Q is for Questions

As I have been dwelling on the topic of ‘questions’ over the last few weeks, wondering what to write, I’ve remembered a song I learnt as a young Guide (aged about 11) which we knew as ‘Canadian Taps’ and sang to the tune ‘Tannenbaum’:


Softly at the close of day

As our campfire dies away

Silently each Guide must ask

Have I done my daily task?


Have I kept my honour bright?

Can I guiltless sleep tonight?

Have I done and have I dared

everything to be prepared?


I have a distinct memory of my grandmother banning the singing of this, but she had heard the tune (which is perhaps best known as the tune of the Red Flag) not the words. My sister and I protested strongly that what we were singing was something quite different to what she thought. However, it is little used in Guide circles for just that reason.


I still find the idea of reviewing the day and asking myself how well I have done is appealing. Though I have to remember that it should be without berating myself. I need to forgive myself and then resolve to do better tomorrow. And I have to remember to ask the question – the end of the day is not my best time!

fire 3

Much more recently (a year or so ago), I pinned up, where I saw it every morning:

‘what am I going to do today to make the world a better place?’

That is a big question, though small answers are allowed, especially since it is a one day at a time sort of question.


What questions am I working with now?


How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

What is stopping me taking action to reduce my carbon footprint?

How can I help myself and others to overcome these barriers (many of them emotional, some of them practical) so as to become ‘a low carbon, sustainable community?

 Leeds MH

What new activities should I undertake? (If any.)

What activities should I lay down?

What should I be prepared for?


Of all my outstanding tasks, which should I do first?

How can I clear some of the clutter from my life? (Both physically and spiritually.)

What did it feel like to fall in love for the first time?


Am I doing my best to live by my guide promise and the five mindfulness trainings?

Am I taking heed of the promptings of love and truth in my heart?

Am I trusting them as the leadings of God?


What does Love require?

goose path


2 thoughts on “Q is for Questions

  1. Stephanie, We use a slightly different version with Girl Scouts here in the US, but again, it’s not used much there. However, we use again a slightly different version of it with the Boy Scouts here:

    Softly falls the light of day
    as our campfire fades away
    Silently each Scout should ask
    Have I done my daily task?

    Have I kept m honor bright”
    Can I guiltless sleep tonight?
    Have I done and have I dared
    Everything t be prepared?

    It’s call ‘Scouts Vespers’ and I heard it song at the funeral service of our District Executive several years ago. A few years later the past Cubmaster, for the Cub Scout Pack that my Meeting Chartered and I was the Charter Representative for, died unexpectedly, and I was asked to do a ‘Scouts Own’ during the evening visitation (right before the Masonic Lodge did their service) – I really had no clue what I was doing, had spent all day up at Girl Scout Day Camp (the widow was one of our GS leaders). But, I did what came to me to do – with a rather large circle both Boy Scout & Girl Scout leaders and youth up in front of the casket (including Woody’s young son that was part of the Pack). We went around the circle and shared a bit about Woody (rather Quakerly!) and closed with the ‘Scouts Vespers’ song. I don’t think there were many dry eyes and the room was packed . . . most there for the Masonic service which followed. I stayed for that service, as I have a deep Masonic background. Afterwards, Sharon, Woody’s widow, came up to me and gave me a big hug and said that the simple Scouts Own that I did with the song and all meant so much more to her and her two children than all the ritual of the Masonic service.

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