Big Rock Publishing presents the Centennial Edition of The Boy Scout Series, originally published in 1913, and written by Maj. Archibald Lee Fletcher. This edition features a foreword written by P. Todd Kelly, noted Scouting historian and Ronald J. Stacey, Editor.
In the foreword, Kelly and Stacey point out some similarities and quite a few differences between America in 1913 and talk about the general state of affairs in the nation and the world at large. Readers also will learn a great deal about how Scouting differed in its early days from the movement it became over the past one hundred years.
The foreword itself provides a history lesson in its own right, but when paired with the beautiful prose of Fletcher (whom the reader will learn was really a pseudonym for St. George Rathborne) and the depth of characterizations presented, this work becomes a telling snapshot of life in the early part of the 20th century.
The first six books in the series focus on the boys of the Beaver Patrol of Beverly, Indiana, as they experience Scouting adventures: Andy, the ‘hot-blooded Southern lad’; the timorous tenderfoot Babe; Seth, a jokester who can switch to fighting mode at a moment’s notice; the peaceful yet deeply valiant Quaker boy Jotham; Fritz, the gifted tracker and ambitious second in command; Eben, the struggling bugler; the roly-poly and heavily-accented German boy Noodles; and of course, Paul, the courageous and almost superhuman Patrol Leader.
The final six volumes in the series follow another Beaver Patrol – of the First Chicago Troop. Let the reader be aware. These stories are true adventure stories and the reader will see these scouts armed, find them without adult supervision and will find them in more grownup situations than the scouts in the first six books of this series
Nevertheless, these six titles that make up the final chapters of The Boy Scout Series by Fletcher are delightful reading. The members of this incarnation of the Beaver Patrol will soon become as familiar to readers as the previously introduced members of the Troop from Beverly, Indiana. In these books, we meet a group of four boys of sixteen, without family ties, who share an apartment in the city. Each of them holds down full time employment in the city, while still finding time to participate in Scouting activities.
Members of the patrol include: George Benton, blue-eyed, imaginative and inclined to be a student of history. George is the leader of the Beaver Patrol. He is employed at State Street department store, where he works eight hours a day at a basement bargain counter, for eight dollars a week. Charley Green, fleshy and blond, is known to his friends as “Sandy,” Sandy is employed in the mail room of a daily newspaper.
Will Smith, athletic, brown-eyed, and inclined to look on the dark side of life, holds a clerk position in the office of a well-known criminal lawyer, who will become the benefactor of the Patrol.
Finally, Tommy Gregory, red-headed, freckled, and as full of tricks as a young monkey, is a messenger boy down in the loop district of Chicago.