. : Home : .
. : History : .
. : News : .
. : Projects : .
. : Links : .
. : Contact Us : .

Lord Robert Baden-Powell

Olave Baden-Powell

Trefoil of WAGGGS

World Centre - PAX LODGE

Our Girls in 30th World Conferance


The Founder of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movements was Robert Baden-Powell, founded in 1908. In 1909, a Boy Scout rally was held at Crystal Palace in London, and Baden-Powell was taken aback when a number of girls attended, proclaiming themselves to be girl Scouts. He decided that if they wanted to join in, they should have their own name and Movement, and a program suited to their needs. Baden-Powell chose the name Girl Guides after the famous corps of guides in India who were "distinguished for their general handiness and resourcefulness under difficulties, and their keenness and courage..."
..in 1910...the Guide Movement was formally founded, with the establishment of the Girl Guides Association (United Kingdom). 
In 1910, Baden-Powell retired from his army career and devoted himself to Scouting and to the beginning of Guiding. He attended camps, rallies and jamborees all over the world, and it was during a world tour in 1912 that he met Olave Soames, his future wife. Olave accompanied her husband on visits and tours, and soon became actively involved in the Guide and Scout Movements. In 1917, she began to organize The Girl Guide Movement in Sussex, United Kingdom, having been appointed UK Chief Commissioner the previous year. 

The First World War did not stop the progression of the Movement, and Girl Guides/Girl Scouts offered their services as volunteers in many countries. This rapid growth was due to the efforts of many enthusiastic, resourceful and forward looking women who saw the Movement as a wonderful opportunity for the education of girls. Juliette Low founded Girl Scouting in the United States of America in 1912. 

In the United States of America, the term ‘Guide’ was unacceptable, as it already had a widely accepted application to Indian hunters. The first groups were therefore called Girl Scouts, and several other countries adopted the same name.

Go to TOP

Although the idea and Spirit of the Movement crossed all frontiers, an official communications channel needed to help Girl Guide/Girl Scout organizations to share their experience. In 1919 Olave Baden-Powell formed the International Council to provide this essential link. The Council was an advisory body, made up of women who acted as official correspondents with any country in which they were particularly interested. The first International Conference was held in England in 1920. It was a historical occasion, which gave representatives of the Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting world the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and experience. During the Conference, more Girl Guide/Girl Scout organizations became known to the International Council and, for the first time, Girl Guide/Girl Scout groups began to plan trips abroad. 

In 1931, the Chiefs undertook a world tour and were delighted at the progress they saw in every country they visited. The number of Girl Guides/Girl Scouts within WAGGGS now exceeded one million - the Movement was flourishing. 

In July 1932, Our Chalet, the first WAGGGS World Center, was officially opened in Switzerland, and in 1939, the second, Our Ark, was established in London, next door to the World Bureau. In 1939 the first Girl Guide/Girl Scout World Camp, Pax-Ting, was held in Hungary, and attended by some 4,000 girls.

Go to TOP

In June 1977, millions mourned the loss of Olave Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide, who died peacefully in her sleep. The World Chief Guide had traveled the world until 1970, covering many thousands of miles in order to encourage and inspire girls and young women. But from 1970, health reasons prevented overseas travel; however she had continued to welcome large numbers of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from all over the world at her home in London.

In the 1980s, WAGGGS undertook the Olave Center project in memory of the World Chief Guide. The project aimed to locate the World Bureau and the London World Center together again. The World Bureau moved to its new home in 1984 and was officially opened the following year. The new World Center, renamed Pax Lodge, opened in 1990. 

Today, the Movement continues to thrive and grow. Nearly ten million girls and young women are members, in 140 Member Organizations worldwide, with at least 33 more Working Towards Membership. 

Go to TOP

NAGGGS "Astgik" Design by Just Studio © All Rights Reserved