SCOUTING – participation in, or the activities of, the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts/Guides   Leave a comment

 

Fleur-de-lis

While British Army commander in South Africa during the Boer War, Col. Robert Baden-Powell was unhappy with the attitude of his troops. He said that the men lacked character, acting as if they expected to be tucked into bed at night. To help solve this problem he published ‘Aids to Scouting'(1899), a military textbook that was later adapted for training boys in British schools.

1907: Boy Scouts. Voluntary youth organizations have been formed in Europe and North America since the early years of the 20th century. One of the first and best known is the Boy Scouts, now an international organization.

The Boy Scouts were founded in Great Britain by an army officer, Lieutenant General Robert S.S. Baden-Powell. The idea came to him during service in the Boer, or South African, War of 1899-1902. He started a program to teach men how to survive in the outdoors under difficult conditions. Back in England, he conducted his first scout camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 and published his handbook, ‘Scouting for Boys’, in 1908. The scouting organization was incorporated in the United States in 1910.

An organization for girls, the Girl Guides, was started by Baden-Powell’s sister, Agnes, in 1910. The Girl Scouts were established in the United States in 1912. A similar organization for girls, the Camp Fire, was begun in the United States in 1910. In 1970 boys were permitted to join the group.

Unintentionally, Baden-Powell had launched a worldwide movement for boys and girls, known as scouting. The word scout comes from the French verb ecouter, which means “to listen.” Armies have long used scouts to gather information about the enemy.

Boy Scouts. British school officials asked Baden-Powell to adapt his program for boys. After much preparation, he conducted the first Boy Scout camp on Brownsea Island in 1907. The following year he published ‘Scouting for Boys’, a book that introduced the Scout’s Oath, the Scout Law, and the official motto, “Be Prepared.” Some qualities for Boy Scouts outlined in the book include obedience, honour, thrift, and a willingness to help others. Typical scouting activities are camping, nature study, and first aid training.

Seton, Ernest Thompson (1860-1946), U.S. naturalist, lecturer, and author and illustrator of animal books, born in South Shields, Durham, England; lived in Canadian backwoods 1866-70; founded Woodcraft Indians 1902; chief scout Boy Scouts 1910-15 (‘Wild Animals I Have Known’; ‘Lives of the Hunted’; ‘Animal Heroes’).

Beard, Daniel Carter (1850-1941), U.S. illustrator, author, and outdoors man, born in Cincinnati, Ohio; in 1905 founded Sons of Daniel Boone club for boys, which later merged into the Boy Scouts of America; taught animal drawing 1893-1900; author of many handbooks on scouting and camping, including ‘Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties’ and ‘Wisdom of the Woods’; Mt. Beard, near Mt. McKinley in Alaska, named in his honour.

In the United States the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) had been running camps for boys since 1884. In 1902 Ernest Thompson Seton founded the Tribe of Woodcraft Indians as an organization for boys. Three years later Daniel Carter Beard started a similar society called the Sons of Daniel Boone. These two groups, along with the YMCA camps, laid the foundation on which the Boy Scout movement developed in the United States in conjunction with Baden-Powell’s work in England. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was incorporated on Feb. 8, 1910. On June 15, 1916, Congress granted a charter to the organization. In England the Boy Scouts had been formally started on Jan. 24, 1908.

The scouting program in the United States has three phases: Cub Scouting is for boys 8 through 10 years old; Boy Scouts are 11 through 15 years of age; and Explorer Scouts are 15 through 20. Cub Scouts are organized into dens of seven or eight boys, and local dens make up one scout pack. Boy Scouts are organized into patrols, and patrols are parts of troops. Each troop is headed by a scoutmaster. Reversing a long-standing policy, the BSA in 1988 allowed women to be scoutmasters.

Each Scout, by meeting specific requirements, advances through grades called Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class. A First Class Scout may earn merit badges to qualify as a Star Scout, Life Scout, and Eagle Scout. There are other awards given for outstanding achievements. Eagle palms are given for merit badges earned beyond the Eagle requirements. The Order of the Arrow is a national brotherhood of Scout campers. The Medal of Merit and the Honour Medal are awarded by scouting’s National Court of Honour The Medal of Merit is presented for outstanding acts of service. Scouting’s highest award, the Medal of Honour, is bestowed upon Scouts who save, or attempt to save, lives at the risk of their own.

More than 10 million boys and men throughout the world participate in the movement. Scouts from many nations meet, usually every four years, in a world jamboree. At these gatherings as many as 50,000 Scouts set up camp, demonstrate wood craft skills, and work for better international understanding. The first world jamboree was held in England in 1920. National jamborees are held between the international events.

Girl Scouts. Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell asked his sister, Agnes, to start a similar organization for girls. She founded the first company of Girl Guides, as they are called in England and some other countries, in 1910. Baden-Powell’s wife, the former Olave St. Clair Soames, later took charge of the Girl Guides. The spread of the movement was interrupted by World War I, but in 1919 she formed the International Council for the movement. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was established in 1928.

In the United States the Girl Scouts were organized on March 9, 1912, by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga. The group was met with opposition from Boy Scout leaders, who were against the use of the title “Scouts” for girls. In 1950 the United States Congress passed a law giving a special charter of incorporation to the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. The first Girl Guide company in Canada was organized in 1909 in St. Catharines, Ont.

Girl Scout activities include arts and crafts, nature walks, and community service projects. Much of the group’s funding comes from the annual sale of Girl Scout cookies. The organization is divided into five age groups: girls 5 and 6 (Daisy Girl Scouts), girls 7 and 8 (Brownie Scouts), girls 9 through 11 (Junior Scouts), girls from 12 through 14 (Cadet Scouts), and girls from 15 through 17 (Senior Scouts). Girl Scouts are organized into local troops, which are divided into smaller patrols.

Nearly 8 million girls and women from almost a hundred nations are members of the World Association. Membership in the United States is around 3 million, making the Girl Scouts the world’s largest voluntary organization for girls.

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Posted 2011/12/28 by Stelios in Education

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