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Flag salute from boy scouts of different nationalities at the 10th World Scout Moot 1996

A scout is a member of an international, religiously and politically independent educational movement for children and young people that is open to people of all nationalities and beliefs. The aim of the scout movement is to promote the development of young people so that they can take on responsibility in society.

The first scout camp was organized in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell , a British general, on Brownsea Island , England . From the experiences of this camp, Baden-Powell developed an independent method in his book Scouting for Boys , published in 1908 , which is known as the scout method. In the first half of the 20th century, the scouting movement spread across the world. After just a few years, it was divided into three age groups in order to create age-appropriate learning and experience spaces.

In 2011, more than 60 million children and young people from 216 countries and territories worldwide belonged to the scout movement in numerous national and international youth associations , which were essentially united in two global umbrella organizations: the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and the World Organization of the Scout Movement . Around 300 million people have belonged to the scout movement to date. In 2016 there were only five countries with no scout associations: Andorra , People's Republic of China , Cuba , Laos and North Korea .

Scout method

Czech camp during the World Scout Jamboree in Picarquin , Chile 1999

In order to implement his educational goals, Baden-Powell, the founder of the scout movement, developed an independent method, which is known as the scout method. This method is used by all scout associations. The (umbrella) associations weight the importance of individual elements differently.

The following shows the implementation of the scout method in the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The descriptions of goal, principles and method can, however, largely be transferred to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and to scout associations that do not belong to either WAGGGS or WOSM.

In its order, WOSM defines the Scout Movement as “a voluntary, non-political educational movement for young people that is open to everyone, regardless of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the goal, principles and method adopted by the founder of the Movement. "

The goal of the Scout Movement is "to contribute to the development of young people so that they can use their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual abilities as personalities , as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international community."

The principles of the Scout Movement form a code of conduct that applies equally to all members and thus shapes the movement as a whole. WOSM names three basic principles that are formulated as obligations:

  • the duty to God ,
  • the duty to third parties and
  • duty to oneself.

Instead of “duty to God”, one often speaks of an obligation to a higher power in order to include non- monotheistic religions . So a personal belief of whatever kind is assumed.

The scout method, with the help of which the goal of the scout movement is to be achieved and the principles mentioned above, is a system of progressive self-education consisting of four elements:

The scout method comprises the four elements mentioned as a whole, if individual elements are left out, in the opinion of WOSM, scouting work is no longer carried out.

The "Boy Scout Law" (in some associations: Boy Scout Rules) and "Boy Scout Promises" serve above all to commit to the common values ​​of the Boy Scout Movement, whereby the Boy Scout Law, which is similar in all associations, defines the value system, while the personal commitment of the individual to these values ​​through the personal promise and the bond with the scouting movement is strengthened.

With the emphasis on "learning by doing" (learning by doing), experience - and action - oriented learning is defined as the central learning method of the scout movement.

The main goal of the "formation of small groups" such as clans is the early assumption of responsibility and the education to independence in order to contribute to the development of the personality. This promotes the recognition of responsibility, self-confidence, reliability and willingness to work together and lead.

The “progressive and attractive programs of various activities” bring about a gradual expansion of the respective horizons based on already acquired experience and a long-term bond to the respective group. Activities can include playing games , acquiring meaningful skills, and serving the community ; they usually take place in close contact with nature and the environment and should take the interests of the participants into account. In order to integrate the various activities into a uniform work program, many scout associations have developed badge and level systems that build on one another.

These general specifications for the boy scout method are implemented in the everyday life of the groups in a variety of individual elements. The most common among them are:

  • regular group lessons in fixed groups, development of common rituals , common clothing ( scout attire )
  • Tent camps , trips and international encounters
  • Early assumption of responsibility (for example as group leader / clan leader) and equal participation of all in decision-making processes
  • and with it the voluntary commitment through the Boy Scout Promise
  • Practice of scouting techniques, handicrafts and handicrafts
  • musical and cultural activities such as singing and making music together
  • Experience nature in games and explorations, getting to know ecological relationships
  • social commitment (for example through aid campaigns or waste paper collections).

History of the Boy Scout Movement

Establishment and worldwide expansion

Robert Baden-Powell , founder of the Boy Scout Movement, ca.1925.
Scouting for Boys , title page of the 2nd delivery, 1907.

In 1899, the English General Baden-Powell published the book Aids to Scouting for the British Army, which aroused great interest among young people in England because of Baden-Powell's heroic status from the Second Boer War . When Baden-Powell found after his return to England in 1903 that people were playing “Scouts” everywhere after his book, he began to develop a - today one would say experiential - concept for youth education from this game . To test this concept, he held a first camp on Brownsea Island from July 31 to August 9, 1907 . 22 boys from different social classes took part. They wore uniform uniforms to cover up social differences. Building on this experience, Baden-Powell published a revised version of Aids to Scouting for young people under the title Scouting for Boys in 1908 .

In this book he named the knight St. George , who is said to have killed a dragon, as the patron saint of scouts. Following his example, scouts should act chivalrously and honestly, be friends to other people, support those in need and the weak and protect the environment.

Although what is presented in Scouting for Boys was only supposed to complement the methodology of the already existing youth associations, many scout groups emerged outside of these associations. To summarize this movement in England, the Boy Scout Association was founded in 1908 . At the same time, boy scout groups were formed in many other countries, so that even before the First World War there were scout groups on all continents - with the exception of Antarctica.

There were several reasons for this great success and the rapid spread of the boy scout idea. In Great Britain, the Dominions and the British colonies, the targeted press campaigns and lobbying that Baden-Powell carried out together with Arthur Pearson , the publisher of Scouting for Boys , were decisive. Even before the publication, both sent numerous advertising letters to public figures in Great Britain, including members of the royal family. At the same time as the book was published, the weekly boys' magazine Scouting was started, which by the end of 1908 had a circulation of 110,000 copies. In addition, other scout magazines were created that achieved similar print runs.

The enthusiasm generated by these campaigns was also noticed outside of Great Britain and highlighted in press releases. This interest, in connection with the ideal of the “good citizen”, perceived as an educational goal, who served civic values, led to the foundation of scout associations in other countries, mostly by educators or people interested in education. There are also some anecdotes about the export of the boy scout idea to other countries , such as that of the unknown boy scout, who led the later founder of the Boy Scouts of America through the London fog and did not accept a reward with the reason: “ I'm a Scout. "(German:" I am a scout. ")

The rapid spread was supported by the fact that at about the same time youth was discovered as an independent phase of life and various educational concepts for dealing with this age group were developed. Parallel to the scout movement, other youth associations and organizations emerged, such as the Christian Association of Young Men , the German Wandervogel or the workers' youth movement . In Germany, the founding phase of the scout movement coincided with the first phase of reform pedagogy and the founding of schools.

Expansion of the scout movement

Olave Baden-Powell , ca.1925.

The first major scout meeting took place in 1909 with more than 11,000 participants at the Crystal Palace in London. Baden-Powell was surprised when he met girls there who called themselves girl scouts, since his concept of upbringing was only aimed at boys. For the girls, the Girl Guides ( Girl Scouts; in the USA Girl Scouts ) were founded in 1910 , led by his sister Agnes Baden-Powell . In 1916, Olave Baden-Powell , Baden-Powell's wife, took on this task.

As soon wanted to connect boys under 12 scout groups in 1914 for them Wölflingsarbeit introduced whose work forms focus more on game oriented. For the aging scouts, rover work was developed in 1919 as the third age group, the core of which is service to the community. That same year, William De Bois Maclaren donated the Gilwell Park grounds to the Boy Scouts Association, which they used as a training center for scout leaders. The first Woodbadge course for leaders took place there just six weeks after the handover .

In 1920 the Boy Scouts International Bureau was founded in London for male scouts , in which the scout associations worldwide worked together and which later changed its name to the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The International Council for international cooperation between the Girl Scouts was established as early as 1919 , from which the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) emerged in 1928 .

In 1941 Baden-Powell died in Nyeri , Kenya , at the age of almost 84 . In his last letter, he left the scout movement with what is probably the most important sentence to this day: “Try to leave the world a little better than you found it.” His wife Olave, Chief Guide of the World since 1932 , died in 1977.

Events and centers

Caricature of Punch to the Jamboree 1920.

Only two years after the end of the First World War, the first World Scout Meeting took place in London in 1920 . About 8000 scouts from 27 countries took part in this World Scout Jamboree . They spontaneously named Baden-Powell Chief Scout of the World . Since then, jamborees have been held every four years. Other important World Scout Jamborees were the Jamboree de la Paix, which was held in France in 1947 after the break forced by the Second World War , and the 1957 Jubilee Jamboree in England for the fiftieth anniversary of the Boy Scout movement and the centenary of Baden-Powell. In 1979 the World Scout Jamboree was canceled for the first time since World War II because of the Islamic revolution in Iran . Instead, a World Jamboree Year was held. At the World Scout Jamboree 1983 in Canada , girls from co-educational WOSM member associations were allowed to take part for the first time .

In 1931 the first World Scout Moot for Rover took place in Kandersteg , a meeting of the older boy scouts. In 1939 4,000 girl scouts met in Hungary for the first world camp of girl scouts Pax Ting . WAGGGS has not carried out world warehouses since 1957.

In addition to the World Scout Jamborees and the World Scout Moots, two annual international events took place in the second half of the 20th century, in which groups can participate from their hometown: 1958 the Jamboree-on-the-Air , which communicates via radio becomes, and in 1997 the Jamboree On The Internet .

At the same time as this network of events was set up, numerous scouting centers were set up, the most important of which are operated by the world associations. The International Scout Chalet was founded in 1923 in Kandersteg, Switzerland, as the world center of WOSM. WAGGGS opened its first world center in 1932 with Our Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland, followed by Our Ark in London in 1939 (renamed Olave House in 1963 , abandoned in 1990). There were also Our Cabaña in Morelos in Mexico in 1957 , Sangam in Pune in India in 1966 and Pax Lodge in London in 1990 (as a replacement for Olave House ). The aforementioned Gilwell Park is one of the centers of global importance, although it still belongs to the British Scout Association today.

Modernization and spin-offs

Already in the founding phase of the scout movement, several competing scout associations emerged in many countries, which as a rule did not exist for a long time because their number of members was too small for long-term independence or because they formed umbrella associations. Outside of Germany, it was not until the 1960s that there was a renewed and increasing split into various scout associations, which, however, only make up a small proportion of the total number of scouts. The main reason for this development were the modernization efforts of the large associations, which were perceived by individuals as the task of the original scout method according to Baden-Powell.

These counter-movements resulted in two small international umbrella organizations. In 1956, the Fédération du Scoutisme Européen was founded in Cologne , which was renamed Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe in 1978 after a realignment . In particular, it promotes the religious bond and orientation of the scout groups. In 1996 the World Federation of Independent Scouts was created , the aim of which is to offer scout associations that are not members of WOSM or WAGGGS an international umbrella.

The reactions to these split-offs have been and continue to vary widely, at national level they range from working with them to ignoring the groups to litigation over the term scout, which is a trademark in some countries . WOSM generally recognizes these associations as scouts, but regrets their non-membership in a unified world association.

Boy Scouts in Totalitarian States: Between Prohibition and Collaboration

In totalitarian states, the scout associations have repeatedly been banned, incorporated into state youth organizations or placed under state control. Since in the last two cases the political independence of the association concerned was generally restricted, the world associations WAGGGS and WOSM suspended the respective associations or excluded them entirely. The reasons for the bans or the state control measures varied greatly depending on the political system of the respective state. In socialist states, the scout movement was accused of being a bourgeois reactionary movement, while in countries shaped by fascism it was argued that the scout movement was shaped by its internationality as a socialist.

In particular, the boy scouts who fled the socialist states founded associations in exile, some of which still exist today. Some of these groups have been connected to the respective national associations of the host country, others have remained independent. After the fall of the Iron Curtain , WOSM established an information office in Moscow in 1990 . As a result, scout groups emerged in all of the formerly socialist states, often following on from the traditions of the time before their ban. This rebuilding was often supported by the exile groups.

Shortly after the Second World War, for example, the Polish and Yugoslav associations were placed under state control, and they then had to orient their educational system to state guidelines. They were therefore excluded from WOSM. In Poland, parallel underground structures emerged in the state-controlled Boy Scout Association, which continued to work according to the original Boy Scout method.

Development in the German-speaking area

German boy scouts camp with Kohten

The scout movement reached the German-speaking area shortly after it was founded in England in 1907. In almost all German-speaking countries, before the First World War, scout groups were formed, which came together in different associations, often separated by gender and denomination.

While in almost all countries the scout associations continued to develop evenly on the basis of Scouting for Boys and closely based on the English training system until the Second World War , the German scouting (and to a lesser extent also the Austrian) struck through contact with the Wandervogel movement a special way: The scout associations became part of the youth movement , they merged the forms of English scoutism with those of the wandering bird. As a result, different renewal movements developed within the fractions, which led to the splitting off and unification of various smaller and larger fractions. The so-called bündische youth with a variety of Pathfinder, Wandervogel and Young shaft -Bünden emerged.

After the seizure of power by the National Socialists were dissolved in 1933 and 1934 Germany are not confessional Scout associations and their members in the Hitler Youth transferred. The denominational associations were able to last longer with severe restrictions on their work, but were also banned by the Gestapo by 1938 at the latest . During the Second World War, the same fate befell the scout associations in the countries occupied by the German Reich .

After the Second World War, the scout associations were rebuilt in the western zones. In the Soviet zone of occupation and later in the German Democratic Republic , scouting continued to be prohibited; the only youth organization allowed was the Free German Youth , whose children's organization, the pioneer organization Ernst Thälmann , was modeled on the scouting movement.

In almost all German-speaking countries, the scout associations joined together to form umbrella organizations or general organizations in order to enable all scouts to become members of the world associations WAGGGS and WOSM. Yet Germany continued in the Federal Republic after the initial build-up phase again an increasing fragmentation of scouting one, first again in the conflict scoutistisch - bündisch moor, later reinforced in the conflict between traditional and progressive Scouts, as suggested by the social many organizations shift in values towards the end of 1960s also get involved politically.

In the last third of the 20th century, most boy and girl scout associations opened up for the opposite sex or merged with similarly oriented groups to form co-educational associations.

After the political change in the GDR, scout groups were also established there from 1990 onwards. To a large extent, they were inspired by the West German associations or were based on them. Most of the new groups soon joined these groups, but in some areas independent associations also emerged. Overall, the number and size of the boy scout groups in eastern Germany is still significantly smaller than in comparable western German areas.

At about the same time as the expansion into the east of Germany, various free-church scout associations emerged, some of which grew very quickly and strongly. With the Royal Rangers and the Christian Boy Scouts and Boy Scouts of the Advent Youth, they also include two international associations with groups in Austria and Switzerland.

Structures and organizations of the scout movement

Worldwide structures

Within the world scout movement there are two separate large world associations: the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM; about 31 million members in 161 countries), which originally only accepted male scouts, but since 1990 sees itself as a co-educational association, and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS; around 10 million members in 144 countries) for girl scouts , with boys and men also being admitted in individual cases. Both world associations only accept one national member; therefore, from countries with several scout associations, umbrella organizations are often members of WOSM and WAGGGS. Before 1990, coeducational associations mostly registered male members at WOSM and female members at WAGGGS; today this procedure is no longer accepted by WOSM, a membership registration split between both organizations is rejected when new member associations are accepted.

WOSM and WAGGGS cooperate in many fields of work, but set different priorities because of the differences among the member organizations, especially because of the different social interests of their members. While WOSM sees itself as a global education movement, WAGGGS attaches great importance to the legal and real equality of women and girls and sees itself above all as an emancipation movement . These different orientations also have an impact on the working methods of the world associations. For example, WAGGGS no longer conducts world camps; its international work focuses more on training courses and seminars in the four world centers and the Thinking Day .

The two major world associations are divided into regions that mostly correspond to the continents. They hold their own events. Within the WOSM and WAGGGS there are working groups of scout associations that do similar work or are confronted with similar problems. One focus of these collaborations is in the religious area.

In addition to the two large world associations WOSM and WAGGGS, there are several small independent associations that enable their member associations to participate in the international community of scouts. They include the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS; around 35,000 members in 40 countries), the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe (UIGSE; around 70,000 members in 20 countries), the Confédération Européenne de Scoutisme (CES; in six countries) and the Order of World Scouts (OWS; represented in 14 countries).

According to WOSM, there are no scout associations in only six states ( Cuba , Andorra , People's Republic of China - with the exception of Hong Kong and Macau -, North Korea , Laos , Myanmar ) .

National Scout Associations

There are two basic models for the national associations of scouts worldwide. The type of the large scout association, to which almost all scout groups in the country belong, is particularly widespread in English-speaking countries. In these, the individual local groups (usually referred to as tribe in Germany ) can then decide whether they want to focus on children and young people of one religion or whether they are open to everyone. In continental Europe and the francophone countries, on the other hand, scout associations often orient themselves towards the individual denominations and religions; As a rule, these denominational associations then join together, as in Germany and France, to form national umbrella associations, through which membership in WOSM and WAGGGS is organized.

Age levels and forms of work

In order to ensure age-appropriate work, almost all scout associations divide their members into different age groups, each with its own focus. The designations for the age groups vary from association to association, and often not all levels are offered. The transitions between the individual levels are often fluid, they also depend on the maturity of the person concerned. The most common names are:

Age general Austria Switzerland Liechtenstein Germany Luxembourg Netherlands
5-6 years beaver Beaver (only in individual groups) beaver Beaver (only in individual associations) Beaver or beaver Bevers
6-11 years Wolves Gnomes / wolves Wolves Bienle / Wölfle Wolves / elves Wëllefcher Puppies
11–13 years (Young) boy scouts Guides / scouts Scout scout (Young) boy scouts Scouting / guiding or aventures / explorer Scouts
14-16 years scout Caravelles / Explorer Pio scout scout Explorer or Caravellen / Pionéier Scouts (up to 15 years)
16-18 years Ranger / Rover Ranger / Rover Pio / Rover / Head Pioneers Ranger / Rover / Ladder Explorer or Caravellen / Pionéier Explorers
18–21 / 25 years Ranger / Rover Ranger / Rover / Ladder Rover / ladder Rover / ladder Ranger / Rover / Ladder Ranger / Rover / Cheffen Roverscout
from 21 years Head / adult Scout leader or leader Rover / ladder Rover / ladder Ranger / Rover / Ladder /
Ranger / Rover / Cheffen ladder

Details on the classification of the age groups within an association can usually be found in the respective article.

In some associations there is still the beaver stage, which comes before the wolves. However, while scouting is also being done with the wolves, it is a pure playgroup.

Independent leader and adult levels can only be found in a small part of the scout associations, very often adults leave the associations without a leadership role and join an old scout guild . A special form of adult work is the cross-scout work practiced in Germany in some evangelical associations .

In addition to the “classic” scout groups, there are special areas of work in many countries, such as sea scouts and air scouts. The way of working scouting in spite of everything (PTA) (in Austria since 1995: scouting like all (PWA)) is aimed at people with various forms of disability.

Scout associations in German-speaking countries

The scout associations listed below in German-speaking countries are divided below the national level, depending on the size of the association and country, into supra-regional and regional associations (for example: diocesan associations, national brands, districts, regions, cantonal associations ), which are made up of the individual tribes (local groups ; in Austria: groups, in Switzerland: departments). These in turn usually include all packs ( Wölfling groups ), clans (in Austria: patrols, in Switzerland: patrols) and rover rounds of a place or district.


The scout groups active in the German-speaking community of Belgium belong to the cooperating associations Les Scouts (non-denominational) and Guides Catholiques de Belgique (GCB) (Catholic). The regional associations of the High Lakes Region (Les Scouts) and Upper Weser District (GCB) encompass both German-speaking and French-speaking groups. Both associations belong to the Belgian umbrella organization Guidisme et Scoutisme en Belgique / Gidsen- en Scouts Moving in België , which is a member of WAGGGS and WOSM. A total of around 1,000 scouts are active in the German-speaking community of Belgium.


Special stamp from 1985 for the 30th World Scout Conference in Munich

In Germany, five associations have come together to form the Ring of German Scout Associations and the Ring of German Scout Associations. Both rings include a Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and interdenominational scout association. The "female" ring includes the St. Georg Scouts (PSG), the Association of Christian Scouts and Scouts (VCP), the Association of Muslim Scouts and Scouts of Germany (BMPPD) and the Association of Scouts and Scouts (BdP), the "male" Ring includes the German Scout Association Sankt Georg (DPSG), the VCP, the BMPPD and the BdP. The Ring of German Scout Associations has been a member of WOSM since 1950, the Ring of German Scout Associations was accepted by WAGGGS in the same year. Despite the traditional division into “female” and “male” associations, the associations mentioned are co-educational with the exception of the PSG .

In addition to the four so-called 'ring associations', there are more than 140 other boy scout associations in Germany. Among the largest among them are the German Scout Association (DPV; an umbrella organization of various interdenominational associations), the Christian Scouts of Germany (CPD), the Christian Scouts Royal Rangers (RR), the Christian Scouts of the Advent Youth (CPA), the Ring Evangelischer Community scouts (REGP) and the German Scout Association (DPB).

The number of members of the ten largest German scout associations are, according to their own information, at the values ​​shown in the following table. These numbers are considered controversial within the German scout movement, as different counting methods and membership criteria are used by the individual associations.

Members 95,000 47,000 30,000 29,000 21,229 10,000 6,300 4,500 4,200 2,500

In total there are more than 260,000 scouts in Germany, who are spread across the associations listed in the table and numerous smaller organizations. The sizes range from the DPSG, which has around 95,000 members, to the so-called VW bus groups that are supposed to fit into the aforementioned.

Almost all German scout groups are located in the old federal states , the share of East German scouts in the total is less than 5%.


The Girl Scouts and Girl Scouts of Liechtenstein (PPL) have around 850 members and are the national member association of WOSM and WAGGGS. The PPL are divided into ten departments (local groups). They were founded in 1931 by Alexander Frick .


The Luxembourg scout movement is represented by two associations in the world organizations. WAGGGS members are the Catholic Lëtzebuerger Guiden a Scouten (LGS). The Luxembourg Boy Scout Association represents the secular Fédération Nationale des Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses du Luxembourg (FNEL) and the Catholic LGS at WOSM. Together, the two associations have around 7500 members.

There are also several smaller associations in Luxembourg, including the “Royal Rangers”.


The association recognized by WAGGGS and WOSM in Austria is called Austrian Scouts and Scouts (PPÖ). It has around 85,000 members in 300 groups (as of 2008). The PPÖ are divided into nine regional associations, which in turn are divided into districts or regions (in Vienna: columns) to which the individual groups belong.

In addition to the PPÖ, there is the Austrian Scout Association (ÖPB), a second nationwide scout association with around 3000 members. In 1995 the ÖPB and the PPÖ agreed a cooperation agreement. There is also the scout guild , to which the old scouts of both the PPÖ and the ÖPB belong.

There are also smaller scout associations, including the “ Catholic Scouts of Europe - Austria”, the “Royal Rangers”, the Adventwacht (ADWA) , the “ AP Scouts ”, the “Europe Scouts” and the “Muslim Scouts of Austria” (MPÖ) "and the" Scouts in Lower Austria "belong.


The association of scouts in Switzerland is called the Swiss Scouts Movement (PBS). She is a member of WOSM and WAGGGS. The PBS is divided into 22 cantonal associations. These are again divided into districts, corps or regions, which in turn unite the more than 550 departments. The PBS currently has around 47,000 members (as of 2018) and is the largest children and youth organization in Switzerland.

In addition to the PBS, there are also some smaller groups that are not members of the two world associations WAGGGS and WOSM. They include the “Swiss Scouting Society in Europe / Scoutisme Européen Suisse”, the “Fire Circle Niklaus von Flüe” and the “Royal Rangers”.

South Tyrol (Italy)

In South Tyrol there is the South Tyrol Scouting Association, a German-speaking scout association with around 600 members, whose work is based on the DPSG . Through the Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (AGESCI), he is a member of the Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo (FIS) and thus of WOSM and WAGGGS. In addition, AGESCI and the second member association of the FIS, the Corpo Nazionale Giovani Esploratori ed Esploratrici Italiani (CNGEI), maintain their own Italian-speaking groups in South Tyrol.


The symbol of the male scouts is the lily , but graphically a fleur-de-lis is used, that of the female a shamrock . The lily is also used as a cross-gender symbol for all scouts.

Special influences in Germany

Between 1918 and 1933, the boy scouts in Germany were strongly influenced by the youth movement and thus by the ideas of the Wandervogel movement and the Bündische Jugend . These influences continue to work in the German scout movement today. This is the main difference between today's German scouts and scout associations in other countries. However, there are differences within the German scout movement as to how strongly and in what way the individual groups are influenced by the youth movement.

Traditions and forms that stem from the international scouting movement include:

  • the motto always ready and the scout greeting good path ,
  • the Boy Scout Law and the Boy Scout Promise ,
  • the boy scout salute with the left hand,
  • the boy scout costume (or boy scout costume),
  • the squad principle, in which only groups of the same age group are united in a squad,
  • the leadership of the groups mainly by adults , in which young people can only lead small groups partially autonomously, but the responsibility for the groups always rests with adult leaders.

For example, from the German youth movement or the Bündische Jugend come:

All in all, the German scout movement has maintained a stronger reference to work in nature and adventure than in other countries.


  • Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Baden-Powell of Gilwell: Boy Scouts . Georgs-Verlag, Neuss 1996, ISBN 3-927349-41-0 (Original title: Scouting for Boys . Translated by Christa Brüchle).
  • Hans E. Gerr: Pathfinding . Educational goals, pedagogical principles and needs-oriented work in the age groups. Unabridged edition, 1st edition. Deutscher Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 1998, ISBN 3-88778-222-4 .
  • Hans E. Gerr: Boy Scout Education . Baden-Powell's design e. Education through scouting; Influences u. Development tendencies. With 43 caricatures by Baden-Powell. Unabridged edition, 1st edition. Edition Hinkel, Deutscher Spurbuchverl., Baunach 1996, ISBN 3-88778-150-3 .
  • Hans E. Gerr: The scout method . On the topicality of scouting educational principles; Practical examples and forms of action. Unabridged edition, 1st edition. Deutscher Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 2000, ISBN 3-88778-246-1 .
  • Alexander Lion (ed.): The scout book . According to General Baden-Powell's “Scouting for Boys” / with the participation of officers and schoolmen. Reprint of the edition Verlag der Ärztliche Rundschau Gmelin, Munich 1909 edition. Edition Hinkel, Deutscher Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 1987, ISBN 3-88778-164-3 .
  • László Nagy: 250 million scouts - around the world . Panorama, Altstätten SG 1984, ISBN 3-907506-42-1 (original title: Deux cent cinquante millions de scouts . Translated by Wiltrud Weber).
  • Hubert Röser, Thomas Römer (Ed.): Pathfinder Lexicon . Georgs-Verlag, Neuss 1999, ISBN 3-927349-52-6 .
  • The basics of the scout movement / World Organization of the Scout Movement . Georgs-Verlag, Remscheid 1997, ISBN 3-927349-44-5 .
  • Eckart Conze , Matthias Witte (Ed.): Pathfinding. A global education and training idea from an interdisciplinary perspective . VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2012, ISBN 978-3-531-18138-7 .

Web links

Commons : Boy Scout  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pathfinder  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

World scout movement

History of the World Scout Movement

Scout portals and large associations in German-speaking countries

Individual evidence

  1. a b National Scouting Organizations - Potential Member Countries. Subsection “Countries with no Scouting”. Retrieved October 17, 2016 .
  2. ^ Report on the Discussion on the Fundamental Principles of WAGGGS and WOSM (pdf, 308 kB), accessed on May 2, 2011
  3. a b c d WOSM-Constitution ( Memento of August 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (pdf, 47 kB) translated to The Basics of the Scout Movement ( Memento of February 1, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), both accessed on May 2, 2011
  4. ^ Scouting Milestons: Brownsea Island and its significance. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on June 14, 2011 ; accessed on January 14, 2007 .
  5. a b Brownsea Camp , accessed January 14, 2007
  6. BSA Description and History , accessed January 14, 2007
  7. Lutz Roth: The Invention of the Adolescent. Weinheim 1983, ISBN 3-7799-0566-3 .
  8. a b World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts: Trefoil Round the World , p. 5ff. London 1997, ISBN 0-900827-75-0 .
  9. ^ World Scout Bureau: Scouting 'round the World , p. 157. Geneva 1979, ISBN 2-88052-001-0 .
  10. ^ BP's last message ( memento of January 21, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) translated from BP's last letter , both accessed on May 2, 2011
  11. a b Milestones of World Scouting ( Memento of May 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 14, 2007
  12. Heiko Müller: “Children must become class warriors!” The communist children's association in the Weimar Republic (1920–1933). Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-8288-3103-2 , p. 73. [on the role model function of the scout movement for the Communist Children's Association and the Lenin pioneers , both role models for the pioneer organization Ernst Thälmann]
  13. Alexander Bolz, Jörgpeter Lund, Wilfried Possner: The pioneer organization “Ernst Thälmann” in the GDR. Historical and theoretical reminiscences (= books on GDR history, No. 116). Helle Panke, Berlin 2009, p. 18.
  14. The scout meeting point offers brief descriptions of around 160 German unions (as of 3/2010) .
  15. Who we are. German Scouting Association Sankt Georg , accessed on November 23, 2015 .
  16. The Association. Association of Christian Boy Scouts , accessed October 19, 2012 .
  17. ^ Association of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Stadtjugendring Augsburg, accessed on March 31, 2010 .
  18. Presentation of the DPV. (No longer available online.) German Scout Association , archived from the original on March 17, 2013 ; accessed on March 31, 2010 .
  19. ^ Information on public relations work by the Royal Rangers Federal Office, Winterbach, dated January 24, 2018 (as of December 31, 2017); See structure & administration on
  20. 100 years of scouting (press release). (No longer available online.) St. Georg Scouts , Diocesan Association of Mainz, archived from the original on January 31, 2008 ; accessed on March 31, 2010 .
  21. Homepage. (No longer available online.) Ring of Evangelical Congregation Scout, archived from the original on November 11, 2013 ; accessed on February 22, 2014 .
  22. We are the CPA Mittelrhein. (No longer available online.) Christian scouts of the Advent Youth Middle Rhine, archived from the original on August 22, 2010 ; accessed on March 31, 2010 .
  23. Christian Scouting in Germany. (No longer available online.) Christian Scouting in Germany , archived from the original on September 7, 2014 ; accessed on March 31, 2010 .
  24. The German Scout Association. (No longer available online.) German Scout Association , archived from the original on April 3, 2008 ; accessed on March 31, 2010 .
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 24, 2005 .