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Scouting History

Can you imagine a world without Scouting?

Without the Jamborees, friendships and adventures that Scouting brings to the world it would certainly be a less colourful place.  But if it wasn’t for the talent and originality of one man the Scouting movement might never have existed at all. That man was Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) a soldier, artist, actor and free-thinker. Best known for his spirited defence of the small South African township of Mafeking during the Boer War, he was subsequently propelled to further fame as the Founder of the Scouting movement.

Scouting began outdoors where in 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset to try out his ideas. He brought together 20 boys from a variety of backgrounds including the Boys Brigade. The success of the camp spurred him on to start up what would become a classic of the 20th century and beyond.

‘Scouting for Boys’ was published in 1908 and from the start sales of the book were substantial. Interested boys soon formed themselves into Scout Patrols and as numbers grew it became clear that young people of all ages and in every country wanted to get involved. 1920 was the year of the first World Scout Jamboree at London’s Olympia where Scouts from across the world gathered to celebrate international unity and the growth of their great movement.


Scouting changed over the years but continued to grow. Scouts in the UK acted as coastguards during the First World War and ran messages during the Blitz in the Second. Scouting has continued to have a positive impact on society helping deliver health, education and rebuilding programmes across the world. Girls are now as much part of the adventure as the boys. Fun, friendship and learning continue to form equal building blocks of the present day Scouting movement.

As a worldwide movement Scouting can be found today in over 200 Countries and Territories comprising over 38 million Scout and Guide members.





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