- Published on Monday, 25 February 2013 09:47
- Written by The News
Over 25 million Scouts worldwide comprised of youth and adults on Friday, February 22, 2013, celebrated the birth anniversary of the founder of the World Organization of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) Lord Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell.
The world's chief Scout was born on February 22, 1857 in Paddington, London, England and died on January 8, 1941 aged 83 in Nyeri, Nairobi, Kenya. Baden-Powell founded the Scouting Movement in 1908 while serving in the British Army which started with the First Scout Camp organized at Brownsea Island in 1907, where he took along 20 boys to train them about the scouting methods, values and its universal principles.
Very rapidly under the command of Baden-Powell, the scouting movement grew in number. By 1922, there were more than a million scouts in 32 countries, and by 1939 the number of scouts was in excess of 3.3 million. Currently, the membership of WOSM stands at more than 25 million scouts in 216 countries.
The mission of WOSM is intended to contribute to the education of young people through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Scout Law, and help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.
The WOSM is the world's largest youth organization which structure consists of the World Scout Committee and the World Scout Bureau (the Secretariat) with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and six regional offices, the Africa region has offices in Nairobi, Dakar and Cape Town.
In January 1912, Baden-Powell was en route to New York on a Scouting World Tour when he met his wife Olave Clair Soames; they both shared the same birthday 22 February. They got engaged in September and married in October the same year.
The Girl Guides Movement was subsequently formalized in 1910 under the auspices of BP's sister Agnes Baden-Powell and his wife. Following the establishment of the Guides Movement the same year, BP decided to retire from the British Army since 1876, reportedly on the advice of King Edward VII of England, who suggested that BP could better serve his country by promoting Scouting.
Lord Baden-Powell won several battles in India and Africa while in active military service, wrote several books, two of which are basic skills and disciplines from the Scouting Movement and are now contributing to the socio-economic and political development of the nation, such as Internal Affairs Minister Blamo Nelson, former Chief Justice, Henry Reed Cooper, Cllr. Jonathan Williams and Gregory T. Blamo, Country Director, Plan Liberia, among others.
Commissioner Omesee Johnson said a joint program with the Liberia Girl Guides, will take place on Duport road and another on the Bushrod Island at New Era School Campus in Commemoration of the Founder's Day of the Scouting Movement and the Girl Guides Movement respectively.