161 years ago today, Robert Baden-Powell was born in London, England. Baden-Powell was a soldier, author, and the father of Scouting. We could talk all day about who he was and the amazing things he accomplished in his 83-year life, but we think his quotes can do that just as well if not better.

But, if you are more interested in reading about his life in greater detail, check out one our previous articles written by Darryl Alder, Happy Birthday Baden Powell — Scouting’s Founder.

30 Quotes From the Father of Scouting

Visit Brainy Quotes to find quotes 1-12 and other Baden-Powell quotes. 

  1. “I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life.”
  2. “Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from 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.”

3. “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.”

4. “A boy carries out suggestions more wholeheartedly when he understands their aim.”

5. “No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws.”

6. “One of the finest statesmen of the present time is also a first-class scout, and that is Mr. Roosevelt, the late President of the United States of America.”

7. “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity.”

8. “Happiness is within the reach of everyone, rich or poor. Yet comparatively few people are happy. I believe the reason for this is that the majority don’t recognize happiness even when it is within their grasp.”

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

10. “The most successful detectives owe their success to noticing small signs. Scouts are natural detectives and never let the smallest detail escape them. These small things are called by Scouts ‘Sign.'”

11. “The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light.”

12. “One of the first duties of a Scout is obedience to authority. He must obey his orders in the first place and put his own amusement or desires in the second.”

Quotes 13 – 14 come from Inspiring Quotes 

13. “I have over and over again explained that the purpose of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Movement is to build men and women as citizens endowed with the three H’s namely, Health, Happiness and Helpfulness. The man or woman who succeeds in developing these three attributes has secured the main steps to success this Life.”

14.  “The secret of sound education is to get each pupil to learn for himself, instead of instructing him by driving knowledge into him on a stereotyped system.”

Quotes 15 – 23 Can be Found at Success Stories

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

16.  “If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk.”

17. “Success in training the boy depends largely on the Scoutmaster’s own personal example.”

18. “The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.”

19. “The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”

20.  “Correcting bad habits cannot be done by forbidding or punishment.”

21. “Trust should be the basis for all our moral training.”

22. “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.”

23. “The object of the patrol method is not so much having the Scoutmaster trouble as to give the responsibility to the boy.”

You can find Quotes 24 – 30 at Filestore

24. “Scouting is a man’s job cut down to a boy’s size.”


25.  “Where is there a boy to whom the call of the wild and the open road does not appeal?”


26.  “We are not a club or a Sunday school class, but a school of the woods.”

27.  “In Scouting, you are combating the brooding of selfishness.”“The real way to gain happiness is to give it to others.”

28.  “Scoutmasters deal with the individual boy rather than with the mass.”

29.  “A boy on joining wants to begin Scouting right away.”

30.  “A fisherman does not bait his hook with food he likes. He uses food the fish likes. So with boys.” 

What are some of your favorite quotes from Baden-Powell? Comment below.

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