POSITION OF THE LANCASTER SCOUT ASSOCIATION.
The annual meeting of the Lancaster Association of Boy Scouts was held at the Town Hall on Friday evening. Mr. Garnett, district commissioner, presiding, in the absence through indisposition of Mr. H. L. Storey, president. Rev. H .A. Watson, Rev. F. W. Clayton, Dr. George, Messrs. W. Briggs, A. B. S. Welch, T. W. Helme, R. E. Wright (secretary), H. F. Beeton (district scout-master), S. Keir, R. Price, and a number of scoutmasters were also present. Apologies were read from Mr. Storey, Rev. J. U. N. Bardsley, Vicar of Lancaster, Mr. W. French, and Mr. J. R. Roberts.
The report stated that the Lancaster association numbered 172 scouts, ten scoutmasters, and six assistant scoutmasters, an increase of 35 since October, 1910. The number of troops was ten, against seven last year. New troops had been formed at Halton, Morecambe second, and Carnforth, but the 3rd Royal Grammar School troop had been disbanded. One hundred and twenty–one badges above the rank of second-class scout had been issued. Classes had been held in signalling and ambulance. The progress of individual troops had been in most cases quite satisfactory, but a disquieting feature of the year was the decrease in the actual number of scouts in Lancaster. The continuance of the movement depended entirely upon the supply of scoutmasters being maintained. Up to the present it had been found increasingly difficult to induce men of suitable character and attainments to take up the work. If effective means of bringing the advantages of the movement before gentlemen as a factor in arresting national deterioration, especially in industrial towns, were taken, the appeal would not be made in vain. The outlook would be extremely hopeful if that object could be attained
The accounts (audited by Mr. Welch) showed that the income was £5 6s. 3d., and the expenditure £4 3s. 5½d., the credit balance being £1 2s. 9½d. The report and accounts were adopted.
Mr. H. L. Storey was re-elected president and Mr. A. B. S. Welch auditor. It was resolved to ask Mr. J. G. Swainson to accept the office of secretary and treasurer in place of Mr. Wright resigned. Mr. Garnett, Revs. H. A. Watson, T. H. Hastings, F. G. Tizzard, Dr. George, Captain Wright, Messrs. C. E. Harriss, T. W. Helme, W. S. Peel, and W. Briggs were re-elected on the executive, with the addition of Rev. T. Mercer vice Rev. W. J. Locke, Rev. E. C. Wilson, and Dr. Aitcheson (Hornby), Mr. A. E. Barton (Carnforth), Dr. Dean, Dr. Lamport, Rev. W. L. Appleford, Dr. Edmondson, Messrs. S. Keir, R. H. Simpson, and R. Beeson.
Before the report was adopted Mr. BEETON said although efforts had been made to get scoutmasters before by notices in the press, personal canvassing, or other means, the result had been very small indeed, and the only way of getting them was for everyone interested to put the objects of the movement before their friends and get them to take up the work, whether they were Territorial or regular officers, ministers of religion, teachers, or persons interested in boys’ organisations. Sacrifices were needed, but there were great compensations, for he did not know anyone who had taken up scouting who had regretted it from the point of view of his own amusement and interest. The movement would have, been less effective, in the north of England at any rate, if workingmen had not supported it warmly as scoutmasters, but the more men of imagination, education, and wide outlook and experience could be secured the better.
Mr. BRIGGS suggested that in order to obtain more scoutmasters, junior masters in elementary schools should be induced to take up the work, and that a training class should be formed.
Mr. BEETON remarked that a great many people needed only to read “Scouting for boys” to be converted, and take up the work of the movement.
In the course of further discussion, Mr. BEETON promised to form a class for scoutmasters, if the gentlemen present would obtain members, and the matter was left at that stage.
Sept. 29th, 1911
From R.E. Wright’s log book