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Guides: Scouts

Last Updated: Tuesday June 19 2007 10:31 GMT

What is Scouting?

Scout symbol

Scouting began in 1907 when experienced soldier Robert Baden-Powell set up a scheme to train life skills to young boys in Britain

The first ever Scout camp, with just 20 boys, was held in the same year at Brownsea Island in Dorset.

Baden-Powell wrote a book called Scouting For Boys which contained ideas how to become a good citizen. It was the fourth best-selling book of the 20th Century.


Boys began to get together to use ideas from the book and formed their own patrols. In 1908, Baden-Powell opened an office to deal with the hundreds of people who wanted to know about Scouting.

The movement continued to grow as three age groups were created for boys and, in 1909, Guiding began for girls. Girls were allowed to become Scouts in 1991.

Some 28 million young people from 216 countries across the world take part in Scouting.

Guide to Scouts

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