Boy Scout
Overview
 
A Scout is a boy
Boy
A boy is a young male human , as contrasted to its female counterpart, girl, or an adult male, a man.The term "boy" is primarily used to indicate biological sex distinctions, cultural gender role distinctions or both...

 or a girl
Girl
A girl is any female human from birth through childhood and adolescence to attainment of adulthood. The term may also be used to mean a young woman.-Etymology:...

, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting
Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

 movement. Because of the large age and development
Developmental psychology
Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes, emotional changes, and perception changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to...

 span, many Scouting associations have split this age group
Age groups in Scouting and Guiding
National Scouting and Guiding organisations are divided into different age groups in order to deliver the Scouting and Guiding programmes for a full range of youth.-History:...

 into a junior and a senior section. Scouts are organized into troops
Scout troop
The Scout troop is a unit of Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts that usually meet weekly. Girl Guides often use Unit or Company instead. The troop is the fundamental unit, which a Scout joins and via which he or she participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and...

 averaging twenty to thirty Scouts under guidance of one or more Scout Leader
Scout Leader
A Scout Leader or Scouter generally refers to the trained adult leader of a Scout unit. The terms used vary from country to country, over time, and with the type of unit.-Roles:...

s. Troops subdivide into patrol
Patrol
A patrol is commonly a group of personnel, such as police officers or soldiers, that are assigned to monitor a specific geographic area.- Military :...

s of about six Scouts and engage in outdoor and special interest activities.
Encyclopedia
A Scout is a boy
Boy
A boy is a young male human , as contrasted to its female counterpart, girl, or an adult male, a man.The term "boy" is primarily used to indicate biological sex distinctions, cultural gender role distinctions or both...

 or a girl
Girl
A girl is any female human from birth through childhood and adolescence to attainment of adulthood. The term may also be used to mean a young woman.-Etymology:...

, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting
Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

 movement. Because of the large age and development
Developmental psychology
Developmental psychology, also known as human development, is the scientific study of systematic psychological changes, emotional changes, and perception changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to...

 span, many Scouting associations have split this age group
Age groups in Scouting and Guiding
National Scouting and Guiding organisations are divided into different age groups in order to deliver the Scouting and Guiding programmes for a full range of youth.-History:...

 into a junior and a senior section. Scouts are organized into troops
Scout troop
The Scout troop is a unit of Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts that usually meet weekly. Girl Guides often use Unit or Company instead. The troop is the fundamental unit, which a Scout joins and via which he or she participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and...

 averaging twenty to thirty Scouts under guidance of one or more Scout Leader
Scout Leader
A Scout Leader or Scouter generally refers to the trained adult leader of a Scout unit. The terms used vary from country to country, over time, and with the type of unit.-Roles:...

s. Troops subdivide into patrol
Patrol
A patrol is commonly a group of personnel, such as police officers or soldiers, that are assigned to monitor a specific geographic area.- Military :...

s of about six Scouts and engage in outdoor and special interest activities. Troops may affiliate with local, national, and international organizations. Some national Scouting associations have special interest programs such as Air Scouts
Air Scouts
Air Scouts are members of the international Scouting movement, of their respective Scouting organisations as a branch, similar to Sea Scout branches, with a particular emphasis on an aviation themed programme and/or flying-based activities...

, Sea Scout
Sea Scout
Sea Scouts are members of the international Scouting movement, with a particular emphasis on water-based activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and rowing. Depending on the country and the available water these activities are on lakes, rivers or sea in small or large ships. Sea Scouting...

s, outdoor high adventure
High adventure
High adventure is a type of outdoor experience. It typically is meant to include activities like backpacking, hiking, kayaking or canoeing. It may also include mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, orienteering, hang gliding, paragliding and hot air ballooning.-High adventure in...

, Scouting bands, and rider scouts. Some troops, especially in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, have been co-educational since the 1970s, allowing boys and girls to work together as Scouts.

Foundation

Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts as an organization in 1908, a few months after the first scout encampment at Brownsea Island Scout camp
Brownsea Island Scout camp
The Brownsea Island Scout camp was a boys camping event on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, southern England, organised by Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell to test his ideas for the book Scouting for Boys. Boys from different social backgrounds participated from 1 August to 8 August 1907 in...

 in 1907. Baden-Powell got the idea from his experiences with the British Army in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. To advance his ideas, Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys
Scouting for Boys
Scouting for Boys: A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship is the first book on the Scout Movement, published in 1908. It was written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell, its founder...

for boy readership, which describes the Scout method
Scout method
The Scout method is the informal educational system used by Scouting. The aim of Scouting is character training with the goal of helping participants become independent and helpful,and thereby become "healthy, happy, helpful citizens"....

 of outdoor activities aiming at developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth. Many boys joined Scouting activities, resulting in the movement growing rapidly to become the world's largest youth organization.

The Scout program is designed to develop youths who have a high degree of self-reliance, initiative, courage, helpfulness, integrity, sportsmanship, and resourcefulness. Scouts should be helpful; understand their society, heritage, and culture; have respect for the rights of others; and be positive leader-citizens.

Over time, the Scout program has been reviewed and updated in many of the countries where it is run, and special interest programs developed such as Air Scouts
Air Scouts
Air Scouts are members of the international Scouting movement, of their respective Scouting organisations as a branch, similar to Sea Scout branches, with a particular emphasis on an aviation themed programme and/or flying-based activities...

, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure
High adventure
High adventure is a type of outdoor experience. It typically is meant to include activities like backpacking, hiking, kayaking or canoeing. It may also include mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, orienteering, hang gliding, paragliding and hot air ballooning.-High adventure in...

, Scouting bands, and rider scouts, but the same core values and principles as Baden-Powell originally envisaged still apply.

Age groups and sections

Originally, the Scout program was aimed at 11- to 16-year-old boys. However, the younger brothers of Scouts started to attend Troop meetings, and so the Wolf Cub
Cub Scout
A Cub Scout is a member of the section of the worldwide Scouting movement for young persons, mainly boys normally aged about 7 to 11. In some countries they are known by their original name of Wolf Cubs and are often referred to simply as Cubs. The movement is often referred to simply as Cubbing...

 section was started. It was also evident that young girls wanted to participate in similar activities, but the Edwardian values at the time would not allow young boys and girls to "rough and tumble" together, causing the Guide Movement to be created.

While most Scouts may join a troop after finishing Cub Scouts, this is not required. As Scouts get older, they often seek more challenging and diverse activities. He may later join another affiliated program for older children, such as Exploring, Venturing, or Rovering
Rover Scouts
Rover Scouting is a service division of Scouting for young men, and in most countries, women. A group of Rovers, analogous to a Scout troop, is called a 'Crew.'...

.

Activities

A Scout learns the cornerstones of the Scout method, Scout Promise
Scout Promise
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world have taken a Scout promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the Scout Promise and Scout Law have varied slightly over time and from country to...

, and Scout Law
Scout Law
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908, all Scouts and Guides around the world have taken a Scout Promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law...

. These are designed to instill character, citizenship, personal fitness, and leadership in boys through a structured program of outdoor activities. Common ways to implement the Scout method include spending time together in small groups with shared experiences, rituals, and activities, as well as emphasizing good citizenship and decision-making that are age-level appropriate. Cultivating a love and appreciation of the outdoors and outdoor activities are key elements. Primary activities include camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

, woodcraft
Woodcraft
Woodcraft is a recreational/educational program devised by Ernest Thompson Seton in 1902, for young people based on camping, outdoor skills and woodcrafts. Thompson Seton's Woodcraft ideas were incorporated into the early Scout movement, but also in many other organisations in many countries.In the...

, first aid
First aid
First aid is the provision of initial care for an illness or injury. It is usually performed by non-expert, but trained personnel to a sick or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. Certain self-limiting illnesses or minor injuries may not require further medical care...

, aquatics, hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, backpacking
Backpacking (wilderness)
Backpacking combines the activities of hiking and camping for an overnight stay in backcountry wilderness...

, and sports.

Scouts are known throughout the world for performing acts of public good and sometimes acts of heroism. For example, a Scout foiled a 2008 assassination attempt on Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

' President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was President of the Maldives from 1978 to 2008. After serving as Minister of Transport, he was nominated as President by the Majlis of the Maldives and succeeded Ibrahim Nasir on November 11, 1978. He eventually became the longest-ruling head of government in Asia...

 by "grabbing an attacker's knife as the man leapt from a crowd and lunged at the leader." The scout, Ibrahim Jaisham, a male member of the co-educational The Scout Association of Maldives
The Scout Association of Maldives
Maldives has 5,538 Scouts served by the Scout Association of Maldives , which was founded in 1963 and became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1990. Divehi Scouting is coeducational, serving both boys and girls.The highest rank is the President's Scout. The badge of the...

, sustained minor injuries during the intervention.

Fellowship

Camping most often occurs on a unit level, such as in the troop, but there are periodic camporee
Camporee
A camporee is a local or regional gathering of Scouting units for a period of camping and common activities. Similar to a camporee, a jamboree occurs less often and draws units from the entire nation or world.-Boy Scouts of America:...

s and jamboree
Jamboree (Scouting)
In Scouting, a jamboree is a large gathering of Scouts who rally at a national or international level.The 1st World Scout Jamboree was held in 1920, and was hosted by the United Kingdom...

s. Camporees are events where units from a local area camp together for a weekend. These occur a couple times a year and usually have a theme, such as pioneering. Jamborees are large events on a national or international level held every four years where thousands of Scouts camp together for one to two weeks. Activities at these events include games, scoutcraft competitions, patch trading
Scouting memorabilia collecting
Scouting memorabilia collecting is the hobby of preserving and cataloguing Boy Scouting and Girl Guiding items for their historic, aesthetic and monetary value. Since collecting depends on the interests of the individual collector, the depth and breadth of each collection varies...

, aquatics, woodcarving, archery, and rifle and shotgun shooting.

For many Scouts and Scouters, the highlight of the year is spending at least a week in the summer as part of an outdoor activity. This can be a long event such as camping, hiking, sailing, canoeing, or kayaking with the unit or a summer camp operated on a council, state, or provincial level. Scouts attending a summer camp, generally one week during the summer, work on merit badges, advancement, and perfecting scoutcraft skills. Some summer camps operate specialty programs, such as sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

, backpacking, canoeing
Canoeing
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

 and whitewater
Whitewater
Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white...

, caving
Caving
Caving—also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom—is the recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems...

, and fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

.

Personal progression

A large part, compared to younger and older sections, of the activities are related to personal progression. All Scouting organizations have an advancement program, whereby the Scout learns scoutcraft
Scoutcraft
Scoutcraft is a term used to cover a variety of woodcraft knowledge and skills required by people seeking to venture into wild country and sustain themselves independently. The term has been adopted by Scouting organizations to reflect skills and knowledge which are felt to be a core part of the...

, community service, leadership, and explores areas of interest to him. This Badge system or Personal Progressive Scheme is based on two complementary elements:
  • Proficiency (Merit) badges, which are intended to encourage the Scout to learn a subject which could be his work or hobby, so cover many different types of activities, not always related to Scouting.
  • Class badges or Progress system, which symbolize increasingly difficult levels or successive stages.


Most Scouting associations have a highest badge that require mastering scoutcraft, leadership, and performing community service. Only a small percentage of Scouts attain them.

Troop

The troop is the fundamental unit of the Scouts. This is the group a Scout joins and via which he participates in Scouting activities, such as camping, backpacking, and canoeing. The troop leadership, youth and adult, organizes and provides support for these activities. It may include as few as a half-dozen Scouts, or as many as seventy or more. Troops usually meet weekly.

Patrol

Each troop is divided into patrols of six to ten Scouts and use the patrol method, where the Scouts divide into smaller groups within the troop. A patrol's independence from the troop varies among troops and between activities. For instance, a troop typically holds ordinary meetings as a unit. Patrols' autonomy becomes more visible at campouts, where each patrol may set up its own cooking area. However, on a high adventure trip which only a small part of the troop attends, divisions between patrols may disappear entirely. Patrols may hold meetings and even excursions separately from the rest of the troop, but this is more common in some troops than in others. Each patrol has a Patrol Leader (PL) and Assistant Patrol Leader (APL). Some troops mix older and younger Scouts in the same patrols, so that the older Scouts can teach the younger ones more effectively, other troops group Scouts by age, so that the members of one patrol have more in common.

Group

In most countries a local organisation, a "Scout Group", combines different sections together into a single body. Scout Groups can consist of any number of sections of the different Age Groups in Scouting and Guiding
Age groups in Scouting and Guiding
National Scouting and Guiding organisations are divided into different age groups in order to deliver the Scouting and Guiding programmes for a full range of youth.-History:...

. Scout Groups can be single sex or have boys and girls in separate and/or co-ed sections depending on the group and the national organization. In some countries, the different sections are independent of each other, although they might be sponsored or chartered by the same organisation, such as a church.

Uniforms

The Scout uniform is a specific characteristic of Scouting. The original uniform, which has created a familiar image in the public eye and had a very military appearance, consisted of a khaki button-up shirt
Shirt
A shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body. Originally an undergarment worn exclusively by men, it has become, in American English, a catch-all term for almost any garment other than outerwear such as sweaters, coats, jackets, or undergarments such as bras, vests or base layers...

, shorts, and a broad-brimmed campaign hat
Campaign hat
A campaign cover is a broad-brimmed felt or straw hat, with a high crown, pinched symmetrically at the four corners .It is associated with the New Zealand Army, the Royal Canadian...

.

Uniforms have become much more functional and colorful since the beginning and are now frequently blue, orange, red, or green, and shorts are replaced by long trousers in areas where the culture calls for modesty, and in winter weather. T-shirts and other more casual wear have also replaced the more formal button-up
Button
In modern clothing and fashion design, a button is a small fastener, most commonly made of plastic, but also frequently of seashell, which secures two pieces of fabric together. In archaeology, a button can be a significant artifact. In the applied arts and in craft, a button can be an example of...

 uniforms in many Scouting regions.

To show the unity of all Scouts, the World Membership Badge (World Crest
World Crest
The World Scout Emblem is the emblem of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and is worn by Scouts and Scouters around the world to indicate their membership...

) or another badge with a fleur-de-lis is a part of all uniforms. Neckerchief
Neckerchief
A neckerchief, necker or less commonly scarf is a type of neckwear associated with Scouts, cowboys and sailors. It consists of a triangular piece of cloth or a rectangular piece folded into a triangle. The long edge is rolled towards the point, leaving a portion unrolled...

s and Woggle
Woggle
A woggle is a device to fasten the neckerchief, or scarf, worn as part of the Scout or Girl Guides uniform.-Origins of the woggle:Early Scouts tied a knot in their neckerchief to fasten it around the neck...

s (slides) are still quite common, but some Scouting associations do not use them. Patches for leadership positions, ranks, special achievements, patrol- animals, colors or names, troop- or group- numbers or names, and country or regional affiliation are standard.
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