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.
Instruction in scoutcraft should be given as far as possible through practices, games, and competitions.
Games should be organized mainly as team matches, where the patrol forms the team, and every boy is playing, none merely looking on.
Strict obedience to the rules to be at all times insisted on as instruction in discipline.
The rules given in the book as to games may be altered by Scout-masters where necessary to suit local conditions.
The ideas given here are merely offered as suggestions, upon which it is hoped that instructors will develop further games, competitions, and displays.
Several of the games given here are founded on those in Mr. Thompson Seton’s “Book of Woodcraft”, called “Spearing the Sturgeon” (Whale Hunt), “Quick Sight” (Spotty Face), “Spot the Rabbit”, “Bang the Bear”, “Hostile Spy” (Stop Thief), etc. A number of non-scouting games are quoted from other sources.
The following is a suggestion for the distribution of the work for the first few weeks. It is merely a Suggestion and in no sense binding.
Remember that the boy on joining, wants to begin “Scouting” right away; so don’t dull his keenness, as is so often done, by too much preliminary explanation at first. Meet his wants by games and scouting practices, and instill elementary details bit by bit afterwards as you go along.
N.B.—The previous paragraph was in the former editions of this book, but it was in some cases ignored by Scoutmasters, with the result that their training was a failure.
Remember also to start small. Six or eight carefully chosen boys will be enough to begin with, and after they have received Scout training for a month or two, they will be fit to lead and instruct fresh recruits as they are admitted.
– Scouting for Boys
Jeffrey Kelly says
I really enjoy how Lord B-P understood that scouting is an evolution that should be revealed to the scout layer on layer on layer. It comes out in the last few paragraphs of this post. Cheers, Jeff