DUNDALK can justifiably declare itself to be the spiritual home of the 35 million strong worldwide scouting movement and to recognise this fact a special ceremony was held in Aiken Barracks.
According to Michelle Boyle of the 1st/2nd/5th Louth Scout Group with research showing scout founder, Robert Baden Powell, formed many of his ideas whilst stationed in Aiken Barracks.
Group Leader Michelle was speaking in the wake of last Friday’s Group Council in the Aiken Barracks where the group presented a plaque to Sergeant Lou Casey in honour of Lord Baden Powell who served in the barracks between 1894 and 1895.
“We did a bit of research a couple of years ago on our founder Lord Powell and we discovered that he was stationed in Aiken Barracks between 1894 and 1895. While he was stationed in Dundalk he would bring the soldiers out to Ravensdale forest and teach them some basic survival skills which he thought would be useful to them.” explains Michelle.
“It was these same techniques and skills which he would use to form the scouting movement proper in 1907.
“It’s nice to think that the scouting movement which is so popular around the world had its early beginnings in Dundalk.” she added.
In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell a lieutenant general in the British Army wrote a book for boys about reconnaissance and scouting which he called Scouting for Boys. In the summer of 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in England to test ideas for his book. This camp and the publication of Scouting for Boys are generally regarded as the start of the Scout movement.
At last Friday evening’s group council the Castletown Road scout group presented service awards to five of its members who have notched up over 75 years service between them. A plaque was also presented on the night to the barracks museum in honour of founder Lord Baden Powell.
It’s been a very busy period for the scouting movement in Dundalk with news last month that there has been a 20% increase in membership for the 1st/2nd/5th Louth Scout Group on the Castletown Rd.