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HE ABSTAINER The Monthly Magazine of the Cardiff & District Temperance and Band of Hope Union. Communications for the Editor should be addressed to the Offices of the Union. 35. Windsor Place, Cardiff Vol. XVII. 5. MAY, 1906. ONE PENNY. BAND OF HOPE WORK IN SUMMER. IJgsS&OW shall we keep tiie children together "-"^ during the Summer? This question is exercising the minds of most of our Band of Hope officials just now. The problem is more or less acute, according to the district in which the Band of Hope is situated. If it is on the out¬ skirts of the city, within easy reach of fields or parks, the children will be found in them on the summer evenings, instead of at the meetings; and even where there are no open spaces at hand, the temptations to play in the street are to some irrestible, unless counter attractions of a special kind are provided by those in charge of the Band of Hope meeting. The easiest way of solving the problem is to "give it up," and to announce to the members that the meetings will be discontinued from May until, say, September. In defence of this plan two things may be said :—In the first place, supposing that it be true that " absence makes the heart grow fonder," the children may return to the meetings and to the friends who conduct them with an increase of appre¬ ciation ; and secondly, the workers will obtain a measure of relaxation, too often sorely needed. But much more is to be said against the plan of closing than can possibly be urged in favour. Band of Hope work is needed in the Summer not less than in the Winter, for everyone who knows anything of the child-mind, knows that its readiness to receive impressions is balanced by an equal readiness in losing them unless fixed by constant repetition, and therefore it follows that the discontinuance of the meetings during the Summer will mean that some, perhaps much, of the previous Winter's work will be wasted. The grand secret, of success in all high endeavour, and especially in the effort to train the young in the ways of temperance and goodness, is to '" keep on keeping on ! " But how best can we keep on through the Summer? Well, it is essential that there must be a honest and determined attempt to make the meetings attractive. The typical Summer indoor meeting—attended by a faithful few, some with pockets bulging with tops or marbles; some with skipping-ropes tied round their waists in a fashion suggestive of pictures of Eastern snake charmers; and all eager to be out in the free air—is not an inspiring affair. The speaker's voice echoes in the void beyond his little hearers, and both he and they are rather glad when it is time to go. An open-air Band of Hope meeting would be far more enjoyable, provided that workers are plentiful. It should be held in a fairly quiet spot—in a field for preference—and there should be a sufficient number of workers on the outskirts of the gathering to maintain order and prevent too great a freedom of coming and guing Such a meeting, well con¬ ducted, may be productive of good results. Then, it is well sometimes to take the children for a ramble, a field or wood, not too faraway, being chosen as a destination. The children should start in procession singing a temperance melody, and on reaching the appointed spot, may be allowed to play for a time, or to indulge in races and sports, for which a few packets of sweets will serve as prizes. At another time the children may be set to gather wild flowers, a prize being given for the most, taste¬ fully arranged nosegay. Before starting on the homeward journey, a bun may be given to each child, if the funds will allow of their purchase. But in every case there should be a little singing, and a few minutes address. Time ought always to be allowed for this. As regards suitable places, there are several at no great distance from Cardiff. Whitchurch Common, the Sophia Gardens' field, Llaudaff fields, and the Eoath Park recreation ground, are a few which may be mentioned. For wild-flower gathering, it would of course be necessary to take a longer walk. By adopting such a plan as this, or any other which may suggest itself to conductors and workers, the continuity of the work may be kept unbroken, and one very great advantage secured will be that the children will be willing to come on wet evenings to the usual indoor meeting. There is no doubt that Union Speakers if com¬ municated with by Secretaries, will be glad to join in rambles and open-air meetings, aud give short addresses (these must be short however). If through an unusual combination of circumstances anywhere, it should be found impossible to keep a Band of Hope meeting going, even monthly, the "Abstainer" should be distributed to the members on Sunday afternoon at the close of school. In other cases this little messenger with its temperance teaching on every page, should be given at the close of the open-air or other meeting, or on the return from the ramble. Some tired worker may perhaps wonder why he or she should not, rest from labour in the summer time, instead of being at, the extra trouble of arranging special meetings. Let, such remember that their reward is not yet. " In due season they shall reap, if they faint not." P. Qt.