As I have been digging into my copy of Aids to Scoutmastership the last couple days, I have become more and more a fan of both Scoutmastership and of Baden-Powell.
There is a chapter in the book called “Scouting is Simple”… here it is:
- The aim of Scouting is quite a simple one.
- The Scoutmaster gives to the boy the ambition and desire to learn for himself by suggesting to him activities which attract him, and which he pursues till he, by experience, does them aright. (Such activities are suggested in Scouting for Boys).
- The Scoutmaster works through his Patrol Leaders.
And yes ladies and gentlemen, it is just that simple. I think the message of the last couple days and weeks has been leading to this thought.. keep it simple.
To many well-meaning committee members, district folks, and those that feel the need at the council level to get into Troop business, they have clearly not read Aids to Scoutmastership.
The role of the district and council are not to get into troop affairs. The Aim of Scouting is to develop Character, Citizenship, and Fitness. That is all Troop and Patrol business. The Council and District are there to support the units when needed.. not to replace the Troops annual planning (boy led) it is also there for administrative functions as a ‘go between’ to the National organization.
So far as giving the boys the ambition and desire to learn. Once again.. Troop stuff. Providing opportunities at the council and district level does not promote desire and ambition. This has to occur in the context of the Patrol. Troop guides, Patrol Leaders, and Senior Patrol leaders that have been trained to provide purpose, direction, and motivation, for the unit to be the best it can be. Again… Troop stuff.
And finally.. and my favorite!!!! Working the Patrol method. In all its pain and agony, its fun and success, its trial and error. The Patrol is where Scouting happens. It is that simple.
So, as BP says.. Scouting is Simple. Don’t complicate it. If your unit is not keeping it simple, it may be time to evaluate what’s going on in it.
Keep the conversation going.. let us know what you think.
Have a Great Scouting Day!