This article was written by Robert Wilson.
Major-General R S S Baden-Powell was a national hero when, on Friday 8th May 1903, he attended the London BB demonstration at the Royal Albert Hall. As Honorary Vice-President of The Boys’ Brigade from 1903 it was inevitable that he would come into contact with many BB boys.
In 1904, he reviewed the 700 strong Glasgow Battalion and suggested in his speech that some form of Scout training would be popular in the Brigade. Sir William Alexander Smith, founder of the BB in 1883, who was admired by Baden-Powell, asked Baden-Powell to adapt his military handbook “Aids to Scouting” for the training of boys. By 1906, it was reported in the BB Gazette that Baden-Powell had placed at the disposal of the BB the manuscript of a paper on “Scouting for Boys”. Various extracts from the paper were reprinted.
A year later Baden-Powell organised the famous “experimental camp” on Brownsea Island attended by twenty boys: ten from public schools and ten from The Boys’ Brigade (seven boys from the 1st Bournemouth and three from the 1st Poole). The BB supplied the equipment for the Brownsea Island Camp.
Baden-Powell would often tour the country selling his Scouting idea assisted by the BB. Scouting became a BB activity. Indeed the BB had a BB Scout uniform in 1909 and there was a BB Scout badge. BB Scouting came to end in 1927, as the Scouting movement had taken off.