Make Me a Boat
If I communicate the love of the sea to my people,
Soon you will see them diversifying according to their thousand particular qualities:
One will weave the fabrics,
Another will cut the tree in the forest,
Another still will forge nails
Someone will observe the stars to learn how to navigate,
All will work as one.
To create the ship is not just to weave the fabrics,
Nor just to forge the nails,
Nor only to read the stars,
But to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (A free translation of his poem Dessine-moi un bateau)
What is the goal of our work?
If our goal is a boat we approach the task logically by assigning the making of the sails, forging of nails and cutting of wood. We’ll have a boat, but it will be an empty vessel with no mission, no inspiration.
If our goal is the joy of the journey, the benefits of going through the process, we create a vision of the sea, a longing for exploration and watch as that inspiration ignites the desire to build. The workers will discover and invent the process, there will be many false starts and mistakes along the way, it will take much longer. But the result is a vessel that carries aspirations, hopes and dreams.
Scouting is a quest, a journey, a process of individual discovery that cannot be reduced to a set of tasks or policies or rules. The Scouting spirit inspires our Scouts to long for the next discovery, the next moment of enlightenment, to explore the endless immensity of their own potential.
What is the goal? What are we building?