What is Scouting?
NOT one in a hundred of our own people knows this.
Scouting is not a thing that can be taught by wording it in public speeches, nor by defining it in print. Its Successful application depends entirely on the grasp of the Scout spirit by both trainer and trainee. What this spirit is can only be understood by outsiders when they see it ruling, as it already does to a vast extent, the thoughts and the actions of each member of our brotherhood.
Thus every Scoutmaster and every Commissioner will be an apostle to them, not merely through what he says but through what he imparts by impression and through what he does himself in his own personality.
For this he must, as a first point, be imbued with a real understanding knowledge of the Scout ideals, the methods we use to gain them, and the reasons that underlie them.
Among them he realises, for instance:
That the need is urgent of a great social rise out of the present slough of squalor; That the State education system has its limitations for developing the character, the health, the technical skill, and the communal Christianity that are necessary;
That Scouting can help by attracting the boy or girl, or by helping him or her to acquire these qualities;
That this cannot be done by the imposition of artificial instruction from without but by the encouragement of the natural impulses from within;
That this is imparted by personal leadership and example on the part of the Scoutmaster himself, and not by his mere instruction;
That the intelligent application of Nature lore and woodcraft largely supplies the means and the incentive, while the Promise and the Scout Law give the direction;
That the growth of the Movement both at home and in every civilised foreign country is phenomenal, not merely for its numbers but because it is entirely natural from within and has not been artificially forced from without;
That it is brotherhood — scheme which, in practice, disregards differences of class, creed, country and colour, through the undefinable spirit that pervades it — the spirit of God’s gentleman.
Now these, you will say, are things that you know already, and don’t need to be told. Yes, that is so. But what I want is that you should pass them on to those who don’t know them.
From B.P.’s Outlook – July 1920