How Guiding Began Participation Story

Thanks very much to Helen DeBruyn, who wrote this story and shared it with the Guiding Mailing List.

Split your girls into groups, and assign each group one of the following roles. Each time they hear their character's name called in the story, they need to do the accompanying action:

Baden Powell: salute and say "He's our founder!"
Scouts: make Scout sign (3 fingers up on right hand) and say "Be prepared!"
Girl Guide: march in place and say "We are the Girl Guides, mighty mighty Girl Guides!"
Agnes: form hands like a tent
Olave: make the Guide sign and say "World Chief Guide"

The Story:

Lord Robert BADEN POWELL was born in England on February 22, 1857. When he was 19 years old, he joined the army and went to South Africa and India. To teach the other men about the countryside around them, Lord BADEN POWELL made up games. He put the games in a book called SCOUTing for boys. Back in England, Lord BADEN POWELL discovered that many people were playing the games that he had written for his men!

In 1909, he held a rally at the Crystal Palace for all of the boys who had been playing his games. This was the beginning of SCOUTS. But Lord BADEN POWELL was in for a big surprise! A group of girls wanted to join too! Lord BADEN POWELL asked his sister AGNES to be in charge of the girls, whom he called GIRL GUIDES. AGNES wrote the very first handbook for GIRL GUIDES and encouraged the girls to take part in camping and nature appreciation and other subjects girls wouldn't have normally paid attention to 95 years ago.

In 1912, Lord BADEN POWELL met OLAVE St. Clare Soames on a cruise. OLAVE and BADEN POWELL not only shared the same birthdates of February 22, but, by the end of the cruise, they were secretly engaged! They were married later that year, and OLAVE became Lady BADEN POWELL. In 1917, after their third child was born, OLAVE was named Chief Commissioner in Guiding. She shared her love of the outdoors and sports and music with all of the girls in Guiding, and, in 1930, was named World Chief Guide.

In 1977, OLAVE died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 88. Every year on February 22, SCOUTS and GUIDES around the world remember the spirit and enthusiasm of Lord and Lady BADEN POWELL. On this special birthday, known as Thinking Day, it is time to think about all the other GUIDES and SCOUTS in other countries, and to remember the love, devotion and vision of Robert, AGNES, and OLAVE BADEN POWELL.

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