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Patrol Practices In Spooring

Prepare a tracking ground by picking a piece of soft ground, about ten to fifteen yards square, and making it quite smooth with a roller by sweeping it over. Part of the ground should be wet as if by rain, the other part dry. Make one boy walk across it, then run, then bicycle. Explain the difference in the tracks, so that the Scouts of the Patrol can tell at once from any tracks they may see afterwards whether a person was walking or running.

Send out a boy to make tracks and let the Patrol track him and notice when any other tracks override his, showing what people or animals have passed since. The boy may wear tracking irons strapped to the soles of his boots. Or he may have a few nails hammered into the sole or into the butt of his staff in a pattern that will make an unmistakable track.

Study the age of tracks by making fresh tracks a day later alongside the old. Notice the difference in appearance, so that the Scouts can learn to judge the age of tracks.

Make each' Scout make a track of his shoe in soft ground and draw a diagram of it on paper.

Send Patrols along different roads, and let them return with reports on tracks seen whether of people, or vehicles or animals.

Make plaster casts of tracks. Build a wall round the track, of mud. Pour water into a mug or cup, slowly add plaster of Paris, stir all the time, until it is like very thick cream-just pourable. Then pour into track. When almost dry, scratch on date, where found, etc. When absolutely dry, dig out carefully and wash.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: Games In Spooring

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to the previous page: Hints On Spooring

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