The Founder of Scouting

Robert Baden-Powell was born in England in 1857, and was only 3 years old when his father – a Church of England priest – died. He was raised by his mum, hunting and playing outside at every opportunity and winning a scholarship to a prestigious school.

In his early army career, Baden-Powell served in India and was later mentioned in despatches for his efforts in South Africa. At the age of 40, he became a colonel. Three years later, Baden-Powell became a Boer War hero as garrison commander during the famous Siege of Mafeking. He returned to the UK as a Major-General, keen to develop ideas on scouting that he’d written into an army textbook.

Scouting took off in 1908, and Baden-Powell was acclaimed Chief Scout of the World in 1920. He later became a Baron and styled himself as “Baden-Powell of Gilwell” after the international Scout training centre at Gilwell Park.

Lord Baden-Powell, known affectionately to Scouts around the world as B-P, died on 8 January 1941. His gravestone has a circle with a dot in the centre, which is the trail symbol for ‘going home.’

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