Order of World Scouts

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The Order of World Scouts
Order of World Scouts.svg
The emblem is based on the Fleur de lis of Florence
FoundedNovember 11, 1911
Founder Francis Vane
Grand ScoutmasterDavid Cooksley
WikiProject Scouting fleur-de-lis dark.svg  Scouting portal

The Order of World Scouts (OWS), founded in 1911, is the oldest international Scouting organisation. It is headquartered in England, with the administration headquarters in Italy. As of November 2008, the Order of World Scouts includes member associations in 14 countries-the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Peru, Jamaica, as well as two associations each for Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile and three associations in Mexico, Ukraine and Nepal, Uganda, Honduras and the United States (United States Trailblazers).



The Order of World Scouts was formed by Sir Francis Vane upon the British Boy Scouts which had spread across the British Empire and the National Peace Scouts. The British Boy Scouts were formed in 1908 as the Battersea Boy Scouts. The Battersea Boy Scouts briefly registered with The Baden-Powell Boy Scouts in September 1908 but withdrew out of a concern that Baden-Powell's organisation was too bureaucratic and militaristic. The Battersea Boy Scouts (BBS) were reconstituted as the British Boy Scouts (BBS) and launched as a national organisation in March 1909. [1]

Sir Francis Vane had been the Baden-Powell Boy Scouts London Commissioner. He felt that Scouting should be non-military and pushed for the Baden-Powell Boy Scouts to be a more democratic organization. Through mediation, Vane reconciled the British Boy Scouts with the Baden-Powell Boy Scouts by having the British Boy Scouts as an affiliated organisation. However, Baden-Powell appointed members of the National Service League, a pro-military group to his Boy Scouts Headquarters and Vane's position was eliminated. In a protest meeting, the London area Scoutmasters voted overwhelmingly in support of Sir Francis. Baden-Powell promised to reinstate Sir Francis but never did. [2]

On December 3, 1909, Sir Francis Vane accepted the presidency of the British Boy Scouts taking most London area Troops with him. The Quakers' Birmingham and Midland Troops also followed. Vane was instrumental in gaining Quakers to sponsor Scout Troops, [1] with support given by George and Barrow Cadbury. [3] Discussions with the pacifist Boy's Life Brigade led to the creation of the National Peace Scouts, launched on the 1st April 1910. The Order of World Scouts was an international extension of these efforts.

With Vane having an Italian summer home, he and his co-founder Remo Molinari were able to launch the Scouting Movement in Italy with the Italian Boy Scouts (Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani) in 1910. [1] [4]

In 1911, in France, Vane assisted Augustin Dufresne, a ship owner, to organise a French Scouting organisation. [5]

With the spread of the British Boy Scouts program throughout the world via the CHUMS (paper) [6] and Vane's efforts, Vane aligned the various national Scout organisations as the "Legion of World Scouts", the first international organization, launched on the 1st May 1911. [7] This included the 'American Boy Scout'. [8] The relationship with the American Boy Scout was short lived due to its overt militarism.

Vane then launched The Order of World Scouts on 11 November 1911. This day was influenced by the French, as it was the day that Baldwin was crowned King of Jerusalem, on 11 November 1100 (St Martin's Day). [5] [9] Vane became the Grand Scoutmaster of the Order of World Scouts. [9]

Representation covered 15 Countries (counting Ireland as being separate) being; the UK, Ireland, Italy, the United States (isolated troops), Canada, France, Belgium, India, South America, China, South Africa, Canada, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand. [10]

Vane put his wealth behind the World Scouts, BBS and other national Scout organisations: providing a London headquarters and financing the organisations, even the manufacture of Scout uniforms not only for the BBS, but also for the Italian Scouts. [11] This over burdened his finances to the point of having to declare bankruptcy. Thus the Order of World Scouts and BBS lost their headquarters, source of equipment and uniforms and their leader, Sir Francis Vane. [1] [5]

The World Scouts was left with member Troops in England (remaining to the present) and in Australia. The Australian BBS, proved more resilient than was initially thought. The 4th Alexandria (Australia) British Boy Scouts existed in the 1950s, and possibly beyond that date, [12] Individual members in Australia corresponded with the British Chief Commissioner up until the late 1960s. [13] Robert Campbell, an Australian Scout researcher, traced the BBS in Australia and credits the continuation of membership in Australia to the 1990s, when the Scouts of Australia became the successors to the BBS, which "Ceased activity in Australia c1950s but retains members". [14]

In the mid 1980s expansion began again with members joining in Hawaii (USA). [15] In the early 1990s, contact was made by a Scouting organisation in Australia, followed by Scouting organisations in other countries. [16]

After contact in 1991 with the Independent Scouts of Australia Incorporated, [17] the Order was more formally organised with the appointments of a BBS Commissioner for Australia in 1991 and a Chief Commissioner of BBS & BGS in Canada in 1999. [10]

List of members

Argentina Unión Scout Tradicionales de Argentina AC. [18] [19] 2008–present [19]
Australia British Boy Scouts (AU)1911-1930s [20]
Australia Independent Australian Scouts 1991–present [21]
Belgium Troop based in De Panne [22] 1911–1914
Bolivia Bolivia: UTSA2008–present [19]
Brazil Brasil: UTSA2008–present [19]
Brazil Brasil: AEMR2017–present
Canada British Boy Scouts (Canada)1911-1919 [20]
Canada Canadian Independent Scout Association1999 [23] -2000
China The British Boy Scouts (Hong Kong)1911–1914 [20]
Chile FIDES Chile (Federación de escultismo Chilena) UTSA2008–Present [19]
Chile Agrupación de Escultismo Woodcraft de Chile USTA2003–Present [19]
Chile Unión de Scouts de Chile UTSA2008–Present [19]
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic UTSA2008–Present [19]
Egypt The British Boy Scouts (Egypt)1911–1914 [20]
El Salvador Association of Traditional Scouts of El Salvador (ASTES-USTA)2016–present
France French Scouts1911–1914 [20]
Hawaii (USA)Order of World Scouts Hawaii1985-2000 [24]
Honduras Association Of The Escultismo Traditional From Honduras (AETH)2017-present
India The British Boy Scouts (India)1911–1914 [20] [25]
Ireland British Boy Scouts (Ireland)1911–1914 [26]
Italy Italian Boy Scouts (Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani)1911–1914 [20]
Italy National Scout Training School (Scuola Nazionale Formazione Scout)2002–Present
Jamaica Girl Scouts of Jamaica 2008–Present [21]
Mexico Union of Traditional Scouts of Mexico (USTmex)2017-present
Mexico Scouts Mexicanos AC2008–Present [19]
New Zealand The British Boy Scouts (New Zealand)1911–1914 [20]
Peru The Peruvian Association of Scouts Around the World
(Asociacion Peruana de los Scouts Del Mundo)
2008–present [21]
Peru Perù UTSA2008–present [19]
Poland Drzewo Pokoju [27] 2002–Present
Poland Harcerska Gromada Wilkow [28] 2010–Present
Poland Stowarzyszenie Harcerskie Knieja [29] 2012–Present
South America The British Boy Scouts (Creillos, South America)1911–1914 [20]
South Africa The British Boy Scouts (South Africa)1911–1914 [20]
Uganda The Federation of Uganda Scouts 2017-present
Ukraine Organization of Ukrainian Scouts [21]
United Kingdom British Boy Scouts 1911 [20] -present [21]
United Kingdom British Girl Scouts 1911–present [21]
United Kingdom British Girl's Nursing Corps1911–1912
United Kingdom The Order of the Redeemer1914–Present
United Kingdom Scout History Association [21]
United States American Boy Scouts 1911-1912 [20]
Uruguay Uruguay UTSA2008–Present [19]
Nepal Nepal Peace Scouts2016–Present

Grand Scoutmasters and other officers

Grand Scoutmasters
Vice President
Honorary President
Assistant Grand Scoutmaster, Britain
Assistant Grand Scoutmaster, South Australia.
Assistant Grand Scoutmaster, South Africa.
Assistant Grand Scoutmaster, France.
Assistant Grand Scoutmaster, Italy.
Assistant Grand Scoutmaster, Poland.
Chief Commissioner for Britain.
Chief Commissioner for Australia.
Chief Commissioner for Canada.
Chief Commissioner for Italy.
Chief Commissioner for Poland.
Chief Commissioner for Argentina.
Chief Commissioner for Bolivia.
Chief Commissioner for Brasil.
Chief Commissioner for Chile.
Chief Commissioner for Republica Dominicana.
Chief Commissioner for Jamaica.
Chief Commissioner for Mexico.
Chief Commissioner for Peru.
Chief Commissioner for Ukrain.
Chief Commissioner for Uruguay.
Chief Commissioner for Ecuador.
Chief Commissioner for Nepal.

Italian Boy Scouts

Italian Boy Scouts
Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani
Country Italy
FoundedJuly 12, 1910
Founder Francis Vane
Remo Molinari
AffiliationOrder of World Scouts
WikiProject Scouting fleur-de-lis dark.svg  Scouting portal

Italian Boy Scouts (IBS) was the first Scouting association in Italy founded by Francis Vane and Remo Molinari lasting from 1910 to 1914. While short lasting, its existence influenced others to start other Scouting organizations in Italy.


1910 Oath
1. To do his duty to God, King and Country.

2. To help anyone whatever the cost.
3. To trust the word of a brother Scout and always tell the truth, if he lies he is no longer a Scout.
4. A Scout is loyal, he supports his friend and especially his comrade on any occasion.
5. A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout, rich or poor, fortunate or unfortunate.
6. A Scout is courteous to all, especially to the weak, women, children, invalids and the crippled. A Scout is a gentleman, strong and must show his strength helping the weak.
7. A Scout is a friend of every living creature and will never allow an animal to suffer needlessly. He, like St Francis, feels himself brother to all living things, because he loves them and in exploring the hills has come to know them.
8. A Scout follows orders with intelligence, that is he reflects on the meaning of the order given and attempts to execute it. He is a soldier of the world and thinks before he obeys.
9. A Scout does not burden himself with sorrows, he smiles even when he suffers, because his pain will pass faster if he accepts it with a smile.

10. A Scout is thrifty but never mean. He saves not for himself but to have the means to help others.

—Scout History Association [30]

Francis Vane's winter home was in Bagni di Lucca, Italy in the Apennine Mountains. Vane started a troop at a local school which spread the ideals of the Scouting movement and the backing of the Catholic Church. On July 12, 1910, an official launch of the Italian Boy Scouts at the Lawn Tennis Club in Bagni, followed with a royal inspection on November 6, 1910 at by King Victor Emmanuel with the co-founders of a troop of 30 boys. The royal inspection led to the patronage of the Italy King for the organization with the King becoming president of the Italian movement. For Rome organizer, Prince Di Cassano was appointed to the position. [31] Initially, the REI had a long 10 point Scout Oath, but was replaced in 1911 with a shorter 9 point Oath. [30]

With World War I and other absence of Vane, the IBS ended in 1914 with many of the troops joining the National Explorers Youth Corps. [31]


1911 Oath
# The honour of a Scout is above every suspicion.
  1. A Scout is loyal.
  2. The duty of a Scout is to help others.
  3. A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout.
  4. A Scout is courteous.
  5. A Scout obeys orders.
  6. A Scout loves and protects animals.
  7. A Scout is always cheerful and smiling.
  8. A Scout is thifty.

—Scout History Association [30]

The National Peace Scout Lily badge was initial used by Vane for the Italian Scouts plus a variant with "Be Prepared" beneath the lily for the Bagni troop. This was soon replaced by an Italian overly ornate lily. Being too ornate, this was replaced by a stone lily in the Lanaivoli Fiorenti Chapel in the Church of Corpoazioni Medioevali di S. Agostino found by a Scout. [21]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "The BBS Story". boy-scout.net. Dorset, England, UK: The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. 28 September 1999 [1997]. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
  2. YOUTH AND EMPIRE, J O Springhall PhD Thesis Sussex 1968 (unpublished). Pages 211-249 deal with the history of the BBS from inception to 1914, and includes details of the protest meeting, and following events
  3. MS Complete History of the Order of World Scouts, BBS Archives, Version 2008, Tarrant Hinton Dorset
  4. Working Class Movement Library: Sir Francis Patrick Fletcher Vane, Bt.
  5. 1 2 3 Christopher Wagner (2002-02-06). "Boy Scout Movement: Internationalism--Order of World Scouts". Historic Boys' Uniform Web Site. Christopher Wagner. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  6. The Order of World Scouts history
  7. BBS Letterhead early 1911, held in the BBS Archives, Tarrant Hinton Dorset
  8. singular ending as it was an incorporation but is often referred to as the 'American Boy Scouts'
  9. 1 2 Victor M. Alexieff (September 1982). "Other Youth Programs". SOSSI Journal Vol. 37, No. 9. SOSSI. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  10. 1 2 "The Constitution of the British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association Version 18/06/2002: APPENDIX D -- A History of the British Boy Scouts". boy-scout.net. Dorset, England, UK: The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. March 2001. pp. 24–27. Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  11. Furia, Mauro, Storia Del Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani, Centro Studi Scout, Langhirano, Italia, 1990.
  12. see http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/pictoria/b/3/5/doc/b35047.shtml
  13. Verbal information given to Dr Michael Foster and archived in the BBS Archives Tarrant Hinton Dorset by Ted Scott a Scoutmaster in Balham, who later became the Grand Scoutmaster (1993-2000)
  14. see http://www.netpages.free-online.co.uk/scoutaus/History-TimeLine2.html
  15. As reported in the Journal "The British Scout" ISSN 0266-2264 September 1985, back page
  16. "The Order of World Scouts history". boy-scout.net. Dorset, England, UK: The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. 1997. Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  17. The Australian organisation was known as "Independent Scouts of Australia Incorporated" 1986-1992, then "Scouts of Australia" 1992-2001, and finally reverting to the previous name for legal reasons, minus the addition of "Incorporated" in 2001
  18. Unión de Scouts Tradicionales de Argentina (Union of Traditional Scouts of Argentina)
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-10-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) The Union of Traditional Scouts of America homepage
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2008-10-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Order of World Scouts Constitution
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "On my honour, I promise that I will do my best;
    To do my duty to God and my Country.
    To help other people at all times,
    To keep the Scout Law"
    . Archived from the original on 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  22. Appendix 5, MS Complete History of the Order of World Scouts, Version 2008 BBS Archives
  23. Order of World Scouts Story
  24. British Scout 0266-2264 September 1985 back page
  25. The HQ was in Madras Appendix 5, MS The Complete History of the Order of World Scouts, Version 2008, BBS Archives Tarrant Hinton Dorset
  26. BBS Troops were based in Belfast, Blackrock, Cork, and Dublin Appendix 5 MS The Complete History of the World Scouts, Version 2008 BBS Archives Tarrant Hinton, Dorset
  27. http://www.drzewopokoju.pl/
  28. http://www.phorum.pl/news/
  29. http://www.boy-scout.net/pl/
  30. 1 2 3 "6) The Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani Scout Oaths 1910 and 1911". The British Boy Scouts Pledge and Law: an historical survey. Scout Historical Association. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  31. 1 2 "The Italian Boy Scouts (The Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani)". Scout History Association. The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. Retrieved 11 August 2012.