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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
From small camp to global phenomenon
By Alison Harper
BBC News, Dorset

Scouts from more than 160 countries have been attending a camp in Dorset marking 100 years since Robert Baden-Powell held his first one at the same venue.

Scouts at the commemorative camp
The commemorative camp had an international flavour

Some of the 300 scouts assembled at Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour, woke up at 0400 BST.

The path lights glistened through the trees and a clear Moon shone down on Brownsea, as the early risers came out of lines of turquoise tents.

They emerged bleary eyed but determined to see the sun rise on this momentous day for global scouting.

They made their way to the harbour, watched the sun rise, sang songs and talked to their new friends.

The sound of horns and scouts from around the world cheering marked the beginning of scouting's second century.

Experimental camp

In 1907 the movement's founder, Lord Baden-Powell, had held an experimental camp at Brownsea for just 20 boys.

A hundred years later and there are more than 28 million scouts worldwide.

Chief Scout Peter Duncan

Lord Baden-Powell could never have imagined that his idea would turn into such a global phenomenon.

At Brownsea on Wednesday, most scouting nations were represented by two scouts each.

The global span of scouting was even reflected in the breakfast menus.

Scouts tucked into bacon sandwiches, continental meats and cheeses, and fresh fruit.

The young ambassadors, wearing different coloured uniforms, compared their different badges and swapped brightly-coloured neckerchiefs.

Despite the language barriers, the sound of shared laughter was a constant.

'Magical' ceremony

In a ceremony renewing their promises, the scouts were united by a common ethic.

Former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, the UK's chief scout, led that ceremony.

UK SCOUT PROMISE
On my honour
I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen
To help other people
And to keep the scout law

"Scouting around the world is united by a promise," he said.

"It's a promise that we will try to make a difference, to make a better and more peaceful world."

He then invited the 300 scouts "to renew that promise in your own language and in your own way".

Rishi Randeo, from Trinidad, told BBC News the celebration had been "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

"To meet everybody from so many cultures is so amazing," he added.

Nathan Watson, from Kentucky in the US, said the ceremony had been "magical".

"Nothing like this has happened before - we're so happy to be celebrating the centenary.

"It's amazing it started with just 20 scouts. Now there are only five or six countries in the world which are not at this jamboree."




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes of celebrations as thousands of scouts unite



SEE ALSO
NI scouts mark 100th anniversary
30 Jul 07 |  Northern Ireland
What would Baden-Powell do?
27 Jul 07 |  Magazine
Stamps mark 100 years of scouts
26 Jul 07 |  Dorset

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