The Knights of King Arthur: How to Begin and What to Do
THE AGE TO SELECT.
There comes a time when boys begin to outgrow mere physical activities, boisterous play and the desire to parade in uniform, and like to get together as indoors friends, to talk and plan and work together, and to feel exclusive and perhaps a bit superior. When they have come to this age they are ready to organize a Castle.
This time begins when boys are about thirteen years old. Boys have been organized successfully as Castles before this, but such Castles generally need a good deal of informality, noise and freedom. And boys of less than thirteen are, with some fairness, regarded as more or less of a nuisance, if they are grouped with boys who are two years older than themselves. The advice would be either to start the boys of thirteen and over, or else to have a senior and a junior Castle.
THE FIRST CONCLAVE.
Select a Sunday school class or a small group of boys likely to be congenial, and propose to them the idea of a boys' club. The outlines of the proposition may be given to one or two who seem to be leaders, so that they may be ready to support the plan at the first meeting with their enthusiasm.
Invite the boys upon a given night to the place of meeting. Arriving first, arrange the chairs in a circle, as typical of the Table Round which they are about to enter.
After the boys have gathered and the ice--if there be any--is broken, give them a short but carefully prepared talk, explaining the plan. Several approaches are good. One may be their already expressed interest, and some specific purpose which they have already stated. Tell them that the club is to be the realization of this interest and is to stand for the purposes which they already anticipate. In coming up to the specific idea of the Castle, it is good to remind them of the powerful Orders which have already existed for the support of the Church. They will know of the Knights of Columbus in the Roman Catholic Church, and most of them will have heard of the Knights of Malta and of the Crusaders. Tell them that the oldest and largest Protestant Order is called the Knights of King Arthur, and that it is composed of boys. With this Order it is proposed that these boys shall affiliate themselves. This statement at once sets the key of the endeavor--that it is sympathetic with and is allied to the local church.
Lest the boys should suppose that the society is a prayer-meeting organization, state at once, that, like the ancient Orders, this one engages in a great variety of activities, and that the freedom of its charter is such that anything that is proper for boys to do may be done under the shelter of this society. But impress the desirability of being in something that is (1) big, in which there are already thousands of their own age; something that is (2) exclusive, into which not every boy can enter, until he has proved his worth; something that is (3) enjoyable, in which there are all kinds of fun; and something that is (4) worth while, in which they may make friendships, learn something and do something for other people.
The one purpose of the first meeting is to generate imaginative enthusiasm, so that each boy will go away to dream of the wonderful movement into which he has the privilege of coming.
We said imaginative enthusiasm. Every boy is a day dreamer. He adds a glamor to everything he experiences. We want him to see a halo around this from the beginning. And so, after having recognized his self-centered love of a good time, as we have in the opening talk, we want now to inspire him with the poetry of the King Arthur plan. To this end the leader should have filled his own heart full of the King Arthur legends, and he should now tell one of them, briefly but with animation. Begin with the story of the boy King Arthur, whose right to the kingdom was doubted, and tell how by the test of the sword in the anvil he reached his coronation. Tell how, with the help of his knights, he brought under his rule the warring provinces of England, and how he established the Round Table, as an order composed of his bravest knights, to defend England and the English church. Now flash upon the boys the beautiful legend of his departure to Avalon and of his promised return, to rule a fairer kingdom. King Arthur has come back, as promised! Here are we sitting to-night about the Table Round, and we are going to continue to stand here for the things for which King Arthur stood, courage, clean living, joyous play and service for others.
The following brief statement will be sufficient to show the general plan of a modern Castle of the Knights:
It is a fraternity, private but not secret, self-governing and under the control of the local church. It is based upon the oldest English Christian legend, that of the Round Table. It is a revival of the nobler side of medieval chivalry. The thought is to fulfil the prophecy of King Arthur that he would return to re-establish a kingdom of righteousness, honor and service. The boys collectively are a Castle. Each boy takes the name of some ancient knight or some hero, ancient or modern, and tries to represent his knightly traits. He starts as a Page, and undergoes a humorous, harmless but instructive initiation. The keynote in this stage of the boys' fraternity experience is Obedience. It is intended to take some of the conceit out of him and to give the adult leader a chance to watch him for his possibilities, while he, in turn, is learning to see how he will like his new relationships. After a season, when he has manifested evidences of the possession of the right spirit, he may be advanced to the rank of Esquire. The keynote of this stage is Habit. The Esquires constitute usually the working body in the Castle. It is they who are learning to live nobly and fraternally together. In order to become an Esquire, each boy must have had suitable instruction regarding the discipline of his body and concerning his personal ideals. He must also be able to give a short biography of his chosen hero. Still later he may be elevated to the rank of Knight, usually after he has become a member of his church. The keynote of this stage is Service. Each boy is expected to begin his life in this degree by a "quest" for others. All of these ranks are open to every member who fulfils the required conditions of entrance.Now explain the arrangement of a Castle Hall.
In the Castle Hall there is a "Siege Perilous," which may be occupied only by such as have performed some worthy deed, recognized as such by the boys, and who thereafter are honored with the title of Baronet. Other higher ranks are open to all members who conform to the requirements.
The boys themselves fill the various Castle offices, from Sentinel to King. The adult leader represents King Arthur's hoary counsellor, Merlin.
The seats, as we have said, are placed in a circle, or oval. A round or square table may stand in the center and this is very convenient in a meeting where the boys are conducting business so that they may put their elbows on the table and sit near, facing one another. At more lively sessions, however, a circle of chairs is enough to suggest the Table Round. The King is seated at the head of the circle in a more imposing chair, perhaps on a raised platform or an ornamented throne with canopy. At the far end from the King is the chair of the Constable, who keeps order and acts as critic of the exercises. The Sentinel has a seat near the Castle gate so as to prevent the entrance of any late comer or visitor until the appropriate time. Just inside the circle and below and before the Throne is the table where sits Merlin, the adult leader, with his assistant, Kay, the Seneschal, who keep the records. It is customary later to arrange the Chancellors, the executive committee, in the seats at the right of the king, and the Chamberlains, those who are in charge of the initiations, at his left. Upon the raised platform, immediately at the King's right, will be placed an empty chair. This seat should be called the Siege Perilous, and is to be the most beautiful one which can be provided. It is always to be covered with a red cloth and is never to be occupied except by one who has been chosen by a unanimous vote of the Castle as worthy. The leader explains the story of the ancient Siege Perilous and tells of Sir Galahad, the peerless knight. It is an honor which is bestowed for only a single evening, may not be sought by any member but may be conferred for athletic, intellectual, unselfish or self-sacrificing acts, and the boy who attains this honor is thereupon raised to the rank of a Baronet and has that word attached to his Castle name in the records and is always called by it in Castle sessions.
A remark by the leader concerning initiations will at once cause the boys to prick up their ears, and he may explain that these ceremonies are to be among the most amusing and attractive features of the Castle work. He will not, however, explain this further at the first session.
We have spoken of the leader as giving a "talk," but it is of course understood that he will endeavor throughout his description to arouse eager questioning, that the meeting will take the form of an informal conference, that he will listen eagerly for practical suggestions, and store his mind with those which may soon be useful.
Some men find it wise to distribute conclave cards at the first meeting and show the boys how to go through the ceremony, but it seems to be better to give full explanation of what is to come and leave the boys eager for this at the next meeting. Two things should be attained at this first gathering: First, enthusiasm, and second, the appointment of a small but lively committee to take up the things in which the boys care to engage at the second meeting.
Before going home the leader should make plans for having the Castle Hall more attractive and suitable for the conclave. This is to be an important place in the community, and the hall should have as many furnishings and decorations as possible to suggest that it is the gathering place of the Round Table. This will at once set the boys to thinking what they can furnish and will put them in the right attitude, which is that they are to bring something for their common use rather than to add exclusively to their individual enjoyment. This is the reason why it is better to decorate the Castle hall before talking about uniforms or paraphernalia for the members.
THE SECOND MEETING.
At the second meeting, a regular conclave should be held. Conclave cards should be brought and the leader should, in the meantime, have studied them so that he knows exactly how he wants to explain them to his members.
One or two modifications are suggested. It has been found better, in most cases, to collect "tribute" outside the Castle before the meeting rather than to interrupt the program for that purpose. The giving of the password upon entrance also seems to be better than at the place indicated in the standard conclave card. The leader is to feel free to make any other modifications which seem to him locally wise. The conclave card is simply a background for whatever the leader wants to accomplish and there will be many meetings where it will not be used at all.
The conclave card anticipates that the Hall will be empty, except for the presence of the Seneschal who has been arranging the seats, the Sentinel at the door, and possibly a pianist. The Castle should then enter from another room or hall, two by two, to the tune of a lively march or singing, accompanied by piano or cornet.
THE OFFICERS IN DETAIL.
The second session is the proper time to explain the specific duties of the officers of the Castle. Through these officials, to be selected at this or the next meeting, the Castle life will largely be expressed. There are a good many of them so as to give nearly every boy something to do.
The King, who sits upon the throne of King Arthur and who is addressed by his fellow members as Sir Pendragon because of the dragon helmet traditionally worn by King Arthur, is to be chosen by the members or by Merlin with considerable care. The first choice should be one of the older boys who possesses some natural dignity and power of command and who is perhaps by common consent their leader. Later, an irrepressible youngster may be selected for the good the office will do him. The duty of the King is to preside. He should be ex officio a member of all important committees. In the early Castles, it was customary, in order to give the boys parliamentary practice, to select a new king each evening. This, however, gave such varied kinds of control to the meetings, that now most Castles choose their king to reign for a term of from one month to a year. This matter may be tried experimentally at first.
The leader of the Castle usually assumes the name of Merlin, who was the venerable counsellor of King Arthur. By taking this position, which suggests advice rather than dominance, the leader makes the Castle feel that it is self-governing. The seat before and below the throne emphasizes the fact that what he gives the Castle is his wisdom and not his authority. The Merlin himself should choose as Seneschal or helper either some man who has already agreed to come regularly to be his assistant or else a boy who seems to him at the time to be most helpful. Between them they should keep the records, file all papers and conduct the correspondence of the Castle. The Seneschal acts as treasurer. This may, if the Merlin chooses, be a permanent position. The Constable, two Heralds and the Sentinel are selected afresh each evening. The Sentinel guards the door, the Heralds have charge of the two banners--the Castle flag and the American flag--they lead the processions and are the messengers of the King. They sit at each side of the throne. It is the duty of the Constable to keep order and to sum up the result of the meeting at its close, to criticise the language or conduct of the members in a kindly way. A very effective plan is to choose the Constable secretly and not announce his name until the close of the meeting. This arouses expectancy.
The short devotional exercises are conducted either by Merlin or by Dubric, a boy selected temporarily or permanently by Merlin for the purpose. This function, if assigned to another, should be given of course only to one who will assume it seriously.
The Executive Committee who provide the programs and lead the active work of the Castle are called Chancellors, and if these hold office for a considerable term, they usually sit together at the right of the throne.
The Chamberlains, or Initiation Committee, are sometimes selected from those who, by the decision of Merlin, have been most regular and orderly in their demeanor for the previous six months. If the initiations are to be given with decorum and success, this committee must necessarily be somewhat permanent in character. There is no especial reason why a Chancellor might not also be a Chamberlain, or why a Seneschal or another permanent officer should not also serve upon this important committee.
In many Castles, it is customary to have the boy who arrived late or was reprimanded in the meeting, act as Jester at the next session. It is his duty to be seated on the floor in front of the King and, at the demand of any member, to be in readiness at any moment to tell a joke, up to a limited number previously agreed upon. This feature is very effective.
It is the custom of every Castle, at an early session, to elect at least three ladies as patronesses. They are called, as in the old legend, the Queens of Avalon, and their chairman is the Lady of the Lake. It is generally best that they should be matrons, some of them, perhaps, mothers of these boys, who may be depended upon to serve as hostesses and friends to the Castle.
In some Castles, a similar committee of men in the church is selected. These are called Counsellors. Merlin should impress upon such men and women the great honor conferred upon them in being heartily chosen by a company of boys to be their friends. The meaning of this association often becomes very precious.
SOME OF THE FIRST THINGS TO DO.
One of the first things a Castle will do is to select a name. The leader should be ready with a list of names of historic castles or local places of historic significance, etc., and the name, when selected, should have, if possible, some real and helpful significance.
The Castle had better grow rather than adopt a constitution, although Headquarters is glad to furnish suggestions. The Castle, by a series of motions that are passed concerning officers, meetings and activities, virtually builds up a foundation or constitution which is a better one than a rigid document which causes unnatural restrictions.
A committee will also be wanted to arrange for pass-words, grips, signals and other mysteries.
Each member is to choose for himself a name taken from the heroes, either of King Arthur's day or of a later day. Some boys are at once ready with a favorite cognomen; others have no idea what they wish to be called, or vacillate. It is well for the Merlin to assign a name to such an one, with a shrewd forecast of its influence in developing his character. The name Galahad is of course reserved for him who occupies the Siege Perilous, and he bears it for only one night. Each of these names is to be recorded beside the real name of the boy in the Castle roll. He is to be called by this name in roll call, and by this means the other boys soon learn his title and address him by that henceforth. When a boy enters, he is addressed simply by the name itself, as "Launcelot," with the prefix of some appropriate adjective, at first informally applied to him by his comrades and subject to change. For example, he may be known as "Little Launcelot," but after some lapse in behavior he may be called "Fighting Launcelot" for a time, until by and by another adjective seems to apply to him. After this boy is raised to the second degree, that of Esquire, he is always to be known as "Master Launcelot." After he has been made Knight he is always to be addressed as "Sir Launcelot," but after he has sat in the Siege Perilous, "Sir Launcelot, Baronet." After he has attained still further degrees as that of Baron, he is known as "Lord Launcelot."
Unless order is observed, much of the significance of the ritual is lost. The duties of the Constable give him power to announce to the King the disorder of any member, and, upon his recommendation, either a fine or expulsion from the meeting may result. There is never any difficulty about order if the boys are really interested. Such disorder as occurs is usually simply the hum of business. The Merlin should start out in a simple way, making the Conclave as plain as possible, leaving out both in that and in the initiations all details that might give opportunity for disorder. He should even set aside the ritual for one meeting if it does not seem to be accomplishing its purpose. Remember that the boys are not made for ritual but the ritual is made for the boys. Therefore, do not subdue the boy but adapt the ritual to his needs. You cannot accomplish your highest ambition at first; you must be continually building for it.
Prayer is not used in every Castle. Where the boys are taught at once to kneel, in knightly fashion, upon both knees, with their hands crossed or their palms touching, they fall into the custom and like it. It gets the boys into a quieter mood and meets a higher need in their lives. It is Merlin Adams who says: "Do not apologize for opening a Castle with prayer. Do not apologize for anything worth while; do it and make it a habit of your Castle. Then it will be approved by all."
Even when a boy gets lukewarm in his interest, never attack him as a villain. Take the ground that he is temporarily out of sorts and then find out what is distasteful to him. There is generally some reason back of his lack of interest and perhaps it is your fault. Then, as Merlin Williams says, "The Castle that will march straight to heaven with its own motion does not need any inducement. If our Order stands for a change in life, in thought, in sentiment, it also stands for somebody to induce those changes. It is also evident that these changes will not be made in the average boy until he sees it as worth his while. The disinterested boy does not see it as worth his while." It may not be his fault entirely.
In order to find out the interests and capabilities of an unknown group of boys, the best plan seems to be to begin with a program which shall present a fresh and distinctive activity each week of the month. One of the very best ways of arranging the meetings of the first few months is the following:
First Week:If the Castle is eager to engage in athletics, then each of these programs would be short and preliminary to an hour of basket ball or gymnastic work.
Second Week--King Arthur Night:
Conclave and business and talks and stories of the King Arthur legends.
Fifth Week (once in three months):
As soon as one interest begins to displace another, the leader will arrange to give it an additional night in the month. During the basket ball season, for instance, that game may, for a time, displace almost everything else, except for a brief conclave or initiation once or twice a month, before a game begins. When preparing for a play or decorating a Castle hall, the time of the Castle will be nearly all taken up with those activities.
There ought to be several fixed "great feasts" during the year, so important as not to allow anything else to take their place and so interesting as to keep the members in anticipation and activity before they occur. Some of the most common of these, arranged in the order of the Castle year, are as follows:
September--"Get Together Night": Coronation and Installation.Of course, no Castle has all these celebrations, but the best Castles have at least four.
October--Annual Hallowe'en Party.
December--Annual Christmas Celebration.
January--New Year Reception.
May--Mothers' Meeting: Annual play and public conclave.
A very satisfactory way for a new Castle to begin is for the Merlin, Chancellors and Chamberlains to make up at the beginning of the year a program which they have printed in attractive form. In this way, the year is planned for and every interest of the boys is recognized and there is never the feeling, "Is there going to be anything worth going to tonight?" Such a program will probably be interrupted and considerably changed during the year, but it represents an ideal to work toward and the changes will usually be in the direction of betterment. It, at least, gives a sense of continuity and upholds the expectancy of the boys.
Following are some excellent programs which have been carried out by actual Castles:
September and March:A still more elaborate one was in this form:
Election of Officers.
Installation and Coronation.
Business and Instruction.
The Story of the First Degree. Initiation.
October and April:
Business; Instruction; Singing.
Exhibition of Handicraft.
Gymnastics and Drills.
Hallowe'en Party; "Basket Lunch."
November and May:
Social--Songs, Banquet, May Party.
Official Visit of Marquis or Regent.
Public Entertainment--Play, Concert, Tableaux, Pageant.
December and June:
Business, etc--Chancellor's Night.
Field Day; Sports.
Patriotic Night; Songs, etc.
Christmas Party; Parlor Games; Picnic.
January and July:
New Year Reception to Neighboring Castles.
February and August:
Games (Indoor and Out).
In one of our strongest Castles, All Saints', Providence, Rhode Island, which meets only fortnightly, the following was one of its year's programs:Sept. 24.--Opening Conclave; "Get Together Meeting."
Sept. 25.--Coronation and Installation of Officers.
Nov. 1.--Business Meeting.
Nov. 8.--"Building of the Machine," Mr. _________
Nov. 15.--Initiation of Pages.
Nov. 22.--Thanksgiving Social.
Dec. 13.--Travelogue (By One Who Knows).
Dec. 20.--Christmas Party.
Dec. 27.--Mock Trial.
Jan. 8.--"Courts and the Jail," Hon. _________
Jan. 15.--Reception to Neighboring Castles.
Jan. 22.--Preparation for the Second and Third Degrees.
Jan. 23.--Second Degree.
Jan. 24.--Third Degree (Sunday--in Church).
Feb. 8.--"What a Boy Should Know," Dr. _________
Feb. 29.--Booth at Church Fair.
March 15.--"Our National Game," Mr. _________
March 26.--Easter Sunday; Castle Goes to Church in a Body.
March 29.--Parliamentary Practice.
April 12.--"Making Your Own Way," Mr. _________
May 9.--"Stars and the Planets," Professor _________
May 16.--Page Initiation.
May 23.--Literary Meeting.
May 30.--Ladies' Night.
June 7.--Final Business Meeting.
June 13.--Public Outdoor Party.
June 30.--Annual "Wassail."
The following program is given as carried out by our strong Castle in Taunton, Massachusetts:Sept. 24.--General Conclave; Coronation, Installation of Officers.
Oct. 8.--Regular Conclave.
Oct. 22.--Conclave and Entertainment.
Nov. 12.--Initiation of Pages.
Nov. 26.--Thanksgiving Social and Reception to Boys of the Sunday School.
Dec. 10.--Indoor Tournament.
Dec. 23.--Annual Christmas Tree.
Jan. 14.--Reception to the Castles of Rhode Island.
Jan. 28.--Annual Supper.
Feb. 11.--Regular Conclave.
Feb. 17, 18 and 19.--Annual Public Entertainment.
Feb. 26.--Regular Conclave.
March 12.--Initiation of Esquires.
March 26.--Conclave and Entertainment.
April 9.--Initiation of Knights.
April 19.--Annual Church Service.
April 22.--Ladies' Night and Castle Show.
May 13.--Initiation of Pages.
May 27.--Closing Meeting and Theater Party.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS.First Meeting--"Getting Together" Conclave with social time, light refreshments and a talk by Merlin on plans for the year.
Second--Rehearsal for open conclave, with which was to be included installation of officers.
Third--Public installation and conclave to which parents and friends were asked, concluding with a talk on "Modern Knighthood" by the pastor.
Fourth--Harvest party with games and refreshments, to which guests were invited.
Fifth--Regular conclave and rehearsal for the first degree.
Sixth--Thanksgiving Conclave; a devotional service in which each boy was to be assigned a part.
Eighth--Christmas party to which members bring gifts for the poor.
Tenth--Assignment of parts for and reading of play. (Between the ninth and tenth meetings, the degree of Esquire was given by knights and esquires, meeting separately.)
Eleventh--Regular conclave with radioptican, cartoon drawing, and advertisement contest.
Thirteenth--First aid lecture.
Fourteenth--Final rehearsal for the play.
Sixteenth--Rope tying and woodcraft lecture and lesson.
Eighteenth--Open conclave for all Castles in the state, with short entertainment (Between the eighteenth and nineteenth meetings, the knights' degree was bestowed at a public church service).
Nineteenth--Election of officers.
Twentieth--Banquet for new knights and officers, at which the pastors and church officials with their wives were invited. Jester acted as toastmaster.
Some of the Castles have worked out very unique and interesting plans which any boys' club will be delighted to imitate.
Here are a score of them, each of which requires no explanation further than that given below.
THE CHANCELLORS AS THE PROGRAM COMMITTEE.1.--A mock trial.
2.--An evening with King Arthur songs.
3.--A meeting of the state legislature.
4.--A debate upon a topic of current interest.
5.--Reports upon books that have been recently read.
6.--A roll call responded to by current events from each member.
7.--Roll call responded to by a "story" from each member.
8.--A Victrola concert.
9.--A candy pull.
10.--A Captain Kidd hunt. Have the Castle divided into a number of groups. Each group is given certain directions to go to a certain place, where they will find a slip of paper which tells them the next place, and so on. The parties finally end up at a home where light refreshments are served.
11.--An evening of games: Shuffle board, parlor quoits, chess, checkers, etc. In order to make a variety they may be progressive games.
12.--An evening of boxing and wrestling.
13.--An evening of electrical and wireless experiments.
14.--An evening for an exhibition, exchange of postage stamps, post cards, etc.
15.--A Castle pilgrimage. Arrangements having been made by some kind friend to open his home for an evening, after a short conclave, let the boys repair to that home, each bringing with him one article of food, sufficient for himself, and not costing more than ten cents, or purchased by a committee selected for the purpose, the boys furnishing everything except lemonade. The walk through the lighted streets is always a merry one, the hospitality is gracious and the contact with a refined home is, to some boys at least, a privilege. If the destination be kept a secret until the last, the element of mystery and expectancy is added.
16.--An evening of service. A committee discovers some instance of need and the entire Castle goes to meet that need. They may put in an hour sawing and splitting wood or they may in a party carry provisions, heralding their arrival by the Castle yell or song.
17.--The Castle of Estherville, Iowa, buries an annual "cache." The Castle is a Sunday school class. A box containing the class history, class prophecy, treasurer's report and the speeches which have just been made at the annual celebration, the names of all the boys, the names of their guests, newspaper notices, a small silk flag, a penny, a match., etc., are put into a Mason jar, then into a tin cracker box and sealed with wax, and lowered solemnly and silently into the ground, with due ceremony, at about eleven o'clock at night. Each fall they unearth and bury these things. They find everything well preserved and good reading and always aim to make some good additions to their history.
18.--In Castle Agincourt, Lincoln, Nebraska, each boy is a representative of some state in the Union. The Castle then resolves itself into a parliamentary body. Each representative endeavors to report some interesting news from his own state. He may also, if he chooses, introduce a bill looking to some needed reform in that state or section of the country.
19.--One of the most interesting meetings in which the boys themselves are not active is one in which an address is made by a man of note. The following topics indicate a possible range:
Story of the Making of a Turkish Rug.
The Making of a Great Daily.
The Law as a Profession.
Our National Game.
The Life of a Lumber Jack.
The subject does not matter so much as the speaker. An interesting man can make any subject interesting.
20.--One or two chivalric games have been invented by our boys. In Castle Sherwood, Roxbury, Massachusetts, they have a tilting match. Each boy should have two wooden swords and usually three of the best behaved boys are permitted to challenge any of the others to "mortal combat." Each is seated on a saw-horse, his feet clear of the ground. The horse is mounted on casters, and the boy is pushed off at the start and then left to navigate himself. If one is dismounted or loses his spear, he must fight with his sword.
21.--A game of animated checkers has been played and possibly invented by Castle Northland. Large paper squares are pinned to the floor with thumb-tacks, to form a huge checker-board. Two leaders are selected to choose sides, taking twelve upon each side, as checkers, who then take their place on the board. Each checker thinks out his own play; the leader cannot help him. This makes the game depend upon the skill of each checker. When a checker is jumped, the jumping is done as in leap-frog. The jumped checker leaves the board. A king is identified by a ribbon or handkerchief tied to the arm. No suggestions are allowed from the side-lines.
22.--Some of our Castles have bought printing presses and publish a weekly or monthly paper of their own. But a paper may be put out without any printing press whenever there is enough news to call for an edition. Let several editors be appointed the week previous and the following departments: Current events, town news, foreign news, society items, poetry, talks, athletics, advertising. It is well to have most of the news pertaining to the actual or imaginary doings of the Castle members, with occasional slight digs at gray old Merlin. One Castle possesses a mimeograph and once a week a new editor is appointed who in turn selects his own staff and they seek to publish a paper that has been excelled by none.
The success of the plan to put the program into the hands of an elected committee depends upon the ability of the Merlin to select boys who will work and his tact in getting them to work together. After all, the best committee is a committee of one, and many Castles find that after a somewhat representative committee has arranged the year's program, the best plan is to get individuals to carry it out. In one Castle, two boys were selected each evening to provide entertainment for the following evening and two others to provide refreshments. A still better plan, perhaps, is that, which one Castle uses, of making one boy entirety responsible for the success of each meeting. This is in accordance with the modern line of reasoning concerning city government: Giving great power to a big man and demanding great things of him. Needless to say, if one individual boy ever fails, the Merlin must be immediately ready with a substitute program. Where this plan is used, there should be a pretty serious penalty for such a failure.
THE REAL ACTIVITIES OF THE CASTLE.
Epicurus is said to have defined education as "friends seeking happiness together." He was almost prophetic, for this is an excellent definition of a Castle of the Knights of King Arthur. It names two essentials of any successful boys' club. Those who are members must be in hearty sympathy with their leader and with each other, and they must engage in occupations which interest and delight them. This definition at once suggests two dangers to be avoided in organizations. If the Castle is to be composed of real friends, it is not desirable to call together a large and hitherto unacquainted group of boys, with the idea that success depends upon an immediate showing of numbers. Experience has proven that the best way is to begin with a small group of boys who know and are accustomed to each other; that the soundest and surest method of growth is to make the organization seem exclusive and difficult to enter; that the best method of addition is to let the boys decide whom they will admit, reserving the privilege of developing in them the spirit of friendliness which shall later constrain them to admit some hitherto unlikely lads for the sake of the good which the Castle could do them. This method of slow and healthy growth is bound to result eventually in the largest and strongest and most enduring Castle. The other danger is that of letting the Castle develop into any one exclusive activity, no matter how valuable, in which all the boys are not interested or able to participate.
In regard to the actual life of a Castle, experience is a helpful teacher. Five lessons are taught us in this respect through experience.
First, the leader should endeavor to find those activities which are natural and pleasant to the largest number of the boys at any given time. For instance, basket ball is just now a craze among boys of the age usually represented in a Castle, from New Year's until the spring opens, and, if there is any kind of opportunity for play, a boys' club which ignores this activity is at a serious disadvantage. The wisest move would seem to be to emphasize basket ball at that time, even if the leader has other plans which he thinks are more worth while. There are some very excellent and attractive ideas which cannot be pushed with success simply because they do not appeal to a very large number of boys. Such, for example, is the merit badge system of the Boy Scouts. The plan has been crystallized into a standard system of out-of-school education and in many places the teachers and judges of the various rewards are some of the most suitable men in the community. Nevertheless, at the best, only a small minority of the boys would seriously endeavor to win these decorations. How foolish it would be to gear all effort toward this special plan. As a matter of fact, with all the elaborateness of its scheme, the Scout Master, like the Castle leader, finds himself frequently looking for a club activity inclusive enough to interest all of his boys. The King Arthur plan is fortunately so elastic that it can be taken up and laid down so as to fit in with any seasonal and perhaps fickle fad of boys, and most Castle leaders are wise enough to recognize that this particular "group of friends seeking happiness together" is most likely to be suited if they may do what they like to do so long as it is innocent.
Second, it is also desirable that the Castle should engage in what the leader himself can do best and--we might as well add frankly--what we can do with ease. Important as boys' clubs are, they have to depend quite largely upon volunteer workers who can give only a fraction of their time and attention to this special kind of service. Remembering the first essential--the interests of the boys themselves--other things being equal, the leader should endeavor to steer the lads who are associated with him in the direction of some activity in which he has a special knack. And if he has no knack except friendliness, let him capitalize that and try to get an assistant who can do some particular "stunt" which the boys will fall in with. Something was said about doing that which is easy. Of course it ought to be worth while, but it is astonishing how much a boys' club can do with very small capital; in fact, boys so live in the atmosphere of ideality that they will spend a large proportion of their time in their club just talking about what they are going to do. Of course, the Castle that does nothing but this will soon go up in smoke, but many of our successful club leaders have carried on clubs that have life in them who have been able to give very little time except that which they have actually spent in the club room at the regular hour of meeting.
Third, choose the activity that the boys will work hardest on. You want not only their fickle enthusiasm but their active co-operation. The club that is richly subsidized, either by money or plans, by the leader, and that does nothing but accept his various gratuities, is not a strong nor a successful club. The writer has seen many a club rise without money or equipment, but with well developed team-work among the boys, that has drawn boys away from organizations that have big buildings, plenty of money and well-salaried people standing about telling boys what to do. The wise Castle leader begins very early to find out which are the real doers and through them to get all the rest organized. Such a leader never allows the question to be asked, or even suggested, "What are you going to do to give us a good time?" On the other hand, he is very much in the habit of reiterating to the boys: "Remember, boys, this is your club. If it were mine, I would do all the work, but unless you fellows work, pretty soon you'll not have any club." This almost "I-don't-care" attitude on the part of the leader, coupled with the tactful development of the latent energies of the leading boys, will make a success of almost any young people's organization.
Fourth, the occupation of the club should have constant variety. Even so good a plan as the special rituals and ceremonials of the Knights will pall upon the boys. There are, as we have said, seasonal activities and boys themselves are variable. The best leaders make their plans for the whole winter early in the fall--and then change them at Christmas! If this is not literally what they do, they at least refrain from publishing all their ideas, even though they may have them concealed about their persons.
Fifth, work toward a climax. Do not let the club year peter out. Stop before the boys begin to lose interest. But better than to stop because there is not enough momentum to go on it is so to plan the year that it will come to its climax rather than its downfall at Easter. This is best done by planning for an entertainment, an open conclave, a coronation, a dramatic performance or a charity benefit toward which all the life of the Castle focuses for the last two or three months of winter. Our leaders generally endeavor to have at least occasional outdoor conclaves during the summer. Then they are ready for a reunion and a renewed indoor program in the autumn. A successful Castle year might be charted as an ascending curve, beginning at zero in May, with arrangements for a summer camp in July to maintain life during the summer, rising gradually in the fall and moving steadily to the crest of the curve, 100, at the annual spring celebration.
Behind all the activities of the Castle are its fundamental aims. This is the important part of the work. They are three in number:
The individual improvement of each boy.The real life of a Castle is likely to work out in one or more of the following directions:
The increase of hearty fellowship between all the boys.
Development of the spirit of unselfish service among all.
Specific King Arthur Methods.SPECIFIC KING ARTHUR METHODS.
Outdoors and Athletics.
Work and Thrift.
The majority of Castles have, of course, at least during their first year, given greater attention to specific King Arthur plans than any other kind of activity. These have great value, are instantly attractive, are easily maintained and lend themselves to noble uses. The Castle idea, of course, appeals to the same instinct in the boy that is appealed to in his father by the secret lodge. Most of us have a love of ritual, of badges and uniforms, of secrets and mysteries and of honors, notably in title, attained by personal effort coupled with the good will of one's fellows.
The Knights of King Arthur makes use of the social method which has attracted and held more adult males in America than any other. Hunting, scouting, fishing, golf, base ball, military drill make strong appeals to men, individually and in groups, but the lodge system of America makes a stronger appeal than any of these, enlisting more men, for a longer time and in firmer bonds than any other. There are over nine million men in American lodges and fraternities. Dr. Henry F. Cope says that "every week four million men spend two hours and upwards in the lodge rooms of North America." There are more men in the lodges than in church. The lodge makes a successful masculine appeal, for while less than twenty-five per cent of the membership of the churches consists of men, over ninety-two per cent of the membership of lodges is of men.
The Knights has seized upon all that is good in the lodge and has left out that which is bad. "The lodge," says Dr. Cope, "has solved very largely one of the problems of religious pedagogy, that of appealing to the dramatic play instinct." And again: "It is not an evil thing for a man to put on a knight's armor if it will in any way help him to a knight's ideal. It may be a good thing for him once in a while to come out of his sordid world and play in the little world idealized by the flight of time." This is precisely what the Knights of King Arthur has done with boys, and it was the first to do it. The Knights has kept the dramatic idealization of life, the masculine ideals, the fellowship, the chivalrous service, and has left out the triviality, the secrecy, the selfishness, the self indulgence of the lodge. It is in the church, and is not a substitute of the church. It so satisfies the instinct which the lodge satisfies and does it early, that instead of leading boys on into becoming "lodge fiends," it is more likely to give them all of this sort of thing they want while they are young. If they do join a lodge they will have outgrown the childishness of it and will get what is really worth while.
In seizing upon the lodge idea the Knights do not limit themselves to the sedentary, dinner-eating program of the ordinary secret society. If these features alone satisfied boys we would have had successful boy-lodges before this. These are simply the background. The King Arthur idea gives opportunity for a kind of preparation which is somewhat unusual in character. The boy of literary instincts turns at once, and the boy who has not been fond of reading is forced to turn to books, in order to inform himself of the knightly legends and especially to master the details of the life of his chosen hero. He thus not only carries the Castle ideal into his reading, but also takes it into his life as he absorbs these legends and ideals. Not all boys have equal taste or aptitude for ceremony. Those who do are eager to give such matters the energy which they require and the other boys fall cheerfully into line behind them.
As the founder of the Knights of King Arthur is a member of no secret fraternity, it may be imagined that he has neither imitated their rituals nor copied their ways. Indeed, many who are members of such societies have testified that some of the ceremonials of the Knights, properly rendered, are more impressive than those of any adult organization with which they are familiar.
Men of character who are members of lodges have often proven helpful to Merlins in the ceremonial features of their work. Boys, however, are generally satisfied with a modest degree of perfection in this direction.
The King Arthur activities, in the order of use and importance, are probably these:
Rendering the conclave ritual in a dignified but enjoyable manner.The programs given above show how ingeniously Castle leaders have interwoven these with other activities.
The modest furnishing of the Castle Hall with necessaries, games and reading matter, and its adornment with Castle emblems.
Providing the officers with simple regalia, of a home-made variety.
Giving the first degree to new members.
Visiting or receiving a visit from a neighboring Castle.
Holding an Open Conclave.
Attending church in a body.
Giving the second degree at the end of six months.
The annual banquet.
Undertaking a united Quest of service, by co-operative kindness in work or money.
The gradual providing of all the members with some regalia, such as home-made swords, uniform shields, sashes, smocks or capes.
The final celebration of the year: A play, Coronation, open conclave or a party.
The Castle camp in summer, with outdoor initiations and tournaments.
OUTDOORS AND ATHLETICS.
The outdoor and athletic plan is, of course, always popular with boys and the leader who has some aptitude for camping, athletics and the free life of out-of-doors, needs no suggestions to make his Castle a success in this direction. The King Arthur ideal lends itself excellently to such a plan because the conclave and ritual furnish a helpful skeleton for parliamentary decorum in the intervals between the more strenuous activities. The woodland, too, offers itself as scenery for conclave meetings and initiations, since the life of the medieval knights was a woodland life. The springtime hikes become a quest, the spring field games or sports, tournaments and the summer camp, a tilting ground. The athletic leader needs to be warned against overdoing this feature of his club life and against measuring his members entirely by athletic prowess. Many desirable boys wish to join the Castle who are not good enough players to become members of his athletic teams, and the club plans should find something to include them.
The chivalric ideal is a potent help toward clean sport among boys. Testifies Merlin Lincoln, of New Haven, who has been in charge of some fiery-spirited young Italians:
"The K.O.K.A. spirit does tell, although our 'Christian knightliness' has often been put to the test. It has won the base ball championship for two years in succession. But, better than that, I have seen an incipient base ball riot quelled by an appeal to the Conclave ritual. I have seen improper dancing checked by reference to Castle teaching. I hav [sic] seen a manly apology and hearty handshake follow a basket ball row, when the offender was asked if he thought the blow he had struck was that of a true knight."
The camp is no doubt the one most valuable feature possible in the life of any boys' club, and it is recommended to all Merlins. Headquarters is glad to send suggestions showing how such an encampment is feasible as [sic] small expense and without paid servants.
Lawn parties represent the gentler side of Castle life outdoors. One was planned in this way. The boys and girls were dressed up as Indians. Several Indian tents were pitched on the lawn, and in these and around the campfires, stories were told and numerous games were played. Refreshments were served from Indian kettles.
Other activities outdoors that require no explanation are these:
A hayrack or sleigh ride.SCOUTING.
An old-fashioned sugaring-off at a sugar camp.
Javelin-throwing and archery.
Tilting on the water from logs, with boat sponges mounted on poles for lances.
Many Castles give a good deal of attention to the methods that have been made popular by the Boy Scouts. The reason they enroll under the banner of King Arthur is usually because their leader desires to add some specific religious elements to Castle life. As the Scout movement is non-sectarian, and, in a technical sense, non-religious, one is an excellent supplement to the other.
Rev. Raymond M. D. Adams, of North Brookfield, Mass., says:
I am feeling more strongly that scouting may be wisely used in connection with Castle work. The ideals are the same, expressed in boy life, in present day terms and application, in Scouting, as those which actuated the chivalric, well prepared and useful knights of old. The K.O.K.A. ritual gives the poetry, romance, and intellectual and asthetic [sic] side, and Scouting gives the application in daily life outside the Castle meetings. By a care in the selection of his phraseology, the Merlin-Scoutmaster can weave into conclave work the bestowing of Scout badges, and the various reports and plans in a natural and knightly manner, yet up-to-date way. Also, it seems as if the Scouting might more easily be made effective on its side of 'Duty to God,' with the naturally religious air of the Castle."
Merle T. Barker, of Taunton, Mass., says:
"Some of the Scouting activities we feel would be advantageous and well worth while, for example, the First Aid Work, the rope-tying, and the main essentials of wood-craft. These are things which every boy ought to learn. Further than this our own order has everything that the Scouts can give and much more."
Since Scouting is, in a way, so well known and the literature is so copious, it is not necessary to describe it, but simply to refer those who utilize these devices to the Scout headquarters for literature and supplies. The Scout movement, like most others, is already tending to crystallize into certain easily recognized forms. It implies the possession by each boy of a uniform. It involves usually a number of collective activities, such as united money-raising, a winter exhibition and some kind of summer display. It is not, of course, necessary to accept all these features, but they are usually accepted and the boys follow them with enthusiasm. The Scout plans come from general headquarters, which saves the leader considerable worry by furnishing him a ready-made plan which has been successfully worked out by others and for which there is plenty of literature and supplies.
Mr. Seton long ago specially authorized us to use the Scout standards as a part of our degree system and they are still incorporated for such use. We advise our Merlins to buy the manual of the Boy Scouts, for although the methods are too elementary for most of our Castles for conclave use, many of the contests, games and hints will be most useful in the Castle camp. We advise that first-class Scouts be admitted to our Order as Esquires, on proof of their attainments, and advocate the standards required for such a grade as one of several which may be set us [sic] for esquireship, particularly where our "point system" is used.
If the psychologists be correct in believing that the tribal period extends from about 10 to 14 in a boy's life and the chivalric period from 14 to 16, then the Scouts will eventually help boys from about 10 to 14 and the Knights of King Arthur will take them at 13 or 14 and carry them on for the next three years. The Knights would ordinarily include only boys who are about ready to be graduated from the Scouts. The Knights have an advantage of continuity in their work, as they may begin with initiations and conclaves in the greenwood in the summer and yet can continue at full blast through the long inclement season of our temperate zone, while the Scouts, originated in mild England, has difficulty here in making its winter exercises attractive, and so has a heyday of only three months in the year.
While the Knights may use and should use scouting and camp methods, its appeal is a higher one than that of the Scouts. It deals with the fraternal, the emotional and the intellectual, with a constant emphasis on the spiritual. The very ideals of the two movements show the difference; the ideal product of the Scouts is the scout, the agile frontiersman; the ideal product of the Knights is the knight, the Christian gentleman. The Scout movement may do this latter, the Knights can do nothing less or else.
Another helpful direction of work for a specialist is that of handicraft. Miss Mackintire and Miss Woodman are two able women who have taught two lessons: First, that women can successfully conduct a Castle, and second that training in handicraft is an immense advantage in working with boys. Miss Mackintire's Castle hall has been furnished and decorated almost entirely by the hands of its members, and Miss Woodman, the organizer of nearly a dozen Castles, has invariably found that wood-work and work in leather and metal as a foreground and the chivalric ideals as a background are a winning combination.
If the reader who has any taste at all for handicraft will turn to what we have to say about Castle Paraphernalia he will recognize that making material for the Castle Hall and for the regalia is of great educational value. In the first place, all the projects are simple and easy: decorating walls, making a throne, whittling out swords, fitting points to spears, making and painting shields, and even cutting and sewing sashes and smocks. In the next place, they answer an immediate desire for possession, and manual training teachers are realizing that this is the very best motive for good constructive work. Finally, while in the individual uniforms there is some opportunity for emulation, most of the projects can, at least partly, be executed in unison. The leader who knows nothing of sloyd and bench-work, but who has a jack-knife, a saw and a hammer can lead his boys into all the handicraft they want, and if he has a wife or some women friends, they will help the boys with their regalia. The boys will do the rest. They prefer to decorate construction than to construct decoration, anyhow.
Perhaps the intellectual ideal is one which most frequently occurs to the adult leader, especially if he be a minister or a man of scholarly tastes. It is quite natural for such a man to look back to the last young people's organization of which he was a member, which was probably a debating society in college. Debates, brief essays, mock trials, a Castle newspaper, these have all proved successful as special features in Castle life. It is, however, the exceptional boy who likes this sort of thing all the time. Such plans should be alternated with others of a more lively physical character. Also, the Castle is not school, and most of the boys, probably in high school, who care about this line of work are probably already members of the school debating society, or editors of the school paper, or otherwise filled up with literary projects. The life of the average high school boy is so crowded that he can give little time, if he would, for serious preparation of literary programs. Informal, spontaneous participation pleases him better.
Here are some features of intellectual value that may naturally grow up in the life of a Castle:
A library of books of King Arthur and heroic stories.
A Castle museum, of historic relics, curios, puzzles, etc.
A "Hero Gallery" of portraits of the men for whom the boys are named.
A collection of good song-books.
Reproductions of the Abbey prints of the Holy Grail pictures.
A collection of photographs of the Castle taken annually.
A Roll of Noble Deeds, comprising heroic acts noted in the newspapers.
A Calendar of Heroes, finding for each day of the day of the year a hero's birthday or a heroic deed.
WORK AND THRIFT.
Co-operative work and thrift are suitable activities for a Castle and they might be carried even further than any of us have yet attempted. An Achievement Club, either of rural boys organized in the interesting way suggested by the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture, or of city boys vying in a friendly way in individual or co-operative industries and business enterprises, give serious value to what may start simply as a play-organization. Over two hundred Boy Scout organizations are supplying themselves with uniforms and camp equipment by selling the Curtis publications through the "troop plan." One of our Castles bought a vacuum cleaner and lets it out regularly, worked by knight-power. Another group hires itself out occasionally for wood-chopping. Still another organized the King Arthur Stock Company, bought a printing press on shares and arranged to do printing for the church and for business houses.
Social activities are always popular. It takes a versatile leader, however, to devise a great enough variety of such activities to keep the Castle interested throughout the year. A normal group of boys likes to meet an attractive group of girls occasionally. Boys do not like to be organized with girls, and a society that does nothing but play games and give parties is really not big enough for the bigness of a rapidly developing young man. Ladies' Nights and Castle parties and somewhat formal social occasions, in which the boys may show that courtesy which is the cornerstone of their Castle life, are wholesome and helpful.
There is of course a limit to the good deeds that may be done jointly. Much, however, may be accomplished this way, and even better are the deeds which are wrought by individuals as the result of the stimulus of united action. Following are some of the things which our Castles have been doing together.
Castle Scrooby, Andover, Maine, started a campaign to paint the town white, calling it "the white crusade." They cleaned up and beautified the common and then did other things of service to the town. In Castle St. Clair, Glens Falls, New York, every night each member of the Castle put his pin inside the lapel of his coat and was not allowed to wear it on the outside until he had done some kindly act. On Hallowe'en, the policemen in the section of the city near the headquarters of Castle Joyous Gard were suddenly encountered by huge Jack-o'-Lanterns and a bunch of hot coffee and sandwiches, provided by the Joyous Gard boys, bound on giving as well as having a good time. Castle Marble City of Rutland, Vermont, earned money to place a King Arthur Memorial window in the church, which cost over $100. Castle St. George, 2473, collected over 300 magazines and sent them to the reading-room of the church mission in Alaska. They also mounted sixty large pictures and sent them to the Sheltering Arms hospital in West Virginia. At Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter they give their help in decorating the church. Castle Livingston at DeSmet, South Dakota, tore down part of the old church building with their own hands and aided in the work toward a new one. When the building was finished they fitted up a part of the basement for their own use. They mixed the concrete and laid the floor themselves. Besides this, they supported an orphan out in Asia. Castle Bethany, 2562, Quincy, Maine, gave five bags of flour to poor families. It is a fortunate thing that King Arthur flour is worthy of its name because such gifts are very appropriate for Castles to make to the poor. Castle Washington, 255, are members of the boys' vested choir of which Dr. George R. Merrill, Congregational Superintendent of the state, said, "It is the best thing I have seen in Minnesota." This interest in the church made the boys obedient, self-reliant and reverent and resulted in eight of them joining the church.
The loyal Merlin emphasizes service in connection with the Church. The attitude of the average boy toward the average church generally grows to be that which is held by his father, and as the majority of fathers in America are not connected with the church their sons tend to follow their example. The aim of this Order is to reverse this attitude. It is difficult to do this if the local church members are suspicious of boys. They are sometimes very short-sighted in their view of their future church leaders. They do not notice boys much until they think it is time for them to be converted, and by that time many boys have decided that they do not care for the church. The Merlin changes the attitude of the local church by associating closely with the Castle his pastor, the church officials and the leading women. The Castle should at the earliest possible moment be officially accepted as one of the constituent societies of the church. It should be supervised as are the other societies, in accordance with the customs of its own communion. It should present its report at the annual meeting of the church or the formal meetings of the governing board. The Merlin meets the objection as to "the damage the boys will do to the building," by seeing that they do no damage, which is easily arranged if he has any control over his boys and if they have absorbed from him the right relations to the church.
We need to revive among boys the fine old thought of "Mother Church." This is not to teach them that the church is a female organization, but that it is like a stately Queen, ancient, revered, wise and beloved, "the mother of us all," whom every true knight longs to defend and serve. It is extraordinary how the Castles are developing this devotion among boys.
Everywhere the Castle is the direct means of bringing boys into loyal and useful membership in the church. In Castle Kenilworth, 285, Springfield, Massachusetts, the boys, after joining the church, said that the Knights of King Arthur was the cause of their being there. It made them think. In Castle Harvard, 2236, Cambridge, Massachusetts, fifteen boys from the Castle united with the church upon a single day, Easter, 1912. Of the twenty-six boys who were charter members of the Castle conducted for many years by Rev. James Yeames, Arlington, Massachusetts, all of them are today members of the church.
It may be said without danger of contradiction that the single most poetic, most devout and most significant act in the life of American boyhood is that which is seen every year in the life of every Castle of the Knights of King Arthur that is doing good work: serious lads standing alone in the unlighted church at night with their swords laid upon its altar, holding vigil before they consecrate themselves to a life-time of service.
THE CASTLE HALL.
Great strength is added to a Castle if it may have a meeting place of its own. Since we are working to develop the social spirit rather than to cater to the pride of individuals, decorating the hall is more desirable than decorating a member; Castle paraphernalia than individual uniforms. Some Castles, like the early apostles, have to begin by meeting literally in "the caves and dens of the earth," dark basements and even cellars of homes. A few bright banners, however, help to make a room home-like.
Several Castles have built their own halls, frequently upon the church ground. Castle Sterling, 2392, Cameron, Texas, built a bungalow twenty by thirty feet for their hall. The old Castle hall which they had built some time previously they made into a workshop, equipped with twelve benches.
This is how some boys made a Hall out of a garage:
The garage had one window. With the help and suggestions of the village carpenter, two more were put in, the frames of which were given the Knights, and the missing glass being puttied in at leisure times. The big doors were voted the correct thing, and to make the "Castle" resemblance more real a heavy bar was hewn and fastened across the inside panels. The inside cross-beams were well rubbed and colored with a brown stain made of diamond dye and water, which it was declared gave the needed antique finish. The floor was painted. Each Knight brought a chair, and Tyne Hall stood ready for fun or business, and had cost the boys, besides, of course, their work, just twenty cents each.
Pride and honest pleasure in rewarded effort accompanied the boys on the night of their first conclave, which was also the introduction of the heartily appreciative Merlin to the new hall.
"We boys mean to fix it up till we have things looking right," the King had announced, and Merlin had offered any help or advice in his power to give.
An old red chest soon found its way from some attic into one corner of the hall, and in this "coffer" was kept such tools as the Knights owned, the Castle being at odd times turned into a work-shop for groups of busy Knights.
"It isn't the thing for the King to be ruling on a soap box," was the Castle declaration, so the first piece of furniture attempted was a throne. This was elevated on a narrow platform, three steps leading to it, the throne-chair being solidly put together, cleat-fashion, by the boys, the back carved in a simple but quaint design, drawn by Merlin.
One of the Knights proved specially good at lettering, and with his help a Castle banner was hung on its standard, and also a motto appeared on a panel over the throne. Visitors always stopped here to admire its neat workmanship:
The King's sword was made from a lath whittled, with a handle affixed and gilded; his crown was cut from card-board and covered with gilt paper.For God and the right
We are ready to fight,
True knights of to-day,
Ingenuity, the boys felt, reached its crowning point in the construction of the Siege Perilous. A need for this seat was not felt till far into the winter, when one of the Castle members, while skating, rescued a companion from drowning. It was felt that recognition should be accorded the deed, and a Siege Perilous was at once a necessity. An old-fashioned pulpit chair, with frayed horse-hair covering, came from the church. Cover and "stuffing" were alike ripped off, a soft-wood panel, on which a Knight in armor had been traced with a pyrography needle, was fitted into the oval of the back. Another picture square formed the seat which, with the heavy mahogany arms and steeple-carved back of the old chair, made a worthy baronial throne, and was used with great satisfaction for the honoring of the Castle hero on the night of its completion.
Probably the majority of Castles have no regalia. A few decorations about their room of meeting, a platform, Throne and Siege Perilous and perhaps inexpensive sashes symbolic of the degrees are satisfying. Imagination does the rest.
The Order has never opened an equipment department, thinking it better that whatever regalia is provided should be individually designed and home-made.
In regard to the matter of providing uniforms, the general experience is that since our members are somewhat older than those of the Boy Scouts, they are less likely to wish to wear uniforms in public. There is a stage in boy life when they like to display themselves upon the street. There soon comes a later stage when they prefer to keep their own affairs from the public and like to assume an air of mystery. We have, therefore, advocated that whatever costumes should be planned for would better be reserved for private conclaves.
There is no objection to the Castles furnishing themselves with street uniforms, and some have already done so. As most of the boys in turn hold various offices of honor, the wearing of official costumes is quite equally divided.
Simple sashes, blue for the Page, red for the Esquire, will be sufficient for the first meetings of a new Castle. Let the wardrobe increase with the prosperity of the Castle.
Smocks, like those worn by English farmers, or ponchos without sleeves may be made out of cheap blue cloth for fifteen cents each and are appropriate to the modest rank of Pages. The same suits, of brown muslin, would be suitable to the even more humble Paynims.
Pages may wear blue sashes with white braid. The robes of the Esquires may be long garments of red sateen, with white maltese crosses on the breast. They have short sleeves and are low-cut in neck. The boys may wear black shirts underneath to give the appearance of armor. The Knights may have the same outfit with white robes and the red shield on the breast.
If it were desired to fit out the whole Castle with costumes, there is probably nothing better than the black scholar's gown. This is appropriate both for the private meetings, and also for public appearances, especially in church. These gowns are suitable for boy choirs, and the ladies of the churches will often take an interest in helping to make them, when they understand that they are to be used for such a double purpose.
Castle Sherwood, No. 2554, reports some fine varieties in Castle robes. Their King has a purple velvet robe lined with imitation ermine and a chain of office and crown of hammered brass. Merlin's and Sir Kay's are much the same except that Merlin's is black bordered with white and Kay's is a very dark green, bordered with red. Both have the cross on the left breast. Merlin and Kay wear the Knight's baldric or surcoat of white under these robes. The Pages wear a tabard of dark blue with a belt of the same color, while the Esquires wear a red tunic with belt and sword. Knights wear the baldric and the Chancellors a broad silk sash across the tunic.
But the Castle does not stop here, for they have a throne which once served as an English altar seat.
Castle Hertford, No. 2064, Hartford, Connecticut, has very beautiful regalia, designed by the Merlin, and made by the boys themselves. The Pages wear a plain blue cape, a blue baldric, with red shield and white cross. The Esquires wear a red cape lined with blue, a red baldric, with red shield and white cross. The Knights wear a white robe lined with red, a white baldric, with red shield and white cross. Merlin has a black robe lined with purple. The King has a deep purple robe lined with white. The officers wear baldrics of appropriate colors. The King's crown is of metal lined with purple. The long capes are turned back on one side, showing the color of the preceding degree. The banner is of grey silk lined with red. The name of the Castle runs diagonally. In the upper corner is a red cross with white shield. In the lower is a red deer on green ground (a hart crossing a ford). The red, white and grey (silver) are the colors of Hertford, England, whence the Castle obtains its name.
Here is the glorious array in which another Castle adorns itself:
The King wears a long tunic of golden satin, divided into large diamonds by red stitching, and having a large red dragon rampant on the front, a red velvet over-cape, with a very long train, trimmed with imitation ermine, a shoulder cape of imitation ermine and a crown of cloth-of-gold, studded with brilliants and imitation jewels.
The Page's costume is a blue tunic with long blue hose and trunks. Esquires wear a red shoulder cape, very full, trimmed with gold galloons and their coat of arms embroidered upon the breast of the tunic of their Pages' dress, which is retained for all degrees.
The two Heralds wear tabards of satin, embroidered with Pendragon's arms, quartered. Merlin wears a robe of purple satin, trimmed with a fur collar and cuffs, and a red cloak, lined with yellow satin, suspended from the shoulders. The Lord High Chancellor or Dubric wears a semi-prelatical costume and has taken the Castle name of Richelieu.
Still another strikes terror to its adversaries in the following manner:
The King is dressed in a white and purple robe, the Chancellors a mantle of black with a white border and a cap to match with a white cross in front. The Chamberlains' tunics hang to the knees, are trimmed with a gold edge and brass buttons, and they wear red stockings. The Jester is clothed in black and yellow. Crowns are made from old stiff hats with the top of the crown taken off. The rims are also taken off, and with gold paint and glass jewels or some insignia of the Order they are made very realistic.
Merlin is always dressed in black. The robe for the Seneschal may be green, the Constable's yellow, and the Sentinel's brown. Some Castles like the armor cloth which may be secured from the Boston Regalia Co., 387 Washington St., Boston, Mass. This is especially good for use in the play.
The spears and swords of which every member should soon equip himself are easily made in the manual training room of school, in the Castle's handicraft work, or they may be easily done at home. The best and most lasting material for the shield is sheet iron. At any hardware store they will cut out for you any shape that you may desire. Some would prefer the round and smaller shield, but the most popular is the longer shield-shaped shield which will cover more of the body. Also have the man at the store solder on for you two hand-grasps on the back. One should be a little larger than the other.
This report comes from Castle Ograf, Fargo, North Dakota:
"The spears we found to be one of the greatest temptations to disorder the Castle, until we began to make sockets for them. The socket consists of two crossed pieces, with a two-inch block nailed to the center and a hole in the block of proper size to admit the butt of the spear. We make our shields of "Beaver-Board," which is light, strong, and easily worked.
Many boys on becoming members of our Order choose shields for themselves from those which have been borne by some ancient hero of bygone days, but others seeking for originality design their own. To these worthy members a word of warning might be given: Remember that once you have adopted a design it can not be changed, except for the purpose of quartering or some other great occasion, so one should take great care in the designing of his shield. Never place anything on a shield that does not represent something worthy of notice; and above all know the meaning of anything you place on your shield. Vast mistakes have been made from ignorance of the meaning of certain things. One brave and noble knight had upon his shield a lion with its tail between its legs and its head turned looking backward; this signifies a coward, while the boy mentioned was far from being such a person.
If one is an artist he can paint his design on his shield, but best results have come where cloth is stretched across the shield, and where there are to be a number of colors used these can be cut out of different colored pieces, sewed together and stretched across the shield. Be sure to leave a large enough piece for a lap to paste the cloth on the inside.
In case something is to be added to the design already upon the shield, it is best to quarter it. To quarter a shield divide it into four parts, by a line through the center from top to bottom and by a line through the center from left to right. In the upper left hand and lower right hand place the old design and in the upper right hand and lower left hand the new design. If a person has been elevated to the peerage he may place a coronet across his shield, but a Baron or Viscout [sic] cannot place the coronet of an Earl or Marquis upon his shield.
In olden times a knight's fighting shield was steel, with his coat of arms painted on this, but for court occasions he had a shield covered by a layer of gold or silver or some other elaborate decoration.
It is well before designing a shield to read a good book on Heraldry and then you will be sure of making a design that means something or stands for something.
Heraldry is a written language of its own, and it is just as easy to write it correctly as incorrectly.
For example, there are only nine tinctures properly used, seven of which were anciently called Colors and the other two Metals. The Metals were gold and silver and may be represented today as such or as yellow and white. The seven Colors--not to give their heraldric names--are blue, red, black, green, purple, orange and blood-color. Then there is a rule about combinations of tinctures. No Metal can be placed upon a Metal or a Color upon a Color. Yellow should not be placed upon white or red upon black. In the choice of Colors there is a symbolism. Gold represents wealth or generosity; blue, charity; red, courage; black, prudence; green, youth, etc.
The various attitudes of the animals used as charges upon the shields all have significance. What Pugin says of the lion is quite true of most of the other beasts. The lion couchant is the emblem of sovereignty, rampant of magnanimity, passant of resolution, guardant of prudence, salient of valor, sejant of counsel and reguardant of circumspection. The animals themselves have the meaning of their characters. The lion is the king of beasts and the dolphin of fishes, and the eagle of birds. The pelican "in its piety" represents self-sacrifice, the peacock with tail spread is "in pride." Other creatures whose meaning may be guessed are the falcon, the hawk, the cormorant, the swan, the dove, the raven and the game cock. Some of the animals have acquired another meaning through the noble families that have borne them, as the bear of the Warwicks, the pike of the Lucys, the snake of Caius College, Cambridge.
The choice of a motto is very important, as it is often life-inspiring. If one's prototype had a motto, it should be found and used. Otherwise, select the most noble one that can be found. To emblazon it in Latin gives a sense of proprietorship.
Finally, in shield-making we would like to give the system of decorating that has been submitted by Merlin Adams:
Every shield should have some meaning connected with some event that has occurred in the life of the knight whose name he has chosen. Colors so should be used that they are symbolic, perhaps, in the following fashion: Red, for zeal[,] fire, blood; black for circumstance, anger, sin, or a contrast in borders, etc.; green for reference to events of the tournament or field; gold, for incidents connected with royalty; white or silver for crosses, etc.; blue for decorative contrast; and grey for steel, etc.
Heraldry: As the system of decoration is for instruction by symbol, and of a sort easy to understand by the boys, the rules of Heraldry are not followed, though not violated purposely where applicable. Heraldry was not an established science in King Arthur's time.
Example: The Shield of Sir Balin, who "smote the dolorous stroke," the bottom shield in the fourth row in the cut. Cross deep red, with spear of black, falling columns and stones of grey, all on a field of cold blue, for the darkness of the night. Emblematic of the spear of Longius at the Crucifixion, wherewith Balin smote the stroke, and the castle fell. See Morte Darthur, Book II. chapter xv.
Summary of the Shields: References are to the Morte Darthur, A.W. Pollard, editor, Macmillan & Co., N.Y., 1903, by Book and Chapter. Beginning at the top of the first column in the cut, at the left of the reader:
Sir Launcelot: On a field silver, three lions azure, rampant. "Idyls [sic] of the King," Tennyson.
Sir Bedivere: On red quarters, Mt. Saint Michael, crowned, commemorative of his attendance on King Arthur, there, at the slaying of the giant; and the cross in token of his retirement as a server, in a religious establishment, in his old age. The sword signifies his casting away of Excalibur, V., v.; XXI., v.; XXI., vi.
Sir Palamides: Black, with red bar; the cross above the crescent, as the Mohammedan became a Christian. The "Questing Beast." IX., xii.; XII., xiv.
Sir Tor: Green, blue and red; the knight, the brachet and the hart; the first quest of Sir Tor. III., v.
Sir Sadok: A "pile" (a foundation), on which the cross of Jerusalem, the foundation city, whence the Faith was spread, which Faith is the foundation of the manly, Christian life. The rowells of the knightly spurs. Signifying an able, Christian knight. VII., xxvi.
Sir Launcelot: Another form of the Tennyson suggestion. Border and crowns of gold.
Sir Bors: On a field of gold, the sign of the Cross; in quarters, emblems of the visions of Sir Bors. XVI., viii.
Sir Alisander: Quartered. On black, the shirt stained with "old blood." On red, the sword, crowned victor, as no record of his defeat is mentioned. X., xxxiv.
Sir Lavaine: On red, a chevron reversed, green. Thereon, inverted spear points, in token of his victories. Below, a point crown banded, in token of his unhorsing the king. Above, the fleur-de-lis, as, in later years, he was made earl of Arminak. XVIII., xxiv.; XX., xviii.
Sir Gareth: On a field azure, a star silver. After Tennyson, in "Gareth and Lynette."
Sir Balin: Emblematic of the smiting of "the dolorous stroke." Explained above in "Example." II., xv.
Sir Baudwin: On light blue, chevron reversed, red, with white crosses. Above, the hermitage of the surgeon, Baudwin; below, lancets, with blood drops. V., iii.; XVIII., xii., xvii. Crosses, Christian service.
Sir Agravaine: On black, a bar of white inflamed, with rowells, in token of zealous knightliness. L., xix.
Sir Lionel: Emblematic of the fight between him and his brother, Bors. On black, crossed swords; shields burning in the miraculous flame. Flame and triangles at side, red. XVI., xiv. to xvii.
Sir Ector: Quartered. On white, the bit, from the bridle of self-control, without which he cannot follow the perfect path, indicated by the candle in the hand, on red. The vision of Sir Ector, XVI., ii.
The matter of dealing with younger boys and details concerning advancement through the degrees are treated in two separate booklets published by the Order. Neither of these matters usually concerns the leader at the beginning but since he usually wishes to see his whole problem, a few introductory statements should be made.
Where the boys differ materially in age and fall naturally into two groups, it is easier to conduct a senior and a junior Castle separately, bringing them together on special occasions. Where the younger boys are manifestly not ready for the advanced methods used in the Castle, they are classed as a "Brotherhood of David," "Hawkers," "Kitchen Knaves," "Yeomen," etc., and special plans are applied which are described in another pamphlet.
The three degrees accepted everywhere in our order are those which were common in the Middle Ages, namely, page, esquire and knight. In many Castles where it is desired to keep boys upon probation of more length in order to measure their qualities or to enable them to recognize their privileges, they are enrolled first as "paynims," the medieval word for pagans. These boys are sometimes given introductory initiations consisting largely of harmless horse-play. Suggestions in this direction will be gladly furnished by Headquarters. These paynims are sometimes given special reading to do, or are perhaps permitted to attend a conclave after the ritual has been performed, or to take part in athletics and special festivals.
All the boys who are charter members within a short time are made members of the degree of page. It is understood that, as in the ancient Castle, this is a rank of humility. It is a period of preparation and probation. If a boy is not satisfied with it, he is not expected to be. He is in preparation for something higher. He is proving his possibilities. This last phrase suggests the special and constant endeavor of the leader in connection with the boys in this degree. He is on a quest to discover the boys' latent possibilities. While he works with the group and the group is composed of boys apparently very much alike, he soon discovers that each has separate capacities, and the Castle and its methods are simply his tools for bringing each boy's special abilities to the surface.
The page is supposed to be preparing for the degree of esquire. This thought is held up before the boys through the early months of their membership. Although various standards have been suggested and accepted by many Castles for this promotion, the leaders of the Order have hitherto resisted any tendency to standardize and make purely external and formal the fulfillment of the requirements. There are three general requisites, however, which the Order insists upon before it will give its own recognition to those who claim to have reached the second degree. These are a required term of membership; the attainment by a boy of a definite step forward in his life, and certain specific instruction and guidance.
The minimum limit of time before a boy may become an esquire is six months. This, if the Castle is organized as most of our Castles are between October and May, gives the leader a whole season in which to study and help the boy and it enables the boy to determine whether he desires to maintain his membership and advance to the second degree.
The second requirement is that he should manifestly have taken some forward step in his life. The second degree is the degree of habit, in which it is understood that its members are seriously learning how to live and live together. In order to be allowed to associate with such youth, a boy should move forward in his physical, social and moral life. Just how to attain this point depends upon the leadership and wisdom of the Merlin and the willingness of the boy. Some leaders make mental tests and require a boy to memorize certain knightly passages in literature. It is an almost universal demand that the boy, before becoming an esquire, should be able to give verbally and with spirit the biography of the hero whose name he has taken as his own. Some Castles require that the candidate for esquire should have made for himself a shield, upon which he has emblazoned his own coat of arms. A very important requirement is that just before initiation the boy should have a confidential interview with his Merlin.
The third requirement is that, since one of the watchwords of the esquire is purity, the boy should have, in the knowledge of his Merlin, definite instruction regarding the ideals and habits which involve a life of purity and self mastery. It is advised that Merlin shall see that this instruction is given through the boy's parents, both urging them to do so and placing appropriate literature in their hands. Failing this, it is sometimes necessary that it should be given by a wise physician or even by Merlin himself. It is desirable that such instruction should always be given privately.
Those who are supposed to be ready for the third degree are those who are ready for church service. The keynote of this stage is unselfishness. Usually boys are not admitted to the third degree until they have become members of the local church or have reached a level of life which implies very much the same thing. This, however, is not enough. There should be extended time required, perhaps a year beyond esquireship, so that the younger boys may not think great piety is a sufficient preparation for knighthood. It should involve definite and persistent training through Castle and church activities in the habit of serving others, and as soon as the boy manifests his willingness to attain this degree, he should be instructed that his reaching this exalted rank and maintaining it must depend upon his continuing the regular habit of doing for others. This degree should be the hardest to gain and the hardest to keep of the three.
To attain the Siege Perilous is, strictly in accordance with the English peerage, a rank higher than that of page or esquire. There is, of course, an anomaly here in that a boy as yet a page may conceivably attain such an honor and become a "baronet." As a matter of fact, since this recognition can be gained only by the unanimous vote of the boys, it is not often conferred though it is the most highly prized. Many Castles have not given this honor more than once in their history. Merlin should, of course, be on the watch for unusual deeds of a physical, intellectual or unselfish nature and suggest to the boys the appropriateness of a conferral.
The higher degrees from baron to duke are conferred, as another booklet explains, for various extraordinary, protracted efforts. They are really by-products and chiefly a matter of satisfaction to the boys who seek them.
The chief concern during the first year of the life of a Castle is the preparation of paynims to be pages and pages to be esquires, with the occasional advancement of a boyish hero to the Siege Perilous.
The founder of the Order has conducted Castles in all sorts of places and under all sorts of circumstances for a score of years or more and has never in all that time found it necessary to ask a cent from the public for any feature of the work of any Castle, its meeting-place, its regalia, its outings or its camps. This is the general experience. The endeavor to do otherwise is to spoil the boys. They should be a self-supporting as well [as] self-respecting community. The experience of the Castles in general is that they not only pay their own way but contribute liberally to the church and other important causes.
A "tribute," 5c a member for each Conclave, is a burden to no one and will furnish money enough to meet all ordinary necessities of the Castle.
The annual exhibition, play or opening conclave of the Castle has generally been found sufficient to meet such extraordinary needs as the decoration of the Castle hall or the provision of regalia for the members.
Some of the other methods by which money has actually been raised may be briefly mentioned:
1.--A Castle has taken agency for the Saturday Evening Post.
2.--A Castle bought a box of various kinds of soap and toilet preparations from Larkin or Colgate and sold it by the cake to the community.
3.--A vacuum cleaner has been purchased and rented out with members of the Castle to run it.
4.--A printing press has been put up which has more than yielded the purchase price by doing the church calendar and odd job printing.
5.--Some Castles have raised money by getting a prominent man to lecture for them.
6.--Castle Garibaldi, New Haven, Connecticut, had an address by ex-President Taft.
7.--A Castle has taken a booth at a church fair.
8.--A Castle has given a "pie supper." The people, as they came in, received a card bearing the words, "Coffee, doughnuts, pie, plate, fork, napkin, cream, sugar." A penny or two was charged for each item and each item was delivered upon presentation of one of the strips.
9.--An art exhibition was held at which Copley prints were sold.
10.--One Castle gave a Saturday for chopping wood, shoveling sidewalks, etc.
11.--The boys of another Castle collected and sold old papers.
12.--One Castle gave what is called a "Seven Entertainment." A fee of 7c was charged for each thing furnished, namely, ice cream and cake, coffee and cake, and a series of seven tableaux of life, beginning with the age of seven and concluding with seventy-seven.
13.--A "Lost Party" was given.
14.--An ice cream social was held.
The reader who has perhaps expected a cut-and-dried plan for manipulating boys may be surprised to note how general these suggestions are. He is allowed complete freedom in working with his boys. But he is given some inspiring ideas which have been worked out successfully by intelligent and faithful men and women for about a quarter of a century, and he may add to these and make of them all he will.
The leaders of the national Order regard the following points only as essential:
A competent and worthy adult leader, who himself and whose plans are acceptable to the local church.
A reasonable amount of regular endeavor on his part to lead the boys wisely.
A group of boys of about the same age, preferably thirteen and over.
Because of the value of the plan, the organization in imitation of an ancient Castle, and the giving to each boy a heroic name.
Promotion to the second degree only after at least six months of training and after satisfying fairly difficult requirements which involve steady endeavor during that period.
Promotion to the third degree only after an even longer and more strenuous apprenticeship, usually after church membership and when the boy seems really consecrated to a life of service.
This booklet is regarded as sufficient aid to inaugurate the work. Another is in preparation describing more explicitly plans for the initiations and more advanced work. The Order furnishes a complete Castle outfit for a reasonable cost, and a price list of special helps and books is published. King Arthur's Herald, the monthly organ of the movement, presents the latest ideas and news of the Castles.
The Order is a self-supporting organization conducted without profit.
The first thing a Castle does is either to break up a bad gang or start a good one. It generally takes a group of boys in a church who very much need attention, retains them in the Sunday schools, prepares them for religious committal, and develops their characters under adult Christian leadership.
Its exercises give a simple and wholesome physical expression without the necessity of expensive appartus [sic]. They encourage skilful work with the hands. They develop the dramatic and imaginative instincts. They insist upon training in purity. They give an opportunity for patriotic exercises. They form a school in chivalry toward women, and they transform toward good the social relations between the boys and girls of a church. The Castles are not only self-supporting, but they usually contribute to the benevolences or support of the church.
The Castle is an informal but most effective school of church membership, and out of its trained leaders come always some of the future leaders of the church.
A KING ARTHUR DICTIONARY.
Intended to cover briefly anything that has not been explained.
Badge, a white maltese cross on a red shield.
Banner, a white maltese cross on a red background.
Baron, an additional rank that may be earned by boys.
Baronet, the permanent title granted to one who has sat in the Siege Perilous.
Caerleon, the name of headquarters.
Castle, a local group of boys.
Chamberlain, a member of the initiation committee.
Chancellor, a member of the executive or program committee.
Colors, red and white.
Conclave, a Castle meeting.
Consistory, the grouped Castles in a single church, where there is more than one.
Constable, the member appointed to keep order.
Coronation, the ceremony when a new king and his associates are installed.
Counsellor, a member of an advisory committee of men.
County Palatine, a city organization of Castles, presided over by a Viscount.
David, Brotherhood of, a preparatory society for younger boys.
Dubric, the chaplain.
Duke, a very high rank in the Order.
Esquire, a member who has been promoted from a Page after six months.
Exchequer, the Castle treasury.
Federated Castle, a Castle equipped with the necessary outfit and organized in an acceptable manner.
Galahad, the title given for a single night to the boy who is seated in the Siege Perilous.
Galahad Cross, the highest honor conferred by the Order.
Grip, a handshake in which both press with the forefinger twice upon the wrist of the other.
Hall, the place of meeting.
Heralds, custodians of the banners and messengers of the King.
Kay, the Seneschal, Merlin's assistant.
King, the presiding officer.
Knight, a boy who has been promoted from an Esquire, usually a church member.
Lady of the Lake, the title of the adult leader, if a woman; also the title of the chairman of the committee of Queens; also the title of the leader of a sister society of girls.
Mage Merlin, the founder of the Order.
Marquis, the presiding officer in a state.
Merlin, the adult leader, if a man.
Motto, "My Sword Shall Be Bathed in Heaven."
Page, each boy at the beginning of membership.
Passwords, locally adopted.
Paynims, outsiders; also boys who are in a preparatory degree or rank.
Peerage, all members of the degree of Baron and above.
Point System, a plan for earning a degree by counting up acceptable credits.
Prince, a vice-chairman.
Province, a state organization of Castles, presided over by a Marquis.
Queens of Avalon, members of the committee of women patrons; also the name of the sister society of girls.
Quest, a Castle or individual deed of service or study.
Seneschal, Merlin's assistant.
Shire, a neighborhood or county organization of Castles, presided over by an Earl.
Siege Perilous, the supreme honor that may be given by a local Castle.
Signs, locally invented.
Sir Pendragon, the title by which the King is addressed.
Tournament, a Castle athletic event.
Tribute, a Castle tax.
Uther, the last ex-King.
Yoemen [sic] of King Arthur, younger men organized in a preparatory group