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.
AT the risk of being a bore I would like to point out once again a direction in which we want to progress. Provided we don’t aim too high or go too fast or too damn seriously, there is one job which we CAN do through our boys.
It is the great little service of happifying. This old English word is one to carry in our minds in training our boys — more especially at this Christianising season of the year. If a boy only makes himself wear a cheery countenance in, the street it is something. (Don’t forget he gains it from the example of his Scoutmaster.) It happifies or brightens up numbers of his passers by, among the depressing hundreds of glum faces that they otherwise meet. The glum or the bright is equally infectious. To get the boy to do this as a step to greater happifying services is a thing worth trying for. The desire to happify once instilled into the character of the boy is going to make all the difference in his relations with his fellow-men, and in his attitude to the community in after-life. It will make him the “happy, helpful citizen” whom we need, and this, after all, is the real aim of our endeavour in Scouting.
B-P’s Outlook January, 1929.