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.
ONCE when I was at sea in a fishing yacht owned by my brothers, we ran on the rocks. I thought that all was up with us, and was anxiously watching my eldest brother, our skipper, for a sign to get into a life-belt and take to the boat; but when at length he looked at me it was to glare and shout angrily, “Look out for that boat-hook, which is slipping away under your very nose.”
When I found that he was thinking of such details as this I began to recognise that the danger was not overwhelming, and that by attention to minor steps we might pull through successfully and without loss; which we eventually did. So it is with the Boy Scout Movement. Nervous souls seem to apprehend disintegration of the Movement owing to the war taking the best of our Commissioners and Scoutmasters. I am all the more delighted then to see that there are those who are “looking out for the boat-hook,” who are doing their “Scout business as usual.” In taking away a number of our Commissioners and Scoutmasters the war is in reality doing a great good to the Movement. It could not have come at a more opportune moment for forcing upon us what I have always urged, namely, the value of the Patrol system and the usefulness of the Patrol Leaders if only they are properly trained and invested with responsibility.