Organisation and History
The World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) is made up of over 170 National Scout Organisations, split up into World Scout Regions - we're part of the Asia-Pacific Region.
Scouts Australia is a member of WOSM, and is recognised as a National Scout Organisation. It is responsible for setting the national program and adult training and development curriculum.
Each state and territory is a Branch of Scouts Australia and is responsible for the administration and welfare of the movement and members in the Branch. We are part of Scouts Victoria.
The Branch is split into Regions and then into Districts. There are leadership positions at both the Regional and District level that provide support to local Scout Groups.
Robert Baden-Powell published his Aids to Scouting for the British Army in 1899 and there is little doubt that the germ of the idea of Scouting for Boys came to him during the siege of Mafeking in 1899-1900. During the siege, B-P was most impressed of the actions of the boys who had been formed into a Cadet Corps under their own (patrol) leader, the 13 year-old Sergeant-Major Goodyear.
In 1904, Baden-Powell was challenged to write a boy's version of Aids to Scouting by the founder of the Boys Brigade, Sir William Smith. Encouraged by the support he received for the idea, Baden-Powell mapped out a scheme and in 1907 held a trial camp at Brownsea Island in Dorset. This experimental Scout Camp proved an unqualified success and Scouting for Boys was published in 1908 in six fortnightly parts at four pence a copy. This approach brought the book to the boys, who purchased 16,000 copies in a fortnight. Spontaneously, small groups of boys formed themselves into a gang (patrol), elected a leader and later took the initiative of asking local men to become Scoutmasters. Scouting had started!
We celebrate Founders Day each year on 22 February - B-P's birthday.
The cradle of Scouting in Victoria was the Tooronga Road State School, Caulfield; where in late 1907 one of the pupils, Roy McIndoe, received from a friend in England, who had been a member of the experimental camp at Brownsea Island, some pamphlets which had been issued by the Chief. These he showed to his mates who immediately got red shirts, their father's old felt hats, formed ‘patrols’ and ‘whooped round the place like Red Indians’. Later in 1908, when they received the first copies of Scouting for Boys, they settled down to genuine Scouting.
It is very difficult to name the first Troop to start in Victoria, but toward the end of 1908, Troops existed in Malvern, Carlton, Albert Park, Brighton, Caulfield, Hawksburn, Ivanhoe, Camberwell, South Melbourne, Toorak and the YMCA. From 1909 onwards, Scouting spread rapidly.
The 1st Heatherdale Scout Group was established in 1957.