Lord Robert Stephenson Smith Baden-Powell, Baron Baden-Powell I Gilwell (London, UK, February 22, 1857 – Nyeri, Kenya, January 8, 1941) was an actor, painter, musician, military, sculptor and writer British. Founder of Scouting, participated in various military campaigns in Africa, in which he emphasized and achieved great popularity among the British population, especially for his heroic leadership in the defense of Mafeking. After returning to his native island, the publications of his books were multiplied and became, well, a prominent author in the field of education and youth training. His ideas, shaped in Scouting for Boys and other works inspired British youth groups to form patrols, which began informally scouting.
Almost from the beginning of Scouting, many have expressed interest in whether Robert Baden Powell was a Freemason or not. They say that the values of scouting are very similar to those of Freemasonry, and many contemporary Baden Powell were prominent members of the Order, then is it not reasonable that Baden Powell had also been a member of this organization?
Currently no documents supporting the Masonic affiliation of Baden Powell, and even Lady Olave (his wife) at the time denied that Baden Powell had been in a lodge known, but it is undeniable the close similarity of some of scout and Masonic tenets, excluding the large number of members of both organizations have been active in both institutions.
In the days of imperial England was common thing that the most prominent representatives of British society, including army officers, belonging to a Lodge; Baden Powell was a prominent officer of cavalry, near several regular Masons; is very likely that at least Baden Powell has been invited to wear the apron.
Another theory is that handled Baden Powell has been initiated in some of the overseas possessions of the British Empire (India, Afghanistan or Africa, for example.), And therefore does not appear in the records of the Grand Lodge united England; If so, chances are that you simply keep discreetly silent his parentage, and with the founding of Scouting Baden Powell would only have “fallen on sleep” (ie suspend your membership) as Mason, in order to stay fully consistent with the universality of scouting and not fall into conflict with those who do not take kindly to Masonry, especially Catholics.
However, there are known Masons who have belonged to Scouting; as the Duke of Connaught, Cecil Rhodes, Rudyard Kipling and Alcibiades Vicencio, who were faithful partners Baden-Powell.
Here are some points of similarity between the two institutions:
1- The scout promise as an initiation of the applicant (profane) in initiated.
2- Use and iteration number 3. Scouting there are three principles and three virtues, while in Masonry he speaks of the three lights and three lesser lights. Scouts have three stages of advancement (Third, Second and First Class), while in Masonry are the three symbolic degrees: apprentice, fellow craft and master mason.
3- Scouts and Masons shake hands in a special and symbolic way.
4- helping others is a characteristic of both institutions.
5- the term “Brother Scout” or “Brother Mason” is used, implying the existence of a World Brotherhood.
6- The fraternal chain (holding hands) exists in both organizations in some transcendent moments.
Baden Powell said in a Congress of Scouters held in Paris in 1922: “The Scout Movement is a global union of brotherly relief, a universal association of friendship that does not stop at borders Educated in understanding that nations are. sisters, who are part of one human family whose members should help and understand each other, citizens of all nations cease to look young as rivals and not feed more than thoughts of friendship and mutual assessment “.
That old idea of cosmopolitanism is purely Masonic. Boucher said that “The country of the Mason is the entire Earth, not just the place where he was born and has developed”
Whatever the truth, anyway the name of Lord Baden Powell can enroll among the great philanthropists and benefactors of mankind, which are recognized by organizations such as Freemasonry.
“Leave the world better than you found it”
This article was written by Psalm Triginta