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Branching out

Lord Baden-Powell died in 1941 but his legacy continued. Scouting became a byword for adventure, usefulness and global friendship.  

As the Movement spread across the world, Scouting continued to evolve in the United Kingdom. Following heroic work during the Second World War when Scouts acted as coast guards, couriers and stretcher bearers, members showed again and again they were truly able to live their motto ‘Be prepared.’  

Scouts’ reputation as active citizens continued. The first Bob-a-Job week was held in the United Kingdom in 1949 and was a huge success, going on to be a tradition that would last in various guises until the 1990s.

Scouting has never stood still. New branches such as Air and Sea Scouts became increasingly popular, gaining recognition from the RAF and the Royal Navy. Scouts were on hand to help out at major events such as the Queen’s coronation, helping the crowds who camped out overnight to get a glimpse of the spectacle.

From rebranding to The Scout Association in 1967 to renaming sections and updating uniforms, the quest to be a truly modern movement is ongoing. Rover Scouts and Senior Scouts became Venture Scouts and the badge system was updated to reflect the wider range of activities a Scout would do. Perhaps the biggest step toward modernisation was the decision to allow girls to join the Venture Scout section; this was introduced to other sections in the early 1990s.

In the true spirit of an inclusive organisation, younger children got to experience Scouting for the first time with the official incorporation of the Beaver Scouts in 1986. Three years later, official headgear was abolished for all sections.

At the dawn of the 21st Century, the Association again underwent reform with the launch of a new logo, uniform and training programme and the introduction of Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network by 2002.

In 2007, the Movement celebrated its centenary and the 21st World Scout Jamboree was held in the UK. Scouting hit the headlines in 2009 when TV adventurer Bear Grylls was announced as the new Chief Scout.

Further reading

Baden-Powell (FS295301) (PDF)

B-P's first experimental camp at Brownsea Island (FS295302) (PDF)

The First Troops (FS295303) (PDF)

How Scouting Grew (FS295304) (PDF)

Milestones of Scouting (FS295306) (PDF)

Gang Shows (FS295312) (PDF)


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW