Vocate Blog

Robert Baden-Powell

This article is part of our series “Vocate’s Wall of Fame”. Each person described in the series is someone who has inspired the Vocate team and who we believe represents what “unlocking human potential” means. Quite literally, the Wall of Fame exists in our office (printed out images framed on the wall) and every week we vote on a new honoree.

Robert Baden-Powell was the author of Scouting for Boys, founder of the The Boy Scouts Association and successful Lieutenant-General of the British Army, serving primarily in India and Africa from 1867 – 1910. Throughout his military career abroad, Baden-Powell kept detailed journals of military scouting expeditions, which he later published. These books were written for non-commissioned officers, but were also widely read by boys, who later became Baden-Powell’s first Boy Scouts.

During his time abroad with the British Army in the Boer War, Robert Baden-Powell had the opportunity to work with local South African boys, referred to as Mafeking Cadets, who served as messengers during the Siege of Mafeking. Extremely impressed by these boys,

The true beginning of Scouting, however, is considered to be the founding of the Brownsea Island Scout camp, a demonstration camp held by Robert himself in 1907. This camping event for the young British boys from a variety of different social backgrounds, served as a way for Baden-Powell to test his ideas about scouting, as articulated in his book, Scouting for Boys – a work in progress at the time. The 20 boys enrolled in the camp were arranged into patrols: Wolves, Ravens, Bulls and Curlews. Each boy wore khaki scarves, and fleur-de-lis badges, and “Be Prepared” (later adopted as the Scout Motto) was etched on a badge that boys received after having passed knots, tracking, and flag tests. The camp was extremely successful and the boys walked away with knowledge in camping, observation, woodcraft, lifesaving, patriotism, and chivalry.

After success at the Brownsea Island Scout camp, and having published Scouting for Boys in 1908, Robert Baden-Powell retired in 1910 and founded The Boy Scouts Association. There are now over 38 million scouts worldwide, including girls participating as Girl Scouts and Girl Guides.

For more information, follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Baden-Powell,_1st_Baron_Baden-Powell

Liza Lindgren

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