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The Scouts

The Scouts
World Scout emblem. © Dawn Marshallsay

What do Sir Paul McCartney, Stephen Spielberg and David Beckham have in common? They’ve all been proud woggle-wearing members of the Scouts Association.

Every day, 100,000 people in the UK take part in Scouting activities. There are around 28 million members worldwide, with girls and young women making up almost ten per cent of the UK Association.


Founded by an Englishman, Lord Robert Baden-Powell in 1907, the Boer War hero was so impressed with the initiative and resourcefulness shown by his young soldiers he believed such qualities could be applied in civilian life. Putting his ideas into practice he set up an experimental camp on Brownsea Island in Dorset with 20 boys from a mixture of public school and working-class backgrounds brought together – to great aplomb.


Baden-Powell’s book Scouting For Boys, published the following year, has enjoyed worldwide sales second only to the Bible. The Scouts is unequivocally one of the UK’s most successful exports.


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