Lord Robert Baden-Powell (known as B-P) of Gilwell (1857-1941) was a decorated soldier, talented artist, actor and free-thinker. Best known during his military career for his spirited defense of the small South African township of Mafeking during the Boer War, he was soon to be propelled to extraordinary fame as the Founder of Scouting.

He wrote the book, “Scouting for boys: a handbook for instruction in good citizenship“. Alongside practical instructions on how to light fires, build a boat, or stalk animals, it includes sections on chivalry, self-discipline, self-improvement, and citizenship. Indeed, the book brims with Baden-Powell’s philosophy of life, one that replaces self with service, puts country before the individual, and duty above all.

While the structure of the Scouting movement closely follows the structure of the army with rankings according to skill, the boys are taught hard work…many young lads around the world have learnt how to “Be Prepared” and were promoted based on their discipline, skill and good works.

But the greatest attribute acquired as a Scout is that of “initiative”. It’s okay to think out-of-the-box and try new things, new ways. In fact a good Scout needed no commander, overseer or ruler to tell them what to do. They simply take the initiative and do what is needed, and some.

Hard work and Initiative.

Interestingly the Bible speaks of this:

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

Do you work and “go the extra mile”? Do you take initiative?