Order of World Scouts

Order of World Scouts
The Order of World Scouts
The Order of World Scouts
The emblem is based on the Fleur de lis of Florence
Country Worldwide
Founded November 11, 1911
Founder Francis Vane
Grand Scoutmaster Michael John Foster
The Order of World Scouts
Scouting portal

The Order of World Scouts (OWS) founded in 1911, was the first international Scouting organisation. It is headquartered in England, with the administration headquarters in Italy. As of November 2008, the Order of World Scouts includes member associations in 14 countries-the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Peru, Jamaica, as well as two associations each for Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile and three associations in Mexico, and Ukraine.



In 1909, a group of troops withdrew from Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts Association and formed the British Boy Scouts (BBS), out of a concern that Baden-Powell's association was too bureaucratic and militaristic.[1]

Sir Francis Vane was the Boy Scouting Association's (BSA) London Commissioner. He felt that Scouting should be non-military and reconciled through mediation the British Boy Scouts(BBS) with the BSA by having BBS as an affiliated organisation.

With Vane pushing for a more democratic BSA, his position was eliminated by Baden-Powell's BSA headquarter staff. In a protest meeting, the London area Scoutmasters voted overwhelmingly in support of Sir Francis, however Baden-Powell even though he promised, never reinstated him.[2]

Members of the National Service League, a pro-military group, were appointed to BSA headquarters. On December 3, 1909, Sir Francis Vane accepted the presidency of the British Boy Scouts taking most London area Troops with him. The Quakers' Birmingham and Midland Troops also followed. Vane was instrumental in gaining Quakers to sponsor Scout Troops.[1] Support was given by George and Barrow Cadbury.[3]

With Vane having an Italian summer home, he and his co-founder Remo Molinari were able to launch the Scouting Movement in Italy with the Italian Boy Scouts (Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani) in 1910.[1][4]

In 1911 France, Vane assisted Augustin Dufresne, a ship owner, to organise a French scouting organisation.[5]

With spread of the alternative British Boy Scouts program throughout the world via CHUMS publication[6] and Vane's efforts, Vane informally aligned the various groups as the Legion of World Scouts, the first international organization, in 1911[7] then formally launched as the Order of World Scouts on 11 November 1911. This day was influenced by the French, as it was the day that Baldwin was crowned King of Jerusalem, on the 11th November 1100 (St Martin's Day).[5][8] Vane became the Grand Scoutmaster of the Order of World Scouts.[8]

Representation covered 15 Countries (counting Ireland as being separate) being; the UK, Ireland, Italy, the United States (American Boy Scout),[9] Canada, France, Belgium, India, South America, China, South Africa, Canada, Egypt, Australia and New Zealand.[10]

Vane put his wealth behind the organizations: providing a London headquarters and financed the organisation, even the manufacture of Scout uniforms not only for the BBS, but also for the Italian Scouts.[11] This over burdened his finances to the point of having to declare bankruptcy. Thus the British Boy Scouts and the Order of World Scouts lost their headquarters, source of equipment and uniforms and their leader, Sir Francis Vane.[1][5]

The Order was left with member Troops in England (remaining to the present), and in Australia. The Australian BBS, proved more resilient than was initially thought. The 4th Alexandria (Australia) British Boy Scouts existed in the 1950s, and possibly beyond that date,[12] Individual members in Australia corresponded with the British Chief Commissioner up until the late 1960s.[13] Robert Campbell an Australian Scout researcher credits the continuation of membership in Australia to the 1990s, when the Scouts of Australia became the successors to the BBS, which "Ceased activity in Australia c1950s but retains members".[14]

In the mid 1980s expansion began again with members joining in Hawaii (USA).[15] In the early 1990s, contact was made by a Scouting organisation in Australia, followed by Scouting organisations in other countries.[16]

With Contact in 1991 with the Independent Scouts of Australia Incorporated,[17] the Order was more formally organised with the appointments of a BBS Commissioner for Australia in 1991 and a Chief Commissioner of BBS & BGS in Canada in 1999.[10]

List of members

Country Group Years
Argentina Argentina: UTSA[18][19] 2008–present[19]
Australia British Boy Scouts (AU) 1911-1930s[20]
Australia Independent Australian Scouts 1991–present[21]
Belgium Troop based in De Panne[22] 1911–1914
Bolivia Bolivia: UTSA 2008–present[19]
Brazil Brasil: UTSA 2008–present[19]
Canada British Boy Scouts (Canada) 1911-1919[20]
Canada Canadian Independent Scout Association 1999[23]-2000
China The British Boy Scouts (Hong Kong) 1911–1914[20]
Chile FIDES Chile (Federación de escultismo Chilena) UTSA 2008–Present[19]
Chile Boy Scouts Woodcraft de Chile UTSA 2008–Present[19]
Chile Unión de Scouts de Chile UTSA 2008–Present[19]
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic UTSA 2008–Present[19]
Egypt The British Boy Scouts (Egypt) 1911–1914[20]
France French Scouts 1911–1914[20]
Hawaii (USA) Order of World Scouts Hawaii 1985-2000[24]
India The British Boy Scouts (India) 1911–1914[20][25]
Ireland British Boy Scouts (Ireland) 1911–1914[26]
Italy Italian Boy Scouts (Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani) 1911–1914[20]
Italy National Scout Training School (Scuola Nazionale Formazione Scout) 2002–Present
Jamaica Girl Scouts of Jamaica 2008–Present[21]
Mexico Scouts Mexicanos AC 2008–Present[19]
New Zealand The British Boy Scouts (New Zealand) 1911–1914[20]
Peru The Peruvian Association of Scouts Around the World
(Asociacion Peruana de los Scouts Del Mundo)
Peru Perù UTSA 2008–present[19]
Poland Ls-Drzewo Pokoju[21] 2002–Present
South America The British Boy Scouts (Creillos, South America) 1911–1914[20]
South Africa The British Boy Scouts (South Africa) 1911–1914[20]
Ukraine Organization of Ukrainian Scouts[21]
United Kingdom British Boy Scouts 1911[20]-present[21]
United Kingdom British Girl Scouts 1911–present[21]
United Kingdom British Girl's Nursing Corps 1911–1912
United Kingdom The Order of the Redeemer 1914–Present
United Kingdom Scout History Association[21]
United States American Boy Scouts 1911-1912[20]
Uruguay Uruguay UTSA 2008–Present[19]


  1. ^ a b c d "The BBS Story". boy-scout.net. Dorset, England, UK: The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. 2002-06-18. http://www.boy-scout.net/en/page8/page9/page9.html. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  2. ^ YOUTH AND EMPIRE, J O Springhall PhD Thesis Sussex 1968 (unpublished). Pages 211-249 deal with the history of the BBS from inception to 1914, and includes details of the protest meeting, and following events
  3. ^ MS Complete History of the Order of World Scouts, BBS Archives, Version 2008, Tarrant Hinton Dorset
  4. ^ Working Class Movement Library: Sir Francis Patrick Fletcher Vane, Bt.
  5. ^ a b c Christopher Wagner (2002-02-06). "Boy Scout Movement: Internationalism--Order of World Scouts". Historic Boys' Uniform Web Site. Christopher Wagner. http://www.histclo.com/youth/youth/org/sco/int/sco-intows.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  6. ^ The Order of World Scouts history
  7. ^ BBS Letterhead early 1911, held in the BBS Archives, Tarrant Hinton Dorset
  8. ^ a b Victor M. Alexieff (September 1982). "Other Youth Programs". SOSSI Journal Vol. 37, No. 9. SOSSI. http://www.sossi.org/others/others.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  9. ^ "Story". The Order of World Scouts. http://www.boy-scout.net/en/page3/page3.html. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  10. ^ a b "The Constitution of the British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association Version 18/06/2002: APPENDIX D -- A History of the British Boy Scouts". boy-scout.net. Dorset, England, UK: The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. 2001-03. pp. 24–27. http://www.boy-scout.net/en/page8/page12/page12.html. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  11. ^ Furia, Mauro, Storia Del Ragazzi Esploratori Italiani, Centro Studi Scout, Langhirano, Italia, 1990.
  12. ^ see http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/pictoria/b/3/5/doc/b35047.shtml
  13. ^ Verbal information given to Dr Michael Foster and archived in the BBS Archives Tarrant Hinton Dorset by Ted Scott a Scoutmaster in Balham, who later became the Grand Scoutmaster (1993-2000)
  14. ^ see http://www.netpages.free-online.co.uk/scoutaus/History-TimeLine2.html
  15. ^ As reported in the Journal "The British Scout" ISSN 0266-2264 September 1985, back page
  16. ^ "The Order of World Scouts history". boy-scout.net. Dorset, England, UK: The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. 1997. Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20080628131707/http://www.boy-scout.net/worldscouts/ws.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  17. ^ The Australian organisation was known as "Independent Scouts of Australia Incorporated" 1986-1992, then "Scouts of Australia" 1992-2001, and finally reverting to the previous name for legal reasons, minus the addition of "Incorporated" in 2001
  18. ^ Union of Traditional Scouts of America
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k http://www.boy-scout.net/en/page45/page45.html The Union of Traditional Scouts of America homepage
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l http://www.boy-scout.net/en/page3/page0/page0.html Order of World Scouts Constitution
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h http://www.boy-scout.net/en/
  22. ^ Appendix 5, MS Complete History of the Order of World Scouts, Version 2008 BBS Archives
  23. ^ Order of World Scouts Story
  24. ^ British Scout 0266-2264 September 1985 back page
  25. ^ The HQ was in Madras Appendix 5, MS The Complete History of the Order of World Scouts, Version 2008, BBS Archives Tarrant Hinton Dorset
  26. ^ BBS Troops were based in Belfast, Blackrock, Cork, and Dublin Appendix 5 MS The Complete History of the World Scouts, Version 2008 BBS Archives Tarrant Hinton, Dorset

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