B-P's footprint

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B-P's Footprint
B-P's Footprint @ Gilwell Park (1110933073).jpg
B-P's footprint at Gilwell Park
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B-P's footprint is a casting, usually in bronze or brass, of the right foot of Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout and Guide Movements, who is known as "B-P." The idea is that people may put their foot into this casting, so that they can say that they have "walked in the footsteps of B-P." [1]



The 1928 Scouting World Conference was officially opened on May 4 in Parád. The next day, the delegates went on an excursion to Lake Balaton and other places returning to Budapest in the afternoon. That evening, Baden-Powell, his wife Olave and Lord Hampton arrived.

On May 6, there was a rally at the playing field of Ferencvárosi TC attended by 9,647 out of the 25,000 Scouts then in Hungary and up to 20,000 of the public. On May 7 B-P came to the Hárshegy Training Park. B-P wrote, about the rally at Hárshegy:

This took place in pouring rain... An unusual incident marked the occasion of my visit when they invited me to make my footprint in the soil. A cast of this was taken and imprinted permanently on the spot in concrete. [2]

From this cast two bronze copies were made, one was for the Hárshegy Training Park and the other was a gift to Baden-Powell, which he passed to the British Scout Headquarters. [3]

During the 4th World Scout Jamboree in Gödöllő, Hungary the British Contingent get a copy from the Hungarian Honorary Chief Scout, count Pál Teleki. [4] One of them passed to the B-P House, London, and the other passed to the Gilwell Park. When the communists took over and banned Scouting in 1948, the training ground was confiscated and houses were built on the land; neither the original concrete footprint, nor the "Hungarian original bronze" has been seen since. [3]

The text is the next on the bronze statue: at right side: 'The Footprint in the Sands of Time', at the left side: 'To Gilwell Park the home of Scoutcraft from Hárshegy Training Park /Hungary/ in memory of the visit of the Chief Scout'.


The Norwegian Boy Scout Organization received a copy of the B-P Footprint as a gift from Gilwell Park by Camp Chief John Thurman [5] [ verification needed ] in the summer of 1959. A Kudu horn was presented at the same time. The footprint then was mounted in front of the house at the Norwegian Gilwell Training Ground on the farm "Sverveli" in Telemark, Norway.[ citation needed ].

There it stayed for 41 years, until June 2010, when Sverveli was sold. The Norwegian B-P Footprint then was removed and is at present a part of the equipment used at the annual Norwegian Trefoil-Gilwell (Wood Badge) training courses.[ citation needed ]. In June 2012, a casting in brass was made from the Norwegian footprint at the Østlandske Lettmetall foundry in Elverum, Norway. It is used during the Trefoil-Gilwell courses as a symbol of the Baden-Powell spirit, along with a 6-bead woodbadge suspended from a tripod.[ citation needed ].

United Kingdom

Gilwell Park

Before World War II a copy of the "British original bronze" was cast and placed at Gilwell Park, the original remained at Scout Headquarters in London. Gilwell was requisitioned by the War Ministry from 1940 to 1945 as a local command, training, and ordnance centre. During this time the footprint was left undisturbed. [6]

In 1991 four Members of the Hungarian Scout Headquarters team visited England, and saw the Baden-Powell footprint at Gilwell. At their request, a plastic mould was taken of the first "British original bronze", by this time at Baden-Powell House, and from this the Hungarians cast a new footprint, which was installed in their new Scout Training Park, given them in 1991 by the Hungarian Government. [3]

Brownsea Island

On Friday August 3, 2012, there was a dinner to close the 67th Norwegian Trefoil-Gilwell Training course held on the island. A copy of the B-P footprint was presented by staff member Øystein Gonsholt to Brownsea Island, represented by the warden for that weekend, Claire, as a symbol of the deep-felt gratitude felt by the course attenders and staff, but also on behalf of former, present and future Scouts and Guides of Norway as a tribute to B-P, his Scouting idea and Brownsea Island - the cradle of Scouting. [7]

In 1963 the National Trust (the owner of Brownsea Island) opened the Island to the public, in a ceremony conducted by Olave Lady Baden-Powell, the World Chief Guide. [8] On May 13, 2013, as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening, the Brownsea Island footprint was installed beside an existing bust of Lord Baden-Powell and unveiled by one of B-P's grandchildren, Gillian Clay, daughter of the B-P's daughter Betty Clay. It is the donors' highest wish that their gift will benefit Brownsea Island and give joy and good B-P spirit to visitors to Brownsea Island for many years to come. [7]

List of copies

Footprint of Baden Powell: Tribute in the Paso Coyol Ecological Park of Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico Huella de Baden Powell.jpg
Footprint of Baden Powell: Tribute in the Paso Coyol Ecological Park of Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico
Apart from those mentioned above, a number of copies exist around the world, among them:
Australia Victoria Point Eprapah Copy of a 1931 print made by B-P from his visit to Eprapah. Australian original is now at the Baden Powell Scout Park. [9]
El Salvador San Salvador Scout Association of El Salvador headquartersGift of William D. Campbell, Provenance unknown [10]
Hungary Budapest Sztrilich Pál Scout CentreCopy of the Scout Association copy [11]
Hungary Budapest Hárshegy Training ParkThe original - lost in 1948
Kenya Nairobi Rowallan Scout CentreUnknown [12] [13]
Mexico Córdoba Paso Coyol Ecological Park Unknown
Mexico Tepoztlán, Morelos Meztitla Scout Camp School Gift of John Thurman, Copy of the Scout Association footprint [14] [15]
NorwayTelemark, NorwaySverveliGift of John Thurman, Copy of the Scout Association footprintIn storage
United Kingdom Poole Harbour, Dorset county Brownsea Island Copy of the Norwegian footprint
United Kingdom Chingford, London Gilwell Park Copy of the Scout Association footprint
United KingdomLondon Scout Association Only copy of the Hungarian original [16]
United States Elbert, Colorado Camp Cris Dobbins Provenance unknown [17]
United States Ward, Colorado Tahosa High Adventure Base Provenance unknown
United States Miami Lakes, Florida Thomas L. Tatham Scout Service Center Copy of the Meztitla footprint [18]
Zimbabwe Gordon Park, MatoposZimbabwe Scout Centenary CampProvenance unknown [19] [20]

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  1. Miss Kari Aas, who also designed the WAGGGS emblem that was adopted at the World Conference in 1930, attended the 1928 World Scout Conference as one of the Norwegian delegates, and much of the information herein was gleaned from her report.[ verification needed ]
  2. Baden-Powell, Robert (June 1928). "World Conference". The Scouter .
  3. 1 2 3 Ineson, John (August 1998). "Baden-Powell's Footsteps". Scouting Magazine . Scouting Association: 12.
  4. "Vajon mi történt a Cserkészparkban 16 éve ezen a napon? What happened 16 years before at the Scout Centre? – Sztrilich Pál Cserkészpark" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  5. Visitors' book, Sverveli
  6. Rogers, Peter (1970). Gilwell Park and the White House, a Brief History and Guided Tours. ASIN   B00OI8OWS6.
  7. 1 2 Øystein Gonsholt, staff member 65. Trefoil-Gilwell training [ verification needed ]
  8. Legg, Rodney (2005). The Book of Poole Harbour and Town. Halsgrove. p. 130. ISBN   1-84114-411-8.
  9. "Historic scout project at Victoria Point receives National Trust award". Redland City Bulletin. 2014-09-08.
  10. "Footprint of Baden Powell". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  11. "What happened [sic] 16 years before at the Scout Centre?". Scout Centre Budapest. 2013-05-10.
  12. "Seva 2011 in Kenya, Africa - Back to Kenya for Alvin, after 22 years... and visit to the Children's Garden Home for seva". coloursoflife.info.
  13. "One of the monuments kept at Rollawan Scout Camp in Nairobi Kenya. On the Photo an OJT participant from Lesotho". scout.org. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  14. "Centro Scout Meztitla" (PDF). World Scout Bureau.
  15. "Historia de la Huella de B.P. en el Campo Escuela de Meztitla". Asociación Nacional de Antiguos Scouts de México A.C.
  16. "Vajon mi történt a Cserkészparkban 16 éve ezen a napon?What happened 16 years before at the Scout Centre? – Sztrilich Pál Cserkészpark" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  17. Ed Darrell. "Scouting: In Baden-Powell's footsteps - Millard Fillmore's Bathtub". Millard Fillmore's Bathtub.
  18. "Following the footsteps of Baden-Powell". South Florida Council.
  19. "craig-rix - BPs Footprint". angelfire.com. Archived from the original on 2015-01-19.
  20. Scott, Norman. "100th Anniversary of Scouting in Zimbabwe camp". LISTSERV 15.5 - SCOUTS-L Archives. tcu.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-01-19.