The Scout Section is the third section of the Scouting Movement and is for young people between the ages of 10½ and 14. Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme, with participation being the key approach. Scouts take part in a Balanced Programme that helps them to find out about the world in which they live; encourages them to know their own abilities and the importance of keeping fit; and helps their creative talents. It also provides opportunities to explore their own values and personal attitudes.
Being outdoors is exciting and important too. Half the programme is given over to taking part in traditional Scouting skills such as camping, survival and cooking as well as a wider spectrum of adventurous activities from abseiling to zorbing.
For Scouts who want to be recognised for their achievements, there are 9 Challenge Awards, 70 Activity Badges and 6 Staged Activity Badges with the highest Challenge being the Chief Scout's Gold Award.
From Robert Baden-Powell's (BP) first experimental camp for 20 boys in 1907 on Brownsea Island, the movement now has an estimated 28 million members worldwide. In the UK alone there are over 500,000 boys and girls involved in Scouting.
"Scouting for Boys" was published in 1908 (after the Brownsea Island Camp) where BP had tried out his ideas on four patrols of boys from London and Bournemouth. "Scouting for Boys" was initially printed in six fortnightly parts, and sold very quickly and is now in 4th place in the all time best sellers list.
BP had originally intended the scheme outlined in "Scouting for Boys" to supplement the programmes of youth organisations that were in existence at the time, like the Boys Brigade and the Boys Clubs. But boys not in other youth movements bought the book, and set themselves up as Patrols of Scouts, and quickly found themselves leaders to train them. It was soon realised that some form of organisation was required to support these Scouts. And so the Scout Movement began and the following memorable quotation from BP is still relevant today: “ It is a movement, because it moves forward. As soon as it stops moving, it becomes an Organisation, and is no longer Scouting. -- B-P.”
Scouting has adapted and evolved over the past 103 years and has experienced a number of changes including the dropping of the word 'boy' from Boy Scouts, uniform, awards, training and ages. The late 80's saw the controversial move (at the time) of Groups being given the option of whether to allow girls into Scouting in all sections. It is encouraging to see so many girls involved in Scouting now.
Whatever the changes, Scouting keeps moving forward and is the world's largest Youth Movement. What an achievement from such small beginnings!
Uniform and Badges
Scouts wear a teal green shirt or blouse, navy blue activity trousers or skirt, a group scarf with a woggle, and a Scout belt.
The Scout flag is dark green, bearing the Scout symbol and Motto.