Friday, March 9, 2007

Baden Powell House, South Kensington

From the start of Brownsea Island ...
Elvin Ong's special coverage for those who are Scout or Girl Guides ... Happy Scouting!!!

For those who have missed the fun of being a Scout or Girl Guide, the father of Scout movement is Lord Robert Baden Powell. On this special blog I would share with you some of my personal experience in Baden Powell House 3 years ago. Baden Powell House is situated a stone-throw away from Imperial College London and it is just right next to Natural History Museum, South Kensington.

Scout songs, knots & lashings, campfire, hiking, swimming and many outdoor activities have been the major part of me in secondary school. During my one year study in IC, I walked by this house almost daily and it feels like passing the house of my closest "kin" - Lord Baden Powell. If you know me personally, you will know why...

Although the exhibition hall in Baden Powell House is not as big and grand as I thought would be, the artifacts that were once read about from scouting books are displayed in front of my eyes. They simply rock!!! Among the many items that are displayed, his scoutmaster uniform captures my attention the most. Looking at his old uniform with badges and rank pins on the chest and his big ranger hat really fulfills my boy scout's dream and desire. In fact, looking at his potrait with the uniform beside gives me a feeling that he is standing with his arm crossed in front of me. When I finished reading his last letter to scout, tears lid down my cheeks with a boiling heart inside wanting to heed his message in my life ...

His last letter
Dear Scouts,
If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.

Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. 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 can enjoy life when you are a man.

Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. "Be Prepared" in this way, to live happy and to die happy - stick to your Scout promise always - even after you have ceased to be a boy - and God help you to do it.

Your friend

His legacy stays on. His inspirations remain deep inside my heart. His potrait imprints deeply in my mind ...
A great man whose legacy transcends far beyond the greatness of a century of human modernization.

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