been educated at Charterhouse
School, Baden-Powell served in the British Army from 1876 until 1910 in
India and Africa. In 1899, during the Second
Boer War in South
Africa, Baden-Powell successfully defended the city in the Siege
of Mafeking. Several of his military books, written for military
and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. Based on those
earlier books, he wrote Scouting
for Boys, published in 1908 by Pearson,
for youth readership. During writing, he tested his ideas through a camping
trip on Brownsea Island that began on 1
which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting.
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
Following his involvement in the Boys'
Brigade as Brigade Secretary and Officer in charge of its scouting section,
with encouragement from his friend, William
Alexander Smith, Baden-Powell decided to re-write Aids to Scouting to
suit a youth readership. In August 1907 he held a camp
on Brownsea Island for twenty-two boys of mixed social background to test
out the applicability of his ideas. Baden-Powell was also influenced by Ernest
Thompson Seton, who founded the Woodcraft
Indians. Seton gave Baden-Powell a copy of his book The Birch Bark Roll
of the Woodcraft Indians and they met in 1906.
for Boys was subsequently published in six instalments in 1908.
Boys and girls
spontaneously formed Scout
troops and the Scouting
Movement had inadvertently started, first as a national, and soon an
international obsession. The Scouting Movement was to grow up in friendly
parallel relations with the Boys' Brigade. A rally for all Scouts was held at Crystal
Palace in London in 1909, at which Baden-Powell discovered the first Girl
Scouts. 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 1st
World Scout Jamboree took place in Olympia,
and Baden-Powell was acclaimed Chief
Scout of the World. Baden-Powell was created a Baronet
in the 1921 New Year Honours and Baron
Baden-Powell, of Gilwell, in the County of Essex, on 17
Park being the International Scout Leader training centre.
After receiving this honour, Baden-Powell mostly styled himself
"Baden-Powell of Gilwell".
In 1929, during
World Scout Jamboree, he received as a present a new Rolls-Royce
car and an Eccles Caravan.
This combination well served the Baden-Powells in their further travels around Europe.
Baden-Powell also had a positive impact on improvements in youth education.
Under his dedicated command the world Scouting Movement grew. By 1922 there were
more than a million Scouts in 32 countries; by 1939 the number of Scouts was in
excess of 3.3 million.