Gilwell Park estate was purchased in early 1919 by William De Bois Maclaren, a publisher and Scout Commissioner from Rosneath, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. During a business trip to London, Maclaren was saddened to see that Scouts in the East End had nowhere suitable to have amazing outdoor adventures. Maclaren bought the estate for the Scout Association. P.B. Nevill, Scout Commissioner for the East End first took his Rover Scouts to begin repairing the estate on 17 April 1919 and it was officially opened on 26 July 1919.
The White House today serves as a versatile event venue and hotel. Any income generated goes back into supporting Scouting in the UK, changing the lives of young people.