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Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell

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Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, more affectionately known

as "B.-P.", was born in London, England, on February 22, 1857.

At the age of 12 he received a scholarship from Charterhouse

School, one of England's famous public schools. The school was

then located in London, but it soon moved to Godalming in Surrey.

There were some woods just outside the school, these were "out-

of-bounds" for the pupils. It was here that B.-P. practised

stalking wildlife. He is said to have snared rabbits and cooked

them over a small fire so that smoke didn't give him away to the

school masters. (This was to be valuable training for later in

his career.)

Choosing a military career, B.-P. served in campaigns in India,

Afghanistan and South Africa. He became world famous during the

Boer War for the defense of Mafeking, a small town in South

Africa. With 800 men, he was besieged by a force of 9,000 Boer

soldiers. His small force held out against these immense odds

for 217 days -- until a relief column of British soldiers


At Mafeking B.-P. organized his "Messenger Cadets". Trained in

efficiency, obedience and smartness, they performed many tasks --

relieving soldiers for active defense of the town. After the

Boer War, B.-P. organized the South African Constabulary and

designed a uniform for them that later became the basic Boy Scout


While still in Africa, B.-P. wrote "Aids to Scouting" -- a manual

designed to train soldiers to become army scouts. Many youth and

organizations in Britain used ideas from this manual as the basis

of adventurous programs. He discussed this matter with Sir

William Smith, the founder of the Boy's Brigade, and other

leading youth workers. He planned a camp to test his program

ideas. The camp was held from July 25 to August 9 in 1907 on

Brownsea Island. The "Scoutmaster" was Lt.-Gen. Robert Baden-

Powell. His assistants were B.W. Green, H. Robson and P.W. Everett.

The camp was a tremendous success. Based on this experiment B.-P.

wrote his book "Scouting for Boys" which was published in 6 parts

starting in January, 1908. It has been printed in many editions --

the current edition is the last one edited by B.-P. By the end

of 1908 this book was translated into five other languages. The

sketches in the book were all done by B.-P. -- most of them based

on his own exciting career.

In 1909, King Edward VII, who had taken a great deal of interest

in this new Movement, made the founder a Knight in recognition of

his work for boys. At this time B.-P. was Inspector General of

Cavalry. King Edward noted the Boys Scout Movement was so

important that B.-P. would do his country a great service if he



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