Old Time Scouting Games Played At Brownsea Island

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  1. Scouting Heritage Merit Badge - U.S. Scouting Service Project

Reproduce the equipment for an old-time Scouting game such as those played at Brownsea Island. You may find one on your own (with your counselor's approval), or pick one from the Scouting Heritage merit badge pamphlet. Teach and play the game with other Scouts. The King's Scout Game. E DWARD VII took a great interest in Baden-Powell and the Boy Scouts. He sent a message to be read at the Crystal Palace Rally in 1909. The King knighted B-P at Balmoral on October 3rd, 1909 and, at the Chief's suggestion, agreed that boys attaining the highest level of Scouting achievement could be called 'King's Scouts'. Scouts from all over the world have travelled to Brownsea Island for a sunrise ceremony at the birthplace of scouting. We followed them as they set up camp and explored the island.

100 years ago on Brownsea Island of the coast of England Robert Baden-Powell began a movement that has expanded greatly from the 20 boys who attended his first camp. Who would have thought from those humble beginnings that such a movement could be possible? A movement that teaches its followers to accept responsibility for their actions; to be trustworthy and loyal; to focus on service to others; and has an Oath that begins, “On my honor, I will do my best…”
CNN reports that 40,000 Scouts from around the world attended a world Jamboree to celebrate the occasion and that 300 hundred Scouts from 160 countries attended the campout on Brownsea Island. At sunrise on August 1, 2007 Peter Duncan, the UK Chief Scout, reenacted Robert Baden-Powell’s opening of the era of Scouting by blowing his Kudu horn three times. This symbolized Scouting moving into its second hundred years. Doves were released and thousands of colored balloons decorated the sky in celebration. Elsewhere around the world millions of Scouts celebrated with a sunrise breakfast and peaceful demonstrations. A new Scouting headquarters was opened in Edinburgh Scotland to mark the anniversary. Some sources estimate 28 million Scouts in 216 countries celebrated the occasion.
One of the foundations in Scouting is service to others and as part of the 100 years celebration Gifts for Peace was established. Gifts for Peace is a project that focuses on national service projects. National Associations are encouraged to designate a national project that involves Scouts of all ages and takes at least a year to complete. South Africa is focused on an AIDS education and awareness campaign. Norwegian Scouts and Guides made a huge quilt for peace. More than 5000 patches were submitted for the quilt- 600 were used in the final design which now is displayed at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
In the US our celebration of Scouting in this country is still a couple of years away- 2010. I went to the Jamboree celebrating fifty years of Scouting in Colorado Springs. It was a terrific experience. Meeting Scouts from all over the country and from several different countries. Swapping patches to see who got the best deal- how many colors, was it embroidered, did it pass the “flop test.” We still camped in tents with no floors and dug trenches around our tents to divert rain water. Scouting has come a long way. There is a lot activity already for this happening:
The National Council is sponsoring a contest to design a logo for the celebration. Entries need to be submitted by 11/30/07. Go to the 100 Years of Scouting Website at below
YouTube has an 8 minute video- Scouting One World One Promise. See the link below.
In May Salt Lake City had a 100th Anniversary Scout-O-Rama.
What has your District or Council done to celebrate 100 years of Scouting. Let me hear from you in the Forum.

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Robert Baden-Powell returned from the Second Boer War a national hero. As well as being a career soldier he was also an established author. One of his most successful books was a military manual “Aids to Scouting” which contained training exercises for military scouts. This book developed an unexpected audience amongst boys and youth groups who were mimicking the exercises to learn observation and tracking skills.


Edwardian society was plagued by the thought that Britain was not developing useful citizens. There was a concern that many people were physically weak due to a lack of understanding about nutrition and health and did not possess useful skills. Baden-Powell would have witnessed some of these issues first hand through the poor quality of recruits who joined the Army. There was an appetite for schemes that would help address these issues. Baden-Powell felt that given the right training young people could start to play an active role in their community from an early age and this training would have long term benefits in supporting employment and productivity. He had witnessed first-hand the role young boys “the Mafeking Cadets” had played during the town’s siege (Second Boer War) as they took on non-combative roles including stretcher bearers and messengers.

Baden-Powell was convinced by friends; including his publisher Cyril Arthur Pearson and the founder of the Boys Brigade, Sir William Alexander Smith, to create a youth focused version of the book. He started by creating a draft of his new book which swapped the military focus for adventure, exploration and survival skills. It was decided to test the ideas by running an experimental camp for a selection of boys.

A week on Brownsea Island

On the 1 August 1907 twenty boys were encamped on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour to participate in an experimental project. Baden-Powell wanted to see if his proposed activities would appeal to a broad range of young people and so he recruited ten boys from a range of public schools and ten members of local Boys Brigades branches in Bournemouth and Poole. The boys were aged 10 to 16 years old, they were divided into four patrols; wolves, bulls, curlews and ravens, four of the older boys were given the rank of Patrol Leader.



Patrol LeadersBob WroughtonPublic SchoolThomas Evans-LombePublic School
Cedric CurteisPublic SchoolAlbert BlandfordBoys Brigade
Reginald GilesBoys BrigadeMarc NoblePublic School
John Evans-LombePublic SchoolArthur PrimmerBoys Brigade
Percy MedwayBoys BrigadeJames Rodney

Public School



Patrol LeadersGeorge RodneyPublic SchoolHerbert EmleyPublic School
Terrance BonfieldBoys BrigadeHerbet CollingbourneBoys Brigade
Richard GrantBoys BrigadeHumphrey NoblePublic School
Alan VivanBoys BrigadeWilliam RodneyPublic School
Herbert WattsBoys BrigadeEthelbert Tarrant

Boys Brigade

There was one more child in attendance, Donald Baden-Powell, nephew to Robert, aged 9 years old he was too young to officially join in so he served as Baden-Powell’s assistant and orderly. To support Baden-Powell with running the camp were Boys Brigade Captain George Walter Green and Baden-Powell’s friend Kenneth McLaren, with whom he’d served in the Army. Percy Everett from Pearson’s publishers also attended for a day to observe the activities, he would go on to be Deputy Chief Scout.

The boys were given shoulder knots of coloured ribbon to wear to mark their patrol and triangular pennants showing an image of their patrol animal. These would later become of standard Scouting uniform and kit. Patrol Leaders were given a white fleur-de-lys to attach to their hats to show their rank. Another item from Brownsea Island that would go on to become a Scouting icon is the Kudu Horn (made from antelope horn and brought back from South Africa by Baden-Powell). Producing a low deep noise that travels well over long distances it was perfect to call the boys to start activities. It was later used at Gilwell Park during leader training courses.

Over the week the group tried out various activities. These included: fire-lighting, navigation, observation and tracking, cooking, life-saving and boat management.

The Brownsea Island Camp is often called the first Scout Camp and Baden-Powell referred to it as a Scout Camp. This is sometimes contentious as the boys weren’t Scouts, they had not made their promise, but they were scouting by trialling the activity programme.

The response to the activities was sufficiently encouraging for Baden-Powell and his publishers to push forward with finishing the book.

After the Camp

Baden-Powell took what he had learnt from the camp and spent the next few months writing “Scouting for Boys” with the plan that it would provide a tailored training programme for use by other organisations. Initially published in January 1908 as a series of six booklets “Scouting for Boys” was supported by a lecture tour given by Baden-Powell. By the end of the month the response to the book and lectures was so great Baden-Powell became convinced of the need for a separate organisation dedicated to delivering the activity programme. An announcement was made to this effect at a YMCA HQ in Birkenhead, the Boy Scouts were born, within two years there would be over 100,000 Scouts in the UK.

Scouting Heritage Merit Badge - U.S. Scouting Service Project

We know some of the twenty boys who had attended the camp took up Scouting following the publication of “Scouting for Boys”. The boys were of the generation whose lives would be swept up by the First World War. Of the 19 boys who were still alive in 1914 five died during the War and a sixth died prematurely due to the effects of gas poisoning. Various reunions were held for the Brownsea boys including one to mark Scouting’s 21st birthday at the “Coming of Age” World Scout Jamboree held in Birkenhead in 1929.

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