London Scouts: The rich history of Boy Scouts
Aside from the London Scouts, countless other organisations across the globe gather both boys and girls of all ages to form scouting associations in their respective countries. The history of scouting started with twenty boys that joined a camping trip in England more than a hundred years ago. Find out the rich history of scouting right here at London Scouts!
The beginnings of scouting
In August of 1907, a man by the name of Robert Baden-Powell gathered 20 boys for a camping trip in Brownsea Island near Poole. Powell proved in this camping trip that his training and leadership methods appealed to young boys who wanted to prove themselves.
This pushed him to write a book titled ‘Scouting for Boys’ which was an immediate success. It has then sold 100 million copies since its release in 1908. Up until today, the teachings of the book are still applied to the foundational principles of scouting worldwide.
Early years of the scouting movement
Powell’s book was translated into five different languages and has since ignited a movement that adopted the name ‘The Boy Scouts’. When he visited Canada, the United States, and South America, he was surprised to see there were already associations that followed the teachings of what he wrote.
The scouting movement began as a programme for boys between the ages of 11 and 18. Soon after, a Girl Guides program that was similar to the Boy Scouts was established with his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell at the helm.
Younger boys have shown interest in joining the scouting movement. However, there were still no activities that better fit their interests yet. This pushed Powell to create a ‘Wolf Club’ subsection to cater to the interests of the younger boys who wanted to join.
The Wolf Club used Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book as a basis for the organisation. This book served as an inspiration for imaginative activities that the younger members can do for the scouting association.
This also led to the formation of the Rover Scout subsection for older boys who wanted to join the association. This group had a lot more similarities with the early scouting movement and has since developed from there.
World War I and II
Things changed for the scouting association during the world wars. However, the scouting movement still flourished despite the totalitarian movements of the opposing side.
During this time, the scouting members of different associations worldwide undertook tasks to contribute to the war efforts of the democratic side. These boys became messengers, firewatchers, stretcher-bearers, and salvage collectors among others.
Life after the war
Since the war, the scouting movement has changed its priorities. Developing countries with Boy Scouts associations focused more on youth programmes designed to raise awareness on issues that plagued their respective communities.
These groups became more involved with issues concerning child healthcare, education, literacy, job skills training, food scarcity among impoverished families, and drug abuse among younger children.
Up until today, the Boy Scouts association is still an avenue to address these issues that affect the lives of millions of people worldwide. Each country has their version of the Scouting movement that continues to adapt and renew its philosophies to the changing times.