E. E. Reynolds, Boy Scouts, 1944
THE END OF A PERIOD
The coming of war in 1939 and the Founder's death in 1941 mark the end of a period in the Boy Scout Movement.
It has been given to few men to see the fruits of their labours to the degree which B.-P. enjoyed. He was fifty years old when the Brownsea Island camp was held in 1907. A year later the Movement took shape, and twenty-one years after that, the Coming-of-Age Jamboree was held at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead.
The first of these vast International Camps, was held in 1920, and B.-P. suggested the name : he disclaimed all knowledge of the origin of the word; it had stuck in his memory and as he said "What else could you call it?"
Jamborees were held every four years and the countries so far which have acted as hosts have been Great Britain, Denmark, Hungary and Holland. The last was held in 1937. It was an annus mirabilis for B.-P.
He was eighty; his own country bestowed on him the Order of Merit France gave him the Grand Cordon of the Legion of Honour; from America came the Wateler Peace Prize. At the Jamboree in Holland, 28,000 Scouts of thirty-one nations camped together. Many realised as they saw the familiar slight, wiry figure, and heard his strong voice that this might prove his last Jamboree.
His last years were spent in Kenya; almost to the end he was active watching animal life and painting pictures of the scenes he loved so well, keeping up his enormous correspondence, and throwing out from time. to time fresh ideas for the two Movements he had founded. He died on 8th January 1941, and he rests in the Africa which was his second homeland; Mount Kenya looks down on his grave.
He was succeeded as Chief Scout by Lord Somers, K.C.M.G., D.S.O. M.C., who had been Deputy Chief Scout for several years. Amongst his first actions was the appointment of a Commission to examine every aspect of the Movement and to suggest how it could continue to play its part in the national life.