Editor’s Note, by Nicole Williams

In The Story of Charlotte Mason, Essex Cholmondeley wrote:

Another choice is an instance of Miss Mason’s understanding of the out-of-school needs of boys and girls. In 1905 a small military handbook came to her notice. It was called ‘Aids to Scouting’ and had been written by Robert Baden-Powell to provide training exercises in character and initiative for soldiers. Miss Mason saw that the practical work in observation and deduction set out in this book would delight boys and girls, so she gave it a place on the P.U.S. programmes.

The following year a H.O.E. student, governess to Lord Allenby’s small boy, tried out with him some scouting exercises. The story of how Lord Allenby was successfully ambushed by his son and how he told Baden-Powell of it in conversation a week later is now part of the history of the Boy Scout movement. But before this movement took shape the P.U.S. boys and girls had become busy with their own scouting.[1]

Sir Robert Baden-Powell, of course, is the founder of the Boy Scouts, and yet he credited Miss Mason with the idea. He said:

The educational possibilities of Scouting were first recognised by Miss Mason, founder of the celebrated Ambleside Training College. Her practical adaptation of my training of Soldier Scouts for inculcating observation and deduction in the education of her future teachers, gave me the first suggestion and hope that a further adaptation might make it of value to young people.[2]

The following is an article written by Miss Mellis Smith outlining scouting in the P.U.S. We hope it will inspire you and your children to try scouting Miss Mason’s way.

Regulations And Tests
The Position Of Scouting In The Parents’ Union School

By J. H. Mellis Smith
The Parents’ Review, 1920, pp. 446-461

The Parents’ Union School has been doing scouting since the publication of General Baden Powell’s Aids to Scouting in 1905 (before the publication of Scouting for Boys). To a programme that offers such an unique and delightful arrangement of work, it seems almost superfluous to add the name “Scouting,” so much of scoutcraft is already included. At the same time, most children find a deep interest in carrying out schemes of their own, and in doing work which is not called “work,” independently of that which is expected of them. What family has grown up without many attempts at clubs of some nature, and magazines, and secret societies usually accompanied by elaborate and unscientific writings in code? Many of these started well with a magnificent set of rules. A few too kept up well, and were a constant occupation and source of interest.

That is the kind of position that we think Scouting might take. It is to be something for the children to carry on themselves as much as possible.

They should choose what is to be done, and how it is to be done. It need not replace the highly original and equally commendable societies, but I think many of them came to ruin because there was not enough object. Scouting gives scope for all sorts of originality, as well as providing a standard to aim at. It makes a reason too for doing a number of useful things, that without it might never be done. The tests for Tassel Honours are arranged to coincide to a certain degree with the work of the P.U. School Programme.

Again, it is the attitude towards the ordinary events of every-day life, the scout’s attitude, that seems to me so invaluable. Once you have accepted the Law as your law, a thing you should only do after thoughtful consideration, you are in honour bound to try your best, whatever you are doing. It is not that all this is a new attitude, or a new idea, but the straightforward wording of the Law somehow offers a challenge, and you want to reply “See if I can’t live up to it.”

And those who accept the challenge are not burdened with many rules of conduct. They have only agreed to live a life that tries to be unselfish, and is in consequence a full and happy one. And they have the help of knowing that they are trying in company with many others.

From the Scouts’ point of view as well as from many others, the Winchester gathering of 1912 was a great event. By meeting each other at Winchester, sixteen Patrols out of the first eighteen enrolled found out that we are really a corporate body of Scouts working together with one aim. By working steadily and without “crazes,” by always carrying to a satisfactory finish whatever we undertake, by doing a little thoroughly rather than a lot badly, and by not giving way to the temptation that we sometimes have to think things troublesome, we shall surely be doing something that is worth while.

J. H. Mellis Smith.

Regulations of The Parents’ Union School Scouts.

1. Membership is open to all present and past members of the Parents’ Union School.

There may be cases in which children who do not belong to the School wish to do Scouting with a P.U.S. Patrol; these may be enrolled in the Patrol as Fellowship Members, but their names cannot be recognized at headquarters (Ambleside) and the badges must show the distinguishing letters “F.M.” (see under “Badge”).

2. To become a P.U.S. Scout it is necessary—(i.) To know the Scout Law and obey it.

Though we have no formal swearing in, it is not because we overlook the serious side of a scout’s duties, we think that the fact of joining is sufficient guarantee of the purpose to obey the law.

(ii.) To know the composition and history of the Union Jack, and how to fly it. (iii.) To know the call and signs of your patrol. (iv.) To know about the life and habits of the animal of your badge. (v.) To embroider a badge.

Children of ten years old and under may paint the badge instead of embroidering it. No scout should continue to use the painted badge after the age of 12. A new embroidered one should take the place of the old one, and the tassels can be transferred.

3. How to form a P.U.S. Patrol. (i.) Decide upon the bird or animal you are going to take for your badge. (ii.) When you have passed the entrance tests and made the badge, send your name in for enrolment, inclosing the enrolment fee of 6d., and giving the following on a separate sheet of paper:—

(a) The name of the Patrol and a painted badge.
(b) Colours.
(c) Headquarters.
(d) Name and age of members, if children.

The above—

1. Know the Scout Law.
2. Know the Composition and History of the Union Jack and how to fly it.
3. Know the call and signs of our Patrol.
4. Know about the life and habits of the—
5. Have made the badge.

(Signed)           Scout Captain.

(iii.) When enrolled you will receive a certificate, stating the number of your Patrol and containing the regulation—That all P.U.S. Patrols send to headquarters a short Annual Report of their work throughout the year.


All Reports must be sent in to the House of Education not earlier than October 1st, and not later than December 1st. Troops and Patrols are asked to follow very particularly the following instructions.

Write clearly, on one side of the paper only.

Arrange the heading of your report thus:—

Name of Patrol.                                           Number
Headquarters address.
Date of enrolment as a Troop or Patrol.
Name of the Company, if belonging to any.

Members (special note should be made of new members).

The age should be given with each Scout’s name, also the Tassel Honours that have been gained throughout the year. Patrols that have been working for more than a year should give the complete list of honours gained by each member, but those mentioned in last year’s report must be enclosed in brackets. Tassels to which stripes have been added should be included in the list.

If any Troop or Patrol has been unable to do anything at all in the way of Scouting, the Captain is asked to send notice of the same to the House of Education, during October.

A Troop.

When a Patrol numbers more than eight members, and is likely to go on growing it may change its name from “Patrol” to “Troop,” still retaining the number given to it on enrolment. Whether a troop should subdivide into patrols, is left to the Troop Captain to decide.

A Company.

If several Patrols or Troops are formed in the same vicinity, they may join together to form a Company. The Captain of the Company may also be the Captain of one of the Troops or Patrols which compose it. A Company Captain sends to headquarters the annual report of the work of the whole Company. A Company is known by the name of its district. When a Company has been formed, notice of the same must be sent to headquarters. All new Patrols, belonging to a Company or not, must be enrolled directly at headquarters.

Independent Patrol.

An Independent Patrol need not be limited to two members, but where there is more than one child, it is advisable to have a Captain. A Captain may at all times gain Tassel Honours by doing the advanced work for Public Examinations, as for example, St. John’s First Aid Certificate, etc.

Scout Captain.

The governess or other efficient person is the Scout Captain, and must either be the judge of entrance (and other) tests herself, or ask someone more highly qualified in the particular subject to take her place.

In the case of there being only one child, the governess may wish to enter for tests, and work on an equal footing with the pupil; she may do this, but is no longer Captain, but Leader. If there is no other person to take the place of Captain, the Patrol is known as Independent.


In all tests the word of the Scout Captain, or of the judge appointed by the Captain, is final.

Scout Leader.

The Badge.

The badge is round, radius 3/4 inch. On it is embroidered a smaller concentric circle, radius 1/2 inch. Within the smaller circle is the badge proper. In the 1/4 inch circular margin are in black letters Patrol—P.U.S.S. (in the lower half), and No. — (in the upper half); the blank left for Patrol number is filled in after enrolment. The number in the upper half is assigned to members in order as they join the Patrol. In the case of Fellowship Members, the letters F.M. must follow this number. The badge need not be worn except at scouting functions.

The Tests For Tassel Honours.

The Tassels.

The tassels, which should be altogether 1 1/4 inch in length, show that certain tests have been passed, but the arrangement of the tassels is of no significance. The Captain or Leader must keep a careful list of the tests which have been passed by members of the Patrol.

The tassels, in silk, and of the colours of the Patrol (i.e., badge colours) should show three grades. For example:—The Peewits’ colours—green, black and white. Plain tassel, green; bi-colour, green and black; tri-colour, green, black, and white. For certain honours, in which there is only one degree possible (see under “Tests”) the Peewits have a plain black tassel.

Having obtained a plain tassel, it is only necessary to do the additional tests to gain the stripes, and so to make it bi or tri-coloured, or first one then the other.

No Patrol may use a plain white tassel.

The tassels are added in inverted pyramid fashion—1st row six, 2nd row five, etc., making in all a total of 21 tassels. Each row should be attached to a separate flap of background colour, which is permanently fastened to the badge itself.

The 21st tassel, a mark of honour, is plain white, whatever the colours of the patrol and is only awarded by consent of all other members to the scout who has gained twenty tassels, of which at least six are tri-colours, and of which at least six must be the Scouts’ Tassel (see “Tests”).

When a P.U.S. Scout has qualified for a White Tip (21st tassel), the Scout Captain must send the badge up to Headquarters (Ambleside) with the index to the Tassel Honours, and the dates on which they were awarded. It must be accompanied by the signatures of all other members of the patrol, showing their approval of the honour to be confirmed; it will then be returned with the White Tip.

The honour of a White Tip is of a high standard, and so is out of reach of those who take up scouting for one term, or even for one year. As there must be at least six scouts’ tassels, and only one of those can be gained in a term, the very minimum time is two years. But of course every tassel is in itself an honour, and it is so because it means something. It means that a definite piece of work has been done so that the scout is just a little better fitted than previously to carry out the spirit of the Law that is his or hers.

It must be clearly understood that P.U.S. Patrols are quite at liberty to have an independent system of work, and to make up, in whole or in part, their own tests for tassel honours. Such private tests cannot count towards the White Tip, for there can be but one standard for a tassel awarded from Headquarters. The reports of Patrols that work on their own lines should contain details of the tests that are being done.

New Tassel.—It has been decided at Headquarters, Ambleside, to present a Tassel of Gold for deeds of very special merit in life-saving. This Tassel, like the White Tip, may only be presented from Headquarters. Applications for the Gold Tassel must be accompanied by full evidence. It is not meant to be worked for, as the twenty ordinary tassels are, but is given as a sign of recognition of a great act of bravery by the other members of the Troop or Patrol.

For the management of the Parents’ Union School Scouts:

President: Miss Mason.

Vice-President: Miss Drury, House of Education, Ambleside.

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer: Miss Ida Moffat, House of Education, Ambleside.

All Scouting Patrols will find the following books of use: “Scouting for Boys,” 2/-, “Scouting Games,” 1/6, by Lieut.-General Sir R. S. S. Baden-Powell; “St. John’s Ambulance Book of First Aid,” St. John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, E.C.1., 1/6.

Tassel Honours.

The Tests for Parents’ Union School Scouts:—

I. General Efficiency.
II. Nature Lore.
III. Geography.
IV. Signalling.
V. Handicrafts.
VI. Needlecraft.
VII. Housecraft.
VIII. Surveying.
IX. Starcraft.
X. First Aid.
XI. Scouting.
XIII.} Original.
XV. Sports.
XVI.—XX. Scouting.

I.—General Efficiency.

1. Make 8 knots, and know what they are used for.

2. Light a fire with 2 matches.

3. Tell the points of the compass from any part of the neighbourhood, without using a mariner’s compass.

4. Show skill in 6 bandages.

5. Pass a test in tracking.

6. Pass a test in quicksight.

7. Pass a test in observation.

It is left to the Captain to decide which knots and bandages should be learned, also the form of the tests in tracking, quicksight, and observation.

Plain Tassel.—4 knots only; omit 2 tests.

Bi-colour Tassel—Omit 1 test only.

Tri-colour Tassel—Do all the tests.

II.—Nature Lore.

1. Make an entry in your Nature Note Book every day for a month.

2. Know the fauna of the district, and be able to tell about 3 of the animals from personal observation, or find 6 birds’ nests.

3. Recognize and tell about any 20 birds known in the neighbourhood.

4. Know 6 constellations, and be able to find the north from the Plough.

5. Know the twigs (winter term) or leaves (summer term) of all the common trees in the neighbourhood, and describe accurately from memory, or paint 6 of them.

6. Out of any 25 flowers of your district name and give the family of 20. Winter Term alternative. Watch the development of 3 different plants in their early stages, grown either from a seed or a bulb. Be able to name the different parts of the organism.

7. Spring Term. Watch the changes which take place in the trees, from February to April or May, noticing in particular:—

(1) Stipules.
(2) Folding of leaves.
(3) Flowers and pollination.

Keep a record of your observations with comparisons and illustrations. This may be included in your Nature Note Book daily entries.

Summer Term. Make a special study of:—

(a) Grasses; or,
(b) Sedges; or
(c) Rushes.

If possible use a lens or a microscope and make paintings in your N.N.B. of the parts of a flower in detail, naming these parts. A good plan is to make a collection of the grasses and to name them as soon as you find out what they are.

Autumn Term. Make a study of fruits and the dispersion of seeds. It would be advisable to choose three or four different kinds of fruits, and when making paintings and notes of these, to contrast them with others. No very definite line of work has been suggested, because it is intended that Scouts, before beginning, should think out a scientific method of study for themselves, however simple it may be.

8. Write an essay on either:—

The geology of your district—this must contain sketches and show recognition of the facts told in a geological map. If your own district does not give much scope for the study of geology, a wider area may always be taken.

Or: The flora of your district, or of a part of it. This should show a study of the following points:—

(1) Comparison with another neighbourhood you know, or with another part of yourown district.
(2) Nature of the soil.
(3) Distribution of trees and flowers. This essay should be either a particular study of a comparatively small area, e.g., a mountain or hill, the banks of a river, etc., or a less detailed study of a larger part.

Plain Tassel—Tests 1–6.

Bi-colour Tassel—Tests 1–7.

Tri-colour Tassel—Tests 1–8.


1. Know all the mountains and lakes seen from some elevated point of view: or be able to make from memory an accurate map of your county.

2. By a rough sketch map, direct a stranger to any place he may wish to find within a five mile radius of your home: or, in towns, be able to direct a stranger to any of the principal buildings or streets.

3. Understand the signs used in common maps and in Ordnance Survey Maps.

4. Know the heights of 3 hills or mountains well-known to you: or, in flat country, 3 areas, e.g. large field or meadow, etc.

5. Know the latitude in which you live, and through what other places in the world the same line of latitude passes.

6. Know your longitude, east or west of Greenwich, and explain clearly about “Greenwich time.”

7. Draw a plan of your nearest village, or of your own part of a town, putting in names of principal buildings and streets, also indicating where the following are to be found:—

(1) A Doctor.
(2) A Fire Station.
(3) A First Aid Station.
(4) A Church.
(5) A Police Station.

The plan must be drawn to scale.

Plain Tassel—Any 5 out of the first 6 tests.

Bi-colour Tassel—Tests 1–6.

Tri-colour Tassel—Tests 1–7.


(a) Make two signalling flags.

(b) Pass a test in sending and receiving messages in either Morse or Semaphore.

Plain Tassel—A thorough knowledge of the letters of the alphabet in either code.

Bi-colour Tassel—Either a thorough knowledge of the letters in both codes; or, letters, numbers and contractions in Morse code; or, letters, numbers and contractions and increased speed in Semaphore.

Tri-colour Tassel—To be obtained in Morse only for increased speed, and for signalling in at least three ways, e.g., flag, whistle, flash, etc.


Raffia Work.                                Clay Modelling.

Carton.                                           Leather Work.

Chair Caning.                              Repoussé.

Cardboard Modelling.           Wood Carving.

Basket Work.                               Bookbinding.

Plain Tassel—Show 3 models in each of 2 of the above-mentioned handicrafts.

Bi-colour Tassel—Show 9 models in the above-mentioned handicrafts, not more than 2 being of the same nature.

Tri-colour Tassel—Show 12 models in any handicraft you know, of which not more than 2 must be of the same nature, and of which at least 2 are original work. The originals may be of the same nature as other models shown.

All models must reach a good standard.


Plain Tassel—Show:

1. A good darn in a stocking or other knitted garment.

2. A patch in white underclothing.

3. A patch in flannel.

4. A darned tear in a blouse or skirt.

5. A button hole.

6. A white linen button sewn on.

Bi-colour Tassel—Show in addition:

7. A piece of knitting (plain).

8. A garment which shows at least 4 different kinds of stitches.

9. Some fancy work.

Tri-colour Tassel—Show in addition:

10. A complete garment, cut out and made.

11. Some article in knitting or crotchet, which is not only plain.

12. Two kinds of fancy work.

13. All pieces of work must reach a good standard.


1. Make the following (without referring to recipes):—Porridge or gruel; boiled potatoes or rice; a milk pudding; beef tea; fry something; bake something.

2. Make your own bed, dust and keep tidy your own room for 4 weeks.

3. Be able to sweep a room in the best way.

4. Set and light a fire in the hearth.

5. Show efficiency in cleaning (i.) silver; (ii.) brass; (iii.) boots.

6. Keep tidy drawers, containing no unmended clothes.

7. Know how to mend tablecloths, sheets, blankets, towels.

8. Lay the table for, cook, serve, clear away, and wash up after, a simple dinner for 4 people.

Plain Tassel—6 tests out of the first 7.

Bi-colour Tassel—Tests 1–7.

Tri-colour Tassel—Tests 1–8.


1. Box the compass.

2. Measure a piece of road by pacing.

3. Find the width of a river at 3 points, without actually measuring.

4. Find as nearly as you can the height of 3 objects without actually measuring them, e.g. a tree, a house, etc.

5. Find 6 bench marks, and find out the heights they indicate.

6. Judge distance over an unknown piece of ground.

7. Judge heights (e.g. telegraph post, etc.).

8. Find as nearly as possible, the latitude of your house, from the Pole Star.

9. Make an accurate plan of your garden, giving the height of the house, its aspects, and the scale used.

10. Make an accurate plan of a larger piece of ground, indicating: (i.) height of 6 big trees; (ii.) contour lines as nearly accurate as possible; (iii.) the nearest parallel of latitude.

Plain Tassel—7 tests out of 10.

Bi-colour Tassel—8 tests out of 10.

Tri-colour Tassel— 9 tests out of 10, including No. 10.


1. Know all the principal constellations, and 1 or 2 stars in each.

2. Account for the (i.) seasons; (ii.) night and day.

3. Be able to tell about the following heavenly bodies: (i.) planet; (ii.) star; (iii.) constellation; (iv.) nebula; (v.) comet; (vi.) meteor; (vii.) satellite.

4. Know the relative size and distance from each other of the members of our solar system.

5. Keep a star chart for 3 successive months.

6. Be able to make a map of any given part of the heavens.

7. Know the story of the earth, the moon and the sun.

8. Follow the movement of the constellations throughout a term.

9. Keep regularly for some time a chart which shows the position of the sun or of the moon at a fixed time every day, as seen from a fixed point on the earth.

Plain Tassel—6 tests.

Bi-colour Tassel—8 tests.

Tri-colour Tassel—9 tests.

X.—First Aid.

1. Know the principles of first aid to the injured.

2. Know the general physiology of the body.

3. Show skill in using the triangular bandage.

4. Know how to stop bleeding of veins and arteries.

5. Know how to deal with fainting, choking, burns, poisoning, and other miscellaneous injuries.

6. Know how to treat a drowning accident.

7. Improvise a stretcher, and direct the use of it.

Plain Tassel—Any 5 tests.

Bi-colourTassel—Any 6 tests.

Tri-colourTassel—All tests.


A Scout’s Tassel can be gained every term, as there is always new work set for it. The work is intended to be done week by week, for eight consecutive weeks, and may be very varied in its nature. Any P.U.S. Scout who thinks of something that it would be good for the others to do or know is asked to send the suggestion to headquarters. If suitable it will be introduced into the next term’s Scout’s Tassel work.

Tests for the Scouts’ Tassels are given in “The Parents’ Review.” Six of these tests have now been issued so that the complete set of 20 tassels is obtainable, but from time to time others will be given. No Scout may work for more than one of these tassels at a time, nor for more than three in a year.


Every P.U.S. Patrol doing the tests here set down, may make up three new sets on similar lines. These three tests, to count for the White Tip, must be authorized from headquarters, and for this purpose should be sent up before the work is undertaken.


Scout Captains are asked to make their own tests for this tassel, as it must of course vary according to the district in which the Patrol works.

At least 6 different “Sports” must be included in the tests, and a high standard of style and physical fitness maintained throughout.

Under the heading of “Sports” may be included: (a) cricket, (b) football, (c) tennis, (d) swimming and diving, (e) rowing, (f) running, jumping and climbing, (g) skating, (h) driving, (i) riding, etc. Some technical knowledge might be required of the Scout, as for instance, in (d) some knowledge of lifesaving, or in (h) and (i) the points of a horse.

Scouts’ Tassel No. 1. Honour XI.

Week 1.—Make a stick ladder, or model of one.

Week 2.—Know accurately your own dimensions in (i.) height; (ii.) greatest distance between finger tips of right and left hands; (iii.) greatest stretch between little finger and thumb of right or left hand; (iv.) width of hand measured from base of thumb; (v.) length of last phalanx of thumb; (vi.) length of foot; (vii.) length of pace.

Week 3.—Choose four common trees. Draw an outline sketch of each, showing character of tree. Know where to find most typical example of each in neighbourhood. Beside your sketch, draw or fix on a leaf of the tree.

Week 4.—Make a leather hat-pin or button from a bootlace.

Week 5.—Know following postal information: (i.) rate of letter post for home or abroad; (ii.) parcel postage, including weight and dimension limits; (iii.) cost of postal orders; (iv.) cost of telegrams, prices and colours of stamps from 1/2d. to 1/-.

Week 6.—Learn words of (i.) the National Anthem; (ii.) a Scouting Patrol Song; (iii.) any song or verse that you consider contains the spirit that all Scouts should have.

Weeks 7 and 8.—Do two independent pieces of work bearing on Scouting, such as invent a scouting game, or make something for camp equipment.

Scouts’ Tassel No. 2. Honour XVI.

Week 1.—Forecast the weather for the day, each morning writing down your prediction before 9 o’clock. Compare your forecast with what actually happens. Also make a collection of all weather signs you can find, e.g., “Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning.” Find out by observation which of those are most reliable.

Weeks 2 and 3.—Each scout to make two sketch maps of walks in the neighbourhood, putting in names of any landmarks, roads, etc., and stating the time taken for the walk. Maps of the district may be referred to for names and directions.

Week 4.—Learn the rhyme giving a summary of the treatment in cases of poisoning (see below). Young Scouts who find this too difficult might learn the names of common poisonous plants, and the articles in common use in a household that are poisonous, such as matches.

Week 5.—Make “it” into something. “It” may be a box or tin which would be thrown away. The less material and the more ingenuity employed the better.

Week 6.—Choose three different kinds of birds, and notice closely (a) how they move on the ground; (b) how they begin flight; (c) their style of flying; (d) how they land, and on what. Illustrate by sketches. Connect these points with shape and size of wings, tails, habits of the birds.

Week 7.—Practice judging measurements by looking only. Go on practicing till you can tell within an inch or two (a) a height (door, post, room, etc.); (b) horizontal (width of a room, passage, etc.); (c) a distance between two points when there is no line between to guide the eye; (d) measurements of a box; (e) blindfold, tell the measurements of a book after handling it.

Week 8.—Do some original piece of work that has some bearing on a branch of Scouting.

Scouts’ Tassel No. 3. Honour XVII.

To gain the tassel a total of 75 per cent. must be obtained every week for eight consecutive weeks in each of the following:

(1) Good deportment at all times; (2) Smartness in drill; (3) Neatness in general appearance; (4) Punctuality.

Also (5) be able to walk and run an average distance at average speed (that is, keep in good training by taking regular energetic out-door exercise); (6) be able to climb trees or a rope, and skip backwards lightly, 100 times; (7) show skill in throwing and catching balls;(8) show power of balance, either in drill exercises or by walking along a narrow bar or wall, etc.;(9) practise jumping, high and long, at least twice a week. N.B.—Style to count more than height or distance of jump.

The points for the first four tests to be given by Captain or judge who sees Scouts constantly during the eight weeks. For the other tests a definite occasion, at which the Scouts are to be judged, must be arranged.

In cases of Poisoning

Send for a doctor, name the drug suspected,
Keep any cup that poison has infected,
In every case, whate’er the poison be,
You may give water, milk, and eggs, and tea,
Oils may be used, but two exceptions lie
In phosphorous poisoning and in Spanish fly.
In every case where staining is not found,
To give emetics is both safe and sound.
So mix at once—be quick! but don’t be flustered—
Two tablespoons of salt or one of mustard.
If stains are present, then proceed with care,
And of emetics most of all beware.
The poison known, to make the patient placid,
For alkali corrosives, give an acid.
An acid swallowed then reverse the matter,
And give an alkali to kill the latter.
The acid antidotes in household use
Are table vinegar and lemon juice.
What alkalis to use need no revealing,
Take whitewash, chalk, or plaster from the ceiling.
Carbolic acid poisoning—to make the patient easier
Give tablespoons two of sulphate of magnesia.
For opium poisoning, he snores like some old Druid,
Give him a tablespoonful of Condy’s fluid.(In half tumbler of water).
For strychnine, opium, when there’s long stagnation,
Resort to artificial respiration.

Scouts’ Tassel No. 4. Honour XVIII.

Week 1.—From any stream or river near that you can see on daily walks, illustrate as many terms as possible used in connection with rivers (i.e.: watershed, right and left banks, etc.)

Week 2.—Cover a book neatly and correctly in brown paper.

Week 3.—How many bridges do you pass over in a week? Make sketches of two or three showing their differences, notice particularly the banks from which they spring, and what support the bridges have.

Weeks 4 and 5.—Make the star chart for the month in your nature note book. Identify at least six constellations in the heavens.

Week 6.—Make sketches showing the branching of four typical trees of different kinds near you.

Week 7.—Make a page of paintings in your nature note book of pistillate flowers of trees now out.

Week 8.—Make a page of paintings in your nature note book of staminate flowers of trees now out.

Scouts’ Tassel No. 5. Honour XIX.

Weeks 1 and 2.—Find as many seedling trees as you can and plant them where you can watch them daily. Make paintings of them and notify any changes that take place.

Week 3.—Learn by heart one of Kipling’s patriotic poems.

Week 4.—Make a plant toy of some description.

Week 5.—During the week see what is the greatest number of birds that you can hear singing at one time. Note the times of day when you hear most, and keep a list with times and names of birds.

Week 6.—Find out by guessing and then by measurement the diameter of the wheels of a bicycle, motor car, cart, wheelbarrow, perambulator.

Week 7.—Make paintings in black and white of birds you have watched, in any position.

Week 8.—Notice how a horse, cow, sheep, dog, cat, move their legs when walking or running. Is the movement always the same and in the same order?

(Scout Captains may re-arrange the order of tests to suit the patrol working them.)

Scouts’ Tassel No. 6. Honour XX.

(Captains are at liberty to re-arrange the order of the tests.)

1st and 2nd weeks.—Find out as much as you can about the migration of birds, especially of any which are common in your district.

3rd week.—Leaf Mosaic. (See “Flowers, Fruits and Leaves,” by The Right Hon. Lord Avebury, F.R.S., D.C.L., LL.D., Chapter V.)

Choose three trees and notice how the leaves are shaped and arranged to catch the light and air. Show the result of your observations by sketches or paintings and notes in your Nature Note Books.

4th week.—Know the principal railways of England and their respective London termini. Sketch in their respective routes on a blank map of England showing a few of the chief towns through which any of them pass.

5th week.—How many evergreens are to be seen in the neighbourhood? Try to find out how the leaves are adapted to persist throughout the winter.

6th week.—Know the names of the possessions of England and the history of one, or a large town in it. (e.g. Malta).

7th week.—Spend a few minutes every day with your eyes shut and find out how many different sounds you can distinguish.

8th week.—Make some simple apparatus or drawing to help in the passing of Entrance or Tassel Honour Tests (e.g. a signal for semaphore, clear drawings of the various stages in tying a certain knot, etc.).

Notes On Some Tassel Honours.

General Efficiency. I.

The following suggestions for practice or tests in tracking, quick-sight and observation may be of use to those Patrols working for the General Efficiency Tassel:—


(1) Follow footsteps in sand. Such devicesas walking backwards, crossing the trail, etc., may be resorted to by the layer of the track.

(2) Follow a bicycle track along a road (on a damp day). Marks to be given for the description of rider’s movements, i.e. hills walked up, tyre punctured, etc.

(3) Track a rider on horse or pony across country. Marks to be given for accurate description of pace, and sketch map of route to be made.

(4) Follow track of one or more Scouts across country. “Signs,” such as chalkmarks, notes, etc., might be left in difficult places.


(1) Describe a picture after having studied it for five or more seconds. Marks to be given for number of points noticed.

(2) Describe the dress of occupants of motors, carts, etc., passing along a road.

(3) Draw a sketch of farm or house passed while driving.

(4) Notice displacement of ornaments, re-arrangement of furniture in a room after glancing round for a few seconds.


(1) Walk across unknown piece of country and return by exact route, following landmarks.

(2) Follow track, discovering “signs,” such as broken sticks, matches, etc. Marks to be given for number of “signs” discovered.

(3) Walk down a street of town or village and enumerate and describe people, animals, vehicles passed.

(4) Draw sketch map putting in landmarks which would enable a stranger to find his way to a certain house or village.

C. Harvey.

Nature Lore. II.

1. The Summer months are best for this daily entry. Notes are apt to be sparing and crude when done in Winter, when a daily walk to get specimens and observe is not always possible.

2. It is the personal observation that matters here, and no amount of book knowledge can make up for it in passing this test. The sort of thing that is wanted is to be found in Thompson Seton’s and Long’s books.

3. Here again, personal observation, be it only of the commonest birds such as sparrows and starlings, is everything.

4. Get into the way of looking at leaf shapes on daily walks. The number of kinds of trees in a district is usually very limited, so this should not prove difficult.

5. Second alternative. This sounds harder than it really is. If you are at all in the habit of looking out for flowers, you will group them naturally in your mind, a river bank suggesting one kind of plant—iris, loosestrife, forget-me-not, moneywort, figwort, etc.; a railway bank—dog daisies, ragwort, marjoram, primroses—in fact, most plants that do not require much water.

V. C. Curry.

Signalling. IV.

For Semaphore Signalling two sets of flags should be used, a white set for using against a dark back-ground as a house, hedge, etc., and a dark blue set for using against a light back-ground or the sky-line.

Two poles will do for both sets and the flags can be made into a neat roll to carry when not in use. To fasten the flag on to the stick make two eyelet holes, one at the top and one at the bottom of the flag. These will fasten on to two tacks placed at the right distances on the stick. This will enable you to change your flag with ease to suit your back-ground. The signalling flag should be 2 feet square with a pole 3 feet 6 inches long. The flag must be moved sharply when making the letters, as it can be read more easily at a distance. In semaphore be careful to get the flags at exact angles.

J. R. Smith.

Housecraft. VII.

The following are a few hints on the different items of the tassel:—

1. Make the following (without referring to recipes):—(a) Porridge or gruel; (b) boiled potatoes or rice; (c) a milk pudding; (d) beef-tea, (e) fry something; (f) bake something.

(a) The water must be boiling before you put in the oatmeal, otherwise the porridge will be lumpy. (b) Potatoes must be put into a saucepan of cold water which is then allowed to boil. (d) Cut off all the fat from your piece of beef, also any pieces of skin, cut the beef into dice and put into cold water. (One pound of beef to one pint of water.) (e) Be sure that your fat is boiling. It should have ceased bubbling and a blue smoke should rise off it, when it is ready for use. (f) Cakes and bread must not be put in a quick oven or they will only be done on the outside.

2. Be able to sweep a room in the best way.

Sprinkle tea-leaves over the carpet and brush it the way of the pile.

3. Set and light a fire in the hearth.

If you roll the paper into loose balls it will burn longer and the sticks will have more chance of catching alight. If the sticks are damp, dry them in the oven overnight when the fire is dying out.

4. Show efficiency in cleaning:—(i.) silver; (ii.) brass; (iii.) boots.

(i.) If you wash the silver well in very hot soap and water, you will find that half the cleaning is done. (iii.) Clean all mud off the boots before putting polish on.

5. Lay the table, cook, serve, clear away and wash up after a simple dinner for four people.

In laying the table see that everything is spotless, tablecloth, silver, plates, etc. In serving the meal see that the hot dishes are really hot when served.

The Housecraft Tassel ought to train Scouts in perfect neatness and cleanliness, combined with quickness. No slovenliness should be allowed in anything. All dirty dishes should be washed as soon as they have been finished with.

J. R. Smith.

Surveying. VIII.

Now that the Summer is coming, I expect many of you will be going in for the Surveying Tassel—one of the most fascinating of all to my mind—so a few hints on the subject may not come amiss. To begin with, then, when possible work in pairs. It is much more interesting, and also it is extremely difficult in many cases to work alone. Always take a rough note-book, a sharp pencil (or, better still, a fountain pen), and also a 45 deg. set square. Then, when you come home, you can make a neat copy and keep everything beautifully clean. Coloured inks are a great help in making plans.

With regard to the various tests, I think the most difficult is that which requires you to make a plan ofyour own garden, particularly if that garden, or any part of it, happens to be on a slope. Then, the only way to find the correct measurements is to test your measuring tape every few yards with a spirit-level. Contour lines and so on can usually be found in an Ordnance Survey Map.

P. C. Kinnear.

Tassel Honours XII., XIII., XIV.

We hope that some Patrols are thinking of interesting subjects for these three tassels.

Those who are going to be at the seaside might have one connected with what they will be doing and seeing there. Swimming, diving, life saving, management of boats, knowledge of ships, flags, signals, etc.; watching salt water creatures; collecting seaweeds and seaside flowers, any or all of these would make delightful subjects for a tassel.

There might be a very nice one for a study of insects—knowing something about their classification and the various stages of their development, keeping caterpillars, and the larvæ of dragon flies, caddis flies, gnats, and a great many others, until they are transformed into perfect insects, and knowing how they breathe and eat and perform the other functions of life.

Tassels for sketching, drawing and painting, and photography, would be well worth having.

Perhaps some Patrol could introduce a camper’stassel for being able to make good huts, shelters, beds and fires; for cooking, for knowing how to choose a suitable piece of ground and for thinking of the things necessary for a camp. The climax of it all would be to spend some time actually camping out.

These are only suggestions, but there are a great many subjects that might be introduced for tassels, because Scouts are interested in so many things. We are all interested in all sorts of things anyway, but having tests to pass may sometimes make us find out a little more about a subject than we would otherwise have done. Besides, there is nothing that gives more enjoyment than to be working at something, and if there is a standard in front of us, it provides some guiding lines for our work.

J. H. Mellis Smith.

Having thought out a new tassel, in order to have it authorised, a Patrol is asked to write it out on a separate sheet of paper arranged in the same wayas the tests given in the “Parents’ Review.” At the bottom of the page must be stated the age, or average age, of the members of the Patrol. The paper must be signed by the Captain. A stamped and addressed envelope should be enclosed for its return. These papers will be received at any time throughout the year, except during August and September, at the House of Education, Ambleside.

Editor’s Note: The formatting of the above article was optimized for online viewing. To access a version which is formatted more similarly to the original, and which includes the original page numbers, please click here.

Endnotes for the Editor’s Note

[1] Essex Cholmondeley, The Story of Charlotte Mason, pp. 99–100.

[2] General Sir R. Baden-Powell, “History of the Boy Scouts. How the Movement Began,” in The Parents’ Review, vol. 32, p. 686.

2 Replies to “Scouting”

  1. I love this! Thank you for transcribing – the lists of attainment will be going in our schedule for next year as we continue our Wild Explorer’s scouting assignments!

  2. I have looked all over the internet and cannot find a photo or a better description of the tassels. I’d love to award my kids tassels for their efforts but I am not sure what they looked like.

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