Robert Baden-Powell was born on February 22nd, 1857, in London. His father was a professor of geometry at Oxford University and a priest in the Church of England. However, he died when Robert was only three years old. So, his mother brought him and his siblings alone.
During his childhood, Baden-Powell practiced scouting skills in the woods of south England. Hence, it was no surprise that he joined the army after finishing school. Besides, he was not described as a good student in school anyway. In 1876, he set off to India as a second lieutenant of the 13th Hussars.
In 1899, he took part in the Second Boer War in South Africa. For his accomplishments – defending Mafeking for 217 days, through Queen Victoria, the army promoted him to Major-General. He was only 43 years old at the time. Consequently, he became somewhat of a national hero.
Robert Baden-Powell and the Boy Scouts
After returning to England in 1903, he found out that his 1899 Aids to Scouting was popular among various youth organizations. In 1907, Robert Baden-Powell ran a trial camp for 20 boys on the Brownsea Island, near Poole, Dorset. Soon, he proposed the Boy Scouts movement.
Boy Scouts officially came into existence a year later. In 1910, as a lieutenant-general, he retired from the army to fully commit to this movement. Soon, it gained popularity worldwide with a short break during World War I. He held the first World Scout Jamboree in 1920. Robert Baden-Powell was the Chief Scout of the World.
He retired in 1937 and left for Kenya, where he died on January 8th, 1941. Robert Baden-Powell was married to Olave St. Claire and had three children.
Lord Baden-Powell taught the boys about the outdoors and self-reliance. More importantly, he instilled them with values such as honesty, integrity, respect, and the ability to co-operate. Today, these values still thrive among scouts worldwide.
“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”Robert Baden-Powell