The Development of Scouting Nationally
To set the scene for how Scouting developed in Sale. a few notes are given about how Scouting evolved nationally.
On the 27th July 1907, BADEN-POWELL set up an experimental camp of twenty boys from different walks of life, to try out some of his ideas on aids to Scouting with boys in mind. The camp was held on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour on the Dorset coast. This camp was run on lines which we readily recognise today — camping in patrols with activities such as cooking. woodcraft, tracking, games and competitions and a campfire each evening. Each boy was given a brass arrowhead to wear on his coat and all wore shorts (very unusual in those days).
On the 15th January 1908 the first of six fortnightly parts of “Scouting for Boys” (price 4d) appeared, the final part being issued in May of that year. This was really the start of Scouting as we know it. as these papers were read by boys all over the country and they formed their own patrols and found their own Scoutmasters.
In April 1908 the first edition of “The Scout” appeared (price 1d) and by September of that year an office had to be set up to deal with the large number of enquiries about Scouting. The following year BADBN-POWELL gave up his Army career to look after the movement “Boy Scouts”.
It is impossible to say which was the first Scout Troop to be formed, but BADEN—POWELL inspected Boy Scouts in Sunderland on 22nd February 1908 and the 1st Glasgow Group has in its possession a registration certificate dated 26th January 1908. Some 65 other Troops claim to have started in 1908, but records are not complete for this period.
One Troop was certainly in operation in Sale in May 1908 with four registered leaders and it is believed that two other patrols were active in the Sale area during 1908.
By the end of 1908 we had one other registered Scoutmaster Mr.W.E.Balmer, 1 Finney Bank Road, Ashton—upon—Mersey, but at present no trace of the Troop which he led has been found. In 1909 at least four more Scoutmasters had been registered.