I wrote a press release for a Scouts fundraiser today and also made a giant dice with an old box, some old white gloss paint and some black cardboard (don't laugh, this is actually my job!).
I'll return with some pictures when this is all finished and hopefully will locate a photo that my dad has at home. My parents used to have a rest home, and one of the residents was the one-time Mayor of Paddington who came to us at the age of 98! He had hosted a reception for Baden-Powell and when he died, left us the much-admired black and white picture of the two of them singing away in a church service.
Lord Baden-Powell – the triumphant misfit
If Scouting is about fulfilling your potential then Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (or B-P) certainly fulfilled his. B-P, or ‘Stephe’ as he was known as a child, was born in Paddington, London on February 22, 1857. He was the eighth of ten children of the Reverend Baden-Powell, a professor at Oxford University.
Stephe received his first lessons from his mother before attending Rose Hill School, Tunbridge Wells, where he gained entry to Charterhouse School.
Like many brilliant people, he failed plenty of examinations. He preferred the outdoors to the classroom and spent much of his time sketching wildlife in the woods around his school. His irrepressible personality infuriated and impressed his teachers in equal measure.
During the holidays, he and his brothers were always in search of adventure. One vacation was spent on a yachting expedition around the south coast of England, while on another they traced the Thames to its source by canoe.
After school, Baden-Powell went into the army, where he led a distinguished career through postings in countries including India, Afghanistan, Malta and various parts of Africa. The most famous point was the defence of Mafeking against the Boers In 1899, after which he became a Major-General at the age of only 43.
Baden-Powell retired from the Army in 1910 at the age of 53, on the advice of King Edward VII, who suggested B-P could do more valuable service for his country working on developing Scouting and its sister movement, Guiding.
In 1912, he married Olave Soames, by whom he had three children (Peter, Heather and Betty). At the 3rd World Scout Jamboree, The Prince of Wales announced B-P had been created a Peer. He took the title of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell.