On the TOTEM-BOARD No.3 Jan. I; 1918

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1) Snow Hunger Crow Grass Planting Rose Moons Moons THE WOODCRAFT LEAGUE OF AMERICA Vol. 1 No. 3 13 West 29th Street New York City On the TOTEM-BOARD January 1918 Then came the Cold, Down from the Sky there fell a white blanket, the Sun-god's blanket, and Nin-na-bo-jou cried: “Now I sleep, Let all my creatures sleep, and be at peace, even as Chaska-water sleeps” The Ducks and the Geese flew far to the South the Woodchuck went to his couch, the Bear and the Snake and the Bullfrog, the Treebugs slept, and the Blanket covered them all. (Woodmyth & Fable. E.T.Seton) Thunder Red Hunter Leaf-fall Mad Long night Woodcraft League of America 13 West 29th St. New York 2)

The Totem Board
January — Vol. 1, No. 3
A News Bulletin published occasionally by the Council of Guidance of The Woodcraft League of America, Inc. 13 West 29th Street, New York City.
Ernest Thompson Seton President and Chief
Grace Gallatin Seton Vice-President
Elon Huntington Hooker Treasurer
Mark Sullivan Secretary
Philip D. Fagans Executive Secretary

Another Snow!

It was two snows ago (December, 1915) that a small group of men and women met and organized the Woodcraft League of America. From the world standpoint into these two years probably more of history has been crammed than in any period since the world began. The world has been engaged in history´s biggest war, whole nations have been wiped from the map and the lite of every nation revolutionized.

So now in the Snow Moon as we look back over these past months of Woodcraft Work we see that they have been full of history for us as well. We have given to the world a Manual for Boys and a Manual for Girls which are recognized as the best and used by leaders of all groups and organization. During 1917 we have rendered a real national service through the Woodcraft Potato Clubs, which in twenty-six states with 2,650 members, had a dig part in stimulating potato growing and gardening and increasing the nation’s food supply “The Hoe Behind the Flag”. “Potatriotism” and other phrases of ours became watchwords in a nation’s life. The Canning work was admirably developed in some communities.

The Woodcraft League has co-operated with many of the national service movements. In the Liberty Bond campaign our Vice-President acted as chairman of a committee which sold $3,000,000 of bonds. We loaned our Executive Secretary to the Y.M.C.A. War Work Fund campaign.

We have had a wholesome growth in numbers, having 4,971 members December 1st. an increase of 111% over last year and 104 tribes, an increase of 99% over last year.

The Woodcraft Program has been tried in city and country, in home and institution. Never once when carefully followed has it been found anything but a powerful means of building character of the sort the nation needs most now and in the days to come.

We have grown in numbers, but we have grown most in a knowledge of the needs for the future. We must make every Woodcraft Tribe actually a powerful means for building character. This will require many things. We shall aim this coming year to help the local leaders to do the work they want to do and the work we want to see them do. The Membership ticket, the Tribal Committee, The Member´s Application Blank; The Woodcraft Ranger, the new War Times Honors, Instructions for Guides, these and other steps will insure Woodcraft a good year in 1918.

Here then to 1918! May it see Woodcraft helping every member to be “Happy, Healthy and Helpy”. This is the greeting from the Chief, Black Wolf, the officers and the Council of Guidance to the guides, members and contributors of the Woodcraft League of America.

Woodcraft Ranger.

Believing that the Woodcraft Work will be furthered by having in certain cities and towns a person qualified to act as the representative of the League, the Council of Guidance on December 3rd created such an office under the title of Woodcraft Ranger.

The following resolution passed at that time will give our members a clear idea of the Ranger’s duties and responsibilities. That the Woodcraft League appointed in cities and communities where it may seem desirable and possible a Woodcraft Ranger for Boys’ Work; also a Woodcraft Ranger for Girls’ Work.

A Woodcraft Ranger should have a comprehension of the Woodcraft League work — its spirit and ideals, as well as a clear idea of its organization. These qualifications must be ascertained by a representative of the League in a personal interview.

The Ranger on appointment shall receive commission in the form of a special membership card, signed by the Chief and the Executive Secretary.

The duties of a Ranger shall be as follows:

1. To acquaint the community with the character building possibilities of Woodcraft.

2. To work chiefly through existing organizations in starting tribes of Woodcraft Boys and Woodcraft Girls.

3. To supervise the appointment of Guides and of Tribal Committees.

4. Report quarterly.

The following Rangers have accepted appointment:

Benjamin Heller, Lancaster. Penn.

Prof. Hugh Findlay, University of Syracuse, Syracuse, N.Y.

Cover of the New Membership Ticket, Ready February 1st.

The Query Sign!

(Under this department questions will be answered regarding conduct of Woodcraft Work.)

Question: “How can a Guide promote the idea of the boys and girl buying the War Thrift Stamps?”

Remember that one of the fundamental principles of Woodcraft is to study the child and its instincts. When you can use these instincts. Best results will come through what you can get the children to do rather than through what you say, Make sure, then, that one or more of the members own War Thrift Stamps. At the next meeting before the roll is called arrange to tell the members something of the purpose and value of the War Thrift Stamp plan. Then as the roll is called have each member, instead of answering present, say “So many War Thrift Stamps”. One Head Guide who has found this particularly successful also has each member say “So many coups and so many War Thrift Stamps”. This puts the whole thing on the record, lets the tribe know which members are doing real work and is a constant incentive to saving. 3)

The Chief’s Corner.

We are to consider initiations in this number, and we find the initiation of great and good importance provided it is something which cannot do harm or lead to mischief, and which tends to make one guard against some weakness of character.

We had in one camp a boy who was very sloppy in his ways. He was just a little behind time always and his work was never quite finished. His speech was mumbling and uncertain. There was a lack of precision in all he did. He wished to join as a Wayseeker and now came the initiation test.

As usual we selected on that which bore on his besetting sin. We gave him the “business test” or “exact obedience”. He was told to stand up at attention and receive his instructions.

“You are to come back here at exactly to o'clock, bring in your left hand two willow rods exactly 31 inches long each, as thick as your little finger, straight, white, peeled, one like the other. That is your initiation. If you are a minute early or a minute late you have failed. If the sticks are different, or longer or shorter, you have failed”.

At half a minute after to he was there with the sticks. They were straight, white, peeled, willows, as thick as his little finger, one like the other, but they were 31½ inches long.

“Why did you make them 31½ inches when I said 31?”

“Well”, he drawled, “the fellows all said –-– ”

“That's enough”, was the answer.

“Because of some tittle-tattle among the fellows you would change your official instructions from headquarters, and then you came half a minute too late In other words, you have failed. Now go and sit in the shadow“. Which meant in the shadow of failure.

For one day he was excluded from the boats and the games. Then we gave him another chance – again he failed and had to sit in the shadow. But the third time he succeeded in passing triumphantly and had a much larger respect for the initiations and the degree of Wayseeker when he was entered.

In one camp when there were special reasons for a severe initiation we gave the business test in double degree, i.e. four rods, etc. If you think it is easy go and try it. Of course one initiation is all that any one member is expected to pass.


Changes in the Council of Guidance.

Miss Jean W. Miller, one of the first members of the Council of Guidance and active not only in the work of the Woodcraft Girls, but in the Potato Club work as well, has resigned in order to take up Y.M.C.A. Canteen Work with the American Expeditionery Force in France Judge Wm. H. Wadhams, who because of his duties was unable to continue, has also resigned, as has John L. Alexander of Chicago. The League will not lose the services of these members, as all have accepted places on the Advisory Council of the League.

Ben S. Nash was elected to fill the place of Judge Wadhams Mr. Nash is an active Guide and has been Chairman of the Boys’ Work Committee for several months. His election to the Council of Guidance will greatly strengthen the League, and particularly the Boys’ Work, which will be under his charge from now on, Miss Miller’s successor has not yet been elected, it being the plan of the Council of Guidance to find some one who will at the same time act as Chairman of the Girls’ Work Committee.

Doctor W. George W. Anthony has been elected to take the place of Mr. John L. Alexander. Doctor Anthony is Vicar of Saint Augustine Chapel, where the Woodcraft Work has been conducted for the last two years, there being a Woodcraft Tribe for Boys, for Girls and a Little Lodge. Doctor Anthony will be a strength to the League as Chairman of the Committee on Honors.

Potato Club Prizes.

Prize Winners — Largest Amount in 24 Hills.

It was a great national service that the Woodcraft League rendered when the Woodcraft Potato Clubs were organized early last spring and thus started the movement for the use of back yards and sunny lots. As a result, thousands of acres of potatoes were planted and the food supply greatly increased. There were 2,650 members in 26 different states, not to mention the work done in canning, etc.

Already plans are under way for the coming summer.

The report of the Committee on Prizes follows:

For growing the largest amount of potatoes from 24 hills:

First prize — Orillia Hollis, New York City 76¼ lbs.

Second prize — Emerson Stearns, Scarsdale. N.Y. 67 lbs.

Third prize — Raphael Carroll, Valley Cottage 20 lbs.

For growing the largest potato in 24 hills:

Fist prize — David Beal Willets, Scarsdale, N.Y. 15 oz.

Second prize — Helen Raffo, Valley Cottage 14¾ oz.

Third prize — Orillia Hollis, New York City 14¼ oz.

A handsome silk flag valued at $75 will be forwarded to the list prize winners in each case. Second prize is a solid silver medal and the third prize a bronze medal (all especially designed).

William Pickers of Montague, California, grew 68 pounds of potatoes in 24 hills and had one potato weighing 15½ ozs., but his report was not received until after the prizes were awarded.

The following leaders of groups are given medals for particularly fine work in encouraging young people in agricultural work:

Mrs. Philip Lewisohn, Monmouth County Woodcraft Potato Club.

Mrs. Leonard B. Schoenfeld, Monmouth County Woodcraft Canning Club.

Mrs. Burton Emmett, Valley Cottage Woodcraft Potato Club.

Mr. Albert Hines, Madison Square Boys’ Woodcraft Potato Club.

As a result of the work done by the Woodcraft Potato Clubs in raising potatoes the interests of the public was centered on potato growing and the potato crop greatly increased.

We wish to congratulate every member of the Woodcraft Potato Clubs for this practical piece of “Potatriotism”, and trust you are already making plans for the coming season, which should witness the greatest growth in potatoes and other vegetables that our country has even seen.

Sincerely yours,


Committee on Prizes, the Woodcraft Potato Clubs.

The Potato Club Medal 4)


There never was a time when the value of the Woodcraft training was more clearly demonstrated than now. Men at the front testify to its value. We lay great emphass on “The Thinking Hand.” “The Seeing Eye.” on initiative and team-play, and just now we believe that the best approach to these is through America is called on the use of the emotions of the moment to fight for its existence and every boy and girl man and woman must respond.

A committee consisting of Dr. W. G. W. Anthony, Miss Anne S. Grumman and Mr. Fred. R. Hoisington have gone over the matter carefully with a number of our Guides, and as a result the following War Time Honors have heen adopted.

Woodcraft is the science of living and emphasizes particularly the use of instincts. We are now living in a time of war, which brings prominently to a point the instinct of loyalty to one’s group: that is Patriotism so far as it relates to one's country.

Woodcraft Boys and Girls can render service to the country. The Council of Guidance believes such service should be recognized, standardized and energized by presenting Honors for exploits and accomplishments inspired by Patriotism.

War Time Honors — War Time Coups.

(As coups are given in recognition of the attainment of a certain standard a coup or grand coup will be awarded only once for any exploit. No repetition is allowed.)


All the articles mentioned below must be accepted by the Red Cross or other relief agency of like standing before Coup is granted.

1. Organize Red Cross Auxiliary for ten members or secure twenty-five members for Red Cross, coup; organize Auxiliary of twenty-five or secure fifty members, grand coup.

2, Act as officer of a successful Red Cross Auxiliary for one year. Coup.

3. Pass First Aid Test of Red Cross. Grand coup. (See Class VI, Boys’ Manual, page 369; Girls’ Manual, page 351.)

4. Teach ten persons to knit for War Rehef purposes, coup; teach twenty-five, grand coup. (Person is considered to have been taught when she hax completed one article and had it accepted.)

5. Spend at least two hours weekly for ten weeks making surgical dressings or hospital garments for Red Cross. Coup.

6. Knit a sweater and wristlets or knit a helmet and socks. (Takes about three hanks of wool.) Coup. For a grand coup: Knit a set — sweater, scarf, helmet, wristlets, socks.

7. Knit a scarf or wristlets. Coup for Little Lodge only.

8. Make dresses or other garments for children in the war zone. (French, Belgian, etc.) Time spent on this coup to be at least twenty hours. Coup.

9. Coup or grand coup may be claimed for any relief work of like character to above done for any authorized agency. All such claims must be passed on by the Coup Committee of the Council of Guidance at National Headquarters,


10. Coup or grand coup may be claimed for establishing and maintaining an additional garden since the war began for the purpose of increasing the food supply. All such claims must be passed on by the Coup Committee of the Council of Guidance at National Headquarters.

11, Distribute Food Conservation cards, or perform other like service for Conservation Committee; not less than twenty hours time to be given.

12. Dry twenty-five pounds (weight when dried) of food. Coup.

13. Can and preserve three dozen jars of food. This must be in addition to the normal supply for household purposes.

14. Prepare five appetizing well-balanced meals without meat, wheat or cane sugar; write a paper explaining the substitutes used and the value of them. Coup or grand coup, according to merit.

15. Collect 500 pounds of paper, sell and donate the sum realized to some war relief work. Coup.

16. Collect 50 pounds of rubber, sell and donate the sum realized to some war relief work. Coup.

17. Collect 20 pounds of tinfoil, sell and donate the sum realized to some war relief work. Coup.

18. Do at least 100 hours of farm work for which pay may be received. Coup.


19. Distribute Liberty Loan posters or circulars; time consumed to be not less than twenty hours. Coup.

20. Sell $400 worth of Liberty Bonds or other War Issues. Coup.

21. Sell $50 worth of War Saving Stamps. Coup.

22. Buy with money earned or saved a Liberty Bond. Coup.

23. Do without candy, or stay away from movies and purchase a War Thrift certificate ($5) with the money so saved. Coup.


24. Coup or grand coup as in first coup, Class V, Boys’ Manual, page 368; Girls’ Manual, page 350.

25. Mail 100 magazines of recent date to soldiers in camp, coup; mail 250, grand coup. (Magazines may be taken to the public library, where they will be mailed free.)

26. Be responsible for having friends mail 200 magazines as in coup 26, coup; for a grand coup, 500.

27. Send 5 food packets or comfort kits to soldiers or sailors in service.

War Time Degree.

Fifteen, of the above coups will entitle the holder to a War Time Degree. For five of these coups five tests may be substituted from the Citizen Degree (Boys’ Manual, page 385; Girls’ Manual, page 367), or from the Patriotism Degree (Boys’ Manual, page 414; Girls’ Manual, page 396). Each applicant for a War Time Degree must own at least one War Certificate ($5) or one Liberty or other War Issue bond.


(Instructions for knitting the articles mentioned may be obtained from Red Cross Chapters or from the Headquarters of the Woodcraft League.)

“Politeness the Best Policy.”

(Extract from Diary of a British Officer in the Battle of Somme)

Captain A. Radclyffe Dugmore.—

“Among the rations was a delicious ham which took my fancy, for I had not had any real food since the beginning of the battle. The dugout was so small that eating in it was out of the question, so the haw was placed on a sand bag on the side of the trench. Taking a knife and fork from my knapsack, I was about to cut a nice fat slice, but at the moment I put the fork into the ham a messenger came along, and with due politeness I stepped back against the side of the trench, which was very narrow, in order to give him room. Scarcely had he passed than with a dull, sickening screech a piece of shell casing came flying down and struck the sand bag exactly where my left wrist would have been had I continued the ham cutting operation. Besides taking my hand off, it would have undoubtedly have destroyed my wrist watch, and as this had been given to me by my wife, it would have been most annoying, while to have lost my hand while carving a ham would not have been very glorious. I doubt if I would ever have had the satisfaction of claiming to have been “wounded in action”. For a souvenir I dug the piece of iron out of the sand bag, it having gone completely through one and partly through the second, and then I cut the ham, which proved to be quite as good as it looked.”