150th birthday anniversary of R. Baden- Powell- the first Chief Scout of the World
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden- Powell ( 1857-1941) was a fascinating character of numerous talents. He was a British Army officer as well as a successful writer and a great cartoonist. But the world remembers him mainly as the founder of Scouting.
Who was R. Baden- Powell ?
Robert Baden-Powell was a General of the British Army. In the years 1876 – 1910 he was in active military service in India, Afghanistan, South Africa and England. In 1899, during the Second Boer War in South Africa, Baden- Powell successfully defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking. Several of his books, written for military reconnaissance and scout training in his African years, were also read by boys. In 1907, he held an experimental camp for boys on Brownsea Island. In 1908 he published a classic scouting textbook ‘ Scouting for boys’ and in 1910 he devoted himself totally to Scouting. That year there were 100.000 scouts in the UK. According to Bi –Pi Scouting should be a school of civic education in contact with nature. They should complement the natural gaps of school education by developing character, health and efficiency in daily service.
He married only in 1912 ( aged 55) Olave St. Clair Soames. In 1920 he was elected Chief Scout of the World. Baden- Powell lived his last years in Nyeri Kenya where he died and was buried in 1941. In his final letter to the Scouts, Baden-Powell wrote the following extremely important words:
‘ …Happiness does not come from being rich, not merely being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man. Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one. But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it…’
tekst: Anna Pędziwiatr