Gilwell Park

As Scouting began to expand Baden-Powell started to realise the need for a formalised course of training for Scoutmasters.

Training courses for Scoutmasters were held in London in 1910 and Yorkshire in 1911. But B-P wanted his training to be as practical as possible and that meant in camp. At the same time, another man, William_de_Bois_MaclarenMr. De Bois Maclaren , the district commissioner for Roseneath in Dunbartonshire, was concerned that the Scouts of the back streets of East London, whose love of the new game could be surpassed by none, had only the unlikely pavements and the inhospitable parks for their Scouting; what they needed was a camping ground which belonged to Scouts where they had a right to go when they like. It must not be too far out; he would find 10,000 pounds if B-P would find the place.

Gilwell Park – 4614755816_f5c9ffbc6d_zis situated on the edge of the picturesque Epping Forest, yet is within easy travelling distance of the sights of London. A village then with village ways and memories and not more than 4,000 people living there. The land was previously owned by King Henry VIII, henryjoos-smwho built a hunting lodge for his son Edward. A later owner of the land built around the lodge, which eventually became the White House. whitehouseThe First World War just over, B-P and Gilwell came face to face for the first time on the afternoon of November 22, 1918.

Now B-P persuaded Maclaren that their two dreams could be one; a training center for Scouters could also be a camping ground for Scouts. And so it was. Maclaren bought Gilwell for 10,000 pounds with money donated to The Scout Association. In May 1919, Francis Gidney francis-gidneywas appointed Camp Chief. The intention being that the camp should be kept open all year round. silver_wolfOpening ceremonies were held on Saturday, July 26, 1919, including a rally of 700 Scouts. Mrs. Maclaren cut a ribbon in the Scout Colours of green and yellow. Mr. Maclaren proudly wore the Silver Wolf B-P had awarded him.