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  Wikipedia: Scouting

Wikipedia: Scouting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Scouting is a world-wide youth organization. Its aim is to develop young people physically, spiritually and mentally through non-formal education with emphasis on practical activities in the outdoors so that youth may take a constructive place in society at local, national and international levels.


Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in 1907 in England. He also introduced Girl Guides in 1910 with the aid of his sister Agnes Baden-Powell. The Guides are known as Girl Scouts in the United States.

The stone on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, England, commemorating the
first Scout camp.

Larger version

The seeds of Scouting began in Mafeking, South Africa, where Baden Powell served as the commanding officer during the Boer War of 1899 - 1902. Baden-Powell defended the town against the Boers (Afrikaners), who outnumbered his troops eight to one. He formed the Mafeking Cadet Corps to help support the troops. The Corps consisted entirely of boy volunteers. Baden-Powell trained the boys and they acquitted themselves well, helping in the successful defence of the town (1899 - 1900). Each Cadet Corps member received a badge, a combination of a compass point and a spearhead. This logo eventually became the fleur-de-lis, which Scouting adopted as its international symbol.

As a result of his status as a national hero that he had acquired as a result of the defence of Mafeking Baden-Powell's military training manual, Aids to Scouting (written in 1899) became something of a best-seller and was used by teachers and youth organisations.

In 1906, Baden-Powell received in the mail from Ernest Thompson Seton his book entitled The Birchbark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians. Seton, a British-born Canadian living in the United States, met Baden-Powell and they shared ideas about youth training programs.

Baden-Powell was encouraged to re-write Aids to Scouting to suit a youth readership, and by 1907 he had finished a draft called Boy Patrols. The same year, to test out some of his ideas he gathererd together 22 boys of mixed social background and held a week long camp, beginning July 29, on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset, England. His organizational method, now known as the Patrol Method, the key to the Scouting method, allowed the boys to organize themselves into small groups with an elected patrol leader. In the fall of 1907, having his draft publication and a successful camp behind him, Baden-Powell went on an extensive speaking tour arranged by his publisher, Pearsons, to promote his forthcoming book. Beginning in January 1908 its initial publication appeared as six installments in a boys fortnightly magazine. The parts were subsequently published in book form as Scouting for Boys, now commonly considered the first edition of the Boy Scout Handbook. At the time Baden-Powell intended that the book would provide ideas for established organisations, in particular the Boys' Brigade. However, boys spontaneously formed Scout patrols and flooded Baden-Powell with requests for assistance. In this manner the Scouting movement unintentionally arose and developed by the weight of its own momentum. As the movement developed Sea Scout and Air Scout units were added to the program options. Baden-Powell could not single handedly advise all the youth who requesting his assistance. To provide for adult leadership training was required. The Wood Badge was developed to recognize adult leadership training. In 1919 Gilwell Park was purchased as an adult training site and scouting campground. Baden-Powell also wrote a book for the assistance of leaders entitled Aids to Scoutmastership.

Early History

A small number of Scout groups founded in 1908 have the right to wear a green neckerchief in recognition of their membership of those founding groups.

Scouting began to spread throughout Great Britain soon after the publication of Scouting For Boys. The Boy Scouts quickly became an organization in and of itself. Scouting moved swiftly throughtout the British Empire. The first recognized overseas unit was chartered in Malta. Canada became the first overseas Dominion with a sanctioned Boy Scout program, followed by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Chile was the first country outside of the British Dominions to have a recognized scouting program. The first Scout rally was held at the Crystal Palace, London, in 1910. It attracted 10,000 boys, as well as a number of girls, who turned out for this exhibtion of scouting. By 1910, Sweden, Denmark, France, Finland, Norway, Mexico, Argentina, Greece and the United States had Boy Scouts.

UK Developments

In the UK, the Boy Scout Association was formed in 1908. It was granted a Royal Charter by King George V in 1912. That charter was an Imperial Charter which gave the Association legal effect throughout the Empire. It changed its name to the The Scout Association in 1967 as part of a package of radical reform and modernisation. 'Boy' was dropped from the title, and a new uniform with long trousers was introduced to eliminate the "Boer War appearance". Senior Scouts and Rovers were abolished, and Venture Scouts were introduced for the older age range.

In 1976 girls were allowed into the movement as Venture Scouts. This was extended as an option to all sections of the movement in the late 1980s, along with additional reforms to the uniform including the introduction of sweat shirts.

Scouting Around the World

The Scouting movement started to spread around the globe. In 1909, the second Scout Association of the world was founded in Chile. It was inspired by the direct influence of Robert Baden-Powell himself who visted the country that same year. The founder of the Chilean Scouting movement was Alcibadies Vicencio. The Girl Guide Association of Chile was founded in 1935. After a long process, the two national associations, The Chilean Scout Association and The Catholic Scout Federation merged in 1978 to form the Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Chile. An important milestone in Chilean Scouting was to be host of the 19th World Scout Jamboree in 1998/1999.

In Israel, the Scouting movement began in 1919 as a non-political organization but reflecting Zionist and Jewish-oriented ideas. However, in contrast to other places in the world, it never separated boys and girls.

In the United States, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), founded in 1910, and the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) represent the Scouting movement.

The Scouting Movement in the Philippines began in 1923 with the organization of the Philippine Council of the Boy Scouts of America (the Philippines being an American Commonwealth). The Philippines became an independent Scouting nation in 1936 with the transition of the Philippine Council into the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. In 1940 the Girl Scouts of the Philippines was founded.

Today the World Organization of the Scout Movement is the governing body for the mainstream of the Scouting Movement. In addition to being the governing policy body it organizes the International Scout Jamboree every four years.

Breakaway Organisations

The first schism within Scouting was right back in December 1909, when the British Boy Scouts (later the Brotherhood of British Scouts, and known internationally as the Order of World Scouts) was formed, initially comprising an estimated 25 percent of all Scouts in the United Kingdom, but rapidly declining. The organisation was formed due to perceptions of bureaucracy and militaristic tendancies in the mainstream movement. With several smaller organisations, such as the Church Lad's Brigade Scouts they formed the National Peace Scouts federation. The British Girl Scouts were the female counterpart of the British Boy Scouts.

In the years following the First World War, ex-Scout John Hargrave, who had broken with what he considered to be the Scouts' militaristic approach, founded a breakaway organisation that in 1925 would become known as The Woodcraft Folk.

Baden-Powell Scouts were formed in 1970, initially in the United Kingdom but now also elsewhere, when it was felt that the "modernisation" of Scouting was abandoning the traditions and intentions established by Baden-Powell.

See also

External links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
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