I’m not sure if you may have heard of the writer Robert Fulghum, but I’m sure that you have heard of his work titled “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”. If you haven’t had a chance to read it (click here) I suggest you make the time to do so. It has some of the best and simplest advice I’ve ever read.
I’m a big believer in the idea that Scouting is a lifestyle choice as well as an activity. I’ve said many times that while you may take off the uniform at the end of the meeting, you don’t take off the “Scout”. Every week we say our Law and Promises but how do the lessons learned in Scouting apply to life? After 11 years here are a few things that Scouting has taught me…
Work hard, have fun, and help your family and friends – you may recognize this as the Scouts Canada Beaver law but it’s still good advice.
Always remember to do a good turn.
Always try any new food put it front of you. You don’t have to like it but you need to taste it.
Lead from the front.
It’s hard to know when to speak up, but it’s even harder to know when not to say anything.
Try your best, even when nobody is watching.
A Scout whistles in the face of adversity (it feels like I whistle a lot).
Try to do something that scares you.Then try it again!
Youth leadership – Train them, trust them, then let them lead.
One of the nicest sounds in the world is the splash of a paddle.
Remember the past but look to the future.
Stories are best told in campfire light.
The only statement stronger than “I can’t” is “I’ll try”.
Never ask someone to do something you’re not willing to try too.
While there are many other things that I can say Scouting has taught me, these few lines sum up how I try to live my life. Can it be considered overly simplistic? Perhaps, but sometimes the simplest lessons are the best ones. One of my favourite quotes from Robert Baden-Powell is the last paragraph of his farewell letter to Scouts.
“But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn come to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. “Be Prepared” in this way, to live happy and to die happy – stick to your Scout promise always – even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you do it.”
Leave the world a little better than you found it, spread happiness, and being prepared. These are the last three items to complete my list. Everything I needed to know about living a good life I’ve learned from Scouting. How about you?
Until next time…
Be safe, be prepared, and keep Scouting!