The founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden-Powell (B-P) was born in 1857 in England. He lived a busy and adventurous life, and as a boy spent much of his spare time in open-air pursuits, hunting in the woods, and joining his brothers in expeditions by land and in their boats. Thus he developed his powers of observation and resourcefulness and acquired many useful skills.
He won a scholarship which gave him entry into the British Army, where he was sent to India and served for many years. He tried out his ideas of training soldiers in "Scouting", teaching them how to develop experience in stalking and fending for themselves and to be observant of all signs that would give them an advantage as soldiers. He set down his ideas in the book Aids to Scouting, which was used as a textbook for many years.
As a soldier, Baden-Powell rose to public prominence during the war against the Boers in Africa at the end of the 1800s. Most noteworthy was hisleadership of the defending force in the siege of the South African town of Mafeking. Baden-Powell returned to England as a national hero in 1899 having successfully defended the town against the Boers.
Baden-Powell was encouraged to set down his views on how he would apply Scouting to the training of boys. He first conducted an experimental camp in 1907 on Brownsea Island off the Dorset coast of the UK. With some 20 boys from all walks of life and suitable adult leaders, Baden-Powell taught the boys what he meant by Scouting. They lived in tents, cooked their own food and learnt many valuable skills through games.
1 August 1907 is regarded as the beginning of the Scout Movement worldwide.