United Kingdom (origin)
|Founder||Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell|
Scouting or the Scout Movement is a movement that aims to support young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society, with a strong focus on the outdoors and survival skills. During the first half of the twentieth century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Rover Scout) and, in 1910, a new organization, Girl Guides, was created for girls (Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout, Ranger Guide). It is one of several worldwide youth organizations.
Youth is the time of life when one is young, and often means the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity). It is also defined as "the appearance, freshness, vigor, spirit, etc., characteristic of one who is young". Its definitions of a specific age range varies, as youth is not defined chronologically as a stage that can be tied to specific age ranges; nor can its end point be linked to specific activities, such as taking unpaid work or having sexual relations without consent.
Cub Scouts, Cubs or Wolf Cubs are programs associated with Scouting for young children usually between 5 and 12, depending on the national organization to which they belong. A participant in the program is called a Cub. A group of Cubs is called a 'Pack'.
A Scout is a child, usually 10–18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section. Scouts are organized into troops averaging 20–30 Scouts under the guidance of one or more Scout Leaders. Troops subdivide into patrols of about six Scouts and engage in outdoor and special interest activities. Troops may affiliate with local, national, and international organizations. Some national Scouting associations have special interest programs such as Air Scouts, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure, Scouting bands, and rider Scouts.
In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, wrote a book for boys about reconnaissance and scouting. Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys (London, 1908), based on his earlier books about military scouting, with influence and support of Frederick Russell Burnham (Chief of Scouts in British Africa), Ernest Thompson Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, William Alexander Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. In the summer of 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in England to test ideas for his book. This camp and the publication of Scouting for Boys are generally regarded as the start of the Scout movement.
Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, was a British Army officer, writer, founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Boy Scout Movement, and founder, with his sister Agnes, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement. Baden-Powell authored the first editions of the seminal work Scouting for Boys, which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement.
Lieutenant general, formerly more commonly lieutenant-general, is a senior rank in the British Army and the Royal Marines. It is the equivalent of a multinational three-star rank; some British lieutenant generals sometimes wear three-star insignia, in addition to their standard insignia, when on multinational operations.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
The movement employs the Scout method, a programme of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports. Another widely recognized movement characteristic is the Scout uniform, by intent hiding all differences of social standing in a country and making for equality, with neckerchief and campaign hat or comparable headwear. Distinctive uniform insignia include the fleur-de-lis and the trefoil, as well as badges and other patches.
The Scout method is the informal educational system used by Scouts. The aim of Scouting is character training with the goal of helping participants become independent and helpful, and thereby become "healthy, happy, helpful citizens".
Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter, such as a tent. Generally participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. To be regarded as "camping" a minimum of one night is spent outdoors, distinguishing it from day-tripping, picnicking, and other similarly short-term recreational activities. Camping can be enjoyed through all four seasons.
The term woodcraft — or woodlore — denotes skills and experience in matters relating to living and thriving in the woods—such as hunting, fishing, and camping—whether on a short- or long-term basis. Traditionally, woodcraft pertains to subsistence lifestyles, with implications of hunting-gathering. In more recent times, and in developed countries, it relates more to either outdoor recreationalism or survivalism.
The two largest umbrella organizations are the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), for boys-only and co-educational organizations, and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), primarily for girls-only organizations but also accepting co-educational organizations. The year 2007 marked the centenary of Scouting worldwide, and member organizations planned events to celebrate the occasion.
The World Organization of the Scout Movement is the largest international Scouting organization. WOSM has 170 members. These members are recognized national Scout organizations, which collectively have over 50 million participants. WOSM was established in 1922, and has its operational headquarters at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and its legal seat in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the counterpart of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a global association supporting the female-oriented and female-only Guiding and Scouting organizations in 150 countries. It was established in 1928 in Parád, Hungary, and has its headquarters in London, England. It is the counterpart of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). WAGGGS is organized into five regions and operates five international Guiding centers. It holds full member status in the European Youth Forum (YFJ), which operates within the Council of Europe and European Union areas and works closely with these bodies.
The Scouting 2007 Centenary comprised celebrations around the world in which Scouts celebrated 100 years of the world Scout movement. The original celebrations were focused on the United Kingdom, such as the camp on Brownsea Island, the birthplace of Scouting, and the 21st World Scout Jamboree in Chelmsford, Essex.
Scouting virtually started itself, but the trigger that set it going was the 1908 publication of Scouting for Boys written by Robert Baden-Powell.At Charterhouse, one of England's most famous public schools, Baden-Powell had an interest in the outdoors. Later, as a military officer, Baden-Powell was stationed in British India in the 1880s where he took an interest in military scouting and in 1884 he published Reconnaissance and Scouting.
Charterhouse is an independent day and boarding school in Godalming, Surrey. Founded by Thomas Sutton in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian monastery in Charterhouse Square, Smithfield, London, it educates over 800 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years, and is one of the original Great Nine English public schools. Today pupils are still referred to as Carthusians, and ex-pupils as Old Carthusians.
A public school in England and Wales is a long-established, student-selective, fee-charging independent secondary school that caters primarily for children aged between 11 or 13 and 18, and whose head teacher is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC). Public refers to their origins as schools open to any public citizen who could afford to pay the fees; they are not funded from public taxes. Traditionally, English public schools were all-male boarding schools, but the term now also includes co-educational and girls' schools, while many accept day pupils as well as boarders.
In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration outside an area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about natural features and other activities in the area.
In 1896, Baden-Powell was assigned to the Matabeleland region in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as Chief of Staff to Gen. Frederick Carrington during the Second Matabele War. In June 1896 he met here and began a lifelong friendship with Frederick Russell Burnham, the American-born Chief of Scouts for the British Army in Africa.This was a formative experience for Baden-Powell not only because he had the time of his life commanding reconnaissance missions into enemy territory, but because many of his later Boy Scout ideas originated here. During their joint scouting patrols into the Matobo Hills, Burnham augmented Baden-Powell's woodcraft skills, inspiring him and sowing seeds for both the programme and for the code of honour later published in Scouting for Boys. Practised by frontiersmen of the American Old West and indigenous peoples of the Americas, woodcraft was generally little known to the British Army but well-known to the American scout Burnham. These skills eventually formed the basis of what is now called scoutcraft , the fundamentals of Scouting. Both men recognised that wars in Africa were changing markedly and the British Army needed to adapt; so during their joint scouting missions, Baden-Powell and Burnham discussed the concept of a broad training programme in woodcraft for young men, rich in exploration, tracking, fieldcraft, and self-reliance. During this time in the Matobo Hills Baden-Powell first started to wear his signature campaign hat like the one worn by Burnham, and acquired his kudu horn, the Ndebele war instrument he later used every morning at Brownsea Island to wake the first Boy Scouts and to call them together in training courses.
Modern-day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people. Other ethnic groups who inhabit parts of Matabeleland include the Tonga, Kalanga, Venda, Nambia, Sotho, Tswana and Khoisan. As of August 2012, according to the Zimbabwean national statistics agency ZIMSAT, the southern part of the region had 683,893 people, comprising 326,697 males and 356,926 females, with an average size household of 4.4 in an area of 54,172 square kilometres (20,916 sq mi). As for the Matabeleland Northern Province, it had a total population of 749,017 people out of the population of Zimbabwe of 13,061,239. The proportion of males and females was 48 and 52 percent respectively within an area of just over 75,017 square kilometres (28,964 sq mi). The remaining Bulawayo province had a population of 653,337 in an area of 1,706.8 square kilometres (659.0 sq mi). Thus the region has a combined population of 2,086,247 in an area of just over 130,000 square kilometres (50,000 sq mi) and that is just over the size of England. The major city is Bulawayo, other notable towns are Plumtree and Hwange. The land is particularly fertile but dry. This area has important gold deposits. Industries include gold and other mineral mines, and engineering. There has been a decline in the industries in this region as water is in short supply. Promises by the government to draw water for the region through the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project have not been carried out. The region is allegedly marginalised by the government.
The Colony of Southern Rhodesia was a self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa. It was the predecessor state of what is now Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. A country of roughly 16 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.
Three years later, in South Africa during the Second Boer War, Baden-Powell was besieged in the small town of Mafikeng (Mafeking) by a much larger Boer army.The Mafeking Cadet Corps was a group of youths that supported the troops by carrying messages, which freed the men for military duties and kept the boys occupied during the long siege. The Cadet Corps performed well, helping in the defence of the town (1899–1900), and were one of the many factors that inspired Baden-Powell to form the Scouting movement. Each member received a badge that illustrated a combined compass point and spearhead. The badge's logo was similar to the fleur-de-lis shaped arrowhead that Scouting later adopted as its international symbol. The Siege of Mafeking was the first time since his own childhood that Baden-Powell, a regular serving soldier, had come into the same orbit as "civilians"—women and children—and discovered for himself the usefulness of well-trained boys.
In the United Kingdom, the public, through newspapers, followed Baden-Powell's struggle to hold Mafeking, and when the siege was broken he had become a national hero. This rise to fame fuelled the sales of the small instruction book he had written in 1899 about military scouting and wilderness survival, Aids to Scouting,that owed much to what he had learned from discussions with Burnham.
On his return to England, Baden-Powell noticed that boys showed considerable interest in Aids to Scouting, which was unexpectedly used by teachers and youth organizations as their first Scouting handbook.He was urged to rewrite this book for boys, especially during an inspection of the Boys' Brigade, a large youth movement drilled with military precision. Baden-Powell thought this would not be attractive and suggested that the Boys' Brigade could grow much larger were Scouting to be used. He studied other schemes, parts of which he used for Scouting.
In July 1906 Ernest Thompson Seton sent Baden-Powell a copy of his 1902 book The Birchbark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians.Seton, a British-born Canadian-American living in the United States, met Baden-Powell in October 1906, and they shared ideas about youth training programs. In 1907 Baden-Powell wrote a draft called Boy Patrols. In the same year, to test his ideas, he gathered 21 boys of mixed social backgrounds (from boy's schools in the London area and a section of boys from the Poole, Parkstone, Hamworthy, Bournemouth, and Winton Boys' Brigade units) and held a week-long camp in August on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset. His organizational method, now known as the Patrol System and a key part of Scouting training, allowed the boys to organize themselves into small groups with an elected patrol leader.
In the autumn of 1907, Baden-Powell went on an extensive speaking tour arranged by his publisher, Arthur Pearson, to promote his forthcoming book, Scouting for Boys . He had not simply rewritten his Aids to Scouting; he omitted the military aspects and transferred the techniques (mainly survival skills) to non-military heroes: backwoodsmen, explorers (and later on, sailors and airmen).He also added innovative educational principles (the Scout method) by which he extended the attractive game to a personal mental education.
At the beginning of 1908, Baden-Powell published Scouting for Boys in six fortnightly parts, setting out activities and programmes which existing youth organisations could use.The reaction was phenomenal, and quite unexpected. In a very short time, Scout Patrols were created up and down the country, all following the principles of Baden-Powell's book. In 1909, the first Scout Rally was held at Crystal Palace in London, to which 11,000 Scouts came—and some girls dressed as Scouts and calling themselves "Girl Scouts". Baden-Powell retired from the Army and, in 1910, he formed The Boy Scouts Association, and later The Girl Guides. By the time of The Boy Scouts Association's first census in 1910, it had over 100,000 Scouts.
Scouting for Boys was published in England later in 1908 in book form. The book is now the fourth-bestselling title of all time,and was the basis for the later American version of the Boy Scout Handbook.
At the time, Baden-Powell intended that the scheme would be used by established organizations, in particular the Boys' Brigade, from the founder William A. Smith.However, because of the popularity of his person and the adventurous outdoor games he wrote about, boys spontaneously formed Scout patrols and flooded Baden-Powell with requests for assistance. He encouraged them, and the Scouting movement developed momentum. In 1910 Baden-Powell formed The Boy Scouts Association in the United Kingdom. As the movement grew, Sea Scouts, Air Scouts, and other specialized units were added to the program.
The Boy Scout Movement swiftly established itself throughout the British Empire soon after the publication of Scouting for Boys. By 1908, Scouting was established in Gibraltar, Malta, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In 1909 Chile was the first country outside the British dominions to have a Scouting organization recognized by Baden-Powell. The first Scout rally, held in 1909 at the Crystal Palace in London, attracted 10,000 boys and a number of girls. By 1910, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Malaya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States had Boy Scouts.
The program initially focused on boys aged 11 to 18, but as the movement grew the need became apparent for leader training and programs for younger boys, older boys, and girls. The first Cub Scout and Rover Scout programs were in place by the late 1910s. They operated independently until they obtained official recognition from their home country's Scouting organization. In the United States, attempts at Cub programs began as early as 1911, but official recognition was not obtained until 1930.
Girls wanted to become part of the movement almost as soon as it began. Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes Baden-Powell introduced the Girl Guides in 1910, a parallel movement for girls, sometimes named Girl Scouts. Agnes Baden-Powell became the first president of the Girl Guides when it was formed in 1910, at the request of the girls who attended the Crystal Palace Rally. In 1914, she started Rosebuds—later renamed Brownies—for younger girls. She stepped down as president of the Girl Guides in 1920 in favor of Robert's wife Olave Baden-Powell, who was named Chief Guide (for England) in 1918 and World Chief Guide in 1930. At that time, girls were expected to remain separate from boys because of societal standards, though co-educational youth groups did exist. By the 1990s, two-thirds of the Scout organizations belonging to WOSM had become co-educational.
Baden-Powell could not single-handedly advise all groups who requested his assistance. Early Scoutmaster training camps were held in London and Yorkshire in 1910 and 1911. Baden-Powell wanted the training to be as practical as possible to encourage other adults to take leadership roles, so the Wood Badge course was developed to recognize adult leadership training. The development of the training was delayed by World War I, and the first Wood Badge course was not held until 1919.Wood Badge is used by Boy Scout associations and combined Boy Scout and Girl Guide associations in many countries. Gilwell Park near London was purchased in 1919 on behalf of The Scout Association as an adult training site and Scouting campsite. Baden-Powell wrote a book, Aids to Scoutmastership, to help Scouting Leaders, and wrote other handbooks for the use of the new Scouting sections, such as Cub Scouts and Girl Guides. One of these was Rovering to Success, written for Rover Scouts in 1922. A wide range of leader training exists in 2007, from basic to program-specific, including the Wood Badge training.
Important elements of traditional Scouting have their origins in Baden-Powell's experiences in education and military training. He was a 50-year-old retired army general when he founded Scouting, and his revolutionary ideas inspired thousands of young people, from all parts of society, to get involved in activities that most had never contemplated. Comparable organizations in the English-speaking world are the Boys' Brigade and the non-militaristic Woodcraft Folk; however, they never matched the development and growth of Scouting.
Aspects of Scouting practice have been criticized as too militaristic.Military-style uniforms, badges of rank, flag ceremonies, and brass bands were commonly accepted in the early years because they were a part of normal society, but since then have diminished or been abandoned in both Scouting and society.
Local influences have also been a strong part of Scouting. By adopting and modifying local ideologies, Scouting has been able to find acceptance in a wide variety of cultures. In the United States, Scouting uses images drawn from the U.S. frontier experience. This includes not only its selection of animal badges for Cub Scouts, but the underlying assumption that American native peoples are more closely connected with nature and therefore have special wilderness survival skills which can be used as part of the training program. By contrast, British Scouting makes use of imagery drawn from the Indian subcontinent, because that region was a significant focus in the early years of Scouting. Baden-Powell's personal experiences in India led him to adopt Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book as a major influence for the Cub Scouts; for example, the name used for the Cub Scout leader, Akela (whose name was also appropriated for the Webelos), is that of the leader of the wolf pack in the book.
The name "Scouting" seems to have been inspired by the important and romantic role played by military scouts performing reconnaissance in the wars of the time. In fact, Baden-Powell wrote his original military training book, Aids To Scouting, because he saw the need for the improved training of British military-enlisted scouts, particularly in initiative, self-reliance, and observational skills. The book's popularity with young boys surprised him. As he adapted the book as Scouting for Boys, it seems natural that the movement adopted the names Scouting and Boy Scouts.
"Duty to God" is a principle of Scouting, though it is applied differently in various countries.The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) take a strong position, excluding atheists. The Scout Association in the United Kingdom permits variations to its Promise, in order to accommodate different religious obligations. While for example in the predominantly atheist Czech Republic the Scout oath doesn't mention God altogether with the organization being strictly irreligious, in 2014, United Kingdom Scouts were given the choice of being able to make a variation of the Promise that replaced "duty to God" with "uphold our Scout values", Scouts Canada defines Duty to God broadly in terms of "adherence to spiritual principles" and leaves it to the individual member or leader whether they can follow a Scout Promise that includes Duty to God. Worldwide around one in three Scouts are Muslim.
Scouting is taught using the Scout method, which incorporates an informal educational system that emphasizes practical activities in the outdoors. Programs exist for Scouts ranging in age from 6 to 25 (though age limits vary slightly by country), and program specifics target Scouts in a manner appropriate to their age.
The Scout method is the principal method by which the Scouting organizations, boy and girl, operate their units. WOSM describes Scouting as "a voluntary nonpolitical educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder".It is the goal of Scouting "to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities."
The principles of Scouting describe a code of behavior for all members, and characterize the movement. The Scout method is a progressive system designed to achieve these goals, comprising seven elements: law and promise, learning by doing, team system, symbolic framework, personal progression, nature, and adult support.While community service is a major element of both the WOSM and WAGGGS programs, WAGGGS includes it as an extra element of the Scout method: service in the community.
The Scout Law and Promise embody the joint values of the Scouting movement worldwide, and bind all Scouting associations together. The emphasis on "learning by doing" provides experiences and hands-on orientation as a practical method of learning and building self-confidence. Small groups build unity, camaraderie, and a close-knit fraternal atmosphere. These experiences, along with an emphasis on trustworthiness and personal honor, help to develop responsibility, character, self-reliance, self-confidence, reliability, and readiness; which eventually lead to collaboration and leadership. A program with a variety of progressive and attractive activities expands a Scout's horizon and bonds the Scout even more to the group. Activities and games provide an enjoyable way to develop skills such as dexterity. In an outdoor setting, they also provide contact with the natural environment.
Since the birth of Scouting, Scouts worldwide have taken a Scout Promise to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribe to the Scout Law. The form of the promise and laws have varied slightly by country and over time, but must fulfil the requirements of the WOSM to qualify a National Scout Association for membership.
The Scout Motto, 'Be Prepared', has been used in various languages by millions of Scouts since 1907. Less well-known is the Scout Slogan, 'Do a good turn daily'.
Common ways to implement the Scout method include having Scouts spending time together in small groups with shared experiences, rituals, and activities, and emphasizing 'good citizenship'and decision-making by young people in an age-appropriate manner. Weekly meetings often take place in local centres known as Scout dens. Cultivating a love and appreciation of the outdoors and outdoor activities is a key element. Primary activities include camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports.
Camping is most often arranged at the unit level, such as one Scout troop, but there are periodic camps (known in the US as "camporees") and "jamborees". Camps occur a few times a year and may involve several groups from a local area or region camping together for a weekend. The events usually have a theme, such as pioneering. World Scout Moots are gatherings, originally for Rover Scouts, but mainly focused on Scout Leaders. Jamborees are large national or international events held every four years, during which thousands of Scouts camp together for one or two weeks. Activities at these events will include games, Scoutcraft competitions, badge, pin or patch trading, aquatics, woodcarving, archery and activities related to the theme of the event.
In some countries a highlight of the year for Scouts is spending at least a week in the summer engaging in an outdoor activity. This can be a camping, hiking, sailing, or other trip with the unit, or a summer camp with broader participation (at the council, state, or provincial level). Scouts attending a summer camp work on Scout badges, advancement, and perfecting Scoutcraft skills. Summer camps can operate specialty programs for older Scouts, such as sailing, backpacking, canoeing and whitewater, caving, and fishing.
At an international level Scouting perceives one of its roles as the promotion of international harmony and peace.Various initiatives are in train towards achieving this aim including the development of activities that benefit the wider community, challenge prejudice and encourage tolerance of diversity. Such programs include co-operation with non-Scouting organisations including various NGOs, the United Nations and religious institutions as set out in The Marrakech Charter.
The Scout uniform is a widely recognized characteristic of Scouting. In the words of Baden-Powell at the 1937 World Jamboree, it "hides all differences of social standing in a country and makes for equality; but, more important still, it covers differences of country and race and creed, and makes all feel that they are members with one another of the one great brotherhood".The original uniform, still widely recognized, consisted of a khaki button-up shirt, shorts, and a broad-brimmed campaign hat. Baden-Powell also wore shorts, because he believed that being dressed like a Scout helped to reduce the age-imposed distance between adult and youth. Uniform shirts are now frequently blue, orange, red or green and shorts are frequently replaced by long trousers all year or only under cold weather.
While designed for smartness and equality, the Scout uniform is also practical. Shirts traditionally have thick seams to make them ideal for use in makeshift stretchers—Scouts were trained to use them in this way with their staves, a traditional but deprecated item. The leather straps and toggles of the campaign hats or Leaders' Wood Badges could be used as emergency tourniquets, or anywhere that string was needed in a hurry. Neckerchiefs were chosen as they could easily be used as a sling or triangular bandage by a Scout in need. Scouts were encouraged to use their garters for shock cord where necessary.
Distinctive insignia for all are Scout uniforms, recognized and worn the world over, include the Wood Badge and the World Membership Badge. Scouting has two internationally known symbols: the trefoil is used by members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the fleur-de-lis by member organizations of the WOSM and most other Scouting organizations.
The swastika was used as an early symbol by the Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom and others. Its earliest use in Scouting was on the Thanks Badge introduced in 1911.Lord Baden-Powell's 1922 design for the Medal of Merit added a swastika to the Scout Arrowhead to symbolize good luck for the recipient. In 1934, Scouters requested a change to the design because of the connection of the swastika with its more recent use by the German National Socialist Workers (Nazi) Party. A new Medal of Merit was issued by the Boy Scouts Association in 1935.
Scouting and Guiding movements are generally divided into sections by age or school grade, allowing activities to be tailored to the maturity of the group's members. These age divisions have varied over time as they adapt to the local culture and environment.
Scouting was originally developed for adolescents—youths between the ages of 11 and 17. In most member organizations, this age group composes the Scout or Guide section. Programs were developed to meet the needs of young children (generally ages 6 to 10) and young adults (originally 18 and older, and later up to 25). Scouts and Guides were later split into "junior" and "senior" sections in many member organizations, and some organizations dropped the young adults' section. The exact age ranges for programs vary by country and association.
|Age range||Boys section||Girls section|
|8 to 10||Wolf Cubs||Brownie Guide|
|11 to 17||Boy Scout||Girl Guide or Girl Scout|
|18 and up||Rover Scout||Ranger Guide|
The national programs for younger children include Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Brownies, Daisies, Rainbow Guides, Beaver Scouts, Joey Scouts, Keas, and Teddies. Programs for post-adolescents and young adults include the Senior Section,Rover Scouts, Senior Scouts, Venture Scouts, Explorer Scouts, and the Scout Network. Many organizations also have a program for members with special needs. This is usually known as Extension Scouting, but sometimes has other names, such as Scoutlink. The Scout Method has been adapted to specific programs such as Air Scouts, Sea Scouts, Rider Guides and Scoutingbands .
In many countries, Scouting is organized into neighborhood Scout Groups, or Districts, which contain one or more sections. Under the umbrella of the Scout Group, sections are divided according to age, each having their own terminology and leadership structure.
Adults interested in Scouting or Guiding, including former Scouts and Guides, often join organizations such as the International Scout and Guide Fellowship. In the United States and the Philippines, university students might join the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. In the United Kingdom, university students might join the Student Scout and Guide Organisation, and after graduation, the Scout and Guide Graduate Association.
Scout units are usually operated by adult volunteers, such as parents and carers, former Scouts, students, and community leaders, including teachers and religious leaders. Scout Leadership positions are often divided into 'uniform' and 'lay' positions. Uniformed leaders have received formal training, such as the Wood Badge, and have received a warrant for a rank within the organization. Lay members commonly hold part-time roles such as meeting helpers, committee members and advisors, though there are a small number of full-time lay professionals.
A unit has uniformed positions—such as the Scoutmaster and assistants—whose titles vary among countries. In some countries, units are supported by lay members, who range from acting as meeting helpers to being members of the unit's committee. In some Scout associations, the committee members may also wear uniforms and be registered Scout leaders.
Above the unit are further uniformed positions, called Commissioners, at levels such as district, county, council or province, depending on the structure of the national organization. Commissioners work with lay teams and professionals. Training teams and related functions are often formed at these levels. In the UK and in other countries, the national Scout organization appoints the Chief Scout, the most senior uniformed member.
Following its foundation in the United Kingdom, Scouting spread around the globe. The first association outside the British Empire was founded in Chile in May 21, 1909 after a visit by Baden Powell.In most countries of the world, there is now at least one Scouting (or Guiding) organization. Each is independent, but international cooperation continues to be seen as part of the Scout Movement. In 1922 the WOSM started as the governing body on policy for the national Scouting organizations (then male only). In addition to being the governing policy body, it organizes the World Scout Jamboree every four years.
In 1928 the WAGGGS started as the equivalent to WOSM for the then female-only national Scouting/Guiding organizations. It is also responsible for its four international centres: Our Cabaña in Mexico, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Pax Lodge in the United Kingdom, and Sangam in India.
Today at the international level, the two largest umbrella organizations are:
There have been different approaches to co-educational Scouting. Some countries have maintained separate Scouting organizations for boys and girls,In other countries, especially within Europe, Scouting and Guiding have merged, and there is a single organization for boys and girls, which is a member of both the WOSM and the WAGGGS. The United States-based Boy Scouts of America permitted girls to join in early 2018. In others, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, the national Scout association has opted to admit both boys and girls, but is only a member of the WOSM, while the national Guide association has remained as a separate movement and member of the WAGGGS. In some countries like Greece, Slovenia and Spain there are separate associations of Scouts (members of WOSM) and guides (members of WAGGGS), both admitting boys and girls.
The Scout Association in the United Kingdom has been co-educational at all levels since 1991, and this was optional for groups until the year 2000 when new sections were required to accept girls. The Scout Association transitioned all Scout groups and sections across the UK to become co-educational by January 2007, the year of Scouting's centenary.The traditional Baden-Powell Scouts' Association has been co-educational since its formation in 1970.
In the United States, the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs of the BSA were for boys only until 2018; it has changed its policies and is now inviting girls to join, as local packs organize all-girl dens (same uniform, same book, same activities). For youths age 14 and older, Venturing has been co-educational since the 1930s. The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is an independent organization for girls and young women only. Adult leadership positions in the BSA and GSUSA are open to both men and women.
In 2006, of the 155 WOSM member National Scout Organizations (representing 155 countries), 122 belonged only to WOSM, and 34 belonged to both WOSM and WAGGGS. Of the 122 which belonged only to WOSM, 95 were open to boys and girls in some or all program sections, and 20 were only for boys. All 34 that belonged to both WOSM and WAGGGS were open to boys and girls.
WAGGGS had 144 Member Organizations in 2007 and 110 of them belonged only to WAGGGS. Of these 110, 17 were coeducational and 93 admitted only girls.
As of 2010, there are over 32 million registered Scouts and as of 2006 10 million registered Guides around the world, from 216 countries and territories.
Fifteen years passed between the first publication of Scouting for Boys and the creation of the current largest supranational Scout organization, WOSM, and millions of copies had been sold in dozens of languages. By that point, Scouting was the purview of the world's youth, and several Scout associations had already formed in many countries.
Alternative groups have formed since the original formation of the Scouting "Boy Patrols". They can be a result of groups or individuals who maintain that the WOSM and WAGGGS are more political and less youth-based than envisioned by Lord Baden-Powell. They believe that Scouting in general has moved away from its original intent because of political machinations that happen to longstanding organizations, and want to return to the earliest, simplest methods.Others do not want to follow all the original ideals of Scouting but still desire to participate in Scout-like activities.
In 2008, there were at least 539 independent Scouting organizations around the world, 367 of them were a member of either WAGGGS or WOSM. About half of the remaining 172 Scouting organizations are only local or national oriented. About 90 national or regional Scouting associations have created their own international Scouting organizations. Those are served by five international Scouting organizations:
Some Scout-like organizations are also served by international organizations for example:
After the inception of Scouting in the early 1900s, some nations' programs have taken part in social movements such as the nationalist resistance movements in India. Although Scouting was introduced to Africa by British officials as a way to strengthen their rule, the values they based Scouting on helped to challenge the legitimacy of British imperialism. Likewise, African Scouts used the Scout Law's principle that a Scout is a brother to all other Scouts to collectively claim full imperial citizenship.
A study has found a strong link between participating in Scouting and Guiding as a young person, and having significantly better mental health.The data, from almost 10,000 individuals, came from a lifelong UK-wide study of people born in November 1958, known as the National Child Development Study.
More recently, the Boy Scouts of America was the focus of criticism in the United States for not allowing the open participation of homosexuals until removing the prohibition in 2013.
In the United Kingdom, The Scout Association had been criticised for its insistence on the use of a religious promise,leading to the introduction of an alternative in January 2014 for those not wanting to mention a god in their promise. This change made the organisation entirely non-discriminatory on the grounds of race, gender, sexuality, and religion (or lack thereof).
Authoritarian communist regimes like the Soviet Union in 1920and fascist regimes like Nazi Germany in 1934 often either absorbed the Scout movement into government-controlled organizations, or banned Scouting entirely.
Scouting has been a facet of culture during most of the twentieth century in many countries; numerous films and artwork focus on the subject.Movie critic Roger Ebert mentioned the scene in which the young Boy Scout, Indiana Jones, discovers the Cross of Coronado in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade , as "when he discovers his life mission".
The works of painters Ernest Stafford Carlos, Norman Rockwell, Pierre Joubert and Joseph Csatari and the 1966 film Follow Me, Boys! are prime examples of this ethos. Scouting is often dealt with in a humorous manner, as in the 1989 film Troop Beverly Hills , the 2005 film Down and Derby , and the film Scout Camp . In 1980, Scottish singer and songwriter Gerry Rafferty recorded I was a Boy Scout as part of his Snakes and Ladders album.
Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs is the largest Scouting and Guiding organization in Austria and the only one approved by World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The association claims more than 300 troops with more than 85,000 Scouts nationwide. WOSM and WAGGGS give quite smaller membership values for the PPÖ: 9,503 Scouts and 10,508 Guides.
Boy Scout Handbook is the official handbook of the Boy Scouts of America. It is a descendant of Baden-Powell's original handbook, Scouting for Boys, which has been the basis for Scout handbooks in many countries, with some variations to the text of the book depending on each country's codes and customs.
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Girl Guides around the world have taken a Scout promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the Scout Promise and Scout Law have varied slightly over time and from country to country. Some national organization promises are given below. Although most Scouting and Guiding organizations use the word "promise", a few such as the Boy Scouts of America tend to use "oath" instead. Typically, Scouts and Guides will make the three-fingered Scout Sign when reciting the promise.
The Scout Association of Zimbabwe is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Scouting in Zimbabwe shares history with Malaŵi and Zambia, with which it was linked for decades.
Gidsen- en Scoutsbeweging in België (Dutch) or Guidisme et Scoutisme en Belgique (French) (GSB) is the national Guiding and Scouting federation in Belgium. Scouting in Belgium started in 1911, and Guiding followed in 1915. The Belgian Scouts were among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1922, and the Guides were one of the founding members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) in 1928. The federation counts 96,837 Scouts and 59,268 Guides.
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world, as well as members of the affiliated Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, have taken a Scout Promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the promise and law have varied slightly over time and among Scouting organizations.
William Hillcourt, known within the Scouting movement as "Green Bar Bill", was an influential leader in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization from 1927 to 1992. Hillcourt was a prolific writer and teacher in the areas of woodcraft, troop and patrol structure, and training; his written works include three editions of the BSA's official Boy Scout Handbook, with over 12.6 million copies printed, other Scouting-related books and numerous magazine articles. Hillcourt developed and promoted the American adaptation of the Wood Badge adult Scout leader training program.
Scouting in the United States is dominated by the 2.7 million-member Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA and other associations that are recognized by one of the international Scouting organizations. There are also a few smaller, independent groups that are considered to be "Scout-like" or otherwise Scouting related.
The Scout and Guide movement in Denmark consists of about ten different associations. Most of them are members of two large federations, but there are also some independent organizations. Affiliated to Danish Scouting and Guiding are the organizations in Greenland, on the Faroe Islands and in Southern Schleswig.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was inspired by and modeled on the Boy Scout Association, established by Baden-Powell in Britain in 1908. In the early 1900s, several youth organizations were active, and many became part of the BSA.
Religion in Scouting and Guiding is an aspect of the Scout method that has been practiced differently and given different interpretations over the years.
Non-aligned Scouting organizations is a term used by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and their member national organizations to refer to Scouting organizations that are not affiliated with them. See List of non-aligned Scouting organizations.
Scouting has sometimes become entangled in social controversies such as in nationalist resistance movements in India. Scouting was introduced to Africa by British officials as an instrument of colonial authority but became a subversive challenge to the legitimacy of British imperialism as Scouting fostered solidarity amongst African Scouts. There are also controversies and challenges within the Scout Movement itself such as current efforts to turn Scouts Canada into a democratic organization.
The Scout and Guide movement in Malta is served by three organizations:
The Scout and Guide movement in Jamaica is served by
Girl Guides or Girl Scouts is a movement found worldwide, which was originally and still largely designed for girls and women only. This organisation was introduced in 1909, because girls demanded to take part in the then grassroots Boy Scout Movement.
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