Kenneth McLaren DSO (sometimes known as Kenneth MacLaren), DSO, (1860–1924) was a Major in the 13th Hussars regiment of the British Army. After his military service he assisted with the growth of the Scouting movement founded by his friend Robert Baden-Powell.
McLaren had schooled at Harrow and studied at Sandhurst before joining his regiment, the 13th Hussars in 1880. He was posted to India, where he served as regimental adjutant and later aide de camp to General Baker Russell. In South Africa he was gravely wounded at the siege of Mafeking in March 1900, falling prisoner to the Boers. He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in November 1900. McLaren played polo throughout his military service, and was umpire of one of the two matches in the 1908 London Olympics.
McLaren first met Baden-Powell (also a 13th Hussars officer) in 1881. Although McLaren was 20 at the time, Baden-Powell nicknamed him "the Boy", on account of his appearance. The two became fast friends, their relationship being one of the most important friendships in Baden-Powell's life.
McLaren was brought in to help with the growing Scout movement in 1907, serving on the staff at the Brownsea Island Scout camp. According to biographer Tim Jeal, Baden-Powell convinced McLaren to be the Boy Scouts' first manager, but McLaren resigned that position in March 1908. According to other accounts, when The Boy Scout Association was formed in 1908, Major MacLaren became its first Secretary.
- "Captain Kenneth MacLaren, 13th Hussars, who it will be remembered was for a time adjutant of the regiment, was in July 1899 acting as A.D.C. to General Sir Baker Russell. He was then ordered to South Africa, as Colonel R. S. S. Baden-Powell had applied for his services. Captain MacLaren had been seriously wounded outside Mafeking, March 31, 1900." CHAPTER XXXVI. South African War, 1899-1900. Part Two. To December 1900.Regimental History, C. R. B. Barrett, History of the XIII Hussars, 1911 
- "Obituary Many of our older readers will have heard with deep regret of the death of Major Kenneth McLaren, late of the 13th Hussars. Cavalry journal, Volume 15 - Page 105
- Jeal, Tim (1989). Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. pp. 74–83. ISBN 0-09-170670-X.
- Military career
- Craigmoe, Peter (2006). Burnham: King of Scouts. ISBN 978-1-4120-0901-0. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Jeal, p. 66
- "Naval and military intelligence". The Times. 1895. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- The London Gazette: . 27 September 1901.
- The Badminton Magazine of Sports and Pastimes, Volume 9, p. 277, Longmans, Green and Co., 1899 (Original from Princeton University)
- Horace A. Laffaye, Nigel À Brassard, The Evolution of Polo, McFarland, 2009, ISBN 0-7864-3814-2, p. 119
- Brian Gardner, Mafeking: a Victorian legend, Cassell, 1966, p. 19
- Ronald Hyam, Britain's imperial century, 1815-1914: a study of empire and expansion, Barnes & Noble Books, 1976, ISBN 0-06-493099-8, p. 137
- Warren, Allen (2008). "Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-, first Baron Baden-Powell (1857–1941)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
- The character factory: Baden-Powell and the origins of the Boy Scout movement - Page 48; Michael Rosenthal
- Supplement 4039 to the London Gazette, 24 April 1915.
- Knobel, Bruno (1962). Das große Abenteuer Lord Baden-Powells (in German) (2 ed.). Zürich: Polygraphischer Verlag AG Zürich. p. 197.
- "1907-eine Bewegung entsteht Die Insel Brownsea: Es geht los!". SCOUTING — Unabhängige Zeitschrift für Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (in German). 2/2007: 10. 2007.
- Gilwell Gazette Vol 1 No.7. April 20, 2007. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Ernest Edwin Reynolds (1962). BIPI (in German) (3 ed.). Augsburg: Verlag Die Brigg. p. 91.