In Podcast 265-266 I played excerpts of a recording of Green Bar Bill Hillcourt where he mentions his first article in October 1932 issue of Boy’s Life.
The “Cover to Cover” section on page 2 introduces Bill;
We start off in this issue by roping in Green-Bar Bill to write a monthly page of Scout ideas and suggestions.
Take a slant at Green-Bar Bill’s page in this issue, and you’ll see what we mean. That suggestion about a good Hallowe’en stunt, for example. You don’t have to be a Scout to get the creeps from handling the eyeballs of a ghost! We’re going to try to see to it that our Scouting pages will be interesting to every boy who’s lucky enough to get a chance to read them.
The article “Hiking With Green Bar Bill”;
HIKING WITH GREEN BAR BILL
All right, fellows! Everybody set? Then let’s go! No rocking-chair-adventuring for us, but the real kind, out on the trail, under the open sky, following the by-paths through the woods. Not just reading about them, but doing the things we like to do.
It is always exciting to start out on a new adventure. Whether you are a Scout or not, I certainly hope that this one may be as thrilling to you and to me as some of the other experiences I have had in Scouting.
I still feel the thrill which ran along my spine when I first repeated the Scout Oath and became a Scout; and to this day I can clearly remember the ceremony with which I was initiated into my job as a Patrol Leader. And was I thrilled when my Troop decided to send me as its representative to the first World Jamboree in London, 1920! You bet I was! Not to mention the ex-citing days during the second Jamboree in Copenhagen, 1924, and the adventure of the third International get-together at Birkenhead. (Maybe some of you were there, too, and experienced the same thrill.)
Those were the days! Yet when I look back, I am not so certain that the preparations for the simple hikes of my own Patrol and the camps of .my own Troop did not fill my heart with more lasting memories than those of the more spectacular events.
And now here we are—starting out on another new adventure. We don’t even know how big our clan is, or who the others are. We don’t know how many are Scouts and how many aren’t. Yet before many months have gone by we shall be talking together like old friends. You will be telling me of your ideas and experiences and I shall be telling you of mine.
Why shouldn’t we try to make this the most popular page of the whole magazine? The talk of every Patrol hike and Troop meeting!! That’s my ambition. But it can only be done if we all pull together. What about it? It’s a tall order! Think we can do it? Anyway, let’s try!
“OCTOBER’S bright blue weather.” What a gorgeous time for hiking. Just look at the color combination of yellow, orange and red in all shades which meets you in the woods. And then the air! Doesn’t the smell of the soil make your nostrils quiver?
Since we have started on. the trail let us really get out and get far away and make this a real Columbus Day with an adventure worthy of that brave old “explorador” (which by the way is Spanish for “Boy . Scout,” exploring being an old spanish custom).
Meet with your gang and lay out a due westerly course as Christopher did and continue, with the help of your compass only, straight west, for maybe four or five miles, as a bee might make a cross-country trip.
You will meet many obstacles, but don’t: let that bother you. Use your imagination and overcome them.
Be sure to bring a map along so that when the trip is finished you can see whether you actually followed your course and arrived at what should have been your destination. You don’t have Columbus’s excuse for arriving in America when he set out to reach India.
I almost forgot: If you live in Seattle or San Francisco you’d better not try this idea. You may get your feet wet.
The other day when I was I roaming through the woods I found myself in the midst of a grove of the trees that grow Boy Scout Tenderfoot Badges.
“What trees. are those?” you ask, and I can see the skepti-cism in your eyes. I am not trying to fool you.
Go out and find a paper birch, a gray birch, or a sweet birch. In fact, almost any birch will do. Nip off a couple of the cone-like fruits and crush them in your hand. They fall apart very easily and you will find that they con-tain a number of butterfly-shaped brown seeds. Blow these aside gently, and remaining in your hand you will find an equal number of yellowish scales—they are small, I admit, but the design is clearly that of the Boy Scout Tenderfoot Badge.
THERE is going to be plenty of excitement in the next few months.
The TYP got under way with a bang!
What’s that? You don t know what I am talking about? Certainly you do!
TYP stands for the big Ten Year Program of the Boy Scouts, and I am sure you have heard what it’s about and how you may help to put it across.
It really shouldn’t be so difficult. All that is needed is a bit of enthusiasm. If you are a Scout and like Scouting (and there is no doubt about that, is there?) why then shouldn’t the fellow down the street whom you meet occasionally like it, too? Certainly he will! Just get him to come around to a couple of meetings, and then make the activities of your Patrol and Troop so exciting that he will want to stick and stick until he catches the meaning of the slogan—”Once a Scout, always a Scout.” And if you aren’t a Scout, get into the swim. You will find it great fun.
In this way it won’t be long before “one of every four” boys in our country will be a Scout.
But do it NOW so that there will be more boys in the Troop of your choice by the end of this year than there were at the beginning. If you help to accom-plish this for your Troop, I shall be the first to whoop rah! .rah! rah! for you when the President’s Award is being fixed to the staff of your Troop flag early in 1933.
I HOPE you will be making that Hallowe’en party a A success. You don’t have to be told about apples and nuts and pumpkin heads, but it might not be amiss to tell you an exciting stunt to pull off in your Patrol.
Turn off all the lights in the den and tell the fellows a ghost story which will make their blood curdle and their hair stand on end.
Start by relating how some time ago on a stormy night you entered a deserted house in the wilds of the Gloomy Mountains. Just as you stepped inside the door you stumbled and felt something cold and ghastly lying on the floor.
“It was a hand—the hand of a human being!!! And here—it is!!” you say and pass the “cold and ghastly hand” around to be touched by each member of the Patrol in turn. What a commotion you start! Undisturbed you continue telling how you found the eyes of the ghost, his windpipe, his brains, and a piece of his liver, passing the things around to be handled by each boy.
If this stunt doesn’t make them feel “ghostly” I don’t know what will.
No, you won’t have to cut up any human being. The hand is simply a kid glove filled with wet oatmeal, the eyes are two peeled grapes, the windpipe is a piece of cold boiled macaroni, the brain, a wet sponge and the liver, a piece of ice. The colder everything is the more effective will be the stunt.
I LIKE the idea of Scouts wearing fancy neckerchief slides, particularly when they have made them themselves.
A few years ago, while visiting the Chicago Boy Scout Camps, a Scout presented me with what has become my favorite neckerchief slide, I never got his name and I am really sorry that 1 didn’t, because the slide is a peach. It is a wonderful ‘piece of wood carving in the shape of the head of a Viking Chief. It has been with me through many countries and has never failed to arouse interest.
But wood isn’t the only material that you can use for neckerchief slides. I have seen wonderful ones made from leather, tooled or laced (numbed; from birch bark; from preens of insulated wire, heavy cord or leather thong turned into three or four stranded Turkish knots. Horn also is medical, so arc various hard nuts. such as our good old hickories. A turtle shell or a bamboo joint makes a good slide, too. I have even seen the heads of corncob pipes and clay pipes used Especially fancy are the neckerchief slides which you may make from the re-mainder of your lamb stew. With the help of a file and a bit of paint, you can turn a joint of the vertebrae of lamb or sheep into a slide featuring the bead of a goat or a moose.
As you we, the possibilities for making something original are unlimited.
Larry Green says
I enjoyed every word! Oh, the memories! What an awesome legacy we have. Let’s keep it alive!