Girl Guides. Boy Scouts. Most people have heard of them, but very little people know where they originated. I’ve been in Girl Guides since I was four, and every year on February 22, we celebrate ‘Thinking Day”, in honor of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. I always assumed it was them who founded Girl Guides since they got all of the recognition. It wasn’t until last year, when I did a project with my Girl Guide unit, that I realized how wrong I was.
Agnes Baden Powell was born on December 16, 1858, in Paddington, London. She was born the second youngest child of Henrietta Grace Smyth and Baden Powell’s ten children. Her older brother, Robert Baden Powell, founded Boy Scouts in 1910. Agnes knew that girls rarely participated, as it was seen as a boys club, but she didn’t find this fair. So she talked to Robert about it, and together they came up with the idea of a program similar to Boy Scouts, but for girls only. With Robert’s help, she founded Girl Guides. It was a success. by the time she became the president of the Girl Guide Association in 1910, there were over 6,000 girls signed up. In 1912, she published a handbook titled ‘The Handbook for the Girl Guides or How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire’, which was similar to the book ‘Scouting for Boys’ written by Robert in 1907. In 1916, Olave Baden Powell, Robert’s wife of four years, was offered the position of Chief Guide. This was a new position and was considered the highest honor. She gladly accepted, even though Agnes deserved the position much more than her. Agnes was stuck with the position of president and resigned in 1917 due to pressure. She took on the role of Vice President that same year. She continued with this role until her death on June 2, 1945. Agnes Baden Powell isn’t well known because Olave took over Girl Guides once it started to gain attention. However, Agnes played an extremely important role in allowing girls to participate in many of the same activities as boys.
Subject Agnes Baden-Powell Makenzie
||Founded Girl Guides
||Joined Girl Guides
||Natural history, astronomy, nature
||Biology, chemistry, science
||London, England, 1858
||BC, Canada, 2003
As you can see, Agnes and I have many things in common, but there are still many significant differences. For example, she was born over a hundred years before me. However, there are also many similarities. We are both interested in sciences and Girl Guides, and we are of the same gender, class, and race. It was unknown if Agnes was Christian or atheist because she said nothing about being either. She was raised Christian, but later in her life religion wasn’t a topic she talked about much.
Agnes and I have our differences, but that didn’t make me regret my decision of choosing her for my Eminent person. If anything, it made me more intrigued to find out about her. I believe that differences of opinion can be opportunities to grow and to learn how to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Agnes is an extremely eminent person who has had a positive impact on our society, and I can’t wait to learn more about who she is and to teach others about the impact she has made.