The English Roots Of The Boy Scouts Of America

In the United States, the Boy Scouts is known as an organization that aids and supports the coming-of-age of young boys. Every year thousands of boys are enrolled into the organization and perform millions of hours of community service and tasks, according to their 2019 annual report. Through various indoor and outdoor activities, boys of all ages can learn valuable life lessons through teamwork and hands-on hobbies. But as American as this organization seems, its roots do not lie in the U.S.

The Boy Scouts of America has English roots. In 1908, British general Lord Robert Baden-Powell published Scouting for Boys. He created the book upon hearing that young boys were citing his previously published book Aids to Scouting, as an outdoor manual, according to Scouting Magazine.

The book helped its readers learn how to perform tasks like making a campfire, how to tie knots, tracking techniques, and play adventurous games.


The Scouts' British founder

Baden-Powell was a military officer who served the British Army from 1876-1910. And he was known for scouting and military recruitment. He was also a writer ,and throughout his time in the Army, he published several books about scouting. According to Boy Scouts of America, along with being the founding father of Boy Scouts, he is also best known for commanding the British victory of Mafeking during the Second Boer War.

The very first boy scout camp was held in 1907 with a group of 20 boys, according to History. For the premier excursion, the group was taken to Brownsea Island for a week to learn basic outdoor survival techniques. The proven success of the trip led to the formal creation of modern Boy Scouts in England in 1908.

Two years later the scouts would come to the states. In 1910, American publisher William Boyce created the Boy Scouts of America. Boyce cited that after getting lost in London, he had a helpful run-in with a Boy Scout who guided him to his destination, according to History. The positive experience left a major impact on Boyce and he was inspired to organize the scouts in the U.S.