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Boy Scouts Essay In English


Scouting :

The Boy Scout movement was established in 1908 in the British Isles by Sir Baden Powell. Today the movement extends to every civilized country including India. From a trial experimental camp in 1907, the movement has spread with remarkable speed to almost every part of the world. In 1908, the handbook SCOUTING FOR BOYS was published. Over 1, 00,000 scouts served in His Majesty’s force during the First World War. 1,000 of them gave their lives. These scouts who were under age for active service performed public duties at home, one notable service being coast watchers. When the war broke out again in 1939 thousands of scouts once more joined the armed forces. During this war too, those scouts who were under age for active service carried out work of national importance for the government departments and civil authorities admitted that scouts had rendered particularly good service. Many of them were recommended for gallantry.

The aim of the movement is the development of good citizenship among the rising generation. Active self-expression is encouraged among the scouts and emphasis is laid upon their natural desire to learn rather than their passive reception of instructions. There are absolutely no distinctions of class, creed or color among scouts. The movement is non-military, non-class, no-sectarians, non-political and non-denominational. Honor is the ideal. The scout law, which forms the basis of ten events and which every scout has to obey. It was taken from THE CODE OF THE KNIGHTS and as such has its roots in the code of honor and gentlemanliness.

The movement is sub-divided into three groups, via, reserve, i.e. scouts of 17 years and above, boy scouts from 11 to 17 years and WOLF CUBS juniors form 8 to 11. The training is carried out generally four main features….namely character and intelligence, skill and handicraft, physical health and self- care and the practice of service to others and to the state. In other words scouts are trained with a view to developing their individuality and making them loyal members of the state. The training precedes mainly through open air activities ad scouts are encouraged to follow the examples of frontier men, tribesmen and explores in daring and initiative. There is an elaborate system of badges for proficiency which serves to stimulate the boys to develop their natural gifts and become all round handy man.

It is obvious form the above that the aims, objects and programs of scouting deserve the highest praise. The movement is praiseworthy on account of its wide scope and humanitarian motives. Scouting develops both the physical and moral attributes of boys through practical training. As such it should be regarded as a necessary part of educations in schools and colleges. Education had never been confined solely to the teaching of books. It should aim at developing the whole personality of the student. The place of scouting in educational institution is therefore very high. It is for this reason that almost every good school now-a-days has its scout master and its group of scouts. But it is necessary to widen and accelerate this movement especially in India where its progress has not been satisfactory.

In our schools only a superficial attention is paid to scouting. Scout-masters concentrate more upon the bright uniform, the parade, the salute, in short the outward show than upon the essential and basic principles upon which scooting was founded. In other words Indian schools possess only the form but not the spirit of scouting. And yet, in India more than anywhere else we need that sense of universal brotherhood which scout fosters and develop. The communal and sectarian institutions existing in our country are opposed to the very sprit of scouting and therefore, scouting show and parades are little more than a farce here.

The fundamental principles and the scout promise and law are in every country identical with those of the parent movement and the details of training differing slightly here and there to suit climatic and temperamental differences. In many countries coming into civilizations such for instances as Ghana and Nigeria, scouting is being utilized with satisfactory results by educational authorities and in Asian countries scouting has made equal strides with marked good effect on the youth.

It is for the educationalists in Indian to recognize the supreme importance and value of scouting. Just as public schools in England have taken up scouting as a means of developing, among th boys, the spirit of service to the community so we in India could give similar moral instruction to our boys by taking up scouting seriously. Already Indian boy’s scouts perform very useful social services such as controlling crowds at fairs, arranging drinking water during summer months, arranging lost children to parents and so on. But most important is the inculcation among them of a non- communal and nationalistic outlook. Scouting has, in fact a unique power of bringing together in a common citizenhood, the different elements that go to make our Indian nation. Scouring can contribute towards national integrations.

Let us hope that scouting will help greatly in bringing about the spirit essential for the maintenance of peace, the spirit without which suggestion for disarmament and arbitrations can only be futile. The movement has spread even to school girls. Girl guides are now as common in English schools as boy scouts. This is a welcome extension of the movement although in India the Girl Guide movement has as yet made very little progress. Every effort should be made to promote this movement among girls as well as boys.


Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship is a book on Boy Scout training, published in various editions since 1908. Early editions were written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell with later editions being extensively rewritten by others. The book was originally a manual for self-instruction in observation, tracking and woodcraft skills as well as self-discipline and self-improvement, about the Empire and duty as citizens with an eclectic mix of anecdotes and unabashed personal observations and recollections. It is pervaded by a degree of moral proselytizing and references to the author's own exploits. It is based on his boyhood experiences, his experience with the Mafeking Cadet Corps during the Second Boer War at the Siege of Mafeking, and on his experimental camp on Brownsea Island, England.


Scouting for Boys (1908) was Baden-Powell's rewrite of his earlier book Aids to Scouting (1899)[2] with many youth training ideas openly taken from The Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians (1906)[3] written by Ernest Thompson Seton, who later became the Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of America.[4][5]Aids to Scouting was mostly a written explanation of the military scouting and self-reliance skills lessons Baden-Powell had learned from Frederick Russell Burnham, the British Army Chief of Scouts, but following the siege of Mafeking this military handbook unexpectedly became popular with many youth groups and educators, like Charlotte Mason, in Britain.[4][6][7] At Mafeking, Baden-Powell's adjutant had recruited and trained boys aged 12–15 as cadets and during the siege they acted as postmen, messengers, and later to carry the wounded, to free men for fighting. Upon his return to England, following the Second Boer War, Baden-Powell learned some British schools had been using Aids to Scouting to teach observation and deduction. In 1906, Seton discussed youth training ideas with Baden-Powell and shared with him a copy of The Birch Bark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians.[5] Soon after, Baden-Powell decided to revise Aids to Scouting into a book for boys.[4] Several friends supported Baden-Powell, including Sir William Alexander Smith, founder of the Boys' Brigade, and Cyril Arthur Pearson, who owned newspapers and printing presses.[8] Baden-Powell wrote a draft, then called Boy Patrols, which he used and tested with 22 boys for one week at camp on Brownsea Island in the summer of 1907, where Pearson's literary editor Percy Everett assisted.[4]

Scouting for Boys was published in six fortnightly instalments of approximately 70 pages each, from January to March 1908. They were produced by Pearson's printer, Horace Cox. These six publications were a success and, as planned, were issued in book form on 1 May 1908. Although Aids to Scouting strongly influenced the book, Scouting for Boys presents Scouting from the perspective of outdoorsmen and explorers rather than military men, and it adds the Scout Oath, Scout Law, honours and games for youth.[4][5] The book was revised and an enormous variety of editions were published. Many of these editions were edited by others and, far beyond mere editing, whole sections were written by authors other than Baden-Powell. The book was a best seller upon release, and, in its various editions, is claimed to have become one of the best-selling books in history. Scouting for Boys has been translated into many languages. In 1948, editions of the book were still selling 50,000 copies annually. Only in 1967 was a decline noted by the publisher and in the last decades of the 20th century the book came to be seen as a period curiosity even by the Scout Movement.[8] It is claimed to be the fourth bestselling book of the 20th century.[9][10] A realistic estimate is that approximately 4 million copies of the UK edition have been sold. Extrapolating this to 87 different language editions worldwide, historic world sales of Scouting for Boys can be estimated at 100 to 150 million copies since 1908.[11][12]

In her introduction to the 2005 edition, Elleke Boehmer criticises the book saying "the text was deeply scored through with a contemporary class prejudice which would have been off-putting to non-middle-class readers, as captured in the sharp aphorism that bees form a 'model community, for they respect their Queen and kill their unemployed' (p.117) Character observation in many ways meant reading for the signs of working-class poverty."[13]


Scouting for Boys has been published in over thirty consecutive editions by London based C. Arthur Pearson Ltd., and it is translated to all the major languages of the world. Estimatedly, over 100 million books have been printed, making it rank high in the list of best-selling books.[4][14]

British editions[edit]

  • Scouting for Boys (First published ed.). London, Windsor House, Bream's Buildings, E.C.: Horace Cox (printer for C.A. Pearson). January–March 1908. pp. six instalments of approx 70 pages each. 
  • Scouting for Boys (1st bookform, cloth-bound ed.). London, Henrietta Street: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1 May 1908. pp. 288 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (2nd revised ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. June 1909. pp. 310 pages.  plus advertisements
  • Scouting for Boys (3rd enlarged ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. July 1910. 
  • Scouting for Boys (4th enlarged and revised ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. October 1911. 
  • Scouting for Boys (5th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. November 1912. 
  • Scouting for Boys (6th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. April 1913. 
  • Scouting for Boys (7th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. December 1913. 
  • Scouting for Boys (8th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. January 1916. pp. 352 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (9th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. May 1918. pp. 334 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (11th ed.). London, Tower House: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1924. pp. 338 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (12th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1926. pp. 338 pages. 
  • Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys (Boy's ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1932. pp. 226 pages. 
  • Sgowtio i Fechgyn gan Arglwydd Baden-Powell o Gilwel (Argraffiad y Bechgyn ed.). Caerfyrddin: W. Spurrell a'i Fab. 1932. pp. 232 pages. 
  • Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys (Memorial 22nd ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1944. pp. 328 pages. 
  • Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys (30th ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1957. pp. 328 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (33rd ed.). London: C. Arthur Pearson Ltd. 1961. pp. 330 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (abridged ed.). London: The Boy Scouts Association. 1963. pp. 182 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (paperback ed.). The Scout Association. 1998. ISBN 0-85165-247-6. 
  • Elleke Boehmer, ed. (2004). Scouting for Boys (hard cover ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280547-9. 
  • Elleke Boehmer, ed. (June 2005). Scouting for Boys (paperback ed.). Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 448 pages. ISBN 0-19-280246-1. 

Other editions[edit]

  • Scouting for Boys (Special Canadian ed.). Ottawa: The Boy Scouts Association. 1939. pp. 334 pages. 
  • Jan Schaap, ed. (1944). Het verkennen voor jongens (in Dutch) (5th, cloth bound ed.). 's-Gravenhage: De Nederlandsche Padvinders. pp. 269 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys in India (1st Indian ed.). General Headquarters of the Boy Scout Association in India. 1946. pp. 316 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys (World Brotherhood ed.). Boy Scouts of America for and on behalf of the Boy Scouts International Bureau. 1946. pp. 328 pages. 
  • Het verkennen voor jongens (in Dutch) (6th, hard cover ed.). 's-Gravenhage: Nationale Padvindersraad. c. 1950. pp. 395 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys. Boy Scouts of Canada. 1973. pp. 331 pages. 
  • Mir Mohammad Mohsin, ed. (1973). Scouting brā'ē tiflān (in Urdu). Islamabad: National Book Foundation. 
  • Theo P.M. Palstra, ed. (1977). Verkennen voor jeugd (in Dutch) (10th, paperback ed.). Amersfoort: Scouting Nederland. pp. 301 pages. 
  • Fausto Catani, ed. (1978). Scautismo per ragazzi (in Italian). Milan: Ancora. pp. 438 pages. 
  • Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys (Brownsea jubilee ed.). Boy Scouts of America. 1982. ISBN 0-8395-3591-0. 
  • P.V. Paulose, ed. (1982). Skauttingu-kuttikalkku (in Malayalam). Trivandrum: Bharat Scouts and Guides. pp. 456 pages. 
  • Pfadfinder: ein Handbuch der Erziehung (in German) (13th ed.). Bern: Pfadfinder-Materialbüro. 1983. pp. 315 pages. 
  • Frithiof Dahlby, ed. (1983). Scouting for boys (in Swedish). Stockholm: Scoutförl. pp. 192 pages. 
  • Paula Koho, ed. (1986). Partiopojan kirja (in Finnish) (3rd ed.). Helsinki: Partiokirja. pp. 350 pages. 
  • Stanisław Kapiszewski, ed. (1990). Skauting dla chłopców : wychowanie dobrego obywatela metodą puszczańską (in Polish). Warsaw: Oficyna Przeglądu Powszechnego. pp. 375 pages. 
  • József Illy, ed. (1994). Cserkészet fiúknak: kézikönyv a jó állampolgár neveléséhez az erdőjárás révén (in Hungarian). Budapest: M. Cserkészcsapatok Szövets. pp. 277 pages. 
  • José Francisco dos Santos, ed. (May 1993). Escutismo para rapazes (in Portuguese). Lisbon: Corpo Nacional de Escutas. pp. 310 pages. 
  • Peter Bleeser, ed. (1996). Pfadfinder (in German) (3rd ed.). Neuss: Georgs-Verlag. pp. 309 pages. 
  • R. Chandrasekharan, ed. (2000). Bālakarigāgi skauting (in Kannada). Bangalore: Navakarnataka. pp. 321 pages. 
  • Kevin Y.L. Tan, ed. (2004). Scouting for Boys (in Malaysian) (hard cover ed.). Singapore: Brownsea Singapore. ISBN 981-05-1830-7. 
  • B. Ramachandran, LT(S), ed. (Dec 2008). Siruvar Saaraniyam (Tamil) (in Tamil). Chennai: BRJB Publishers. pp. 335 pages. 
  • Scouting for Boys - cercetășia pe înțelesul tuturor (in Romanian). Scout Shop. 2017. pp. 280 pages. ISBN 978-973-0-25814-1. 


All parts of the six installments in 1908 have the title Scouting for Boys in big capitals. With a listed price of '4d. net', it was affordable to many boys, many of whom would have been at work, as the school-leaving age was 14. Authorship is attributed thus: 'by B-P (Lieut. Gen. Baden Powell C.B.)' (sic).

Most chapters start with hints to instructors. All chapters have campfire yarns, appealing to boys, most contain sections with games and activities, and they close with recommendations for books to read.[15]

Part I. Scoutcraft[edit]

The first installment contains pages 3 to 70. It provides the basic details of Scouting.

1Mafeking boy scouts, Scouts' work, "Kim", Books
2Summary of Scout's course of instruction, the Elsdon murder
3Boy Scouts' organisation, the scout's oath, Scout's salute and secret sign, Scout's uniform, Scout's war songs, patrol signs
4Scout law, Scouting games, Scout's play

Part II. Tracking, Woodcraft[edit]

The second part covers pages 71 to 142. It contains chapter II on tracking and chapter III on woodcraft, each with three camp fire yarns.

5Observation of "sign", Noticing sign, Details of people, Signs round a dead body, Details in the country, Using your eyes, Books to read on observation, hints to instructors, Games in observation
6Spooring, Men's tracks, hints to spooring, hints to instructors, Tracking games, Books to read on spooring
7Reading "sign" or deduction, Instances of deduction, Hints to instructors, Example of practice in deduction, Books to read
8Stalking, How to hide yourself, How to teach stalking, Games in stalking, Books on stalking
9Animals, Birds, Reptiles and fishes, Insects, Hints to instructors, Honours, Lion hunting, Books to read, Play
10Plants, Trees, Hints for instructor, Games, Books to read, Play

Part III. Camp life, Campaigning[edit]

The third part covers pages 143 to 206. It contains chapter IV on camp life, and chapter V on campaigning.

11Pioneering, Hut building, Felling trees, How to make bridges, Self measures, the Scout is always a handy-man, Hints to instructors, Books to read
12Camping, Comfort in camp, Camp fires-the right way of making them, Tidiness, Hints to instructors
13Camp life, Cooking, Bread making, Cattle-driving and slaughtering, Cleanliness, Water, Hints to instructors, Camp games, Book to read
14Life in the open, Exploration, Boat cruising, Watermanship, Mountaineering, Patrolling, Night work, Weather wisdom, Hints to instructors, Games, Books on life in the open
15Pathfinding, Judging heights and distances, Finding the North, Hints to instructors, Games in pathfinding, Books to read
16Information by signal, Signalling, Whistle and flag signals, Practices in signalling, Hints to instructors, Marks towards badges of honour in campaigning, Dispatch running, Display

Part IV. Endurance and chivalry[edit]

The fourth part covers pages 207 to 270. It contains chapter VI Endurance for Scouts, or How to be strong, and chapter VII Chivalry of the knights.

17How to grow strong: A Scout's endurance, Exercises and their object, The nose, Ears, Eyes, Teeth, Hints to instructors, Games to develop strength, Books to read
18Health-giving habits: How to keep healthy, Keep yourself clean, Smoking, Drinking, Early rising, Smile, Practices, Books to read
19Prevention of disease: Camp doctoring, Microbes and how to fight them, Food, Clothing, Practices, Games, Books to read
20Chivalry of the knights: Chivalry to others, St. George, The knights' code, Unselfishness, Self-sacrifice, Kindness, Tips, Friendliness, Politeness, Courtesy to women, Practices, Hints to instructors, Games, Play, Books to read
21Self-discipline: To instructors, Honour, Obedience and discipline, Courage, Good temper and cheeriness, Books to read, Practice in self-discipline, Games
22Self-improvement:To instructors, Duty to God, Thrift, How to make money, How to get on, Practices in self-improvement, Information on professions, etc, Books to read, (in part V:) Sobriety, Practise observation, Fortitude, Notes to instructors,

Part V. Saving life and patriotism[edit]

The fifth part covers pages 271 to 334. It contains chapter VIII Saving life, or how to deal with accidents, and chapter IX Patriotism, or our duties as citizens.

23Be prepared for accidents: Hints to instructors, The knights of St. John, Life-saving medals, Practice for life saving
24Accidents and how to deal with them: Panics, Rescue from fire, Directions, Rescue from drowning, Rescue from runaway horses, Miscellaneous accidents, Mad dog, Practices in life-saving, Books to read
25Helping others: Rendering first aid, Snake bite, Grit in the eye, Suicides, How to carry a patient, How to practice, Games, Books to read
26Our empire: Hints to instructors, Our empire, How our empire grew, how the empire must be held, Hints to instructors, Books to read, Display
27Citizenship: Scout's duty as a citizen, Duties as citizen-soldier, Marksmanship, Helping police, Hints to instructors, Games, Books to read
28United we stand, divided we fall: Hints to instructors, Our Navy and Army, Our flag, Our government, Our King, Books to read

Part VI. Notes for instructors, Scouting games, practices, and displays[edit]

The sixth part covers pages 335 to 398. It contains Notes to instructors and Scouting games, practices, and displays.

 Play the game: don't look on, The British Empire wants your help, Fall of the Roman Empire was due to bad citizenship, Bad citizenship is becoming apparent in this country to-day, Football, Our future citizens, Peace-Scouting, Militarism, How to teach Scouting, Authorities who might find the scheme useful, Hints to instructors, Be Prepared, Clubroom, The handbook, Course of instruction, Method of instruction, Imagination, Responsibility to juniors, Discipline, Religion, Continence, Hints to instructors, Forming character, Conclusion, Books on the subject
 Notes to instructors, Scoutcraft, Tracking, Woodcraft, Camp life, Books to read, Campaigning and pathfinding, Endurance and health, Chivalry, Saving life and first aid, Patriotism, Play the game!, The storming of Delhi, The Maple Leaf Forever, The song of Australia, God bless the Prince of Wales, God save the King, Sample programme of athletics sports, Non-Scouting games, Basket ball, Books to read
 Suggestions for a display
 True scouting stories

Copyright status[edit]

The Scout Association owned the legal copyright to Scouting for Boys in the UK, until 31 December 2011, when the copyright expired at the end of the 70th year after the death of its author on 8 January 1941. The book is now in the public domain.[16] Until then it could only be reproduced after permission was granted from the Scout Association headquarters, other than for copyright exceptions in specific countries, such as fair use. The Boy Scouts of America were granted a special copyright license by Baden-Powell himself for their Boy Scout Handbook, written during the BSA's formal founding in 1910.[11]

See also[edit]

Notable books related to Scouting by Baden-Powell include:

Notable books related to Scouting by other authors include:


  1. ^"Boy Scouts movement begins". history.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  2. ^Baden-Powell, Robert (1899). Aids to scouting for N.-C.Os. & men. London: Gale & Polden. OCLC 316520848. 
  3. ^Seton, Ernest Thompson (1906). The birch-bark roll of the woodcraft Indians: containing their constitution, laws, games and deeds. New York: Doubleday. OCLC 150622085. 
  4. ^ abcdef"First Scouting Handbook". Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  5. ^ abc"Woodcraft Indians". Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  6. ^"Aids to Scouting". Johnny Walker's Scouting Milestones. 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  7. ^"Be Prepared". DGS: Scouting, Interview from Listener magazine. 1937. Archived from the original on 20 January 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2007. 
  8. ^ abBoehmer, Elleke (2004). Notes to 2004 edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  9. ^Smith, David (22 April 2007). "Scouts uncool? Not in my book". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  10. ^Hislop, Ian (10 June 2007). "The Edwardians". BBC Four. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  11. ^ abJeal, Tim (1989). Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-170670-X. 
  12. ^"UK and World Census figures". The Scout Association. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  13. ^Elleke Boehmer (ed), 2005, p.xxii
  14. ^Extrapolation for global range of other language publications, and related to the number of Scouts, make a realistic estimate of 100 to 150 million books. Details from Jeal, Tim. Baden-Powell. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-170670-X.
  15. ^Rohrer, Finlo (27 July 2007). "What would Baden-Powell do?". BBC News Magazine. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  16. ^"Copyright. A guide to reproducing material owned by The Scout Association"(PDF). The Scout Association. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  17. ^[1]

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