Robert Baden-Powell

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Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (1857-1941), the 1st Baron Baden-Powell, was a British army officer and founder of the Scout Movement. Baden-Powell was commander of the British garrison at Mafeking in South Africa during the Boer War when the town was surrounded by a superior Boer force in 1899 and besieged for 277 days. The relief of Mafeking in May 1900 led to scenes of wild rejoicing ('Maffiking') in London and other British towns and cities, and Baden-Powell became a popular hero. In 1908 he published Scouting for Boys (a mixture of field craft and moral precepts, written in the windmill on Wimbledon Common, London). He had already in 1907 led a camp of 22 boys on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, in Dorset, England, to test his growing ideas of a scout movement. Following the publication of Scouting for Boys, scout troops formed spontaneously around Britain; in 1909 the Girl Guide organization was established.