Prophetic Writing

I was looking in my bookcase the other day and came across a book by a hero of mine that I’d forgotten I had.

sill-bigGreat Contemporaries’ by Winston S. Churchill is a series of essays he wrote in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s about famous people (Douglas Haig, Adolph Hitler, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George V etc.) with a further four written in 1939. One of the four written in 1939 was about Baden-Powell. The last two paragraphs are very interesting:

The Great War swept across the world. Boy Scouts played their part. Their keen eyes were added to the watchers along the coasts; and in the air raids we saw the spectacle of children of twelve and fourteen performing with perfect coolness and composure the useful functions assigned them in the streets and public offices.

Many venerable, famous institutions and systems long honoured by men perished in the storm; but the Boy Scout Movement survived. It survived not only the War, but the numbing reactions of the aftermath. While so many elements in life and spirit of the victorious nations seemed to be lost in stupor, it flourished and grew increasingly. Its motto gathers new national significance as the years unfold upon our island. It speaks to every heart its message of duty and honour: ‘Be Prepared’ to stand up faithfully for Right and Truth, however winds may blow.

This was written in 1939 when the Scouting movement was ‘only’ 32 years old and BP was still alive and the Chief Scout of the World. I suspect BP was at the time still surprised at the movement’s growth and longevity.

Since then, the Movement has carried on growing and has past its centenary and is a healthy 102 years old. It has seen off many other organisations, just as Churchill suggested 70 years ago. Indeed, other parts of movement are also celebrating their centenaries in the next 12 months – the Guides, the BSA and many Scout groups in the UK and in other countries (Falkenberg Sweden for example).

Be Prepared is still a motto that is perfect for a worldwide movement and one for the 21st Century.

So something written over 70 years ago by someone who was one of the greatest leaders of all time is still as relevant today!

A Kind Gift

My Group’s Assistant Scout Leader popped round to see me last night to drop off some Christmas cards and let me know how the Troop was getting on in my absence (I’m taking a break from day to day Scouting for the next month or so for obvious reasons).

As well as cards he had a small Christmas present for me from one of the Scouts. Now to get a Christmas gift from one of the Scouts is quite unusual and unexpected, but what makes it more so is who it was from.

When we restarted the Troop in March 2007, he was one of one of the original intake and after not very long, we had him sized up as a bit of a troublemaker. Not naughty or bad as such, but always in the middle of something and not able to listen or shut his mouth! We didn’t think he’d last too long.

Next month the District Commissioner is coming to one of our Troop meetings to present this young man with his Chief Scout’s Gold Award, the highest award a Scout can get! He’s also helping out at Beavers and is a very enthusiastic Scout! He still has a bit of a gob on him, but I think he’ll go far and even achieve his Queen’s Scout Award!

So thank you for the gift.

Thank You All!

At some point on Monday, I recorded my 10,000th hit on my blog! This figure is based on the WordPress stats that have been recorded since January 2008, although my Feedproxy stats give a totally different figure!


So to everyone who has stopped by and read or listened to what I have to say – a huge thank you! I’m always impressed that anyone is interested in what I may have to say.

Again, thank you for all the comments and emails and all the new friends I’ve made through my little corner of the internet!

Happy Christmas to you all (and don’t forget to follow Santa on his travels on Christmas Eve).

A New Scouting Podcast

Those fine folks at PTC Media have done it again and created a new podcast! The new one is ‘Moms In Scouting Service’ and is a podcast ‘from the perspective of volunteering mothers’. Obviously, it has an American slant (odd that, as they are all Americans!), but it is still an interesting listen and puts across some good points – we’re all Scouts after all, no matter which county!

I’ve said this before, but I think the PTC stuff is always very interesting and very professionally produced. They are also a very friendly bunch who are welcoming to ‘us foreigners’!

BUT, they are American and not British, like wot I am! This is no disrespect to them, but I’d quite like to listen to something a bit more local to me as well. The only one I can find is Scouting Radio based in Dublin.

So I thought ‘Google to the rescue’ – not quite. Searching for ‘Scouting Podcasts’ brings up these results which shows up a lot of BSA stuff and a lot of Cubmaster Chris’s earlier efforts which he posted in various places (interesting to listen to). Doing the same search with the UK filter on gives these results which has my own very modest efforts at the top Embarrassed

It’s a shame more UK Scouters don’t do podcasts, or blogs for that matter, as I’m sure we all have a lot to offer each other.

Hello, Goodbye (podcast)

Podcast number 20. ‘I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello!’

This is a quick update and Christmas greetings.

A Couple of Bits of Good News

It’s nice to be able to mention a couple of items of good news from my Group this week.

First of all, one of our Scouts has just completed all the requirements to gain his Chief Scouts Gold Award. This is our first Scout to gain this award since we restarted the Troop in March 2007. And to compliment this, we have another Scout who isn’t that far off gaining his as well. Very impressive!

Secondly, one of our old Scouts, who is now an Explorer and a Young Leader with our Group, has been chosen to be in the group of Scouts representing Staffordshire at the 2011 Jamboree in Sweden. This is a great honour and a really exciting adventure for the Scouts who will attend and I’m really proud that this particular Scout is going!

All I can say is ‘watch out Sweden!’.