The Scouts

Founded by Robert Baden-Powell as a method of teaching young people skills for life through a programme of outdoor activities, adventure and fun.  Today over 450,000 young people aged 6 – 25 years take part in Scouting in the UK.  Through an exciting programme of activities, from kayaking to coding, we help girls and boys develop the practical, employability and character skills they need to succeed in life. This is made possible by the efforts of over 150,000 adult volunteers.   The story of the Movement’s development from a pilot camp in 1907 to a global membership of over 40million scouts is captured in The Scouts Heritage Collection.

The Heritage Collection

“…there is one little thing that many an old Scout can do for us… …and that is to help in the collection we are making of historical records of the Movement. Good photographs of really interesting incidents connected with Scouting are especially in demand, but also records, anecdotes, etc.”

Robert Baden-Powell, April 1918

With this statement the Founder of Scouting started a tradition of collecting stories and material which tell the story of Scouting.  Over 100 years later the Heritage Collection now contains over 250,000 items.  This mass of material illustrates the story of Scouting from its earliest days as a concept developed from Lord Baden Powell’s bestseller ‘Scouting for Boys’.  The Collection documents the changes the movement has undergone and demonstrates the ways in which Scouting has built on Lord Baden Powell’s original idea to stay as relevant and engaging for young people as it was back in 1908.

To find out about Scouting’s fascinating history visit our exhibition pages.  If you would like to contribute to the ongoing maintenance of the Heritage Collection please donate here and select Heritage Support from the drop down list.