Robert Baden-Powell

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Robert Baden-Powell is the founder of Boy Scouting.


Some Famous Quotes
“A boy on joining wants to begin Scouting right away.”

“A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.”

“A boy is not a sitting-down animal.”

“Show me a poorly uniformed troop and I’ll show you a poorly uniformed leader.”

“There is no teaching to compare with example.”

“The object of the patrol method is not so much saving the Scoutmaster trouble as to give responsibility to the boy.”

“The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”

“The most important object in Boy Scout training is to educate, not instruct.”

Pearls of Wisdom—Quotes From Baden-Powell


From: Founders of Scouting and the BSA

"As a youth, Robert Baden-Powell greatly enjoyed the outdoors, learning about nature and how to live in the wilderness. After returning as a military hero from service in Africa, Baden-Powell discovered that English boys were reading the manual about stalking and survival in the wilderness that he had written for British soldiers. Gathering ideas from Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, and others, he rewrote the manual as a nonmilitary nature skill book and called it Scouting for Boys. To test his ideas, Baden-Powell brought together 22 boys to camp at Brownsea Island, off the coast of England. This historic campout was a success and resulted in the advent of Scouting. Thus, the imagination and inspiration of Baden-Powell, later proclaimed Chief Scout of the World, brought Scouting to youth the world over."

After his marriage with Olave St Clair Soames, Baden-Powell, his sister Agnes Baden-Powell and notably his wife actively gave guidance to the Scouting Movement and the Girl Guides Movement. Baden-Powell lived his last years in Nyeri, Kenya, where he died in 1941.

Early life

Baden-Powell was born as Robert Stephenson Smyth Powell, or more familiarly as Stephe Powell in London, England, on February 22, 1857. His father Reverend Baden Powell, a Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University, already had four teenage children from the second of his two previous marriages.

Military career

In 1876, R.S.S. Baden-Powell, joined the British Army in India as a Lieutenant. He honed his reconnaissance skills during Britain's invasion of the Zulu kingdom in the early 1880s. During one of his travels, he came across a large string of wooden beads, worn by the Zulu king Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo, which was later incorporated into the Wood Badge training program. He was posted in Malta for three years, also working as intelligence officer for the Mediterranean for the Director of Military Intelligence. He frequently traveled disguised as a butterfly collector, incorporating plans of military installations into his drawings of butterfly wings. [1]

Scouting Movement

On his return from Africa in 1903, Baden-Powell found that his military training manual, Aids to Scouting, had become a best-seller, and was being used by teachers and youth organizations. Baden-Powell decided to re-write Aids to Scouting to suit a youth readership. In August 1907 he held camp on Brownsea Island for twenty-two boys of mixed social background to test out the applicability of his ideas. In 1910 lieutenant-general Baden-Powell decided to retire from the Army on the advice of King Edward VII, who suggested that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting.

Boys and girls spontaneously formed Scout troops and the Scouting Movement had inadvertently started, first as a national, and soon an international obsession. The Girl Guide Movement was subsequently founded in 1910 under the auspices of Baden-Powell's sister, Agnes Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell's friend, Juliette Gordon Low, was encouraged by him to bring the Movement to America, where she founded the Girl Scouts of the USA.

In 1920, the World Scout Jamboree took place in Olympia, London, and Baden-Powell was acclaimed Chief Scout of the World.

At the 5th World Scout Jamboree in 1937, Baden-Powell gave his farewell to Scouting, and retired from public Scouting life.

Baden-Powell died on 8 January 1941 and is buried in Nyeri, in St. Peter's Cemetery. His gravestone bears a circle with a dot in the centre, which is the trail sign for "I have gone home."

Selected works

  • 1908: Scouting for Boys
  • 1912: Handbook for Girl Guides (co-authored with Agnes Baden-Powell)
  • 1916: The Wolf Cub's handbook
  • 1918: Girl Guiding
  • 1919: Aids To Scoutmastership
  • 1929: Scouting and Youth Movements
  • 1935: Scouting Round the World


Baden-Powell was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on numerous occasions, including 10 separate nominations in 1928. [2]

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