Can you imagine a world without Scouting?

Without Scouting skills for life, the world would certainly be a less interesting place, and if it wasn't for the talent and originality of one man, the Scout Movement might never have existed at all.

This man was Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941), a soldier, artist, actor and free-thinker. Best known for his spirited defence of the small South African township of Mafeking during the Boer War, he was propelled to further fame as the Founder of Scouting.

Inspired during the siege by the initiative shown by boys under pressure, Baden-Powell (BP) realised that young people had huge potential that was often left untapped.

Already thinking of developing a training programme for young people in Britain, he was encouraged by friends to rewrite his handbook for soldiers (Aids to Scouting) for this younger audience.

The Brownsea camp

In 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in Poole, Dorset, to try out his ideas and brought together 20 boys from a variety of backgrounds. The success of the camp spurred him on to finish what would become a classic book of the 20th century.

Scouting for Boys was published in 1908 in six fortnightly parts at 4d a copy. What had been intended as a training aid for existing organisations became the handbook of a new Movement, which secured the royal seal of approval the following year when King Edward VII agreed to the introduction of the King’s Scout Award.

In its first census in 1910, Scouting had almost 108,000 participants; over 100,000 were young people.

Scouting for all ages

It was a global phenomenon. As numbers grew, it soon became clear that young people of all ages and in every country wanted to get involved in Scouting. Wolf Cubs came along for younger Scouts in 1916, followed four years later by Rover Scouts for an older age range.

1920 was also the year of the first World Scout Jamboree. At London's Olympia, Scouts from across the world gathered to celebrate international unity and the growth of their great Movement.

Branching out

Lord Baden-Powell died in 1941 but his legacy continued. Scouting became a byword for adventure, usefulness and global friendship.

As the Movement spread across the world, Scouting continued to evolve in the United Kingdom. Following heroic work during the Second World War when Scouts acted as coast guards, couriers and stretcher bearers, members continued to show they were truly able to live their motto ‘Be prepared.’

Forward thinking

Scouting has never stood still. New branches such as Air and Sea Scouts became increasingly popular, gaining recognition from the RAF and the Royal Navy. Scouts were on hand to help out at major events such as the Queen's coronation, helping the crowds who camped out overnight to get a glimpse of the spectacle.

The Movement continued to grow and move with the times. Rover Scouts and Senior Scouts became Venture Scouts and the badge system was updated to reflect the wider range of activities a Scout could do. Girls were invited to join the Venture Scout section; this was introduced to other sections in the early 1990s.

In the true spirit of an inclusive organisation, younger children got to experience Scouting for the first time with the official incorporation of the Beaver Scouts in 1986. Three years later, official headgear was abolished for all sections.

Scouting for the 21st Century

At the dawn of the 21st Century, the Association again underwent reform with the launch of a new logo, uniform and training programme and the introduction of Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network by 2002.

In 2007, the Movement celebrated its centenary and the 21st World Scout Jamboree was held in the UK. Scouting hit the headlines in 2009 when TV adventurer Bear Grylls was announced as the new Chief Scout.

Lauderdale Scout Group - Founded 1921

Lauderdale Scouts

Lauderdale Scouts on parade with Scout Master Rev. Tosh.

Lauderdale Scouts on parade with Scout Master Rev. Tosh.

Lauderdale Cubs 1962.

It was the year following the first Jamboree -1921 that Mr H D Fraser who was the head Teacher at lauder Primary School started the Lauder Scout Troop with 21 Scouts, The group was officially registered with the Scout Movement on the 14th April 1925 with 5 Officers (leaders) 12 Wolf Cubs and 29 Boy Scouts, as there were no girls in Scouts in the early days. By 1925 Mr J M Bell was the Scout Master.

Our Name - The Group has been known as 24th Berwickshire, 24th Ettrick and Lauderdale, 3rd Ettrick and Lauderdale and Lauder Scout Group, in 2013 the name was changed to Lauderdale Scout Group to reflect the catchment area for young people joining.

Our Headquarters - At first the group met in the primary school hall, In 1960 they moved to the Old Church Hall which was bought by the people of Lauder for the Scouts and Cubs and became known as the Scout Hall, in 1993 The Youth Trust was established to take over the management of the hall. In 2017 the Scout Group bought the hall back from the trust and we continue to use it to this day.

Our Leaders - Since its inception Lauderdale Scout Group has had a number of well known local leaders since Mr Fraser in 1921, Mr Bell 1925, Mr Wood in 1930. In 1933 the Reverend Tosh of the manse took over leadership of the Troop and remained the leader until 1960’s, assisted by a number of leaders.

The group closed in 1973 due to lack of volunteers, but in 1975 it was re-opened by Alexander Batchelor, John (Ian) Brotherston and Nora Turnbull.

Leaders since 1975 have included John and Dave Wilkinson, Keith Hardy, John Cromie-Smith, Ross Kerr, Sandy Batchelor, David Stillie, Dougie Scott, David Organ, and James Simpson.

Membership - Back in 1921 the Troop was started with 21 Scouts, With 5 Leaders, 12 Cubs and 29 Scouts registered in the first census of 1925. The group continued with both Cubs and Scouts on and off until the early 70’s. In 1986 the first Beaver Colony for 6 to 8 year olds was established. In recent years the group numbers have swelled we now have 2 Beavers Colonies, 2 Cub Packs and the Scout Troop with over 150 young people and 30 leaders.

Camps - Anecdotally Lauder is well known for their camps. Stories of the Rev Tosh taking the Scouts camping near Edinburgh on the service bus, and cycling back to Lauder with some ingenious scouts hitching a lift on a coal lorry. In the 1980’s and 90’s the Scout Troop were famous for their week long summer camps, taking the Scouts far and wide, locations have included local camps at Burnmill, Burncastle and Inchkeith to further afield at Scarborough and the North Of Scotland. Many past Scouts still talk about the 1989 camp to Zellhof in Austria, where 25 Scouts and 6 leaders had a life changing adventure to the continent. In 2015 the Scout Troop went on a week long adventure to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire the host of “Peak 2015” an International camp involving over 7,000 Scouts and Guides from all around the world. In 2017 the Scout section travelled to Kandersteg in Switzerland for a fun filled adventure in the Swiss mountains. 2018 sees the Group stay closer to home with the Scottish Based international Blair Athol camp. In 2019 we are sending our first Scouts to the World Scout Jamboree in the USA. District Camps have featured regularly over the years, notably the Brass Monkey Camp at various locations in the Scottish Borders where Scouts that survive the worst of January Scottish weather under canvas earns them a much-acclaimed badge, 2018 was our 50th anniversary camp in the grounds of Kelso racecourse.

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