Unprecedented success has marked the work in deputations which has been carried on by the Harvard Christian Association during the past year. According to A. D. Phillips '26, chairman of the committee in charge of the trips, a total number of 11 teams composed of from three to six men, have been sent out to as many towns within the 50 mile radius of Boston. The purpose of these trips is not an evangelistic one nor is it their purpose to boost Harvard but merely to give the boys and young men of the small towns an insight into the possibilities and purpose of college life and training.
This year is the first time that a regular schedule of deputations has been arranged and put through. In past years only two or three teams have been sent out to various schools in the vicinity of Boston, but the work of this year's committee has far exceeded former records. To meet the ever-increasing demand from the towns in the surrounding territory for visits from men of college training, and to give an added opportunity for members of the University to work in this field. 18 trips have been planned this year, all but seven of which have already taken place. Not only has interest among graduates and under graduates of the University been far greater than in former years, but the towns where the teams have gone have reported most favorably on the work of the men.
Three men usually form the team which goes out each week-end. When ever possible a graduate, an undergraduate upper classman, and a Freshman are sent out together in order that the townspeople may have a view of different types of college men. Four or five meetings at which one of the members of the team speaks form the schedule of the average week-end trip. The subjects on which the men talk are entirely optional, but athletics, college life, and Christian living are the topics most often discussed.
According to several men who have participated in deputation work, among whom are ten "H" men, the greatest fun of the trips is in having personal talks with the boys of the critical "teen" age for whom the deputations are mostly intended.
The purpose and accomplishments of these trips is best explained by the report of A. D. Phillips '26, chairman of the committee, to the Christian Association last night in which he said: "In view of the fact that most undergraduates are not experienced speakers and are not vitally interested in religion, the purpose of these trips has been to propagate friendships rather than to evangelize. Every man who has reached college has some experience which can help a younger chap. All that is necessary is that he give the best he knows, and that he be sincere. Thus men who would not ordinarily be formed deeply religious, have been doing real and sincere Christian work. They themselves have come to a clearer conception of the meaning of the word Christianity, and they have left the impression in the towns they have visited that there is a deeply purposeful side to college life."