|= Life of B.-P. =
Feb 22, 1857 - Jan 8, 1941
Founder of the
World Scout Movement
Chief Scout of the World
portrait was originally sketched base on 1929 painting
by David Jagger. The original is displayed in the conference
room at World Headquarters of WOSM in Geneva, Switzerland.
It was presented to B-P on August 6, 1929 at the 3rd
World Jamboree at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead of England.
This was known as the "Coming of Age Jamboree"
as it marked the 21st anniversary of Scouting. It was
Smyth Baden-Powell, more affectionately know as "B.-P.",
was born in London, England, on February 22, 1857.
At the age of 12 he received a scholarship from Charterhouse
School, one of England's famous public schools. The school
was then located in London, but it soon moved to Godalming
in Surrey. There were some woods just outside the school;
they were out-of-bounds for the pupils. It was here that B.-P.
practiced following wildlife. He is said to have camped and
and cooked over small fires so the smoke didn't give him away
to the school masters. (This was to be valuable training for
later in his career).
Choosing a military career. B.-P. served in campaigns in India,
Afghanistan and South Africa. He became world famous during
the Boer war for the defense of Mafeking, a small town in
South Africa. With 800 men, he was besieged by a force of
9,000 Boer soldiers. His small force held out against these
immense odds for 217 days, until a relief column of British
At Mafeking, B.-P. organized his "Messenger Cadets".
Trained in efficiency, obedience and smartness, they performed
many tasks, relieving soldiers for active defense of the town.
After the Boer war, B.-P. organized the South African Constabulary
and designed a uniform for them that later became the basic
Boy Scout Uniform.
still in Africa. B.-P. wrote "Aids to Scouting",
a manual designed to train soldiers to become army
scouts. Many youth and organizations in Britain used
ideas from this manual as the basis of adventurous
programs. He discussed this matter with Sir William
Smith, the found of the Boy's Brigade, and other leading
First Scout Camping
He then planned a camp to test his program ideas.
The camp was held from July 25 to August 9 in 1907
on Brownsea Island. The "Scoutmaster" was
Lt.-Gen. Robert Baden-Powell. His assistants were
B.W. Green, H. Robson, and P.W. Everett.
While still in Africa. B.-P. wrote
"Aids to Scouting", a manual designed to train
soldiers to become army scouts. Many youth and organizations
in Britain used ideas from this manual as the basis of adventurous
programs. He discussed this matter with Sir William Smith,
the found of the Boy's Brigade, and other leading youth
workers. He then planned a camp to test his program ideas.
The camp was held from July 25 to August 9 in 1907 on Brownsea
Island. The "Scoutmaster" was Lt.-Gen. Robert
Baden-Powell. His assistants were B.W. Green, H. Robson,
and P.W. Everett.
Scouting for Boys
The camp was a tremendous success. Based on this experiment,
B.-P. wrote his book "Scouting for Boys", which
was published in six parts starting in January 1908. It
has been printed in many editions: the current edition is
the last one edited by B.-P.. By the end of 1908, this book
was translated into five other languages. The sketches in
the book were all done by B.-P., most of them based on this
own exciting career.
In 1909, Kind Edward VII, who had taken a great deal of interest
in this new Movement, made the founder a Knight in recognition
of his work for boys. At this time, B.-P. was Inspector General
of the Cavalry. King Edward noted the Boy Scout Movement was
so important that B.-P. would do his country a great service
if he would resign from the army and devote his full time
to Scouting. B.-P. did so, and the Movement grew by leaps
and bounds. It was King Edward VII who inaugurated the King's
Scout Badge. This was later changed to the Queen's Scout Badge
in recognition of Queen Elizabeth II's ascension to the throne.
Scouting Spread Out
Scouting spread throughout England, the Commonwealth, and
other countries. Scouting came to Canada in May 1908. It started
in many communities at the same time, and there is no way
to know which community had Scouting first. Chile was the
first non-Commonwealth Country to adopt the Scouting program.
In 1912, B.-P. met and later married Miss Olave Soames, who
later became the Chief Guide. In 1920, the International Conference
of Scouting was formed and at the world Jamboree in 1920,
B.-P. was acclaimed as Chief Scout of the World - the only
person ever to hold that title.
B.-P. devoted the rest of his life to Scouting and the promotion
of the world brotherhood. He believed that no better way could
be found than by enrolling youth in Scouting, a Movement that
had no national boundaries.
B.-P. and the Gilwell
in 1929, at the "Coming of Age" Jamboree, King George
V made the founder a Baron. Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell took
his title from Gilwell Park, the International Training Centre
for Scouters. It is located in Epping Forest, just outside
of London England.
Vanguard Gone Home
In failing health, B.-P. took up residence in Africa in 1937.
On the 8th of January 1941, rich in both years and service,
B.-P. died. His grave in in Nyeri, in the shadow of Mount
Kenya. His tombstone bears the simple inscription:
Carved into the stone are the Scout and Guide badges and
the familiar circle with the dot in the centre signifying
source: Scouts Canada Fact Sheet, produced by Communications
Service, Scouts Canada, Ottawa, 1993.