My Memories of Lord Baden-Powell
My name is Rowland and I’m a friend of Jason’s. I really like what Jason is doing with his blog on iWantMyEagle.com and the thoughts on scouting he shares each week. I asked him if I could contribute a post on his blog and he graciously allowed me to share my memories of Lord Baden-Powell.
No, I’m not 100 years old, and I don’t have memories based on a personal acquaintance with the father of scouting. Several years ago I had the opportunity to attend Wood Badge training for adult scout leaders and my memories are based on an evening fireside where an actor portraying Lord Baden-Powell talked about the life of this great leader and the principles on which he built the scouting movement.
What impressed me the most is that the scouting program has strong roots in religious principles. No matter what religion you are, you will find that the tenets of scouting reflect the tenets of many different religions the world over. Consider his words, as referenced on the Boy Scouts of America web page:
“The Scout, in his promise, undertakes to do his duty to his king and country only in the second place; his first duty is to God. It is with this idea before us and recognizing that God is the one Father of us all, that we Scouts count ourselves a brotherhood despite the difference among us of country, creed, or class. We realize that in addition to the interests of our particular country, there is a higher mission before us, namely the promotion of the Kingdom of God; That is, the rule of Peace and Goodwill on earth. In the Scouts each form of religion is respected and its active practice encouraged and through the spread of our brotherhood in all countries, we have the opportunity in developing the spirit of mutual good will and understanding.
“There is no religious “side” of the movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.
“Let us, therefore, in training our Scouts, keep the higher aims in the forefront, not let ourselves get too absorbed in the steps. Don’t let the technical outweigh the moral. Field efficiency, back woodsmanship, camping, hiking, Good Turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is CHARACTER with a purpose.
“Our objective in the Scouting movement is to give such help as we can in bringing about God’s Kingdom on earth by including among youth the spirit and the daily practice in their lives of unselfish goodwill and cooperation.”
What better summary than this of the goal of the scouting program in the lives of our young men! I’m grateful for the influence religious principles have on the scouting program and instilling character into scouts.