The Hongkong Telegraph.
Friday, August 2, 1929.
Page 1 & 7
PRINCE AT SCOUT JAMBOREE.
TO STAY IN CAMP WITH THE BOYS.
PEERAGE CONFERRED ON SIR R.BADEN POWELL.
MAN OF MANY PARTS.
London, Aug. 1.
The Boy Scouts at the great international Jamboree at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, will always remember the events of today. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales arrived in brilliant sunshine, following a night of torrential rain and violent gales. He flew from London to Hooton, and motored from there to Arrowe Park where he was given a tumultuous reception.
The Prince is to spend the night with the Scouts. He will stay under canvas with the usual camp equipment, a ground sheet, an old iron bedstead, a small deal table, a portable washstand, and canvas chairs, with a tallow candle as an illuminant.
Generous American Gift.
Soon after his arrival, he was introduced to Mr. Mortimer L.Schiff, of Messrs. Kuhn, Loeb and Company, the famous American banking institution, who handed the Prince a cheque for £10,000 to establish a fund for promoting international friendship among boys.
Also during the day it was announced that His Majesty the King had been pleased to confer a Barony on Sir Robert Baden Powell, the Chief Scout.- Reuter.
Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden Powell is the founder of the Boy Scout movement, and is 72 years of age. He is a son of the Rev. Prof. Baden Powell, and spent the early days of his life, from 19 onwards, in the Army, joining the 13th Hussars in 1876, and serving with them in India, Afghanistan and South Africa.
He took part in the operations in Zululand in 1888, and later was sent to Ashanti on special service in charge of native levies and to Matabeleland. He then became Colonel of the Irregular Light Horse in South Africa, while in 1897 he was promoted to the command of the 5th Dragoon Guards.
When the South African War broke out, he was in Mafeking, which was invested by the Boers from October 1899, till May 17, 1900, when it was relieved by a flying column under Mahon in conjunction with Plumer's Rhodesian Horse. During the siege, Baden Powell showed a bold front and by his unconventional gaiety and his ingenious military measures held off the assault until the last. He was promoted major general, and organised the South African Constabulary. From 1903 to 1907 he was Inspector General of Cavalry and was made lieutenant general in 1908. Two years later he left the army to devote himself to the Boy Scout movement.
How Scouting Started.
It was in 1893-4 while serving with the 13th Hussars that be realised that the peace training of soldiers was not sufficiently practical and started classes in scouting and camping with the object of developing self reliance. He also published a book "Aids to Scouting" in which he set forth his methods.
The Boy Scout idea was first put into practice at Mafeking where his Chief Staff Officer, Major Lord Edward Cecil, organised the boys of the town into a corps for general utility on scouting lines, and the experiment proved a great success. It showed that if their training was made to appeal to them, boys would learn readily and that they were capable of taking responsibility. The troop was made a small unit so that the leader should be able to deal with each member from personal knowledge. In organising the South African Constabulary B.P. used the same methods.
In 1907 he held a trial camp for scout training for boys at Brown sea Island. Its results exceeded all expectation and prompted him to go on. In January 1908, he issued "Scouting for Boys" in six fortnightly parts, and before the series was half finished a number of troops had been started in different parts of the United Kingdom. Although he had thought that scouting would merely be taken up as an additional attraction by the Boys' Brigade and the Church Lads' Brigade, he found that a separate movement was necessary to deal with the number of boys unconnected with these who were taking it up. By 1910 the movement had reached such proportions that he felt he must be free to lend it as "Chief Scout." A royal charter was granted to the organisation in 1912.
War Services of Scouts.
On the outbreak of the war, thousands of scouts just starting for their camps were diverted by telegram to other work. Land scouts were set to protect railway bridges, waterworks and telegraph lines, while sea scouts took over the watching of the coast from the coastguards who had been called up. About 23,000 boys were employed in this way and also as messengers in Government departments, and over 100,000 older scouts served in the army.
At Olympia, London, in July and August, 1920, the first vast gathering or "Jamboree" of boy scouts (from 27 countries) took place. The movement had spread all over the globe and had become a factor for world peace. By 1921 there were 350,000 scouts in the British Empire and about 1,500,000 throughout the world. In 1924 another huge "Jamboree" was held in London in August. In 1912 a Girl Guides movement was started in imitation and this also has spread over the globe.
The Scout Law.
Baden Powell's scout law is based on the Knights' code of chivalry. The watchword is "Be Prepared" and one of the rules is that each lad should do one good deed every day. To meet the boys' spirit of adventure he held up the ideal of back wood men and explorers. Camp life, boat work, pioneering and nature study are not only fascinating, but a medium of instruction, and for proficiency in various practical pursuit badges are awarded. "B.P." as he is popularly known, aimed at filling up the gap left by ordinary schooling in developing character and general intelligence, skill at handicrafts, physical development and health knowledge, as well as service for others and for the state. The movement is non military, non political, non class and interdenominational. It is decentralised from the Imperial headquarters in London through local commissioners and associations down to the scoutmasters.
In 1909, the Chief Scout was knighted, and in 1921 he received a baronetcy. He has also been the recipient of many other distinctions, both British and foreign.