Scouting Quotes

Quotes by Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Scout Movement, and founder, with his sister Agnes, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement.

Quotes are in the order they appear in Parenting Through the Ranks.

An invaluable step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual.

The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it.

 Correcting bad habits cannot be done by forbidding or punishment.

 We never fail when we try to do our duty. We always fail when we neglect to do it.

In all of this, it is the spirit that matters. Our Scout law and Promise, when we really put them into practice, take away all occasion for wars and strife among nations.

See things from the boy’s point of view.

A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.

When you want a thing done, ‘Don’t do it yourself’ is a good motto for Scoutmasters.

Nobody is too small to do a good turn, even if it is only to smile.

Scouting is a game with a purpose.


A boy is not a sitting-down animal.

The method of instruction in Scouting is that of creating in the boy the desire to learn for himself.

The good turn will educate the boy out of the groove of selfishness.

There is no teaching to compare with example.

The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting can be carried on. It is the only method.

In Scouting, a boy is encouraged to educate himself instead of being instructed.

We must change boys from a ‘what can I get’ to a ‘what can I give’ attitude.

Be Prepared… the meaning of the motto is that a Scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.

Trust should be the basis for all our moral training.

No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have a religion.

Loyalty is a feature in a boy’s character that inspires boundless hope.

Additional quotes in the order they appear in Parenting Through the Ranks.

Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime.

– Michael B. Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America®

Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best.

– Juliette Gordon Low, Founder, Girl Scouts of the USA

Walk worthy.

– Trail Life USA Motto

American Heritage Girls love to serve.

– Patty Garibay, Founder

Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.

– Gary Smalley

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

– Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.

– C. S. Lewis

Do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

– Colossians 3:31 (ESV)

To a child, love is spelled T-I-M-E.

– Zig Ziglar

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

– Theodore Roosevelt

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.

– Rick Warren paraphrase of C. S. Lewis

Seek not so much to be understood as to understand.

–  Saint Francis of Assisi

Failure is a teacher; a harsh one, but the best.

–  Thomas J. Watson, IBM’s first chairman and CEO

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

– Fred Rogers

When Scouting has failed it has been because we have departed from the Patrol System and have failed to trust the boys with responsibility, because we have made our Scouting too nearly a school subject and not a life of joyous adventure.

– Thomas Corbett, Chief Scout, Handbook for Boys, 1951

How does one go about eating an elephant?… you eat it one bite at a time.

– Desmond Tutu

Encourage and support your kids, because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.

– Lady Bird Johnson

My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.

– Michael Jordan

It is easier to build strong boys than to repair broken men.

– Frederick Douglass, 1855