Scouts Founder’s Day on February 22 honors Lord Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave, the first Chief Girl Guide. Scouts Founder’s Day is known as Founders Day throughout the world. It’s a time for Scouts and Guides to reaffirm their oaths together and contemplate how Scouting’s century-old values are still relevant in today’s fast-paced world.
History of Scouts Founder's Day
The Boy Scouts movement originated in England on January 24, 1908, when Robert Baden-Powell published the initial issue of “Scouting for Boys.” Many English lads were already familiar with the Baden name, and hundreds of them gladly purchased the handbook. The publication of “Scouting for Boys” was completed by the end of April, and dozens of spontaneous Boy Scout groups had sprouted across the United Kingdom.
After his 217-day defense of Mafeking during the South African War, Powell became a British national hero in 1900. “Aids to Scouting,” a military field handbook he wrote for British troops in 1899, became popular with a younger demographic soon after. Boys were enthralled by the tracking and observation training and devised complicated games using them. After hearing this, Powell developed a civilian field manual for teens that emphasized morals and good acts.
Scouts Founder’s Day is observed on February 22, the birthdate of Robert Baden-Powell and, incidentally, his spouse Olave Baden-Powell, in practically all Scout organizations worldwide. In Kenya, Powell’s tomb has become a pilgrimage destination, with troops of the Kenya Scouts Association and Kenya Girl Guides Association visiting the grave every year.
Individual organizations may also commemorate their founding dates on other occasions; however, these are usually limited to significant anniversaries, such as decennials. The Girl Scouts of the United States celebrate Founders Day on October 31 — Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday.
Scouts Founder's Day timeline
On July 25, Powell leads a diverse group of adolescent Scouts to Dorsetshire’s Brownsea Island to camp for a fortnight.
On January 24, Boy Scouts associations spread all over England.
The first national Boy Scout meeting is held in September at London’s Crystal Palace.
Robert Baden-Powell organizes the Girl Guides as a separate association.
Girl Scouting in the U.S. begins on March 12.
Scouts Founder's Day FAQs
Who were the first Girl Guides?
Girl Scouting in the U.S. started on 12 March 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, when Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low coordinated the very first Girl Scout group of 18 girls. Since then, it has expanded to 3.7 million members.
Where is Robert Baden-Powell buried?
Baden-Powell is buried in Nyeri, Kenya’s St. Peter’s Cemetery. The trail sign meaning “Going home” or “I have gone home” is a circle with a dot in the middle on his tombstone. Olave’s ashes were flown to Kenya and placed with her husband when she died.
Which countries don’t have Scouts?
Scouting is practiced everywhere except in five nations throughout the world. North Korea, Andorra, Laos, Cuba, and Vatican City make up the five nations, though the latter is frequently overlooked.
How to Observe Scouts Founder's Day
Be a Scout
Being a Scout isn’t just about wearing a uniform or sporting badges. You can choose one of the Scout Laws or Promises and do a good deed to celebrate Scouts Founder’s Day.
Renew promises and reflect
It's a time for Scouts and Guides to reaffirm their commitments together and consider how Scouting's century-old principles are still relevant in today's rapidly-changing world.
Learn more about Scouting history
Research Scouting history and learn about some of the most popular Scouts. You never can tell which of your favorite celebrities was a Scout.
5 Facts About Scouting That Will Blow Your Mind
J. Edgar Hoover built a fingerprinting database with the help of Scouts.
No atheists allowed
Atheists are still banned from the Scouts.
Norman Rockwell was an avid admirer of the Scouts.
A helping hand
Scouts were part of the parties that helped victims during the Pearl Harbor attack.
Serving as informants
The F.B.I. employed several Scouts as informants.
Why Scouts Founder's Day is Important
It promotes an improved sense of self
Scouts usually possess high levels of self-esteem, interpersonal skills, self-confidence. A more robust personality and positive outlook are other perceived benefits.
It encourages positive behavior
Scouts also display significant changes in behavior and are more likely to become responsible citizens. The laws and practices usually provide life-long resources which are invaluable.
Sustainability and conservation are encouraged
Scouts are drilled on the importance of taking care of the environment and being agents of positive change. This goes a long way in enforcing sustainable practices necessary to conserve ecosystems.
Scouts Founder's Day dates