29 Jul: The First Boy Scouts

Robert Paden-Powell took twenty boys to Brownsea Island, Poole on 29th July, 1907, to embark on a ten-day camp. The trip was, essentially, a laboratory for his subsequent books – and, therefore, the global Boy Scout movement. 

Each day started with cocoa and exercises, and ended with campfire yarns. In between, there was a lot of knot-tying, parading and praying. By the time of the Second World War, 3.3 million British children were enrolled as Boy Scouts.

In this episode, Olly, Rebecca and Arion explore the link between the Boer war and B-P’s ‘Scouting Book for Boys’; unearth the racist and homophobic elements of the global Scout movement; and explain why Indonesia has more Scouts than anywhere else…

Further Reading:

• ‘Brownsea Island: The First Camp’, from The Scouting Pages:


• ‘Boy Scouts of America reaches $850BILLION settlement with 60,000 child sex abuse victims’ (Mail Online, 2021): https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9748029/Boy-Scouts-America-reaches-pivotal-agreement-victims.html

• ‘Who Was Baden-Powell? & How B-P Changed the World!’ (Scouter Stan, YouTube 2020):