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Scouting, a world-wide youth organization, aims 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.

Table of contents
1 Origins
2 Early History
3 UK Developments
4 Scouting Around the World
5 Breakaway Organisations
6 See also
7 External links


Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in 1907 in England. He also introduced Girl Guides (known as Girl Scouts of the United States of America in the USA) on March 12, 1912.

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

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 the status of national hero that he had acquired at Mafeking, Baden-Powell's military training manual for young recruits, Aids to Scouting (written in 1899), became something of a best-seller, used by teachers and youth organisations.

In 1906, Baden-Powell received a book in the mail called The Birchbark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians, by Ernest Thompson Seton. Seton, a British-born Canadian living in the United States, met with Baden Powell and they shared ideas.

Baden-Powell decided 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, on July 29, he held a camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset, England for 22 boys of mixed social background to test out some of his ideas. His organizational method, now known as the Patrol Method, the foundation of Scouting, allowed the boys to organize themselves into small patrols with an elected patrol leader. The book Scouting for Boys, now commonly considered the first edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, subsequently appeared in 1908 in six installments. 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 Troops and the Scouting movement had inadvertently started. As the program developed groups were formed as Sea scout and Air Scout units. Adult leadership was also required. The Wood Badge was developed to recognize the leadership training. In 1919 Gilwell Park was purchased as an adult training site and campground.

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 the first groups to form.

Scouting began to spread throughout Great Britain soon after the publication of Scouting For Boys and the Boy Scouts quickly became a 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 Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 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 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