Baden Powells Last Message to Scouts & Leaders
Baden Powell prepared a farewell speech for both Scouts & Leaders that were to be to be published upon his death. Below are the messages he wrote
Message to Scouts
If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of goodbye.
Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.
I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.
I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.
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 comes 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 to do it.
Message to Leaders
To my Brother Scouters and Guides:
Cecil Rhodes said at the end of his life ( and I, in my turn to feel the truth of it), “So much to do and so little time to do it”. No one can hope to see the consummation, as well as the start, of a big venture within the short span of one life-time.
I have had an extraordinary experience in seeing the development of Scouting from its beginning up to its present stage. But there is a vast job before it. The Movement is only now getting into its stride. (When I speak of Scouting I include in it Guiding also). The one part which I can claim as mine towards promoting the movement is that I have been lucky enough to find you men and women to form a group of the right stamp who can be relied upon to carry it on to its goal. You will do well to keep yours eyes open, in your turn, for worthy successors to whom you can, with confidence, hand the torch. Don’t let it became a salaried organization: keep it a voluntary movement of patriotic service.
The Movement has already, in the comparatively short period of its existence, established itself onto a wide and so strong a footing as to show most encouraging promise of what may be possible to it in the coming years. Its aim is to produce healthy, happy, helpful citizens, of both sexes, to eradicate the prevailing narrow self-interest, personal, political, sectarian and national, and to substitute for it a broader spirit of self-sacrifice and service in the cause of humanity; and thus to develop mutual goodwill and co-operation not only within our own country but abroad, between all countries. Experience shows that this consummation is no idle or fantastic dream, but is a practicable possibility if we work for it; and it means, when attained, peace, prosperity and happiness for all. The “encouraging promise” lies in the fact that the hundreds of thousands of boys and girls who are learning our ideals today will be fathers and mothers of millions in the near future, in whom they will in turn inculcate the same ideals, provided that these are really and unmistakably impressed upon them by their fathers of today.
Therefore you, who are Scouters and Guiders, are not only doing a great work for your neighbour`s children but are also helping in practical fashion to bring to pass God’s Kingdom of peace and goodwill upon earth. So, from my heart, I wish you God-speed in your effort.