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 FEEL that anything that can be devised for fostering the Patrol spirit and the responsibility of Patrol Leaders cannot but be valuable from the point of view of character training, apart from the fact that it also tends to relieve the over-taxed Scoutmaster of much minor work. One suggestion as to this may be taken from the custom which prevails with best effect at Winchester, where every boy has to report to his prefect weekly that he has done five hours’ “exercise” during the week. Exercise means the playing of certain games or practice of certain equivalents in the athletic line. I am glad to see that at least one Troop carries out a somewhat similar scheme, and I should like to see it more general.
My idea roughly is that each Patrol Leader should send weekly a report to his Scoutmaster to show to what extent each of his Scouts has carried out Scouting exercises, has attended parades, and has paid up his subscription during the week. It is expected of each Scout that he should do at least four Scouting exercises weekly. “Scouting Exercises” would include parades. Scout games, tramps or rallies, attendances at Scout instruction class, doing Scout work on his own, such as making a map or a report, or handicraft work, playing a recognised health-giving game, such as football, rounders, paper-chase, or basket ball, for an hour. Good turns do not count as “Scout Exercises,” as they should be done every day in any case. They may, however, be noted in the report in addition to the exercises.