Saturday, October 15, 2011

50th Anniversary of Scouting Movement 27.02.1957

The founder of Scouting Lord Baden–Powell of Gilwell, (BP) was born in 1857 in England. He lived a busy and adventurous life, and as a boy spent much of his spare time in open–air pursuits hunting in the woods, joining his brothers in expeditions by land and in their boats. Thus he developed his powers of observation and resourcefulness and was helped to acquire many useful skills. He won a scholarship which gave him entry into the Army, where he was sent to India and served for many years. He tried out his ideas of training soldiers in "Scouting" and taught them how to develop experience in stalking and fending for themselves, and to be observant of all signs that would give them an advantage as soldiers. He set down his ideas in the book "Aids to Scouting", which was used as a textbook for many years.
BP was encouraged to set down his views on how he would apply Scouting to the training of boys, so he first conducted an experimental camp in 1907 on Brownsea Island off the Dorset coast. Here, with some 20 boys from all walks of life and suitable adult leaders, Baden–Powell taught the boys what he meant by Scouting. They lived in tents and cooked their own food and learned many valuable skills through games.The camp was a great success and proved Baden-Powell's ideas, so he tackled the task of writing down his experience in a book. "Scouting for Boys" was first published in fortnightly parts, beginning January 15, 1908. Every issue sold out as soon as it hit the news stands, despite the cover price of 4d which was expensive at the time. In fact, "Scouting for Boys ranks third in the world's best sellers after the Bible and Shakespeare.
Although the year 1908 marks the official beginning of the Scouting Movement, Scouting really commenced with the Brownsea Island Camp in August 1907.
Meanwhile Scouting spread to Australia, New Zealand, and India in 1908 and other countries followed shortly after. Chile, in 1909 was the first country outside the Empire to start, followed closely by France, the Scandinavian countries and the United States in 1910. In 1937, 2,500,000 Scouts from nearly 50 countries were affiliated with the International Bureau, which was set up to safeguard Scouting and to prevent control drifting into the hands of the purely religious, political or military bodies. Wood Badge Training of Leaders commenced in 1919 at Gilwell Park, England and has over the years become established as the method of Leader Training throughout the Scouting World.
Today, Scouting is the world's largest youth organisation. From its English origins Scouting struck an enthusiastic chord among boys in so many countries that we now have a World Scout Committee. The World Scout Committee provides unity amongst the National Associations with a World Bureau operating from Geneva, and independent National organisations in 216 countries and territories with a Scout membership of over 25 million. My dear friend Pia gave me this FDC. This First Day Cover and the impressive stamp on it were issued by Finland to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Scouting Movement on 22.2.1957.

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