Be prepared

29 July 2014

On 29 July 1907, Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941) took a group of boys to Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, for what was basically the first Scout camp. The aim of the venture was to try out some of the ideas that were to become the basic principles and activities of the Scout movement which included fostering a sense of humour, loyalty and good citizenship as well as achieving physical fitness through exercise and developing practical skills from woodwork and crafts to first aid.

The boys who attended the camp were drawn from different social classes and were divided into four patrols, each assigned a tent to sleep in. After morning prayers came drills, games and instruction, interspersed with quiet rest periods and of course, the day ended with stories and singing around the campfire. The ‘experiment’ was deemed to be a great success and Scouting was born.

Now managed by The National Trust, Brownsea Island is famous for its red squirrels and wildlife (as well as Scouting) and has spectacular views across to the Purbeck Hills. Thriving natural habitats – including woodland, heathland and a lagoon – create a unique haven for wildlife, such as the rare red squirrel and a wide variety of birds, including dunlin, kingfishers, common and sandwich terns and oystercatchers.

The Outdoor Centre invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of Lord Baden-Powell and the very first Scouts who camped there in 1907, and groups of Scouts and Guides camp on Brownsea Island in the summer months.

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