Scouts, Boy. This movement, founded by the late Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell in 1908, "to help boys of whatever class to become all-round men," has been developed with great spirit and success in many countries of the world. Its aim is to develop good citizenship among boys by forming their character training them in habits of observation, obedience, and self reliance inculcating loyalty and thoughtfulness for others teaching them services useful to the public and handicrafts useful to themselves promoting their physical development and hygiene.
L. Mary Barker, ed., Pears Cyclopaedia. (Isleworth, Middlesex: A. & F Pears, Ltd., Autumn, 1950), p. 643.
Well, B.-P. always said....
...any fool can smoke but a wise Scout doesn't. |
Our object is to get all the boys interested, and every boy started on one or two hobbies, so that he may eventually find that which suits him the best and which may offer him a career for life.
I hope that all Commissioners and Scout-masters will explain to their First-aid instructors that we want to teach the boys how to deal practically with accidents, not how to pass examinations.
But the best form of instruction of all for a Scoutmaster to give is by force of example.
Many, nay most, military camps are liable to do more harm than good to boys.
To do their duty to God through doing their duty to their neighbour... coupled with the right study of Nature, must of necessity help to bring the young soul in closer touch spiritually with God.
The secret of sound education is to get each pupil to learn for himself, instead of instructing him by driving knowledge into him on a stereotyped system.
A pat on the back is a stronger stimulus than a prick with a pin.
Probably the majority of us are in sympathy with the Socialist ideal, though we may not see with the same eye the practicability of its details or its methods.
I don't give a fig whether a Scout wears a uniform or not so long as his heart is in his work and he carries out the Scout Law.
In the Boy Scout Movement our aim is, as far as possible, so to shape our syllabus as to make it a practical form of character training....
The camp must be a busy one and not a school for aimless loafing.
May I ask Scoutmasters to re-read their book occasionally? Say once a year.
A Scout officials line is rather that of an older brother or a father to his boys than of an officer or a schoolmaster.
Our aim is to get hold of the boys and to open up their minds, to bring out each lads character (and no two are alike), and to make them into good men for God and their country, to encourage them to be energetic workers and to be honourable, manly fellows with a brotherly feeling for one another.
It is by the character of its citizens, not by the force of its arms, that a country rises superior to others.
...as the Movement gets a hold,... it will promote a common bond of sympathy which will make for peace between nations.
The better the soldier is drilled, the less he can be trusted to act as a responsible individual.
Parents and clergy naturally suppose that soldering is the end and aim of the Scouts training and resent it accordingly. They do not realize that we are working on a far higher plane than that, namely, to make good and successful citizens.
... we were against war, we were not against self defence... we are helping to build the foundations for the eventual establishment of common interests and friendships which will ultimately and automatically bring about disarmament and a permanent peace.
Scouting has been defined as the continuation of the Montessori system with boys. The Scoutmaster initiates the ambition of the boy, leaving him free to gain his objective in his own way.
- our object is to wean them from indoors and to make the outdoors attractive to them. We are not a brigade - nor a Sunday School - but a school of the woods. We must get more into the open for the health, whether of the body or the soul, of Scout and of Scoutmaster.
We want to show the boys how to be happy, how to enjoy life, both (1) in the present, and (2) in the future. By encouraging, in a healthy, cheery, and not in a sanctimonious and looking-for-reward spirit, your Scouts to do good turns as a first step, and to do service for the community as a development, you can do more for them even then by encouraging their proficiency or their discipline or their knowledge, because you are teaching them not how to get a living so much as how to live.
What is Scouting? ...it is brotherhood - a scheme which, in practice, disregards differences of class, creed, country and colour, through the undefinable spirit that pervades it....
We are a movement, not an organization.
Our aim is merely to help the boys, especially the least scholarly ones, to become personally enthused in subjects that appeal to them individually, and that will be helpful to them. We want to get them all along through cheery self- development from within and not through the imposition of formal instruction from without.
The test of success in education...is not what a boy knows after examination on leaving school but what he is doing ten years later.
Through badge work, where applied with discrimination, we can offer to the dullest and most backward boy a handicap that gives him a fair chance with his better-off or more brilliant comrade, and we can put into him ambition and hope, and the sense of achievement which will carry him on to greater ventures.
"Love thy God with all thy heart ;
And the second is like unto it
Love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Look at the open air, the health, the enjoyment of Nature, the knowledge of our country, the self-reliance and resourcefulness, and the many other attributes that camping brings in its train.
... the only school... that teaches service as a first rule of life is the Boy Scout Movement.
What we need, and what, thank God, we've got in most places in our movement, is not merely the spirit of good natured tolerance but of watchful sympathy and readiness to help one another. We not only need it but we've "got to have it" if we are going to teach our boys by the only sound way, that is through our own example, that greatest of principles - goodwill and co-operation.
Play-acting ought to form part of every boys education.
The desire to happify once installed into the character of the boy is going to make all the difference in his relations with his fellow-men, and in his attitude to the community in after-life. It will make him the "happy, helpful citizen" whom we need, and this, after all, is the real aim of our endeavor in Scouting.
If you're "out of" food you starve ; if you're "out of" temper you make a fool of yourself ; but if you're "out of" patience you may ruin your career.
Scouters should realize that we are not pernickety, nor do we want for our own amusement to see clean camps ; they should understand the fact that they have a big responsibility to the parents on their shoulders for keeping the boys healthy in camp, as well as instructed in cleanliness and good order.
I have little use for a cut-and-dried routine system in a Scout Headquarters building, with its temptation to softer living and parlour Scouting.
I have used the word "educate" rather than "teach," by which I mean that we must inspire each individual boy to develop these qualities for himself rather than impose mere instruction on him.
....discipline, resourcefulness, ingenuity, self-reliance, handcraft, woodcraft, boat-craft, team sense, Nature lore, etc....
...travel and reading and Nature study are all part of self-education, and as such should be commended to Scouts.
The spirit of adventure is inherent in almost every boy, but adventure is hard for him to find in the crowded city. One reads of gangs of boys of all ages, self-organized for crime, boarding lorries for systematic robbery, stealing motor cars, holding up wayfarers, etc. Stout lads! What Scouts they would make, if we had the men to handle them! But what sort of citizens are they going to make, if left to drift?
We in the Boy Scouts want to prepare our lads for the future that lies before them.
Let us tackle it, with all the joy of the adventure in these dangerous times, to build up with the help of God a valuable breed of young citizens for the future safety, honour, and welfare of our nation.
It is up to us in the Scouts, therefore, to carry on on the lines we have set before ourselves, to educate the character of our oncoming generation so that it maintains and develops that personal self-control and sense of service to the community which mark the good citizen. we want to educate the lad in a practical way to make the best of his life.
By "synthetic scouting" I mean the Scouting system obscured by overclothing the natural form with rules and instructive literature, tending to make what originally was, and should be, an open-air game into a science for the Scouter and a school curriculum for the boy.
Remember, "Now abideth Faith, and Hope, and Love these three. But the greatest of these is Love." Carry on in that spirit and you cannot fail.
Citizenship has been defined briefly as "active loyalty to the community"; but should aim at securing peaceful and friendly relations with other nations.
To believe that Peace and Goodwill instead of war and ill-will constitute the reign of God in the world is in itself a "religion." It is a religion to which all can subscribe, and one which no denomination will deny.
Its practice is citizenship of the highest type.
After all, are not these the tenets which are, and always have been, the underlying aim of our training in the Scouts?
The end is character character with a purpose. And that purpose, that the next generation be sane in an insane world, and develop the higher realization of Service, the active service of Love and Duty to God and neighbour.
Excerpts from Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden, Baron Baden-Powell, B.-P.s outlook. Selections from Lord Baden-Powells contributions to "The scouter", edited by E. E. Reynolds,[Second ed.] London : 1955.