The history of Scouting begins in the first decade of the 20th century in Great Britain.

The founder of the Scout Movement is a well-known English public figure, Colonel Robert Baden-Powell. It all started when Baden-Powell decided to try to develop in a child-friendly way the Scouting activities he had practiced during his military career. To this end, he organized a camp for 20 boys from various social strata on the island of Brownsey. The experiment was so successful that Baden-Powell found it possible to publish its results as a special program for the “Boy Scouts”, publishing separate chapters of his work every fifteen days for nine months in 1907. By publishing the book, he did not have in mind the creation of a new organization ; his idea was that the book could be used by already existing organizations such as “boys’ gangs”. However, interest in his undertaking was overwhelming. Within a week, Boy Scout patrols across the country were formed, and by the end of the year a national headquarters was in operation. -apartment to coordinate this movement.

In 1916, an organization of Cubsouts arises, whose program of activity is closely connected with the events set forth in the book “The Jungle” by Rudyard Kipling, the author of which was a personal friend of Baden-Powell; that is why even today the scout leaders are known under the name “Bagheera”, “Akela”.

Around the same time, the Rover Scouts appeared, groups of young people, mostly former Chief Scouts, who wanted to remain members of the Movement, but not necessarily as leaders.

In 1946, a section of adult Scouts, “‘Seniors”, is created, which provides activities for Scouts aged 15-18.

For more than 70 years, Scouting has been growing, developing, adapting to the new conditions of the surrounding world. Scout organizations operate in more than 150 countries and territories around the world. About 16 million children and young people are now affiliated with the Scout Associations.

In today’s rapidly changing world, scouts have a lot of interesting and useful things to do.

Baden-Powell – World Scout

The name of Baden-Powell is known and respected throughout the world as the name of a man who managed to live two wonderful lives in his 83 years: the life of a soldier who fought for his homeland, and the life of a fighter for peace, through the brotherhood of the Scout Movement.

Robert Stephenson Smith Baden-Powell, known as BP, was born on 22 February 1857 in Stanhowe Street, London, now Stanhow Terrace, Paddington. He was the sixth son of ten children of the priest Baden-Powell, a professor at Oxford University. His grandfather Robert Stephenson is the son of George Stephenson, the inventor of the railroad.

The father died when BP was only three years old, after which the family was forced to live in modest conditions. BP received his primary education from his mother and subsequently attended Rosehill School in Tunbridge Wells and thereafter continued his studies at Charterhouse School, which was in London, but then moved to the countryside in Godalling in Surrey. The opportunity to be close to nature had a great impact on the young Baden-Powell.

He always learned new things with ease and pleasure: he played the piano and violin well, as an amateur actor many times acted as a clown. During his studies at Charterhouse, he developed an interest in a variety of outdoor activities and in all kinds of wood crafts. In the forest thickets around the school, BP used to hide from the teachers. Here he caught wild rabbits and roasted them on a fire, making sure that the smoke from the fire was not visible from the side. He did not waste time in vain, along with his brothers, he was always looking for adventure. One holiday they made a boat trip along the south coast of England, and another time they went up the Thames to its headwaters in a canoe. Traveling like this was unusual for young people in those days. The skills he learned in his youth turned out to be very useful for his future life.

BP did not get excellent grades at school, as evidenced by the report card at the end of the school year.

For example, in one of the report cards it is written: “Mathematics – did almost nothing during class”, in the other: “French – could have had better success, but was lazy and often slept in class.” Nevertheless, he successfully passed the entrance exams to the military school and became the second best among several hundred students.

After completing the training course, the young man was assigned to serve in the 13th Hussar Regiment, where he later received the rank of honorary colonel. In 1876, BP was sent to India as a young specialist in military intelligence, cartography and camouflage. His successes here are quite significant – he soon begins to conduct field studies with young replenishment. The methods of the BP turned out to be unconventional for that time: with his direct participation, small groups, or patrols, were created, operating under the leadership of one leader and having a well-functioning system of special rewards for those who performed their task well. For greater efficiency, BP rewarded his students with stripes that displayed a pattern traditional for those times – compass arrows. Today’s World Scout emblem is very similar to this badge.

He later served in the Balkans, South Africa and Malta before returning to Africa to help defend Mayficking during its 217-day siege at the start of the Boer War. The courage and enterprise shown by young soldiers during the hostilities made an indelible impression on him. In turn, the active work during the war of the BP itself earned him the glory of a national hero.

Returning to his homeland, he discovered that the little textbook he had written for the soldiers (“Intelligence Aid”) became quite popular, being widely used by youth leaders and teachers across the country in teaching observational skills. BP was often invited to speak at rallies and meetings, and one day at one of the events of the “boys’ brigade” he was approached by the founder of this movement, Sir William Smith, with a request to develop a better scheme than that that existed until that time, the scheme for educating boys in the spirit of worthy and useful citizens of his countries.

Start of movement

BP set about revising the textbook “Help in Intelligence”, which is now aimed at young readers.

In 1907, he organized an experimental camp on Brownsey Island to put his ideas into practice. He brought together 20 boys. Some of them attended closed private schools for the rich, others came from a working class background. The results of the experiment are now known all over the world.

Scouting for Boys, published in 1908, was a huge success. Spontaneously, the boys began to organize themselves into scout patrols, putting into practice the ideas laid down in the book. What was conceived as a handbook to help existing organizations, in the process turned into a textbook for a new, eventually World Movement. Undoubtedly, the BP brought something fundamental and essentially progressive to the youth environment in England and around the world. Subsequently, Scouting for Boys has been translated into 35 languages.

In September 1908, Baden Powell opened an office in order to be able to answer the numerous letters that came from everywhere. Scouting quickly spread throughout the British Empire and over time is established in almost all corners of the globe. Later, it was banned in countries where totalitarian regimes arose. In this regard, it should be noted that Scouting is inherently a democratic voluntary movement that rejects all violence.

In 1910, BP, at the age of 53, on the advice of King Edward 7, who offered him to devote himself to useful service for the good of his homeland within the framework of the Scout Movement, resigned. From that time on, his energy and enthusiasm was channeled into the development of Boy Scouting and Girl Guiding (Girl Guiding dates back to 1909, when girls attending the first Scout Gathering at the Crystal Palace in London approached BP to help them become Scouts).

He traveled all over the world and went wherever his help was needed, encouraging growth and inspiring its activists in every possible way.

In 1912 he married Olave Somes. She turned out to be a good friend and constant assistant in all work. They had three children – Peter, Hetta and Betty. BP’s wife, Lady Baden Powell, went on to become known as the World Guidemaster.

The first international scouting meeting, the Jamboree, was held at Olympia, London, in 1920. During the closing ceremony, BP was unanimously proclaimed Chief Scout of the World. The subsequent international scout events confirmed that this was not only an honorary title: the scouts saw the BP as their true leader. Shouts of welcome when he arrived at meetings, and silence when he raised his hand, proved beyond doubt that he was able to captivate the hearts and imaginations of his followers in many countries. At the third Jamboree held at Arrow Park, Birken Head, the Prince of Wales announced that BP had been granted a peerage. This news was greeted with great joy by all the scouts.