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."
B-P's footprint at Gilwell Park
The 1928 Scouting World Conference was officially opened on May 4 in Budapest. 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 Hárshegy Training Park attended by 9,647 out of the 25,000 Scouts then in Hungary and up to 20,000 of the public. Later, 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.
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.
The Norwegian Boy Scout Organization received a copy of the B-P Footprint as a gift from Gilwell Park by Camp Chief John Thurman 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..
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.. 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..
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
List of copies
|Australia||Victoria Point||Eprapah||Copy of a 1931 print made by B-P from his visit to Eprapah. Original is now at the Baden Powell Scout Park.|
|El Salvador||San Salvador||Scout Association of El Salvador headquarters||Gift of William D. Campbell, Copy of the Scout Association original (probably)|
|Hungary||Budapest||Sztrilich Pál Scout Centre||Copy of the Scout Association original|
|Kenya||Nairobi||Rowallan Scout Centre||Unknown|
|Mexico||Córdoba||Paso Coyol Ecological Park||Unknown|
|Mexico||Tepoztlán, Morelos||Meztitla Scout Camp School||Gift of John Thurman, Copy of the Scout Association original|
|Norway||Telemark, Norway||Sverveli||Gift of John Thurman, Copy of the Scout Association original||In storage|
|United Kingdom||Poole Harbour, Dorset county||Brownsea Island||Copy of the Norwegian copy|
|United Kingdom||Chingford, London||Gilwell Park||Copy of the Scout Association original|
|United Kingdom||London||Scout Association||Original|
|United States||Elbert, Colorado||Camp Cris Dobbins||Unknown|
|United States||Ward, Colorado||Tahosa High Adventure Base||Unknown|
|United States||Miami Lakes, Florida||Thomas L. Tatham Scout Service Center||Copy of the Meztitla footprint|
|Zimbabwe||Gordon Park, Matopos||Zimbabwe Scout Centenary Camp||Unknown|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to B-P's footprint.|
- 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.
- Baden-Powell, Robert (June 1928). "World Conference". The Scouter.
- Ineson, John (August 1998). "Baden-Powell's Footsteps". Scouting Magazine. Scouting Association: 12.
- Visitors' book, Sverveli
- Rogers, Peter (1970). Gilwell Park and the White House, a Brief History and Guided Tours. ASIN B00OI8OWS6.
- Øystein Gonsholt, staff member 65. Trefoil-Gilwell training
- Legg, Rodney (2005). The Book of Poole Harbour and Town. Halsgrove. p. 130. ISBN 1-84114-411-8.
- "Historic scout project at Victoria Point receives National Trust award". Redland City Bulletin. 2014-09-08.
- "Footprint of Baden Powell". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
- "What happend [sic] 16 years before at the Scout Centre?". Scout Centre Budapest. 2013-05-10.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Centro Scout Meztitla" (PDF). World Scout Bureau.
- "Historia de la Huella de B.P. en el Campo Escuela de Meztitla". Asociación Nacional de Antiguos Scouts de México A.C.
- Ed Darrell. "Scouting: In Baden-Powell's footsteps - Millard Fillmore's Bathtub". Millard Fillmore's Bathtub.
- "Following the footsteps of Baden-Powell". South Florida Council.
- "craig-rix - BPs Footprint". angelfire.com. Archived from the original on 2015-01-19.
- Scott, Norman. "100th Anniversary of Scouting in Zimbabwe camp". LISTSERV 15.5 - SCOUTS-L Archives. tcu.edu.