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At the very beginning of the twentieth century, retired General Robert Baden-Powell, the hero of the siege of Mafeking, coalesced his ideas for an organization to train young British boys in scouting for the British Empire. Not a very organized thinker, Baden-Powell borrowed heavily from all sorts of unrelated resources - newspaper articles, military dispatches, fiction, and much more - and produced this, his first book on scouting. Originally published as six separate books, this book brings all of them together.

Now, as might be expected from its roots, this book reflects a lot of the biases and ways of thinking from Edwardian England. But, leaving that aside, this is a fun and interesting book that shows clearly the forms that have stayed with the Boy Scouts movement to this very day.

Now, as a newcomer to Scouting will you find anything useful in this book? You sure will. Robert Baden-Powell was very knowledgeable about the subject, and this book sure shows it. (Youve never thought of tying your shoes like that!) Of course some of the information is out of date, especially the first-aid information, so it isnt really usable by the boys as is. But, this is a nice resource, one that shows you where Scouting started.

You will actually enjoy the somewhat jumbled organization of this book. It isnt as scholarly and antiseptic as modern Boy Scout books, and the stories and tales laced throughout make the reading much more fun. Plus, you will find the focus on some subjects, such as logic and deductive reasoning, to be quite interesting.

You will love this book, its highly recommended!

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