Founders Day Service - Mountainside Church, Sun 18 Feb 2007

Thanks to all those who attended the service. Here is a copy of the reading about 100 years of Scouting.

Today we are here to commemorate our founder’s birthday, celebrate 100 years of Scouting worldwide and thank Mountainside church for supporting our scout group for many years.

Scouting was founded by Robert Baden-Powel who was born on 22nd February 1857. While at school he would disappear into the nearby woods - officially off limits to pupils - and learnt how to hide his tracks, climb and 'freeze' to escape detection by his school masters.

As a soldier he successfully defended the town of Mafeking from the besieging Boer troops during the Anglo-Boer war. During this time he had written a training guide for soldiers called 'Aids to Scouting' intended to teach techniques such as observation, tracking and initiative. The book became enormously popular with many boys and young men and he was persuaded to write a new book for young people; scouting for boys was published in 1908.

The fist ever scout camp was held on Brownsea Island, near Poole on the South coast of England. Baden-Powell had planned an eight day programme for 20 boys, which began on 1st August 1907. Activities included fun and games that were designed to teach key skills and instill noble values such as chivalry and self discipline. The success of the camp had exceeded all expectations and Baden-Powel was ready to take his idea to a wider audience.

By 1909 the movement had taken firm root. Scouting for boys had been translated into five languages. In 1910 he visited Canada and United States where it had already began. Scouting has a rich and an exciting future.

Today Scouting involves girls, boys, men and women from every race, religion, culture in the world and we have 28 million members in 216 countries and territories.

Our records show that Scouting began in Westmount in 1909. Our charter was taken out in 1910 with C. S. Allen as scout leader. Scouts from Westmount attended the coronation of King George V in 1911. In 1913 we received a letter from Baden Powel congratulating us on our progress with Scouting, in his words, "we had made quite a name for ourselves".

From its earliest days, Scouting has offered challenge and adventure to the Young people of Westmount. Scouts have the chance to fulfill their potential by working in teams, learning by doing, and thinking for themselves.

All this is made possible by the efforts of our voluntary adult leaders, parents and the support of our sponsor; Mountainside church. For over 70 years the 2nd Westmount Scout Group has been meeting here. We work together at various events including the Christmas shut-in supper.

Over the years we have provided scouting to hundreds of young people, helping to shape new generations by applying our founders principles, which are as relevant today as they were in 1907.