SCOUTS - Be Prepared

Expanding Horizons

As early as 1908 Scouting was starting in many of the British outposts of the Empire. After a trip to South America, Scouting started in Chile, and it was already crossing the channel into Europe. The big step across the Atlantic, and into the United States came more by chance. In 1909, an American business man, William Boyce, was lost in the fog of London, when a small boy approached him, and offered to take him to his hotel. Once there, the boy refused any offer of money for the service, saying that it was his good turn as a Boy Scout. Joyce was intrigued by this and tracked down B-P. before he left London to discover more of this. When he got back to the U.S.A. he went about setting up the Boy Scouts of America. By 1918, its numbers had risen to 300,000, and had reached the million mark before the end of the twenties.

B-P. spent much of the rest of his life on World-tours, initially organising Scouting throughout the world, and later attending the World Jamborees, which have become an integral part of international Scouting. The first of these was in 1920 in London, at Olympia, it was more an exhibition of Scouting, held inside. The second Jamboree, four years later, in Copenhagen, set the model for the modern Jamboree, a major international camp for Scouts from all over the World.

Scouting now has twenty-five million members world-wide (not counting Guides and Girl Scouts) and is still growing. Approximately four million of those are from the United States, the largest single Scout Association.

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) has another nine-million members, making it the world's second largest youth organisation, behind Scouts.