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Influencing Boy Scouts

23 September 2009

September 24th, 1909.

After the previous week’s letter from “A Scoutmaster” observing that Boy Scouts had received no attention from the Church Times, the paper ventured a cautious welcome:

IN A surprisingly short time the Boy Scout Movement has devel­oped into a wide organisation, important enough now to be the subject of much public discussion. Many people are asking what is the duty of the Church towards it. We do not go the length of thinking that it should not be left to organize itself with its own methods. There is so much to be said in favour of the movement by reason of its healthy moral and physical effects that we should not dream of turning the cold shoulder to it, nor of treating it as an undesirable rival to the Church Lads’ Brigade. Rather, we think that the two systems may be encouraged to continue side by side, either learning from the other what it may have to teach. The influence of the Church may be brought to bear upon the Boy Scouts, and while the movement is still young it is well to consider how this influence may best be exerted. If to the lessons of discipline and clean and healthy exercise in place of idling and indulging in vicious sports, there can be added the fear of God, the youth of England should, in time, develop into a splendid manhood. But much depends upon the wisdom and tact of those who are responsible for the religious instruction of the children.

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