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January 8, 1941 - Robert Baden-Powell dies in Nyeri

"A good deed every day" is his motto. Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout movement, roamed London as a child. In the middle of the 19th century he followed animal tracks in Hyde Park, drew maps and knew the starry sky. Later he explores the slums of the English capital.

In 1876, the 19-year-old went to the military academy. As a British soldier, he is deployed in India, Malta and the Balkans. He fights in the Boer War in South Africa and has more and more doubts about serving without question. During his stays in his home country, he is involved with young people.

help other people

In 1907 Baden-Powell organized a camp on the British island of Brownsea. 21 boys should get to know nature, observe animals and sit around the campfire. A year later, BP - as its supporters call it - founds the Scout movement and publishes a sort of manual of rules. "We help other people," it says.

His goal is to make middle-class boys personalities: "The individual character is important for the attitude of the nation." That is why the Scout movement is "non-military, non-sectarian, non-political and classless".

Community in tent camps

Although Baden-Powell left the army in 1910, the lieutenant general was unable to completely break away from the military. The scout leaders are called officers, the scout boys wear a uniform consisting of shorts, shirt, hat and badge. They have fixed rituals and swear an oath.

The concept of his youth movement is a kind of experiential education: "The boys love the community in tent camps with games and manual exercises." The concept works. In 1920, 8,000 young people from 27 countries met in London. Hundreds of German scouts also take part.

Also female scouts

As the Scout movement grows, so does Baden-Powell's family. In 1912 - at the age of 55 - he married Olave Seams, who was over 30 years his junior. The couple have three children. Olave becomes leader of the female scouts.

"The only successful way to train young scouts is to be a good role model for them," says Baden-Powell. He received numerous international awards and was accepted as a baron in the British aristocracy.

In 1939 Baden-Powell retired to Kenya with Olave. He died in Nyeri on January 8, 1941 at the age of 84. He left 34 books and the message: "Once a scout - always a scout!" to the currently around 40 million scouts.

Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts (Death 01/08/1941WDR 2 Deadline 01/08/2021 04:15 min. Available until 01/06/2031 WDR 2