History of Scouting

When you join Scouts you’ll work towards your Membership Award. For this you need to know a bit about the history of Scouting.


Many years ago, there was a young boy who had four brothers. He loved the outdoor life and would often go walking, camping, fishing, tracking and climbing trees.

This boy was called Robert Baden-Powell and when he left school, he decided to join the army. He became an Officer in the army and liked to train his men with competitions and games. He even used one of his tricks to save a town called Mafeking, in South Africa. What he did was build models of soldiers and stand them up on top of the walls of the town. The people who were attacking the town were scared away because they thought the model soldiers were real.

Since Baden-Powell had only a few soldiers in Mafeking, he often used local boys to help with first aid, carrying messages and running errands.

When he came back to England, he found out that he was being called a hero because of his bravery in South Africa. Soon after he returned home, Baden-Powell wrote a book about training in the army called Aids to Scouting. He found out that boys liked to read these stories and try out the skills for themselves. As an experimental camp in 1907 Baden-Powell ran a camp for 20 boys from different backgrounds, including some bioys from his friend’s BB Company, at a place called Brownsea Island, in Dorset.

The boys enjoyed the games, sports and other activities at the camp so much that Baden-Powell decided to write down all his ideas in another book, called Scouting for Boys.

This book was written in six parts like a magazine and very soon, boys all over the United Kingdom had formed themselves into groups of `Boy Scouts’ and had asked adults to run Scouting activities for them. It was not long before the younger brothers of these early Scouts began to ask to join in the fun of Scouting. In 1916, Baden-Powell started a special Section called the Wolf Cubs for boy’s aged between eight and eleven. They learned all sorts of exciting and useful things like first aid, tracking, how to keep themselves fit and healthy and how to light fires and cook meals Scouting grew and grew and in 1920 Baden-Powell became World Chief Scout.

Nine years later, he became Lord Baden- Powell of Gilwell. After his death in 1941, Scouting continued to change with the times. In 1967 Wolf Cubs became `Cub Scouts’ and a Venture Scout Section was introduced to replace Rover Scouts and Senior Scouts. In 1986, Beaver Scouts were welcomed as full Members of The Scout Association and in 1991 girls were allowed to become Cub Scouts.

The Scouting Association is now the world’s largest voluntary organisation for young people with 30 million members world wide. Today, there are Scouts in nearly every country of the world; only Andorra, China, Cuba, Laos, Myanmar and North Korea have none. At the last census, there were more than 30 million members of the Scout Movement worldwide.

In the United Kingdom, the Scout Association has members from all walks of life. many have grown up here, and many have come to Edinburgh from other places – in the UK there are with nearly 400,000 Scouts, Beavers and Cubs. There are 6,735 Scout Troops like ours. The association is divided up into 10,168 Scout Groups, each of which has one or more Beaver Colonies, Scout Troops, Cub Scout Packs, and possibly an Explorer Unit.

There are groups of Groups called Districts – we and another 15 Groups are in Craigalmond District. There are 7 Districts in our Region – called South East Scotland.

The 87th Group was first started 60 years ago in 1954.