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.
IN a small camp so very much can be done by example. You are living among your boys and are watched by each of them, and imitated unconsciously by them, and probably unobserved by yourself.
If you are lazy they will be lazy; if you make cleanliness a hobby it will become theirs; if you are clever at devising camp accessories, they will become rival inventors, and so on. But don’t do too much of what should be done by the boys themselves, see that they do it – “when you want a thing done don’t do it yourself” is the right motto. When it is necessary to give orders, the secret for obtaining obedience is to know exactly what you want done and to express it very simply and very clearly. If you add to the order an explanation of the reason for it, it will be carried out with greater willingness and much greater intelligence. If you add to the order and its explanation a smile, you will get it carried out with enthusiasm — or, remember, “a smile will carry twice as far as a snarl.” A pat on the back is a stronger stimulus than a prick with a pin.
EXPECT a great deal of your boys and you will generally get it.
From B.P.’s Outlook