Sunday, September 08, 2013

On Scouting's long-lost lessons

"Leave this world a little better than you found it." 
Robert Baden-Powell
I was a Cub and a Scout back in the day, and of the many things that stuck with me from my great experiences within the Scouting movement, resonant respect for its founder, Lord Baden-Powell, rose above them all.

It was far more than simply running around with other kids my age. It was an opportunity to learn about leadership, respect and values. Baden-Powell's framework set the tone for everything we did, and gave us something to shoot for. Sure, on the surface we were learning new skills and trying to achieve beyond what we had previously achieve. And yes, we got badges when we reached those milestones.

But what I remember most is how we took guidance from our leaders, then applied their lessons within our respective units. They actively worked with us to give us the tools to figure it all out on our own. And as I became a leader of my own little unit of kids, little did I realize I was building interpersonal, leaderhip and independence skills that would last me a lifetime.

Pretty heady stuff in retrospect, because at the time I simply thought it was fun. Now, though, it's a lot easier to understand Baden-Powell's logic, and the true meaning of his words here.


Jennifer said...

I was a girl guide, and my son is is a cub and now scout. Some of the best years!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

We are blessed to have a great Boy Scout troop for my 14yo son. As the youngest of 4 boys, he is gaining experience in leadership -- both in how to be a good example and how to help others grow in their own skills.