Lonecraft 1913 a Handbook for Lone Scouts by John Hargrave or White Fox.

John Hargrave’s book for Lone Scouts or Lone Patrols has some of his distinctive drawings, being staff artist to The Scout magazine or journal.

This 1913 book is available in full and free via archive.org:


We have previously covered a little John Hargrave’s life in previous posts.

What possible information can I find in this book that is of interest to my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop project? What can I find that enriches understanding or feel for the history and spirit of scouting in its earliest days?

John Hargrave’s strange signature … and a poem in homage to Ernest Thompson Seton or “Black Fox”

Some of the colonial history from an Empire long gone … Lone Scouts scattered without a nearby patrol in many rural areas across the Empire and islands.

The language or roles similar to the Camp Fire Girls, rather than Boy Scouts creeps in – Patrol Leader, Second, but Totem Bearer, Keeper of the Council Fire? Some Totem elements would appear in his involvement with the 1920s Kibbo Kift .

Nature Lore was important … and fables.

Reading sign …

Letter carriers and box kites …

Laurence Hargrave (any relation to John?) invented a box kite as we know it, a precursor of early aeroplane design. I can imagine a Boy Scout patrol with box kite aerial signal …

Yet again Hargrave acknowledges his debt to Ernest Thompson Seton (Black Fox).


Alarming illustration at first … The Brotherhood

Some First Aid and Health advice, 1919, shorter than but not unlike Ruth Clark’s similar but longer section in Camp Fire Training for Girls.

Totems or animal names and symbols, again drawing heavily on Native Americans

From picture letters to sketch maps and the importance of observation: “Nine tenths of drawing is seeing”

A suitable map for a Wide Game scenario maybe one day.

Various tribal songs or “jingles”, chants and dances are included by GH and JH (John Hargrave), JH’s words set to well known tunes of the time.

Morris and folk dancing enjoyed a revival in the 1910s and 1920s, thanks to Cecil Sharp and others.

Strange dance notation

And finally Hargrave / White Fox’s parting words to his Lone Scouts

Lone Scouting by John Hargrave, an interesting parallel to the development of ritual and activities in British and American Camp Fire Girls and also to the Girl Guide / Scout and Boy Scout Movement in Britain and America.

Selected screenshots chosen and posted by Mark “Man Of TIN”, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, retired) on 8 May 2023.