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The Social Service Committee of Phillips Brooks House does its work without display or perhaps even much credit from the University at large. Yet every year over 250 men find in the work it offers such satisfaction that they continue freely and faithfully to offer their services. The very fact that these men come forward voluntarily is sufficient testimony to the value of this sort of "outside interest". Yet the ranks are never quite filled; there is always room for more. Work could readily be found for five hundred, and is always waiting for fifty new recruits.
The great obstacle, next to that pressure of engagements which seems to burden all college men, is lack of confidence in one's own abilities. "I've never run a boys' club; I don't think I could do it" is the pathetic, hesitating complaint. And although no one denies that the ability to handle a boys' club is a faculty worth cultivating, the natural fear of facing singlehanded a whole troop of noisy, critical, sarcastically impudent youngsters is not pleasant when viewed from the comfort of an arm-chair. However, victories are not won in arm-chairs; and the test of this pudding, as many men will testify, is in the eating thereof.
There is at this season of the year a peculiar opportunity to investigate social service work without exposing one's self to its discomforts. Many men who have been conducting classes are desirous of seeing their charges passed on into good hands. Believing in the work, they wish to impress others with its advantages. They would be only too glad of the chance to show a Freshman what the work really consists of,--what it can do for the boys, and what it means to the leader.
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