There will always be need of instruction in the elementary branches for some boys and in the business or commercial branches for others, but by far the largest number will be attracted and held to some kind of educational work which involves the use of the hands.
If to this we can add the club idea we will have something that is worth while, for work and play will be properly combined.
The work that is being done by the Boys' Club at Avenue A and Tenth street, New York City, proves this. In that club 15.000 boys are grouped into many small clubs. These groups of boys have become so numerous that the evening time schedule is divided into sections so that the different groups can use the same room at different hours.
The Holyoke, Mass., Association has made a success of industrial work in its club, called the "Boys Busy Builders." The New York Society for Ethical Culture conducts practical work by taking out groups of boys to inspect bridges, who then return and construct with their own hands miniature bridges after having examined those braces and beams which are the strongest and the way in which they are used. They study derricks and other constructive devices in the same way.
The boys at Springfield, Ohio, rebuilt and refurnished their own rooms. They made the furniture and put in the fireplace. They construct their own game tables and make their own magazine covers. The boys can and want to do all these things when the work is attractive, and especially when it is competitive.
'Another very important line of educational work that the Association can advance is that of encouraging young men and boys to enter college. Why cannot the Association organize college clubs having for their motto, "Every man to have a college training?" If this were done and under the direction of such a club life talks on various occupations by prominent men were arranged, could not a desire for something higher be created in the lives of young men ?
When we learn of the remarkable cases of men who have attained positions of influence and honor because they were given an opportunity and because they had it in them, does it not make us more eager to take hold of our work to develop manhood with the earnestness which it deserves? Our greatest task is to inspire boys and make "indifferent boys different".