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The EBL book, ALONG THE MOHAWK TRAIL, written by Fitzhugh was the book that inspired the early BSA movement to commission the other series that Fitzhugh produced over the next 20+ years.
I just read Along the Mohawk Trail, written 1912, (online via Google Books) and found it utterly preposterous. It portrayed Scouts sleeping under the night sky instead of in a proper tent, using Morse code to signal across a distance of three miles by using a bonfire, actually throwing their pocket knives to play mumbly-peg; it even had two Scouts hike around the Adirondacks for two weeks without any adult supervision. Total fantasy.
There was mention of a rather interesting POR. I'm not sure what 'troop jester' actually did
As I have said, these books are a fantastic read, but this was back when there was real scouting going on.
Wait until you get to the Tom Slade and Roy Blakeley books. The camp cook was a negro gentleman nicknamed Chocolate Drop, and one of the boys in (I think it was Roy's Silver Fox Patrol), was nicknamed Stut, the young man stuttered.
I think the troop jester would be something like a GBB CheerMaster. I'm thinking Pee Wee, may have held position
It tends to be a bit of Charlie Brown syndrome going on, A ton of boys all having fun and a distinct lack of adult supervision if much interaction at all.
And the best part I always liked was summer camp lasted.... well, all summer!
Now that I think about it more, Boomerscout, maybe I ought to just burn my collection before the black Expeditions show up at my front door.
While some of the books published back then, mostly those never officially authorized in any manner by BSA, were preposterous and that is why they were not recommended officially, they were fairly standard boy pulp material. Most of the EBL titles had at least some semblance of scouting in them, though a bit of a stretch sometimes and not likely to be the norm.
But, as noted, scouts and other older teens very often went out on their own back then, and the "real patrol" sometimes went sans adults on a regular basis. It was a different world with many youth activities that today would have someone arrested for neglect or child endangerment. In Scouting, they eventually modified controls for safer activity during the heydays of the forties and fifties. Now our society is so afraid of their shadows and litigation that we too often hold normal growing up back; and the results show every day in kids that have few if any skills, and are afraid to even try because of faux fears and lack of confidence from never being allowed to have real challenge.
Of the EBL's 73 titles that are verified, some are handbooks and outdoor skills, and there are a number of noted authors in the mix as well such as Jack London, Jules Verne, and O'Henry.