“A group of boys interested in a study of fish may well be organized for an all-day trip to the root of the rapids or the bay of springs; others with geological preferences may spend a night on the top of the distant hill which offers outcroppings of interest; the embryo botanists cannot do better than to take a bog trot for the rare orchid, anomalous pitcher plant, or glistening sun dew; lovers of the deep shade may paddle to the inlet of the creek and there enjoy a side trip on the fragrant carpet of hemlock and pine needles; thus it will be found that by anticipating the probable findings in which the particular group is interested the leader gives a point and purpose, adding not only to the enjoyment of the outing, but imparting, in addition, some satisfactory knowledge of the vicinity.”
Longfellow said that a “strong evidence of goodly character was the thoughtfulness one displayed in caring for a tree.” One of the best things at Camp Becket was a series of out-door talks on nature given by Silas H. Berry. Seated on a huge rock, he told the boys about the shaping and clothing of the earth, foundation stones, mountains and hills, lakes, ponds, and rivers, the beginning of vegetable life, the variation and place of the freak, the forest and its place in the world’s progress, the alternation of the forest crop, man and his neighbors. Another afternoon the boys went into the woods and while they squatted on Nature’s mattress of fragrant pine needles (see illustration, page 230), he told about leaves and their work, cells and their place, roots and their arrangement, tendrils and their mechanism, flowers and their devices, seeds and their travels. The third talk was upon the evolution of plant life, law and logic of creation, perpetuation of life in the lower forms, edible and poisonous mushrooms, and the perpetuation of life in the higher forms. The boys had a different conception of life thereafter and they possessed that nature-love which always tends toward naturalness and simplicity of living. They could sing with feeling.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills.
How Nature Study Should be Taught—Edward F. Bigelow, Ph.D. Hinds, Noble and Eldridge, $1.00. A book of inspiration. Many practical suggestions are given for arousing interest among boys in Nature Study.
The Nature Study Idea—Liberty H. Bailey. Macmillan Co., $1.25 net. An interpretation of the new movement to put the boy in sympathy with Nature.
Field and Forest Handy Book—Dan Beard. Charles Scribner’s Sons, $2.00. Nothing better published for the benefit of those having permanent camps. It should be placed in the hands of every boy.
Outdoors, Indoors, and Up the Chimney—Charles McIlvaine. Sunday School Times Co., 75 cents net. A series of interesting stories about commonplace things. Just the kind of information to give a boy on rainy days.