Brownsea Island sits in the county of Dorset and the place is generally recognised as the birth-place of scouting.
In many ways, South Africa should hold that accolade as it was where Baden-Powell developed his ideas and vision. On his return to the UK, he was a army hero with many ideas.
His choice of Brownsea Island was driven by his need to get away from reporters and his fortuitous meeting with Mr and Mrs Charles van Raalte whilst on holiday in May 1907. Their country home was Brownsea Island, a place Baden-Powell already knew from his own child-hood. Their ready support of his trial camp led to it taking place a few months later.
The island is now a stunning nature reserve owned by The National Trust. There is still a camp site there and it can be visited and booked with them.
Near the camp area is the Trading Post run by volunteers of Brownsea Island Scout Active Support group. A visit to buy souvenirs is always worth a visit or you can buy online to join in.
If you want to visit Brownsea as part of a camp on the mainland, you could consider Dorset Scout’s own site Buddens, or two smaller but closer sites, Butchers Coppice in Bournemouth district and Braggers in Christchurch district.