This is a time when the whole nation is turning toward the principles of Outdoor Living, seeking the physical regeneration so needed for continued national existence. We are waking to the fact long known to thoughtful women and men, that those who live longest live nearest to the ground – that is, those who live a simple life of primitive times live longer and healthier.
Depression has plagued man since moving from caves into houses. People need the sun and fresh air and all that they offer. It can heal many of the ills of the mind, body, and spirit. Go outside and play – no matter how old you are or how bad you are feeling.
Sports are the great incentive to Outdoor Life. Nature Study is the intellectual side of sports. Spend time outside playing and experiencing nature.
I should like to lead this whole nation into the way of living outdoors for at least a month a year, reviving and expanding a custom that as far back as Moses was deemed essential to the national well-being.
Not long ago a benevolent rich man, impressed with this idea, chartered a bus and took some hundreds of city boys up into the mountains for a day in the woods. The boys were excited to get out of the city! When they got off the bus, they were told to go explore, and make sure to use the “buddy system” where at least two stay together and watch out for each other. The boys disappeared quickly and turned to what they knew. Checking their cell phones for a connection, playing games on their phones, smoking, playing cards, and just standing around, looking lost and bored.
The well-meaning wealthy man learned quickly that it is not enough to take the boys outdoors. He would have to teach them how to enjoy and survive in it.
When two or three young people camp out, they can live as a sort of family, especially if a grown-up will be with them; but when a dozen or more are of the party, it is necessary to organize. What manner of organization will be practical, and also give full recognition to the nine principles of Woodscraft?
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