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The Scout Association

A Brief History of Scouting

Scouting began in August 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell held his experimental camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, Dorset to try out his ideas about a training programme for young people. He brought together 20 boys from differing backgrounds and put them into camp under his leadership.

The success of the camp led to the publication the following year of Scouting for Boys in six fortnightly parts. Before long, boys all over Britain were forming themselves into groups of ‘Boy Scouts’ and were asking adults to help them run Scouting activities. A movement was born.

It wasn’t long before the younger brothers of these early Scouts began to ask to join in the fun of Scouting. So in 1916 Baden-Powell started a new scheme for younger boys aged 8 to 11, the Wolf Cubs, based around the Jungle Book by his good friend Rudyard Kipling. Boys over 18 were soon catered for by the formation of the Rover Scouts based on the Knights of the Round Table. The Scout Section was split in 1946 with the creation of the Senior Scouts for those aged 15 to 18.

1966 saw the Advance Party Report and out went baggy shorts and ‘Dyb, dyb, dyb’! The Wolf Cub Section became known as Cub Scouts and the Senior Scout & Rover Scout Sections were combined to form the Venture Scout Section. In 1976 young ladies were able to become members of this Section. Things have now come full circle with the Venture Scout Section split back into two, forming the Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network.

In 1982 Beaver Scout Colonies for the very youngest aged 6 to 8 were set up as affiliated members of The Scout Association and were made full members in 1986.

Since 1907 Scouting has spread throughout the world to all but a handful of countries. Currently there are about 28 million Scouts in the world with well over half a million of those in the UK.

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