Baden-Powell's Last Messages
To Scout Leaders
To my Brother Scouters and Guides:
Cecil Rhodes said at the end of his life (and I, in my turn, 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 your eyes open, in your turn, for worthy successors to who you can, with confidence, hand on the torch. Don't let it become 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 cooperation 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 the 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 the leaders of today.
Therefore you, who are Scouters and Guiders, are not only doing a great work for your neighbor'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.
To Scouts at 1937 Jamboree
In August 1937, the World Jamboree At the conclusion of the 1937 World Jamboree in Vogelenzang, Netherlands, Baden-Powell gave his last Jamboree message.
The Emblem of our Jamboree is the Jacobstaff. This was the instrument by which the navigators in old days found their way across the seas. Let it also for us today be an instrument of guidance in our life. It is the Cross which for all who are Christians points the way; but it is also a cross with many arms; these are held out to embrace all creeds. Those eight arms, together with the head and foot of the emblem, remind us of our ten Scout Laws.
Go forth with this emblem to spread the spirit of goodwill...
Now the time has come for me to say good-bye. I want you to lead happy lives. You know that many of us will never meet again in this world. I am in my eighty-first year and am nearing the end of my life. Most of you are at the beginning and I want your lives to be happy and successful. You can make them so by doing your best to carry out the Scout Law all your days, whatever your station and wherever you are. I want you all to preserve this badge of the Jamboree which is on your uniform. I suggest that you keep it and treasure it and try to remember for what it stands. It will be a reminder of the happy times you have had in camp; it will remind you to take the ten points of your Scout Law as your guide in life; and it will remind you of the many friends to whom you have held out the hand of friendship and so helped through goodwill to bring about God's reign of peace among men.
Now good-bye. God bless you all.
To Scouts Everywhere
Baden-Powell prepared a farewell message to all Scouts to be published after his death.
Dear 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 possible, 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 time 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 a happy life too.
I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness does not come from being rich, nor merely 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 you 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.
Nov 24, 2014 - wycliffe mogaka
Apr 27, 2015 - Ojwang Victor
Mar 24, 2019 - Andrew Cooper
Oct 24, 2019 - Peter Bishop
What a man, what a character !
We need more people like BP
May 11, 2020 - George Holmes
Jun 26, 2021 - Ben Jordan
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