should have
our bird houses “ready for occupancy” May 1st. It will take about
twelve days for most birds to hatch their eggs. Some varieties will
hatch three broods in a season, but two is the usual rule.

We shall require a great deal of patience to tame the wild birds. Some
bird lovers have succeeded in teaching birds to feed from their hands.
A wild bird that is once thoroughly frightened can probably never be
tamed again.

A crow is a very interesting pet. Crows are especially tamable and may
be allowed full liberty around the dooryard. We must get a young one
from the nest just before it is ready to fly. Crows are great thieves
and are attracted by bright objects. If you have a tame crow, and if
any member of your household misses jewellery or thimbles you had
better look in the crows’ nest before you think that burglars have
been around.

The chief difference between tamed wild animals, such as squirrels,
birds, owls, foxes, crows and so on, and the domesticated animals and
birds, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pigeons and chickens, lies in
the possibility with the latter of modifying nature and breeding for
certain special markings, colours or size. All breeds of chickens from
the little bantams to the enormous Brahmas have been bred from a wild
species of chicken found in India and called the jungle fowl.

All the great poultry shows held throughout the country annually are
for the purpose of exhibiting the most perfectly marked specimens of
the breeders’ skill. This is decided by judges who award prizes. The
competition is sometimes very keen. In barred Plymouth Rock chickens,
for example, there are sometimes a hundred birds entered to compete
for a single prize. The breeders are called fanciers. The principal
breeders of certain animals such as rabbits, pigeons or poultry, form
an association or club and agree to an imaginary type of the animal
called the ideal or “Standard of Perfection.”

For example, the breeders of white fantail pigeons agree that perfect
birds shall be of certain shape and size, with the head resting on the
back just at the base of the tail; the tail should be spread out like
a fan and contain at least twenty-eight feathers. These feathers
should be laced on the ends. The model fantail should have a nervous
jerky motion and never be at rest. Each of these points is given a
certain value on a scale of marking and in judging the birds they are
marked just as you may be in your lessons at school. The fancier tries
to breed a bird that comes the nearest to this model. The prizes are
sometimes of great value.

There is an enormous list of breeds in nearly all varieties of animals
and poultry. In pigeons alone there are carriers, pouters, tumblers,
baldheads, beards, dragoons, barbs, jacobins, Antwerps, turbits, owls,
orientals, damascenes, capuchins, fantails, trumpeters, swifts,
Lahores, Burmese, Scandaroons, magpies, nuns, Archangels, runts and so

These birds are very different in appearance, the pouter, for example,
has the power of inflating his crop until it puffs out in front as
large as a baseball. Jacobins or as they are commonly called,
“ruffle-necks,” have an immense ruffle of feathers like a feather boa.
Dragoons have a huge wart on the bill as large as an almond. The
tumblers are so named from their habit of turning backward
somersaults during flight.

Almost every one who starts keeping domestic pets either soon tires of
the sport or becomes a fancier. The care of common pigeons is a very
simple matter. The principal thing is a good loft or cote for them in
the top of a barn or house. They will practically take care of
themselves and after a few years greatly increase in numbers.

A model pigeon house for breeding fancy pigeons requires separate
mating boxes, nests and other appliances. It would be impossible to
make much of a success with fancy pigeons if they are allowed their
liberty to fly about and mate at will.

The best nest boxes for pigeons are rough earthenware pans, eight
inches across, which may be bought cheaply at a bird store. The floor
of the cote should be covered with sawdust or gravel to the depth of
half an inch. Pigeons that are confined should be fed regularly on a
mixture of small grains and cracked corn. They should also be given
cracked oyster shells, grit and charcoal occasionally. A pigeon loft
should be rat proof and clean.

It is very doubtful whether there is any money in raising pigeons or
squabs for market. Fanciers never sell their output for market
purposes unless it is to get rid of surplus or undesirable stock. A
breeder who is successful in winning prizes with birds of his “strain”
as it is called will find a ready market with other breeders for all
the birds he cares to sell. Prize winning birds sometimes bring a
hundred dollars a pair. It is by no means easy to breed prizewinners
and the chances are that the beginner will be a buyer of stock rather
than a seller.

Homing pigeons or as they are commonly called, carriers, are not bred
for special markings like fancy pigeons but because of their power and
speed in flight. A carrier has the “homing” instinct more fully
developed than any other animal. In some homing pigeon races, the
birds have made speed records of over a mile a minute for many hours
and have flown over a thousand miles. If a well-bred homing pigeon
fails to return to his home loft it is almost a certainty that he is
either forcibly detained or that he has been killed by hunters or
hawks. Never try to capture a pigeon that may stop for a rest at your
loft. He may be in a race and his owner may be waiting for his return
five hundred miles away when every minute counts in winning a prize.

Another large class of birds that make fine pets although they are not
strictly in the class of birds bred by the fancier are the ornamental
land and water fowl. The chief objection to these birds as pets is the
expense of buying them. The list of birds in this class is very large.
In swans the leading varieties are mute, American whistling, black
Australian, white Berwick and black-necked swans. The largest class
are the pheasants. They are exceedingly beautiful, especially the
golden, silver, Lady Amherst, Elliott, Reeves, green Japanese,
Swinhoe, English ring neck, Melanotis, and Torquatis pheasants. The
common wild geese are Egyptian, Canadian, white-fronted, Sebastopol,
snow, brant, bar-headed, spin-winged and many others. In ducks, there
are mallards, black, wood, mandarin, blue and green winged teal,
widgeon, redhead, pin-tail, bluebill, gadwall, call and many others.
Beside pheasants, ducks and geese there are also the various storks,
cranes, pea-fowl and herons in the “ornamental fowl” list.

These are all wild fowl. The commoner varieties will cost from six to
fifteen dollars a pair and the rare ones several hundred. To keep the
semi-wild birds from flying away they are usually pinioned, a process
of taking off the end joint of one wing. The colours of some of the
ornamental fowl are more beautiful than any birds in nature. Pheasants
especially are easily cared for and make interesting pets. They can
be tamed and if kept outdoors they will seldom be subject to disease.
Most of these birds are as easily cared for as chickens.

[Illustration: A home-made rabbit house]

Rabbits make fine pets for boys and girls. They are clean in their
habits, hardy and gentle. The common kinds are white rabbits with pink
eyes or albinos, and brown rabbits or Belgian hares. With rabbits also
there is a “fancy.” The Fur Fanciers’ Association recognizes the
following distinct breeds: Belgians, Flemish giants, Dutch marked,
English, Himalayan, silvers, tans, Polish, lops, and Angoras.

A rabbit hutch or coop is easily built from old packing boxes. One
third of the coop should be darkened and made into a nest, with an
entrance door outside and the rest simply covered with a wire front,
also with a door for cleaning and feeding. The hutch should stand on
legs above ground as rabbits do not thrive well in dampness. They
will, however, live out all winter in a dry place. A box four feet
long and two feet wide will hold a pair of rabbits nicely. Rabbits
will become very tame and may often be allowed full liberty about the
place if there are no dogs to molest them.

The drawing shows a standard type of rabbit hutch. A boy who is handy
with tools can easily build one. We can always dispose of the increase
in our rabbit family to friends or to dealers.

Guinea pigs or cavies are similar to rabbits in their requirements.
The chief difference is that guinea pigs cannot stand excessive cold
and will not do well if kept outside in severe winter weather. Rabbits
and cavies will eat almost anything and eat constantly. The usual feed
is hay, clover, wheat, corn, carrots, turnips, cabbage, lettuce,
celery, potato parings, or any green food or grains. Cavies are
especially fond of bread and milk.

The three classes of cavies are Peruvians or Angoras, with long silky
hair; Abyssinians, with coarse hair in tufts or rosettes, and the
common guinea pig or smooth, cavy. A pair of cavies will cost about
two dollars. A dry airy cellar is a good place to keep them as they
are cleanly in their habits. Neither cavies nor rabbits are especially
intelligent but they do learn to know their master or at least the one
who feeds them. Pet rats and mice are in the same class as rabbits but
they should always have a coop that they will not gnaw out of. There
is even a mouse club. It is in Europe and has over a thousand members.

An interesting example of skill in breeding is seen in Dutch belted
varieties of cattle, in hogs, rabbits, cavies and mice. In all of
these animals the same markings have been bred by careful crossing and
selection. In all lines of “fancy” it is important to stick to a few
varieties. We shall never make much of a success if we have half a
dozen kinds of chickens, pigeons or rabbits. By far the most important
“fancy” is with chickens, but this subject will be considered in the
chapter on the care of poultry.

Among other pets are tame squirrels, turtles, snakes, lizards and
toads. A tame gray squirrel makes a splendid pet. After a while we can
give our squirrel full liberty and find him back in his nest at night.
I once had a tame owl but I found that because of his habit of flying
and feeding at night he was a very stupid pet. Besides that his
powerful beak and sharp claws or talons were dangerous. I also once
had a pair of flying squirrels but they also only appear at night and
were consequently uninteresting in the daytime. We must always study
the natural habits of our pets and try to give them coops and food as
much like nature as possible. My flying squirrels were given soft feed
in place of the usual hard-shelled nuts. Consequently their teeth grew
so long that they were a positive deformity. We finally liberated them
but before they could get to a place of safety one of them was caught
and killed by a chicken. The poor little creature was so fat from
overfeeding and lack of exercise that he had all but lost the power of
using his legs.

Coops for pets may be as elaborate as our pocketbook will allow. The
important things to remember are to construct a coop so that it may be
cleaned easily, and to provide plenty of ventilation. It must also be
dry. Fresh air is as important for animals as for people. The larger
we can make a coop, the better it will be. Be careful not to overfeed
pets. Regular and frequent meals of just what they will eat up clean
is better than an occasional big meal. Rabbits require very little
water. Usually they will obtain enough moisture from the green food
they eat. It is a mistake, however, to think that water will kill
rabbits. Change the straw in the nest boxes frequently. When they make
fur nests do not disturb them.

For squirrels and other small animals, the coop may be made entirely
of wire except the baseboard, which should be a piece of seasoned
wood. Be sure that there are no sharp wire points or projecting nails
in a coop to injure the animals.

The whole secret of taming wild creatures is patience. We must try to
show them that we are their friends. The most direct way to an
animal’s heart is through his stomach, which is another way of saying
that the owner should personally feed his own pets if he wishes them
to know him.

There is really no reason why a country boy or girl should have any
caged pets at all. In the city it is different. Perhaps the best pet
for the unnatural conditions of city life is a canary. The real spirit
to develop a love for the little creatures that inhabit our woods and
fields is to feel that they are our friends rather than that they are
prisoners. By all means cultivate the acquaintance of your “small
country neighbours.”


Every boy should own a dog. He is the friend and companion of our
youth. For a boy to grow up without a dog is to be denied one of the
real joys of life.

Senator Vest once said: “The one absolute, unselfish friend that a man
can have in this selfish world; the one that never deserts him, the
one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. He will
sleep on the cold ground where the wintry winds blow and the snow
drives fiercely if only he can be near his master’s side. He will kiss
the hand that has no food to offer, he will guard the sleep of his
pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert he

The breed makes but little difference so long as the dog is
intelligent and kind. Mixed breeds and mongrel dogs are often the most
intelligent. A thoroughbred dog will give us more satisfaction
possibly than a mongrel because he will make a better appearance. But
at the same time, he is far more likely to be stolen. There are so
many breeds to select from that it is almost impossible to give much
advice. As a rule, the dog we shall like is the one we can get. The
very heavy dogs such as Saint Bernards, mastiffs and great Danes are
clumsy and will require outside quarters, as they are too bulky to
have in the house. On the other hand the small toy breeds such as
Pomeranians, black and tans and King Charles spaniels and pugs, are
too delicate to be a real boy’s dog. A list from which you may safely
select a dog would be bull terriers, Airedale terriers, Scotch
terriers, Irish terriers, cocker spaniels, pointers and setters,
either Irish or English. This is by no means a complete list. I prefer
a setter because my first dog, “Old Ben,” was a setter, and he shared
in most of my fun from the earliest recollections that I have. When he
died I lost a true friend. It was the first real sorrow I ever had.

A dog should not sleep in the same room with his owner, but should
have a warm dry kennel and be taught to regard it as his home.

Do not make the mistake of overfeeding a dog. He does not need three
meals a day. One is sufficient, about nine in the morning, when he
should have all he wants to eat. If you insist on a second meal give
him a dog biscuit or a bone to gnaw on in the evening.

Keep your dog free from fleas, in spite of what David Harum says that
“a reasonable amount of fleas is good for a dog, because it keeps him
from brooding over being a dog.” A thorough bath with carbolic soap
and water will rid a dog of fleas, but this treatment should be
repeated at weekly intervals to kill the eggs which hatch in the

Fresh insect powder or Scotch snuff if dusted thoroughly in a dog’s
coat will cause fleas to leave. This treatment should be done out of
doors. A good plan is to place the dog on a sheet or piece of white
paper and work the powder well into the hair, especially around his
neck and behind the ears. Be careful not to injure his eyes.

A dog will soon recognize his master, and there is no quicker way to
show that you are his master than to enforce obedience when you
attempt to make him mind. Whether a whipping is necessary depends on
the dog. With most dogs a good scolding will be sufficient. Never whip
a dog when you are angry and never overdo the matter. It is possible
to “break a dog’s spirit,” which simply means to make him afraid of
you. A dog so frightened is ruined until you regain his confidence, a
very difficult thing to do. Never cuff a dog with your hand. Always
use a whip or switch. Let the whipping be a definite ceremony with a
plain object in view.

Some dogs will prove to be headstrong and others will try to do
whatever their master wants. There is an amazing difference in dogs
and their intelligence seems to have no limits.

A dog must never be allowed to annoy our neighbours or friends. One of
the most annoying habits that a dog cultivates is that of running out
and barking at passing carriages or people. A few lessons in
discipline early in life will break him of this habit, but once
acquired it is practically unbreakable.

Another very annoying habit is that of allowing a dog to put his paws
on us. We may not mind it when we are dressed in old clothes but
friends or callers are possibly not so considerate.

Nearly every bad habit that a dog learns is usually the fault of the
owner rather than of the dog. The training of a dog should be done as
a puppy. Therefore we must secure our dog as young as possible.

In training hunting dogs the first step is called “yard-breaking.”
With ordinary dogs a thorough course in yard-breaking by teaching the
simple command is all that will be necessary. First of all, teach your
dog to lie down and come to you at call. The usual word for the former
is “charge.” A dog can be taught this in a very short time. Take him
by the neck and back, and at the word, force him to lie down. Do not
use any other words, or even pet him. Simply impress on his mind that
when he hears “charge” it means lie down. As a rule a puppy is taught
to come by snapping the fingers or by making a noise with the lips
similar to that by which we urge a horse. It is almost natural to say
“Come here.” After a puppy learns to follow us at the command “heel
in” and to run ahead when we say “go on,” we must also teach him to
come when we whistle. Most boys can make a whistle with the fingers
sufficiently penetrating to call a dog for a long distance but a small
metal whistle to carry in the pocket is the best way.

After a dog has acquired the simple lessons of training we shall find
that he learns to understand us and to do our wishes very quickly.
There should be a complete understanding between a dog and his owner.
He will know our ways and we shall know his.

I have hunted in Virginia with a dog so intelligent that merely by
watching him his master could tell whether he was on the trail of a
rabbit, wild turkey, or deer. For each kind of game he had a different
manner of barking and what is more remarkable, he was a thoroughly
broken quail dog with the best “nose” or scent I have ever known and
of course did not bark under these circumstances. Such a dog would be
a mystery to any one who did not know his ways.

This dog “Old Doc” would hunt with any one on quail, but if the
hunter did not succeed in killing game the dog would soon show his
disapproval in every way, sulk along behind, and if the poor shooting
continued, finally leave for home. A friend who took him out told me,
“First I missed the birds and then I missed the dog.” He had left in

No matter what breed our dog is we shall surely become greatly
attached to him and almost look upon him as a friend rather than as an
animal. A boy should never encourage a dog to fight. It is a cruel,
unmanly thing and one that a real dog lover will never do. Dog
fighting is a form of brutality second only to tying tin cans and
other things to a dog’s tail for the “fun” of seeing him run. I once
saw a poor beast lose his tail as a result of this brutal joke. Some
one had tied a string tightly around his tail and the dog ran until
completely exhausted. He then kept out of sight for a few days. In the
meantime the string caused his tail to become fearfully sore and
finally to fall off. Can any one see a joke in this?



The best breed—Good and bad points of incubators—What to feed small
chicks—A model chicken house

A pen of chickens gives a boy or girl an opportunity for keeping pets
that have some real value. Whether there is much profit in poultry is
a question, but it is at least certain that the more care you give
them the better they pay. There is but little difference in the
results obtained from the various breeds of chickens, but there is a
great difference in the people who take care of them. It is very
difficult to make poultry pay on a large scale. Nearly every poultry
farm that has started as a business has failed to make a success. The
surest way to make chickens pay is to have only a few. Then the table
scraps and the worms and weed seeds they can pick up will supply them
with practically all their feed and the time you give them need not be
counted as expense.

There are sixty or seventy distinct breeds of poultry recognized by
expert fanciers and from three to ten colours or varieties in many of
these breeds. New ones are being added constantly. For example, a
breed called Orpingtons was recently introduced from England and now
has ten varieties or colours that are “standard.” At the New York
Poultry Show a record price of $2,500 was paid for the prize-winning
hen of this breed. There is a style in chickens as well as in anything
else. A new breed will always have a great many admirers at first, and
great claims will be made for its superior qualities. The poultrymen
who have stock and eggs to sell will secure high prices for their
output. Very soon, however, the real value of a new breed will be
known and it will be on the same basis as the older breeds.

A beginner had better start with some standard recognized breed and
leave the experimenting to some one else. One thing is certain:
thoroughbreds will pay better than mongrels. Their eggs are of more
uniform size and colour, the stock will be healthy and as a rule weigh
a pound or two more than birds of uncertain breeding. Thoroughbreds do
not cost any more to feed or care for than the mongrels and in every
way are superior.

Breeds of poultry are usually divided into three separate classes,
depending on the place where the breed originated. They are the
American, Asiatic, and Mediterranean strains. The leading American
breed is the barred Plymouth Rock and for a beginner will probably be
the best to start with.

Another very excellent American or general purpose breed is the White
Wyandotte. They are especially valuable as broilers, as they make
rapid growth while young. The Leghorns are the leading breed for eggs.
They are “non-sitters” and, being very active, do not become overfat.
Their small size, however, makes them poor table fowls and for this
reason they are not adapted to general use. The Asiatic type, which
includes Brahmas, Langshans, and Cochins, are all clumsy, heavy birds,
which make excellent table fowl but are poor layers and poor foragers.
Brahma roosters will frequently weigh fifteen pounds and can eat corn
from the top of a barrel.

A beginner should never attempt to keep more than one kind of
chickens. To get a start, we must either buy a pen of birds or buy the
eggs and raise our own stock. The latter method will take a year more
than the former, as the chicks we hatch this year will be our layers a
year later. Sometimes a pen of eight or ten fowls can be bought
reasonably from some one who is selling out. If we buy from a breeder
who is in the business they will cost about five dollars a trio of
two hens and a rooster. The cheapest way is to buy eggs and hatch your
own stock. The usual price for hatching-eggs is one dollar for fifteen
eggs. We can safely count on hatching eight chicks from a setting, of
which four may be pullets. Therefore we must allow fifteen eggs for
each four pullets we intend to keep the next year. The surplus
cockerels can be sold for enough to pay for the cost of the eggs. If
we have good luck we may hatch every egg in a setting and ten of them
may be pullets. On the other hand, we may have only two or three
chicks, which may all prove to be cockerels; so the above calculation
is a fair average. If we start with eggs, we shall have to buy or rent
some broody hens to put on the eggs. A good plan is to arrange with
some farmer in the neighbourhood to take charge of the eggs and to set
his own hens on them. I once made such an arrangement and agreed to
give him all but one of the cockerels that hatched. I was to take all
the pullets. The arrangement was mutually satisfactory and he kept and
fed the chicks until they were able to leave the mother hen—about
eight weeks. It is also possible to buy one-day-old chicks for about
ten or fifteen cents apiece from a poultry dealer, but the safest way
is to hatch your own stock.

The easiest way to make a large hatch all at one time is with an
incubator. There are a number of very excellent makes advertised in
the farm papers and other magazines and the prices are quite
reasonable. An incubator holding about a hundred eggs will cost ten or
twelve dollars. There are many objections to incubators which we can
learn only from practical experience. We shall not average more than
50 per cent. hatches as a rule. That is to say, for every hundred eggs
we set we must not count on hatching more than fifty chicks.
Incubators are a constant care. The most important objection to an
incubator is that it is against the rules of most fire insurance
companies to allow it to be operated in any building that the
insurance policy covers. If the automatic heat regulator fails to work
and the heat in our incubator runs up too high we may have a fire. At
any rate, we shall lose our entire hatch. The latter is also true if
the lamp goes out and the eggs become too cool. I have made a great
many hatches with incubators of different makes and my experience has
been that we must watch an incubator almost constantly to have success
with it.

The sure way to hatch chickens is with a broody hen, but at the same
time incubators are perfectly satisfactory if run in a room where the
temperature does not vary much (a cellar is the best place). With an
incubator there is always a temptation to attempt to raise more
chickens than we can care for properly. Overcrowding causes more
trouble than any other one thing. It is better to have a dozen
chickens well cared for than a hundred that are neglected.

Eggs for incubators will cost about five dollars a hundred. Of course
if they are from prize-winning stock the cost will be several times
this amount. Before placing any eggs in an incubator it should be run
for two days to be sure that the heat regulator is in working order.
The usual temperature for hatching is 103 degrees and the machine
should be regulated for this temperature as it comes from the factory.
Full directions for operating, as well as a thermometer, will come
with the machine and should be studied and understood before we begin
to operate it. As the hatch progresses, the heat will “run up,” as it
is called, and we shall need to understand how to regulate the
thermostat to correct this tendency toward an increased temperature.
The eggs in an incubator must be turned twice a day. To be sure that
we do this thoroughly it is customary to mark the eggs before we place
them in the machine. The usual mark is an “X” on one side of the egg
and an “O” on the other written in lead pencil. In placing the eggs in
the trays we start with all the “O” marks up, for instance, and at the
time of the first turning leave all the “X’s” visible, alternating
this twice every day.

In order to operate an incubator successfully, we shall also need a
brooder, which is really an artificial mother. There is a standard
make of brooder costing five dollars that will accommodate fifty
chicks. Brooders are very simple in construction and can be made at
home. A tinsmith will have to make the heating drum. The rest of it is
simply a wooden box with a curtain partition to separate the hot room
from the feeding space. Ventilating holes must be provided for a
supply of fresh air and a box placed at the bottom to prevent a
draught from blowing out the lamp. In a very few days after we place
the chicks in a brooder they should be allowed to go in and out at
will. In a week or two we shall be able to teach them the way in, and
then by lowering the platform to the ground for a runway we can permit
them to run on the ground in an enclosed runway. On rainy days we must
shut them in.

There is always a temptation to feed chicks too soon after they are
hatched. We should always wait at least twenty-four hours to give them
a chance to become thoroughly dry. The general custom of giving wet
cornmeal for the first feed is wrong. Always feed chicks on dry food
and you will avoid a great deal of sickness. An excellent first food
is hard-boiled egg and corn bread made from cornmeal and water without
salt and thoroughly baked until it may be crumbled. Only feed a little
at a time, but feed often. Five times a day is none too much for
two-week-old chicks.

One successful poultryman I am acquainted with gives, as the first
feed, dog biscuit crushed. All the small grains are good if they are
cracked so that the chicks can eat them. The standard mixture sold by
poultry men under the name “chick food” is probably the best. It
consists of cracked wheat, rye, and corn, millet seed, pinhead
oatmeal, grit, and oyster shells. Do not feed meat to chicks until
their pin feathers begin to show, when they may have some well-cooked
lean meat, three times a week.

There is quite an art in setting a hen properly. They always prefer a
dry, dark place. If we are sure that there are no rats around, there
is no better place to set a hen than on the ground. This is as they
sit in nature and it usually seems to be the case that a hen that
steals her nest will bring out more chicks than one that we have
coddled. Eggs that we are saving for hatching should be kept in a cool
place but never allowed to freeze. They should be turned every day
until they are set. Hens’ eggs will hatch in about twenty-one days.
The eggs that have failed to hatch at this time may be discarded. When
we move a broody hen we must be sure that she will stay on her new
nest before we give her any eggs. Test her with a china egg or a
doorknob. If she stays on for two nights we may safely give her the
setting. It is always better when convenient to set a hen where she
first makes her nest. If she must be moved, do it at night with as
little disturbance as possible. It is always a good plan to shut in a
sitting hen and let her out once a day for feed and exercise. Do not
worry if in your judgment she remains off the nest too long. The eggs
require cooling to develop the air chamber properly, and as a rule the
hen knows best.

Young chickens are subject to a great many diseases, but if they are
kept dry and warm, and if they have dry food, most of the troubles may
be avoided. With all poultry, lice are a great pest. Old fowls can
dust themselves and in a measure keep the pest in check, but little
chicks are comparatively helpless. The big gray lice will be found on
a chick’s neck near the head. The remedy for this is to grease the
feathers with vaseline on the head and neck. The small white lice can
be controlled by dusting the chicks with insect powder and by keeping
the brooder absolutely clean. A weekly coat of whitewash to which some
carbolic acid has been added will keep lice in check in poultry houses
and is an excellent plan. Hen-hatched chicks are usually more subject
to lice than those hatched In incubators and raised in brooders, as
they become infected from the mother. Some people say that chicks have
lice on them when they are hatched, but this is not so.

The first two weeks of a chick’s life are the important time. If they
are chilled or neglected they never get over it, but will develop into
weaklings. There are many rules and remedies for doctoring sick
chickens, but the best way is to kill them. This is especially so in
cases of roup or colds. The former is a very contagious disease and
unless checked may kill an entire pen of chickens. A man who raises
25,000 chickens annually once told me that “the best medicine for a
sick chicken is the axe.”

A very low fence will hold small chicks from straying away, but it
must be absolutely tight at the bottom, as a very small opening will
allow them to get through. Avoid all corners or places where they can
be caught fast. The mesh of a wire fence must be fine. Ordinary
chicken wire will not do.

[Illustration: A home-made chicken coop built on the “scratching-shed”

A brooder that will accommodate fifty chicks comfortably for eight
weeks will be entirely too small even for half that number after they
begin to grow. As soon as they can get along without artificial heat,
the chickens should be moved to a colony house and given free range.
They will soon learn to roost and to find their way in and out of
their new home, especially if we move away the old one where they
cannot find it.

A chicken coop for grown fowls can be of almost any shape, size, or
material, providing that we do not crowd it to more than its proper
capacity. The important thing is to have a coop that is dry, easily
cleaned and with good ventilation, but without cracks to admit
draughts. A roost made of two by four timbers set on edge with the
sharp corners rounded off is better than a round perch. No matter how
many roosts we provide, our chickens will always fight and quarrel to
occupy the top one. Under the roost build a movable board or shelf
which may easily be taken out and cleaned. Place the nest boxes under
this board, close to the ground. One nest for four hens is a fair
allowance. Hens prefer to nest in a dark place if possible. A modern,
up-to-date coop should have a warm, windproof sleeping room and an
outside scratching shed. A sleeping room should be provided with a
window on the south side and reaching nearly to the floor. A hotbed
sash is excellent for this purpose. The runway or yard should be as
large as our purse will permit. In this yard plant a plum tree for
shade. The chickens will keep the plum trees free from the “curculio,”
a small beetle which is the principal insect pest of this fruit. This
beetle is sometimes called “the little Turk” because he makes a mark
on a plum that resembles the “star and crescent” of the Turkish flag.

Whether we can make our poultry pay for the trouble and expense of
keeping them will depend on the question of winter eggs. It is
contrary to the natural habits of chickens to lay in winter, and if
left to themselves they will practically stop laying when they begin
to moult or shed their feathers in the fall, and will not begin again
until the warm days of spring. When eggs are scarce it will be a great
treat to be able to have our own supply instead of paying a high price
at the grocer’s.

The fact that it is possible to get really fresh eggs in midwinter
shows that with the proper care hens will lay. The average farm hen
does not lay more than eighty eggs a year, which is hardly enough to
pay for her feed. On the other hand, at an egg-laying contest held in
Pennsylvania, the prize-winning pen made a record of 290 eggs per year
for each hen. This was all due to better care and proper feed.

The birds were healthy pullets to begin with, they had warm food and
warm drinking water throughout the winter, their coop was a bright,
clean, dry place with an outside scratching shed. The grain was fed in
a deep litter of straw to make them work to get it and thus to obtain
the necessary exercise to keep down fat. The birds in this contest
were all hatched early in March and were all through the moult before
the cold weather came. Most of the advertised poultry feeds for winter
eggs are a swindle. If we give the birds proper care we shall not
require any drugs. It is an excellent plan to give unthreshed straw to
poultry in winter. They will work to obtain the grain and be kept
busy. The usual quantity of grain for poultry is at the rate of a
quart of corn or wheat to each fifteen hens. A standard winter ration
is the so called hot bran mash. This is made from wheat bran, clover
meal, and either cut bone or meat scraps. It will be necessary to feed
this in a hopper to avoid waste and it should be given at night just
before the birds go to roost, with the grain ration in the morning,
which will keep them scratching all day. Always keep some grit and
oyster shells where the chickens can get it; also feed a little
charcoal occasionally.

A dust bath for the hens will be appreciated in winter when the ground
is frozen. Sink a soap box in a corner of the pen and sheltered from
rain or snow and fill it with dry road dust. Have an extra supply to
fill up the box from time to time.

The best place for a chicken house is on a sandy hillside with a
southern slope. A heavy clay soil with poor drainage is very bad.
Six-foot chicken wire will be high enough to enclose the run. If any
of the chickens persist in flying out we must clip the flight feathers
of their wings (one wing, not both). Do not put a top board on the
run. If a chicken does not see something to fly to, it will seldom
attempt to go over a fence, even if it is quite low.

It is much better to allow chickens full liberty if they do not ruin
our garden or flower beds or persist in laying in out of the way
places where the eggs cannot be found.



What to wear—Skating—Skiing—Snowshoeing—Hockey

If one is fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where they
have old-fashioned winters, the possibilities for outdoor sports are
very great and the cold weather may be made the best part of the year
for healthful outdoor exercise. To enjoy winter recreations properly
we must have proper clothing. An ordinary overcoat is very much out of
place, except possibly for sleighing. The regulation costume for
almost any outdoor sport in winter is a warm coat, a heavy sweater,
woollen trousers and stockings, and stout leather shoes. If in
addition we have woollen gloves or mittens and a woollen skating cap
or toque, we shall be enabled to brave the coldest kind of weather,
provided of course that we have warm woollen underwear. Various
modifications in this costume such as high hunting boots, or leggings
and a flannel shirt worn under the sweater are possible. In the far
North, the universal winter footwear is moccasins. We must be careful
not to dress too warmly when we expect to indulge in violent exercise.
Excessive clothing will render us more liable to a sudden check of
perspiration, a consequent closing of the pores and a resulting cold.
Rubber boots or overshoes are very bad if worn constantly. The rubber,
being waterproof, holds in the perspiration and we often find our
stockings damp even when the walking is dry. Rubber boots also make
our feet tender and cause cold feet. Tight shoes are also bad for the
reason that they check circulation. The best footwear for a boy who
lives in the country will be Indian moccasins or shoepacs worn with
several pairs of lumbermen’s woollen stockings. Such footwear would
not do for skating, as they have no soles, but for outdoor tramping in
the snow they are just the thing. No leather is thoroughly waterproof
against snow water, but by frequent greasing with mutton tallow,
neatsfoot oil or vaseline, shoes can be kept soft and practically
waterproof as long as the soles and uppers are in good condition.

[Illustration: A shoepac]

In all winter sports, especially in Canada, the custom is to wear
gaily coloured goods. A mackinaw jacket made from the same material as
a blanket, with very prominent stripes or plaids, is often worn.
Closely woven goods are better than a thicker loose weave as they are
lighter, warmer, and more waterproof.

Chief among winter sports is skating. There is no healthier
recreation, provided that the ice is safe. Even in the coldest weather
with the ice a foot thick or more we must always be sure to be on the
lookout for air-holes or thin places over springs. It is said that ice
an inch thick will hold the weight of a man, but it is better to be
sure than to be sorry, and three or four inches are much safer.

[Illustration: The club skate model]

A few years ago the height of the skater’s art was so called “fancy or
figure” skating, but recently the tendency has been for speed rather
than for grace and the old-fashioned club skates have been replaced by
racing or hockey skates with much longer runners. Fancy skating for
prizes is governed by rules just as any other game or sport. The
contestants do not attempt figures of their own invention but strive
to excel in the so called “compulsory” figures. A fancy skater can
practise from diagrams and directions just as one might practise moves
in a game of chess. In printed directions for fancy skating the
following abbreviations are used for the strokes:



Supposing the figure to be executed to be the well known “figure
eight.” It would be described as follows:

R-F-O L-F-O. R-F-I L-F-I. R-B-O L-B-O. R-B-I L-B-I.

By referring to the above table the skater can easily determine just
what strokes are necessary to produce the figure properly.

Racing skates should be attached to shoes of special design either by
screws or rivets. The most important thing is to have the blades
carefully ground by an expert. They should be keen enough to cut a
hair. To become a fast skater, practise if possible with an expert.
Have him skate ahead of you and measure your stroke with his. By
keeping your hands clasped behind your back your balance will not only
be greatly improved but your endurance will be doubled. The sprinting
stroke is a direct glide ahead with the foot straight. A trained
skater can go very long distances with very little fatigue but one
must carefully measure his speed to the distance to be travelled. When
you can cover a measured mile in three and one-half minutes you may
consider yourself in the class of fast skaters.

[Illustration: A hockey skate]

Hockey skates are somewhat shorter than racing skates although built
on the same general lines, the standard length being from nine and
one-half to eleven and one-half inches. Hockey is one of the best
winter games either outdoors or in a rink. The game of shinney or
“bandy” as it is called in England has been modified in this country
by substituting a flat piece of rubber weighing a pound called a
“puck” for the india rubber lacrosse ball, which weighs but four
ounces. The best hockey sticks are made of Canadian rock elm.

The whole idea of hockey is to shoot the puck through your opponents’
goal and to prevent them from shooting it through yours. In practice
almost any number can play hockey and have plenty of exercise. The
less experienced players should when securing the puck always shoot it
as quickly as possible to a more experienced player on their own side
to attempt shooting the goal. Skilful passing is the most important
branch of hockey and consequently good team work is absolutely
essential to success.

[Illustration: The hockey player’s costume]

A regulation hockey team consist of seven players called goal, point,
cover point, right centre, left centre, right wing, left wing.

The position of goal tender is the most difficult to acquire skill in.
He stands directly in front of the goal and is expected to stop the
puck with hands, feet, and body. While the position of goal does not
involve much skating, a goal tender should also be a good skater. His
position requires more nerve and cool-headedness than any other
position on the team because the final responsibility of all goals
scored against his team is up to him. His position is largely a
defensive one and his work at times very severe. The goal keeper must
very rarely leave his position but must depend upon the two other
defensive men the “point” and “cover point” to stop the puck when it
away from the direct line of the goal. The defensive men on a hockey
team should not by any strategy or coaxing on the part of their
opponents allow themselves to leave their own goal unprotected.

The forwards have most of the work of shooting goals and advancing the
puck. Of course such a man must be very active and a good all round
player. Hockey is a poor game in which to display grand-stand playing.
The player’s whole idea should be to shoot the puck so that either he
or some member of his team may score a goal.

The rules of hockey are comparatively few and simple. The game
consists of two twenty-minute halves with a ten-minute intermission
between. In case of a tie at the end of a game it is customary to
continue until one side secures a majority of the points.

A standard rink must be at least one hundred and twelve feet long by
fifty-eight feet wide. Nets are six feet wide and four feet high.

One of the most exciting of winter sports is skate sailing. The same
principles that are applied to sailing a boat are brought into play in
sailing with skates. While considerable skill is necessary to handle a
skate sail well, any one who is a good skater will soon acquire it.
The direction that you go is determined by the angle at which the sail
is held. When you wish to turn around or stop you simply shift its
position until you run dead into the wind. A skate sail should be
light and strong. A limit of five pounds’ weight is all that is
necessary. The sail is a very simple device. There are a great many
kinds but one of the simplest is made from a T-shaped frame of bamboo
with a V-shaped piece of canvas or balloon silk sewed or wired to the
frame. The best skate sails are made with a jointed frame like a
fishing rod so that they may be taken apart and easily carried.

While an expert can handle a sail eight or ten feet wide and twelve
feet high it is better for the beginner to start with one much
smaller. The construction of the sail and the method of holding it are
shown in the diagram.

[Illustration: A skate sail]

Snowshoeing is another winter sport that will furnish a great deal of
pleasure and will enable us to be outdoors when our less fortunate
friends may be cooped up in the house. There are a number of standard
shapes in snowshoes, but probably the “Canadian” model will be found
to be the most satisfactory generally. Snowshoes should be from
twenty-four to forty-four inches long depending on the weight to be
carried. In order to enjoy snowshoeing we must use moccasins. The
proper method of attaching the snowshoes is clearly shown in the
diagrams. The beginner will find that snowshoeing is a very simple art
to acquire, being far less difficult than skating and with far less
danger of having a bad fall.

[Illustration: Four types of snowshoes]

The sport of “ski-running” or skiing is practised more generally
abroad than in this country. A number of winter resorts owe their
popularity largely to this sport. Skis are simply long flat pieces of
wood fastened or strapped to the shoes. The best type are the so
called “Norway” pattern. Various lengths are used from four to eight
or nine feet long, but for a beginner the shorter ones will be better.

[Illustration: To throw the lumberman’s hitch, start this way]

[Illustration: Then across the toe with both ends and under the loop]

Ski-running is simply coasting down steep inclines on the snow with
the skis used in much the same way as a sled. The longer they are the
greater the speed obtained, but the longer ones are also
correspondingly hard to manage.

[Illustration: Draw the ends tightly forward to fasten down the toe]

[Illustration: Then tie the ends together in a bow knot back of the

In Norway and Sweden skis are made to order just as we might be
measured for suits of clothes. The theory is that the proper length
of ski will be such that the user, can, when standing erect and
reaching above his head, just crook his forefinger over it as it
stands upright. Ski shoes should be strong, with well blocked toes. A
pair of heavy school shoes are just the thing if well made.

[Illustration: The straps over the toe remain buckled]

[Illustration: This is the “thong” hitch but it is not as good as the
lumberman’s hitch]

To learn skiing we should select the slope of a hill not very steep
and with no dangerous rocks or snags to run foul of. The best snow
conditions are usually found two or three days after it has fallen.
Fresh snow is too light to offer good skiing and snow with a crust is
also bad. In running with skis on the level ground a long, sweeping
stride is used somewhat after the fashion of skating. The strokes
should be made just as long as possible, and the skis kept close
together. In going up an incline the tendency to slip backward is
overcome by raising the toe of the ski slightly and bringing the heel
down sharply. One foot should be firmly implanted before the other is
moved. In going up a steep hill a zigzag course will be necessary.

[Illustration: Front and side view of a ski]

As an aid in ski-running it is customary to employ a pair of ski
poles, which are fastened to the wrist by leather thongs. They are
usually made of bamboo or other light material with a wicker disk near
the end to keep the pole from sinking into the soft snow. Ski poles
should never be used in attempting a jump, as under these
circumstances they might be very dangerous.

Ski coasting is the sport that most boys will be interested in. To
make a descent, begin at the top of a hill as one would in coasting
with a sled and lean well forward with the skis parallel and with one
foot slightly ahead of the other. The knees should be bent and the
body rigid. The weight should be borne by the ball of the foot that is
behind. As the start forward begins, the impulse will be to lean back,
but this Impulse must be overcome or you will take a tumble in the
snow as you gain speed.

[Illustration: A ski pole]

In jumping with skis an abrupt drop is necessary. For the beginner a
few inches is sufficient. The start is made by coasting down an
incline, and just before the take-off is reached, the runner assumes a
crouching attitude and then straightens up quickly, maintaining an
erect attitude until he is about to land, when, as in jumping, the
knees are bent slightly to break the force of landing. During the
flight the skis should be kept perfectly parallel but drooping
slightly behind.

[Illustration: The Exciting Sport of Ski-Running]

The various forms of coasting with toboggan sleds and bobsleds are
all well known to boys who live where there are snow and hills. A sled
can be steered either by dragging the foot or by shifting the sled
with the hands. Sleds with flexible runners have recently been
introduced and are a great improvement on the old type.

One branch of carpenter work that nearly all boys attempt at some time
in their lives is to make a bobsled or double runner, which is a pair
of sleds fastened on either end of a board long enough to hold from
three to twenty or thirty people.

[Illustration: A bobsled or double runner]

Coasting, especially with a bob, is somewhat dangerous sport,
especially in cities or where the turns are sharp and there is danger
of upsetting. A good bob is broad between the runners and low to the
ground. The drawing shows one that almost any boy can make at little
cost. Various devices are used as brakes on a bob. Most of them are
found to be out of order or frozen when the time comes to use them. A
brake that is made from a piece of iron bent in an angle and fastened
to the side of the runners on the rear sled is the best arrangement to
have. A bobsled should not cost over ten dollars complete with
steering wheel, bell, and necessary iron work, which should be made at
the blacksmith’s.



How to become a good rider—The care of a horse—Saddles

So many branches of outdoor sport depend on a knowledge of
horsemanship that every boy or girl who has the opportunity should
learn to ride horseback. When once acquired, we shall never forget it.
The first few lessons will make us feel discouraged, because the
jolting and jarring every one receives in learning to ride almost make
it appear that we can never acquire the knack, but remember that even
the cowboy has had to go through the same experience. A beginner
should only ride a gentle horse. In case we do take a tumble, it is
well to take our first lesson on soft ground or in a tanbark ring.

There are three types of saddles generally used: The English saddle is
simply a leather seat with stirrups, and while it is the most refined
type and the one used for fox hunting and all expert riding in
England, it is not the best kind to learn on. The army saddle and the
Mexican or cowboy saddle with a pommel or box-stirrups are far safer
and less expensive. If you know of a dealer in second-hand army
equipments you can buy a saddle and bridle of excellent material at
less than half the retail price of the stores.

[Illustration: Mexican saddle, Army saddle, English saddle]

Before mounting your horse always examine carefully your saddle and
bridle to see that the girths are tight, that the bridle is properly
buckled, and the stirrups are the proper length. The latter is
sometimes determined by placing the stirrup under the armpits and
touching the saddle with the finger tips. A more accurate way is to
have the straps adjusted after you are in the saddle. A beginner will
prefer a short stirrup, but it is a bad habit to acquire. In mounting,
stand on the left side and place the left foot in the stirrup. Swing
the right leg over the horse and find the right stirrup with the toe
just as quickly as possible. Do not jerk a restless horse or otherwise
betray your excitement if he starts. Let him see by your calmness that
he too should be calm.

So much depends on the kind of horse you are riding that it will be
difficult to say just how to handle him. A horse that is “bridle wise”
is not guided in the customary way; that is, by pulling on the rein on
the side you wish him to turn as one does in driving. A bridle-wise
horse is guided by pressing the opposite rein against his neck. Such a
horse is much easier to handle on horseback and we should try to teach
our horse this method as soon as possible.

There is very close understanding between a horse and rider that does
not exist when a horse is driven to a carriage. A horse can be guided
simply by the leg pressure or spur. The proper seat is well back in
the saddle with the toe pointing almost straight ahead. In order to
learn to ride quickly we must overcome any strain or tension of our
muscles and try to be flexible above the waist. In this way we soon
accommodate our own motion to that of the horse. The most difficult
gait to ride is the trot. There are two distinct styles of riding—to
trot in English style of treading the stirrups, which necessitates
rising from the saddle at every step of the horse, and the army style
of simply sitting back in the saddle and taking the jouncing. Either
method will prove very difficult for the beginner. A partial treading
or easing up but not as extreme as the English style will probably be
the best to acquire. So much depends upon the gait of a horse that we
learn to ride some horses in a very few days, and would be several
times as long with some others.

[Illustration: The wrong way to mount a horse—facing forward]

A horse that habitually stumbles is very dangerous. We must be sure
our saddle horse is sure footed. In using English stirrups never
permit the foot to go through the stirrup and rest on the ball. The
toes should be in such a position that the stirrups can be kicked off
at an instant’s notice in case the horse falls with us.

[Illustration: The right way to mount—facing toward his tail]

In tying a saddle horse in the stable for feeding or rest always
loosen the girth and throw the stirrups over the saddle.

A saddle horse should always be spoken to gently but firmly. The horse
can tell by your voice when you are afraid of him.

The canter is the ideal gait. After we once learn it, the motion of a
good saddle horse is almost like a rocking chair and riding becomes
one of the most delightful of outdoor pastimes. The boy who expects to
go on an extended trip in the saddle should learn to care for a horse
himself. A horse should never be fed or watered when he is warm unless
we continue to drive him immediately afterward. Neglect of this
precaution may cause “foundering,” which has ruined many a fine horse.

The art of packing a horse is one which every one in mountain
countries away from railroads should understand. Packing a horse
simply means tying a load over his back. There are a great many
hitches used for this purpose by Western mountaineers, but the
celebrated diamond hitch will answer most purposes.

Hunting and steeplechasing, leaping fences and ditches, are the
highest art of horsemanship. It is difficult to teach an old horse to
be a hunter, but with a young one you can soon get him to take a low
obstacle or narrow ditch, and by gradually increasing the distance
make a jumper of him.

[Illustration: Jumping fences is the highest art of horsemanship]

The popularity of automobiles has caused the present generation
partially to lose interest in horseflesh, but no automobile ever made
will furnish the real bond of friendship which exists between a boy
and his horse, or will be a substitute for the pleasure that comes
from a stiff canter on the back of our friend and companion.

We do not really need an expensive horse. A typical Western or polo
pony is just the thing for a boy or girl provided that it has no
vicious or undesirable traits such as kicking, bucking, or stumbling,
or is unsound or lame. It is always better if possible to buy a horse
from a reliable dealer or a private owner. There is a great deal of
dishonesty in horse trading and an honest seller who has nothing to
conceal should be willing to grant a fair trial of a week or more.

To enjoy our horse to the fullest extent we should take entire care of
him ourselves. He should be fed and watered regularly and groomed
every morning until his coat shines. If we neglect a horse and allow
his coat to become rough it is almost as bad as to neglect feeding
him. Never trust the care of your horse too much to another. Even if
you keep him in a public stable or have a man of your own to care for
him, it is well to let them see that you are interested in giving your
horse close personal attention.



The racing strokes—Paddling and sailing canoes

It has been said that the human being is the only animal that does not
know instinctively how to swim without the necessity of being taught.
If we take a dog or a horse or even a mouse and suddenly place it in
the water it will immediately begin to swim, even though it has never
seen a body of water larger than the source from which it obtains its
drink. With a man or boy it is different, for the reason that with all
the other animals the motions necessary to swim are those by which
they walk or run; with a human being it is entirely an acquired
stroke. After one becomes an expert swimmer he will find that he can
keep afloat or at least keep his head above water, which is all there
is to swimming anyway, by almost any kind of a motion. By a little
practice we can learn to swim “no hands,” “no feet,” “one hand and one
foot,” by all sorts of twists and squirms and in fact to propel
ourselves by a simple motion of the toes.

The first stroke that a self-taught small boy learns is what is
called “dog fashioned.” This name accurately describes the stroke, as
it is in reality very similar to the motions by which a dog swims. No
amount of book instruction can teach a person to swim, but a clear
idea of the best general strokes will be of great assistance.

Swimming is probably the best general exercise among athletic sports.
Practically every important muscle in the body is brought into play,
and measurements show that swimmers have the most uniform muscular
development of any class of athletes. After we learn to swim, the
distance that we are capable of going is largely dependent upon our
physical strength. Almost any man can swim a mile if he begins slowly
and with the same regard for conserving his strength that a runner
would have in attempting a mile run.

[Illustration: Swimming is One of the Best Outdoor Sports (Photograph
by A.R. Dugmore)]

However skillful one is as a swimmer, a proper respect for the dangers
of the sport should always be present. To take unnecessary risks, such
as swimming alone far beyond reach of help or jumping and diving from
high places into water of uncertain depth is not bravery; it is simply
foolhardiness. A good swimmer is a careful swimmer always. The
beginner must first of all try to overcome his natural fear of the
water. This is much harder to do than to learn the simple motions of
hands or feet that makes us keep afloat and swim. Nothing will help to
give us this confidence more quickly than to take a few lessons from
some one in whom we have confidence and who will above all things not
frighten us and so get us into danger. With a good teacher, a boy
should be able to learn how to swim in two or three lessons. Of course
he will take only a few strokes at first, but those few strokes, which
carry with them self-confidence and which make us feel that swimming
is not so hard an art after all, is really half the battle. After we
are at least sure that we can get to shore somehow, we can take up all
the finished strokes which make a fancy swimmer.

There are a number of strokes used in swimming and especially in
racing. The common breast stroke is the first one to learn. In this
the swimmer should lie flat on his breast in the water and either be
supported by the hand of his teacher or by an inflated air cushion.
The hands are principally used to maintain the balance and to keep
afloat. The real work should be done with the legs. We learn to use
the hands properly in a very short time, but the beginner always shows
a tendency to forget to kick properly. For this reason swimming
teachers lay great stress on the leg motion and in a measure let the
hands take care of themselves. In swimming the important thing is to
keep our heads above the water, a simple statement, but one that
beginners may take a long time to learn. The impulse is not only to
keep our heads but our shoulders out of the water also, and this is a
feat that even an expert can not accomplish for very long. If we can
allow ourselves to sink low in the water without fear, and if we can
also remember to kick and, above all, to make our strokes slowly and
evenly, we shall very soon learn to swim. I have frequently seen boys
learn to swim in a single afternoon. Another tendency of the beginner
is to hold his breath while swimming. Of course we cannot swim very
far or exert ourselves unless we can breathe. We should take a breath
at each stroke, inhaling though the mouth and exhaling through the
nose, which is just the opposite to the hygienic method of land
breathing. Whatever may be our methods, however, the main thing is not
to forget to breathe, which always results in finishing our five or
ten strokes out of breath and terrified.

A great deal may be learned about swimming strokes by practice on
land. In fact some swimming teachers always follow the practice of
teaching the pupil ashore how to make the stroke and how to breathe
correctly. A small camp stool or a box will give us the support we
need. The three things to keep in mind are the leg motion and the
taking in of the breath through the mouth as the arms are being drawn
in and exhaling as they are pushed forward. It is better to learn to
swim in salt water, for the reason that it will support the body
better. An additional advantage is that we always feel more refreshed
after a salt-water bath.

If we take up fast swimming, we must learn one of the various overhand
or overarm strokes. The chief difference between these strokes and the
simple breast stroke is that the arms as well as the legs are used to
propel the body through the water, and this power is applied so
steadily and uniformly that instead of moving by jerks we move with a
continuous motion and at a greater speed. The single overarm is easier
to learn than the double overarm or “trudgeon” stroke. This latter
stroke is very tiring and while undoubtedly faster than any other when
once mastered, it is only used for short sprints. Most of the great
swimmers have developed peculiar strokes of their own, but nearly all
of them have adopted a general style which may be called the “crawl.”

There are many fancy strokes in swimming that one may acquire by
practice, all of which require close attention to form rather than
speed, just as fancy skating is distinguished from racing. One of the
simplest tricks to learn is called “the rolling log.” We take a
position just as we would in floating and then exerting the muscles
first of one side and then the other we shall find that we can roll
over and over just as a log might roll. The idea in performing this
trick successfully is not to show any apparent motion of the muscles.

Swimming on the back is easily learned and is not only a pretty trick
but is very useful in giving us an opportunity to rest on a long swim.

Diving is also a branch of swimming that requires confidence rather
than lessons. A dive is simply a plunge head first into the water. A
graceful diver plunges with as little splash as possible. It is very
bad form either to bend the knees or to strike on the stomach, the
latter being a kind of dive for which boys have a very expressive
though not elegant name. Somersaults and back dives from a stationary
take-off or from a spring-board are very easily learned. We shall
probably have a few hard splashes until we learn to turn fully over,
but there is not much danger of injury if we are sure of landing in
the water.

[Illustration: A perfect dive]

Water wings and other artificial supports are very useful for the
beginner until he has mastered the strokes, but all such artificial
devices should be given up just as soon as possible, and, furthermore,
as soon as we can really swim, in order to gain confidence, we should
go beyond our depth, where it will be necessary to swim or drown.

A swimmer should always know how to assist another to shore in case of
accident. It is not nearly so easy as one who has never tried it might
think. A drowning person will for the time being be panic-stricken and
the first impulse will be to seize us about the neck. Always approach
a drowning person from the rear and support him under an armpit,
meanwhile talking to him and trying to reassure him. Every year we
hear of terrible drowning accidents which might have been avoided if
some one in the party had kept his head and had been able to tell the
others what to do.

I have placed canoeing and swimming in the same chapter because the
first word in canoeing is never go until you can swim. There is
practically no difference between the shape of the modern canoe and
the shape of the Indian birch bark canoes which were developed by the
savages in America hundreds of years ago. All the ingenuity of white
men has failed to improve on this model. A canoe is one of the most
graceful of water craft and, while it is regarded more in the light of
a plaything by people in cities, it is just as much a necessity to the
guides and trappers of the great Northern country as a pony is to the
cowboy and the plainsman. The canoe is the horse and wagon of the
Maine woodsman and in it he carries his provisions and his family.

[Illustration: A typical Indian model canoe]

While a canoe is generally propelled by paddles, a pole is sometimes
necessary to force it upstream, especially in swift water. In many
places the sportsman is forced to carry his canoe around waterfalls
and shallows for several miles. For this reason a canoe must be as
light as possible without too great a sacrifice of strength. The old
styles of canoes made of birch bark, hollow logs, the skins of
animals and so on have practically given way to the canvas-covered
cedar or basswood canoes of the Canadian type.

[Illustration: A sailing canoe in action]

It will scarcely pay the boy to attempt to make his own canoe, as the
cost of a well-made eighteen-foot canoe of the type used by
professional hunters and trappers is but thirty dollars. With care a
canoe should last its owner ten years. It will be necessary to protect
it from the weather when not in use and frequently give it a coat of
paint or spar varnish.

Sailing canoes are built after a different model from paddling
canoes. They usually are decked over and simply have a cockpit. They
are also stronger and much heavier. Their use is limited to more open
water than most of the rivers and lakes of Maine and Canada. Cruising
canoes are made safer if water-tight air chambers are built in the

Even if a canoe turns over it does not sink. Some experts can right a
capsized canoe and clamber in over the side even while swimming in
deep water. The seaworthiness of a canoe depends largely upon its
lines. Some canoes are very cranky and others can stand a lot of
careless usage without capsizing. One thing is true of all, that
accidents occur far more often in getting in and out of a canoe than
in the act of sailing it. It is always unsafe to stand in a canoe or
to lean far out of it to pick lilies or to reach for floating objects.

Canoes may be propelled by either single or double paddles, but the
former is the sportman’s type. It is possible to keep a canoe on a
straight course entirely by paddling on one side and merely shifting
to rest, but the beginner may have some difficulty in acquiring the
knack of doing this, which consists of turning the paddles at the end
of the stroke to make up the amount that the forward stroke deflects
the canoe from a straight course.

[Illustration: In Canoeing Against the Current in Swift Steams a Pole
is Used in Place of the Paddle (Photographs by A.R. Dugmore)]

[Illustration: A type of sailing canoe]

An open canoe for paddling does not require a rudder. A sailing canoe,
however, will require a rudder, a keel, and a centreboard as well.
Canoe sailing is an exciting and dangerous sport. In order to keep the
canoe from capsizing, a sliding seat or outrigger is used, upon which
the sailor shifts his position to keep the boat on an even keel. The
centreboard is so arranged that it can be raised or lowered by means
of a line.



How to organize a team and to select the players—The various
positions—Curve pitching

Baseball is called the National Game of America just as cricket is
regarded as the national game in England. The game received its wide
popularity directly after the Civil War by the soldiers who returned
to all parts of the country and introduced the game that they had
learned in camp. Almost every village and town has its ball team, in
which the interest is general. It is not a game for middle-aged men to
play, like golf, but if one has been a ball player in youth the
chances are that he will keep his interest in the game through life.
Baseball is largely a game of skill. It does not afford nearly as much
opportunity for physical exercise as tennis or football, and because
of the professional games it is not always conducted with as high a
regard for sportsmanlike conduct, but it has a firm hold on the
American public, and the winning of a championship series in the
professional leagues is almost a national event.

Every boy knows that a baseball team consists of nine players, the
positions being pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base,
and shortstop, which are called the in-field, and right-field,
centre-field, and left-field, which positions are called the
out-field. The umpire has a very important position in baseball, as
his decisions in a close game may result either in defeat or victory
for a team. An umpire should always be some one who knows the rules
thoroughly and who is not too greatly interested in either team. He
should always try to be fair, and having once made a decision be sure
enough of himself to hold to it even if the whole opposing team may
try by “kicking” to cause him to change. Much of the rowdyism in
baseball can be attributed to this cause. A good ball player is first
of all a boy or man who shows himself to be a gentleman under, all

In baseball, like many games where winning is sometimes the important
thing rather than fair play, the real benefits of the game are lost
sight of in the desire to have a higher score than one’s opponents.
Probably the most clean-cut games are played by school and college
teams, which should always be strictly amateur.

[Illustration: The in-curve]

[Illustration: The out-curve]

The pitcher has the most important position on the team. If by his
skill he is able to deceive the opposing batsmen and cause them to
strike out or to make feeble hits, the rest of the team will have but
little to do except of course to bat when their turn comes and try to
score runs. Baseball has become a very scientific game in recent years
and the sustained interest in it year after year is largely due to the
fact that the regular attendants at a game have learned to understand
and to appreciate the finer points of the game almost as well as the
players themselves. While it might appear to a beginner that the
battery does all the work in a game, as a matter of fact every man on
the nine is supposed to do his part in backing up every play and to be
in the right place at the right time.

A good pitcher must be able to pitch a curved ball. This art will only
come with constant practice. Until about forty years ago a curve was
unknown. In the old days the number of runs scored in a game was very
high, it being a common thing for a winning team to make twenty to
thirty runs. The rules of baseball are changed frequently and almost
every change has been made with a view to restricting the batsman. As
a consequence, in modern games the scores are very low and sometimes
neither side will score a single run in a tie game of ten or twelve

In modern baseball a team that plays together frequently has a
prearranged code of signals that are understood by each member of the
team. It is very important for every player on a side to know whether
the pitcher intends to deliver a high or a low ball or one that may
either be batted well into the out-field or probably be a grounder
that will be taken care of by some one on the in-field. Of course
these things do not always work out as is planned. The pitcher may not
have good control of the ball or pitch wild, the catcher may make a
bad “muff” and let the ball get by him, or what we expect to be a
bunted ball may be a home run, but all of this is part of the sport
and helps to make baseball one of the most interesting and exciting of
games. In any case there is no question that nine boys who are
accustomed to play together and who understand each other’s methods of
play and signals will have a better chance of winning a close game
than nine other players who may have a shade the better of it in
individual work but who do not play together.

[Illustration: The drop]

[Illustration: The out-drop]

Most games are won or lost in a single instant at a crucial moment
when some one fails to make good, or who, usually in the case of a
pitcher, lets up on his speed or accuracy just at the critical time.
The National Championship of 1908 was decided in favour of Chicago
because one of New York’s players in the deciding game of the season
failed to touch second base when the last man was out. The game had
been won by New York except for this mistake, and the result was that
another game was played, which Chicago won before the largest crowd
that probably ever assembled to witness a game of baseball.

When a baseball team is organized, the first thing to do is to elect a
captain from one of the players, and after this is decided every boy
on the team should give him absolute support and obedience. A team
should also have a manager whose duties are to arrange games with
other teams of the same class, to arrange for the transportation of
players and, in fact, to attend to all the business duties of games
that come outside of actual playing. Usually a boy is chosen for
manager who is not a ball player himself, but who has shown an
interest in the team. The captain should be a boy who first of all
knows the game and who has the respect and cooperation of the other
players. The position that he may play on the team is not so
important, but usually it is better to have some one from the
in-field as captain, as he will be in a better position to keep close
watch on the progress of the game and to give directions to the other

In case of a disputed point it is better to allow your captain to make
a protest if such is necessary. Observance of this rule will prevent
much of the rowdyism that has characterized the game of baseball. No
boy should ever attempt to win games by unfair tactics. The day of
tripping, spiking, and holding is gone. If you are not able by your
playing to hold up your end on a ball team you had better give up the
game and devote your attention to something that you can do without
being guilty of rowdyism.

Strict rules of training are not as necessary for baseball players as
for some other branches of sport, because the game is not so strenuous
nor does it involve such sustained physical exertion, but any boy will
make a better ball player as well as a better man if he observes the
rules of training, such as early hours for retiring, simple food, and
regular systematic exercise.

The battery of a team is an exception to the rule regarding strict
training. Both the pitcher and catcher should be in the best physical
condition. A pitcher who stands up for nine innings is obliged to do
a tremendous amount of work and if he becomes tired or stiff toward
the end of the game he will probably be at the mercy of the opposing

Usually the pitcher of a team is a boy who is physically strong and
who can stand hard work. The other positions, however, are usually
assigned because of the build of the individual player. The pitcher,
however, may be tall or short, fat or thin, so long as he can pitch.

The pitcher is the most important member of a ball team. Most of the
work falls to him, and a good pitcher, even with a comparatively weak
team behind him, can sometimes win games where a good team with a weak
pitcher would lose. A good pitcher must first of all have a cool head
and keep his nerve even under the most trying circumstances. He must
also have good control of the ball and be able to pitch it where he
wants it to go. After that he must have a knowledge of curves and know
how by causing the ball to spin in a certain way to cause it to change
its course and thus to deceive the batsman. The art of curving a ball
was discovered in 1867. Before that time all that a pitcher needed was
a straight, swift delivery. The three general classes of curved balls
used to-day are the out-curve, the in-curve, and the drop. There are
also other modifications called “the fade away,” “the spitball,” and
others. Curve pitching will only come with the hardest kind of

In general the spin is given to the ball by a certain use of the
fingers and the method of releasing it. It is necessary to conceal
your intentions from the batsman in preparing to deliver a curve or he
will divine your intention and the effort may be wasted. All curves
are produced by a snap of the wrist at the instant of releasing the
ball. Excellent practice may be had in curving by pitching at a post
from a sixty-foot mark and watching to see the effect of various
twists and snaps. Pitching is extremely hard on the arm and practice
should be very light at first until the muscles become hardened. Even
the best professional pitchers are not worked as a rule oftener than
two or three games a week.

A good baseball captain always tries to develop several pitchers from
his team. It is of course very desirable to have a “star pitcher” who
can be depended on, but if the star should happen to be ill or to
injure his fingers on a hot liner or for some reason cannot play,
unless there is a substitute, the effect of his absence on his team
will be to demoralize it. For that reason every encouragement should
be given to any boy who wants to try his hand at pitching. If a game
is well in hand it is usually safe to put in a substitute pitcher to
finish it. This is done in college teams for the reason that no amount
of practice is quite like playing in an actual game.

It may be said to guide the beginner that the method of producing
curves varies greatly with different pitchers, but that in general the
out-curve is produced by grasping the ball with the first and second
fingers and the thumb. The grip for this curve should be tight and the
back of the hand turned downward. The out-curve can be produced either
with a fast ball or a slow one.

For the in-curve a swinging sidearm motion is used, the ball being
released over the tips of the first two fingers with a snap to set it
spinning. It may also be produced by releasing the ball over all four

The grip of the ball for the drop is very similar to the out-curve,
but in delivery the hand is brought almost directly over the shoulder.
In all curves the pitcher must have extremely sensitive fingers and be
able to control them with almost as much skill as one requires in
playing a piano. We must keep in mind which way we desire the ball to
spin to produce the required curve and then to give it just as much
of this spin as we can without interfering with our accuracy.

No two pitchers will have the same form or manner of delivery. In
learning to pitch, the main thing is to adopt the delivery that seems
most natural to you without especial regard to form, and with no
unnecessary motions.

A pitcher must always be on the alert and keep a close watch on the
bases when they are occupied. He must not, however, allow the remarks
of coacher or spectators to cause him to become rattled or confused.
Baseball at best is a noisy game, and a pitcher who is sensitive to
outside remarks or joshing will never be a real success.

The catcher is usually a short, stocky player with a good reach and a
quick, accurate throw. He is usually the acting general in a game and
signals to the whole team. The principal test of a good catcher is to
be able to make a quick, swift throw to second base without being
obliged to draw his arm fully back. Such a ball is snapped from the
wrist and should be aimed to catch the base runner who is attempting
to steal the base. This play is very common in ball games, and as
there is only a difference of an instant in the time that it takes a
runner to go from first base to second, who starts just as the
pitcher delivers the ball, and the time it takes a pitched ball to be
caught by the catcher and snapped to second, a game may be won or lost
just on this play alone. If the opposing team finds that it can make
second in safety by going down with the pitcher’s arm, it will surely
take full advantage of the knowledge. To have a man on second is
disconcerting to the pitcher as well as a difficult man to handle. It
therefore follows that a catcher who cannot throw accurately to the
bases becomes a serious disadvantage to his team. In the old days a
catcher had to be able to catch either with bare hand or with a light
glove, but the modern catcher’s mitt, mask, chest-protector, and
shin guards make the position far safer, and almost any boy who is
quick and has nerve can be trained to become a fairly good catcher so
long as he has a good throw and is a good general.

The first baseman is usually a tall boy who is active and who can
cover his position both in reaching for high balls and in picking up
grounders. Of course in a baseball score the first baseman will score
the largest number of “put outs,” because practically all he is
obliged to do is to cover the base and to catch the ball before the
runner gets there. It is in fielding his position and in pulling down
balls that are thrown wildly that the first baseman can show his
chief skill.

The positions of second base and shortstop are practically the same,
and these two players should understand each other perfectly and know
just when to cover the base and when to back up the other. Neglect of
this precaution often results in the most stupid errors, which are
discouraging alike to the team and the spectators. Both players should
be quick and active, with an ability to throw both over and under
handed as well as to toss the ball after picking it up on the run. The
shortstop is often the smallest man on a team, due no doubt to the
theory that his work is largely in picking up grounders.

The shortstop is often led into habits which are commonly known as
“grand-stand plays”; that is, he attempts to make difficult plays or
one-handed stops with an unnecessary display of motions, to bring the
applause of the spectators. No ball player was ever made by playing to
the audience. Good form is not only very desirable but very necessary,
but the main thing in ball playing is to play your part and to forget
that there is such a thing as an audience or applause. If your form is
good so much the better, but if by paying too much attention to it
you miss the ball and score an error, your team may suffer defeat on
account of your pride. The main thing is to get the ball and after
that to do it as gracefully as possible. One-handed stops are well
enough when you cannot get both hands on the ball, but an error made
in this way is not only the most humiliating kind but also the most

It must not be inferred that grand-stand playing is confined to the
shortstop. Any member of the team can be guilty of it. No player, no
matter how good he may be, should be allowed to hold his position on a
team unless he is willing to do his best at all times and unless he
feels that the game is not lost nor won until the last man is out.

Many experienced players consider that the most difficult position to
play well is third base. This player has to be ready for slow bunts as
well as hard drives; he must cover a lot of ground and try to get
every ball that comes near him. At the same time he must cover his
base to stop the base runner from advancing home. He will be obliged
to stop hot liners with one hand and often while on the run to make an
accurate throw to first base.

Out-fielders are usually chosen because of their ability to bat as
well as to be quick on their feet and catch fly balls on the run.
Fielders should practise if possible to catch the ball in a throwing
position, so that no unnecessary time may be lost in getting the ball
back to the in-field. Of the three fielding positions, right-field is
by far the most important. He must be sure of ground balls as well as
flies and also, in common with all the fielders, be a good judge of
the batsmen and try to be where the batted ball is going. The
centre-fielder must be especially quick on his feet, as he is expected
to back up both shortstop and second base as well as to run in for
line hits that just go over the in-fielders’ heads. The ability to
start quickly when running for a ball can be greatly developed by
practice and will greatly improve the player’s game.

Very often a fly ball will fall in such a position that the
out-fielders will be in doubt who is to take it. The result is usually
a collision, a missed ball and a chorus of groans from the spectators.
The remedy for this is to arrange beforehand for the second baseman to
call out who in the case of a doubtful ball is to take it. All of
these things are part of the finer points of the game and will only
come from practice. A boy who really desires to become proficient in
his position will try to avoid changing from one position to another,
but decide which position he likes to play best or is best fitted for
and try to get all the practice possible. An excellent opportunity
will come from studying the methods of a good player in the same
position, noting carefully what he does on each play, how he backs up
the other players and how he fits in the general plan of team work.

It is a great advantage to any player to learn as much as he can about
the skill and methods of his opponents. Some men cannot hit a low ball
or a high one, some will flinch when the ball comes close to them,
giving the pitcher a chance to deliver a straight, swift ball over the
inside of the plate, which the umpire will call a strike even though
the batsman devotes all of his energy to getting out of the way.

A left-handed thrower will seldom make a success as a ball player
except as pitcher or on first base. Left-handed batsmen, however, are
a distinct advantage to a team, as nothing will so disconcert a green
pitcher as to have batsmen standing first on one side of the plate and
then on the other.

Every boy who plays baseball must know the rules thoroughly to be a
success. It is in this way that advantage of every fair opportunity
can be taken. Nothing is so disheartening to a team as to lose a
closely contested game on a technicality of rules.

Batting and base running are two departments of the game where one
member of the team is as important as another. A good batsman must
have a quick eye and a quick brain. When he decides to strike at a
ball he must not change his mind and simply swing at it feebly after
it is in the catcher’s hands. The best batters are not those who hit
the ball the hardest. Judgment in placing hits is far more important
than trying to knock out a home run every time you are at the bat. You
must remember that the pitcher is studying your batting methods and
you must try just as hard to deceive him as he is trying to deceive
you. Many a game has been won by a man who knew how to wait at the bat
instead of swinging wildly at everything just for fear of having
strikes called.

When you hit the ball there is only one rule—run. You will very soon
find out whether the ball is fair or foul or whether there is any
chance of making first base. A base runner should never stop trying to
make a base until the ball is in the hands of the baseman. One never
can tell when a ball may be fumbled or muffed.

A baseball diamond should be a part of a town just as is the public
square or a town hall. The distance between the bases should be ninety
feet and the four base-lines should form a square and all the angles
should be right angles. The three bases should be canvas bags filled
with sawdust and fastened to their positions by pegs that are driven
into the ground. The home plate should if possible be a piece of
whitened rubber. A board securely fastened will do.

[Illustration: How to lay out a baseball field]

The pitcher’s box should be denoted by a strip of wood or rubber 24
inches long and 6 inches wide. This and home plate should be buried
so that they are flush with the surface of the field. The pitcher’s
box on a full-sized field is exactly 60½ feet from home plate.

The standard baseball is the kind used by professional players. It is
covered with horsehide, and is warranted to last an entire game
without ripping or getting out of shape. Baseball bats are made of a
variety of woods, the common materials being ash, willow, and hickory.
A bat must not exceed 2¾ inches in thickness at its thickest part.
There are a great many shapes and models named after the professional
players who use them. The shape of a bat does not make as much
difference as some poor batters are inclined to think. The
manufacturers of sporting goods make all the accessories for playing
baseball both in men’s and boys’ sizes. Every ball player should own
his own mitt or glove and become accustomed to it. The same is true of
his bat.

The art of becoming a good ball player depends largely on the boy
himself. No one plays ball naturally. It all comes with practice, and
it follows that the more practice we can get the better ball players
we shall become. It is a game where a loss of nerve is absolutely
fatal to good work. A player must keep his head no matter how trying
the circumstances may be. Cool-headedness is especially important and
the surest way to develop it is to be just as indifferent to the
criticism of the crowd or your fellow-players, so long as you know
that you have done your best, as you should be to their applause. Just
play the game for all there is in it, and you will be sure to become a
moderately good player even though you may not be a star. In field
practice, when some one is batting out balls to you, try just as hard
to stop and field each ball that comes within reach as you would if
the result of the game depended on it. It is only by this means that
you can hope to become a finished ball player. You can never learn by
lying around in the shade and telling your friends how good you are
going to be in the coming match game.

A regularly organized ball team should always adopt some club colours
and be provided with uniforms. Very good ones complete with shirt,
pants, stockings, belt, and cap can be purchased of sporting goods
outfitters for two or three dollars a suit (when ordered in lots of
nine or more). They can also sometimes be made more cheaply at home if
mothers and sisters are willing. The shirt should always be lettered
with the name or initials of the team. Baseball shoes are usually
provided with steel plates or leather knobs. Spikes are very dangerous
and should not be permitted. The regulation baseball shoe reaches just
under the instep.

The rules of baseball are too long and complicated to be published
here. Almost every year many important changes are made to improve the
sport and to make it harder for the batsmen to make runs. All of this
tends to make the game more interesting and to develop it from a
scientific side.

When a team is playing away from its home grounds the choice of
innings—i.e., who is to bat first—goes to the home team.

A game consists of nine full innings unless called by rain, darkness
or for some other cause. If five complete innings have been played
when the game stops, the score always stands and the team ahead is
declared the winner. In case of a tie at the end of the game the play
continues until at the completion of a full inning one team is ahead.
That ends the game and the team ahead is the winner.

In arranging games with visiting teams it is customary to make some
arrangement as to expenses, share of gate receipts or other guarantee.
It is very important in order to avoid unpleasant disputes to have
this matter fully understood and agreed upon by the managers of each
team before the game starts.

On account of fences, houses, and other obstacles that some baseball
fields have it is customary for the umpire to decide what are called
“ground rules” before the game starts. The principal thing that mars a
good game of ball next to kicking and wrangling is the tendency of the
crowd to get on the field and to interfere with the players. An easy
remedy for this is simply to call the game until the spectators take
their proper places.

Baseball is a good game if it is properly played. It is unfortunate
that so many amateur games are spoiled because some of the players
lose their tempers in their anxiety to have their wrongs righted. No
matter how good a ball player a boy is he will never get the real
benefit of the game unless he remembers that it is not the one who
loses his temper but “he who ruleth his spirit” that is really
entitled to the respect of his fellows. Make up your mind to abide by
the decision of the umpire just as a soldier obeys the orders of his
superior officer. It is the easiest thing in the world for an umpire
to make a mistake, but he will be far less likely to correct his
errors if nine angry boys are all talking to him at once than if your
captain quietly goes to him with the rules or the facts behind him
and states the case. It is an old saying but none the less true that
“oil catches more flies than vinegar.”

A boy who has developed a healthy interest in baseball while young
will probably never lose it in after life even though his
opportunities to play or even to see a game are few. I once met a
mining man in the interior of Mexico, a hundred miles from a railroad
and in a town where only three people spoke the English language, and
this man had not been to his home town in ten years, but he had
followed his baseball team through the papers all those years and
could tell you more about the players than many a man living in the
town where the team played.

Such a man is what the newspapers call a “fan,” which is an
abbreviation of the word “fanatic.” There is no harm in being a
baseball enthusiast, provided that we do not allow it to interfere
with our work or allow our desire to witness games to take the place
of systematic exercise for ourselves.



The various positions and how to select men for them—Team, work and
signals—The rules

Football is usually played in the fall of the year because the
exercise that it involves is so violent that to attempt it at any
other time would probably result in injury to the players. The cool,
frosty days of October and November make baseball out of season, and
such weather is ideal for football.

So much has been said and written about the dangers of football as a
sport that many parents have strong objections to permitting their
sons to play. There is no question that it is a hard game and not
suited to weaklings, but a strong, healthy boy can play football under
proper conditions and with proper training quite as safely as he can
do many other things to which parents raise no objections, such as
wrestling, climbing trees, playing hockey, or even performing
difficult feats of gymnastics or acrobatics in a gymnasium. Every
year there are a number of serious accidents from football, but there
are also injuries from other games, and people are injured who play no
games at all, so it simply is a question whether we are willing to
take the chances of a sprained ankle or broken bone for the love of
one of the best of outdoor sports.

[Illustration: The lineup]

The recent changes in rules have made football a much safer game than
it was in the early nineties, when such plays as the “flying wedge”
and line bucking were practically all there was to the game. To any
one who does not understand football it seems as though it were played
with practically no science and with but few rules. As a matter of
fact a well-coached college team will sometimes have sixty or seventy
separate plays each of which has been carefully practised and which
requires each man on the team to do something to help make the play
successful, while on the other hand each man on the opposing team is
doing his best to cause the play to fail. The result to any one not
understanding the game is simply a confused mass of struggling men and
a final tumble with a pile of legs and arms flying about.

The American game of football called Rugby is a development of the
English game, but the present game is very different from the English
game of soccer or association football, in which kicking predominates
and where a round ball is used instead of the oval-shaped American

Numerous efforts have been made to introduce the game of soccer into
this country, but the long popularity of the American game and the
strong support that has been given to it by the colleges have
prevented soccer from gaining much of a foothold.

Football is played by two opposing teams of eleven men each. The
positions are right and left end, right and left tackle, right and
left guard, centre rush, quarter-back, right and left half-backs and

The manner in which they line up is shown in the accompanying

     0     0     0    0    0     0     0
    l.e.  l.t.  l.g.  c.  r.g.  r.t.  r.e.


              0               0
           l.h.-b.         r.h.-b.


The weight and size of the men on a football team largely govern the
positions where they play. The centre rush and the two guards are
usually the heaviest men on the team, as extra weight in the centre of
the line is important to prevent what is called “bucking the centre.”
The two tackles should be strong, stocky players, not too tall, but
still with sufficient weight to enable them to keep their feet in a
mass play and to offer strong resistance to a united attack on their
position. They should also be quick and agile and be able to advance
the ball by rushing when called upon. The two ends must be fleet of
foot and quick, sure tacklers. With the constant changes in football
rules the position of end has become more and more important, until
now a team with weak, slow ends is almost like a baseball team with a
poor pitcher.

Many people regard the position of quarter-back as the most important
on the team. He is virtually the field captain. A good quarter-back
must be an all around player of the highest order. He must first of
all have a good head and be able to run off the plays of his team
without confusion. He must keep his head under the most trying
circumstances. He must watch for weak places in the opposing team and
direct the play of his men against them. He must offer encouragement
to his own team and be always on the alert to capture a fumbled ball,
stop a runner who has eluded the tacklers or to catch a punt that may
come within his reach. In nearly all the big college games the
quarter-back is one of the star players. The nature of his many duties
is such that he is forced to be a grand-stand player and to be
conspicuous even though he may not desire to. In running back punts
the quarter-back will often be used because he is sure in catching
them, which is a matter of the greatest importance. And all of this
work is required of a man who is usually the smallest, lightest man on
the team and who alongside of the giant guards and centre sometimes
looks like a pigmy. There is no higher honour in football than to be a
good all around quarter-back.

The half-backs are chosen because of their speed and their ability to
advance the ball and to elude the tackling of the opposing team. They
come in for a very large share of the work and must be boys of
superior strength and agility.

Next to the quarter-back the player of the greatest importance is
full-back. His duty first of all is to attend to the kicking end of
the game. For that reason he must practise constantly both with punts
and drop kicks and be able to put the ball between the goal posts from
all angles and distances within reason. A great many games are won by
a good drop kicker making a field goal at a critical time, and such a
man is of the highest value to a team. As drop kicking, like pitching
in baseball, comes largely from practice, the captain or manager of a
team should see to it that any member of his team who shows any
ability at all in this department should be given every opportunity
and encouragement to develop his skill. A good drop kicker can be used
temporarily from almost any position in the line, whether he be guard,
tackle or end. As a rule, however, the full-back is the player who
does most of the kicking. He must also be a good line bucker and be
able to gain the required distance when called upon.

In general, then, we choose the three centre men because of their
weight, the tackles and ends for speed and ability in tackling, the
quarter-back for his all around ability and his generalship, the
half-backs because of their skill in rushing the ball, and the
full-back for the kicking department. Any man on the team may be
chosen captain. As his work is largely done in practice and in
perfecting plays, unless a team is in the hands of a coach it is
better not to add the duties of captain to the already overburdened
quarter-back. Otherwise he is the logical and ideal man for the

[Illustration: A football gridiron]

There is no game in which team work is more important than in
football. Eleven boys of moderate ability and comparative light weight
who can execute their plays with skill and precision can beat a team
of heavier boys or superior players who may lack their skill and
organization. In the case of a school team it is almost always
possible to secure the services of a coach from among the graduates.
If such a one has had experience on a college team so much the better.

A football field is 330 feet long by 160 feet wide. At each end are
goal posts set 18 feet 6 inches apart, with a crossbar 10 feet above
the ground. The field is marked off in chalk lines similar to a tennis
court, these lines being 5 yards apart. The centre of the field where
the play starts is 55 yards from either end. It is usually customary
to run lines parallel to the sides of the field, also 5 yards apart,
but as a field is but 160 feet wide the first and last of these lines
are but 5 feet from the side lines instead of 5 yards. The lines on a
football field make a checkerboard effect and have given to the field
the name of “gridiron.”

Football is a game where eleven men try to force the ball back of the
opposing players’ goal line by various efforts in running with it or
in kicking, while the opposing team meanwhile, by throwing the runner
or by pushing him back, try to prevent any gain being made. Each team
is allowed a certain number of attempts to make a certain distance
and, if they fail to do this the ball becomes the property of the
other team to make a similar attempt. Each of these attempts is called
a “down,” and, according to the rules, after three attempts, if the
runners have failed to gain the required distance, the ball is given
to their opponents. In practice it is customary for a team to kick the
ball on its last down and thus to surrender it just as far from its
own goal line as possible. The distance that must be made in three
downs according to the present rules is ten yards. Sometimes a team
will not kick on its last down because the distance remaining to be
gained is so little that the quarter-back feels sure that one of his
men can make it, but this is an exception. When ten or more yards are
gained the ball becomes at first down again and the team has three
more attempts to make another ten yards figured from where the ball
was finally downed.

The ultimate object of “rushing the ball,” as this play is called, is
to place it on the ground behind the enemy’s goal line, which is
called a “touchdown.” Sometimes a team will succeed in getting the
ball almost over the goal line and then because of the superior
resistance of its opponents will find that it can advance it no
further. It is then customary for one of the players who has had
practice in drop kicking to attempt to kick what is called a “goal
from the field” or “field goal.” This play counts less than a
touchdown in the score, counting but three points, while a touchdown
counts five, but many a game has been won by a field goal.

Football scores between evenly matched teams who play scientifically
are usually low, one or two scores in a game being all that are made.
It frequently happens that neither side will score, but, unlike
baseball, the game does not continue after the time limit has expired,
but simply becomes a tie game. The game is divided into four periods
of fifteen minutes each. There are resting periods of three minutes
each between the first and second and third and fourth periods, and
fifteen minutes between the second and third periods.

At the beginning of the game the two opposing captains toss up a coin
and the winner of the toss has the choice of goals or of the ball. His
decision will be governed by the position of the sun and the wind
conditions, two very important things in football. After each score
the sides change goals, however; so the choice is not so important
unless the game happens to be scoreless.

At the first play the ball is placed in the centre of the field and
is kicked off, a man on the opposing team trying to catch it and to
run back as far as possible before he is tackled and the ball
“downed.” The next lineup takes place at this point and the game
proceeds until a score is made. After each score the ball is put in
play just as at the beginning of the game.

The quarter-back calls out a series of numbers and letters called
“signals” before the ball is put into play. These signals will tell
his team what the play is to be, whether a run around end, a kick, or
a mass play on centre, for example. The matter of thorough coaching in
signals is very important and must be practised by the team until it
can tell in an instant just what the play is to be when the play
starts. The centre stoops low and holds the ball in an upright
position on the ground between his feet. The quarter-back is directly
behind him with outstretched hands ready to receive it. After the
signal is given the team must be ready to execute the play, but must
not by look or motion permit its opponents know what the play is to
be. At a touch or word from the quarter-back, the full-back snaps the
ball back and the play starts.

The position of the men on a team is generally as the diagram shows
but for various plays other formations are used, provided that they
do not violate the rules, which specify just how many men must be in
the lineup and how many are permitted behind the line.

The first requirement of signals is to have them simple. In the heat
and stress of a game the players will have but little time to figure
out what the play is to be, even though it may all have seemed very
simple on paper.

To begin a code of signals each position on the team is given a
letter. The eleven positions will require eleven letters and no two
must be alike. It would be possible of course to simply start with the
letter “a” and go to “k,” but this system would be too simple and
easily understood by your opponents. A better way is to take a word
easily remembered in which no letter occurs twice, such as
“B-l-a-c-k-h-o-r-s-e-x” or any other combination. “Buy and trade”
“importance,” “formidable,” and many others are used. The same
principle is used by tradesmen in putting private price marks on their

Take the words “buy and trade” for example. Their positions right and
left end, abbreviated (r.e. and l.e.), right and left tackle (r.t. and
l.t.), right and left guard (r.g. and l.g.), centre (c.),
quarter-back (q.), right and left half-backs (r.h. and l.h.), and
full-back (f.b.), would be assigned letters as follows:

      l.e. l.t. l.g.  c. r.g. r.t.   r.e. q. l.h. f.b.   r.h.
      _B    U    Y    A   N    D      T   R   A    D      E_

The letters denote not only players but holes in the line, as the
spaces between the players are called. The quarter-back always adds to
his signal a number of other letters or figures which have no meaning,
simply to confuse the opposing players. For example the signal given
is “24-E-N-72-X.” The figures 24 and 72 mean nothing, nor does the
“X.” The signal says “E will take the ball and go through N,” or right
half-back through right guard. Any number of other plays can be
denoted by letters or numbers, for example all punts by figures which
are a multiple of ten, as 10-20, 150-300, and so on.

The beginner in football should first of all be provided with a
suitable uniform; there is no game in which this is more important.
The game is rough and many and harsh are the jolts we receive;
consequently we must use whatever padding and guards we can to provide
against injury.

The custom is to wear a tight jersey with elbow pads, a tight-fitting
canvas jacket and well-padded canvas khaki or moleskin trousers. The
appearance of our uniform is of little consequence, as football
players are not noted for the beauty of their costumes. Heavy woollen
stockings and football shoes complete the outfit. The shoes are the
most important part of the uniform. They should lace with eyelets and
be well provided with leather cleats to prevent slipping.

[Illustration: Football shoes]

A beginner at football can gain a lot of valuable points by carefully
watching the practice of his team from the side lines. He is then in a
position when called upon to fill a given position which he may be
trying for, without obliging the coach or captain to give him
instruction in many rudiments which he can just as well learn from
observation. He must also be thoroughly familiar with the rules and
their interpretation. A violation of the rules in football carries
with it a severe penalty for the team, provided of course that the
referee sees it, consequently, a beginner must be especially careful
not to permit his anxiety to make a good showing to result in being
offside when the ball is put in play, interfering with a man about to
make a fair catch or in doing many other things which the excitement
of the game may occasion.

The moment of putting the ball into play is called a “scrimmage” and
the scrimmage continues until the ball is downed. A ball is “down”
when the runner is brought to a standstill or when he touches the
ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet. At this
point the referee will blow his whistle and a lineup for a new
scrimmage will take place.

[Illustration: The football uniform]

When the ball is kicked, a member of the opposing team who raises his
hand and stands in one spot is entitled to make a catch without
interference, which if successful gives his team a free kick. In a
free kick his opponents may not come within ten yards of where the
ball was caught and some member of his team may kick either a drop
kick, punt or place kick as he sees fit. After a touchdown, which
counts five, a place kick for goal is attempted. If the ball goes
between the goal posts and above the crossbar it counts one point
additional for the team making the touchdown, or six in all. A score
of one alone cannot be made in football, as the attempt for goal
cannot be made until after a touchdown. This of course does not apply
to a field goal, which may be attempted at any time while the ball is
in possession of the team and which counts three.

The smallest score is from a “safety,” which results when a member of
a team is forced to touch the ball down behind his own goal or is
downed there by the opposing team. This play counts two for his
opponents and is an evidence of weakness of the team. It has the
advantage, however, of permitting the ball to be brought out
twenty-five yards to be put into play.

The rules of football were practically unchanged for a number of
years, but the game developed so many dangerous features that nearly
all the colleges recently agreed to certain important changes
especially directed to abolishing mass play and line bucking. For that
reason the rules for the present game may be changed considerably
within a few years. A boy taking up football should therefore
acquaint himself with the latest rules governing the sport.

Football requires careful training, but the best training will come
from actual play itself. In the beginning of the season a period of
ten minutes’ hard play is all that a boy should be called upon to do,
unless he is in excellent physical shape. After that the time of
practice should be lengthened until a candidate can go through a game
of two full halves without being exhausted. One reason for many
football injuries is that the players become so completely winded that
the ordinary power of resistance is lost.

Besides actual play the best training is in taking long runs to
improve the wind, one of the most essential things in football. In the
colleges training for nearly all athletic events is done in this way
and a candidate who cannot go out with his squad and run four or five
miles at a stiff dog trot will have but little chance of making his



How to make and mark a tennis court—Clay and sod courts—The proper
grip of the racket—Golf—The strokes and equipment

The steady growth in popularity of lawn tennis as well as the splendid
exercise that results from playing this game has given it a sure place
in the field of athletic sports. It is a game that requires a great
deal of skill, and as no one realizes this fact more than those who
are experts, a beginner should not be deterred from playing tennis
simply because he may fear the criticism of the more experienced. The
only way to learn the various strokes and to be able to play a good
game is to practise at every opportunity. It is better to play against
some one who is more skilful than ourselves and who will keep us on
our mettle to make a good showing.

The eye and the muscles must work automatically and with precision. No
amount of written instructions can give us this skill. The personal
outfit for playing tennis is of course very simple. Every player
should own his racket and become accustomed to it. They cost almost
any price up to eight dollars, which will buy the very best rackets
made. The weight and size of the racket will depend on our strength.
The average weight for a man is about fourteen ounces and for a boy an
ounce or two lighter. A skilful player becomes so accustomed to the
feeling and weight of his own racket that often he will play an
indifferent game if he is forced to use any other.

The game of lawn tennis was first played on a lawn or grass court, and
many players still prefer this kind of a court, but the difficulty of
obtaining a good sod, and after having obtained it the greater
difficulty of keeping it in good condition, have increased the
popularity of a skinned or clay court, which is always in fair
condition except immediately after a heavy rain. The expense of
maintaining a tennis court is more than most boys or most families
would care to undertake.

As a rule, tennis courts fall in the same general class with golf
links in that they lend themselves readily to the joint ownership of a
club or school, where the expense falls on a number rather than on an
individual. In a great many places the boys of a town or village have
clubbed together and have obtained permission from some one owning a
piece of vacant ground that is not likely to be sold or improved
within a few years and have built a tennis court on it. This
arrangement helps the appearance of the land, that should be secured
at a very low rental, or none at all if the owner is public spirited
and prefers to see the boys of his town grow up as healthy, athletic
men rather than weaklings who have no place for recreation but in the
village streets, where passing trucks and automobiles will endanger
their lives, or at least cause them to be a nuisance to the public.

[Illustration: The dimensions of a tennis court]

To build a tennis court properly means a lot of work and it should
only be attempted under the direction of some one who understands it.
The things most important are good drainage, good light, and
sufficient room. A double court is 36 feet wide by 72 feet long, but
in tournament games or on courts where experts play it is customary to
have an open space about 60 feet wide by 110 to 120 feet long, to give
the players plenty of room to run back and otherwise to play a fast
game. A court should always be laid out north and south or as near
these points of the compass as possible. In courts running east and
west the sun is sure to be in the eyes of one of the players nearly
all day; this is of course a very serious objection. While it is very
pleasant to play tennis in the shade of a tree or building, a court
should never be located under these conditions if it is possible to
avoid it. A properly placed court should be fully exposed to the sun
all day.

First of all it will be necessary to decide whether a grass or “dirt”
court is to be built. If the grass is fine and the place where the
court is to be happens to be level, there is little to do but to cut
the sod very short with a lawn-mower and to mark out the court. If, on
the contrary, there is much grading or levelling to be done, a dirt
court will be much cheaper and better in the end, as constant playing
on turf soon wears bare spots. The upkeep of a grass court will be
expensive unless it is feasible to move its position from time to

Whatever the court is to be, the first question to consider is proper
drainage. If the subsoil is sandy the chances are that the natural
soakage will take care of the surplus water, but on the contrary, if
the court is at the bottom of a hill or in a low place where clay
predominates, it is necessary to provide some means of getting rid of
the surplus water from rainfalls or our court may be a sea of mud just
when it would be most useful to us. To level a court properly we shall
need the services of some one expert with a levelling instrument of
some kind. It is not safe to depend on what seems to be level to our
eye, as our judgment is often influenced by leaning trees, the
horizon, and other natural objects. With a few stakes driven into the
ground, the tops of which are level, we are enabled to stretch lines
which will give us our levels accurately.

A court should have a slope of a few inches from one end to the other
to carry off water. After the level is determined, all there is to
making a court is to fill in or cut away soil and earth until the
proper level space is obtained. As a rule it is better to dig away for
a court rather than to fill in, as we thus obtain a better bottom and
one that will require but little rolling. In the case of a slope, it
is well so to locate the court that the amount of earth excavated
from one end will be just about sufficient to fill in the other.

The final surfacing of a court is done by means of clay and sand in
the proportion of about four or five to one, the clay of course being
in excess. To mix clay and sand thoroughly, the former should first be
pulverized thoroughly when dry and the mixture sifted over the court
carefully and evenly. The next step is rolling and wetting, and more
rolling and wetting until finally the whole is allowed to dry and is
ready for play. The slight irregularities and roller ridges that often
appear in a court will soon be worn off by the players’ feet, but
playing of course will not change the grade. A new court will be
greatly improved by use, but no one should be allowed on a court
except with rubber-soled shoes. Heeled shoes will soon ruin a court,
and it is bad practice even to allow any one to walk over a court
unless with proper footwear.

The preliminary levelling of a court can be accomplished with a rake
and a straight-edged board, but after the clay has become packed and
hard it will be necessary to use considerable force in scraping off
the inequalities. A metal cutting edge, such as a hoe or scraper, will
be found useful. A court should be swept with a coarse broom to
distribute the fine material evenly. Another very good sweeper can be
made from a piece of wood about six or eight feet long to which
several thicknesses of bagging have been tacked or fastened. The final
step in making a court consists in marking it out. Most courts are
marked so that they will be suitable either for singles or doubles or
so that either two or four people can play at a time. Where tape
markers are to be used, the proper distances will appear on the tape
without measuring, but if lime is used for marking a careful plotting
will be necessary to secure the proper distances, after which the
corners should be indicated by angle irons, so that the court may be
remarked at any time without re-measuring.

[Illustration: A game of doubles in lawn tennis]

Considerable difficulty is often experienced by beginners in marking
out a court, and, in fact, it is not a simple matter. The first thing
of importance is to determine generally one corner of the court and to
get a base line and a side line at a true right angle of ninety
degrees. The same principle may be employed that is used by builders
and surveyors in “squaring a building,” as it is called. You will need
a ten-foot pole with marks for the feet indicated on it in lead
pencil, and in addition to this a few 20-penny spikes and a ball of
stout twine. Drive a nail into the ground where you want one corner of
the court and fasten the line to it; then stretch the line to another
nail to mark either a side line or back line. You will then have one
side and the corner fixed, and the problem is to get another line at
right angles to it. Boys who have studied geometry know that “in a
right-angle triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum
of the squares of the other two sides.” It isn’t necessary to
understand this, but it is the principle employed in “squaring.” You
next stretch another line and have some one hold it. On the fixed side
line you measure eight feet from the corner nail and mark it with a
piece of twine tied around the line. You also make a six-foot mark on
the line to be at right angles to it, the exact direction of which is
yet to be determined. Both of these measurements must be accurate.
The boy on the end of the loose line moves it until the distance
between the two pieces of twine is exactly the length of your ten-foot
pole. The angle thus formed is exactly ninety degrees, or a right
angle. Having obtained one side and one end, to finish marking is
simply a matter of making the necessary measurements of a court as
shown on the diagram and marking each intersecting point with a nail
driven into the ground.

[Illustration: How to mark out a tennis court]

Another way to lay out a court is to drive two stakes or nails into
the ground 27 feet apart. (The line of these stakes should be the
position of the net.) Then take two pieces of twine, one 47 feet 5
inches long, and the other 39 feet. Fasten one line to each of the
spikes that you have placed 27 feet apart. Where the two lines meet
as they are pulled taut are the true corners of the court, as there
are only four points where they can meet. The various measurements can
then be marked as above by referring to the diagram. It is customary
to mark a double court and to indicate the lines for singles

The game of tennis may be played either by two or four persons, or
sometimes an expert player will stand two beginners. The ball used is
rubber filled with air and covered with white felt and is 2½ inches
in diameter. It is necessary to play with two balls, and to save time
in chasing those that go wild it is customary to play with three or

[Illustration: Photographs of Tennis Strokes Taken in Actual Play]

One of the players begins by serving. The selection of the court is
usually chosen by lot or by tossing up a racket in a way similar to
tossing a cent. The side of the racket where the woven gut appears is
called “rough,” and the other side “smooth.” This practice is not to
be recommended, as it injures the racket. It is better to toss a coin.
The game of tennis consists in knocking the ball over the net and into
the court of your opponent, keeping up this volley until one side or
player fails to make the return properly or at all, which scores his
opponent a point. While a game in tennis consists of four points, the
simple numbers from one to four are not used. The points run 15,30,
40, game, when one side makes them all. Or it may be “15-30,” “15
all,” and so on, the score of the server being mentioned first. Where
one side has nothing their score is called “love.” When one side has
scored four points the game is won—with this exception: When both
sides are tied at 40, or “deuce,” as it is called, the winners must
make two points more than their opponents to win. In this way the game
may be continued for a long time as the points are won first by one
side and then by the other. The score at deuce, or “40 all,” will be
denoted as “vantage in” or “vantage out,” depending upon whether the
server’s side or the other wins one of the two points necessary to win
from “deuce.” If first one side, then the other, obtains one of these
points the score will be “vantage in” or “out,” as the case may be,
and then “deuce” again, until finally when two points clear are made
it is “game.” A set of tennis consists in winning six games, but in
this case also there is a peculiar condition. Where each side wins
five games it is necessary in order to win the set to obtain a lead of
two games. The score in games is then denoted just as in a single
game, “deuce” and “vantage” games being played until a majority of two
is won.

[Illustration: (a) the right and (b) the wrong way to hold a tennis

To learn the game of tennis, first obtain a proper grip of the racket.
It should always be held firmly and as near the end as possible, the
leather butt being inside the hand. A loose grip will absolutely
prevent a player from becoming expert, as the accuracy and quickness
that are a part of tennis can never be obtained unless we have the
racket under perfect control. The various backhand, high and low
strokes will only come from constant practice. The most important
stroke to master as well as the most difficult is a swift, accurate
service. A player who is otherwise a fair player can easily lose game
after game by not having mastered his service stroke, and thus he
beats himself without any effort on the part of his opponent. The
various “twist” services have almost passed out of use. Even the best
players employ a straight, swift overhand ball. To fail to serve the
ball over the net and in the proper place is called a “fault.” The
player has two chances and to fail in both is called “a double fault.”
A common mistake is to attempt a swift smash on the first ball, which
may fail half the time, and then to make sure of the second ball by an
easy stroke which a skilful opponent can return almost at will and
thus either extend us to the utmost to return it or else make us fail
altogether. It is better to make sure of the first serve than to
attempt a more difficult serve than our skill will permit.


The game of golf, while of comparatively recent introduction in this
country, has sprung rapidly into popularity. It is hard to say just
why it should be such a popular game except that it combines a certain
amount of healthful outdoor exercise with an unlimited opportunity for
skill, and in addition to this, unlike the more violent games, it can
be joined in by old as well as young. The proper construction and
maintenance of a golf course is an expensive proposition. A private
course is altogether out of the question except for the very wealthy.
A club in starting with a limited amount of money will find it more
satisfactory to begin with the construction of a nine-hole or even a
six-hole course rather than to attempt a full course of eighteen holes
which will be indifferently constructed or kept up. The average
eighteen-hole course is about three miles long and is built according
to the general lay of the land. A hole in golf consists in the stretch
between the “tee,” from which the ball is knocked off, and the
“putting green,” where the player “putts” the ball into the “hole”—a
can sunk into the ground which has about the same diameter as a
tomato can. The score consists in the number of strokes required to
make the hole, and of course the player making the fewest number of
strokes is the winner of the hole or match.

[Illustration: Addressing]

[Illustration: At the top of the swing]

[Illustration: Just before the ball is struck]

Golf has but few rules. The secret of playing well consists in being
able to swing the clubs with accuracy and precision. There is no game
where proper form counts for more and none in which more careful
preliminary instruction by an expert is so important. If one can at
the very outset obtain the services of a professional or a skilful
player for a few lessons, it will do far more good than ten times as
many lessons after we have contracted bad habits which will have to be

The surest way to be a poor golfer is first to think that it is a
sort of “old man’s game,” or, as one boy said, “a game of knocking a
pill around a ten-acre lot”; then when the chance to play our first
game comes along to do it indifferently, only to learn later that
there is a lot more to the skill of a good player than we ever
realized. Another very common mistake is to buy a complete outfit of
clubs, which a beginner always improperly calls “sticks,” before we
really know just what shape and weight of club is best adapted to our

[Illustration: A good outfit of clubs for golf]

The common clubs in most players’ outfits consist of a driver,
brassie, cleek, iron, and putter. We can add to this list almost
indefinitely if we wish, as there are all sorts of clubs made for
various shots and with various angles. The game of golf consists in
covering a certain fixed course in the fewest number of shots. We
shall have to practise both for distance and accuracy. The first few
shots on a hole of average length will give us an opportunity for
distance. This is especially true of the first shot, or drive, but
after that we make what are known as approach shots—that is to say,
we are approaching the putting green where we complete the hole by
“putting” the ball into the tin cup sunk into the ground. On the green
we shall need to be very careful, as a stroke wasted or poorly played
counts just as much against our score if the ball goes only a few feet
as if we sliced or “foozled” our drive.

In scoring for golf there are two methods: Either the score of each
hole is taken and the winner of a majority of holes wins the match, or
the total score in counted as in “medal” or “tournament play.”

“Bogie score” is a fictitious score for the course that is supposed to
denote perfect playing without flukes or luck. The mysterious “Colonel
Bogie” is an imaginary player who always makes this score.

[Illustration: How An Expert Plays Golf]



The selection of a camera—Snapshots vs. real pictures—How to make a
photograph from start to finish

Aside from our own pleasant recollections, an album of photographs can
be the most satisfactory reminder of the good times we have had on
some vacation or outdoor trip.

Photography has been made so easy and so inexpensive by modern methods
that every one should have some kind of a camera. Small instruments
capable of taking really excellent pictures within their limits can be
bought for five dollars or even less. Of course we cannot hope often
to obtain pictures that will be really artistic with such a small
outfit, but sometimes the inexpensive cameras will give remarkably
good results.

Snapshot pictures seem to fill such an important place in our outdoor
life that no vacation or excursion trip seems to be complete unless
some one takes along a camera.

The modern way of taking pictures, which is simply pressing a button
and sending a film to the professional to “do the rest,” including
developing, printing and mounting, is really not photography. Almost
any one can take pictures with a small hand camera. The manufacturers
have perfected instruments so complete for this kind of work that
there is very little for us to do beyond being sure that we have an
unexposed section of film in place and that we have sufficient light
to obtain a picture. Of course we must have the focus right and must
be sure we are pointing at what we wish to take.

Real photography is quite different from snapshot work. It is a hobby
so fascinating and with such great possibilities that there is
scarcely anything that will give a boy or girl more real pleasure in
life and a better opportunity to be outdoors than to become an expert
outdoor photographer. Unfortunately it is a rather expensive pastime,
but even with a moderate priced instrument we can obtain excellent
results under the right conditions. I have seen a prize-winning
picture in an exhibition that was made with a cigar box, with a
pinhole in one end for a lens.

Even though one does not care to become an expert photographer, by all
means get a camera and make snapshots. It is quite a common idea for
an amateur to attribute his failures to defects in his material or
outfit. You may be sure when you fail it is your own fault. Dealers in
photographic supplies constantly have complaints from customers about
defective materials, and certainly nine out of every ten of these
cases are simply due to the carelessness of the operator with
perfectly good material.

It is well for a beginner in photography to start with a simple
snapshot camera. They can be bought for three or four dollars up to
twenty-five. Such cameras are used with films, and simply require the
operator to expose his film in plenty of light and with the proper
attention to the distance that the object to be photographed may be
from the camera. Until we can accurately estimate distances, such as
8, 15, 25 or more feet, it will be far safer to pace off the distance,
remembering that a long step for a boy is about equivalent to three
feet. Some cameras have a universal focus and require no adjusting,
but an adjustable camera will usually give better results.

Some cameras are so constructed that they may be used either as a hand
machine or on a tripod for view work. They can also be adapted either
to films or plates and be operated with the ground glass for
focussing, or if desired, the focussing scale and view finder may be

The size of our camera will depend largely upon our purse. The cost of
the camera itself is not the only thing to consider. All the plates
and supplies increase in proportion to the size of our instrument. A
good all around size is 4x5, or if we really wish to become
photographers the 5x7 is a standard. A number of new sizes have
recently been introduced and have proven very satisfactory. Perhaps
the best size for a snapshot camera is 3¼ x 5½.

There are a great many makes of cameras on the market, but even at the
risk of advertising one firm more than another it is only fair to say
that there is really nothing better in pocket snapshot machines than
the kodaks. In view cameras it is different. There are instruments of
a dozen makes any of which will produce excellent results. The tests
to apply in selecting a view camera are its workmanship, compactness,
and the various attachments and conveniences it has. The salesman from
whom you purchase will explain fully just what its possibilities are,
especially if you take some experienced person with you who can ask

Suppose you begin photographing with a simple “snapshot” outfit. The
first thing to remember is that there is absolutely no excuse for the
large percentages of failures that beginners have in making pictures,
and which are due solely to their own carelessness and inattention to
simple details. First of all, immediately after making an exposure, be
sure to form the habit of turning the key until a fresh film comes
into place; then you will never be troubled with the question whether
you have exposed the film or not. Every professional photographer who
develops for amateurs handles many films in which some of the
negatives are blank and some are double negatives with two pictures on
one film. This is solely the fault of the photographer, who was never
quite sure and would first make the mistake of exposing a film twice,
then turning the roll without exposing it at all. If you are really in
doubt, it is better to turn the roll to the next number, as you thus
simply lose a film but preserve both negatives; if, on the other hand,
you make a double exposure, you will lose both pictures.

The snapshot photographer should never take a picture unless he really
wants it and unless he is pretty certain of making a picture. Snapping
here and there without a proper condition of light, focus, or subject
is a very bad habit to contract. Until you can make at least eight
good pictures out of ten you are not a photographer. No average lower
than this should satisfy you. Do not blame the lens for your failures.
In recent years the art of making lenses has advanced wonderfully, and
while the one in your camera may not be an expensive one or capable of
a wide range of use, it is at least adapted to the purpose of your
instrument or you may be sure that the manufacturers would never have
used it.

We should not consider the snapshot expert who merely presses the
button as a real photographer, even though he obtains fine pictures.
No one deserves this name who does not understand the operations of
the dark room. One who has experienced the wonderful sensation of
working in a faint yellow-ruby light and by the application of certain
mysterious chemicals of seeing a picture gradually come into view on
the creamy surface of a dry plate will never again be satisfied to
push the button and allow some one else “to do the rest.” However, if
you do not wish to go into photography extensively you may at least
learn just what limits your hand camera has, and at the end of the
season in place of a lot of ill-timed pictures you can have an album
full of creditable prints for which no apology will be necessary.

It is quite beyond the limits of this chapter to go into photography
fully, but some of the simple principles may be of use to the boy or
girl who has taken up the subject. The modern snapshot camera even of
small size has great possibilities. With a clear negative we can have
an enlargement made on bromide paper that will be a source of great
satisfaction. The actual making of enlargements is usually beyond the
limits of an amateur’s outfit. In this part of photographic work it
will be better to patronize a professional.

To become an expert photographer and one whose work will be worth
while, we must really make a study of the subject. The modern outfits
and chemicals make it very easy for us if we do our part.

The basis of successful work is a good lens, which is really the eye
of the camera. In selecting it we should get just as good a one as we
can afford. There are a great many excellent makes of lenses on the
market and even the stock types that are supplied with moderate priced
cameras are of very good quality. The two distinct types of lenses are
the “rapid rectilinear” and the “anastigmatic,” which names refer to
their optical properties in distributing the light. For our purpose
all we need to know is that the higher price we pay the better our
lenses will be, and in addition to this the further fact that the best
kind of results can be obtained by any lens provided that we do not
try to force it to do work for which it is not adapted.

To understand photography we must first of all get a clear notion of
the use and purpose of the stops, as the various openings or apertures
are called that the lens is provided with. A “fast” lens is one that
will give a sharp picture at a maximum opening, and such lenses are
both the most expensive and the most universal in their application.
Lenses of this class are used in making instantaneous pictures with
very rapid exposures, and for ordinary view or portrait work will
produce no better results than much slower and less expensive types.

Perhaps the best way to understand photography as an art rather than a
“push the button” pastime is to take up the process of making a
picture step by step. To begin with, the real photographer will use
plates instead of films, as much better pictures usually are possible
by their use. Dry plates come a dozen in a box, usually packed face to
face—that is, with the film or sensitive sides facing. The
plate-holder must be loaded in a dark room or dark closet, with
absolutely no exposure to daylight or any artificial light whatever
except a very faint light from a dark-room lantern, a combination of
ruby and yellow glass or paper. We should always test our dark room
and light by means of a plate before we trust them to actual working
conditions. Take a fresh plate and cover it half with a piece of
cardboard, or if it is in a holder draw the slide half way out and
allow the dark-room light to strike it for five minutes, then develop
the plate just as you would an exposed negative, and if the test plate
shows the effect of the exposure and darkens, we shall need to make
our light safer either by adding a sheet or two of yellow or ruby
paper or we must examine our room carefully to stop up any cracks
where rays of white light may enter. We must remember that a plate
sensitive enough to record instantaneous exposures of 1-500 of a
second must be sensitive to any tiny ray of outside light also. Almost
any room will make a dark room, especially if it is used at night. By
drawing the shades and by doing our work in a far corner of the room
away from outside light we are comparatively safe. Of course an
electric street lamp or other bright light would have to be shut out,
but this can easily be done by pinning up a blanket over the window.
When we have loaded our plate-holders we are ready to make a picture.
Suppose, for example, it is to be a house or a vista of some kind such
as a group of trees or a bit of water: the first thing of importance
is to obtain a point of view that will not only give us the picture we
desire but that will leave out any undesirable features that we do not
care to take. Some cameras are provided with a small view finder for
snapshot work, and this may often be used to get a general idea of
what the picture will be.

Successful photography consists largely in knowing just what to take
and what to omit. Sometimes an ugly piece of fence or a post will
spoil an otherwise excellent picture. We must also remember that in a
photograph our colours are expressed in black and white, and therefore
a picture that depends on its colour contrast for its beauty, such as
autumn foliage or a sunset, may be disappointing as a photograph.

When we have decided upon our subject, the next step is to set our
camera in the proper position to permit the plate to take in what we
wish. Usually it will be necessary to shift our position several times
until we find the proper position. The tripod should be firmly set on
the ground and the camera made as level as possible. The camera should
then be focussed with the stop or diaphragm wide open. The fact that
the image is inverted as it appears on the ground glass will at first
be confusing to a beginner, but we soon become accustomed to it and
never give it a thought. Our focussing cloth should be tightly drawn
about the head to keep out as much outside light as possible. At first
we have some difficulty in seeing the image on the ground glass, but
after we learn to look at the glass and not through it we should have
no further trouble in this respect. By moving the lens backward and
forward we finally strike a position where the principal image to be
photographed will appear sharp and clear. The camera is then in focus,
but we shall discover that other objects more in the background or
foreground will appear blurred and confused. Often it is desirable to
have a blurred or “fuzzy” background, but if we desire to bring the
indistinct objects in focus we must “stop down” our lens first by
trying the No. 8 stop, and if this does not accomplish the results the
No. 16, and so on until we get what we wish. As we look at the image
on the ground glass, it will be evident that as we stop down our lens,
the more remote objects are gradually brought into view with a sharp
outline, we shall discover that the image on the ground glass becomes
less and less distinct, which shows very clearly that we are
admitting less light, and the lesson to be learned is that when we
make the exposure we must give a corresponding increase in time as the
amount of light admitted decreases. An exposure that would give a
perfect picture at No. 8 may be very much under-exposed at No. 32

Having focussed our camera and set the stop, we then close the
shutter, insert the plate-holder in the back of the camera and
carefully draw the slide. Omitting to pull the slide is a common
mistake with beginners. We are now ready to decide just what exposure
to give our plate. Rules for exposure are almost useless, but in
general it may be said that the modern plates are lightning fast and
that in bright sunlight at midday the average exposures will not be
over 1-25 of a second. An “exposure meter” will prove to be of great
assistance to a beginner, but such arrangements are not often used by
experts except in doubtful cases. We soon find that we can guess at
average exposures with considerable accuracy, especially if we adopt a
certain brand of plate and become accustomed to its working qualities.
Of course all of these speeds must be indicated on the shutter, and
all we can do is to set our shutter at this point and squeeze the
bulb. Correct judgment in exposure will only come after experience.
In taking interior views or making pictures on dark days we shall be
less likely to make a mistake than in bright sunlight. I have made two
interior views, to one of which I gave ten minutes and the other an
hour, with practically the same result in the negative. An
over-exposed plate is flat, which means that the print will lack
contrast and be unsatisfactory as a photograph.

After the bulb is squeezed and the exposure made we are ready to
develop our plate and to see what result we have obtained. Of course
in practice we make a number of exposures before we begin to develop.
Some photographers use numbered plate-holders and keep a record of the
pictures, time of day and of exposure, stop and any other items of
interest. We now take the plate-holder in our dark room and prepare
our developer. There are a great many developers on the market and we
can scarcely make a mistake with any of them. Probably the best of all
is “pyro,” but the fact that it stains the fingers is a serious
objection to it for amateur use, and almost any other developer, such
as metol, eikonogen or hydroquinone will be better.

These stock developers usually come in dry salts, which must be
dissolved and mixed. All of this work must be done in the light so we
can see that we are getting the proper proportions and that the
chemicals are thoroughly in solution. The developing trays should be
washed thoroughly and placed conveniently at hand so that we can find
them in the dark. In addition to developers we must have what is
called the “hypo” fixing bath. This is a solution of hyposulphite of
soda, a chemical which is used in development and which renders the
plate no longer sensitive to light, but dissolves that part which has
not been acted upon by the developer. The hypo should be in a tray or
box placed conveniently at hand but not so located that it will be
liable to become mixed with the developer or in any way to splash or
spot the plate. We must always wash the hands thoroughly after
immersing a plate in the hypo before handling a fresh plate, as a very
few drops will ruin a negative.

After we have prepared the hypo and the developer we are ready to
develop the plate. Place it face side up in the tray and quickly pour
the developer over it, being sure that the solution covers the surface
immediately, to avoid unequal development. While we should not develop
in a strong red or yellow light we can at least place our tray in
such a position that we may watch the process of bringing up the
image out of the creamy surface of the plate. This is the most
fascinating part of photography. First the high lights will appear and
then the shadows, and then after an instant the whole image will come
into view and then begin to fade away. To know at what point
development should stop will only come by experience with negatives of
all sorts of classes. Generally speaking, when the image fades from
view and begins to appear through the film on the glass side we should
wash it quickly and immerse it in the hypo. The “fixing” in hypo will
take probably five minutes and should be continued until the white
coating is thoroughly dissolved. The plate may then be brought safely
to the light and should be washed thoroughly either in running water
for half an hour or in at least twelve changes of fresh water. Care
must be taken not to touch the film side of the plate during
development or fixing, as the gelatine coating becomes very soft and
will show the slightest scratch or abrasion. We must dry the plate
away from dust, sunlight, or artificial heat. After it is dry we are
ready to make a print.

Photographic printing papers are of two classes—those which are used
in direct sunlight and upon which the image gradually appears, and
those which are similar to plates and which are given a very short
time exposure in artificial light and the picture developed just as we
should a plate. The beginner will probably have more uniform success
with sunlight paper after the simple process of toning and fixing is
learned, although the developing papers are extremely simple to handle
and give better results.

The final step of trimming and mounting the print is too simple to
require explanation.

There are a great many things that might be said about photography,
but in a book of this kind only the most simple facts are stated. If
you become a photographer you will soon learn many of the fine points.

Our negatives should all be kept carefully in labelled envelopes and a
record kept in a book of some kind.

When we really become expert as a photographer, there are many
opportunities to make our hobby pay. The publishers of nearly all the
magazines experience the greatest difficulty in securing the kind of
pictures they wish to reproduce. This is remarkable when so many
people are taking pictures. If one wishes to sell pictures, it is
important to study the class of materials that the magazines use.
Then, if we can secure good results, we can be almost sure of
disposing of some of our work and, in addition to the money, have the
satisfaction of seeing our pictures published.



What to wear—Confidence—Horseback riding—Tennis—Golf—Camping

A generation ago the girl who joined her brother in his sports would
have been considered a “tom boy,” but in recent years girls have
discovered that with comparatively few exceptions they can join in the
sports and recreations of their brothers and in some cases attain a
remarkable degree of skill.

Girls’ schools have done much to spread this idea. A rational outdoor
costume and a desire to be physically well also has helped “the
outdoor girl” to be regarded as the highest type of womanhood. Only
her grandmother sighs over tanned cheeks and muscular arms.

The girl who is not a good sport is the exception rather than the
rule. Besides, our grandmothers worked at their gardening, which is
out-of-door exercise, and a preventive, as Kipling tells, of the
“hump” we get from having too little to do. He says:

    _“The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
          Or frowst with a book by the fire,
    But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
          And dig till you gently perspire.”_

From a feminine standpoint the first question must be, “What shall I
wear?” There is no need to be handicapped by skirts, at least when
one’s exercise is taken in company with a crowd of girls. The bicycle
introduced the bloomer girl and this costume is now generally regarded
as proper for outdoor girls. In camp one should in addition wear a
sailor blouse, and a pair of sneakers, which though rather heating for
the feet are very comfortable and very satisfactory for long tramps
through the woods. The rubber soles give a firm footing on slippery
moss and dead leaves, while high heels might cause a wrenched ankle or
a bad fall. It is perfectly allowable for a girl to wear a
broad-brimmed hat to avoid sunburn, which might be so serious as to
spoil a vacation. A gradually acquired coat of tan is much more
desirable. The hat prevents headaches or sunstroke, neither of which
may be dared with impunity by a delicate girl, unless she wears her
hair on top of her head.

In regard to hair, which is of great importance to its owner, though
very much of a nuisance after the age when it may be worn boyishly
short, the one word is that it must be fixed to stay without
re-pinning or tucking back at frequent intervals. For bathing, a girl
must either be willing to have her hair well soaked or else to put a
cap on so tightly that it cannot be loosened. To hesitate to try a
dive for fear of getting wet hair spoils much of the sport of
swimming. Each moment of hesitation makes her more convinced that
perhaps, after all, she had better not try that dive, because she
probably would not be able to do it anyway. The lack of confidence is
disastrous. I have known girls who could swim perfectly well in the
shallows but could not keep up at all in water out of their depth. And
yet they have not been touching the bottom in the shallow water, but
they _could_ if they wished. Learning to swim in water that is over
your head is really better, though it is more “scary” at first. If you
do learn in that way you can thereafter look upon the deepest water
with confident scorn.

Confidence is a necessary possession for the beginner in almost any
sport. It is so much easier to do anything if we are quite positive
that we can. Probably, because you are a girl and are modest, you
will have to assume this attitude, but in horseback riding, for
example, an instant of fear while on the horse’s back will “give you
away” to the beast. Since he is as keen as a dog to know when you fear
and dislike him, he will undoubtedly take advantage of it. If you are
quite positive that you can learn to ride and that the horse under you
is harmless, you will keep a firm hold on the reins instead of
clinging to the saddle horn in a panic.

The trying part of learning to ride is that the first day’s experience
is painfully stiffening. This applies to almost any unusual exercise.
But to withdraw on account of that you may as well resign yourself to
taking exercise no more severe than that afforded by a rocking chair.
It does not pay to stop when you are stiff. Sticking to it is the only
way that will train those hitherto unused muscles to perform their
duties with no creaking of the hinges. A good night’s rest is the
utmost limit of time that should intervene between each trial.

A girl has the physical disadvantage of less endurance than a boy, and
she does have to care for herself in that respect, and leave untried
some forms of exercise that would be overexertion for her. A girl may
“paddle her own canoe,” of course, without risk of overstraining
herself, but when it comes to moving it from place to place out of the
water, the feather-light canoe of poetry becomes heavy reality. Two
girls can carry a canoe between them for a short distance without much
difficulty, but if one is alone it is far better to drag the canoe
over the ground, which is not particularly hard on it, unless the
ground is rough. The boy’s way of carrying it balanced upside down on
his shoulders requires considerable strength.

Devotees of tennis will claim first place for that among girls’
sports. The amount of practice and quickness of thought and motion
that maybe acquired in a game of tennis is remarkable; the fascination
of the game itself rather than the benefits to be derived from it will
hold the attention. The main trouble is in the learning, which
requires unflagging energy and constant practice. An overmodest
beginner will make the mistake of playing only against her likewise
beginning friends; the result is that she takes a discouragingly long
time finding out how to use her racket properly and never gets a
chance to return a really good serve.

It is really just as well at some point in your practising to see some
well-trained athlete do the thing you are trying to learn.

A girl can accomplish a great deal with her brain as well as with her
muscles in athletics. Some one once remarked that he learned to swim
in winter and to skate in summer. He meant that after he had in its
proper season practised skill in the winter sport, his brain, during
the warm months, kept repeating to the muscles those directions until
by the next winter they had a very fair idea of what they had to do,
and responded more quickly and easily. It is rather consoling to think
you do not lose time, but rather progress, between seasons.

The girl who goes camping with a crowd of boys and girls realizes how
much depends on the mere strength of the boys; at the same time she
herself has an opportunity of showing not only her athletic
proficiency and nerve, but also her superior common sense. She will
really have to leave the heavy work of pitching the tents and chopping
the wood to the boys, but she cannot sit down and fold her hands
meanwhile. She can be collecting materials for the beds of balsam on
which they hope to sleep in comfort, or she may gather chips for the
fire, or she may be helping to unload the wagon or canoes in which
they have come. When the tents are pitched she has a woman’s
prerogative of “putting the house in order,” and during the time of
camping keeping it so.

If there is actually a case of nothing for her to do, far better for
her to sit down and keep quiet than to get in the way of the boys and
bother them. A young man who in his first season as a guide in the
Canadian woods took out a party of girls from a summer school on a
camping trip told me that he would never do it again, because they
gave him no relief from a continual rain of questions. A case where
zeal for knowledge outruns discretion.

After the tents are pitched and the fire made by the boys, it is
plainly up to the girls to get supper. Let us hope they have practised
cooking for some time before they went camping. Every one gets so
desperately hungry in the outdoor life that meals are of first
importance, as tempers are apt to develop unexpectedly if many
failures are turned out. If the girls are good cooks, however, and
wash the dishes after each meal the division of labour will be fair to
all concerned.

A girl is more or less dependent on her boy friends for instruction in
sports and considerably anxious for their approval. Even if she has a
woman instructor, in nine cases out of ten she requires some kind of
praise from some man before she is satisfied with her performance.
Sister may tell her that she steers her canoe with beautiful
precision, but unless brother remarks carelessly that “the kid
paddles pretty well” she will hesitate to take her canoe in places
where expert paddling is required. When you know that you can do some
things as well as any boy you still have to rest content with the
grudging assurance that “you do pretty well for a girl.”



The following games are described in this chapter:

    All-around Athletic Championship
    Association Football Or Soccer
    Basket Ball
    Bean Bags
    Best College Athletic Records
    Blind Man’s Buff
    Boulder Up
    Bull in the Ring
    Call Ball
    Cane Rush
    Canoe Tilting
    Counting-out Rhymes
    Court Tennis
    Dixie’s Land
    Duck on a Rock
    Equestrian Polo
    Feather Race
    Garden Hockey
    Haley Over
    Hand Ball
    Hand Polo
    Hand Tennis
    Hat Ball
    Hide and Seek
    High Kick
    Hop Over
    Hop Scotch
    Hunt the Sheep
    Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association of America
    I Spy
    Jack Fagots
    Japanese Fan Ball
    Kick the Stick
    King of the Castle
    Knuckle There
    Lawn Bowls
    Lawn Bowling
    Lawn Hockey
    Lawn Skittles
    Lawn Tennis
    Last Tag
    Marathon Race
    Mumblety Peg
    Names of Marbles
    Nigger Baby
    Olympic Games
    One Old Cat
    Pass It
    Plug in the Ring
    Polo Or Equestrian Polo
    Potato Race
    Prisoner’s Base
    Push Ball
    Racquets or Rackets
    Red Line
    Red Lion
    Roley Boley
    Rowing Record
    Sack Racing
    Scotland’s Burning
    Spanish Fly
    Stump Master
    Tether Ball
    Tether Tennis
    Three-Legged Racing
    Tub Racing
    Volley Ball
    Water Polo
    Water Race
    Wolf and Sheep
    Wood Tag

While all the games and sports described in this chapter are not
absolutely confined to outdoors, almost any game in which violent
physical exercise results is better if played in the open air rather
than in a house or gymnasium. In fact, we should only play indoors
when the weather makes it impossible for us to be outside.

There are very few indoor games that cannot be played in the open air
with proper apparatus or rules. It is also equally true that many of
our outside sports may be played indoors with certain modifications.


This contest was instituted in America in 1884 to give athletes an
opportunity to demonstrate their ability in all-around work. The
contest is rapidly becoming the blue ribbon championship event in
America for track athletes. The following ten events are contested

    100-yard dash
    High jump
    Long jump
    Throwing 16-pound hammer
    Putting a 16-pound shot
    Throwing 56-pound weight
    120-yard hurdle race
    Half-mile walk
    One-mile run

The system of scoring in the All-around Championship is complicated.
Each contestant has his score made up independently. The world’s best
amateur record is taken as a basis and 1,000 points are allowed for
it. For example, the best record (amateur) for the 100-yard dash is
9⅘ seconds and for each ⅕ of a second more than this that the
runner in the All-around Championship contest makes in his trial 42
points are deducted from this score. The same method is used in all
the events. In the ten events the maximum score where the contestant
equalled every world’s record would be 10,000 points. The contest was
won in 1909 by the remarkable score of 7,385 points.


Archery is the art of shooting with a bow and arrow. It is especially
adapted as a lawn game for ladies and gentlemen, but boys and girls
can practise archery and become proficient with bows and arrows just
as the Indians were or the boys in England in the days of Robin Hood.
Of course the invention of gunpowder has practically done away with
the bow and arrow either as a means of warfare or as a weapon to be
used in the chase, but it is still used by savages.

The modern bow used in archery is made of lancewood or yew and for
men’s use is usually 6 feet long and for women and children 6 inches
shorter. The strength or pull necessary to bend the bow, given in
pounds, determines its classification. The arrows for men’s use should
be 28 inches long and for women 24 to 25 inches. The target is a
straw-filled canvas disk painted in bright colours. There are usually
five circles and the object in archery, as in shooting with firearms,
is to hit either the centre ring or “bull’s-eye” or as near to it as
possible. In scoring, a shot in the inner gold centre counts nine; red
ring, seven; inner white ring, five; black ring, three, and outer
white ring, one. Targets are of various sizes from 18 inches in
diameter to 4 feet, depending on the distance of the range. A common
distance will be from 50 to 100 yards.

Each archer should have some distinguishing mark or colour on his
arrows. Standard lancewood bows will cost two or three dollars, arrows
from one to two dollars a dozen, and targets from two to five dollars
each, with three dollars extra for the target stand.

In championship matches in archery the customary range for men is 60
yards with 96 arrows, and the same number of arrows at 50 yards for
women. A recent match championship was decided for men with 90 hits
and a total score of 458, and for women with 85 hits and a total
score of 441.


A game similar to Rugby football except that it more closely resembles
what its name implies and kicking predominates. A round,
leather-covered ball is used and the game is considered to be much
safer than our college football. Efforts consequently have been made
to introduce the game into American colleges because of its less
dangerous character. As there is practically no tackling or falling,
the “soccer” uniform does not require the same amount of padding as a
Rugby player’s uniform. The game is ordinarily played in running
trousers with a full sleeved shirt and special shoes with leather pegs
or cleats. The stockings are rolled down just below the knee. The
association football goal net into which the ball is kicked is
fastened to the ground and is made of tarred rope. Thus far, the game
has not been very popular in America, although a number of exhibition
match games have recently been played by visiting English teams which
attracted considerable attention. As a game, soccer is fast and
exciting, and splendid opportunities are given for team work; but for
some reason it has not succeeded in displacing our American game of
Rugby, although possibly it is more interesting for the spectator.


An English outdoor game similar to lawn tennis but played with
shuttlecocks. The net is five feet above the ground. The shuttlecock
is a cork in which feathers have been inserted. The shuttlecock is
served and returned as in tennis and either two or four may play. A
badminton court is 30 feet wide and 44 feet long.


A game very similar to hockey, except that it is played out of doors
instead of in a covered rink and a ball is used in place of a puck or
rubber disk.

The name “bandy” is sometimes applied also to shinney or shinty and in
England it is also applied to our American game of ice hockey.


The national game of America. (See chapter on baseball.) The game is
played by eighteen persons, nine on a side, called “nines.” The
positions are pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base,
shortstop, right-field, left-field, centre-field. The first six
positions are called the in-field, and the last three, the out-field.
The diamond or field where the game is played is a square plot of
ground with sides ninety feet long. At each corner of the square are
bases called first, second, third and home plate. A game consists of
nine innings, in each of which both teams have an opportunity to bat
the ball and to score runs. The players bat in turn and attempt to
reach the various bases without being put out by their opponents. Each
year the rules are changed in some slight particulars, consequently a
beginner in baseball must be thoroughly familiar with the rules of the
game before attempting to play. The pitcher attempts to pitch the ball
over the home plate to the catcher and the batsman endeavours to hit
it. If the ball after being hit is caught by one of the opposing
players, or if it is thrown to the base to which the batsman is
running before he reaches the base, he is “out.” Otherwise he is
“safe” and will try to make the next base. If he completes the circuit
of the four bases without being put out, he scores a run for his team
or nine. When a player makes the entire circuit without being forced
to stop for safety he makes a “home run.” A hit which gains him a
single base only is called a “base hit.” Similarly if he reaches
second base it is a “two-bagger,” and third base, a “three-bagger.”

After three players are put out, the other side has its “innings,” and
at the completion of nine full innings the side having scored the
greatest number of runs is the winner. The game of baseball has become
very scientific and the salaries of professional players are almost as
high as those of the highest salaried men in business life.

The ball used in the game is made of the best all wool yarn with a
horsehide cover and a rubber centre. Baseball bats are usually made of


A game of ball which may be played either indoors or out, but which is
especially adapted to indoor play when weather conditions make
outdoor sports impossible. Two baskets suspended on wire rings are
placed at the two opposite ends of a room or gymnasium and the players
strive to knock or pass the ball from one to another on their own side
and to throw it so that it will fall into the basket. It is not
permissible to run with the ball as in Rugby football. The ball used
is round, but in other respects resembles the ball used in football.
It is made in four sections of grained English leather and is
inflated by means of a rubber bladder. The players use rubber-soled
shoes with peculiar knobs, ridges, or depressions to prevent slipping.
The conventional uniform is simply a gymnasium shirt, running
trousers, and stockings which are rolled down just below the knees.

The game of basket ball is especially adapted to women and girls and
consequently it is played very largely in girls’ schools and colleges.

Any level space may be used for basket ball. A convenient size is 40
by 60 feet. The baskets used for goals are 18 inches in diameter and
are fixed 10 feet above the ground or floor. The official ball weighs
about 18 ounces and is 31 inches in circumference. Five players
constitute a team. The halves are usually twenty minutes, with a
ten-minute intermission for rest.

It is not permissible to kick, carry or hold the ball. Violation of a
rule constitutes a foul and gives the opponents a free throw for the
basket from a point fifteen feet away. A goal made in play counts two
points and a goal from a foul one point.


This game is known to every one by name and yet its simple rules are
often forgotten. A couple of dozen bean bags are made in two colours
of muslin. The players stand in two lines opposite each other and
evenly divided. At the end of the line is a clothes basket. The bags
are placed on two chairs at the opposite end of the line and next to
the two captains. At a signal the captains select a bag and pass it to
the next player, who passes it along until finally it is dropped into
the basket. When all the bags are passed they are then taken out and
passed rapidly back to the starting point. The side whose bags have
gone up and down the line first scores a point. If a bag is dropped in
transit it must be passed back to the captain, who starts it again.
Five points usually constitute a game.


These records have been made in the Intercollegiate contests which are
held annually under the Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association
of America.

  100-yard dash           9⅘ seconds           made in 1896
  220-yard dash          21⅕ seconds           made in 1896
  440-yard dash          48⅘ seconds           made in 1907
  Half-mile run           1 min. 56 seconds       made in 1905
  One-mile run            4 min. 17⅘ seconds   made in 1909
  Two-mile run            9 min. 27⅗ seconds   made in 1909
  Running broad jump     24 feet 4½ in.        made in 1899
  Running high jump       6 feet 3¼ in.        made in 1907
  Putting 16-pound shot  46 feet 5½ in.        made in 1907
  Throwing the hammer   164 feet 10 in.           made in 1902
  Pole vault             12 feet 3¼ in.        made in 1909
  120-yard high hurdle   15⅕ seconds           made in 1908
  220-yard hurdle        23⅗ seconds           made in 1898
  One-mile walk           6 min. 45⅖ seconds   made in 1898


This game is played in two ways. In each case one player is
blindfolded and attempts to catch one of the others and to identify
him by feeling. In regular blind man’s buff, the players are allowed
to run about at will and sometimes the game is dangerous to the one
blindfolded, but in the game of “Still Pon” the one who is “it” is
turned several times and then announces, “Still Pon no more moving,”
and awards a certain number of steps, which may be taken when in
danger of capture. After this number is exhausted the player must
stand perfectly still even though he is caught.


In this game the players form a circle with clasped hands. To be
“bull” is the position of honour. The bull is supposed to be locked in
by various locks of brass, iron, lead, steel, and so on. He endeavours
to break through the ring by catching some of the players off their
guard. He will then run until captured, and the one who catches him
has the position of bull for the next game. In playing, it is
customary for the bull to engage one pair of players in conversation
by asking some question such as “What is your lock made of?” At the
answer, brass, lead, etc., he will then make a sudden rush at some
other part of the ring and try to break through.


In this game a rubber ball is used. One of the players throws it
against a wall and as it strikes calls out the name of another player,
who must catch it on its first bounce. If he does so he in turn then
throws the ball against the wall, but if he misses he recovers it as
quickly as possible while the rest scatter, and calls “stand,” at
which signal all the players must stop. He then throws it at whoever
he pleases. If he misses he must place himself against the wall and
each of the others in turn has a free shot at him with the ball.


This contest is usually held in colleges between the rival freshman
and sophomore classes. A cane is held by some non-contestant and the
two classes endeavour by pulling and pushing and hauling to reach the
cane and to hold their hands on it. At the end of a stated time, the
class or side having the most hands on the cane is declared the
winner. It is a very rough and sometimes dangerous game and in many
colleges has been abolished on account of serious injuries resulting
to some of the contestants.


This is a revival of the ancient game of tilting as described in
“Ivanhoe,” except that the tilters use canoes instead of horses and
blunt sticks in place of spears and lances. The object is for the
tilter to shove his opponent out of his canoe, meanwhile seeing to it
that the same undesirable fate does not fall to his own lot. In
singles each contestant paddles his own canoe with one end of his pike
pole, but the sport is much greater if each canoe has two occupants,
one to paddle and the other to do the “tilting”.


A small block of wood pointed at both ends is used in this game. The
batter strikes it with a light stick and as it flies into the air
attempts to bat it with the stick. If the cat is caught the batter is
out. Otherwise he is entitled to a score equal to the number of jumps
it will take him to reach the place where the cat has fallen. He then
returns to bat again and continues until he is caught out.


Almost every section has some favourite counting-out rhyme of its own.
Probably the two most generally used are:

    “_My mother told me to take this one_,”

and that old classic—

    “_Eeny, meeny, miny, mo._
    _Catch a nigger by the toe;_
    _If he hollers, let him go._
    _Eeny, meeny, miny, mo._”

This is also varied into

    “_Ena, mena, mona, mite._
    _Pasca, laura, bona, bite._
    _Eggs, butter, cheese, bread._
    _Stick, stock, stone dead._”

The object of a counting-out rhyme is to determine who is to be “it”
for a game. As each word is pronounced by the counter some one is
pointed at, and at the end of the verse the one last pointed at is


This game, though very similar to rackets and squash, is more
scientific than either. The court is enclosed by four walls. A net
midway down the court divides the “service” side from the “hazard”
side. The rackets used in court tennis have long handles and a large
face. The balls used are the same size as tennis balls, but are
heavier and stronger. In play, the ball rebounds over the court and
many shots are made against the roof. While somewhat similar to lawn
tennis, the rules of court tennis are extremely complicated. The game
is scored just as in lawn tennis, except that instead of calling the
server’s score first the marker always announces the score of the
winner of the last stroke.


A game of ball which is generally played in England and the British
provinces, but which is not very popular in the United States. There
are two opposite sides or sets of players of eleven men each. At two
points 22 yards apart are placed two wickets 27 inches high and
consisting of three sticks called stumps. As in baseball, one side
takes the field and the other side is at the bat. Two men are at bat
at a time and it is their object to prevent the balls from being
bowled so that they will strike the wickets. To do this a broad bat is
used made of willow with a cane handle, through which are inserted
strips of rubber to give greater spring and driving power. The batsman
will either merely stop the ball with his bat or will attempt to drive
it. When the ball is being fielded the two batsmen exchange wickets,
and each exchange is counted as a run, and is marked to the credit of
the batsman or striker. The batsman is allowed to bat until he is out.
This occurs when the ball strikes the wicket and carries away either a
bail, the top piece, or a stump, one of the three sticks. He is also
out if he knocks down any part of his own wicket or allows the ball to
do it while he is running, or if he interferes with the ball by any
part of his person as it is being thrown, or if one of the opposing
players catches a batted ball before it touches the ground, as in

When ten of the eleven men on a side have been put out it constitutes
an inning, and the side in the field takes its turn at the bat. The
game usually consists of two innings, and at its completion the side
having scored the greater number of runs is the winner. The eleven
positions on a cricket team are called bowler, wicket-keeper, long
stop, slip, point cover-slip, cover point, mid-off, long-leg,
square-leg, mid-on. The one at bat is, as in baseball, called the
batsman. The two lines between which the batsmen stand while batting
are called “popping creases” and “bowling creases.”


A game played with wooden balls and mallets, on a flat piece of
ground. The game consists in driving the ball around a circuitous
course through various wire rings called “wickets” and, after striking
a wooden peg or post, returning to the starting place. Any number may
play croquet either independently or on sides. Each player may
continue making shots as long as he either goes through a wicket, hits
the peg or post, or hits the ball of an opponent. In this latter case
he may place his ball against that of his opponent and, holding the
former with his foot, drive his opponent’s ball as far as possible
from the croquet ground. He then also has another shot at his wicket.

A croquet set consists of mallets, balls, wickets, and stakes and may
be bought for two or three dollars. Experts use mallets with much
shorter handles than those in common sets. They are made of either
maple, dogwood, or persimmon. In place of wooden balls, championship
and expert games are often played with balls made of a patented
composition. All croquet implements are usually painted in bright
colours. The game of “roque” is very similar to croquet.

Croquet can be made more difficult by using narrow arches or wickets.
Hard rubber balls are more satisfactory than wood and also much more

As a rule the colours played in order are red, white, blue and black.
According to the rules any kind of a mallet may be used, depending
upon the individual preference of the player.


An ancient Scotch game played on the ice, in which the contestants
slide large flat stones, called curling stones, from one point to
another. These points or marks are called “tees.” In playing, an
opportunity for skill is shown in knocking an opponent out of the way,
and also in using a broom ahead of the stone as it slides along to
influence its rate of speed.

At the present time the greatest curling country is Canada. Curling is
one of the few outdoor games that are played without a ball of some


This game is also called “Tommy Tiddler’s Land.” It is a game of tag
in which a certain portion of the playground is marked off as the
“land.” The one who is “it” endeavours to catch the others as they
invade his land. When a player is tagged he also becomes “it,” and so
on until the game ends because all the invaders are captured. The game
is especially interesting because of the variety of verses and rhymes
used in various parts of the country to taunt the one who is “it” as
they come on his land.


This game is also called “Boulder Up.” It is not customary to “count
out” to decide it. For this game usually some one suggests, “Let’s
play Duck on a Rock,” and then every one scurries around to find an
appropriate stone, or “duck.” As fast as they are found the fact is
announced by the cry, “My one duck,” “My two duck,” etc. The last boy
to find a stone is “drake,” or “it.”

The drake is larger than the ducks and is placed on an elevated
position such as a boulder. Then from a specified distance ducks
attempt to hit the drake and to knock him from his position. If they
miss they are in danger of being tagged by the drake, as it is his
privilege to tag any player who is not in possession of his duck. If,
however, the drake is knocked from his perch, the ducks have the
privilege of rushing in and recovering their stones, but unless they
do so before the drake replaces his stone on the rock they may be
tagged. The first one tagged becomes “it” and the drake becomes a


This is the universal game of marbles. It is sometimes called “Yank,”
or “Knuckle There.” A ring is scratched in the ground a foot or two in
diameter. It is then divided into four parts by two lines drawn
through the diameter. The first step is for each player to “lay a
duck,” which in simple language means to enter a marble to be played
for. This is his entrance fee and may be either a “dub,” an “alley,” a
“crystal,” or sometimes a “real,” although this is very rare as well
as extravagant. About ten feet from this ring a line is made called a
“taw line.” The first player, usually determined as soon as school is
out by his having shouted, “First shot, fat!” stands behind the taw
line and shoots to knock out a marble. If he is successful he
continues shooting; if not he loses his turn and Number 2 shoots.
Number 1 after his first shot from the taw line must then shoot from
wherever his marble lies. If Number 2 can hit Number 1 he has a right
to claim all the marbles that Number 1 has knocked out of the ring. In
this way it is very much to the advantage of each player to leave
himself as far from the taw line as possible.


The contestants endeavour to blow a feather over a certain course in
the shortest time. The rule is that the feather must not be touched
with the hands. Out of doors this game is only possible on a very
still day.


This is a game of “Leap Frog” also called “Par” or “Paw.” One of the
boys is chosen “down,” who leans over and gives a “back” to the rest,
who follow leader, usually the boy who suggests the game. He will
start making an easy jump at first and over “down’s” back, then
gradually increase the distance of the point at which he lands, and
each of those following must clear this line or become “it”
themselves. The leader must also surpass his previous jumps each time
or he becomes “down” himself. In this way the smaller or less agile
boys have a more equal chance with the stronger ones.


The present game of football as played in American schools and
colleges is a development of the English game of Rugby. There are
twenty-two players, eleven on a side or team. The game is played on a
level field, at each end of which are goal posts through which the
team having the ball in its possession attempts to force or “rush” it,
while their opponents by various means, such as tackling, shoving or
blocking, strive to prevent the ball from being successfully forced
behind the goal line or from being kicked over the crossbar between
the goal posts. A football field is 330 feet long by 160 feet wide. It
is usually marked out with white lines five yards apart, which gives
the field the name of “gridiron.” The various positions on a football
team are centre rush, right and left guards, right and left tackles,
right and left ends, quarter-back, right and left half-back, and
full-back. As in baseball, the rules of football are constantly being
changed and the game as played ten or fifteen years ago is very
different from the modern game. The various changes in rules have been
made with a view to making the game less dangerous to the players and
more interesting to the spectator.

The principal scores in football are the “touchdown” and the “field
goal.” In a touchdown the ball is carried by one of the players and
touched on the ground behind the opponents’ goal line. In a field
goal, or, as it is often called, “a goal from the field,” the ball is
kicked over the crossbar between the goal posts. In a field goal the
player executing it must not kick the ball until after it has touched
the ground. Such a kick is called a “drop kick” as distinguished from
a “punt” where the ball is released from the hands and immediately
kicked before touching the ground. A team in possession of the ball is
allowed a certain number of attempts to advance it the required
distance. Each of these attempts is called a “down.” If they fail to
gain the necessary distance, the ball goes to their opponents. It is
customary on the last attempt, or down, to kick the ball so that when
the opposing team obtains possession of it will be as far as
possible from the goal line toward which they are rushing. In this
play a “punt” is allowed. There are also other scores. A safety is
made when a team is forced to touch the ball down behind its own goal

The ball used in American football is a long oval case made of leather
and inflated by means of a rubber bag or envelope. The football
player’s uniform consists of a heavily padded pair of trousers made of
canvas, moleskin, khaki or other material, a jacket made of the same
material, a tight-fitting jersey with elbow and shoulder pads, heavy
stockings, and cleated shoes. Players will often use other pads,
braces and guards to protect them from injury. Football is usually
played in the fall months after baseball has been discontinued on
account of the cold weather. A full game consists of four
fifteen-minute periods.


This game is played between two parallel straight lines, 3 feet 6
inches apart and marked on the lawn with two strips of tape. At the
opposite two ends of the tape are two goal posts 14 inches apart with
a crossbar. The length of the tapes should be 36 feet when two or
four players engage in the game, and may be extended for a greater
number. The game is played with balls and hockey sticks. The game is
started by placing the ball in the centre of the field. The two
captains then face each other and at a signal strike off. If the ball
is driven outside the tape boundaries it must be returned to the
centre of the field opposite the place where it crossed the line. The
object of the game is to score a goal through your opponents’ goal
posts as in ice hockey. If a player steps over the tape into the
playing space he commits a foul. The penalty for a foul is a free hit
for his opponents.


A game played over an extensive piece of ground which is divided into
certain arbitrary divisions called holes. A golf course is usually
undulating with the holes laid out to afford the greatest possible
variety of play. The ordinary course consists of either nine or
eighteen holes from 100 to 500 yards apart. An ideal course is about
6000 yards long. The holes which mark the termination of a playing
section consist of tin cans 4 inches in diameter sunk into and flush
with the level of the surrounding turf, which is called “the putting
green.” The game is played with a gutta-percha ball weighing about
1¾ ounces and with a set of “clubs” of various odd shapes and for
making shots under various conditions. Usually a boy accompanies each
player to carry his clubs. Such boys are called “caddies.” The clubs
are peculiarly named and it is optional with each player to have as
many clubs as he desires. Some of the more common ones are called
“driver,” “brassie,” “cleek,” “iron,” “mashie,” “niblick,” “putter,”
and “lofting iron.”

The game, which may be played by either two or four players, consists
in endeavouring to drive the ball over the entire course from hole to
hole in the fewest possible number of strokes. At the start a player
takes his position on what is called the “teeing ground” and drives
the ball in the direction of the first hole, the position of which is
shown in the distance by a flag or tin sign with a number. Before
driving he is privileged to place the ball on a tiny mound of earth or
sand which is called a “tee.” The players drive in order and then
continue making shots toward the hole until finally they have all
“holed out” by “putting” their balls into the hole, and the lowest
score wins the hole.

Golf is a game in which form is more essential than physical strength
and which is adapted for elderly people as well as the young. The
wooden clubs are usually made with either dogwood or persimmon heads
and with split hickory handles or shafts. The handles are usually
wound with a leather grip. Golf clubs of good quality will cost from
two to three dollars apiece and a set for most purposes will consist
of four to six clubs. The caddy bag to carry the clubs is made of
canvas or leather and will cost from two dollars up. Standard quality
golf balls will cost about nine dollars a dozen. Almost any
loose-fitting outdoor costume is suitable for playing golf and the
tendency in recent years is to wear long trousers in preference to
what are known as “golf trousers.”

A golf course—sometimes called a “links,” from a Scotch word meaning
a flat stretch of ground near the seashore—should be kept in good
condition in order to enjoy the game properly. The leading golf clubs
maintain a large force of men who are constantly cutting the grass,
repairing damages to the turf, and rolling the greens. For this reason
it is a game only adapted to club control unless one is very wealthy
and can afford to maintain private links.


This game may be played either by two or four persons. Wickets are
placed at irregular distances, and the object of the game is to drive
a wooden ball 2¾ inches in diameter through these wickets. It may
be played either as “all strokes,” in which the total number of
strokes to get through all the wickets is the final score, or as in
golf, “all wickets,” in which the score for each wicket is taken
separately, as each hole in golf is played. The mallet used is
somewhat different from a croquet mallet. The handle is longer and a
bevel is made on one end to raise or “loft” the ball as in golf.

The size of a golf-croquet course will depend upon the field
available. A field 200 yards long will make a good six-wicket course.


This game is played with smooth stones about the size of a butter
dish. A target is marked on the sand or on any smooth piece of ground,
or if played on the grass the target must be marked with lime similar
to marks on a tennis court. The outside circle of the target should
be six feet in diameter, and every six inches another circle described
with a piece of string and two pegs for a compass.

The object of the game is to stand at a stated distance from the
“enihan,” or target, and to toss the “habs” as in the game of quoits.
The player getting the best score counting from the inside ring or
bull’s-eye wins the game.


The players, equally divided, take positions on opposite sides of a
building such as a barn, so that they can not be seen by their
opponents. A player on one side then throws the ball over the roof and
one of his opponents attempts to catch it and to rush around the
corner of the building and throw it at one of the opposing side. If he
succeeds, the one hit is a prisoner of war and must go over to the
other side. The game continues until all of one side are captured.


A game of ancient Irish origin which is much played by baseball
players and other athletes to keep in good condition during the winter
when most outdoor sports are impossible.

A regulation hand ball court has a back wall 30 feet high and 50 feet
wide. Each game consists of twenty-one “aces.” The ball is 1⅞
inches in diameter and weighs 1⅝ ounces. The ball is served and
returned against the playing wall just as in many of the other indoor
games and is similar in principle to squash and rackets.


A game played with a tennis ball in which two opposing sides of six
players each endeavour to score goals by striking the ball with the
hands. The ball must be struck with the open hand. In play, the
contestants oppose each other by shouldering and bucking and in this
way the game can be made a dangerous one.

The goal is made into a cage form 3 feet 6 inches square. At the
beginning of the game the ball is placed in the centre of the playing
surface and the players rush for it. The umpire in hand polo is a very
important official and calls all fouls, such as tripping, catching,
holding, kicking, pushing, or throwing an opponent. Three fouls will
count as a goal for the opponents.


A game of lawn tennis in which the hand is used in place of a racket.
A hand tennis court is smaller than a regulation tennis court. Its
dimensions are 40 feet long and 16 feet wide. The net is 2 feet high.
The server is called the “hand in” and his opponent the “hand out.” A
player first scoring twenty-five points wins the game. A player can
only score when he is the server.

A foul line is drawn 3 feet on each side of the net, inside of which
play is not allowed. In all essential particulars of the rules the
game is similar to lawn tennis.


This game is very similar to Roley Boley or Nigger Baby except that
hats are used instead of hollows in the ground. The ball is tossed to
the hats and the first boy to get five stones, or “babies,” in his hat
has to crawl through the legs of his opponents and submit to the
punishment of being paddled.


A tin pan or wooden disk is suspended from a frame by means of a
string and the contestants in turn kick it as it is drawn higher and
higher until finally, as in high jumping, it reaches a point where
the survivor alone succeeds in touching it with his toe.


Hockey is usually played on the ice by players on skates, although,
like the old game of shinney, it may be played on any level piece of
ground. The hockey stick is a curved piece of Canadian rock elm with a
flat blade. Instead of a ball the modern game of ice hockey is played
with a rubber disk called a “puck.” In hockey, as in many other games,
the whole object is to drive the puck into your opponents’ goal and to
prevent them from driving it into yours. Almost any number of boys can
play hockey, but a modern team consists of five players. Hockey skates
are of special construction with long flat blades attached to the
shoes. The standard length of blade is from 14½ to 15½ inches.
They cost from three to six dollars. The hockey player’s uniform is a
jersey, either padded trousers or tights, depending upon his position,
and padded shin guards for the goal tenders.


All but one of the players, form a ring standing about two feet apart.
Then by some “counting out” rhyme some one is made “it.” He then
takes his place in the centre of the circle, holding a piece of stout
string on the end of which is tied a small weight or a book. He whirls
the string about and tries to strike the feet or ankles of some one in
the circle, who must hop quickly as the string comes near him. If he
fails to “hop over” he becomes “it.”


Hop scotch is a game that is played by children all over the world. A
court about 20 feet long and 4 or 5 feet wide is drawn with chalk,
coal, or a piece of soft brick on the sidewalk or scratched with a
pointed stick on a piece of level ground. A line called the “taw line”
is drawn a short distance from the court. The court is divided into
various rectangles, usually eleven divisions, although this varies in
different sections. At the end of the court a half circle is drawn,
variously called the “cat’s cradle,” “pot,” or “plum pudding.” The
players decide who is to be first, second, etc., and a flat stone or
piece of broken crockery or sometimes a folded piece of tin is placed
in division No. 1. The stone is called “potsherd.” The object of the
game is to hop on one foot and to shoot the potsherd in and out of the
court through the various divisions until they are all played. He
then hops and straddles through the court. Whenever he fails to do the
required thing the next player takes his turn.


Two captains are chosen and the players divided into equal sides. One
side stays in the home goal and the other side finds a hiding place.
The captain of the side that is hidden or “out” then goes back to the
other side and they march in a straight line to find the hidden sheep.
When they approach the hiding place their own captain shouts, “Apple!”
which is a warning that danger is near. When he is sure of their
capture or discovery he shouts, “Run, sheep, run!” and all the party
make a dash for the goal.


This association controls the field athletic contests between the
colleges known as the “Intercollegiates.”

It is generally known as the I.C.A.A.A.A. To win a point for one’s
college in this contest is the highest honour that a track athlete may
obtain. In these games, which take place annually, the following
thirteen events are contested for:

  Mile run
  440-yard run
  120-yard hurdles
  100-yard dash
  Running high jump
  Two-mile run
  880-yard run
  220-yard low hurdles
  Pole vault
  Broad jump
  220-yard dash
  Hammer throw


This game is sometimes called “Hide and Seek,” One of the players is
made “it” by any of the familiar counting-out rhymes. The rest then
secure a hiding place while he counts fifty or one hundred. A certain
tree or fence corner is considered “home.” “It” then attempts to spy
his hidden playmates in their hiding places and to run “home”
shouting, “I spy” and their names. If the one discovered can get home
before “it,” he does so, shouting, “In free!” with all the breath that
is left in him. The game is especially interesting just at dusk, when
the uncertain light makes the “outs” brave in approaching home without
detection. If “it” succeeds in capturing all the players the first
one caught is “it” for the next game.


This game is the same in principle as Jackstraws except that fagots or
sticks of wood two feet long are used in place of jackstraws. They are
removed from a pile with a crooked stick and must be taken out one at
a time without disturbing the rest. The number of sticks removed
constitutes a player’s score. When any stick other than the one he is
trying for is moved he loses his turn. The next player must attempt to
remove the same stick that the other failed on. The game is won by the
player having the greatest number of sticks to his credit.


This game is especially adapted for a lawn party for girls. Either
Japanese fans or the ordinary palm-leaf fans will do for rackets. The
balls are made of paper and should be six or eight inches in diameter
and in various colours. At opposite ends of a space about the size of
a tennis court are erected goal posts similar to those used in
football, but only six feet above ground. These may be made of light
strips of wood. There is also a similar pair of posts and a crossbar
midway between the goals.

The game is played by two contestants at a time. Each takes an
opposite end of the court and tosses the ball into the air. Then by
vigorous fanning she endeavours to keep it aloft and to drive it over
the opponent’s goal-post. At the middle posts the ball must be
“fanned” under the crossbar. If the ball falls to the ground it may be
picked up on the fan and tossed aloft again, but it must not be
touched by the hands. The winner is the one who first drives the ball
the length of the court and over the crossbar.


One player is chosen to be “it” and the rest are given a count of
twenty-five or fifty to hide. A stick is leaned against a tree or wall
and this is the home goal. As soon as the goal keeper can spy one of
the players he runs in and touches the stick and makes a prisoner, who
must come in and stand behind the stick. If one of the free players
can run in and kick the stick before the goal tender touches it, he
frees all the rest and they scurry to a place of hiding before the
stick can again be set up and the count of twenty-five made. As the
object of the game is to free your fellow-prisoners, the free players
will attempt all sorts of ruses to approach the stick without being
seen or to make a dash for it in hope of kicking it ahead of the goal
keeper. The game is over when all the players are captured, and the
first prisoner is “it” for the next game.


This can be made a very rough game, as it simply consists in a player
taking a position on a mound or hillock and defying any one to
dislodge him from his position by the taunting words:

    “_I’m the King of the Castle_,
    _Get down you cowardly rascal._”

The rest try to shove him from his position and to hold it
successfully against all comers themselves. The game, if played
fairly, simply consists in fair pulls and pushes without grasping
clothing, but if played roughly it is almost a “free-for-all” fight.


A game of ball played by two opposing teams of twelve players each.
The lacrosse field is a level piece of ground with net or wire goals
at each end. The players strive to hurl the ball into their opponents’
goal by means of a lacrosse stick or “crosse.” This is a peculiar bent
stick with a shallow gut net at one end. It somewhat resembles a
tennis racket, but is more like a snowshoe with a handle. The game
originated with the Indians and is much played in Canada.

In playing, the ball must not be touched with the hands, but is hurled
from one player to another by the “lacrosses” until it is possible to
attempt for a goal. It is also passed when a player is in danger of
losing the ball.

Lacrosse sticks cost from two to five dollars each and are made of
hickory with rawhide strings. The players wear specially padded gloves
to protect the knuckles. The usual uniform for lacrosse is a
tight-fitting jersey and running trousers.


This is a very old game and of great historic importance. The famous
Bowling Green in New York City was named from a small park where the
game was played by New Yorkers before the Revolution. The game is
played with wooden balls five inches in diameter and painted in
various gay colours. Usually lignum vitae is the material used. They
are not perfectly round but either slightly flattened at the poles
into an “oblate spheroid” or made into an oval something like a modern
football. Each player uses two balls, which are numbered. A white
ball, called a “jack ball,” is then thrown or placed at the end of the
bowling green or lawn and the players in turn deliver their balls or
“bowl” toward the jack. The whole game consists in placing your ball
as near to the jack as possible and of knocking away the balls of your
opponents. It is also possible to strike the jack and to drive it
nearer to where the balls of your side are lying. When all the players
have bowled, the two balls nearest the jack each count a point for the
side owning it. The game if played by sides is somewhat different from
a two-handed contest. The main point first is to deliver the ball as
near to the jack as possible and then to form a barrier or “guard”
behind it with succeeding balls to block those of your adversaries.
Sometimes the Jack is placed in the middle of the green and the teams
face each other and bowl from opposite ends. A green is about seventy
feet square with closely cropped grass. Four players form a “rink” and
are named “leader,” “second,” “third,” and “skip” or captain. The
position from which the balls are delivered is called the “footer.” It
is usually a piece of cloth or canvas three feet square.


This game is similar in every respect to indoor bowling except that no
regular alley is used. A net for a backstop is necessary. The pins
are set upon a flat surface on a lawn and the players endeavour to
knock down as many pins as possible in three attempts. The scoring is
the same as in indoor bowling. To knock down all ten pins with one
ball is called a “strike,” in two attempts it is a “spare.” In the
score, the strike counts ten for the player and in addition also
whatever he gets on the next two balls. Likewise he will count ten for
a spare, but only what he gets on one ball for a bonus. As a
consequence the maximum or perfect score in bowling is 300, which is a
series of ten strikes and two more attempts in which he knocks down
all the pins. In lawn bowling the scores are very low as compared with
the indoor game, where good players will often average close to 200 on
alleys where they are accustomed to bowl. Lawn bowling is a different
game from lawn bowls, which is described in a preceding paragraph.


This game is played on a field a little smaller than a football field,
being 110 yards long and from 50 to 60 yards wide. The ball used is an
ordinary cricket ball. The goals are two upright posts 12 feet apart
and with a crossbar 7 feet from the ground. Eleven men on a side
constitute a full team, but the game may be played with a fewer
number. The positions are known as three forwards, five rushes, two
backs or guards, and the goal tender.

The object of the game is very simple, being to drive the ball between
your opponents’ goals. The ordinary ice hockey stick will be
satisfactory to play with. The principal thing to remember in lawn
hockey is not to commit a “foul,” the penalty for which is a “free
hit” at the ball by your opponents. It is a foul to raise the stick
above the shoulders in making a stroke, to kick the ball (except for
the goal tender), to play with the back of the stick, to hit the ball
other than from right to left, and any form of rough play such as
tripping, pushing, kicking, or striking.

Lawn hockey is an excellent game and is really the old game of
“shinney” or “shinty” played scientifically and with definite rules.


From a stout pole which is firmly fixed in the ground a heavy ball is
suspended by means of a rope fastened to the top of the pole. Two flat
pieces of stone or concrete are placed on opposite sides of the pole.
The game is played with nine-pins, which are set up on one stone, the
player standing on the other and endeavouring by hurling the ball to
strike down a maximum number of pins. Usually he has three chances and
the number of pins knocked down constitutes his score.


A game of ball played on a level piece of ground, called a court, by
two, three, or four persons. When two play the game is called
“singles,” and when four play it is called “doubles.” The game is
played with a rubber ball, and rackets made by stringing gut on a
wooden frame. The dimensions of a tennis court are 36 by 78 feet. In
addition to this, space must be allowed for the players to run back,
and it is customary to lay out a court at least 50 by 100 feet to give
plenty of playing space. The court is divided into various lines,
either by means of lime applied with a brush or by tapes. Midway
between the two rear lines and in the centre of the court a net is
stretched, supported by posts.

In playing one of the players has the serve—that is, he attempts to
strike the ball so that it will go over the net and into a specified
space on the opposite side of the net. His opponent then attempts to
return the serve—that is, to strike the ball either on the fly or
the first bound and knock it back over the net somewhere within the
playing space as determined by the lines. In this way the ball is
volleyed or knocked back and forth until one of the players fails
either to return it over the net or into the required space. To fail
in this counts his opponents a point. Four points constitute a game
except where both sides have obtained three points, in which case one
side to win must secure two points in succession.

The score is not counted as 1, 2, 3, and 4, but 15, 30, 40, game. When
both sides are at 40 it is called “deuce.” At this point a lead of two
is necessary to win. The side winning one of the two points at this
stage is said to have the “advantage,” or, as it is expressed,
“vantage in” or “vantage out,” depending upon whether it is the side
of the server or his opponents, the server’s score always being called

A set of tennis consists of enough games to permit one side to win
six, or if both are at five games won, to win two games over their


There are a great many games of “tag” that are familiar to boys and
girls. One of the common games is “last tag,” which simply means that
a boy tags another and makes him “it” before leaving the party on his
way home. It is the common boys’ method of saying “good-bye” when
leaving school for home. The principal rule of last tag is that there
is “no tagging back.” The boy who is “it” must not attempt to tag the
one who tagged him, but must run after some one else. It is a point of
honour with a boy not to be left with “last tag” against him, but he
must try to run some one else down, when he is then immune and can
watch the game in safety, or can leave for home with no blot on his


A form of coasting very much practised in Switzerland at the winter
resorts where the sled used is similar to our American child’s sled
with open framework instead of a toboggan or the more modern flexible
flyer which is generally used by boys in America.


A long distance race, held in connection with the Olympic Games and
named from a famous event in Greek history. The accepted Marathon
distance is 26 miles, 385 yards. The race was won at the Olympic
Games held in England in 1908 by John Hayes, an American, in 2 hours
44 minutes 20 2-5 seconds.


The Olympic Games are open to the athletes of the world. The following
events are contested for:

  60-metre run
  100-metre run
  200-metre run
  400-metre run
  800-metre run
  1500-metre run
  110-metre hurdles
  200-metre hurdles
  400-metre hurdles
  3200-metre steeplechase
  2500-metre steeplechase
  4000-metre steeplechase
  Running long jump
  Running high jump
  Running triple jump
  Standing broad jump
  Standing high jump
  Standing triple jump
  Pole vault
  Shot put
  Discus throwing
  Throwing 16-pound hammer
  Throwing 56-pound weight
  Marathon race
  Weight lifting, one hand
  Weight lifting, two hands
  Dumb-bell competition
  Team race
  Team race 3 miles
  Five-mile run
  Throwing stone
  Throwing javelin
  Throwing javelin held in middle
  1500-metre walk
  3500-metre walk
  10-mile walk
  Throwing discus Greek style


There is a large variety of games with marbles and the expressions
used are universal. Boys usually have one shooter made from agate
which they call a “real.” To change the position of the shooter is
called “roundings,” and to object to this or to any other play is
expressed by the word “fen.” The common game of marbles is to make a
rectangular ring and to shoot from a line and endeavour to knock the
marbles or “mibs” of one’s opponents out of the square. A similar game
is to place all the mibs in a line in an oval and to roll the shooter
from a distance. The one coming nearest to the oval has “first shot”
and continues to shoot as long as he drives out a marble and “sticks”
in the oval himself. Reals are often supposed to have superior
sticking qualities. Playing marbles “for keeps” is really gambling and
should be discouraged. The knuckle dabster is a small piece of cloth
or leather that boys use to rest the hand on when in the act of
shooting. The best kind of a “dabster” is made from a mole’s skin.


The common marbles used by boys everywhere are called mibs, fivers,
commies, migs, megs, alleys, and dubs. A very large marble is a bumbo
and a very small one a peewee. Glass marbles are called crystals and
those made of agate are called reals. The choicest real is supposed
to be green and is called a “mossic” or “moss real.”


This game is played with a penknife. A piece of turf is usually the
best place to play. Various positions for throwing the knife are tried
by each player, following a regular order of procedure, until he
misses, when the knife is surrendered to the next in turn. When he
receives the knife each player tries the feat at which he failed
before. The last player to accomplish all the feats has the pleasure
of “pulling the peg,” The peg consists of a wedge-shaped piece of wood
the length of the knife blade which is driven into the ground by the
back of the knife and must be pulled by the teeth of the unfortunate
one who was last to complete the necessary feats. The winner has the
honour of driving the peg, usually three blows with his eyes open and
three with them closed. If he succeeds in driving it out of sight the
feat is considered especially creditable and the loser is greeted with
the cry, “Root! Root!” which means that he must remove the sod and
earth with his teeth before he can get a grip on the peg top. There
are about twenty-four feats or “figures” to be gone through in a game
of mumblety peg, throwing the knife from various positions both right
and left-handed. In each feat the successful result is measured by
having the knife stick into the ground at such an angle so that there
is room for two fingers to be inserted under the end of the handle
without disturbing the knife.


This is a modified game of baseball that may be played by three or
four. Generally there is only one base to run to, and besides the
batter, pitcher, and catcher the rest of the players are fielders. Any
one catching a fly ball puts the batter out and takes his turn at bat,
or in another modification of the game, when one is put out each
player advances a step nearer to batsman’s position, the pitcher going
in to bat, the catcher becoming pitcher, first fielder becoming
catcher, and so on, the batsman becoming “last fielder.”


This game may be played on a lawn. Four clothes baskets are required
as well as a variety of objects of various sizes and kinds, such as
spools of thread, pillows, books, matches, balls, pencils, umbrellas,
pins, and so on. Two captains are chosen and each selects a team,
which stands in line facing each other. Two of the baskets are filled
with the various articles and these two baskets are placed at the
right hand of the two captains. The empty baskets are on the opposite
ends of the line. At a signal the captains select an object and pass
it to the next in line. He in turn passes it to his left and finally
it is dropped into the empty basket. If the object should be dropped
in transit it must go back to the captain and be passed down the line
again. Two umpires are desirable, who can report the progress of the
game to their own side as well as keep an eye on their opponents.


A game similar to racquets, sometimes called “Jai-a-li,” that is much
played in Spain and in Mexico. The game is played with a narrow
scoop-like wicker basket or racket which is fastened to the wrist. The
players catch the ball in this device and hurl it with terrific force
against the wall of the court. Pelota is a hard, fast game, and
sometimes serious injuries result from playing it.


This is the universal game that boys play with tops. A ring six feet
in diameter is described on the ground and each player puts a top
called a “bait” in the centre. The baits are usually tops of little
value. The “plugger,” however, is the top used to shoot with and as a
rule is the boy’s choicest one. As soon as the players can wind their
tops they stand with their toes on the line and endeavour to strike
one of the baits in such a way as to knock it out of the circle and
still leave their own tops within the circle and spinning. If they
miss, the top must be left spinning until it “dies.” If it fails to
roll out of the ring, the owner must place another bait top in the
ring, but if it leaves the circle he may continue shooting. It is
possible to play tops for “keeps,” but, like marbles for “keeps,” it
should be discouraged, as it is gambling.


A game played on horseback, which originated in Eastern countries and
was first played by the English in India. It has been introduced both
into England and America. Polo is a rich man’s game and requires a
great deal of skill in horsemanship as well as nerve. A polo team
consists of four men, each of whom must have a stable of several
horses. These horses, or “polo ponies,” are trained carefully, and a
well-trained pony is as essential to good playing as a skilful rider.

The game is played with a mallet, the head of which is usually ash,
dogwood, or persimmon, and has a handle about 50 inches long. The ball
is either willow or basswood. The principle of the game is similar to
nearly all of the outdoor games played with a ball: that of driving it
into the opponents’ goal, meanwhile preventing them from making a
score on one’s own goal.


In this game as many rows of potatoes are laid as there are players.
They should be placed about five feet apart. The race consists in
picking up all of the potatoes, one at a time, and carrying them to
the starting point, making a separate trip for each potato. At the end
of the line there should be a basket or butter tub to drop them into.
The game is sometimes made more difficult by forcing the contestants
to carry the potatoes on a teaspoon.


Two captains select sides. They then mark out on the ground two bases,
or homes. They also mark out two “prisons” near each home base. Then
each side stands in its own home and a player runs out and advances
toward the enemy’s home. One of the enemy will then run out and
endeavour to tag him before he can run back to his own base, and one
of his side will try to tag the enemy, the rule being that each in
turn must have left his home after his opponent. If a player is
tagged, he becomes a prisoner of the other side and is put into the
prison. The successful tagger may then return to Ids home without
danger of being tagged. A prisoner may be rescued at any time if one
of his side can elude the opponents and tag him free from prison. The
game ends when all of one side are made prisoners.


A game usually played on foot but sometimes on horseback, in which the
object is to push or force a huge ball over the opponents’ goal line.
A regulation “push ball” is six feet in diameter and costs three
hundred dollars.

In push ball almost any number may play, but as weight counts, the
sides should be divided as evenly as possible.


A game played with flattish malleable iron or rubber rings about nine
inches in diameter and convex on the upper side, which the players
endeavour to loss or pitch so that they will encircle a pin or peg
driven into the ground, or to come nearer to this peg than their
opponents. The peg is called a “hob.” A certain form of quoits is
played with horseshoes throughout the country districts of America. A
quoit player endeavours to give the quoit such a position in mid-air
that it will not roll but will cut into the ground at the point where
it lands. The game is remotely similar to the ancient Greek game of
throwing the discus. Iron quoits may be purchased for a dollar a set.

The average weight of the quoits used by experts is from seven to nine
pounds each. Sixty-one points constitute a game. The distance from the
peg shall be either 10, 15 or 18 yards. For a space three feet around
the pin or peg the ground should be clay. In match games, all quoits
that fall outside a radius of 18 inches from the centre of the pin are
“foul,” and do not count in the score.


One of the numerous court games similar to lawn tennis that is now
finding public favour, but played in a semi-indoor court. A racquet
court is 31 feet 6 inches wide and about 63 feet long. The front wall,
against which the ball is served, has a line 8 or 10 feet from the
floor, above which the ball must strike. The server, as in tennis,
takes his position in a service box with a racket similar to a lawn
tennis racket except that it has a smaller head and a longer handle.

Either two or four players may play racquets. A game consists of
fifteen “aces,” or points.


In this game, also called Red Lion, the goal must be a straight line,
such as the crack in a sidewalk or the edge of a road. The one who is
“it” runs after the rest as in tag, and when he has captured a
prisoner he brings him into the “red line,” and the two start out
again hand in hand and another is captured, then three together, and
two pair, and so on until all are prisoners. The first prisoner is
“it” for the next game.


This game is also called Roll Ball and Nigger Baby, and is played by
children all over the civilized world. A number of depressions are
hollowed in the ground corresponding to the number of players and a
hole is chosen by each one. A rubber ball is then rolled toward the
holes, and if it lodges in one of them the boy who has claimed that
hole must run in and pick up the ball while the rest scatter. He then
attempts to hit one of the other players with the ball. If he succeeds
a small stone called a “baby” is placed in the hole belonging to the
boy struck. Otherwise the thrower is penalized with a “baby.” When any
boy has five babies he must stand against the wall and be a free
target for the rest to throw the ball at.


This game may be called scientific croquet. A roque mallet has a
dogwood head 9½ inches long, with heavy nickel ferrules. Roque
balls are made of a special composition that is both resilient and
practically unbreakable.

A skilful roque player is able to make shots similar to billiard
shots. The standard roque court is 60 feet long, 30 feet wide, with
corner pieces 6 feet long. The playing ground is of clay and should be
as smooth as it is possible to make it. A very light top dressing of
sand is used on the clay. The wickets, or “arches,” are driven into
blocks of wood to secure firmness and buried into the ground with the
top of the arch 8 inches above the surface.

The roque balls are 3¼ inches in diameter and the arches only 3½
wide, which gives an idea of the difficulty of playing this game. To
be an expert requires an accurate eye and a great deal of practice.

There is a National Roque Association, and an annual championship
tournament is held to determine the champion. The home of roque is in
the New England States.


The best amateur intercollegiate record for the eight-oared race of
four miles is 18 minutes 53⅕ seconds, made by Cornell, July 2,


This game may be played with any number of players, and is especially
adapted for a school or lawn game. Two players are chosen as pursuers
and the rest are divided equally and stand two by two facing each
other in two columns. The two pursuers stand at the head of each
column and face each other. When ready they say, “Cross the Rubicon,”
and at this signal the rear couple from each line must run forward and
try to reach the rear of the other line. The pursuers must not look
back, but as soon as the runners are abreast of them must try to tag
them before they reach the place of safety. The captured runners
become pursuers, and the one who was “it” takes his or her place at
the rear of the other line.


A form of sport where the contestants are fastened in sacks with the
hands and feet confined and where they race for a goal by jumping or
hopping along at the greatest possible speed under this handicap. A
sack race should not be considered one of the scientific branches of
sport, but is rather to afford amusement for the spectators.


This game is based upon the song of the same name. The players form a
ring, with three judges in the centre. Each player with appropriate
gestures in turn begins the song,

    “_Scotland’s burning. Scotland’s burning_,
    _Look out! Look out!_
    _Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!_
    _Pour on water! Pour on water!_”

The whole party are soon singing, but each four are singing different
words. The object of the judges is to detect some one in the circle
either making gestures that are not appropriate to the words or to be
singing out of order. The penalty is to turn around and sing with the
back to the circle. The three who are facing in last then become


This sport has recently received wide popularity in sections of the
country where the winters make it possible. Skis—or, as they are
sometimes spelled, skee,—are a pair of flat runners from five to ten
feet long which are attached to the feet in such a way as to be easily
cast off in case of accident. By means of skis a ski-runner may either
make rapid progress over level snow or may coast down sharp
declivities and make jumps of great extent.

Skis are usually made of ash and the standard lengths are from six to
eight feet. They cost from five to seven dollars a pair. In skiing it
is customary to use a pair of steel-shod poles with leather wrist
straps, but in ski-running or coasting the use of poles is very


In this game of leap frog various tricks are attempted by the leader,
as in the game of “stump master.” Each of the boys following is
expected to do as the leader or to drop out and become “down” himself.
“Torchlight” is to jump with one hand only, using the other to wave
his cap as if it were a torch. In “hats on deck” each jumper in turn
is supposed to leave his cap on “down’s” back. Naturally the last one
over may have a large pile of hats to clear. If he disturbs any of
them or knocks them off, he is “it.” “Hats off” means for each jumper
in turn to take his own hat without knocking off any of the others. In
all games of leap frog it is considered proper for the jumper to
direct “down” to give him the kind of a “back” he desires.
Consequently he will say high or low back, depending upon whether he
wishes “down” to stand almost upright or to bend close to the ground.


This game is similar to racquets, but is less violent or severe on a
player. It is played in a court 31 feet 6 inches wide. The front wall
must be 16 feet high. The service line above which the ball must
strike on the serve is 6 feet from the floor. Below this line and 2
feet from the floor is the “tell tale,” above which the ball must
strike in play. A squash racket is similar to a tennis racket, but
slightly smaller.

In squash, a game is “fifteen up.” At the score of 13 a player may
“set the score” back to 3 or 5, after which the player first winning
either 3 or 5 points, or aces, as they are called, is the winner. The
object of this is to endeavour to overcome the advantage that the
server may have.

In a regulation squash court the spectators’ gallery is above the
walls of the court, and the game is played in the pit below the


In this game one of the players is chosen master. It is usually the
one who first suggests the game by saying. “Let’s play stump master.”
He then leads the line of players, going through various “stumps,” or,
as we should call them now, “stunts,” such as climbing fences and
trees, turning somersaults, crawling through narrow places, or
whatever will be difficult for the rest to copy. The game is capable
of all sorts of variations.


This can scarcely be called a game, but the use of the sucker is so
familiar to most boys that a description of it is surely not out of
place in this chapter. A piece of sole leather is used, three or four
inches square. It is cut into a circle and the edges carefully pared
thin. A hole is made in the centre and a piece of string or top twine
is knotted and run through the hole. The sucker is then soaked in
water until it is soft and pliable. The object of the sucker is to
lift stones or bricks with it. This, too, is of especial interest in
New England towns, where there are brick sidewalks. The sucker is
pressed firmly on a brick by means of the foot, and it will be found
to adhere to it with sufficient force to lift it clear of the ground.


The same as tether tennis, which see.


This game has been developed out of lawn tennis. A wooden pole
extending 10 feet above the surface is placed in a vertical position
and firmly imbedded in the ground. The pole must be 7½ inches in
circumference at the ground and may taper to the top. Six feet above
the ground a black band 2 inches wide is painted around the pole. The
court is a smooth piece of sod or clay similar to a tennis court, but
a piece of ground 20 feet square is sufficient.

At the base of the pole a circle is described with a 3-foot radius. A
line 20 feet long bisects this circle, and 6 feet from the pole on
each side are two crosses, which are known as service crosses.

An ordinary tennis ball is used which has been fitted with a
tight-fitting linen cover. The ball is fastened to the pole by means
of a piece of heavy braided line. Ordinary heavy fish line will do.
The ball should hang 7½ feet from the top of the pole or 2½ feet
from the ground. Regulation tennis rackets are used.

The game consists in endeavouring to wind the ball and string around
the pole above the black mark in a direction previously determined.
The opponent meanwhile tries to prevent this and to wind the ball in
the opposite direction by striking it as one would volley in tennis.

Each player must keep in his own court. The points are scored as
“fouls.” Eleven games constitute a set. A game is won when the string
is completely wound around the pole above the black mark. The penalty
for a foul, such as stepping outside of one’s court, allowing the
string to wind around the handle of the racket or around the pole
below the black mark, provides for a free hit by one’s opponent.


A race in which the contestants are paired off by being strapped
together at the ankles and thighs. Remarkable speed can be obtained by
practice under this handicap. There are definite rules to govern
three-legged races, and official harness may be bought from sporting
goods outfitters. As a race, however, it is like sack racing, to be
classed among the sports designed to afford amusement rather than as a
display of skill.


These races are often held in shallow lakes. Each contestant sits in a
wash tub, and by using his hands as paddles endeavours to paddle the
course first. As a wash tub is not a particularly seaworthy craft, and
spills are of frequent occurrence, it is well for the tub racers also
to know how to swim.


This game is extremely simple and may be played by any number of
players, provided that there is space and that the sides are evenly
divided. The best dimensions for a volley ball court are 25 feet wide
and 50 feet long, but any square space evenly divided into two courts
will do. The game consists of twenty-one points.

The ball is made of white leather and inflated with a rubber bladder.
A net divides the two courts and is 7 feet high. The standard volley
ball is 27 inches in circumference and weighs between 9 and 12 ounces.

The whole object of the game is to pass the ball back and forth over
the net without permitting it to touch the floor or to bound. In this
way it somewhat resembles both tennis and hand ball.

Volley ball is an excellent game for gymnasiums and has the decided
advantage of permitting almost any number to play.


The “warner” takes his position at a space called “home” and the rest
of the players stand some distance from him. He then clasps his hands
and runs out, trying to tag an opponent with his clasped hands. This
would be practically impossible except that the players endeavour to
make him unclasp his hands by pulling at his arms and drawing
temptingly near him. As soon as he has tagged a victim he runs for
home as fast as possible. If he himself is tagged before he reaches
home he is out, and the tagger becomes “warner.” If both the warner
and the one tagged reach home safely they clasp hands, and finally the
line contains all the players but one, who has the honour of being
warner for the next game. The game receives its name from the call,
“Warning!” which the warner gives three times before leaving home.


In this game a player stands blindfolded and another player comes up
and taps him. The one who is “it” then gives a penalty, such as “climb
a tree or run to the corner and back,” and then tries to guess who it
was that tapped him. The one tapped must answer some question so that
he may be recognized by his voice or laugh. If “it” is correct in his
guess, the player must do as directed, but if his guess is wrong he
must do it himself. The result of this game is that the blindfolded
player will measure the severity of his “forfeits,” or “penalties,” to
his certainty of guessing correctly the name of the player.


This game is played in a swimming pool. A white ball made of rubber
fabric is used. The ball must be between 7 and 8 inches in diameter.
The goals are spaces 4 feet long and 12 inches wide at each end of the
tank and placed 18 inches above the water line. Six men on a side
constitute a team.

It is a game in which skill in swimming is absolutely essential. It is
also a very rough game. The player endeavours to score goals by
swimming with the ball, and his opponents are privileged to tackle him
and to force him under water or in other ways to attempt to secure the
ball from him. Meanwhile the other players are blocking off opponents,
and in general the game resembles a football game in its rudiments.


In this game the contestants run a race carrying a glass or tin cup
full of water on top of the head, which must not be touched by the
hands. The one finishing first with a minimum loss of water from his
cup is the winner.


A game played by two teams of four players each. The ball used is a
regulation polo ball. A wicket polo surface is 44 feet square, in
which sticks or wickets are set up. The object of the game is to
knock down the wickets of one’s opponents by a batted ball and to
prevent them from displacing our own. A crooked stick 4 feet in length
and a little over an inch in diameter is used. Each player has a fixed
position on the field or surface.


In this game “it” is the wolf. The sheep choose a shepherd to guard
them. The wolf then secures a hiding place and the sheep and shepherd
leave the fold and endeavour to locate him. When this is done the
shepherd cries, “I spy a wolf!” and every one stands while he counts
ten. Then the sheep and shepherd scatter for the fold, and if tagged
before they reach it the first becomes wolf for the next game.


In this class are also “iron tag,” “stone tag,” and “tree tag.” They
are all simply the game of tag with the additional rule that when a
player is in contact with iron, stone, trees, wood, and so on he is
safe from being tagged by the one who is “it.” The game of “squat tag”
is similar, except that to be safe the one pursued must squat quickly
on the ground before “it” catches him. In cross tag, “it” must select
a victim and continue to run after him until some one runs ahead and
crosses his path, when “it,” who may be breathless by this time, must
abandon his victim for a fresh one, who may soon be relieved and so on
until some one is tagged, or “it” is exhausted.

The Country Life Press, Garden City, N.Y.

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