Robert Baden-Powell

(1857—1941) army officer and founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides

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(b. 22 Feb. 1857, d. 8 Jan. 1941).

Founder of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements Born in London, he was educated at Charterhouse, and joined the army in 1876. He became internationally famous for organizing the defence of Mafeking in the South African War, when it was besieged for 217 days (October 1899–May 1900). During this time he developed ideas about the value of discipline, self‐respect, and fitness, and the importance of public service. He experimented with these ideas through running a boys' camp in Poole, Dorset, in 1907. This, and the publication of his Scouting for Boys in 1908, proved so popular that he established the Boy Scouts in 1908, and the Girl Guides in 1909. The two movements spread rapidly on a national and international scale, as they emerged at a time of general concern within industrialized countries about the poor health of the young growing up in large, unhealthy, and seemingly corrupt cities. As Chief Scout of the World from 1920, he continued to promote the cause of the two movements for the rest of his life.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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