SCOUTS - Be Prepared

Me Too!

Originally B-P. had envisaged Scouting as a movement for boys between the ages of 11 and 18. As early as 1909 Scoutmasters were facing the problem of younger brothers wanting to join in the fun. Some just turned a blind eye to the age of some of the boys, others formed Patrols and Troops of Junior or Cadet Scouts. The problem wasn't just confined to younger brothers, but also to sisters as well. In 1909 at the Crystal Palace Rally, B-P. came across a Patrol, who claimed to be Girl Scouts.

Initially B-P. was all in favour of allowing girls to become Scouts (in separate troops), but had to change his mind due to the pressures of Edwardian society. It was not considered right that young ladies should be out-and-about, camping, hiking, etc., (remember this was about the same time as the Suffragette movement). He addressed this problem by setting up the sister movement the Girl Guides in 1910, with (initially) the help of his sister, Agnes, and then with the help of his wife, Olave.

To address the problem of what to do with the younger brothers, Scouting first turned a blind eye to the unofficial Troops that were forming. In 1914, though, B-P. outlined a scheme in The Headquarters Gazette for the training of these Junior Scouts, but it was not what he really had in mind. He replaced this two years later with a new Scheme, under the title Wolf Cubs based around the Jungle Books of his close friend Rudyard Kipling, with the Cubs having their own distinct uniform, badges, motto, sign, salute, etc.

Wolf Cubs dealt with those too young to be Scouts, what was to be done with those too old to be Scouts, in 1917, just before the end of The Great War, B-P. set up a scheme for Senior Scouts, which changed its name to Rover Scouts the next year, for anyone over the age of 18, with Outdoor Adventure and Service as the mainstays of its programme.