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Wise words from Baden-Powell

  1. “A boy on joining wants to begin Scouting right away.”
  2. “A fisherman does not bait his hook with food he likes. He uses food the fish likes. So with boys.”
  3. “Scouting is a man’s job cut down to a boy’s size.”
  4. “Scouting is a game for boys under the leadership of boys under the direction of a man.”*
  5. “Where is there a boy to whom the call of the wild and the open road does not appeal?”
  6. “It is important to arrange games and competition so that all Scouts of the troop take part.”
  7. “We are not a club or a Sunday school class, but a school of the woods.”
  8. “Fun, fighting, and feeding! These are the three indispensable elements of the boy’s world.”
  9. “Scoutmasters need to enter into boys’ ambitions.”
  10. “A boy is supremely confident of his own power, and dislikes being treated as a child.”
  11. “Boys can see adventure in a dirty old duck puddle, and if the Scoutmaster is a boys’ man he can see it, too.”
  12. “A boy can see the smoke rising from Sioux villages under the shadow of the Albert memorial.”
  13. “Teach Scouts not how to get a living, but how to live.”
  14. “We must change boys from a ‘what can I get’ to a ‘what can I give’ attitude.”
  15. “The code of the knight is still the code of the gentleman today.”
  16. “The real way to gain happiness is to give it to others.”
  17. “In Scouting you are combating the brooding of selfishness.”
  18. “Scoutmasters deal with the individual boy rather than with the mass.”
  19. “Can we not interpret our adult wisdom into the language of boyhood?”
  20. “It is only when you know a boy’s environment that you can know what influences to bring to bear.”
  21. “It’s the spirit within, not the veneer without, that makes a man.”
  22. “It is risky to order a boy not to do something; it immediately opens to him the adventure of doing it.”
  23. “You can only get discipline in the mass by discipline in the individual.”
  24. “The Scoutmaster must be alert to check badge hunting as compared to badge earning.”
  25. “The Scout Oath and Law are our binding disciplinary force.”
  26. “A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.”
  27. “A boy is not a sitting-down animal.”
  28. “Vigorous Scout games are the best form of physical education because most of them bring in moral education.”
  29. “An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual.”
  30. “When a boy finds someone who takes an interest in him, he responds and follows.”
  31. “The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it.”
  32. “Success in training the boy depends largely on the Scoutmaster’s own personal example.”
  33. “Correcting bad habits cannot be done by forbidding or punishment.”
  34. “The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”
  35. “It should be the thing never to mention unfairness of judging when defeated in a contest.”
  36. “The Scoutmaster teaches boys to play the game by doing so himself.”
  37. “O God, help me to win, but in thy wisdom if thou willest me not to win, then O God, make me a good loser.”
  38. “There is no teaching to compare with example.” “We do not want to make Scout training too soft.”
  39. “The Good Turn will educate the boy out of the groove of selfishness.”
  40. “When you want a thing done, ‘Don’t do it yourself’ is a good motto for Scoutmasters.”
  41. “Loyalty is a feature in a boy’s character that inspires boundless hope.”
  42. “See things from the boy’s point of view.”
  43. “The boy is not governed by don’t, but is led by do.”
  44. “The object of the patrol method is not so much saving the Scoutmaster trouble as to give responsibility to the boy.”
  45. “The most important object in Boy Scout training is to educate, not instruct.”
  46. “Scoutmasters need the capacity to enjoy the out-of-doors.”
  47. “A boy is naturally full of humour.”
  48. “If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk.”
  49. “A boy carries out suggestions more wholeheartedly when he understands their aim.”
  50. “The Scoutmaster guides the boy in the spirit of an older brother.”
  51. “To get a hold on boys you must be their friend.”
  52. “In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed.”
  53. “The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light.”

* I’ve been asked about the original source for this quotation and I must confess that, whilst it appears all over the internet, I can’t find it.  The nearest I can find is in Aids to Scoutmastership, published in 1919, where BP wrote, “SCOUTING IS A GAME for boys, under the leadership of boys, in which elder brothers can give their younger brothers healthy environment and encourage them to healthy activities such as will help them to develop CITIZENSHIP”