By Kat Nielsen, R.S.
Rovering is the carrying out of Scouting into every part of a person’s life. It aims at creating nobler citizenship by introducing the Scout Promise and Spirit into the everyday life of Rover Scouts. In the words of our founder: “During the time that a boy is a Scout he, like an Esquire in the days of Chivalry, is preparing himself for rendering service to other people. At seventeen or eighteen he crosses the threshold from boyhood to manhood; from being a Boy Scout he grows up to be a Rover Squire and then a Rover Scout, just as in old days the Esquire was promoted to be a Knight. As a Rover Scout he no longer limits himself to preparing and training for service, but devotes himself to practising service in some form or other; just as the Knights of the Round Table went off on their different quests of duty. The difficulty for the average Rover Scout has been to find for himself a definite Quest to follow; and it is equally difficult for me to lay down any definite forms of service such as would be applicable to every Rover Scout under the sun.” It is hoped that you will find this series of articles useful in finding and undertaking your own Personal, Crew, and Round Table Quests.
The Scout Law, viewed by a Rover, expands into Quests of Scouting. When looking at these Quests, it soon becomes obvious that such Questing carries the Spirit and Practice of Scouting into everyday life. Rover Questing and Rovering are not spare time activities, but ways of looking at life as adventures
in service to God and the Community.
Over the next year, this column will expand each of the Scout Laws, as interpreted for Rovers, and suggest ideas of how Rovers can undertake Quests to better prepare themselves for service, and render service at the same time. Much of these articles will be updated and adapted from Dr. Griffin’s work “Rover Quests in Practice” and if you have any questions or feedback please send it in to the Editor of Roverscouts.org.
Each article will begin with an interpretation of the Scout Law for Rovers and then expand on this and explore the importance of that Law in our lives. Preparatory work will then be explored, enabling each Rover to interpret for themselves the importance of this Quest and then design for themselves a challenge.
Quests must, therefore, be a clearly understood course of action which is to be followed, including having ways to deal with difficulties, as and when they arise. The Rover should announce that they are leaving on a Quest and report regularly their progress. Upon completion of the Quest, the Rover should provide a log of their activities, their service rendered, and new skills, attitudes, and knowledge gained on the Quest to the Crew. Rovers can use the Goal Setting scheme described in the last issue of Rovering.com, or some other goal setting method, to begin and evaluate this process.
It should be noted that Questing is not a vague ethical ideal.
Rather, it is a game of exploring with a purpose which develops into a clear and practical program. Rover Quests should be more than isolated acts of Scout Errantry. Questing helps Rovers to place their feet on the first rungs of the Ladder of Scout Service, and to taste its first joys. Quests then help and encourage the Rover to climb higher, look wider, and serve better.
Quests enable us all to do Good Turns to members of the Scout Brotherhood as well as to the wider world.
Completed Quests can be indicated on the uniform by one diamond knot tied in a leather Progress Thong worn around the left shoulder.
The Quest of Truth
© Kat Nielsen, R.S
The first clause of the Scout Law is “A Scout’s Honour is to be trusted.” For the Rover, this means consciously striving each day to live honourably, to look out for and help others, to speak truthfully at all times, and to fulfill every promise whether actually made or only implied. A Rover should endeavour to be an example of trustworthiness, dependability, and cultivate a devotion to the Truth.
Out in the world, too often Honour is held to be of less worth than material gain. You can hear dishonourably methods sanctioned if they will bring about desired results. You may be tempted at times to forget the ideas of Truth because they do not seem to help you achieve your goals.
The Quest of Truth begins at home. Try to live your life in an honourable manner, and help others to do so as well. Be respectful and conscientious in all your dealings, keep your promises, and behave honourably towards others and yourself.
Small untruths and dishonesties should be avoided as they taint your honour, and can lead others to be distrustful of you.
Fear is one of the most common reasons for us to be dishonest, and courage in spite of difficulties is required on the quest. If you live your life is pursuit of the truth, living as honourable as possible, people will not only respect you, but honour you in return, give you the benefit of the doubt when unsure, and have faith that everything will work out in the end. You are not alone in this quest. Other Rovers are endeavouring to live the same way, and can provide encouragement, support, and sympathy for the trials of life. Use clear thinking, your imagination, and the advice of others to guide you along this path.
• Organize discussions and debate within your Crew exploring the best ways of dealing with difficulties, such as:
• petty dishonesties in everyday life
• being forced to be dishonest as part of your employment
• philosophical debates
• cases where the neglect of Truth has led to disaster
• the role Truth plays in journalism and advertising
• the causes of dishonesty, such as fear, pride, etc.
• Read the chapter entitled “Cuckoos and Humbugs” in “Rovering to Success”
• Collect the names of people from all walks of life who would give private advice in regards to definite issues you are facing.
• Get together with your Crew and discuss the importance of the Scout Law “A Scout’s Honour is to be Trusted.” Explore what this means and the implications it has in our lives.
A great way to get started would be to draw up in the Crew a list of simple ordinary Quests of Truth in daily life, and keep it posted where the Crew meets. Revise it once or twice a year according to the actual experiences of members of the Crew.
Register failures, but only as opportunities which will come again, perhaps with a happier result.
Take the time and reflect on what is meant by Honour, and how you can strive to live your life in a more Truthful manner. Set yourself goals to work on particular aspects of your life. We will all be challenged in our lives to be dishonest, but through striving to live as honourably as we can, we, as Rovers, can help to build a better world for everyone.
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