Lord Baden-Powell on the proper size of a Troop  

One Reason why a Troop should not Exceed Thirty-two

from Chapter 55 of Aids to Scoutmastership

I have said in Scouting for Boys that so far as my own experience went I could not train individually more than sixteen boys — but allowing for my having only half the capacity of the experienced boy-worker, the Scoutmaster, I allowed for his taking on thirty-two.

Men talk of having fine Troops of 60 or even 100 — Cadet Companies even run to 120 — and their officers tell me that their boys are equally well trained as in smaller Troops. I express admiration (“admiration” literally translated means “surprise”), and I don’t believe them.

Why worry about individual training? they ask. Because it is the only way by which you can educate. You can instruct any number of boys, a thousand at a time if you have a loud voice and attractive methods or disciplinary means. But that is not training — it is not education.

Education is the thing that counts in building character and in making men.

The incentive to perfect himself, when properly instilled into the individual, brings about his active effort on the line most suitable to his temperament and powers.

New FNE Groups!  

In addition to our new group in Memphis, Tennessee, the following groups are also forming:

  • Staff of St. Joseph FNE (with Timber Wolf and Explorer units for girls) in Mableton (Archdiocese of Atlanta), Georgia; and
  • Ave Maria FNE (with a Timber Wolf Den for boys) in Ave Maria, Florida.

Our existing groups in this region of the United States also include:

  • Stella Maris FNE (with Timber Wolf, Explorer, and Otter units for boys; starting a girls’ program in the fall of 2015) in Miama, Florida;
  • Divine Mercy FNE (with Timber Wolf and Explorer units for boys and girls) in O’Brien, Florida; and
  • Crusaders of the Holy Cross FNE (with Timber Wolf and Explorer units for boys) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Members of our Atlanta and Miami groups gather for a joint camp

Members of our Atlanta and Miami groups gather for a joint camp

To learn more about the Federation of North-American Explorers, please visit our national web site at www.fneexplorers.com, and contact our general commissioner Paul Ritchi at info@fneexplorers.com with any questions.

Chivalry and Fair Play  

The code of the medieval knights has been the foundation for the conduct of gentlemen ever since the day around A.D. 500, when King Arthur made the rules for his Knights of the Round Table.

The romance of the Knights has its attraction for all boys and has its appeal to their moral sense. Their Code of Chivalry included Honour, Self-Discipline, Courtesy, Courage, Selfless Sense of Duty and Service, and the guidance of Religion.

The rules as they were republished in the time of Henry VII are as follows:–

  • They were never to put off their armour, except for the purpose of rest at night.
  • They were to search for adventures wherein to attain “bruyt and renown.”
  • To defend the poor and weak.
  • To give help to any who should ask it in a just quarrel.
  • Not to offend one another.
  • To fight for the defence and welfare of their country.
  • To work for honour rather than profit.
  • Never to break a promise for any reason whatever.
  • To sacrifice themselves for the honour of their country.
  • “Sooner choose to die honestly than to flee shamefully.”

The ideals of the Knights and the idea of fair play is above all the one which can be best instilled into boys and leads them to that strong view of justice which should be part of their character, if they are going to make really good citizens.

This habit of seeing things from the other fellow’s point of view can be developed in outdoor games where fair play is essential, whether it is in “Flag Raiding” or “Dispatch Running.” During the game the strictest rules are observed which mean self-restraint and good temper on the part of the players, and at the end it is the proper form that the victor should sympathise with the one who is conquered, and that the opponent should be the first to cheer and congratulate the winner.

This should be made the practice until it becomes the habit.

A further valuable aid to the training in fairness is the holding of debates amongst the boys on subjects that interest them and which lend themselves to argument on both sides. This is to get them into the way of recognizing that every important question has two sides to it, and that they should not be carried away by the eloquence of one orator before they have heard what the defender of the other side has to say on the subject, and that they should then weigh the evidence of both sides for themselves before making up their mind which part they should take.

A practical step in ensuring this is not to vote by show of hands, where the hesitating or inattentive boy votes according to the majority. Each should record his vote “ay” or “no” on a slip of paper and hand it in. This ensures his making up his mind for himself after duly weighing both sides of the question.

In the same, way mock trials or arbitration of quarrels, if carried out seriously and on the lines of a law court, are of the greatest value in teaching the boys the same idea of justice and fair play, and also give them a minor experience of what their civic duties may be as jurymen or witnesses later on. The Court of Honour in the Troop is another step in the same direction, and as the boys here have a real responsibility by being members of the Court, the seriousness of their views is brought home to them all the more, and encourages them to think out carefully the right line to take when they have heard all the arguments on both sides.

–Lord Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership (1920)

FNE comes to the Volunteer State!  

Please welcome Tennessee to the FNE family! By approval of our general commissioner, we are pleased to announce the formation of 1st Holy Family FNE, St. Joseph Explorer Troop and Timber Wolf Den in Memphis, Tennessee. Prayers and a big welcome to our new brothers in the South!

St. George, Patron of Explorers Everywhere  

Adapted from Scouting for Boys, “Campfire Yarn #20,” by Lord Baden-Powell.

Chivalry

Chivalry — that is, the order of the knights — was started in England some 1500 years ago by King Arthur. On the death of his father, King Uther Pendragon, he was living with his uncle, and nobody knew who was to be King. He did not himself know that he was the son of the late King. Then a great stone was found in the churchyard, into which a sword was sticking, and on the stone was written:

Whosoever pulleth this sword out of this stone is the rightwise King born of all England.

All the chief lords had a try at pulling it out, but none could move it. That day there was a tournament at which Arthur’s cousin was to fight, but when he got to the ground he found he had left his sword at home, and he sent Arthur to fetch it. Arthur could not find it, but remembering the sword in the churchyard he went there and pulled at it. It came out of the stone at once, and he took it to his cousin. After the sports he put it back again into the stone; and then they all tried to pull it out, but could not move it. But when Arthur tried he drew it out quite easily. So he was proclaimed King.

He afterwards got together a number of knights, and used to sit with them at a great round table, and so they were called the “Knights of the Round Table.”

St. George

They had as their patron saint St. George, because he was the only one of all the saints who was a horseman. He is the Patron Saint of cavalry and a special saint of England.

He is also the Patron Saint of Explorers everywhere. Therefore, all Explorers should know his story.

St. George was born in Cappadocia in the year AD 303. He enlisted as a cavalry soldier when he was seventeen, and soon became renowned for his bravery.

On one occasion he came to a city named Selem, near which lived a dragon who had to be fed daily with one of the citizens, drawn by lot.

The day St. George came there, the lot had fallen upon the king’s daughter, Cleolinda. St. George resolved that she should not die, and so he went out and attacked the dragon, who lived in a swamp close by, and killed him.

bp_st_george

St. George was typical of what an Explorer should be:

When he was faced by a difficulty or danger, however great it appears — even in the shape of a dragon — he did not avoid it or fear it, but went at it with all the power he could put into himself and his horse. Although inadequately armed for such an encounter, having merely a spear, he charged in, did his best, and finally succeeded in overcoming a difficulty which nobody had dared to tackle.

That is exactly the way in which an Explorer should face a difficulty or danger, no matter how
great or terrifying it may appear to him or how ill-equipped he may be for the struggle. He should SD at it boldly and confidently, using every power that he can to try to overcome it, and the probability is that he will succeed.

St. George’s Day is April 23rd. On that day all good Explorers make a special point of thinking about the Promise and the Law. Remember this on the next 23rd April and send greetings to brother Explorers around the world.

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