During his lifetime Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the worldwide Scouting movement, wrote many books and articles directed to Scouters.
Each Sunday I’ll publish a selection from his writings in the hope that you’ll draw inspiration and understanding from his timeless ideas.
VERY closely allied with education comes the important matter of religion. Though we hold no brief for any one form of belief over another, we see a way to helping all by carrying the same principle into practice as is now being employed in other branches of education, namely, to put the boys in touch with their objective, which in this case is to do their duty-to God through doing their duty to their neighbour. In helping others in doing daily good turns, and in rescuing those in danger, pluck, self-discipline, unselfishness, chivalry, become acquired, and quickly form part of their character. These attributes of character, coupled with the right study of Nature, must of necessity help to bring the young soul in closer touch spiritually with God.
Personally, I have my own views as to the relative value of the instruction of children in Scripture history within the walls of the Sunday-school, and the value of Nature study and the practice of religion in the open air, but I will not impose my personal views upon others. I prefer to be guided by collective opinions of experienced men, and here a remarkable promise stands before us. Scouting has been described by various men and women of thought and standing as “a new religion” — three times I have read it this week. It is not, of course, a “new religion,” it is merely the application to religious training of the principle now approved for secular training — that of giving a definite objective and setting the child to learn and practise for himself — and that, I think everybody’s experiences will tell him, is the only training which really sticks by a man for good and ultimately forms part of his character.
From B.P.’s Outlook