Scouting in France

Scouting in France

The Scout movement in France consists of about 80 different associations and federations with about 180,000 Scouts and , France is the country with the most fragmented Scout movement.

According to French law, all youth organizations working on the national level must be recognized by the Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports (Minister of Youth and Sports). Only nine of the above mentioned 80 organizations have this status. The vast majority of organizations is recognized by regional or local authorities, but there are also some non-recognized associations: their operation is illegal under French law.

National recognized organizations

The national recognized organizations are grouped in two federations and one independent organization.

Fédération du scoutisme Français

The Fédération du Scoutisme Français (Federation of French Scouting) is the national member of both the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). The federation has about 120,000 members grouped in five co-educational associations.

Scoutisme Français was founded in 1941 by the "Eclaireurs de France", the "Eclaireurs Unionistes de France", the "Scouts de France", the "Guides de France" and the "Eclaireurs Israélites de France".

The Members of the federation are:
*Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs de France (founded in 1911, interreligious, 35,000 members)
*Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs unionistes de France (founded in 1911, Protestant, 5,000 members)
*Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs israélites de France (founded in 1923, Jewish)
*Scouts et Guides de France (founded in 2004 after the merger of Scouts de France (1920) and Guides de France (1923), Catholic, 70,000 members)
*Scouts Musulmans de France (founded in 1990, Muslim)

Conférence Française de Scoutisme

The Conférence Française de Scoutisme (French Conference on Scouting) has about 35,000 members grouped in three co-educational associations:
*Association des Guides et Scouts d'Europe (founded in 1958, Catholic, 25,000 members). The association is affiliated to the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe
*Éclaireurs Neutres de France (founded in 1947, interreligious, 3,000 to 4,000 members). Affiliated is a number of smaller associations, some of them Catholic:
**"Europa Scouts"
**"Scouts Saint Louis"
**"Scouts et Guides de Riaumont" (Traditionalist Catholic, with connections to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter)
*"Fédération des Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs" (founded in 1989 as split-off of the "Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs de France", interreligious, 5,000 members). This federation groups about 15 to 20 independent local associations, some of them Protestant or Orthodox.

couts unitaires de France

The Scouts Unitaires de France (Unitary Scouts of France) were founded in 1971 in reaction to a pedagogic renewal within the "Scouts de France" splitting the former Scout troops ("unités") in two new sections and implementing coeducation. The association is Catholic and counts about 23,000 members.

Regional or local recognized orgnizations

There are at least 50 independent Scouting associations in France outside the above mentioned federations. Most of them are recognized by regional or local authorities, some via religious communities. They have an estimated membership of about 5,000 Scouts and Guides.

Notable among them are:
*"Association Française de Scouts et Guides Catholiques" (Traditionalist Catholic)
*"Scouts de Doran" (Split-off of the former, Catholic), working towards national recognition
*"Scouts et Guides Godefroy de Bouillon" (Traditionalist Catholic, with connections to the Society of St. Pius X)
*"Ecuyers Saint-Michel" (Fencing Scouts)
*"Fédération du Scoutisme Evangélique Français" (Protestant). Affiliated are a number of smaller associations.


At the end of 1937, France sent Scoutmaster Raymond Schlemmer to the Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese areas of Indochina to oversee the setting up of the Fédération Indochinoise des Associations du Scoutisme (FIAS, Indochinese Federation of Scouting Associations) in all three regions.


See also

*Bleimor (Scouting)
*Scouting in displaced persons camps


The French language knows two words both for Boy Scout and Girl Guide/Girl Scout. "Boy Scout" is translated as "scout" in Catholic and Muslim associations, and as "éclaireur" in Protestant, Jewish and interreligious associations. "Girl Guide/Girl Scout" is translated as "guide" in the Catholic associations, and as "éclaireuse" in Protestant, Jewish and interreligious associations.


External links

* [ Overview chart of the French Scout Movement] fr icon
* [ Presentation of the ten major organizations] fr icon
* [ Fédération du scoutisme français] fr icon
* [ Conférence Française de Scoutisme] fr icon
* [ Scouts Unitaires de France] fr icon
* [ Association Française des Collectionneurs de Timbres Scouts (AFCTS)-French Scouts on Stamps Association] fr icon

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