It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I can talk myself out of doing the chores and into a trip to the seaside! The amount of time does vary slightly, but on Saturday, it took all of 2 minutes to dispel any guilt involved and start the preparations for the short journey south to the beautiful Dorset coast. A couple of phone calls, a 60 mile drive and there I was, in sunny Poole, raring to go.

Now, I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where someone makes a chance remark, or you see something that triggers off a whole load of memories which have lain dormant for years. As human beings we store all our experiences in the mind/body complex – what we have difficulty with is recall, unless something triggers off the memories. Well, I thought I was taking a trip to Poole, but in fact it turned out to be a trip down memory lane, for the most obscure reason.

I wandered into St Peter’s Church, Poole and there was my memory trigger – photos of Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Scouting movement! Apparently the first ever scouting expedition was held on Brownsea Island in Poole harbour in 1907 and Lord B.P’s connections with the town were cemented when he married his young bride there (he was 54, she was 23). Well, seeing his image brought back all sorts of childhood memories about my brothers going off to scout camp and doing good deeds to raise money in Bob-a-Job week (a bob = 5p these days ). I can remember them comparing notes and moaning about how some householders made them work much harder than others for the same amount of money!

However, putting aside the personal memories of the smelly kit bags and the bob-a-job stickers, it got me thinking about Lord B.P who was described as being a man of his time and a man before his time. Having recognised (during his serving career in the army) the importance of instilling good values in young people he then did something about it and went on to found the world’s largest peace movement and was considered to be the 13th most influential person of the 20th century. Wow! So what was/is the scouting movement teaching? Well, they refer to spiritual development (not religious) as being at the heart of the scouting activities and by that they list 7 ‘laws’, a code of conduct.

A scout is to:

• Be trusted
• Be loyal
• Be friendly and considerate
• Belong to a world-wide community
• Have courage in all difficulties
• Make good use of time and is careful of possessions and property
• Have self-respect and respect for others

Quite frankly, if I’d followed these all my life, I’d be in a VERY different place now!! However, of the above listed, the one that jumps out as having the most potential for creating long-lasting and far-reaching change for the world is the last one – having self-respect and respect for others. A teacher of mine once said that you can only respect others as much as you respect yourself, so there you have it. Start looking at ways in which you can increase your self-respect……..respect for others will then follow on naturally. ….hmmm……maybe I WILL recruit on behalf of the boy scouts after all!