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What is Scouting?

It starts with Scouts.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell How It Began
couting had its start in the experiences of Lt. Col. Robert Baden-Powell (B.-P.). He was a career soldier who served in India and Africa. His love of the outdoor life and his interest in the welfare of his troops led him to introduce many innovations into service life. All of them revolving around making soldiers more self-reliant.

While in the Army, B.-P. wrote a book entitled Aids to Scouting. In essence, it was a skill-development book that elaborated on outdoor survival activities. The book became quite popular and and was used to train boys in a number of schools and clubs. Following this, B.-P. rewrote the book and called the new version Scouting for Boys. It was such a success that he decided to organize the very first Scout Camp, to test his theory in 1907.

Scouting groups sprang up spontaneously as boys (and girls) applied the lessons from B.-P.s book. Scouting continued to grow in England and spread to other countries around the world. The first Scout groups in Canada were formed in 1908. In 1920, B.-P. decided to hold a rally for Scouts in Olympia Stadium in London, England. This is regarded as the first World Jamboree. A World Scout Conference was held in 1922 and the World Organization of the Scout Movement was formed.

Over the years, the Scouting program has been updated and revised to remain relevant to the needs of youth. A program for younger youth was designed in 1914 and called Cub Scouts. Rover Scouts for "graduates" of the Scout program was formed in 1918. Venturer Scouts, a program for teens, was initiated in Canada in 1967 and Beaver Scouts was started in 1974. Scouting continues to grow and develop in Canada and around the world as it continues to meet the needs of modern children. In over 100 years, Scouting has served generations of Canadians and improved the way of life in countless communities across the country.

With more than 100,000 members, Scouts Canada is the nation’s premier youth-serving organization. 

With every new member, with every camp and every community service project, Scouts Canada makes one simple promise to Canadian youth, parents and society:

Scouts have fun adventures
discovering new things and experiences
they wouldn’t discover elsewhere.
Along the way they develop into capable,
confident and well-rounded individuals,
better prepared for success in the world.
Scouts is the start of something great.
It starts with Scouts.



Scouts Canada Scouts Canada's Mission

To help develop well rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world.


Scouting's Principles

Scouting is based on three broad principles which represent its fundamental beliefs. These include:
  • Duty to God: Defined as, The responsibility to adhere to spiritual principles, and thus to the religion that expresses them, and to accept the duties therefrom.  
  • Duty to Others: Defined as, The responsibility to one's local, national and global community members to promote peace, understanding and cooperation, through participation in the development of society, respect for the dignity of one's fellow-beings, and protection of the integrity of the natural world.  
  • Duty to Self: Defined as, The responsibility for the development of oneself to one's full potential physically, intellectually, spiritually and socially.
World Scouting

Scouting Method

Scouts Canada engages youth, involving them throughout their formative years in a non-formal educational process, using a specific Method that makes each individual the principal agent of his or her development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person. The Scout Method is an approach unique to Scouting throughout the world (World Association of the Scouting Movement's Scouting: An Educational System) and includes each of the following seven elements: 
  • Scout Law and Promise 
  • Learning by Doing 
  • The Team System 
  • A Symbolic Framework 
  • Nature 
  • Personal Progression 
  • Adult Support

Each program section follows this method at a level appropriate to the age range and capabilities of the members in that section. Together the programs for all sections combine towards the development of the whole person and an in-depth appreciation and commitment to the principles of Scouting. 

The five programs of Scouts Canada are:

  • Beaver Scouts - a program for 5 to 7 year olds designed around the concept of sharing.

  • Cub Scouts - designed especially for 8 to 10 year olds, this program provides children with the opportunity to work and play with others developing responsibility and increasing their skills in hobbies and crafts.

  • Scouts - provides the opportunities for children aged 11 to 14 (with the option to remain until age 16) to have membership in small friendship and interest groups, to try a variety of challenging and appealing activities based on learning by doing, to develop health and fitness, an appreciation of and experience in the community and the outdoors.

  • Venturer Scouts - is a program for youth, ages 14 to 17 which helps them adapt to a rapidly changing world by meeting people, going places and doing things.

  • Rover Scouts - is a program for adults ages 18 to 26 which helps individual development and self-discovery.

Scout Sign The affairs of  the Corporation of Scouts Canada are governed by a Board of Governors and administered and managed by the National Management Team.

Scouts Canada grants charters to Councils to administer Scouting within the area as defined in the charter. Councils can also charter local councils to administer Scouting within defined areas.

Most Scout groups are sponsored. Working in partnerships, Scouts Canada provides programs for community based groups to use in their work with youth. These community groups include religious institutions (as is the case with 15th Strathcona), service, fraternal and civic clubs, professional, business and occupational associations; military bases, public and private schools; Home & School associations and groups of citizens/parents.

The sponsor/partner is free to choose and use any or all of the programs and to receive services from Scout councils provided they accept the Mission and Principles and follow the policy of Scouting as set out in By-law, Policies & Procedures.

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This page, and all contents, Copyright 1998-2013 Scouts Canada, 15th Burlington Scouting Group
Select graphics courtesy of the Web Diner.
Information Source: Scouts Canada

Page last revised Sunday September 08, 2013 .