The Scouting Program

A History

Scouting began in 1907 when Lt. Gen. Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell took a group of youth to a camp on Brownsea Island.  The Movement was incorporated as "The Boy Scout Association" throughout the Commonwealth by Royal Charter granted by King George V in 1912. A visual history of BP's life, is available as a PDF in our "Resources" section, from the menu on the left.

His goal, was to take disaffected youth, and bring them together through skills development, leadership training, and teamwork. Turning them into not just good citizens, but community leaders of the future.

Scouting came to Canada in the spring of 1908 - just months after the book "Scouting for Boys" was published in England. The Canadian General Council of the Boy Scout Association was incorporated by an act of the Canadian Parliament on June 12, 1914.  The Canadian General Council was a branch of the Boy Scout Association until October 30, 1946, when it became an independent member of the Boy Scout World Conference.  A subsequent amendment changed the name to Boy Scouts of Canada.  In 1976 the Scouts Canada logo was introduced and since then Scouting in Canada has become commonly referred to as Scouts Canada.

B.P. wrote to The Earl Grey in 1910 to ask him to organize Scouting in Canada.  Since that time, every Governor General has been either the Chief Scout for Canada (prior to 1946) or Chief Scout of Canada (after 1946).  The current Governor General and Chief Scout is Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean.

Today, more than 28 million youth and adults, boys and girls, take part in Scouting programs in 155 countries and territories worldwide.

Our Mission, Principles and Method

To contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.

Scouting’s Mission is achieved by:

Scouting is based on three broad principles which represent its fundamental beliefs. These include:

Scouts Canada engages youth, involving them throughout their formative years in a non-formal educational process, using a specific Method that makes each individual the principal agent of his or her development as a self-reliant, supportive, responsible and committed person. The Scout Method is an approach unique to Scouting throughout the world (see link to the World Association of the Scouting Movement's Scouting: An Educational System) and includes each of the following seven elements:

To further our connection with Scouting members around the world, Scouts Canada’s Board of Governors has adopted the World Scout Vision as our own. Without a vision, there is no future. We feel that this Vision represents Canada’s hopes and plans as we celebrate 100 years of Scouting and move into the next century.

As Scouting enters its second century, it sees itself as:

Program Levels

Scouting generally offers programs for youth aged 5-26.

Girls and boys 5 to 7 years of age.

Girls and Boys 8 to 10 years of age.

Girls and Boys 11 to 13 years of age.

Young Men and Women 14 to 17 years of age.

Men and Women 18 to 26 years of age.