By Peter McLaren
The Unique ceremony of burying the axe in the War Post, at the Outdoor
School of Dan Beard, National Commissioner, Boy Scouts of America. Mr.
Beard (the figure to the right of the boy throwing) says, "All the axes in
the War Post are Plumb Axes."
Axe Throwing is
A number of times in my work with scouts, I have demonstrated how to
throw the axe at a target. Scouts have taken to the game avidly, and soon there
would be a spirited competition under way.
The knack is easily acquired, and the
game has a certain thrill which appeals to every boy.
The rules are simple:
First a throwing board is made if contests are to be held indoors.
be constructed of yellow pine or some similar wood three inches thick. It should
be at least six feet high and twenty inches wide. This may be constructed of two boards, six feet long and ten or twelve inches wide,
fastened with three cross-pieces at the back.
Fasten the throwing board securely
to a wall. Then paint a bull's-eye target, circular in shape, and twelve inches
Mark a point four feet from the floor as the center of your target.
Make the first circle three inches in diameter with your mark as the center
point of this circle.
Your next circle should be seven and one-half inches in
diameter, using the same point as center, and your third circle, twelve inches
This gives three scoring rings, and they should be numbered as
follows; Bull's eye--5; middle ring--3; outer ring--1. The score is determined by
the ring in which the top of the axe blade imbeds.
Safety line.-- Mark on the
floor, a safety line eight feet wide (four feet on each side from center of the
target), extending it back for a distance of twenty feet.
This is the throwing
alley, or safety zone, and no one must be permitted within it except the boy
throwing. Use ropes as safety lines and permit no boys behind the
target, or close to the boy throwing.
Distance of Throw.-- The minimum distance
for a throw is nine feet. Mark a line at a point this distance from the target
over which contestants must not step.
The knack in throwing is to discover your
correct distance--a point from which the Scout Axe will turn so that the blade
will stick in the target.
To locate your proper distance try a few practice
throws starting at the twelve-foot point, and moving forward or backward until
the axe makes the proper turn and strikes the
target, blade first. Then you can practice for accuracy.
When a contest is held,
the first boy should step into position with his scout axe held at his side by
the end of the handle. He should take a firm stance with the feet spread apart
and the weight of the body resting on the right foot. The aim is taken, not by
sighting along the axe, but by fixing the eyes on the target, and raising the
axe until the edge is on a level with the eyes. In this position the edge, and
handle of axe should form a vertical line with the forearm and elbow. The axe is
then brought back over the shoulder without turning the edge to one side or the
other, and thrown
from this position with a natural forward sweep of the arm, swinging the body
forward as the axe is thrown. See Figure 63.
Always keep the axe blade in a direct line with the target
and throw the axe with a free forward swing.
Each boy is entitled to three
throws in succession but no axe must be thrown while another is sticking in the
No attempt should be made to spin the axe in the air. The weight of the
head will cause it to revolve as it speeds towards the target.
same sort of a throwing board, as described for indoor use, may be used outdoors
by fastening it to a post or fence. Or a portable target may be used as shown in
Always observe the safety precautions whether in doors or out in the
woods. Never fasten a target to a growing tree.
Advanced Throwing.--As boys
become proficient in throwing the axe, they should practice throwing from a
greater distance. Throwing teams may be organized, each member of the team
throwing at a particular spot in the target, so that a design, or pattern, is
formed by the axes after all have thrown.
The Boy Scout and His Axe