Agnes Baden-Powell

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In 1909, Sir Robert Baden-Powell's rally of boy scouts at the Crystal Palace was joined by 2,000 'girl scouts'. In an age when young girls were educated separately and chaperoned until marriage, Sir Robert recognised that a separate organisation for girls was necessary, and that his sister, Agnes, was the perfect person to lead it. The First Girl Guide: The Story of Agnes Baden-Powell is the fi rst ever biography of the extraordinary, and often overlooked, creator of the Guiding Movement. Since her early years, growing up with her brothers and partaking in many boyish activities, Agnes showed all the hallmarks of a scout. A woman of remarkable energy and drive, she was already in her fifties and caring for her elderly mother when she agreed to take the lead role in the development of the Girl Guides. Interspersed with the recollections of those who met her, The First Girl Guide: The Story of Agnes Baden-Powell is a fascinating tale of a life riddled with challenges, and a spirit determined to overcome them. It combines Agnes' personal story with a rich and detailed account of the foundation and development of the Guiding Movement, and will prove a delight to those both within the Guiding Movement, and to the general reader.


Helen D. Gardner is a Methodist Minister who lives in retirement on the Suffolk coast but is still busy on most Sundays. An acknowledged expert on the movement, she has been in Guiding since the age of seven and has been variously a Guide Captain and Chaplain to the Anglia Region Trefoil Guild. Nowadays she enjoys being a fairly laid back member of the Trefoil Guild, as well as of the Scout and Guide Graduate Association. She lives in Thorpness in Suffolk.