Baden Powell’s Boy Scout Plan Invades America

I associate the Boy Scouts of America so strongly with Americana in general that I never suspected that scouts began anywhere but in the USA. It turns out that the Scouting Movement was started in England by Baden Powell, the man depicted in the center illustration.

Today the Boy Scouts are the subject of several controversies. For example, they don’t allow atheists or homosexuals as members, and yet they receive support from the Federal Government. The BSA’s ban on gay members is more interesting considering recent speculation that Powell himself may have been a repressed homosexual.

BADEN POWELL’S BOY SCOUT PLAN INVADES AMERICA: W. B. Wakefield, Who Has Charge of It in England, and Ernest Thompson Seton Will Help Establish It Throughout America (PDF)

From April 24, 1910

3 responses to “Baden Powell’s Boy Scout Plan Invades America”

  1. If you had grown up in England, you would have had Baden Powell’s Britishness proudly drilled into your head– you would have been surprised to find that Americans consider Boy Scouts an American thing.

    The British Scout movement has, to the absolute spluttering anger of those types of people who think atheists and LGBTQ people are the spawn of the devil, allowed members to change the oath to refer to different religions or (shock horror) omit any mention of God at all.

    This isn’t Baden Powell’s world; this is a century later.


  2. To continue in the theme of Teshi’s post: The Scout Organisation also encourages mixed sex Troops.

    I find the thought that anyone could think that Scouting started anywhere but in Britain flabbergasting. It shows a shocking lack of historical knowledge if nothing else.


  3. Oh yes; I was a female Cub. Best time of my “that kind of organization” life.


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