In 1907, from August 1 through 8, Lord Baden-Powell brought a group of twenty-two boys to Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour in southern England to test out his ideas for what would become Scouting for Boys. The activities ran from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day and involved a different theme each day.

  • August 1: Setup and basics
  • August 2: Campaigning
  • August 3: Observation skills
  • August 4: Woodcraft skills
  • August 5: Chivalry
  • August 6: Lifesaving
  • August 7: Patriotism and citizenship
  • August 8: Conclusion and pack up

On the morning of August 9, the participants boarded a ferry and left the island. This event eventually became recognized as the origin of the worldwide Scouting movement.

Since that time, Brownsea Island has come under the ownership of the National Trust and Scouts continue to visit and camp on the island to this day.

In honor of this event, many Scouting Associations have adopted the name “Brownsea” for part of their special training programs. The BPSA Brownsea Training is a weekend-long (two nights) camping trip run by Rovers who teach new Rover/Scouter applicants all the necessary skills to pass the Tenderfoot tests and teach them to others. The weekend culminates in an investiture ceremony where the Rover applicants are welcomed as Rover Squires.

For those new to Scouting, new BPSA Scout Groups, or for Lone Scouts interested in advancement or investiture, Brownsea Trainings are the best opportunity to complete the Tenderfoot requirements with a knowledgeable instructor in a minimum amount of time. Before attending a Brownsea Training, a Scout should memorize the Scout Oath and Law and become familiar with the Tenderfoot requirements so there are no surprises in what needs to be accomplished.

The purposes of the Brownsea Training Camp (BTC) are to ensure that all Rovers get the same (or very similar) introduction to BPSA-US, to prepare and test them in the Tenderfoot tests, to invest them as Rover Squires, and to give them a good early Rovering experience. Current Rover Squires may also attend to become knighted, granted that a current Rover Knight will be in attendance. The training is done at a campout to emphasize the outdoor nature of Rovering, and because attending a campout shows a level of commitment expected of a Rover Squire. The BTC also shows new Squires that Rovering can be done inexpensively—hence the do-it-yourself emphasis—and prepares the new Squires to train others in the future.

Feel free to email hq@bpsa-us.org for information, planning, and materials.