Founder’s Day – Giving Happiness
Dear Scouting friends
Today we’re celebrating a birthday.
In 1857 – more than 160 years ago – the Founder of Scouts, Lord Baden-Powell was born. Today, he is known to us as BP, the World’s Chief Scout – a special title for an extraordinary individual.
It’s also the birthday of Olave Baden-Powell, his wife, who became the first Chief Guide in the UK.
In our busy lives, with everything changing at lightning speed, it’s worth stopping for a moment to reflect on the legacy our Founder established and the contribution Scouts has made to millions of young people around the world. Did you realise Scouts perform more than 784 million service hours each year around the globe? Now, that’s one impressive legacy.
BP received no salary as Chief Scout. Like the thousands of adult volunteers across our great State, he freely gave his time and energy to help others build life skills and experience adventures that last a lifetime.
Scouting is about fulfilling your potential, and BP certainly fulfilled his. He wrote 32 books, which helped fund his travels and brought Scouting to countries including Australia. He received many international decorations and awards, and a number of honorary degrees, including the Doctor of Laws from Sydney University in 1931, during a visit he made here.
His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the centre, which is the trail sign for ‘going home’ or ‘I have gone home’. In his final message, written in 1941, he wrote beautifully about what really matters in life: “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.”
Every time I read a quote or comment from BP, I am amazed at how relevant it still sounds today. As we enter one of our biggest ever years at Scouts NSW, let’s not forget why we’re here and what we’re trying to achieve.
“Teach Scouts not how to get a living, but how to live”. That’s our unique proposition to the local communities in which we work and play. We are helping young people with skills for life – resilience, leadership, creativity, survival and fun.
“The real way to gain happiness is to give it to others.” We have an ambitious program of work ahead of us this year that will encourage even more young people and adults to get involved. Our Youth Program and our inspired brand image will help our members demonstrate we’re a relevant, contemporary, interesting, fun and confident organisation.
There are a multitude of opportunities this year for you to get involved in one of the many events, hikes, camps and games being run across our State by local Groups, by Region teams and at our awesome Activity Centres. The exciting Youth Program rolling out this year is the way we will all help deliver the skills and experiences our young people value.
With so much on the calendar, I guarantee that 2019 won’t be dull for Scouts NSW!
My sincere thanks to every adult member and supporter involved in Scouting across our great State. I wish you a very happy and fulfilling year.
Neville Tomkins OAM JP
Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)
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