The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Empire by royal charter.
The Scout Association, commonly known as the Scouts, is a global movement that aims to develop the character and skills of young people through outdoor activities, education, and community service. The organization was founded by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a British Army officer, in 1907.
The history of the Scout movement began with Baden-Powell’s experiences during the Boer War in South Africa (1899–1902). He became interested in the outdoor skills and resourcefulness of the local boys, who could track, ride, and survive in the wilderness. Baden-Powell applied his military knowledge to create a training program for young boys, emphasizing self-reliance, teamwork, and outdoor skills.
The first official Scout camp took place on Brownsea Island in England in 1907, where Baden-Powell tested his ideas and methods with a group of boys from different social backgrounds. The success of the camp laid the foundation for the establishment of the Boy Scouts, which was formally launched in 1908. The program quickly gained popularity in the United Kingdom and beyond.
In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded, adapting Baden-Powell’s principles to the American context. The Scouting movement continued to spread globally, with national Scout organizations forming in various countries. The movement was based on the Scout Law and Scout Oath, promoting values such as loyalty, kindness, and bravery.
The Scout Association, based in the United Kingdom, was officially formed in 1912. It became one of the world’s first Scouting organizations, and its program expanded to include a variety of outdoor activities, community service projects, and leadership development opportunities for young people.
Over the years, the Scout Association and other Scouting organizations around the world have evolved to meet the changing needs of young people. The movement has adapted to cultural and societal changes while maintaining its core values. Today, the Scout Association is part of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), which coordinates and supports Scouting worldwide. Scouting continues to be a global youth movement that empowers young people to develop into responsible and engaged citizens.