On this Founder’s Day, we celebrate the life of the founder of the Scouting Movement, Lord Robert Baden Powell of Gilwell. But, where did Baden Powell learn the woodcraft, camping, and field skills that became an essential part of “Scouting for Boys” (which launched Scouting).
And, where did the All American Western Style Neckerchief and Campaign Hat come from? An American Soldier named Frederick Russell Burnham.
Fredrick Russell Burnam was not an educated man in the traditional sense. But, he was an adventurer and ardent student of skills. Learning from the Woodcraft Indians, Nature, and experience in the field he rose to the rank of Major as the Chief of Scouts in the British Army. One of the things he was responsible for was teaching woodcraft and outdoor living to a general in the British Army who later went on to found the Boy Scouts, Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell.
And where did Lord Robert Baden Powell get that ever present neckerchief and campaign hat that have now become global symbols of Scouting? Fredrick Russell Burnam. Because, Burnam spent a great deal of time in the American West and learned first hand of the usefulness of a good neckerchief and a wide brimmed Stetson Hat. And he passed the practical use of these items to Lord Robert Baden Powell.
So, on this Founder’s Day we celebrate the Founder of Scouting, and tip our campaign hats to the American who taught the skills we use in Scouting to an American.