The Guide to Being an American Boy

I dropped out of Boy Scouts, but couldn’t resist revisiting Troop 150 when I ran across a 1960s version of the Boy Scout Handbook:

The 1965 version begins with the exhortation “YOU—American Boy,” and subsequent questions like “Why hike?” receive variants of, “Because you are an American boy!” What follows are mostly practical tips: proper use of a pocket knife, extracting poisons (“Dilute it! Dilute it!! DILUTE IT!!!”), hiking protocol, and recipes for a variety of meals, like broiled steak and baked potatoes, caveman steak and roast corn, and ground steak with home-fried potatoes. For those covered in snow this week, the handbook says braving winter in the outdoors “is not for softies. It is only for fellows who have the guts to face whatever hardships come their way.”

The full review, here.


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