Bear Grylls pens an essential handbook for anyone who is a Scout or wants to be one

Bear Grylls at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.

“You only get one shot at life. Make it count.”

That’s how adventurer, author and Chief Ambassador of World Scouting Bear Grylls challenges readers in the introduction of his newest book, Do Your Best: How to be a Scout. He then outlines how you can do just that: living your best life through Scouting. The handbook covers how to be a leader, how to explore the outdoors and how you can improve emotionally, physically and relationally.

“It’s a book for anyone who is a Scout, was a Scout or hopes one day to be a Scout — a book that will inspire people to do their best, learn new skills, live life to the full and make a real difference in the world,” Grylls says.

A book for everyone

In 1908, Lord Robert Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys, a manual outlining citizenship, woodcraft and self-improvement. It became the quintessential handbook for the Scouting movement, selling more than 100 million copies since its publication.

Pitching a tent, wilderness survival, first-aid and fire-building, like outlined in Scouting for Boys, are timeless Scout skills. However, young people today have other issues to face, like cyber-bullying and balancing cellphone use, for example.

Grylls addresses both in Do Your Best. The first section details Scouting, its origins, its worldwide connections and what it teaches. Grylls also shares how he enjoyed Scouting as a boy.

“As soon as I heard the Scout leader challenge us to cook a sausage with just one match, out on the pavement, I was hooked,” he writes. “How would we ever achieve that?”

Scouting taught Grylls friendship, character and perseverance. Those are values the movement has instilled in young people since its inception, and they’re what Grylls conveys in his book.

Do Your Best is all about passing on the skills and stories I’ve learned over many years as Chief Scout and Chief Ambassador of World Scouting, and sharing the values that make Scouting such a powerful force for good around the world,” Grylls says.

Skills you need

The second section of Do Your Best focuses on adventure. It teaches you how to camp, cook, navigate, tie knots, study the stars and predict the weather. As a former British Special Forces soldier and Everest mountaineer, Grylls showcases his expertise, sharing how to properly perform these outdoor skills.

He also integrates a lot of fun facts, like what a group of cormorants is called (a gulp), how the dwarf planet Pluto was named by an 11-year-old girl and who invented the rucksack. The format perfectly balances education with fun. It also includes exciting stories about explorers, like Reinhold Messner, Ranulph Fiennes and Nims Purja. Haven’t heard of these explorers? Get Do Your Best and be inspired!

The third section addresses how to become a more fulfilled, better adjusted person. It gives tips on how to get organized, the benefits of healthy habits and how to be a good friend. Goal-setting, getting out of your “comfort zone,” making good impressions and building self-confidence are all outlined in this section as well.

This advice is not only beneficial for young people, but everyone. Plus, there are some handy reference pages, like a distance conversion chart, flag semaphore guide and list of World Scout Jamboree facts.

Where to get it

You can find Do Your Best: How to be a Scout in hardcover and as an eBook at book retailers and on Amazon. You will also soon be able to buy it at Scout Shops and at

About Michael Freeman 441 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.