Sources other than Google

A couple of years’ ago, Nyroca Scout Camp was presented with the centenary edition of Rudyard Kipling’s writings – some 24 books, encompassing  many of his famous stories. The publishers (Macmillan Press) presented the centenary edition to each state Scouting Association in Australia, to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of his birth. And it was considered that Nyroca would be a most suitable repository for the volumes.

The connection between Kipling and Scouting is quite significant, inasmuch that Kipling (who was a friend of Lord Baden- Powell, the founder of the movement), wrote his famous Jungle Book, and it was from that book that Baden-Powell introduced his themes  for the establishment of the Wolf Cubs in 1917. Over more recent years, the name was changed in most jurisdictions to Cub Scouts and the symbolism and allegories used originally were phased out.

Kipling, like me, was a Freemason, and was initiated as a young man, into the craft, in India, where he worked for several years as a reporter for a newspaper. Much of Kipling’s writings include references to Freemasonry.

His life spanned an era in British history, at its high point, before being eclipsed by the modern world.  Nonetheless his writings have remained most popular, and have never been out of print. For example, over the years  I have attended several funerals where the funereal cards have included the great poem ‘If’, no doubt decided upon by the departed’s family as a close likeness to their loved one.

The poem is inspirational and motivational, and comprises a set of rules on self esteem and confidence, and conveys wisdom from father to son, providing a blueprint for personal integrity, behaviour and self development. It is timeless, and would be in my view an important aid to any thinking father.

One of my observations over recent years, is that many young people today seem to  suffer a lack of curiosity.  In order to encourage young people to develop this essential trait, when they come to Nyroca,  they see one of Kipling’s most famous quotes:  ‘I keep six honest serving men. They taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why, and When and How, and Where and Who.’

The gathering of information and knowledge by young people must surely be encouraged as essential,  both inside the classroom, the home and beyond – and from sources quite apart from Google and YouTube.



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