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.
I HAVE been GLAD to see a good many reports of bad camping by Groups who should by this time know better. I say I am glad because it means to me that Commissioners are now really looking into the camping that goes on in then districts, where formerly such inspections were more sketchy and indulgent. The fact that the efforts of Scout-masters to have their camps well organised are appreciated by Commissioners cannot fail to encourage them, and I am glad to note that these form the very large majority. I have every hope that the reports at the end of next season will show very few unsatisfactory camps among the many hundreds which will have been held.
At the same time it is a little disappointing to find that several Scoutmasters are still ignorant of the first principles of camping. The reports received too often speak of “unsuitable sites,” “bad condition of latrines,” “bad food storage,” “untidy uniforms in the town,” etc.
All this means, either that we are getting a big lot of new hands among the Scouters, willing but as yet ignorant, or that we have still a number of them who have not made use of the Gilwell training or our handbooks on camping. In either case such Scouters should realise 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.
October, 1931 – B-P’s Outlook