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Historic and inspiring autograph draft letter by the founder of the Boy Scouts, Robert Baden-Powell, written during World War I, as the fledgling organization was taking root across the United Kingdom and the world. Baden-Powell writes to the Secretary of the Teachers' Registration Council, explaining the philosophy of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and advocating for inclusion of the organization in school training. He refers often to the current war, and how Scouting can help foster a thriving society post-war, focusing on the character of children as they grow into healthy adults. The passion and care for his organization - founded only seven years earlier, is palatable, with many sections crossed-out and rewritten and numerous underlines in areas where he feels strongly. Letter refers to the Wolf Cubs, dating it to sometime after 1916, but before the end of World War I. Letter reads,

''The feelings in the mind of educationists that a heavy responsibility is coming upon them, though the war, has evidently caused them to look around for ideas, and I find myself frequently invited to address conferences or to give explanations of the possibilities of the Boy Scouts' and Girl Guides' movements...in character training. I do not want to do or say anything contrary to the considered opinion of the director of our national education and therefore I venture to ask the favour of the opinion of the Council of the Teacher's Registration on the following ideas upon which we are working in the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides movements...should there be any feeling that they might be helpful to the authorities I would glad[ly] explain them more fully.''

''After the War'', is the title of the next page, continuing, ''It is generally recognized that abnormal conditions are being brought about by the war: that the best of our manhood is being killed off - that victory will ultimately rest not so much with the nation which secures to itself the greatest tactical or territorial gains, as with the nation which then possesses the most efficient manhood and womanhood for revitalising it and assuring its position.

This is mainly a question of Education. It will not suffice for one system of training to be up to the refinements of today, it must be prepared to meet those of the future when our boys and girls must be efficient...intellectually as well as physically, and on a higher standard than heretofore. And we cannot afford then to allow so large a proportion of them to run to waste as we have done in the past. The abnormal situation not only excuses but demands abnormal measures. The problem is to some extent further complicated by the loss of the trained services of a large number of teachers who are taking up arms for the country. It is just these; the younger men imbued with up to date ideas and full of energy, that we can ill afford to lose at this moment.''

Baden-Powell then titles the next page, ''Character training needed'', writing, ''The steps of the national training therefore require careful reconsideration - but before this can be entered upon, the specific aim of the training has of course to be agreed upon and made absolutely clear. It is evident that mere scholastic training alone is not going to produce the character fed nation which is needed to grasp the situation in the near future.

To this end 'Character' is essential as the first object of Education: and the steps to it must be through Education, and not by Instruction. That much is evident. How to arrive at it is a problem. There seems to be no practical scheme on foot at present and it is for this reason that I venture to offer as possibly suggestive the steps which we have been practicing in the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides movements.''

He then titles the next section ''National inefficiencies and their causes'', writing ''Our first step has been to note down the chief inefficiencies of our people, and their causes of origin, and then to devise steps of training by which they might be remedied. The following diagram perhaps will explain the idea better than written description.'' At this point he writes a note to include a diagram from the Scouts circular.

He continues, ''This diagram shows the scheme as organized for boys: one similar in principle but differing in detail is also devised for the girls.

Good Environment is secured by organized comradeship in the Scout or Guide clubs.

Sense of Honour - by the Scout's oath and by trusting him 'on his honour'. Courts of honour, etc.

Sense of Duty - through treating the boy as a man and expecting much of him

Self discipline - through team games, emulation between patrols, tests of self sacrifice, thrift, etc.

Responsibility - through small units under responsible leadership of boys

Handiness - Through badges of proficiency for passing tests

Reverence for God - through Nature study

Religion in Practice - through daily good turns to others - helpfulness to poor & sick, etc. [last part crossed out, but then ''stet'' written next to it]

Fair Play: Through games, competitions, debates and trials

Helpfulness to others - through training for dealing with accidents of all kinds. First Aid. Life saving.

Service for Country - through training in Fire Brigade, Police, Coast Guard, dispatch running and other public duties (whose value has been fully proved during the present War).

Discipline, Self reliance, Resourcefulness, [?], Patriotism and other manly attributes - As further encouraged by badges and promotion.

The principles underlying the whole is to encourage the boy to take up the different items of training because he wants to not from fear of punishment if he neglects to - i.e., by voluntary education instead of through imposed instruction.

In our national scheme of Education we begin with the elementary steps to character and handiness in the kindergarten stage - but they are unfortunately modified as the child grows older. The training of the Scouts and Guides with their junior branches, Wolf Cubs and Brownies, are intended in a small way to assist the school authorities in remedying this defect by taking the children in hand outside the school walls, and carrying on their training under some sort of continuity, thus:

Boys: Infants Kindergarten: 8 to 10 Wolf Cubs: 12 to 18 Boy Scouts

Girls: Infants Kindergarten: 8 to 10 Brownies: 12 to 18 Girl Guides''

Baden-Powell then crosses out a section below, reading in part, ''The experiment has even been put to the highest possible test - that of War, and has come through''.

On the next page Baden-Powell titles the section ''Military Drill'', which reads, ''There seems some danger of parents and other people being carried away by the present War-fever and insisting on drill being carried out in schools as it is generally agreed that this, though intended as a step in the principle of patriotic training, is actually retrograde in detail since it promotes the repression of individual character and the false discipline derived from fear of punishment. The Scout training on the other hand brings out the individual, develops his character, and disciplines under the obligation of loyally playing the game for his side.

In the next section, titled ''Results'', Baden-Powell writes, ''The actual results of the scheme and the training have already far exceeded expectation. It has proved fully attractive to both boys and girls of all stations in life. It has been found applicable both in town and in country; not only in the United Kingdom but all over the Empire, and also in foreign countries. It is sufficiently simple to be efficacious in the hands of men and women hitherto inexperienced in teaching.

It has even been put to the highest possible test namely that of War, and has come through it satisfactory. It has proved itself capable of supplying a character-formation in every youth upon which a specialised training can be built in any desired line, whether intellectual, industrial or military. But being as yet unknown or unorganized by the majority of school authorities our effort is only being applied to a comparatively small portion of the rising generation.

In ''Conclusion'', Baden-Powell writes, ''I would not venture to approach the Council with these notes were it not that I have received many requests for ideas. Teachers appear to be fully alive to the needs of the situation and are evidently willing and capable of doing much. They only want a lead or a freer hand in carrying out training in their own way. I venture to hope therefore that if our aims and methods are generally approved by the Council, the teachers may feel encouraged to apply them in a greater or less degree in their school-training.''

Twelve page letter on 11 sheets measure 6.25'' x 8''. Composed in pencil on stationery from his home in Gray Rigg, Lilliput, Dorset. Hole punched at top left, and light wear, overall in very good plus condition. An extraordinarily rare letter draft by Baden-Powell about Scouting as he envisioned it.
Robert Baden-Powell 12pp. Autograph Draft Letter Regarding the Nascent Boy Scouts Organization -- Circa 1917, During World War I: ''Scout training...brings out the individual, develops his character''Robert Baden-Powell 12pp. Autograph Draft Letter Regarding the Nascent Boy Scouts Organization -- Circa 1917, During World War I: ''Scout training...brings out the individual, develops his character''Robert Baden-Powell 12pp. Autograph Draft Letter Regarding the Nascent Boy Scouts Organization -- Circa 1917, During World War I: ''Scout training...brings out the individual, develops his character''Robert Baden-Powell 12pp. Autograph Draft Letter Regarding the Nascent Boy Scouts Organization -- Circa 1917, During World War I: ''Scout training...brings out the individual, develops his character''
Robert Baden-Powell 12pp. Autograph Draft Letter Regarding the Nascent Boy Scouts Organization -- Circa 1917, During World War I: ''Scout training...brings out the individual, develops his character''
Robert Baden-Powell 12pp. Autograph Draft Letter Regarding the Nascent Boy Scouts Organization -- Circa 1917, During World War I: ''Scout training...brings out the individual, develops his character''
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Auction closed on Thursday, September 26, 2019.
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