Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell was born February 22, 1857, in London, England. His father died when he was three years old, leaving his mother to raise seven children. He spent much of his boyhood in the outdoors with his four brothers, camping and hiking in many parts of England. He received a scholarship to Charterhouse School, a British school founded in 1611, and was the goalkeeper of the soccer team. He was dramatically and musically inclined, and had a gift for sketching.

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