Scouting, in various forms, has been around since the early twentieth century and originated in England. Lieutenant General Baden-Powell held a scouting camp in 1907 at Brownsea Island.
He incorporated principles learned by his time in the military as well as other similar groups, such as the League of Woodcraft Indians and the Boy’s Brigade, which was the first uniformed youth organization.
A few years later, a sister organization, the Girl Guides, which grew into the Girl Scouts was also begun.
The Original Idea Spawned Multiple Groups
As the organization grew in the first few decades, the program was divided into groups for different ages, and out of this came the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Rover Scouts on the boy’s side and Brownie Guide, Girl Guide, Girl Scout, and Ranger Guide on the girl’s side.
The credo behind the movement became known as the Scout method and incorporated an informal education system to build character, teach independent thinking, and encourage helping others.
Important Skills Learned
Scouting has mostly utilized outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, sports, and woodcraft to instill these qualities. While engaged in any of these activities it was important to wear the proper uniform and part of that uniform came to be the various merit badges and patches to recognize learning and achievements.
These patches also identify geographic location and attendance at special events. One of the largest of these events was the Scouting 2007 Centenary, celebrating 100 years of scouting around the world.
Scouting Spreads Worldwide
Scouting grew quickly from its start in 1907 and spread to several other European countries the next year. Canada was the first overseas location to incorporate scouting followed by the rest of what was then the British Empire.
Chili was the first non-British country to adopt Scouting. The United States adopted the tradition in 1910.
Initially, scouting was limited to boys from eleven to eighteen, but programs such as the Cub Scouts and Rover Scouts grew out of the movement to handle both younger and older children. These branches operate independently, but all incorporate the scouting methods and credos.
The Scouting Credo
One of these credos, Be Prepared, became the Scout Motto, but there is also an official Scout Slogan, which is Do a Good Turn Daily.
There is also the Scout Promise which reads, “On my honor, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country (or King where applicable), To help other people at all times, and to obey the scout law.”
The exact wording and phrases vary slightly from country to country, but the principals remain the same around the world.