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.
ALMOST every night for the past few weeks Scouts and Rovers in twos and threes have been camping at my home in their hikes about the country. It is a real joy to me to see them and to note their various forms of camp kit and cooking, and their ingenious gadgets which show the true backwoodsmanship that is developing more widely among them.
When one looks back twenty years there was no such thing among our boys, and now already it is becoming widespread. If we Scouters did nothing else than promote this side of Scouting it would be worth while. Look at the open air, the health, the enjoyment of life, the happy friendships, the appreciation of Nature, the knowledge of our country, the self-reliance and resourcefulness, and the many other attributes that camping brings in its train.
I have noted more than one Troop camped in the neighborhood as sending out two boys at a time to practice hiking and camping for the night on their own, away from the standing camp.
I have lately had with me Scouters from other countries who so far had believed that nowhere could their perfectly organised camps be surpassed. It has been amusing to watch doubt creeping over them as they saw these sturdy, keen-eyed youngsters set to work to put up their little tents, to make their cooking fire with a very few dry sticks, and to rig up their various little camp brooms, pot-hangers, plate-racks, grease pits, and so, on, with nobody to direct them and ignorant of all idea of contractors doing their cooking and tentage for them. It has been an eye-opener to our friends, and they have gone away with a new impression of the British boy and of Scouting.
Go on with it, Scouters, it is a grand development.