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Boy Scouts

A Boy Scout (in most countries simply a Scout) is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group in a junior and a senior section. Boy Scouts are organized into troops averaging twenty to thirty Scouts under guidance of one or more Scout Leaders. Troops subdivide into patrols 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, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure, Scouting bands, and rider scouts. Some troops, especially in Europe, have been co-educational since the 1970s, allowing boys and girls to work together as Scouts.

Foundation

Braden Powell 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 in 1907. Baden-Powell got the idea from his experiences with the British Army in South Africa. To advance his ideas, Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys for boy readership, which describes the Scout method 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 Boy Scout program is designed to develop youths who have a high degree of self-reliance, initiative, courage, helpfulness, integrity, and resourcefulness. Boy 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 Boy 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, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure, Scouting bands, and rider scouts, but the same core values and principles as Baden-Powell originally envisaged still apply.

 

Uniforms

Scout UniformThe 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, shorts, and a broad-brimmed campaign hat.

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 uniforms in many Scouting regions.

To show the unity of all Scouts, the World Membership Badge (World Crest) or another badge with a fleur-de-lis is a part of all uniforms. Neckerchiefs and Woggles (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.