B.-P.'S OUTLOOK
Some selections from the his contributions to "The Scouter" from 1909 - 1941
 

 

B.-P.'S OUTLOOK

 

Some selections from the his contributions to "The Scouter" from 1909 - 1941

 

BY THE

FOUNDER OF THE SCOUT MOVEMENT

 

WITH A PREFACE BY

LORD SOMERS, K.C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C.

Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth and Empire, 1941-1944


 

       

PREFACE

In 1941 when this selection from our Founder's "Outlook" was first published, Lord Somers was Chief Scout. He himself had been chosen by B.-P. to follow him, and his early death was a source of the greatest sorrows to Scouts everywhere. We feel that it is only fitting that Lord Somers' introduction should remain in this edition.

       

      FOR thirty yeas B.-P. contributed to the The Scouter notes and comments under the title "The Outlook." The reader turned to these first, for he knew that he would there find encouragement, advice, and inspiration -- all written in that very personal sttyle which seemed like conversation. It was in this way that B.-P. trained those who were trying to carry out Scouting for Boys. Even when a training system was begun at Gilwell, these notes continued to be the chief means by which B.-P. could pass on his ideas and suggestions to the great army of Scouters everywhere.

       Now that he has gone, it is desirable that some permanent record of his words should be available, not only for those who remember his help with gratitude but for the benefit of those who will follow. However circumstances may change in the future, the fundamental principles and methods of Scouting will endure, and B.-P.'s own statements can never be out of date.

       To reprint all his Outlooks would have demanded a bigger book than most of us could afford -- or than could be produced in war-time. In making a selection, therefore, the following points were taken into consideration: matter which B.-P. himself incorporated in one of his books (he often tried our ideas in The Scouter) has been omitted; records of his Empire and World Tours have been left out; nor did it seem useful to include references to passing events and minor difficulties.

       The extracts have been arranged in chronological order, as there is an additional interest in tracing the development of ideas and of needs through the years. A full index will, however make it a simple matter to read all that is given on any one subject.

       A selection of B.-P.'s sketches has also been included, for he used his skill as an artist to illustrate his words; sometimes it would be to poke fun at some extravagance; at others it would be to put ideas in the form as a memorable sketch. In the early years these drawings are rare, but later he made more and more use of them, and as they are so typical of his outlook, they will be welcomed by all readers.

       This is a book to dip into from time rather to read straight through; it will be found a companionable volume, recalling for many of us earlier days and the voice of the leader whom we so gladly followed.

 

B.-P.'S OUTLOOK

       

Object of Camping

THE object of a camp is (a) to meet the boy's desire for the open-air life of the Scout, and (b) to put him completely in the hands of his Scoutmaster for a definite period for individual training in character and initiative and in physical and moral development.

      These objects are to a great extent lost if the camp be a big one. The only discipline that can there be earned out is the collective military form of discipline, which tends to destroy individuality and initiative instead of developing them; and, owing to there being too many boys for the ground, military drill has to a great extent to take the place of scouting practices and nature study.

      So it results that Scouts' camps should be small -- not more than one Troop camped together; and even then each Patrol should have its own separate tent at some distance (at least 100 yards) from the others. This latter is with a view to developing the responsibility of the Patrol Leader for his distinct unit. And the locality of the camp should be selected for its Scouting facilities.

October, 1909.

 

Patrol Leaders

SOME few Scoutmasters are still behind the time, and consequently their Troops are behind the average, in not making sufficient use of their Patrol Leaders.

      They ought to give the sub-officers as much liberty of action as they like to get themselves from their District Associations or Commissioners.

      They must hold the Patrol Leader responsible for everything good or bad that occurs in his Patrol.

      They must put responsibility upon him, let him do his job, and if he makes mistakes let him do so, and show him afterwards where he went wrong -- in this way only can he learn.

      Half the value of our training is to be got by putting responsibility on young shoulders. It is especially valuable for taming the wilder spirits; it gives them a something which they like to take up instead of their equally heroic but less desirable hooligan pursuits.

April, 1910.

Efficiency Badges

WE have recently approved of a number of badges of efficiency, which it is hoped will serve as encouragement to Scouts to qualify themselves as useful men, whether at home or in a colony.

      While these were under consideration there reached us a complaint that in certain centres the difficulty of passing the tests for any badges was becoming so great that what had been an attractive measure for the boys was now fast becoming another " examination bugbear."

      This, I am afraid, is due to faults in the application of the idea.

      These badges are merely intended as an encouragement to a boy to take up a hobby or occupation and to make some sort of progress in it: they are a sign to an outsider that he has done so; they are not intended to signify that he is a master in the craft which he is tested in. Therefore, the examiners should not aim at too high a standard, especially in the first badge.

      Some are inclined to insist that their Scouts should be first-rate before they can get a badge. That is very right, in theory; you get a few boys pretty proficient in this way but our object is to get all the boys interested, and every boy started on one or two hobbies, so that he may eventually find that which suits him the best and which may offer him a career for life.

      The Scoutmaster who uses discretion in putting his boys at an easy fence or two to begin with will find them jumping with confidence and keenness, whereas if he gives them an upstanding stone wall to begin with, it makes them shy of leaping at all.

      At the same time we do not recommend the other extreme, of which there is also the danger, namely, that of almost giving away the badges on very slight knowledge of the subjects. It is a matter where examiners should use their sense and discretion, keeping the main aim in view.

April, 1910.

 

Our Aim

IN the Army we have certain points to aim for in training our men; but in the long course of years the steps in training have become so absorbing and important that in many cases the aim has come to be lost sight of.

      Take, for instance, the sword exercise. Here a number of recruits are instructed in the use of the sword in order to become expert fighters with it. They are put into a squad and drilled to stand in certain positions and to deliver certain cuts, thrusts, and guards on a certain approved plan. So soon as they can do this accurately and together like one man -- and it is the work of months to effeect this -- they are passed as efficient swordsmen, but they can no more fight an enemy than can my boot. The aim of their instruction has been overlooked in the development of the steps to it.

      I hope the same mistake is never likely to occur with us in the Boy Scouts. We must keep the great aim ever before us and make our steps lead to it all the time.

      This aim is to make our race a nation of energetic, capable workers, good citizens, whether for life in Britain or overseas.

      The best principle to this end is to get the boys to learn for themselves by giving them a curriculum which appeals to them, rather than by hammering it into them in some form of dry-bones instruction. We have to remember that the mass of the boys are already tired with hours of school or workshop, and our training should, therefore, be in the form of recreation, and this should be out of doors as much as possible.

      That is the object of our badges and games, our examples and standards.

      If you would read through your Scouting for Boys once more, with the Great Aim always before you, you will see its meaning the more clearly.

      And the Great Aim means not only the practice of give-and-take with your own officers, but also with other organisations working to the same end.

      In a big movement for a big object there is no room for little personal efforts; we have to sink minor ideas and link arms in a big "combine" to deal effectively with the whole.

      We in the Boy Scouts are players in the same team with the Boys' Brigade, Church Lads, Y.M.C.A., and Education Department, and others. Co-operation is the only way if we mean to win success.

                             May, 1910.

Training Scouts

WHEN I visit a district to inspect Scouts a big parade of them is held at which as many as possible are present, but though this is the only way in which a large number can be seen at one time, I think we must all feel -- Scouts, Scoutmasters, and myself -- that it is, after all, a formal affair which really does not give very much opportunity of testing the individual qualities of the boys or the officers.

      I therefore make a point of going about whenever I can get a spare hour or two to watch Scouts at their work when not under the limelight of a formal inspection.

      I have done a good deal of this lately, as a rule unknown to the Troops concerned, and one or two points which I noted may be of interest.

      I have been on the whole very pleased with what I have seen, but I need not enlarge upon this. I would rather point out where I think improvement might in some cases be made, and I am sure Scoutmasters will not think that I am writing in any spirit of faultfinding, but with the sole desire to help them in their work.

      In the first place, many Scoutmasters seem to have read Scouting for Boys once, and then to have gone off into other forms of training, some of which are not always very good for the boys.  As I have written before now, the Great Aim should be kept before one, whereas some Scoutmasters have evidently fallen back on to certain ideas of training which were familiar to them, but which really have no reference to forming the individual character of the lads.

      Too much drill, too little woodcraft, is a usual fault. To make the lads disciplined while using their own wits is our aim -- much on the principle of the sailor's handiness, and not so much on the machine-like routine life of the soldier. Stick to the lines of the handbook and develop on them.

June, 1910.

Camps

AS the camping season is now upon us, I may say that one or two of the camps which I have already seen have been unfortunately on wrong lines, though others were very satisfactory. I strongly advise small camps of about half a dozen Patrols; each Patrol in a separate tent and on separate ground (as suggested in Scouting for Boys), so that the Scouts do not feel themselves to be part of a big herd, but members of independent responsible units.

      Large camps prevent scout-work and necessitate military training; and one which I visited the other day, though exceedingly well carried out as a bit of Army organisation, appealed to me very little, because not only was it entirely on military lines, but the Patrols -- the essence of our system -- were broken up to fit the members into the tents.

      Patrols should be kept intact under all circumstances. If more than six or seven Patrols are out at the same time, they should preferably be divided into two camps located at, say, two miles or more apart.

June, 1910.

Patrol Leaders

THE best progress is made in those Troops where power and responsibility are really put into the hands of the Patrol Leaders. It is the secret of success with many Scoutmasters, when once they have half-a-dozen Patrol Leaders, really doing their work as if they were Assistant Scoutmasters. The Scoutmasters find themselves able to go on and increase the size of their Troops by starting new Patrols or adding recruits to existing ones.

      Expect a great deal of your Patrol Leaders and nine times out of ten they will play up to your expectation; but if you are going always to nurse them and not to trust them to do things well, you will never get them to do anything on their own initiative.

June, 1910.

 

Playing the Game

IN making our young citizens, therefore, it is essential to try to get into them the habit of cheery co-operation, of forgetting their personal wishes and feelings in bringing about the good of the whole business in which they are engaged -- whether it be work or play. One can teach the boy that it is exactly as in football. You must play in your place and play the game; don't try to be referee when you are playing half-back; don't stop playing because you have had enough of the game, but shove along, cheerily and hopefully, with an eye on the goal in order that your side may win, even though you may yourself get a kick on the shins or a muddy fall in helping it.

      But the best form of instruction of all for a Scoutmaster to give is by the force of example. It is essential if he is going to succeed in putting the right character into his boys that he should himself practise what he preaches. Boys are imitative, and what the Scoutmaster gives off, that they pick up and reflect. Instructions, and especially orders, are apt to have different and even opposite effects with boys -- order a boy not to smoke and he is at once tempted to try it as an adventure; but give him the example, show him that any fool can smoke but a wise Scout doesn't, and it is another matter.

      Therefore, it is of first importance that every Scout-master, with this great responsibility on his shoulders, should examine himself very closely, suppress any of the minor faults which he may -- in fact, is bound to -- possess, and train himself to practise what he preaches, so as to give the right example to his lads for the shaping of their lives, characters, and careers. It is laid down in our handbook that a Scoutmaster should go through a period of three months' probation before getting finally appointed.

      The object of this is to enable him to find out whether Scouting really suits him after all, whether he is capable of treading down little personal worries and pinpricks, can endure the many preliminary difficulties and disappointments, can fit himself into the place assigned to him, and loyally carry out instructions, though they may not be exactly what he would like; whether he can, in a word, play in his place and play the game for the good of the whole.

      If he can do this he will be doing the most valuable work that a man can do, viz. teach his younger brothers the great virtues of endurance and discipline, pluck and unselfishness. If, on the other hand, he cannot, his only honourable course is to resign in preference to the unmanly one -- typical, by the way, of men who failin whatever line of life -- of whining about his so-called rights, complaining of his bad luck.

July, 1910.

 

 

Winter Training Programmes

WITH the winter season coming on we now get our opportunity for training or retraining our boys in handicrafts and efficiency.

      Abler men than I, I suppose, can keep their boys busy and progressing in knowledge without working on any special system; but I confess that I cannot. The only way by which, personally, I can effect anything is by laying down definite programmes beforehand and working on them -- a general one for the winter season, a more particular one for each week, with a detailed one for each working evening as it comes round.

      I don't make them too cut-and-dried, but leave margins and openings for unforeseen occurrences. In this way a great amount of worry and waste of time is saved; in fact, it is scarcely exaggeration to say that the results obtained by a systematic plan of work have four times the value of those where arrangements have been haphazard. It is good for their "character" to teach the boys also to plan their work beforehand; and, knowing what they are aiming for, they become twice as keen.

      One or two Scoutmasters tell me that their idea for the winter session is to take up the training in, say, four handicrafts -- for instance, cooking, leather working, electricity, and signaling.   They get an expert to come and instruct their Troop either one night a week on each subject or for a fortnight at one subject, then get another expert in for a fortnight at the next, and so on. In this way they hope during the winter to get all their boys trained sufficiently to gain four badges apiece by the end of the winter.

      Other Scoutmasters talk of having an exhibition and sale of Scout manufactures at the end of the winter, using various inducements for getting the boys to do the work in the clubroom in the evenings by helping with tools, patterns, storage, etc., and by the reading aloud of adventure books, camp-fire yarns, etc., while work is going on, with occasional games and singsongs to refresh the workers.

      Any system of this kind is of value, but must necessarily vary according to local conditions and Scoutmasters' originality, and I am glad to see so many good ideas being started.

      For training boys towards work, and pride in their work, there is nothing like giving them handiwork to do, but it must be of such a kind as to really interest them from the first. And it is all the better if it can be the work of one gang (or Patrol) in competition with another -- i.e. cooperative work.

              November, 1910.

 

Teacup Storms and How to Avoid Them

"I SHAN'T play any more in your yard," was the refrain of a charming song, which was very typical of the child who does not, after all, like the way the game is played, so it "cuts off its nose to spite its face," and goes and tries for another game elsewhere, or goes and "tells Mother."

      It makes the grown-up onlooker smile, but the grown-up himself is not always free from the same sort of self-centred conceit.

      I have frequently figured in the part of "mother," and it is almost beyond belief that grown-up, or nearly grown-up, men can take little matters so seriously and so narrowly as some of them do. If they had only a sense of humour, or had a slightly wider range of view, so that they could see the other side of the question or its greater aim, they, too, would smile at the littleness of it all.

      It reminds one so much of what one feels on returning from our big, open Empire into the little old island and finding here our politicians tearing each other's eyes out over some defect in the parish pump ! They do not realise that their little word-war is only laughed at by the onlookers outside.

      They probably feel quite hurt when they die because they are not buried in Westminster Abbey under the label of "Statesman," but are only sized up as "Petty Politicians,"

      As "mother" I was appealed to the other day in a case which was evidently considered of vast importance by the contending parties, but which would have seemed ridiculously simple to an outsider who saw both sides and the higher motive which was supposed to be their joint aim.

      My reply to them was one which might apply to many similar cases where the contestants cannot at once see the| right line to take. It was this:

      "It is curious to me that men who profess to be good Christians often forget, in a difficulty of this kind, to ask themselves the simple question, 'What would Christ have done under the circumstances ? ' and be guided accordingly."

      Try it next time you are in any difficulty or doubt as to how to proceed.

      In the earlier days of our Movement there were many of the little local rows which are really incidental to most committees, and which would never occur if the members could remember their duty and to take the above line. Of late, however, those debating societies seem to have died down and given place to co-operative councils for mutual advice and help, and all goes well.

          March, 1911.

 

First-aid

"WHAT is the matter with your patient ?" I ask the Ambulance Scout who has just bandaged up another in most approved fashion.

      "Please, sir -- broken clavicle."

      "Yes. Now what bone is this ?"

      "The femur, sir. No -- it's -- it's the tibi -- it's the ---- "

      " Well, what would you call it, if you got a kick on it, and were telling your pal about it ? "

      "Shin, sir."

      When I asked the instructor why it is considered necessary to confuse the boys' minds with the Latin names for ordinary bones, he said that it was necessary in order to pass the doctor's examination for badges or certificates.

      I hope that all Commissioners and Scoutmasters will explain to their First-aid instructors that we want to teach the boys how to deal practically with accidents, not how to pass examinations.

      I attach very little value to the smartly done bandaging where each boy is told beforehand what injury he is to tie up, and has all the appliances ready, and has merely to fold and tie neatly and know the Latin names of the bones he is dealing with. No, I very much prefer the more practical demonstration, which I am glad to see is now becoming so prevalent with the Scouts, and that is the closest possible imitation of an accident.  A patient is found covered with mud and blood, which has to be gently sponged or squirted away before the card is found giving the nature of the injury (fixed face downwards to prevent obliteration) The first Scout to reach him, or one selected by the inspector or audience, takes charge of the case, does the work and directs the others -- and does not use Latin words. It is all the better if improvised materials are used and the wound really dealt with properly, instead of merely superficially bandaged over. For instance, the motions should be gone through of slitting the clothes, plugging a wound, or whatever may be the detail in the case.

April, 1911.

                                                          I

The Value of Camp Life

I CANNOT impress on Scoutmasters too highly the value of the camp in the training of Scouts; in fact, I think that its whole essence hangs on this.

      Many Scoutmasters who value the moral side of our training are almost inclined to undervalue the importance of the camp, but the camp is everything to the boys. We have to appeal to their enthusiasm and tastes in the first place, if we are ever going to do any good in educating them.

      An eminent educational authority assured me only to-day that our school education is all on wrong lines; that book learning was introduced by the monks in order to kill the more manly training in skill at arms and hunting which, in the Middle Ages, occupied the time of the boys, and which undoubtedly produced so large a percentage of men of character among them. It was done with a narrow-minded aim, and although it has done some good in certain lines, it has done infinite harm to our race in others.

      He said: "You should first of all develop the natural character of the boy by encouraging him in the natural athletic exercises which tend to make him manly, brave, obedient, and unselfish; later give him the desire for reading for himself which will eventually lead him on to study for himself. The fallacy of trying to force him to read what the pedagogue wants him to know is the secret of so much ignorance and absence of studious work amongst our lads to-day."

      This same authority would like to see Scouting or some similar scheme introduced into our continuation schools, and attendance at these made obligatory for all boys of fourteen to sixteen.

      I hope that his wish may yet be gratified. I believe it will be if Scoutmasters continue in the way in which they have begun and prove to the education authorities in their neighbourhood the educative value which underlies our Movement.

April, 1911.

In Camp

I WRITE my notes this month from camp. I hope that many a Scoutmaster will have been able, like me, to take his holiday this year in camp. If he has enjoyed it half as much as I am enjoying mine, he will have done well.

      I am certain that a week or two of such life is the best rest-cure and the best tonic for both mind and body that exists for a man, whether he be boy or old 'un. And for both it is a great educator.  By camp I mean a woodland camp, not the military camp for barracking a large number at one time under canvas. That is no more like the kind of camp I advocate than a cockchafer is like a goose.

       A Boy Scouts' camp should be the woodland kind of camp, if it is going to be any real good as an educator. Many, nay most, military camps are liable to do more harm than good to boys, unless exceptionally well-managed and closely supervised.  Whereas a woodsman's camp, if properly carried out, gives the lads occupation and individual resourcefulness all the time.

      A large camp has of necessity to be carried on with a considerable amount of routine discipline. Parades have to be held to give the boys instruction and occupation, fatigue parties, tent inspections, roll-calls, bathing parades, and so on. Were it not for the fresh, open-air life this kind of camp might almost as well be carried on in town barracks; it teaches the boys nothing of individuality, resourcefulness, responsibility, nature lore, and many little (though really great) bits of character education for which the woodsman's camp is the best, if not the only, school.

      But such a camp can only be carried out with a small number of boys; from thirty to forty being the full number with which it is possible. And then only if the Patrol system is really and entirely made use of.

      Of course, it is easy for one to write from an ideal camp of the kind and imagine that everybody has the same advantages, but I don't altogether mean to do that. I know the difficulties that one has to contend with as a Scoutmaster in England, but I want to put the ideal before those who have not perhaps thought out the question very carefully, and who, by custom or example, are inclined to take the military form of camp as being the usual and right one for boys.  The ideal can then be followed as nearly as local circumstances will allow.

      Here I am camped by a rushing river between forest-clad hills.   It is close on ten in the morning. I turned out at five, and yet those five hours have been full of work for me, albeit it was no more than little camp jobs.

      The fire had to be lit, coffee and scones to be made. Then followed boiling and sand-scrubbing the cooking utensils; collecting of firewood for the day (both kindling and ember-forming wood); a new crossbar and pot-hooks had to be cut and trimmed; a pair of tongs for the fire, and a besom for cleaning the camp ground had to be cut and made. Bedding had to be aired and stowed; moccasins to be greased; the camp ground swept up and rubbish burned; the trout had to be gutted and washed. Finally, I had a shave and a bathe; and here I am ready for the day's work whatever it may be.  But this took five hours to do.

      My comrade went in yesterday to the nearest hamlet, and will be back to-day with our letters and supplies. He will find me away fishing or sketching, and gathering berries for our "sweet" of stewed fruit at dinner; but he will find the camp swept and garnished, fire laid ready to be lit, cooking pots, cups, and plates all ready and clean for his use, and food handy.

      We may probably "up-stick" and travel on later in the day, and see some more of the beauties of the land, as we "hump our packs" to the next nice-looking site for camp. Then comes all the business of pitching camp, getting water and firewood, cooking food, and making oneself comfortable. All a succession of very little jobs, but which in their sum are important. They all give enjoyment and satisfaction to the older man, while to the boy they bring delight, experience, resourcefulness, self-reliance, thought for others, and that excellent discipline of camp-tradition and of being expected to do the right thing for himself.

      They have no time for idleness, and give no room for a shirker. But that is a very different thing from the streets of canvas town where the supplies are sent in by a contractor and cooked and served by paid servants, the boys in a herd, merely doing what they are ordered to do.

September, 1911.

Discipline

IN a small camp so very much can be done by example. You are living among your boys and are watched by each of them, and imitated unconsciously by them, and probably unobserved by yourself.

      If you are lazy they will be lazy; if you make cleanliness a hobby it will become theirs; if you are clever at devising camp accessories, they will become rival inventors, and so on.

      But don't do too much of what should be done by the boys themselves, see that they do it --  "when you want a thing done don't do it yourself" is the right motto. When it is necessary to give orders, the secret for obtaining obedience is to know exactly what you want done and to express it very simply and very clearly. If you add to the order an explanation of the reason for it, it will be carried out with greater willingness and much greater intelligence.

      If you add to the order and its explanation a smile, you will get it carried out with enthusiasm -- or, remember, "a smile will carry twice as far as a snarl."

      A pat on the back is a stronger stimulus than a prick with a pin.

      EXPECT a great deal of your boys and you will generally get it.

September, 1911.

 

Winter Training of Scouts

I AM glad to have had from some Commissioners already their ideas of what they propose in the way of systematic instruction of Troops in the winter months.

      The winter will soon be upon us, and unless plans are drawn up in good time, one finds that it is liable to be over before they have got well into working order.

      One suggestion is to go steadily over the whole course given in Scouting for Boys, and I think this a very good one because most Scoutmasters and Scouts, after reading the book, carry out the ideas in it rather according to what they remember of them, and add new ones on similar lines (which is what I like to see), but without much further reference to the book, and in the end a good many minor points are apt to get dropped out of the training -- and though they may be small and apparently insignificant, they all have their meaning. Take, for instance, the suggestions on cleaning teeth and making camp tooth-brushes; it is a little point which has probably quite dropped out of recollection in some Troops, but it is nevertheless quite an important one in its way; and there are hundreds of others like it. Then tenderfoots will probably have joined Troops which were originally trained, before they came, on the lines of the book, but they have only come in for the subsequent form of training, and so know little of the original teaching. Scoutmasters themselves on re-reading the book after the interval will probably see some of its points in quite a new light.  So, for various reasons, it may in many cases be well to run through the book training during the winter months.

October, 1911.

 

International Brotherhood

THE different foreign countries -- some twelve there are -- which have adopted Scouting for theiir boys are now forming a friendly alliance with us for mutual interchange of views, correspondence, and visits, and thereby to promote a closer feeling of sympathy between the rising generations.

      International peace can only be built on one foundation, and that is an international desire for peace on the part of the peoples themselves in such strength as to guide their Governments.

      If the price of one Dreadnought were made available to us for developing this international friendliness and comradeship between the rising generations, I believe we in the Scouts would do more towards preventing war than all the Dreadnoughts put together.

December, 1911.

 

Education

ONE of the most important possibilities before us lies in the direction of Education.

      We have by other lines arrived at much the same conclusions as have the education authorities through their experiences.

      This is briefly, that the secret of sound education is TO GET EACH PUPIL TO LEARN FOR HIMSELF, INSTEAD OF INSTRUCTING HIM BY DRIVING KNOWLEDGE INTO HIM ON A STEREOTYPED SYSTEM. The method is to lead the boy on to tackle the OBJECTIVE of his training, and not to bore him with the preliminary steps at the outset. The education authorities have come to recognise us as would-be helpers in the same field, the aim of both of us being to produce healthy, prosperous citizenship.  They take the intellectual development, we go rather more for the development of "character," and that, after all, is the most important attribute for prevention of the social diseases of slackness and selfishness, and gives the best chance to a man of a successful career in any line of life.

      We are endeavouring to help the education authorities in every way that we can. They are working entirely in accord with us in a number of important centres.

January, 1912.

 

Religion

VERY closely allied with education comes the important matter of religion. Though we hold no brief for any one form of belief over another, we see a way to helping all by carrying the same principle into practice as is now being employed in other branches of education, namely, to put the boys in touch with their objective, which in this case is to do their duty-to God through doing their duty to their neighbour. In helping others in doing daily good turns, and in rescuing those in danger, pluck, self-discipline, unselfishness, chivalry, become acquired, and quickly form part of their character.  These attributes of character, coupled with the right study of Nature, must of necessity help to bring the young soul in closer touch spiritually with God.

      Personally, I have my own views as to the relative value of the instruction of children in Scripture history within the walls of the Sunday-school, and the value of Nature study and the practice of religion in the open air, but I will not impose my personal views upon others.

      I prefer to be guided by collective opinions of experienced men, and here a remarkable promise stands before us. Scouting has been described by various men and women of thought and standing as "a new religion" -- three times I have read it this week. It is not, of course, a "new religion," it is merely the application to religious training of the principle now approved for secular training -- that of giving a definite objective and setting the child to learn and practise for himself -- and that, I think everybody's experiences will tell him, is the only training which really sticks by a man for good and ultimately forms part of his character.

January, 1912.

 

The Other Fellow's Point of View

OUR attitude in the Boy Scout Movement is that we do not wish to be in conflict with any political, educational, religious, or other body, but we are very glad to have their advice or suggestions.

      Our aim is to be at peace with all and to do our best in our own particular line.

      Probably the majority of us are in sympathy with the Socialist ideal, though we may not see with the same eye the practicability of its details or its methods.

      We, in the Scouts, desire not so much to cure present social evils as to prevent their recurrence in the rising generation; to try to lessen the great waste of human life now going on in our city slums where so many thousands of our fellow humans are living an existence of misery through being "unemployable"; this is not always from their own fault, but simply because they have never been given a chance.

      Our main effort is to attract the boys and to beckon them on to the right road for success in life; we endeavour to equip them -- especially the poorest -- with "character" and with craftsmanship so that each one of them may at least get a fair start.   If after this he fails it is then his fault and not, as at present, the fault of us who are in a position to give a helping hand to our less fortunate brothers.

      The fact is, that justice and fair play do not always form part of our school curriculum. If our lads were trained as a regular habit to see the other fellow's point of view before passing their own judgment on a dispute, what a difference it would at once make in their manliness of character !

      Such lads would not be carried away, as is at present too commonly the case, by the first orator who catches their ear on any subject, but they would also go and hear what the other side has to say about it, and would then think out the question and make up their own minds as men for themselves.

      And so it is in almost every problem of life; individual power of judgment is essential, whether in choice of politics, religion, profession, or sport -- and half our failures and three-quarters of our only partial successes among our sons is due to the want of it.

      We want our men to be men, not sheep. And, in the greater proposition of International Peace, it seems to me that before you can abolish armaments, before you can make treaty promises, before you build palaces for peace delegates to sit in, the first step of all is to train the rising generations -- in every nation -- to be guided in aall things by an absolute sense of justice. When men have it as an instinct in their conduct of all affairs of life to look at the question impartially from both sides before becoming partisans of one, then, if a crisis arises between two nations, they will naturally be more ready to recognise the justice of the case and to adopt a peaceful solution, which is impossible so long as their minds are accustomed to run to war as the only resource.

      In the Scout Movement we have it in our power to do a very great thing in introducing a practical training in justice and "fair play," both through games and competitions in the field, and through arbitrations, courts of honour, trials, and debates in the clubroom.

June, 1912.

 


 


Scanned by Aziah, used with permission.

finale@my.netvigator.com

 

Glossary

by gosh Used to express mild surprise or delight.
charabanc A large bus, typically used for sightseeing.
curate's egg sth that neither good nor bad
gagga gaggy?
John Knox Scottish Reformer and founder of Presbyterianism in Scotland.
pow-wow A council or meeting with or of Native Americans.
Three R's Reading, Writing, Arithmetic
Rosemary Home Rosemary Convalescent Home for Scouts, Herne Bay
S.A.C. South African Constabulary
Wampum Small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts, formerly used by certain Native American peoples as currency and jewelry or for ceremonial exchanges between groups.
Informal: Money..

 



Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2014 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Web Stats | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) [Links to BSA Sites], the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at www.ScoutingBooks.com or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)


(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)