Scouting (or the Scout Movement) has the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society. During the first half of the 20th century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups each 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.
Scouting began in 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment on Brownsea Island in England. Baden-Powell wrote the principles of Scouting in Scouting for Boys (London, 1908), based on his earlier military books, 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.
The movement employs the Scout method, a program 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 hat or comparable headwear. Distinctive uniform insignia include the fleur-de-lis and the trefoil, as well as badges and other patches.
In 2011, Scouting and Guiding together had over 41 million members worldwide.
As a military officer, Robert Baden-Powell was stationed in British India and Africa in the 1880s and 1890s. Since his youth, he had been fond of woodcraft and military scouting, and—as part of their training—showed his men how to survive in the wilderness. He noticed that it helped the soldiers to develop independence rather than just blindly follow officers' orders.
In 1896, Baden-Powell was assigned to the Matabeleland region in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as Chief of Staff to Gen. Frederick Carrington during the Second Matabele War, and it was here that he first met and began a lifelong friendship with Frederick Russell Burnham, the American born Chief of Scouts for the British.This would become a formative experience for Baden-Powell not only because he had the time of his life commanding reconnaissance missions into enemy territory, but because many of his later Boy Scout ideas took hold here. During their joint scouting patrols into the Matobo Hills, Burnham began teaching Baden-Powell woodcraft, inspiring him and giving him the plan for both the program and the code of honor of Scouting for Boys. Practiced by frontiersmen of the American Old West and Indigenous peoples of the Americas, woodcraft was generally unknown to the British, but well known to the American scout Burnham. These skills eventually formed the basis of what is now called scout craft, the fundamentals of Scouting. Both men recognized that wars in Africa were changing markedly and the British Army needed to adapt; so during their joint scouting missions, Baden-Powell and Burnham discussed the concept of a broad training programme in woodcraft for young men, rich in exploration, tracking, fieldcraft, and self-reliance. It was also during this time in the Matobo Hills that Baden-Powell first started to wear his signature campaign hat like the one worn by Burnham, and it was here that Baden-Powell acquired his Kudu horn, the Ndebele war instrument he later used every morning at Brownsea Island to wake the first Boy Scouts and to call them together in training courses.
Three years later, in South Africa during the Second Boer War, Baden-Powell was besieged in the small town of Mafeking by a much larger Boer army (the Siege of Mafeking). The Mafeking Cadet Corps was a group of youths that supported the troops by carrying messages, which freed the men for military duties and kept the boys occupied during the long siege. The Cadet Corps performed well, helping in the defense of the town (1899–1900), and were one of the many factors that inspired Baden-Powell to form the Scouting movement. Each member received a badge that illustrated a combined compass point and spearhead. The badge's logo was similar to the fleur-de-lis that Scouting later adopted as its international symbol.
In the United Kingdom, the public followed Baden-Powell's struggle to hold Mafeking through newspapers, and when the siege was broken, he had become a national hero. This rise to fame fueled the sales of a small instruction book he had written about military scouting, Aids to Scouting.
On his return to England, he noticed that boys showed considerable interest in the book, which was used by teachers and youth organizations. He was suggested by several to rewrite this book for boys, especially during an inspection of the Boys' Brigade, a large youth movement drilled with military precision. Baden-Powell thought this would not be attractive and suggested that it could grow much larger when scouting would be used. He studied other schemes, parts of which he used for Scouting.
In July 1906, Ernest Thompson Seton sent Baden-Powell a copy of his book The Birchbark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians. Seton, a British-born Canadian living in the United States, met Baden-Powell in October 1906, and they shared ideas about youth training programs. In 1907 Baden-Powell wrote a draft called Boy Patrols. In the same year, to test his ideas, he gathered 21 boys of mixed social backgrounds (from boy's schools in the London area and a section of boys from the Poole, Parkstone, Hamworthy, Bournemouth, and Winton Boys' Brigade units) and held a week-long camp in August on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset, England. His organizational method, now known as the Patrol System and a key part of Scouting training, allowed the boys to organize themselves into small groups with an elected patrol leader.
In the autumn of 1907, Baden-Powell went on an extensive speaking tour arranged by his publisher, Arthur Pearson, to promote his forthcoming book, Scouting for Boys. He had not simply rewritten his Aids to Scouting, but left out the military aspects and transferred the techniques (mainly survival) to non-military heroes: backwoodsmen, explorers (and later on, sailors and airmen). He also added innovative educational principles (the Scout method) by which he extended the attractive game to a personal mental education.
Scouting for Boys first appeared in England in January 1908 as six fortnightly installments, and was published in England later in 1908 in book form. The book is now the fourth-bestselling title of all time, and is now commonly considered the first version of the Boy Scout Handbook.
At the time, Baden-Powell intended that the scheme would be used by established organizations, in particular the Boys' Brigade, from the founder William A. Smith. However, because of the popularity of his person and the adventurous outdoor game he wrote about, boys spontaneously formed Scout patrols and flooded Baden-Powell with requests for assistance. He encouraged them, and the Scouting movement developed momentum. As the movement grew, Sea Scout, Air Scout, and other specialized units were added to the program.
The Boy Scout movement swiftly established itself throughout the British Empire soon after the publication of Scouting for Boys. The first recognized overseas unit was chartered in Gibraltar in 1908, followed quickly by a unit 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 the British dominions to have a recognized Scouting program. The first Scout rally, held in 1909 at The Crystal Palace in London, attracted 10,000 boys and a number of girls. By 1910, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Malaya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States had Boy Scouts.
The program initially focused on boys aged 11 to 18, but as the movement grew, the need became apparent for leader training and programs for younger boys, older boys, and girls. The first Cub Scout and Rover Scout programs were in place by the late 1910s. They operated independently until they obtained official recognition from their home country's Scouting organization. In the United States, attempts at Cub programs began as early as 1911, but official recognition was not obtained until 1930.
Girls wanted to become part of the movement almost as soon as it began. Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes Baden-Powell introduced the Girl Guides in 1910, a parallel movement for girls, sometimes named Girl Scouts. Agnes Baden-Powell became the first president of the Girl Guides when it was formed in 1910, at the request of the girls who attended the Crystal Palace Rally. In 1914, she started Rosebuds—later renamed Brownies—for younger girls. She stepped down as president of the Girl Guides in 1920 in favor of Robert's wife Olave Baden-Powell, who was named Chief Guide (for England) in 1918 and World Chief Guide in 1930. At that time, girls were expected to remain separate from boys because of societal standards, though co-educational youth groups did exist. By the 1990s, two thirds of the Scout organizations belonging to WOSM had become co-educational.
Baden-Powell could not single-handedly advise all groups who requested his assistance. Early Scoutmaster training camps were held in London and Yorkshire in 1910 and 1911. Baden-Powell wanted the training to be as practical as possible to encourage other adults to take leadership roles, so the Wood Badge course was developed to recognize adult leadership training. The development of the training was delayed by World War I, so the first Wood Badge course was not held until 1919. Wood Badge is used by Boy Scout associations and combined Boy Scout and Girl Guide associations in many countries. Gilwell Park near London was purchased in 1919 on behalf of The Scout Association as an adult training site and Scouting campsite. Baden-Powell wrote a book, Aids to Scout mastership, to help Scouting Leaders, and wrote other handbooks for the use of the new Scouting sections, such as Cub Scouts and Girl Guides. One of these was Rovering to Success, written for Rover Scouts in 1922. A wide range of leader training exists in 2007, from basic to program-specific, including the Wood Badge training.
Important elements of traditional Scouting have their origins in Baden-Powell's experiences in education and military training. He was a 50-year-old retired army general when he founded Scouting, and his revolutionary ideas inspired thousands of young people, from all parts of society, to get involved in activities that most had never contemplated. Comparable organizations in the English-speaking world are the Boys' Brigade and the non-militaristic Woodcraft Folk; however, they never matched the development and growth of Scouting.
Aspects of Scouting practice have been criticized as too militaristic. Military-style uniforms, badges of rank, flag ceremonies, and brass bands were commonly accepted in the early years because they were a part of normal society, but since then have diminished or been abandoned in both Scouting and society.
Local influences have also been a strong part of Scouting. By adopting and modifying local ideologies, Scouting has been able to find acceptance in a wide variety of cultures. In the United States, Scouting uses images drawn from the U.S. frontier experience. This includes not only its selection of animal badges for Cub Scouts, but the underlying assumption that American native peoples are more closely connected with nature and therefore have special wilderness survival skills which can be used as part of the training program. By contrast, British Scouting makes use of imagery drawn from the Indian subcontinent, because that region was a significant focus in the early years of Scouting. Baden-Powell's personal experiences in India led him to adopt Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book as a major influence for the Cub Scouts; for example, the name used for the Cub Scout leader, Akela (whose name was also appropriated for the Webelos), is that of the leader of the wolf pack in the book.
The name "Scouting" seems to have been inspired by the important and romantic role played by military scouts performing reconnaissance in the wars of the time. In fact, Baden-Powell wrote his original military training book, Aids To Scouting, because he saw the need for the improved training of British military-enlisted scouts, particularly in initiative, self-reliance, and observational skills. The book's popularity with young boys surprised him. As he adapted the book as Scouting for Boys, it seems natural that the movement adopted the names Scouting and Boy Scouts.
"Duty to God" is a principle of Scouting, though it is applied differently in various countries. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) take a strong position, excluding atheists. The Scout Association in the United Kingdom permits variations to its Promise, in order to accommodate different religious obligations,.
Scouting is taught using the Scout method, which incorporates an informal educational system that emphasizes practical activities in the outdoors. Programs exist for Scouts ranging in age from 6 to 25 (though age limits vary slightly by country), and program specifics target Scouts in a manner appropriate to their age.
The Scout method is the principal method by which the Scouting organizations, boy and girl, operate their units. Scouting organizations are defined as a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder of the movement Lord Baden Powell. It is the goal of Scouting "to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities."
The principles of Scouting describe a code of behavior for all members, and characterize the movement. The Scout method is a progressive system designed to achieve these goals, comprising seven elements: law and promise, learning by doing, team system, symbolic framework, personal progression, nature, and adult support.
The Scout Law and Promise embody the joint values of the Scouting movement worldwide, and bind all Scouting associations together. The emphasis on "learning by doing" provides experiences and hands-on orientation as a practical method of learning and building self-confidence. Small groups build unity, camaraderie, and a close-knit fraternal atmosphere. These experiences, along with an emphasis on trustworthiness and personal honor, help to develop responsibility, character, self-reliance, self-confidence, reliability, and readiness; which eventually lead to collaboration and leadership. A program with a variety of progressive and attractive activities expands a Scout's horizon and bonds the Scout even more to the group. Activities and games provide an enjoyable way to develop skills such as dexterity. In an outdoor setting, they also provide contact with the natural environment.
Since the birth of Scouting in 1907, Scouts worldwide have taken a Scout Promise to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribe to the Scout Law. The form of the promise and laws have varied slightly by country and over time.
The Scout Motto, 'Be Prepared', has been used in various languages by millions of Scouts since 1907. Less well-known is the Scout Slogan, 'Do a good turn daily'.
Common ways to implement the Scout method include having Scouts spending time together in small groups with shared experiences, rituals, and activities, and emphasizing good citizenship and decision-making by young people in an age-appropriate manner. Weekly meetings often take place in local centers known as Scout dens. Cultivating a love and appreciation of the outdoors and outdoor activities is a key element. Primary activities include camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports.
Camping is most often arranged at the unit level, such as one Scout troop, but there are periodic camps (known in the US as "camporees") and "jamborees". Camps occur a few times a year and may involve several groups from a local area or region camping together for a weekend. The events usually have a theme, such as pioneering. World Scout Moots are gatherings, originally for Rover Scouts, but mainly focused on Scout Leaders. Jamborees are large national or international events held every four years, during which thousands of Scouts camp together for one or two weeks. Activities at these events will include games, scoutcraft competitions, badge, pin or patch trading, aquatics, woodcarving, archery and activities related to the theme of the event.
In some countries a highlight of the year for Scouts is spending at least a week in the summer engaging in an outdoor activity. This can be a camping, hiking, sailing, or other trip with the unit, or a summer camp with broader participation (at the council, state, or provincial level). Scouts attending a summer camp work on merit badges, advancement, and perfecting scoutcraft skills. Summer camps can operate specialty programs for older Scouts, such as sailing, backpacking, canoeing and whitewater, caving, and fishing.
At an international level Scouting perceives one of its roles as the promotion of international harmony and peace. Various initiatives are in train towards achieving this aim including the development of activities that benefit the wider community, challenge prejudice and encourage tolerance of diversity. Such programs include co-operation with non-scouting organizations including various NGOs, the United Nations and religious institutions as set out in The Marrakech Charter.
The Scout uniform is a widely recognized characteristic of Scouting. In the words of Baden-Powell at the 1937 World Jamboree, it "hides all differences of social standing in a country and makes for equality; but, more important still, it covers differences of country and race and creed, and makes all feel that they are members with one another of the one great brotherhood". The original uniform, still widely recognized, consisted of a khaki button-up shirt, shorts, and a broad-brimmed campaign hat. Baden-Powell also wore shorts, because he believed that being dressed like a Scout helped to reduce the age-imposed distance between adult and youth. Uniform shirts are now frequently blue, orange, red or green and shorts are frequently replaced by long trousers all year or only in winter.
While designed for smartness and equality, the Scout uniform is also practical. Shirts traditionally have thick seams to make them ideal for use in makeshift stretchers—Scouts were trained to use them in this way with their staves, a traditional but deprecated item. The leather straps and toggles of the campaign hats or Leaders' Wood Badges could be used as emergency tourniquets, or anywhere that string was needed in a hurry. Neckerchiefs were chosen as they could easily be used as a sling or triangular bandage by a Scout in need. Scouts were encouraged to use their garters for shock cord where necessary.
The swastika was used as an early symbol by the British Boy Scouts and others. Its earliest use in Scouting was on the Thanks Badge introduced in 1911. Lord Baden-Powell's 1922 design for the Medal of Merit added a swastika to the Scout fleur-de-lis to symbolize good luck for the recipient. Like Rudyard Kipling, he would have come across this symbol in India. In 1934, Scouters requested a change to the design because of the later use of the swastika by the German National Socialist Workers (Nazi) Party. A new British Medal of Merit was issued in 1935.
Scouting and Guiding movements are generally divided into sections by age or school grade, allowing activities to be tailored to the maturity of the group's members. These age divisions have varied over time as they adapt to the local culture and environment.
Scouting was originally developed for adolescents—youths between the ages of 11 and 17. In most member organizations, this age group composes the Scout or Guide section. Programs were developed to meet the needs of young children (generally ages 6 to 10) and young adults (originally 18 and older, and later up to 25). Scouts and Guides were later split into "junior" and "senior" sections in many member organizations, and some organizations dropped the young adults' section. The exact age ranges for programs vary by country and association.
Scouting in India > Scouting came in India under the banner “Boys Scouts of India” in 1909 and Girl Guiding in 1913 but they were ment only for European and Anglo Indian boys and girls.
The doors of these organizations were never opened for Indians boys and girls. There was resentment in Indians for it and 1921, when World Chief Scout Lord Baden Powell came to India, under the Leadership of Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya, a welknown Leader of India, he was approved and requested to open the doors for Indian boys and girls but he refused brutally. It was published in newspapers all around the World it was disclosed and due to great resentment in Indians, new Scout troop were being opened through out of India. Till 1928 about 9 troop new troop were working in the field. Even Dr. Anniebasent an English Lady working with Mahatma Gandhi ji opened a Girl Company in Madras.
In 1928 Pt Madan Mohan Malviya requested all Indian groups to come under one Banner. They agreed and new National Association named “ HINDUSTA SCOUTS ASSOCIATION” , came in existence and Pt Shri Ram Bajpai, who run “Sewa Smiti Scouts Group and prepared Indian literature for the same, were appointed 1st National Organising Commissioner of Hindustan Scout Association, under the Leadership of Sewa Shri Pt Madan Mohan Malviya and Pt. Hridya Nath Kunjroo, Vivian Bose, G.S. Arundale, Mohan Singh Mehta, and several other prominent figures of India.
An Extra Ordinary Incident >1938 Lord Baden Powell, World Chief Scout again came India and these was a grand Rally at Allahabad orgnised by Boy Scouts of India. Pt. Shri Ram Bajpai also attended it with a group Hindustan Scouts Association in uniform when Lord Baden Powell, as Chief Guest tried to hoist the flag, it was not opened. When English Scouts & Scouters failed to make it unfurled, Pt Shri Ram Bajpai asked his Scout to climb the pole to make it ready to be unfurled. The Hindustani Scout climbed the pole but suddenly as he reached the upper part of the pole, the pole was broken nd the Scout failed down with the broken piece. He again climbed the pole with broken piece of the pole and his Scout rope. He lashed it with the fixed piece of the pole with his Scout rope. He made the flag fit to be unfurled. He got down and saluted to Pt. Shri Ram Bajpai. Pt. Shri Ram Bajpai requested Lord Baden Powell to unfurled the flag it was ready. Lord Baden Powell hoisted the flag and praised the Indian Scout for his direful deed. In his speech he withdrew his words spoken in 1921 for Indians and requested Viceroy of India to recognized Hindustan Scout Association at National level with Govt. Grant- In-Aid. He also asked the Viceroy to depute Pt. Shri Ram Bajpai to attend the Wood Badge Trg. Camp at Gillwill Park (England). He completed the Wood badge Trg. course successfully and selected as Best Camper but he was not given the The Certificate, Wood Badge Scarf and other accessories because he refused to take OATH to be faithful to British Emperor as the Indians were fighting for Independent. The other campers praised him for his courage and invited him to visit their Countries. After his dareful journey of 9 counties hi came back to India and welcomed warmly by his followers and Mahamana Pt. Madan Moha Malvia ji, he sacrificed his whole life for Indian Scouting. He prepared Indian Literature for Scouts, Guides, Scouters and Guiders. He travelled through out India and established “HIDUSTAN SCOUTS ASSOCIATION” at National Level. After Independence in 1950 the existing associations dissolved themselves and created “The Bharat Scouts & Guides”, which was registered on 06-11-1950, under S.R. Act XXI of 1860 by Registrar of Delhi State.
ORIGIN OF HINDUSTAN SCOUTS AND GUIDES :- Due to monopoly of only one organization in the field of Scouting and Guiding there was no sufficient progress rather “The Bharat Scouts & Guides” was failed to cover even 1% of youth of India after having every kind of support of Central & State Governments. Not only this the organization of Bharat Scouts & Guides, either Central or State Branches indulged in high level corruption. In 1997-98 the college students of all over India agitated on roads and gave Memorandum to the then Mahamahim Rastapati Sh. K.R. Narayanan Ji and some M.P.’s raised question in Parliament of India against their corruption. Zee News channel broadcasted its whole corruption in Inside story.
Mahamahim Rastapati Sh. K.R. Narayanan Ji withdrew the Chief Patronship of Bharat Scouts & Guides and stopped to sign over the Certificates of Rastrapati Scouts, Guides, Rovers and Rangers Awards and ordered to not allow any kind of function related to Bharat Scouts & Guides in Rastrapati Bhawan. (It continued till 2008)He also suggested concerned Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India to open the doors in the field of Scouting and Guiding in India for other N.G.O.s. The then Deputy Secretary (Youth Affairs) to Govt. of India, motivated Mr. Shri Niwas Sharma, a dedicated Scout Master (since 1950) to establish a new National Scouts & Guides Association. The decision to form said parallel National Association at the time of Celebration of Swarn Jayanti All India Scout Guide Jamboree held at Sec.-10, Rohini, New Delhi, from 26-04-1998 to 30-04-1998, with the financial assistance of the then Chief Minister of Delhi Govt., Late Dr. Sahib Singh Verma
Now new National Association took its glorious ancient name Hindustan Scouts and Guides Association and Mr. Shri Niwas Sharma put him self as Founder National Secretary and with the courtesy Late Dr. Sahib Singh Verma was put as first National President of Hindustan Scouts and Guides. It was registered under S.R. Act XXI of 1860 on 26-11-1998.
New Govt. Policy- The revised scheme of Promotion of Scouting and Guiding in India :- Was declared on 14-02-2001 vide order No. F.2-1/2000-YS-IV by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports Govt. of India. Under which any registered N.G.O. may use Scout and Guides as general term and any it may be recognised as National Association if it has more then 5 State Branches and under this policy Hindustan Scouts and Guides was recognized by Govt. of India vide order No. F.20-2/99-YS-IV dated 07-03-2001. Soon it was spread all over India.