Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts
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"Milk—Sweetened condensed milk (the 'salve of the lumberjacks') is distasteful to most people. Plain evaporated milk is the thing to carry—and don't leave it out if you can practicably tote it. The notion that this is a 'baby food' to be scorned by real woodsmen is nothing but a foolish conceit. Few things pay better for their transportation. It will be allowed that Admiral Peary knows something about food values. Here is what he says in The North Pole: 'The essentials, and the only essentials, needed in a serious Arctic sledge journey, no matter what the season, the temperature, or the duration of the journey—whether one month or six—are four: pemmican, tea, ship's biscuit, condensed milk. The standard daily ration for work on the final sledge journey toward the Pole on all expeditions has been as follows: 1 lb. pemmican, 1 lb. ship's biscuit, 4 oz. condensed milk, 1/2 oz. compressed tea.'

"Milk, either evaporated or powdered, is a very important ingredient in camp cookery.

"Butter—This is another 'soft' thing that pays its freight.

"For ordinary trips it suffices to pack butter firmly into pry-up tin cans which have been sterilized by thorough scalding and then cooled in a perfectly clean place. Keep it in a spring or in cold running water (hung in a net, or weighted in a rock) whenever you can. When traveling, wrap the cold can in a towel or other insulating material.

"If I had to cut out either lard or butter I would keep the butter. It serves all the purposes of lard in cooking, is wholesomer, and beyond that, it is the most concentrated source of energy that one can use with impunity.

"Cheese—Cheese has nearly twice the fuel value of a porterhouse steak of equal weight, and it contains a fourth more protein. It is popularly supposed to be hard to digest, but in reality it is not so if used in moderation. The best kind for campers is potted cheese, or cream or 'snappy' cheese put up in tinfoil. If not so protected from air it soon dries out and grows stale. A tin of imported Camembert will be a pleasant surprise on some occasion.

"Bread Biscuits—It is well to carry enough yeast bread for two or three days, until the game country is reached and camp routine is established. To keep it fresh, each loaf must be sealed in wax paper or parchment paper (the latter is best, because it is tough, waterproof, greaseproof). Bread freezes easily; for cold weather luncheons carry toasted bread.

"Hardtack (pilot bread, ship biscuit) can be recommended only for such trips or cruises as do not permit baking. It is a cracker prepared of plain flour and water, not even salted, and kiln-dried to a chip, so as to keep indefinitely, its only enemies being weevils. Get the coarsest grade. To make hardtack palatable toast it until crisp, or soak in hot coffee and butter it, or at least salt it.

"Swedish hardtack, made of whole rye flour, is good for a change.

"Plasmon biscuit, imported from England, is the most nutritious breadstuff I have ever used. It is a round cracker, firm but not hard, of good flavor, containing a large percentage of the protein of milk, six of the small biscuits holding as much proteid as a quarter of a pound of beef.

"Flour—Graham and entire wheat flours contain more protein than patent flour, but this is offset by the fact that it is not so digestible as the protein of standard flour. Practically there is little or no difference between them in the amount of protein assimilated. The same seems to be true of their mineral ingredients.

"Many campers depend a good deal on self-raising flour because it saves a little trouble in mixing. But such flour is easily spoiled by dampness, it does not make as good biscuits or flapjacks as one can turn out in camp by doing his own mixing, and it will not do for thickening, dredging, etc.

"Flour and meal should be sifted before starting on an expedition. There will be no sieve in camp."

"Baking Powder—Get the best available powder, put up in air and damp-eight tins, so that your material will be in good condition when you come to use it in camp. Baking soda will not be needed on short trips, but is required for longer ones, in making sour-dough, as a steady diet of baking-powder bread or biscuit will ruin the stomach if persisted in for a considerable time. Soda also is useful medicinally.

"Cornmeal—Some like yellow, some prefer white. The flavor of freshly ground meal is best, but the ordinary granulated meal of commerce keeps better, because it has been kiln-dried. Cornmeal should not be used as the leading breadstuff, for reasons already given, but johnnycake, corn pancakes, and mush are a welcome change from hot wheat bread or biscuit, and the average novice at cooking may succeed better with them. The meal is useful to roll fish in before frying.

"Breakfast Cereals—These according to taste, and for variety's sake. Plain cereals, particularly oatmeal, require a long cooking, either in a double boiler or with constant stirring, to make them digestible; and then there is a messy pot to clean up. They do more harm than good to campers who hurry their cooking. So it is best to buy the partially cooked cereals that take only a few minutes to prepare. Otherwise the 'patent breakfast foods' have no more nutritive quality than plain grain; some of them not so much. The notion that bran has remarkable food value is a delusion; it actually makes the protein of the grain less digestible. As for mineral matter, 'to build up bone and teeth and brawn,' there is enough of it in almost any mixed diet, without swallowing a lot of crude fiber.

"Rice, although not very appetizing by itself, combines so well in stew or the like, and goes so well in pudding, that it deserves a place in the commissariat.

"Macaroni—The various pastes (pas-tay, as the Italians call them) take the place of bread, may be cooked in many ways to lend variety, and are especially good in soups which otherwise would have little nourishing power. Spaghetti, vermicelli, and noodles all are good in their way. Break macaroni into inch pieces and pack so that insects cannot get into it. It is more wholesome than flapjacks and it 'sticks to the ribs.'

"Sweets—Sugar is stored-up energy, and is assimilated more quickly than any other food. Men in the open soon get to craving sweets.

"Maple sugar is always welcome. Get the soft kind that can be spread on bread for luncheons. Syrup is easily made from it in camp by simply bringing it to a boil with the necessary amount of water. Ready-made syrup is mean to pack around.

"Sweet chocolate (not too sweet) has remarkable sustaining power.

"When practicable, take along some jam and marmalade. The commissaries of the British Army were wise when they gave jam an honorable place in Tommy Atkins' field ration. Yes: jam for soldiers in time of war. So many ounces of it, substituted, mind you, for so many ounces of the porky, porky, porky, that has ne'er a streak of lean. So, a little current jelly with your duck or venison is worth breaking all rules for. Such conserves can be repacked by the buyer in pry-up cans that have been sterilized as recommended under the heading Butter.

"Fresh Vegetables—The only ones worth taking along are potatoes and onions. Choose potatoes with small eyes and of uniform medium size, even if you have to buy half a bushel to sort out a peck. They are very heavy and bulky in proportion to their food value; so you cannot afford to be burdened with any but the best. Cereals and beans take the place of potatoes when you go light.

"Fresh onions are almost indispensable for seasoning soups, stews, etc. A few of them can be taken along almost anywhere. I generally carry at least one, even on a walking trip. Onions are good for the suddenly overtaxed system, relieve the inordinate thirst that one experiences the first day or two, and assist excretion. Freezing does not spoil onions if they are kept frozen until used.

"Beans—A prime factor in cold weather camping. Take a long time to cook ('soak all day and cook all night' is the rule). Cannot be cooked done at altitudes of 5,000 feet and upward. Large varieties cook quickest, but the small white navy beans are best for baking. Pick them over before packing, as there is much waste.

"Split Peas—Used chiefly in making a thick, nourishing soup.

"Dehydrated Vegetables—Much of the flavor of fresh vegetables is lost when the juice is expressed or evaporated, but all of their nutriment is retained and enough of the flavor for them to serve as fair substitutes when fresh vegetables cannot be carried. They help out a camp stew and may even be served as side dishes if one has butter and milk to season them. Generally they require soaking (which can be done over night); then they are to be boiled slowly until tender, taking about as much time as fresh vegetables. If cooking is hurried they will be woody and tasteless.

"Dehydrated vegetables are very portable, keep in any climate, and it is well to carry some on trips far from civilization.

"Canned Vegetables—In our table of food values it will be noticed that the least nourishing article for its weight and bulk is a can of tomatoes. Yet these 'air-tights' are great favorites with outdoors men, especially in the West and South, where frequently they are eaten raw out of the can. It is not so much their flavor as their acid that is grateful to a stomach overtaxed with fat or canned meat and hot bread three times a day. If wanted only as an adjuvant to soups, stews, rice, macaroni, etc., the more concentrated puree will serve very well.

"Canned corn (better still, 'kornlet,' which is concentrated milk of sweet corn) is quite nourishing, and everybody likes it.

"A few cans of baked beans (without tomato sauce) will be handy in wet weather. The B. & M. 3/4 lb. cans are convenient for a lone camper or for two going light.

"Nuts—A handful each of shelled nuts and raisins, with a cake of sweet chocolate, will carry a man far on the trail or when he has lost it. The kernels of butternuts and hickory nuts have the highest fuel value of our native species; peanuts and almonds are very rich in protein; Brazil nuts, filberts and pecans, in fat. Peanut butter is a concentrated food that goes well in sandwiches. One can easily make nut butter of any kind (except almonds or Brazil nuts) for himself by using the nut grinder that comes with a kitchen food chopper, and can add ground dates, ground popcorn, or whatever he likes; but such preparations will soon grow rancid if not sealed airtight. Nut butter is more digestible than kernels unless the latter are thoroughly chewed.

"Fruits—All fruits are very deficient in protein and (except olives) in fat, but dried fruit is rich in carbohydrates. Fruit acid (that of prunes, dried apricots, and dehydrated cranberries, when fresh fruit cannot be carried) is a good corrective of a too fatty and starchy or sugary diet, and a preventive of scurvy. Most fruits are laxative, and for that reason, if none other, a good proportion of dried fruit should be included in the ration, no matter how light one travels; otherwise one is likely to suffer from constipation when he changes from 'town grub' to 'trail grub.'

"Among canned fruits those that go farthest are pineapples and blackberries. Excellent jelly can be made in camp from dried apples.

"There is much nourishment in dates, figs (those dried round are better than layer figs) and raisins. Pitted dates and seedless raisins are best for light outfits. And do not despise the humble prune; buy the best grade in the market (unknown to landladies) and soak over night before stewing; it will be a revelation. Take a variety of dried fruits, and mix them in different combinations, sweet and tart, so as not to have the same sauce twice in succession; then you will learn that dried fruits are by no means a poor substitute for fresh or canned ones.

"In hot weather I carry a few lemons whenever practicable. Limes are more compact and better medicinally, but they do not keep well. Lime juice in bottles is excellent, if you carry it.

"Citric acid crystals may be used in lieu of lemons when going light, but the flavor is not so good as that of lemonade powder that one can put up for himself. The process is described by A. W. Barnard: 'Squeeze out the lemons and sift into the clear juice four to six spoonfuls of sugar to a lemon; let stand a few days if the weather is dry, or a week if wet, till it is dried up, then pulverize and put up into capsules.' Gelatin capsules of any size, from one oz. down, can be procured at a drug store. They are convenient to carry small quantities of spices, flavoring, medicines, etc., on a hike.

"Vinegar and pickles are suitable only for fixed camps or easy cruises.

"Fritures—Lard is less wholesome than olive oil, or 'Crisco,' or the other preparations of vegetable fats. Crisco can be heated to a higher temperature than lard without burning, thus ensuring the 'surprise' which prevents getting a fried article sodden with grease; it does as well as lard for shortening; and it can be used repeatedly without transmitting the flavor of one dish to the next one. Olive oil is superior as a friture, especially for fish, but expensive.

"Beverages—Tea is better than coffee. Even if you don't use it at home, take along on your camping trip enough for midday meals. Tea tabloids are not bad, but I advise using the real thing. On a hike, with no tea-ball, I tie up enough for each pint in a bit of washed cheesecloth, loosely, leaving enough string attached whereby to whisk it out after exactly four minutes' steeping.

"Cocoa is not only a drink but a food. It is best for the evening meal because it makes one sleepy, whereas tea and coffee have the opposite effect.

"Get the soluble kind if you want it quickly prepared.

"Condiments—Do not leave out a small assortment of condiments wherewith to vary the taste of common articles and serve a new sauce or gravy or pudding now and then.

"Salt is best carried in a wooden box. The amount used in cooking and at table is small.

"White pepper is better than black. Some Cayenne or Chili should also be taken. Red pepper is not only a good stomachic, but also is fine for a chili (made into a tea with hot water and sugar).

"Among condiments I class beef extract, bouillon cubes or capsules, and the like. They are of no use as food except to stimulate a feeble stomach or furnish a spurt of energy, but invaluable for flavoring camp-made soups and stews when you are far away from beef. The powder called Oystero yields an oyster flavor.

"Mustard is useful not only at table but for medicinal purposes; cloves, not only for its more obvious purposes, but to stick in an onion for a stew, and perchance for a toothache.

"Celery and parsley can now be had in dehydrated form. Some sage may be needed for stuffing." Onion and celery salt are real additions to the camp cooking outfit.

"If you aim at cake-making and puddings, ginger and cinnamon may be required. Curry powder is relished by many; its harshness may be tempered with sweet fruits or sugar.

"On short trips, salt and pepper will meet all requirements.

"Packing Food—Meat of any kind will quickly mould or spoil if packed in tins from which air is not exhausted.

"Flour should not be carried in the original sacks; they wet through or absorb moisture from the air, snag easily, and burst under the strain of a lashrope. Pack your flour, cereals, vegetables, dried fruits, etc., in the round-bottomed paraffined bags sold by outfitters (various sizes, from 10 lbs. down), which are damp-proof and have the further merit of standing up on their bottoms instead of always falling over. Put a tag on each bag and label it in ink. These small bags may then be stowed in 9-inch waterproof canvas provision bags (see outfitter's catalogues), but in that case the thing you want is generally at the bottom. * * *

"Butter, lard, ground coffee, tea, sugar, jam, matches, go in pry-up tin cans, sold by outfitters (small quantities in mailing tubes), or in common capped tins with tops secured by surgeon's plaster. Get pepper and spices in shaker-top cans, or, if you carry common shakers, cover tops with cloth and snap stout rubber bands around them.

"Often it is well to carry separately enough food to last the party between the jumping-off place and the main camp site, as it saves the bother of breaking bulk en route.

"When transportation is easy it pays to pack the bread, bags of flour, etc., in a tin wash-boiler or two, which are wrapped in burlaps and crated. These make capital grub boxes in camp, securing their contents from wet, insects and rodents. Ants in summer and mice at all times are downright pests of the woods, to say nothing of the wily coon, the predatory mink, the inquisitive skunk, and the fretful porcupine. The boilers are useful, too, on many occasions to catch rain-water, boil clothes, waterproof and dye tents, and so forth.

"A Last Look Around—Check off every article in the outfit as it is stowed, and keep the inventory for future reference. Then note what is left over at the end of the trip. This will help in outfitting for the next season."

Camp Cooking

Meat and fish are easy to cook and require few utensils. Steaks or chops require from four to twelve minutes to broil rare over a good bed of live coals, depending on the thickness of the meat. Place either directly on the coals in wire broiler and raise only an inch or two above the fire. Turn after about 1-1/2 minutes, and afterward turn a little oftener to prevent burning.

Chicken or duck of broiling size takes about 20 minutes to broil and requires very particular care in frequent turning to prevent burning. Turn about every 1/2 minute. As portions of the skin show signs of getting too brown baste them with a few drops of hot water from a large spoon. This also tends to keep them moist. The poultry may be cooked by propping the wire broiler upright six to nine inches from a blazing fire. Often the poultry is started this way and finished over the coals, as this saves considerable time in waiting for the fire to burn down. The chicken or duck may be hung close to the fire by a wire from a slanting pole, revolving frequently. An hour is required to roast poultry.

Stew—Cut meat in small pieces, brown in frying pan (use drippings), remove and place in stew pan in which there is sufficient water to cover stew. Cut vegetables in small pieces, place in frying pan a few minutes—long enough to soften—place in stew pan, season with salt and pepper, cook one-half hour—add flour thickening (water and flour), cover with enough water to prevent stew becoming dry and bury in hot oven for two or three hours.

Broiled Fish—Place in wire broiler, rubbing broiler first with salt pork or lard to prevent sticking, and broil over coals for about 20 minutes. All fish that is broiled should be served with a little butter sauce.

Frying Pan Dishes

Fried Fish—Cut the fish in pieces; that is, serving portions. Roll fish in cornmeal (this is not absolutely necessary). Fry for about 20 minutes (depending upon thickness of fish) over hot fire, in about 2 tablespoons of heated frying oil. Tried-out bacon, salt pork, lard, Crisco, or prepared cooking oil may be used.

Fish Balls—Fish balls prepared at home and carried along make good camp food. For group of eight: Ingredients—1 bowl dried codfish soaked several hours in cold water, 1 egg, 2 raw potatoes cut in pieces, 2 ozs. butter, frying oil, 2 tablespoons milk. Boil codfish and potatoes together for about 10 minutes, mash, add 1 beaten egg, butter size of 1/2 small egg (about 2 ozs.), 2 tablespoons milk and stir thoroughly. This mixture should be about the consistency of stiff oatmeal. Heat small amount of frying oil in pan. Drop batter from large spoon into hot oil. When brown, turn and cook on other side. Each patty should cook about three minutes to the side, about six minutes for the whole.

Fried Ham—Boil in frying pan for about 5 minutes, then pour off water and fry about two minutes on each side.

Fried Bacon—Fry gently until fat is tried out (Save drippings.) Bacon may also be fried on a hot rock, or cooked on sharp pointed stick with forked ends.

Fried Country Sausage—Fry sausages over moderate fire for about 15 minutes till they are brown.

Corn Beef Hash—Carry with the ingredients already prepared 1 part corned beef, chopped, 2 parts chopped cold boiled potatoes. Melt butter or suet into the frying pan. Fry.


Boiled Potatoes—Clean and scrape potatoes. Do not peel. Have water boiling and salted before putting potatoes in pot and keep water boiling until potatoes are soft. Large ones take about 25 minutes to cook. Plan to serve the meal about 25 minutes after the potatoes are put on the fire, for they are best served hot. When potatoes are cooked, drain water and keep hot until served.

Fried Potatoes—Slice cold boiled potatoes uniformly and fry in hot butter until brown.

Fried Raw Potatoes—Slice raw potatoes uniformly, boil in frying pan 5 minutes and then fry in butter until brown.

Onions—Boil in salted water 30 minutes until tender. Onions and potatoes go well together and campers should boil them together.

Green Peas—Buy them fresh from a farmer near camp if possible. Reject over-ripe pods. Shell and boil about 20 minutes in salted water, keeping peas barely covered. Drain almost all water when cooked and add one ounce of butter.

Green Corn—Boil corn about five minutes in boiling salted water.


One teaspoonful (level) to each person, 1/2 cup of water to each person, 1/2 cup of milk to each person. Cook cocoa in water 5 minutes; add to warm milk and allow it to reach boiling point. Do not boil.


When possible carry along a supply of bread.

Toast—Toast may either be made over coals or by propping wire broiler upright before blazing fire.

"Biscuit Loaf—This is a standard camp bread, because it bakes quickly. It is good so long as it is hot, but it dries out soon and will not keep. For four: 3 pints flour, 3 heaping teaspoonfuls baking powder, 1 heaping teaspoonful salt, 2 heaping tablespoonfuls cold grease, 1 scant pint cold water. Amount of water varies according to quality of flour. Baking powders vary in strength; follow directions on can. Mix thoroughly, with big spoon or wooden paddle, first the baking powder with the flour and then the salt. Rub into this the cold grease (which may be lard, cold pork fat, drippings) until there are no lumps left and no grease adhering to bottom of pan. This is a little tedious, but don't shirk it. Then stir in the water and work it with spoon until you have a rather stiff dough. Have the pan greased. Turn the loaf into it and bake. Test center of loaf with a sliver when you think it properly done. When no dough adheres remove bread. All hot breads should be broken with the hand, never cut.

"To freshen any that is left over and dried out, sprinkle a little water over it and heat through. This can be done but once."

Washing Dishes

Every part of the camp work should be a pleasure, and there is no reason whatever that dish washing should be an exception. If the following directions for dish washing are followed the work may be so quickly and perfectly done as to be part of the fun.

1. Each girl should throw scraps from her plate into a trench or receptacle. Do not throw food scraps on the camp fire, as they make a disagreeable smoke.

2. Wipe each plate and other utensils as clean as possible with paper napkin, and throw napkin in the fire.

3. Scrape out all cooking pots. If any material has burned on them, boil them out with one ounce of washing soda to one quart of water.

4. Pile all dishes thus prepared beside the two dish-pans. Partly fill the dish-pans with boiling water, putting a heaping teaspoonful of powdered soap in one.

5. Wash dishes with dish mop, and rinse in other pan of hot water.

If the water is kept hot one girl can keep two busy drying, and the whole operation for a party of four should not take over ten minutes. If unskillfully done, without sufficient hot water or preparation, it is a disagreeable task. Try to make it a pleasant one.

The coffee pot should be frequently boiled out with washing soda.

The wire broilers may be cleaned by rubbing them with ashes from the camp fire.

In nesting a blackened cooking pail, wrap it in paper to prevent soiling the inside of the pail into which it fits.

Use the fewest dishes possible in cooking and you will lighten your labor.

Use the same plates for different courses, rinsing them with hot water.

Be sure to carry in your dish washing outfit, washing soda, powdered soap and dish mops.

"Dutch Cleanser" is very useful in cleaning dishes, pots and pans.

After washing up for the night, put utensils and provision box together and cover with rubber cloth to protect them from the weather.

Cleaning Up

This is important! If you leave your camping place littered with tin cans, paper, etc., you will be spoiling that place for future campers.

Burn all waste paper and string.

Bury tin cans and empty bottles.

Bury food scraps and refuse.

Be absolutely certain that you have extinguished your fire.

You should take pride in leaving your camp site so clean that not one evidence of your camping remains except the ashes of the fire.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

John Muir.



Mountain climbing is the final test of a Girl Scout's perseverance in following a trail, in endurance, courage and woodcraftmanship. Nature reserves her choicest beauties and secrets for those who know how to conquer all difficulties. No Girl Scout's education is complete until she has seen mountain peaks like waves of the sea flashing with white snow foam, piercing the blue sky as far as the eye can reach; clouds forming below her feet; breathed rare air found only in high places; drunk from the pure source of rivers, and heard the mighty roar of waterfalls. A climb to a high mountain top is an experience that will enrich and influence the entire after life of whoever has had the hardihood and wisdom to accomplish it.

Before attempting this last test of scouting the girl must be in perfect physical trim, be able to sleep on the ground, have learned to live simply. Girls should train for this experience by taking graduated hikes. On these hikes the girls can practice using the condensed foods that must be depended upon in mountain climbing. The rations for those who wish to climb to high places must necessarily be condensed, for each Scout must carry her own rations for two weeks.

The foundation of a mountain climber's bill of fare is rice, bacon, cheese, chocolate, raisins, dates, dried fruits, powdered soups, whole wheat crackers, and tea. Tea should be used instead of coffee. The eating chocolate is sometimes made into a refreshing drink. Only a small amount of sugar and salt can be carried. This fare is augmented by mushrooms, wild fruit and berries and fish. Watercress is a refreshing addition and a good Scout knows where to find it. Some hardened climbers add a little "jerky" (dried meats) to this bill of fare.

No definite rule of distance to be covered in a day can be laid down. In the high mountains ten or twelve miles a day should be considered a maximum, for part of the benefit to be gained from such trips is the enjoyment of the trip itself. It is better to go a few miles slowly, observing keenly all the time, stopping for frequent rests to examine a flower, to drink at a clear spring, to feast upon the view, than to cover more ground in a hurried way.

The following is a suggestion for the management of a day in high mountain altitudes. Arise with the sun or a little before breakfast. Breakfast consists of rice, dried fruit (put to soak the night before), bacon, and shredded wheat biscuit. Before packing, make a small package of cheese, chocolate, raisins and biscuit for the noon lunch that can be reached without having to unpack equipment. There should be a rest of at least an hour at noon, eating slowly, throwing off the pack, and if possible relaxing flat on the back for a while. Then another hike of three or four miles, making camp early in the evening, about 5 o'clock. This divides the day into three periods of hikes with a rest in between. The dinner is like breakfast, with the addition of soup. Soup can be prepared and eaten while the rice is cooking. Mountain trout can be fried with bacon.

The equipment must be of the lightest. Clothing should consist of one pair of stout, high, waterproof, hob-nailed boots; one pair of light moccasins, to rest the feet in camp; short skirt; middy; riding breeches or bloomers (for in crossing difficult passes skirts must be discarded); hat; gauntlet gloves; one change of underclothes; three pairs of wool stockings; one sweater; one comb (no brush); one small pocket mirror; ivory soap or soap leaves; one tube of cold cream; compass; fishing rod, lines and hooks; rope; leather thongs; stout string; note-book and map; small hatchet; matches (in waterproof case).

No guns, books or cameras can be carried on a high hike, for their weight is prohibitive. A sleeping bag made of eiderdown, lined with canton flannel and covered with oiled silk or duck's back can be rolled and carried across the shoulders. A knife, fork and spoon in addition to the big sheath knife worn at the belt, one frying pan, tin plate and cup (aluminum should be used in preference as tin rusts easily), a rice and a soup kettle are all the cooking utensils needed. If a company of Girl Scouts attempts a high mountain climb, additional covers of clothing and food can be carried on a pack mule, but this chapter is for those who wish to climb unencumbered with pack animals. It is by far the finest way to see the high mountains, though it must be admitted few have the hardihood or courage to try it. The new Roosevelt National Park, one of the most magnificent playgrounds in the world, can be visited in the way just described.

The writer of this chapter has walked all through this park carrying the clothing, food and equipment just described. Every day of the journey found her in better physical trim, vigor, strength, and with keenness of vision and joy of life increased daily.


Now the Four-way Lodge is opened: Now the hunting winds are loose, Now the Smokes of Spring go up to clear the brain; Now the young men's hearts are troubled for the whisper of the trues, Now the Red Gods make their medicine again! Who hath seen the beaver busied? Who hath watched the black-tail mating? Who hath lain alone to hear the wild goose cry? Who hath worked the chosen waters where the ouananiche is waiting? Or the sea-trout's jumping crazy for the fly? Who hath smelled wood-smoke at twilight? Who hath smelled the birch log burning? Who is quick to read the noises of the night? Let him follow with the others, for the young men's feet are turning To the camps of proved desire and known delight! Do you know the blackened timber? Do you know that racing stream With the raw, right-angled log-jam at the end? And the bar of sun-warmed shingle where a man may bask and dream To the click of shod canoe-poles round the bend? It is there that we are going with our rods and reels and traces To a silent, smoky Indian that we know, To a couch of new-pulled hemlock with the starlight on our faces, For the Red Gods call us out and we must go! He must go—go—go away from here! On the other side the world he's overdue. 'Send your road is clear before you when the old spring-fret comes o'er you And the Red Gods call for you! —Rudyard Kipling.


[5] The passages in this section, from "Camping and Woodcraft," by Horace Kephart, are used by permission of the author and the publisher, the Macmillan Company, and are copyrighted, 1916, by the Macmillan Company.




The following section was specially prepared for the Girl Scouts by Mr. George H. Sherwood, Curator, and Dr. G. Clyde Fisher, Associate Curator, of the Department of Public Education of the American Museum of Natural History. All the illustrations used were supplied by the Museum, and the tests in the various subjects were devised by the same authors.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York conducts special courses of lectures in all of the branches of Natural History, and extends a cordial invitation to all Girl Scouts to visit the Department of Education if wishing help in preparation for their Nature Study tests.


1. Introduction to Nature Study.

2. Plants: Flowers and Ferns and Trees.

3. Animals: Mammals Birds Reptiles Amphibians Fishes Invertebrates

4. Geology.

1. Introduction to Nature Study

To the solid ground Of Nature trusts the mind which builds for aye.Wordsworth.

To understand nature is to gain one of the greatest resources of life.John Burroughs.

Nature Study means getting acquainted with the multitude of creatures, great and small, which inhabit the land, the water, and the air, and with the objects which surround them. Mother Nature has many, many secrets which she will reveal to sharp eyes and alert minds. It is, of course, impossible for any one to learn all these secrets, but the mastering of a few makes it easier to learn others, until finally it becomes clear that all life is related and that the humblest creature may be of the greatest importance to the welfare of the highest.

It is for these reasons that the Girl Scout should learn as much as possible of the Wonders of Nature. This study may begin wherever you are, but rapid progress will be made by rambles afield and by visits to the great Natural History Museums. For example, a visit to the exhibition halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York will answer many of your questions about animals you have seen and will enable you to answer many others for yourself, when you go out into the country.

Nature Study in its broadest application includes all of the natural sciences, such as zoology, botany, geology, meteorology, and astronomy. So, there are many fascinating fields for study and enjoyment, and it does not matter much where we begin, whether it be Wild Flowers, Trees, Birds, Butterflies, or Stars.

Of the more practical subjects especially suited to the activities of the Girl Scout are those civic problems which can only be solved by team-play; that is, by working together. Among these may be mentioned: The preservation of birds, wild flowers, and forests; control of mosquitoes, house-flies, rats, weeds; diseases of plants and animals, including man.

The civic nature of these problems is appreciated when we realize that it would do little good, for example, for one person to destroy the breeding-places of mosquitoes on his premises, if his neighbors did not do likewise about their homes; or for one orchardist to cut out the blight from his pear-trees or the black-knot from his plum-trees, if his neighbors did not co-operate with him by ridding their orchards of these diseases.

These practical questions are so well presented, together with plans for their solution, in Civic Biology, by Clifton F. Hodge and Jean Dawson (Ginn & Co.), that instead of going into details here, both the Girl Scouts and their Leaders are referred to this most useful work.

All objects of Nature are either living (organic) or non-living (inorganic). The non-living bodies include the minerals and rocks. The living bodies are either plants or animals. Plants may be divided into two great groups, the flowerless plants and flowering plants. In general the flowerless plants reproduce by means of spores, like the mushroom and the ferns, while the flowering plants reproduce by means of seeds.

Animals may be separated into two great groups, those without backbones (invertebrates) like an oyster, a cricket, or an earthworm, and those with backbones, e.g., a dog, a fish. In this brief study we shall not go into much detail about invertebrates, but with the backboned animals or vertebrates we shall go a little further. These may be divided into five general groups: (1) Fishes; (2) Amphibians, which include frogs, toads, and salamanders; (3) Reptiles, which include alligators, crocodiles, turtles, lizards, and snakes; (4) Birds; (5) Mammals.

This simple analysis may be clearly shown by the following diagram:

{Mammals {Birds {Vertebrates{Reptiles { {Amphibians { {Fishes {Animals{ { {Invertebrates {Living Bodies{ { (Organic) { {Flowering Plants Objects{ { {Flowerless Plants of { Nature {Non-living Bodies { (Inorganic)

This classification could be carried further at every point, but this will be far enough for present purposes. It should be remembered in any classification that there are no hard and fast lines in Nature. For example, some creatures are on the border-land between plants and animals, and again some animals are between the backboned animals and those without backbones.

2. Plants

Wild Flowers and Ferns

Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies; Hold you here, root and all, in my hand. Little flower—but if I could understand What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is.Tennyson.

Do you know the earliest spring flower in your neighborhood? In the northern United States it is usually found in bloom before all the snow of winter is gone. In some swamp or along some stream where the snow has melted away in patches it is possible to find the Skunk Cabbage in bloom very early in the spring. See how early you can find it. In the southern United States, one of the earliest spring flowers is the yellow Jessamine, which twines over bushes and trees thus displaying its fragrant, golden bells.

As the season advances, other flowers appear, and we find the Spring Beauty, the Trailing Arbutus, the Bloodroot, and the Hepatica. What delightful associations each of these names brings to our minds! By the time summer is here we have an entirely different flower-population in the fields and woods—the Cardinal Flower with its intense red color and the Pink Lady's-Slipper with its drooping moccasin-shaped lip are to be found then. In the autumn we have a different group of flowers still—the Goldenrods, the Asters, and the Fringed Gentian, the season closing with our latest fall flower, the Witch-hazel.

Some flowers and ferns grow best in the shady woods, others in the sunny fields, some on the rocks and others in the marshes. We soon learn where to look for our favorites. In taking tramps along the roads, across the fields, through the woods, and into the swamps, we could notice along the roadside Bouncing-Bet, Common Yarrow, Dandelion, Thistles, and Goldenrod; in the fields and meadows, we would see the Ox-eye Daisy, Black-eyed Susan, Wild Carrot, and the most beautiful fall flower of the northeastern United States, the Fringed Gentian; in the woods, Mountain Laurel, Pink Azalea, a number of wild Orchids, Maidenhair Fern, and Jack-in-the Pulpit; in the marshes, Pink Rose-mallow, which reminds us of the Hollyhocks of our Grandmother's garden, Pickerel-weed, Water-lily, and Marsh Marigold.

It is natural to want to know the name of any plant that interests us, and this is important. As in the subjects of Birds, there are many helpful books on Flowers and Ferns. Beginners will find "The Flower Guide," by Chester A. Reed (Doubleday, Page & Co.) to be useful. After a good start has been made, such books as Gray's Manual, or Britton and Brown's Illustrated Flora should be used.

Our pursuit, however, should not stop with the name of a plant. That is a mere beginning. Even slight attention will uncover many fascinating things in the lives of plants. Why cannot a farmer raise a good crop of clover-seed without the bumble-bees? What devices are there among the Orchids to bring about cross-pollination? (See "Our Native Orchids," by William Hamilton Gibson). Examine the flower of the wild Blue Flag, and see whether you can determine how the bumble-bee cross-pollinates this plant. Do the Hummingbirds cross-pollinate some flowers? In what plants is the pollen scattered by the wind? Do these plants produce nectar?

How do the various plants scatter their seeds? How are the Hickory-nuts and Walnuts scattered? The Dandelion's and Thistle's seeds have flying-hairs or parachutes and are blown about by the wind. What other plants can you find whose seeds are scattered in the same way? Can you discover a plant whose seeds are carried by water? The Witch-hazel shoots its seeds. What other plants can you find that have explosive fruits? Cherry-seeds are carried by birds. Mention some other seeds that are carried in this way. It would take very little observation to learn how Burdock-burs, Cockle-burs, Stick-tights, Beggar-lice, Spanish-needles, and such hooked fruits are scattered.

Learn the names of the principal noxious weeds of the farm and garden, and also learn the best methods of combating them.

Learn to know the plants in your vicinity which are used in the making of drugs.

Learn to know the poisonous plants around your home and summer camp. Are the following to be found there: Poison Ivy, Poison Sumach, Loco-weed, Bittersweet (Salanum Dulcamara), Black Nightshade, Jimsonweed, Poke-weed, Poison Hemlock?


He who wanders widest lifts No more of beauty's jealous veils, Than he who from his doorway sees The miracle of flowers and trees.Whittier

The trees of the forest are of two classes, deciduous trees and evergreen trees. To the former belong those which shed their leaves in the fall, are bare in the winter, and then grow a new crop of leaves in the spring, e.g., oaks, elms, maples. The evergreen trees shed their leaves also, but not all at one time. In fact, they always have a goodly number of leaves, and are consequently green all the year round, e.g., pines, spruces, firs.

The uses of wood are so many and various that we can only begin to mention them. In looking about us we see wood used in building houses, in making furniture, for railroad ties, and for shoring timbers in mines. In many country districts wood is used for fuel. And do you realize that only a short time ago the newspaper which you read this morning and the book which you now hold in your hand were parts of growing trees in the forest? Paper is made of wood-pulp, mostly from Spruce.

Besides the direct uses of wood, we turn to the forest for many interesting and valuable products, varying in importance from a balsam-pillow filled with the fragrant leaves or needles of the Balsam Fir, to turpentine and rosin (naval stores), produced chiefly by the Long-leaved Pine of the Southeastern States. Spruce gum is obtained from the Black Spruce and Red Spruce. Canada balsam used in cementing lenses together in microscopes, telescopes, and the like, comes from the Balsam Fir. Bark for tanning comes from Oak and Hemlock. The Indians of the Eastern Woodlands or Great Lakes area made canoes and many other useful articles of the bark of the Canoe or Paper Birch. Baskets are made from Willow twigs. Maple sugar comes chiefly from the Sugar Maple.

The turpentine industry is the chief one in parts of the South where the Long-leaved Pine thrives. The United States produces more turpentine and rosin than any other country in the world. The turpentine is used in paints and in various arts. The rosin is used in varnish, laundry soap, etc. These two products come from the sap or "gum" of the pine tree. The sap is secured by tapping or "boxing" the tree, and then keeping the cut ducts of the sap-wood open by "chipping" or "pulling," that is, by putting a new "streak" on the tree. This has to be done once a week from March 1 to November 1. The sap used to be collected in a "box" or deep notch cut in the base of the tree, but the modern method is to have it run into cups made of zinc or of burned clay similar to flower-pots. The sap is taken to a turpentine still where it is heated over a furnace. This drives off the turpentine or "spirits" as steam or vapor, which is condensed to liquid again by passing through the worm of the still surrounded by cold water. The rosin or resin is left behind.

The Sugar Maple grows from Florida and Texas northward to Manitoba and Quebec, but it is only in the northern part of its range that the maple sugar industry thrives. This delicious food is one of the many that we learned to utilize from the Indians. The sap is obtained by tapping the tree in the spring before the leaves come out, the best weather for the flow of sap being that when it freezes at night and thaws in the daytime. The sap is boiled down; that is, the water is driven off and the sugar remains. It takes about three gallons, or a little more, of sap to make a pound of maple sugar. Three to four pounds of sugar is an average yield for one tree in a season. Much of the sap, however, is not boiled down into sugar, but the boiling is stopped while it is in the form of syrup. If you have ever eaten buckwheat cakes with real maple syrup you will always esteem the Sugar Maple tree.

The forests perform extremely valuable services for mankind entirely apart from the products they yield.

First, they prevent erosion, or the washing away of soil by the water that falls as rain. After the trees have been cut away, very often, especially upon hillsides, the most productive soil is washed away, usually clear off of the original owner's farm, and deposited in the flood-plains or bottoms of creeks and rivers or in river deltas—in places where it cannot be utilized to any great extent. Thus erosion causes a tremendous loss to farmers, and it is chiefly due to the thoughtlessness of the American people in destroying the forests.

Second, and chiefly related to this, is the fact that the floods upon our rivers, which every year take such heavy toll in property and in human life, are due to the cutting away of the forests. This allows the water from rain and melting snow to reach the streams at times faster than it can be carried off, and so we have a flood. The forest floor, with its undergrowth and humus, in those localities where the forests still exist about the headwaters of our rivers, acts like a huge layer of blotting paper which holds the water back and allows it to escape to the streams slowly, and so floods are avoided.

Third, and related to the above, is the fact that the water supply of our cities would be more constant if the forests had not been cut away. In these cases the summer droughts make much greater the danger from water-borne diseases.

It is only in recent years that the American people have begun to realize the necessity of the conservation of our forests, and in many sections much has been done to redeem the criminal thoughtlessness in destroying our forests and to restore those devastated by forest fires. Reforestation operations have accomplished a great deal, and the organization to prevent forest fires emphasizes the old adage that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Also the people are being taught correct forestry practices, such as cutting only ripe trees and allowing the rest to grow, instead of clearing the land entirely, as was formerly done so universally.

The life history of every tree is interesting; how it breathes by means of its leaves, just as the animals do by means of gills or lungs; how it manufactures starch by means of the green matter in the leaves; how the starch is changed to sugar and other substances which are carried to other parts of the tree in the sap; how the sap flows upward in the vessels in the sap-wood and downward in the vessels of the inner bark; how the entire heart-wood of a tree is dead and the only living part is the sap-wood and the innermost bark.

One of the first things we shall want to know when we get out into the woods is the name of the tree that interests us. For this purpose the books given as references under "Trees" will be useful.



Mammals differ from birds in that they have hair instead of feathers, and that they are first fed upon milk produced by the mother. Unfortunately the mammals are usually called simply animals, but the latter is obviously too inclusive a term and should not be used in this way. There is no reason why the name mammal should not be commonly used, just as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes are used for the other groups of backboned animals.

In the United States the lowest or most primitive mammal is the Opossum. The baby Opossums—from six to a dozen of them—are born when very small and undeveloped and are immediately placed by the mother in an external pouch, where they continue to grow until they are too large to get into their mother's pocket; then they frequently ride upon their mother's back, clinging to her fur with their finger-like toes and wrapping their tails about their mother's tail. The Opossum is the only animal in this country the young of which are carried around in the mother's pocket, and the only one which has a prehensile tail; that is, one used for coiling around and clinging to branches, and the like. Its food is various, consisting of both animal and plant material—insects, young birds, pawpaws, persimmons, etc. In the food devoured the Opossum probably does more good than harm.

In their food habits many mammals are decidedly injurious. Rats, Weasels, Minks, and Foxes destroy poultry; Wolves and Pumas kill domestic and game animals; Woodchucks or Groundhogs eat clover and various garden plants; Moles damage the lawns; Rats, Mice, and Gophers spoil and devour grain; Mice and Rabbits girdle fruit trees, thus killing them.

On the other hand, many mammals furnish food; e. g., Rabbits, Elk, and Deer. This was more important in pioneer times than at present. Many furnish furs used as articles of clothing; e. g., Raccoon, Fox, Muskrat, Mink, Otter, Marten, Mole, New York Weasel and other northern weasels in their winter coats.

Many furs are usually sold under trade names that are entirely different from the true name of the animal. A list of a few fur-bearing mammals of the United States having trade names differing from the true names follows:

The True Fur The Trade Name Dark blended Muskrat Russian Otter Mink blended Muskrat Natural River Mink Natural Muskrat[6] River Mink Natural Jersey Muskrat River Sable Plucked and Seal-dyed Muskrat Hudson Seal Plucked and Seal-dyed Muskrat Aleutian Seal Skunk Black Marten Striped Skunk Civet Cat N.Y. Weasel in winter pelage Ermine

A few suggestions for observation or study:

1. What peculiar instinct or habit has the Opossum developed?

2. How does the flight of a Bat differ from that of a Flying Squirrel?

3. Can you notice any peculiarity in the Rabbit's track?

4. Mention three mammals that hibernate.

5. Describe the methods of defense in the following mammals: Armadillo, Porcupine, Skunk.

6. Why do the front teeth of the Squirrel and the Beaver continue to grow?

The best way to find the answers to these questions is by actual observation of the animals, but when this is impossible, the references given under "Mammals" will be found useful.


He who takes the first step in ornithology is ticketed for the whole trip.John Burroughs.

The love of the beautiful seems to be innate; that is, born in us. And the birds appeal to this in at least two ways: First, on account of the beauty of their songs, and second, on account of the beauty of their plumage.

Among the birds that have especially beautiful songs are the Thrushes, which include the Robin and the Bluebird, the finest singer in this family probably being the Hermit Thrush. In the Southern States there is no more popular singer among the birds than the Mockingbird. But it should be remembered that a bird's song cannot be separated from the associations which it calls up in one's memory. So that the performance of an ordinary songster may be more pleasing to one than that of some finer one because of youthful associations.

It seems to be a general law of nature that the finest songsters have the plainest coats.

Among the birds that we enjoy on account of their beautiful plumage are the Egrets, every feather of their coats being as white as snow, and the plumes of these birds are so beautiful, and human beings have been so thoughtless that the Egrets have been almost exterminated in order to supply the millinery trade. These plumes, known as aigrettes, grow on the backs between the shoulders of both the male and female birds, and are worn only during the nesting season. The only time during the nesting season that the plume hunter finds it profitable to hunt these birds is when the young are in the nest. At any other time the birds would be so wild that the plume hunter could not easily shoot them. When the young are in the nest the parental love is so strong that the adult birds cannot resist the instinct to return to feed the nestlings when they are begging for food. In this way both the father bird and the mother bird become an easy prey for the ambushed plume hunter, and there is but one thing that can happen to the baby Egrets in the nest after both of their parents have been killed—they starve to death. This is one of the most cruel phases of the plume trade, and there is no other way to secure the aigrette plumes of the Egrets than by killing the adult birds. Fortunately, in the United States it is against the law to shoot these birds, and it is against the law to import the plumes. Until recently it has not been illegal to wear these plumes, and the fact that there are still a few women who adorn their hats with them has encouraged the illegal and cruel killing of these birds in our country, or the smuggling in of the plumes from some other country. In the latter part of 1919 the federal regulations have been interpreted to make it illegal to possess aigrette plumes, and henceforth the law will be so enforced. This is the successful culmination of a long fight by the Audubon Society.

A few other birds of striking plumage are the Bluejay, the Bluebird, the Baltimore Oriole, the Scarlet Tanager, the Cedar Waxwing, and Red-winged Blackbird.

Turning from the esthetic value of birds, which depends, among other things, upon the beauty of their songs and the beauty of other plumage, we may consider the value of birds in dollars and cents.

Every farmer and gardener must cultivate his crops and fight the weeds which are always crowding out the plants he is trying to raise, and in this fight he is helped by a great many birds of various kinds. Among these are the Mourning Dove, the Bob-White, and members of the Sparrow family, such as the Goldfinch, the Junco, and the Song Sparrow. In this country, in the aggregate, these seed-eating birds destroy every year tons of seeds of the noxious weeds, and are therefore valuable friends of the gardener and farmer. For more definite data see bulletins published by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, or "Useful Birds and Their Protection," by Edward Howe Forbush (Massachusetts Board of Agriculture).

Thousands of bushels of grain are eaten or spoiled by small mammals, such as mice, rats, and spermophiles or gophers. To the relief of the farmer, many birds feed upon these destructive little rodents. The Crow occasionally captures a mouse, while the Shrikes or Butcher-birds catch a great many. The Screech Owl feeds largely upon mice. The Red-tailed Hawk is called the Hen-hawk or Chicken-hawk by most farmers, but this is very unfair to the bird, for its principal food is mice. In fact, most of the Hawks and Owls of the United States are really valuable friends of the farmer because of the injurious rodents which they devour. (See "Hawks and Owls of the United States," by A. K. Fisher.)

To be fair, it must be admitted that there are a few exceptions; that is, that there are a few Hawks and Owls which do more harm than good. The Sharp-shinned Hawk kills many harmless songbirds and occasionally young game birds and young chickens. The Cooper's Hawk, which nests throughout the United States, is a real chicken hawk, and the worst one in the country. The Duck Hawk, the "Noble Peregrine" of falconry, in this country feeds largely upon domestic pigeons, but no bird student would wish to see it exterminated on account of this habit.

There are a number of birds which are valuable friends to all the people because they are scavengers. The Herring Gull, which is the commonest gull of the harbors of the United States, and which is also found on inland lakes and rivers, by feeding upon all kinds of refuse animal and plant materials makes the waters about our cities more healthful. This is especially true of the coast cities which dump their garbage into the waters not far distant. The Turkey Vulture, the Black Vulture or Carrion-Crow, and the California Condor make the fields and woods of the country more healthful by devouring the carcasses of animals, and the first two species eat the offal from slaughter houses and even scraps of meat from the markets in some of our Southern cities.

The most valuable group of birds from the standpoint of the farmers, the orchardists, and the gardeners is the insect-eating birds. Among these are the Wood Pewee, the Phoebe, the Kingbird, and all of the Flycatchers; the Purple Martin and all of the Swallows; the Nighthawk and Whip-poor-will. The Yellow-billed and Black-billed Cuckoos and the Baltimore Oriole feed largely upon tent caterpillars and others caterpillars which defoliate the fruit and shade trees. The Sparrow Hawk has been wrongly named, for it eats a thousand times as many grasshoppers as it does sparrows. The Chickadees, Brown Creepers, and many of the Warblers feed largely upon insects and insect eggs which they glean chiefly from the trees. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the Bob-White eat the Colorado potato-beetle. In the West the Franklin's Gull follows the farmer in the fields and picks up great numbers of destructive insects.

In learning the value of our feathered friends it is necessary to learn to know the birds, and in this quest great help can be obtained from books. Beginners will find the following useful:

"Land Birds East of the Rockies," by Chester A. Reed.

"Water and Game Birds," by Chester A. Reed.

"Western Bird Guide," by Chester A. Reed. (All published by Doubleday, Page & Co.)

For more advanced students the following are recommended:

"Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America," by Frank M. Chapman (D. Appleton & Co.).

"Handbook of Birds of Eastern North America," by Florence Merriam Bailey (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.).

Our study of birds should not stop with the name, because we shall find many things of interest in the home life of birds, many things that seem to reflect our own lives. (See "Home Life of Wild Birds," by F. H. Herrick. G. P. Putnam's Sons.)

If we like to hear birds sing, if we enjoy the beauty of their coats, and if they are valuable neighbors from the standpoint of dollars and cents, then it is worth while to consider how we may have more of them about our homes. Every girl can do a great deal to attract birds.

First, by putting up nesting boxes. Since the people of our country have destroyed so much of our native forests and undergrowth, have drained so many of our swamps, and have cultivated so much of the grassy prairie, many birds have difficulty in finding suitable places to nest. This can be remedied in the case of birds that nest in cavities, such as the House Wren, Tree Swallow, Purple Martin, Screech Owl, Chickadee, and Bluebird, by putting up nesting boxes. For those that nest in shrubbery, like the Catbird and the Brown Thrasher, shrubs and vines may be planted so that the desirable tangle may be had.

Second, by putting out bird baths. In this improved country of ours, there are doubtless large areas in which wild birds have difficulty in finding suitable places to bathe. Artificial bird baths are more attractive to birds in the summer time than during cold weather, but they will be used even in winter if kept free from ice. Do not place a bird bath so close to a shrub, tree, or building that a house cat may stalk the birds from behind it. The house cat is probably the worst enemy of our native songbirds.

Third, by establishing feeding stations, especially in winter when snow covers the natural food of so many birds. When birds have enough to eat they rarely suffer severely from the cold.

Fourth, by cooperating with the authorities in seeing that the laws protecting the birds are enforced.

The Audubon Society has done much effective work along these lines, and a Girl Scout should join this society, whose headquarters are 1974 Broadway, New York City.


All nature is so full that that district produces the greatest variety which is most examined.Gilbert White, Natural History of Selborne.

The group of back-boned animals next above the fishes is the Amphibians, which includes the frogs, toads, salamanders,[7] and their relatives. The name "amphibian" refers to two modes of life as shown by most of the frogs and toads. A good example is the Common Toad, whose eggs are laid in the water. These eggs hatch out not into toads, but into tadpoles, which have no legs and which breathe by means of gills, as the fishes do. They grow rapidly, develop a pair of hind legs and then a pair of front legs, while the tail and gills are absorbed, all within a little more than a month from the time the eggs are laid. During this change a pair of lungs is developed, so that the toads breathe air as human beings do. The eggs of toads and frogs may be collected in the spring in ponds, and this remarkable change from the egg through the tadpole stage to the adult form may be observed in a simple home aquarium. Toads' eggs may be distinguished from those of frogs by the fact that toads' eggs are laid in strings, while frogs' eggs are laid in masses.

Every Girl Scout should know the song of the toad. William Hamilton Gibson says it is "the sweetest sound in nature." (Sharp Eyes, p. 54.) If you do not know it, take a lantern or electric flash-lamp after dark some evening in the spring at egg-laying time, and go to the edge of some pond and see the toad sing. Notice how the throat is puffed out while the note is being produced.

The belief that warts are caused by handling toads has no foundation in fact.

The toad is a valuable friend of the gardener, for it feeds upon a great variety of destructive insects.

The life of our Salamanders is very similar to that of the frogs and toads. The eggs hatch out into tadpoles, then legs are developed, but the tail is not absorbed. Unlike the frogs and toads, the Salamander keeps its tail throughout life, and in some kinds of Salamanders which spend all of their time in the water, the gills are used throughout life. Salamanders have various common names, some being called newts, others water-dogs or mud-puppies. The mud-eel and the Congo "snake" of the Southern States, and the "hell-bender" of the Ohio valley and south are all Salamanders. The belief that any of the Salamanders is poisonous is a myth and has no basis in fact.


Reptiles include Alligators, Crocodiles, Turtles, Lizards and Snakes. It is commonly said that reptiles are cold-blooded. This means that the temperature of their blood varies and is the same as the surrounding medium. The temperature of an Alligator that has been floating with its nose out of the water is the same as the surrounding water. The temperature of a turtle in the winter time is the same as the mud in which it is buried, while in the summer time it is much higher. What is true of the reptiles in respect to temperature is also true of Amphibians and Fishes. However, this is not true of Birds and Mammals, for these have a uniform temperature so high that they are called warm-blooded.

In the United States there is but one species of Alligator and but one species of Crocodile, both limited to the Southeastern States.

There are about fifty kinds of Turtle and Tortoises in North America, some of which live on the land and feed largely upon plants, e. g., the Common Box Turtle, found from the New England States to South Carolina and westward to Kansas, and the Gopher Tortoise of the Southern States. Others are aquatic, like the Painted Turtles, which are found in one form or another practically all over the United States.

Many of these reptiles are highly prized as food, e. g., Diamond-backed Terrapin, Soft-shelled Turtle, Snapping Turtle and Gopher Tortoise.

There are about one hundred species of Lizards in North America, the greatest number being found in the drier parts of the continent. Of this whole number only two species are poisonous, and only one of these, the Gila Monster, is found within the United States, being confined in its range to desert regions of Southern Arizona and New Mexico.

The Blue-tailed Lizard or Skink, which occurs from Massachusetts to Florida and westward to Central Texas, is commonly believed to be poisonous in the Southern States, where it is called the Red-headed "Scorpion," but this is one of the popular myths still too common among intelligent people.

The Glass "Snake" of the Central and Southern States is a peculiar lizard in that it has no legs. That it is able, after being broken to pieces, to collect itself together again and continue to live is another old myth.

About a dozen kinds of Horned "Toads" are found in the western portions of the United States. Although toad-like in the shape of their bodies and in some of their habits, they are really lizards.

The American Chameleon or "Green" Lizard, which ranges in this country in the coastal regions from North Carolina to the Rio Grande River, has a remarkable power of changing the color of its skin through shades of brown, gray, and green. In fact, it is said to rival or possibly excel the true chameleons of the Old World.

For treatment of the Snakes see Woodcraft, Section XIII.


"It is not all of fishing to fish."

The fishes are the lowest of the true vertebrates or animals with backbones, and all live in the water. They do not have lungs, but breathe through gills on the sides of the head. They are cold-blooded animals; i. e., the temperature of the blood is the same as that of the water in which they are living. Fishes are found in both fresh and salt water all over the world and have adapted themselves to many conditions; for example, certain fishes have lived in caves so long that they are blind; some live in the coldest water, while others can revel in the heat of the hot springs.

Many fishes are valuable as food and the fisheries are extensive industries, in which large sums of money are invested.

There are four great groups of fishes:

1. The sharks and rays, with cartilaginous skeletons.

2. The ganoids of which the sturgeon and garpike are examples, with heavy plates or scales.

3. The bony fishes—salmon, pickerel, mackerel, cod, halibut, etc.

4. The lung fishes, that live partly in air.

There are many species of sharks. Among the more common ones in Atlantic waters are the Smooth Dogfish which have pavement-like teeth; the Sand Shark with catlike teeth; the Hammerhead Shark with its eyes on stalks. The near relatives of the sharks are the Skates. The most common example of the ganoid fish is the sturgeon, which is heavily clad with a bony armor. Most of the fishes that we find, however, belong to the third group, i. e., bony fishes. Among the salt-water species, the cod, the halibut, the mackerel, and the bluefish are especially valuable as food. Of the salt-water fishes that go up the rivers into fresh water to breed, the salmon and the shad are widely known. Of a strictly fresh-water fish, the sunfish and catfish are very common. Among the game-fish are the trout, bass, pickerel, and salmon.

For those who live in cities, a convenient place to begin the study of fishes is in the fish-market. Here we may learn to know the common food-fishes by name, and to know many interesting things about them. If there is a Public Aquarium or a Natural History Museum in your city, you can use it in connection with the fish-market. Especially valuable in Museums are the habitat groups of fishes, that is, those in which the fishes are shown in their natural surroundings. But, best of all, the place to study fishes, as is true of all other animals, is out-of-doors in their native haunts. With your dip-net or hook and line, catch the fish, and then by the aid of one of the books listed below find out what its name is. Then, by observation of the fish see what is interesting in its life-history. Find out where the mother-fish lays her eggs. Does either parents guard them? Has the fish any natural weapons of defense? If so, what are they? Does either parent care for the young after they are hatched? What does the fish feed upon? In what way is the fish protectively colored? In the study of fishes, an interesting means is the home aquarium. Any Girl Scout can easily learn how to install and maintain a balanced aquarium, that is, one in which the water does not have to be changed and in fact should not be changed. In such an aquarium one may keep and study a great variety of fishes. Some of our local fishes, such as young catfish and suckers, will prove fully as interesting as the goldfish and many other animals besides fishes will thrive in a small aquarium, such as tadpoles of frogs, toads, and salamanders, adult water-newts, soft-shelled turtles, snails, and water-beetles and nymphs of dragon-flies.

Animals Without Backbones

In general the Invertebrates are animals without a backbone; that is, they do not have an internal supporting skeleton of bone, as does the dog or cat. Compared with mammals or birds, they are all small and some are so very tiny that they can be seen only with a very powerful microscope. Most of them live in the water or in the mud or sand under the water. Hence the best place to get acquainted with them is along the seashore or near some lake or stream.

There are several different groups of Invertebrates and between these groups there are greater differences of structure than there is between a horse and a hummingbird. The principal groups are:

1. The Protozoa, or one-celled animals (nearly all microscopic).

2. The Sponges.

3. The Jellyfishes, Sea-anemones, and Corals.

4. Worms of several groups.

5. Starfishes, Sea-urchins, and Sea-cucumbers.

6. Segmented Worms.

7. Crabs, Lobsters, etc.

8. Oysters, Snails, and Octopi.

9. Insects and Spiders.

Seashore Life

Because of their connection with our industries or our food supply, some of the Invertebrates are familiar to all; for instance, sponges, corals, starfishes, crabs, shrimps, lobsters, clams, and oysters. Others are seldom seen unless one takes pains to look for them.

All life comes from pre-existing life. So every animal living to-day has come from some other living animal and every plant living to-day has come from some other previously living plant. It is believed that the first forms of life came from the water. At any rate, the oldest and lowest forms of life to-day, the Protozoa, are found in the water. As these are nearly all very minute and can be studied only with a microscope, they are omitted from the suggested field work.

All who have access to the seashore have a wonderful opportunity to study the Invertebrates. The long stretches of sandy beach, the sections of shore covered with water-rolled pebbles and stones, even the steep, jagged cliffs, are all pebbled with these animals of the sea. Twice every twenty-four hours the sea water creeps slowly up the beach until high water is reached, and twice every twenty-four hours it recedes again toward the ocean. It is therefore about twelve hours from one low water to the next. On a gently sloping beach, the distances between the high water mark and the low water mark may be many hundreds of feet, while on a steep beach or a straight cliff this area may be only a few feet in width. It is this area between the high and low water marks that is the haunt of many Invertebrates. These are animals that can live if they are not continually covered with water. Here are the rock barnacles, the soft clams, crabs of many kinds, beach fleas, numerous sea worms in their special houses, snails, and hermit crabs. Others will be found in the pools between the rocks or in the crevices of the cliffs, which as the tide falls becomes great natural aquaria. Here will be found hydroids, sea-anemones, starfishes, sea-urchins, barnacles, mussels. In the shallow water, crabs and shrimps are crawling along the sandy bottom or are lying concealed in the mud, while schools of little fishes scoot across the pool. If a fine silk net is drawn through the water and then emptied into a glass dish a whole new world of creatures will be revealed—jellyfishes, ctenophores, hydroids, eggs of fish, tiny copepods, the larvae or young of sea-urchins, starfishes, or oysters. If an old wharf is near by, examine the posts supporting it. The pilings seem to be coated with a shaggy mass of seaweed. Scrape some of this off and put in a dish of water. Sea-spiders, starfishes, hydroids that look like moss, sea-anemones, many varieties of worms, mussels and crabs are all living here.

Begin your study of these seashore animals with a stroll along the beach. Examine the windrows of seawrack or seaweed. Whole troops of sandhoppers rise ahead of you. Oftentimes animals from distant shores or deep water will be found. The empty shells have many a story to tell. The papery egg-cases of the periwinkle remind one of a beautiful necklace. The air bubbles rising from the sand or mud as the wave recedes mark the entrance to the burrows of worms. Stamp hard on the sand. A little fountain of water announces the abode of the soft clam. Watch the sand at the edges of the rippling water. The mole-crab may be seen scuttling to cover. In the little hollows between rocks a rock-crab or a green-crab may be found on guard.

For collecting in the pools and shallow water a fine-meshed net is desirable. Many of the animals can be caught and placed in glass dishes of sea water for close observation.

A few animals that may be found at the seashore:

Rocky Shores—Hydroids on the rock-weed, rock-barnacles, snails, amphipods, lobsters, and oysters.

Sandy Shores—Worms, in tube houses, mole-crab, sand-hopper, egg-cases, whelks, shrimps.

Muddy Shores—Snails, clams, worms of many varieties, mud-crabs, hermit-crabs, blue crabs, scallops.

Wharves and Bridges (on the piling)—Sponges, hydroids, sea-anemones, ascidians, starfishes, sea-urchins, worms.

On the shores of lakes, ponds, and streams will also be found many invertebrates.

Insects play an important part in Nature's activities. From the point of view of man some are beneficial and some are destructive. In the former group may be mentioned the Dragonflies which feed upon mosquitoes, the Cochineal insects of Mexico, which furnish a dye-stuff, the Lady-bird beetles, which in the larval stage feed upon plant lice; the scale insects of India, which furnish shellac; the Bumblebees, which cross-pollinate the clover, and the Wasps, which fertilize the figs. Dr. Lutz says that the manna which fed the Children of Israel was honeydew secreted by a scale insect, and that it is still eaten.

The Silkworm and the Honey-bee have been domesticated since prehistoric times, the former supplying a valuable fiber for clothing and the latter an important article of food.

Among the injurious insects a few may be mentioned: the House Fly or Filth Fly, which may carry disease germs on its feet to the food that we eat; the mosquitoes, which transmit yellow fever and malaria, the rat flea, which carries bubonic plague; the weevils, which destroy rice, beans, chestnuts, etc., and the plant lice, or aphids, which, by sucking the juices from ornamental and food plants, are among the most destructive of all insects.

There are so many insects in the world that we cannot hope to learn of them all, even if we wanted to do so, but most of us wish to know the names of those that attract our attention, and to know what they do that is important or interesting. There are approximately 400,000 species or kinds of insects known in the world; that is, about three times as many as there are species or kinds of all the rest of the animals in the world put together. This fact should not hinder us from making a start and becoming familiar with the interesting habits of a few of the insects about us.

The eggs of the Monarch Butterfly may be collected upon the milkweed and brought in, so that the whole life history or metamorphosis of this beautiful insect, from the egg through the larva or caterpillar stage and the pupa or chrysalis stage to the adult butterfly, may be watched. The larvae or caterpillar must be supplied daily with fresh milkweed leaves. Other butterflies and moths and many other insects may be reared in the same way by supplying the larvae with suitable food. If we should find a caterpillar feeding upon the leaves of a maple tree we should continue to feed it maple leaves if we wish to rear it. Silkworms will eat the leaves of Osage-orange, but they seem to prefer mulberry leaves.

Cocoons of moths may be easily collected in winter after the leaves have fallen, and brought in and kept in a cool place until spring when the coming out of the adult moths will be an occurrence of absorbing interest.

The spiders, although not insects, are interesting little animals. See how many types of webs you can find. Mention a few insects which you know to be preyed upon by spiders. Mention one insect that catches spiders and stores them away as food for its young.


Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.Shakespeare, As You Like It.

The Structure and History of the Earth

There is nothing eternal about the earth except eternal change, some one has said. It requires only a little looking about us to see that this is true. The earth is not as it was in the past. Every shower of rain changes or modifies its surface. And many other and some very great changes have occurred during the past few millions of years. During one age, the coal was formed of plants that grew luxuriantly on the earth's surface. At one period in the development of the earth there were many kinds of invertebrate animals, but no animals with backbones. Later, the vertebrates appeared. At one time the whole Mississippi Valley was under the water of the sea. ("The Story of Our Continent," by N. S. Shaler. Ginn & Co.). These statements suggest just a few of the things that have been going on in the history of the earth. By the study of Geology we can learn much more about it, and we should supplement our study of books with the more important actual observation of conditions out-of-doors. To those living in that part of North America, which is shaded in the map on page 451, the easiest and most natural approach to the subject of the structure and history of the earth is by studying the effects of the continental glacier which formerly moved down over this region.

Tracks of the Glacier

When we see the foot-prints of an animal in the mud or in the snow, we are sure that an animal has passed that way at some previous time. Those who live in Canada or northern United States (See map page 451) can be just as sure that a great glacier or ice-sheet formerly moved down over northern North America, by the tracks it has left. Although it is estimated by geologists that between 10,000 and 40,000 years have elapsed since the Great Ice Age, these tracks or evidences can still be seen by any one who lives in this region or who can visit it. The principal ones are: (1) Boulders or Lost Rocks which were brought down by this glacier; (2) The Glacial Drift or Boulder Clay which covers nearly all of the glaciated region; (3) Scratches on the bed-rock which show the direction the glacier moved.

Notice in the field the size and shape of the glacial boulders, where they are found, evidence of the place where the glacier melted off (terminal moraine). Do these boulders increase or decrease in size as we go south over the glaciated area? Can you discover any place where they can be traced back in their native ledge? Present-day glaciers, like the Muir Glacier in Alaska, can be seen transporting boulders and drift just as this great prehistoric ice-sheet must have done.

The drift which consists of clay mixed with pebbles, cobblestones, and boulders, varies greatly in depth. In some places there is none, while at St. Paris, Ohio, it is 550 feet deep. It probably averages 100 feet thick or less.

In your locality note the depth of the drifts in cuts made naturally by creeks and rivers or those made artificially for railroads. Oil-wells furnish evidence on this point. Collect a few good examples of scratched or glaciated pebbles or cobblestones which are abundant in the drift. These were scratched while frozen in the bottom of the glacier and pushed along on the bed-rock under the weight of the ice above.

Collect ten different kinds of rock from the glacial boulders and drift,—there are more than one hundred kinds to be found,—and with the aid of some such book as "Rocks and Rock Minerals," by Louis V. Pirsson (John Wiley & Sons) or "Common Minerals and Rocks," by Wm. O. Crosby (D. C. Heath & Co.) try to identify them.

All soil is composed of disintegrated or decayed rock. And it has been observed that the soil of northern North America is foreign to the bed-rock. Therefore it must have been transported from some other place. The glacier did this huge piece of work. The soil of southern United States contains no boulders or cobblestones and has been formed by the disintegration and decay of rocks in place.

Observe glacial scratches and grooves on the bed-rock, those on Kelley's Island in Lake Erie are famous.

Agassiz was the first to realize that it was a glacier that did this stupendous piece of work, and this conception or discovery greatly added to his fame. It is now easy for us to find the evidences and to enjoy their interpretation.

In fact, the Greenland ice-sheet is a remnant of this prehistoric continental glacier.


[6] Muskrat fur is now also sold under its true name.

[7] Unfortunately in the Southern States there is an entirely different animal commonly called a "Salamander" which is in reality a pocket-gopher of the group of mammals.




A Garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! Rose plot Fringed pool, Fern'd grot— The veriest school Of peace; and yet the fool Contends that God is not— Not God! in gardens! when the eve is cool? Nay, but I have a sign; 'Tis very sure God walks in mine.Thomas Edward Brown.

A very old story tells us that when man was created he was put by the Creator into a garden to dress it and to keep it. He could not have been put into a better place nor could a more honorable and necessary occupation have been given to him. No doubt the woman who lived in the garden with him aided him in this work. Not having a house to care for or dressmaking and sewing to do, or cooking to take her attention, there was nothing to prevent her from helping in the dressing and keeping of the lovely garden. At any rate, that is what Milton thought, for he makes Adam speak to Eve of "our delightful task to prune these growing plants and tend these flowers."

Two persons would not need a very large garden, and I will commend this early example to the beginner in gardening and urge a very small garden to start with. For it is well to undertake only what can be easily handled or what can be done thoroughly. There is joy in the contemplation of a perfect work, even though it be on a small scale, that never comes from a more ambitious undertaking imperfectly carried out. Better six square feet of well tilled, weedless, thrifty garden than an acre poorly cultivated and full of weeds.

A Girl Scout who proposes to make a garden will naturally ask herself certain questions. If she has the ground, if she knows already where her garden is to be placed, the next thing, perhaps, that she will wish to know is, what tools will be needed. Then follows the way to treat the soil in order to prepare it for planting the seeds. After that comes the question of seeds and the way to plant them. Then the cultivation of the crops until they are ready to be gathered.

Here, then, we have material for short sections on (1) tools, (2) preparation of the soil, (3) selection of seeds, (4) planting, and (5) cultivation.

(1) Tools

Not many tools will be needed, but some seem to be indispensable. I would suggest: 1. A spading fork. Some like a long-handled fork, others prefer a short-handled one. 2. A hoe. 3. A garden or iron-toothed rake. 4. A hand weeder of some kind. 5. A shovel. In addition to these tools every gardener will find it necessary to have a line for making straight rows. This should be at least the length of the longest dimension of the garden and white that it may be easily seen. There should be two pegs to stick it in with. I should add a board about ten inches wide with straight edges and as long as the bed is wide, and a pointed stick.

(2) The Preparation of the Seed Bed

The first thing to do, after having determined the location of your garden, is to measure your bed. If you have a single bed, one twelve feet long by six feet wide is enough to start with. I should prefer, however, to have two beds, each three feet wide by twelve feet long with a narrow path between, say, twelve inches. The reason for thus laying out the ground in two beds is that it will be easier to reach the whole bed from either side without stepping or kneeling on the cultivated soil. All cultivation can be done from the paths.

The soil for flower beds needs most careful preparation. The bed should be dug out to a depth of two feet, and if the soil is clay, two feet six inches. In the latter case, put broken stones, cinders or gravel on the bottom for drainage. The soil should be a mixture of one-half good sandy loam, one-fourth leaf mould or muck that has been left out all winter. Mix these thoroughly together before filling the beds, sprinkle wood ashes over the beds and rake them in before planting. This is to sweeten the soil. Lime may be used for the same purpose, but in either case get advice as to the amount needed for the soil in question.

Manure. Next in order will come the enriching of this plot of ground by spreading upon it a good coating of well rotted cow manure. In case barnyard manure is not available, a good mixture of commercial fertilizer consists of four parts ground bone to one of muriate of potash applied at the rate of four pounds to the square rod. This done, proceed to fork the whole piece over, thrusting the spading fork into the ground its full length each time, and turning the forkful of earth so that the manure will be covered and not lie on top of the ground.

When the spading has been done, then use your rake and spare it not. Rake until the earth in the beds is finely pulverized and until the whole bed is as level as you can make it.

Now construct your central or dividing path, throwing the soil moved on the beds on either side. To do this you will need a shovel.

Next define or limit your beds, making the sides and ends as straight as possible. You ought now to have two rectangular beds, each three feet by twelve feet, with a narrow path separating them all ready to put in the seeds. It would be a good thing to have your beds raised a little, two or three inches above the general level of the surrounding earth. This will make them more distinct and will obviate the settling of water on your beds; in other words, will drain them.


The principal counsel to be given here is to use great care in the selection of seeds because it is a bitter disappointment and a discouraging experience to find that after all your labor your seeds are worthless. It would be well to test a sample of your seeds to determine their germinating power. If you have a reliable friend from whom you can secure your seeds, you are fortunate, but if you must purchase at the dealer by all means patronize one of established reputation.

For the first garden I should plant lettuce, radishes, beets and beans in one of the beds. The other bed may be devoted to flowers.


Your beds are now supposed to be all ready for the seeds. That is to say, they are shaped and graded and raked fine. The next thing to do is to lay your board across the bed, with one edge six inches from the edge of the bed. Then stand on the board and with a pointed stick make a shallow furrow on each side of the board close to the board. Here I should put the lettuce. It is desirable to have the seeds evenly and not too thickly distributed in the shallow furrows. One way of accomplishing this is by mixing your seeds with some very fine wood ashes in a bowl and spreading the mixed ashes and seeds along the furrows. A better way, I think, in the case of a small quantity of seeds would be to place each seed at a proper distance from the others. This distance will vary according to the size of the full grown heads of lettuce. The smaller varieties might stand six inches apart, while the largest ones would need to be twice that distance or more.

Having planted your lettuce seeds, turn your board over carefully twice. That will bring it into position for two more rows of vegetables. Stand on the board again and proceed as before, making two shallow furrows with a pointed stick. Here I should put the radish seeds. These may be sown more thickly, for the reason that as soon as the radishes become large enough to eat they may be pulled out, leaving room for the rest of the radishes to develop.

Having planted your radish seeds, repeat the preceding operations, making two furrows again, this time for beet seeds. These may also be sown thickly. The plants may be thinned out afterward. The small plants that are pulled out will make excellent greens. When the thinning is completed the remaining plants should stand from four to six inches apart, according to variety; some beets are much larger than others.

The rest of the bed devote to string or butter beans. You will have left for these a space of eighty-eight inches, or a little more than seven feet. The rows of beans must be farther apart than the other vegetables you have planted. Two feet between the rows is not too much. You will have space enough for three rows. Measure from your last row of beets one foot six inches at each side of your bed. Now stretch your line across your bed at this distance from the beets, then with a hoe make a furrow close to the line. This furrow should be two inches deep at least. Much deeper, you see, than the shallow furrows for the smaller seeds. Having made this furrow, measure two feet from it on each side of the bed and place your line at this point and make a furrow as before. Repeat the process for a third furrow. You should now have left a space of eighteen inches between your last furrow and the end of the bed. Into these three furrows place the beans, spacing them.

Your seeds are now all in. At this juncture take your rake and cover the seeds, leaving the whole bed level and smooth.

There is nothing more to be done just at present except to leave these seeds to the forces of nature, to the darkness and the moisture and the warmth of their earthy bed. They are put to bed not that they may sleep, but in order to wake them up. Soon the delicate shoots will begin to appear above the ground, and with them will also appear the shoots of many weeds whose seeds were in the soil. These weeds constitute a call to your next operation which is


Declare war on the weeds. Use your hand weeder between the rows of smaller vegetables and let not a weed escape. If they are in the rows so near to the seedlings that you cannot use the weeder without danger to the delicate little plants that you are attending, then employ your fingers.

For a time you may use the hoe or rake between the rows of beans, but even here near the paths themselves the weeder or hands should be preferred.

There is one caution that old gardeners give which is not to work among beans when they are wet with dew or rain for fear of "rust." Wait till the sun has dried the foliage.

* * * * *

Frequent and thorough cultivation not only destroys the weeds, thus giving your vegetables a better chance and giving your garden a tidy, well-kept appearance, but it keeps the soil loose and forms a sort of mulch whereby the moisture is conserved. The dryer the season the greater the need of cultivation.

* * * * *

It may seem to you that you are obliged to wait long and spend a good deal of labor without results, but when you have for the breakfast table some cool, crisp radishes and for dinner a head of fresh lettuce, and later a dish of sweet, luscious beets or mess of string beans, you will feel well repaid.

Let us now turn our attention to the other bed, in which you are to grow flowers. This may be treated as a sort of background for the vegetable bed. To do this let the rows of plants run the other way. That is to say, lengthwise of the bed instead of across. It is assumed that the ground has been treated as in the case of the vegetable bed.

When you have accomplished this work of preparation set your line six inches from the side of the bed nearest your vegetables, or the patch between the two beds. Make a shallow furrow the full length of the bed with your pointed stick. In this furrow sow your flower seeds of some low-growing plant such as sweet alyssum. Then move your line back toward the other side of the bed one foot. Here you should place some taller plants, such as asters. The aster plants should have been raised in the house, or purchased from some grower. Again move your line one foot nearer the rear margin of your bed and in this row plant your tallest plants. Dahlias or cosmos would be very effective. You must get the roots for the dahlias somewhere. Cosmos is planted from seeds. In planting the dahlias it would be well to dig a hole for each plant so deep that when the root is set it will be two or three inches below the surface of the ground. Good results will be obtained if before putting in the roots you put a handful or two of good manure in the hole and sprinkle a little soil over it.

I have mentioned these particular plants simply as specimens. Other choices may be made and a suggested list is given at the end of this section. But whatever the selection, two things should be kept in mind. First, that the rows should contain plants that vary in height, the lowest being placed in the front row, the tallest at the back; and second, that plants should be chosen that will be in bloom at the same time, for at least a part of the season.

If your work has been well done you ought to have a small bed of vegetables, thrifty, in straight rows, well cultivated, clean, and back of that, looking from the side, another bed of flowering plants that should be a delight to the eye, especially the eye of the possessor and maker. Of course, the beds will not present this perfect appearance for a long time because as the vegetables are used the beds will show where the vegetables have been removed. It should be mentioned, however, that it is possible to have more than one planting of radishes in a season; also of lettuce, and these may be replaced after the first planting has been used.

There are many satisfactions in gardening. The intimacy with nature furnishes one of them. To be with growing things through all the stages of their growth, in all weathers and all hours of the day gives a quiet pleasure that is a healing and soothing influence. To produce something so valuable, so necessary as food by one's own exertion and care confers true dignity upon one and a sense of worth. To eat what one has raised oneself adds a flavor to it.

From the garden as a center path, lead out in every direction, paths for thought and study.

My wish for every Girl Scout who undertakes a garden is that she may have all these satisfactions, and may follow all these delightful paths that lead to knowledge, and through knowledge to joy.

Suggested Flowers for Border

Biennials such as Canterbury Bells, Foxgloves and Sweet William should be seeded early in the spring in a reserve bed to be ready for the season's bloom. In order to secure a succession of bloom they should be taken out after flowering and replaced with annuals.

Annuals—Of these some of the most satisfactory are Asters, Calendula, Lupin, Petunias, Rosy Morn, Snapdragon, Stock and Rose Zinnias.

Take out any plants that are not the right colors. Brown earth is better than purple annual Larkspur, magenta Petunias, orange Calendulas or red Zinnias. Keep the color scheme ranging from true blues through rose and salmon pinks, lavenders and deep blue purples and white yellows. If you want brilliant reds or magentas have them in a bed apart.

Bulbs—Tulips, such as Murillo, or early varieties (La Reine, Pink Beauty, President Lincoln, Proserpine, Queen of the Netherlands and Rose Luisante), or late varieties (La Merveille, La Reve, Moonlight, The Fawn) and Mertensiav Virginica can be along the borders.

Darwin Tulips, such as Clara Butt, Dream, Gretchen, La Tristesse, La Tulipe Noire, Mrs. Potter Palmer, Philippe de Commines, Psyche, Rev. Ewbank, Suzon, should be planted in more shaded places.

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