The Story of Scouting and Guiding


BADEN-POWELL or B.P. - Stand up, click heels and salute.
LADY BADEN-POWELL or LADY B.P. - Stand up and salute.
ARMY - Stand up and pretend to be shooting with sounds.
ENGLAND - Call out "God Bless England".
INDIA - Stand up and pretend to be snake charmer and hum chant.
AFRICA - Play drums using floor.
CANADA - Sing out "Oh Canada".
WORLD - Make a huge circle with arms and say "big world".
SCOUTS - Stand up, throw hat in air and shout "YAH-HOO".
GUIDES - Stand up and salute.

Over one hundred years ago, on February 22, 1857 to be exact, Robert BADEN-POWELL was born in ENGLAND. This man was later to become famous under the name of B.P. as the founder of SCOUTS and GUIDES.

He spent a number of years in a boarding school and then joined the ARMY when he was 19. As a soldier, B.P. travelled all over the world, from AFRICA to INDIA, and back to AFRICA again. In fact, he became a famous hero during the Boer War, as a colonel in the British ARMY.

After this war, B.P. returned to ENGLAND where he found that many of the books that he had written for the ARMY were being used by teachers and other youth leaders to help with their work with the boys. He decided to try out his own ideas, and he held a camp on Brownsea Island with a group of boys who were later to be known as the first SCOUTS. This was in 1907.

It didn't take long before the girls decided that they too could be SCOUTS so patrols of girls calling themselves such things as Lions and Tigers and Vultures sprang up all over ENGLAND.

In 1909, B.P. invited all the SCOUTS of ENGLAND to a parade in the Crystal Palace. This huge building was actually made of glass and had been built for an exhibition in London, ENGLAND. B.P. stood at the front and saluted all the SCOUTS as they marched in. He was proud of all of them except for a very small group of nine, the last ones to enter. The reason for this was that they were girls and B.P. didn't want them to get involved with SCOUTING.

It took only a short time to persuade him to change his mind, and soon after that they were no longer Girl SCOUTS but Girl GUIDES. This was quite difficult for some of them to take because when you have been in the "Tigers" or "Vultures" patrol for some time, you don't really want to become a "Pansy" or "Canary"

GUIDING and SCOUTING quickly spread throughout the WORLD. Soon there were not only GUIDES and SCOUTS in ENGLAND and CANADA, but also in INDIA, AFRICA and many other countries as well.

B.P. had now quit the ARMY and he devoted all his time to the SCOUTS and GUIDES of the WORLD. He travelled constantly and on one of those trips he met Miss Olave St. Clair who became his wife and is now called LADY B.P.

Lady B.P.'s birthday was also February 22, so a Belgian GUIDER suggested that something special be made of this day or week, since it was the birthday of both the Founder and LADY B.P., and we celebrate this week every year as we think of our Brother SCOUTS and Sister GUIDES throughout the WORLD.

B.P. died in 1941 in AFRICA and LADY B.P. died in June of 1977. SCOUTING and GUIDING is still spreading and new membership countries are constantly being accepted by the WORLD Association. Perhaps you can help it grow in your own way.