Troop 50 History | The History of the Boy Scouts of America | Early Days in America


The History of Boy Scouts

The Story of Robert Baden-Powell

Taken from the Boy Scout Handbook

Robert Baden Powell    The man who started the Scouting movement, Robert Baden-Powell, spent much of his life serving in the British cavalry. At the turn of the century he was an officer in the war between Britain and the descendants of Dutch settlers, the Boers, in South Africa. He gained world fame during the war by defending the town of Mafeking against a force of Boer soldiers. He stood fast for 217 days until another British army group broke through the enemy lines and lifted the siege.

Baden-Powell came home to England as the best-known hero of the Boer War. He decided to use his fame to help British boys become better men. H based his ideas for a boys' organization on his own experiences as a youngster in England and as a soldier in India and Africa. In 1907 he invited a group of boys to attend the world's first Boy Scout camp on the English island of Brownsea. The success of the camp led him to write a book he called Scouting for Boys. It was an instant best-seller. Boys by the thousands bought it and decided to become Scouts. Scouting spread like wildfire throughout England and, before long, around the world.