Having declared that "No commercial organization performs its legitimate functions unless it makes an effort to inculcate the principles of true citizenship in the minds of its members, and to advance the social conditions of the people always ahead of the march of industrial and commercial progress." the board of trade readily indorsed this plan to form a boys' division of the board, and authority was given the secretary to undertake its formation. The result is the Juvenile Club of the Winston-Salem Board of Trade.
Membership in the Juvenile Club is not limited to high-school boys, for it was thought best to open to all interested boys of the city a way to become identified with constructive and active civic work. To become a member of the club, however, the boy must be at least 14 years of age and under 21 years old. Another condition of membership is that the boy must subscribe to and recite from memory before the secretary of the board of trade the ancient Athenian oath, pledging himself to perform faithfully his civic obligations. This pledge is as follows:
We will never bring disgrace to this our city by any act of dishonesty or cowardice, nor ever desert our suffering comrades in the ranks. We will fight for the ideals and sacred things of the city, both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the city's laws and do our best to incite a like respect and reverence in those above us who are prone to annul or to set them at naught. We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this city not less, but greater, better, and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.
A membership register is kept in which the boys sign their names after subscribing to and reciting this oath.
The boys have the privilege of attending all regular meetings of the board of trade, with the right to take part in debates, but without any voting power. They are assigned committee work, and special meetings are held for them twice a month or more frequent if the work demands it. Members of the Juvenile Club pay no fees.
The club has a membership of about 50 boys, the first member being enrolled October 14, 1912.
Every effort is made to properly train these boys for the duties of citizenship, to create in them respect for honest and efficient public service, and to actively interest them in the work of making Winston-Salem a better, greater, and more beautiful city in which to live.
The first employment of the members of the Juvenile Club has been in the recent industrial survey of Winston-Salem conducted by the board of trade. All of the boys selected to assist in this work were students in the department of government and economics of the high school. In this way the boys in the graduating class of the high school this year have been able to take part in an organized industrial investigation under proper authority.
In this work the boys visited the local manufacturing establishments and filled out a detailed industrial schedule, in the same manner as do special agents of the statistical bureaus of the Federal Government. They were held strictly responsible for the accuracy of their reports, and the statistical tables which have been prepared are compiled directly from their reports.