When Was the Scout Movement Formed?
The Scout movement was formed in 1908 after the appearance of a book, Scouting for Boys, written by the then Inspector General of Cavalry in the British Army, Lt. Col. Sir Robert Baden Powell. The author had intended his ideas to be used by existing youth organizations, but it soon became evident that a new movement had begun. 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.
Baden Powell had held an experimental camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbor, Dorset and put into practice his ideas on the training of boys. He thought they should organize themselves into small, natural groups of six or seven under a boy leader. Their training should add another dimension to their education by including mapping, signaling, rope-knotting, first aid and all the skills needed in camping and similar outdoor activities in which self reliance is important.
Before being accepted as a scout, a boy had to promise to do his duty to God and his country or sovereign, to help other people at all times and to obey the Scout Law. This was a simple code of chivalrous behavior easily appreciated by boys. It was not long before the movement spread from Britain to other countries.
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.
In 1906 and 1907 Robert 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.
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 hator comparable headwear. Distinctive uniform insignia include the fleur-de-lis and the trefoil, as well as badges and other patches.
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.