I’m an avid reader. Growing up I devoured works like Tolkien, Pratchett, Feist and Eddings- stories full of tension and heroics that let me glimpse, for a little while, another world that exists only in the heads of those that shared those books.
I’d like however today, to talk about a very special book. It’s the fourth bestselling book in the world, behind only the Bible, the Qur’an and Mao’s Little Red Book. It was originally published in instalments back in 1908, for the affordable price of just 4d. per instalment (that’s about £1.80-ish in today’s money)
I refer of course to Baden Powell’s Scouting for Boys.
If, as a Scout, you’ve never read the book, I encourage you to do so. Copyright was owned by the Scout Association until it expired in 2011 and the book officially became public domain. There is a full copy available for you to download and read on Scout Archive site TheDump:
The book is very much written in the style of the time. Slightly pompous, with many views that might feel dated in modern times, it remains a superb reminder of how far we’ve come and the heritage of where we came from. It also still contains some excellent ideas and lessons that very much apply to us today.
Camping is the joyous part of a Scouts’ life. Living out in God’s open air, among the hills and the trees, and the birds and the beasts, and the seas and the rivers- that is, living with nature, having your own little canvas home, doing your own cooking and exploration- all this brings health and happiness such as you can never get among the bricks and smoke of the town.
Baden Powell, Scouting for Boys