Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Olave Baden-Powell

Today in 1889, Olave Baden-Powell was born. In January 1912 she met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, and in September of the same year they got married. She was 23 and he was 55. Their engagement attracted a lot of media attention. In 1916 she became the Chief Guide of the Girl Guides, and her association with the Scouts and Guides is what she is most well known for. Olave lead a remarkable life. During World War I she persuaded her mother to look after her three children, and travelled to France to help with the war effort. Here, she staffed a recreational hut for the soldiers where she served cocoa and cigarettes, and chatted with the soldiers who came in. In 1932 her volunteer efforts were recognized by the King who presented her with a GBE, while Finland and Peru also awarded her the Order of the White Rose and Order of the Sun, respectively. In 1973 she penned a memoir A Window on my Heart. I'd love to read it sometime.

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