** boy scouts : national groupss -- Europe

National Boy Scout Uniforms: Europe

The world Scouting movement was of course founded in Europe by Lord Baden Powell and all the most important associations were in Europe, except for the United States, until recent times. The growth of the Scouting movement in Europe was interupted with the rise of totalitarian governments, many of which banned Scouting and founded there own youth groups to insure that youths were only expsed to the ideological dogma of the ruling party. Since the fall of the NAZIs and Fascists (1945) and communist regimes (1989-91), boys throughout Europe can now freely participate in Scouting. Please have a look at available information on Scouting in the following countries and the development of the various national uniforms in each different country.


Albanian Scouting was founded in 1922 up until the outbreak of the Second World War. It was, however, harshly suppressed during the Communist years. It was a capital offence to be a Scout Leader! Scouting was refounded in 1992 during the turmoil following the fall of the Communist government, Scouting was re-established in the southern city of Saranda and soon spread to other towns. A new Scout Association was formed, called "Besa Skaut Albania" - Besa is the word for an Albanian tradition of a promise that can never be broken.

Figure 1.--These appear to be Scouts in Salner, Austria during 1943. At the time Austria was part of the Third Reich and Scouting banned. Openly wearing Scout uniforms or conducting Scouting activities would have been very dangerous./i>


HBU has little historical information on Austrian Boy Scouts. The first important German youth movement was Wandervogel which I believe was also active in Austria, but have few details at his time. The political history of Austria is somewhat complicated and had significant conswquences for the Scouting movement. We also have no information on Austrian Scout uniforms at this time.

Figure 2.--Here we see somevBelgian Scouts in 1961. This looks to be a group of Cubs.


Scouting from its inception has been the major youthh movement in Belgium. There is not, however, a single unifoed national Scouting movement. Belgium is a combination of Dutch-speaking Flemish and French-speaking Waloons. Their association since modern Belgium was created after the Napoleonic Wars has been an unseasy. The younth organzations in Belgium have often followed the linguistic divide. Like many European countries, Belgium has several different Scout associations, often reflecting the linuistic devide and outlook on religion. The existence of these different associations greatly complicate the task of assessing the Scouting movement in Belgium.


Bulgaria had a small Scout movement in the first half of the 20th century. Boy Scouts began organizing in Bulgaria during the early-20h century. Troops began forming (1911-13). Scouters founded a national Scout organization (1923). Bulgarian Scouts joined the World Organization of the Scout Movement (1924). After World War I the Bolsheviks banned Russian Scouting. Bulgaria was one of the places where White Russian émigrés settled and established Scout troops. Sciuting was porimarly an urban, middle-class mobement, Bulgarian was a relatively poor, agricultural country. Thus the movement was relatively small. This is probably why we se coed Scouting even though Bulgarian was a very conservative society. The Government responding to increasing German influence, suspended Scouting (1940). Scouting was banned by the Communists (1945). The movement was reestablished after the fall of Communism (1989). It was outlawed by the Communists after World War II. The Communists Pioneers were the omly youh movement permitted. After the fall of Communism (1989), the Scouting movment was reconstituted. It now consists of several associations with slightly different aims. The Organizatsia na Bulgarskite Skauty (Организация на българските скаути orOrganization of Bulgarian Scouts) is Bulgaria's primary national Scouting organization. It joined the World Organization of the Scout Movement (1999). It is coeducational Oand has about 2,000 members.


Czech Republic

The old Czecheslovakia, precursor to today's Czech Republic, has a relatively short history as an independent country. Scouting in Czeheslovakia has been affevted by the country's tumultuous history. Scouting for much of Czecheslovakia's history has been banned as a suversive organization. Scouters who tried to organze were arrested and sent to concentration or labor camps by both the NAZIs and Communists. Today Scouts are the most popular youth organization in the Czech Republic.


The major Scout association in Denmark (DDS) was founded November 19th, 1909 in Hellerup near Copenhagen. The girls and guides of Denmark formed the DDP (Danish: Det Danske Pigespejderkorps) October 10th, 1910. DDS was for boys and DDP for girls until they merged in 1973. This means that most local units now are coeducational, though a unit may prefer the single sex option. Every 5 years, DDS gathers in one big camp (Danish: Blå Sommer). The peak number of people in the camp was close to 23,000 in 1994.

Figure 3.--This is an unidentifiefd English Scout from Bradford, we think in the 1910s.


Scouting began in England during 1907 and was based on Robert S.S. Baden-Powell's ideas and book Scouting for Boys. The book and program proved to have universal appeal for boys and quickly spread worldwide. Some aspects of the program vary around the world, but the principles of the Scout Promise and Law unite the world brotherhood of Scouting and prepare boys for adulthood in today's world. The first Scout uniform adopted by the new British Scout association appeared in 1906. The uniform adopted for the Cubs, especially the cap also became a standard. The English Scout association has made several major changes in the uniform. Perhaps the most significant was the new uniform adopted in 1969 including long pants for the Scouts. The basic organization of Scouting was set in England with the creation of the Scouts in 1906 and the addition of cubbing in 1916. The organization has remained unchanged except for the creation of Beaver Scouts in 19??. Most countries initially adopted the British system, although some countries changed the names.


Scouting was first organized in Estonia during 1911 and a troop formed at Pärnu in 1912. There was no national Estonian Scout association. Rather the Estonian Scouts registered with the Imperial Russian Russian Scout Association (Русский Скаут). It is believed that this was the as the first Scout troop in the Tasrist Baltic provinces. The Scouting movement did not grow rapidly, although troops were organized in Tallinn and Tartu. The movement was spread to smaller towns by highschool students from Latvia fleeing the advancing Germans in World War I. The War an ensuing Revolution disrupted Estonia, but brought independece. An Estonian Scout movement was organized at a conference in Tartu (1921). A future minister of eduction, Jaan Hunerson played a n important role in organizing Estonian Scouting. Estonia was a founding member of the World Scout Organization (1922). There were enthusiastic Scouts during the inter-war era. Naden Powell visited in 1933. Estonian National jamboreees were knoen as a Suurlaager. The largest was held in 1936 with about 1,500 Estonian and 500 foreign Scouts attending. We have not yet developed information on Estonian Scouting. We have archived a photograph which we believe shows Estinian Scouts and Guides in 1934. The Communists after the Soviet invasion supressed Estonian Scouting. Scouting has been revived in Estonia since the disloution of the Soviet Union.



France has had one of the most active Scout movements in Europe. The movement quickly crossed the Channel only a few years after it was founded by Lord Baden Powell in England. Like many European countries, there is no single country-wide association in France, but instead several different associations, including some divided largely on religious lines and some secular groups. This has been furthur complicated bt the appearance of disident Scout groups objecting to some of the modern trends in the established Scout associations, especially the declining attention to uniforms.

Figure 4.--These German Scouts wear dark blue shirts with kerchiefs and lederhosen. Note the ankle socks. That is onde way of dating German images. Modern German boys don't like kneesocks.


I have little historical information on German Scouts. The first important German youth movement was Wandervogel. I do know that Scouting developed in Germany in the 1910s as it did throughout Germany. As in many other European countries, separate Scout associations were fornmed by different groups, primarily on religious lines. Scouting does not appear to have been as popular in Germany as in other European countrires. Wandervogel appeared before Scouting, but adopted the short pants and kneesocks uniform Scouting for which the Scouts became so famomous.


Greece was one of the first countries to form a Scouting troop. The first Scout group was organized in 1910. Greek Scouts are considered very traditional (old fashioned) and close to the principles laid by Baden Powell. Their uniforms have changed a little since the 1940s and all boys of all ages wear khaki shorts and shirt and brown knee socks. Sometimes even adult scouts (as old as 50) wear shorts. A HBC reader tells us, "I can provide pictures and details for the past 30 years but I have to research more on the subject for old times."

Figure 5.--This is a Hungarian Scout, but I'm not sure when the portrait was taken.


Hungarian Scouts were organized in te years before World War I, but the movement grew considerably after independence. There may have been a right-wing nationalist group that competed with Scouting in the World War II years. After the War the Communist Covernment prohibited Scouting and boyshad to join the Young Pioneers. Scouting has been revived in the 1990s with the return to democratic government.


I have been able to find some information about Irish Scout uniforms, but would be very interested in any more detailed infornation HBU visitors could provide. After Lord Baden Powell published his book Scouting for Boys in fortnightly parts in 1908, Scout Groups started spontaneously throughout Great Britain. Within a few months Scouting also started in Ireland, which at that time was part of the United Kingdom.


Italy like many European countries does not have a single scout federation. As a result there is no single scout uniform, as each scout association has there own destinctive uniform. The first activities of the Boy Scouts in Italy took place in Rome in 1912, under the sponsorship of the Lazio Track & Field Society. This original effort led to the formation of the Boy Scouts of Italy/Giovani Esploratori Italiani (GEI), which was officially founded in Rome on June 30, 1913 by Carlo Colombo. The GEI soon spread to all parts of the Italy. In the beginning it embodied all Italian Boy Scouts, including those who had previously joined a Scout-like organization adherents to the REI. It had been inspired by Baden Powell's English organization and in 1910 had brought the first Scout uniform to Italy. The Chief patron of the GEI was the head of state (formerly the King of Italy). Musolini's Fascist Government ordered the Scout and Guide units in 1927 to close. The Fascist regime substituted its own youth program, the National Balilla Organization as part of an overall national effort to control all organizations and institutions which influenced children. Similar steps were taken in other totalitarian countries such as Germany an Russia. Even so, the spirit of Scouting was not completely extinguished.


Latvia was part of the Tsarist Russian Empire. We are not yet sure when the Boy Scouts were organized in Latvia, but suspect it was when Latvia was still under Tsarist control. One source suggests that it was 1912. As a result of World war I and the Russian Revolution (1917), Latvia and the other Baltic republics were able to gain their independence. Scouting called the Latvia Vanags was active in independent Latvia. The Soviets seized Latvia in 1940 and the NAZIs invased in 1941. The Soviets abolished Scouting and when the Red Army drove the NAZIs out (1944), the country became part of the Soviet Union. Latvian boys could only join the Communist Young Pioneers. Latvia finally obtained its independence.


The Boy Scouts in Liechtenstein were founded in q931 at Schaan. The Girl Guides were founded in 1932. The Scout association was accepted by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1933. The Girl Guides were accepted much later by World Association of Girl Guides and Girl scouts (WAGGGS) in 1952. I am not sure what happened in Liechtenstein during World War II. Historically Liechtenstein was closely associated with Austria, but the economic problems following World War I caused Liechtenstein to negotiate a customs and monetary union with Switzerland. I am not sure what occurred during the 1930s and if the Hitler Youth operated and how Scoting fared. Liechtenstein managed to remain neutral during World War II, perhaps because of their association with Switzerland. After the War, cout Rangers and Rovers worked in refugee camps. The 1953 World Scout Conference was held in Vaduz. A Scout and Guide first-aid group was founded in 1973. A Scout and Guide shop was opened in 1976 and 79. The Scouts began publishing a magazine for leaders, Knoten. The Scouts and Guides cooperated in many activities and in 1981 joint celebrated the annoversary og 50 years of Scouting.


We have very limited information about Lituanian Souting at this time. Lithuania is a heavily Catholic country and we suspect that the Scouting movement was strongly associated with the Catholic church. We do note a separate Jewish Scouting movement before World War II and the NAZI Holocaust.


Malta is a small island archepeligo (two islands) south of Sicily, about rqial distance from Tunisia and Libya. It has astoried history, one of the most fought over places in European history because of its strategic location. Britain seized Malta during the Napoleonic War (1800). As a British Crown Colony, the British organized a Scout troop quickly after Scouting was founded in Britain (1909). The 1st Sliema Scout Troop applied to be registered by The Boy Scouts Association in the United Kingdom. A year later the Boy Scout Associarion registered as their second overseas troop (1910). The Malta Souts had 338 Boy Scouts and 3 Scoutmasters. Soon after, Malta Scouts just before World War I formed Boy Scouts Association Malta Branch (1913). Because of its location, Malta played a role in the British Mediterranean operations during the war. Most of the Scoutmasters were young men in the servives and thus deployed to the Western Front (1914). The boys volunteered for various war roles, including interpreters, coast watchers and messengers, as well as to serve in hospitals and other support efforts. Soon 84 Scouts were on war duty and only 105 Scouts and leaders remaining on Malta (1915). Membership then rose as boys on the island joined wanting to pitch in with the war effort. Malta Scouts reported 1,200 members with 28 Scout Troops (1917). Malta during World War I was basically a support base for operations in the eastern Mediterranean. The World War II experience was very different. Malta after Italy entered the War was on the front line (1940). Malta played an important role in attacking Axis supply convoys to North Africa. It became the most bombed place of the War. Malta Scouts again pitched in to assist the war effort. They helped Malta survive the bombing abd seige (1940-43). Malta Scouts received a collective award of the Bronze Cross, "in recognition of their courage and devotion to duty in the face of continuous enemy action in the war for freedom". Britain granted Malta independence (1964). As aesult, at nn extraordinary general meeting of The Boy Scouts Association Malta Branch dissolved and the Malta Boy Scouts Association was formed independent from The Scout Association of the United Kingdom (1966).


Montenegro was one of the 20 original signatories that founded the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

Figure 6.--This is a Dutch Scouting scene, we think in the 1960s. This looks to be the boys' scout huts.


The European Scout movement is a case study in international relations. In the Netherlands, like many other European countries, there is, unlike the United States, no national Scout association. The major associations are generally divided by Catholics and protestants, but in many countries there are other complications. Scouting in Holland started in 1910. That year the first Scout troops were formed in a few cities. In the next decades Scouting organisations were established for boys and two for girls. Scouting quickly becamevthe most popular activity for dutchbboys. The movement was, however, disrupted during the World War II German occupation when the NAZIs at first discouraged and then outlawed Scouting. An excellent history of scouting in the Netherlands and other occupied countries is available. The NAZIs tried to organize a rival organization, but fe Dutch boys joined. Some Scouting was continued clandestinely, but Scouts could not wear their uniforms. The Scouting movement was quickly restablished after liberation. Uniforms were quite traditional in the Netherlanfs, but beginning in the 1970s, Dutch boys expressed increasing objection and uniforms are now rarely seen.


Norwegian Scouts have unfortunately posted very little information in English on their several Scout sites so I have been able to find very little about the history of the movement. The Norwegian Boy Scout Council In the late 1930's, printed this Christmas card of Christ protecting scouting as being the better and Christian way for young boys to learn the lesions on becoming men. In a world that was about to be once again torn apart by World War II. The reason for the survival of this card was that its owner fled Norway with the German army close behind. He grabbed the few personal items he could fit into a small case, he must have thought this single, almost worthless card of some value. Possibility, it was his way of remembering better times, or a hope for a better future as he joined others from his homeland in a battle for a better life.


Modern Poland as an independent state was created by the Versailles Treaty ending the First World War. It was the first time Poland had existed for more than two centuries. Scouting emerged as the most popular youth organization. The Scouts were upressed, however, by both the NAZIs and Communists after the country was divided up between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939. Polish Scouting was supressed by the NAZIs and there particularly brutal occupation of the country. Scouts were active participation in the resistance. Scouting was strong in Poland until the group was declared illegal by German occupiers during World War II. Following the war, the organization remained secret during Soviet rule. Scouting has reemerged in today's democratic Poland.


The only uniformed group we know of at his time is the Scouts. The Scouts are known as the Grupo Escoteiros de Portugal. Strangely the Portuguese colony of Macau off China was the home for the first Portuguese Boy Scout Group. The group was founded in 1911. The Macau Scout Leaders came back to Portugal and founded the Associação de Escoteiros de Portugal (Boy Scouts Association of Portugal) in 1913. We believe Portugal had a relatively small Scout movement, in part because Portugal was such a poor country during the era that Scouting was especially popular in Europe. As in much of Europe there appears to be more than one Scouting association in Portugal. There is for, example, as separate Catholic Scouting association.


We know of no youth organizations in Romania until the Boy Scouts inspired by Lord Baden Powell was organized. The first Scouts were organized in Romania just before the outbreak of World War I. A Boy Scout patrol was organized (1912). The individuals involved in organizing Scouting were a group of professors, physicians, soldiers, and other professionaks (Gheorghe Munteanu-Murgoci, Alexandru Borza, Vladimir Ghidionescu, Constantin Costa-Foru, Nicolae Iorga, Ion G. Duca and Colonel G. Berindei). They traveled widely and were familiar in the youth groups being organized in other European countries. The Romanian Scout asociation was Cercetaşii României (1915). In the same year a translation of Baden Powell's Scouting for Boys was published. Baden-Powell sent a congratulatory message and advised the Romanian Scouts of the importance of adapting the program to local conditions. Romania entered World War on the side of the Allies (1915). Scouts were active on the home front during the War. The Romanian Scouts were a founding member of the World Scouting Movement after the War. Romanian Boy Scouts attended the first World Jamboree in London, England. Scouting flourished in Romania during the inter-War period as a basically middle class movement. Patrols were formed in towns and villages throughout Romanuia. Romanian Scouts organized camps, socials, expeditions and spectacles. They published magazines, literary writings and pedagogical studies. A particularly active Scouter was the noted philosopher Mircea Eliade. The first Romanian Jamboree was held (1930). There were approximately 45,000 members in addition to 14,000 Guides. The organizer and Chief of the Guides Movement was Princess Ileana, the daughter of King Carol and Queen Marie. The Scouts were disbanded by King Carol when he moved to create the National Renaissance Front. part of that effort was single national youth group--the Străjeria. Romania was forced into the Axis by the Germans and entered the War as an Axis ally. At the end of the War, the Soviets occupied Romania and installed a Communist Government. Scouters were not allowed to organize, sxome were evenn arrested. The Communusts created the mandatory Young Pioneers. After the fall of +Communism, the Young Pioneers disappeared (1989). Cercetaşii României was reestablished (1991). It was recognized by the WOSM (1993).


The history of Scouting in Russia is marked by a modest foundation among the narrow strata of middle-classs Russia and then the horrors of World War I and Civil War. After a brief period of toleratiion by the Bolsheviks, Scouting was brutally supressed in the Stalinist purges. The only youth group permitted in Russia was the Communist controlled Young Pioneer movement. The National Organisation of Russian Scouts, however, then went into exile to almost every continent of the world. Not withstanding the destruction of scouting in Russia. Russian scouting continued within the large Russian emigre communities abroad. Scouting in Russia itself was not revived again until the fall of Communism in the early 1990s. The disolution of the Soviet Union opened the way for Scouting in Russia. Scouting began to re-emerge in Russia in 1991, with various factions competing for recognition.


HBU doesn't have any historical information on the foundations od Scouting in Scotland. Presumably it occurred at about the same time as Scoting was founded in England. Scottish Scouts wear the same uniform as other British Scouts but have had the option of wearing kilts rather than short pants or after the 1969 uniform change, long pants. I'm not sure when the option of wearing kilts was authorized, but presumably it was from the beginning of the Scout movement in Scotand. HBU is not sure how common it was for Scottish boys to have kilts. They are fairly expensive garments, so it is likely that only middle-class had them. This would mean that many working-class boys would not have kilts. Thus there may have been some variations in the uniforming of Scottish Scouts.


The history of Scouting in Serbia is somewhat complicated and disjointed because of all the political changes affecting the country during the 20th century. Serbia was a new nation with historic origins created out of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. The first Serbian were founded by Dr. Miloš Popović, in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Vranje and Valjevo during 1911. We do not know much about these early units. Serbian suport of terorist groups sparked World War I. The country was occupied by the Central Powers (1915). We do not know what happened to Scouting during that period. A new nation after World War I was formed around Serbia which united the southern Slavs--Yugoslavia. Serbia was one of the 20 original signatories that founded the World Organization of the Scout Movement. I am not sure to what extent there was a Yugoslav Scout movement during the inter-War era. This was a time of growing ethnic and religious animosties and many boys may have preferred to have been in a movement with their ethnic group rather than a Yugoslav national group. I do not know how Scouting officals hanfled this problem. There was a Russian Scout association (Русский Скаут) organized in Serbia. They were Russians emigrees who fled the Bolshevicks after the Revolution and Civil War. Serbia was a popular refugee for the Russians because of liguistic and religious simiarities. Scouters had to suspend organized activities after the German World War II invasion (April 1941). The Germans preceived the Serbs as hostile and participation in a uniformed youth group would have been dangerous. The Communist partisans under Tito seized control of the country after World war II. I am not sure to what extent Scouting was prmitted by the Comminists, but it was apparently taken over by the Goverment. At which time Yugoslavia lost its WOSM membership. Individual Scout associations were founded in all the different Yugoslav republics (1951). The Communist government also founded the Pioneer movement-- the Pioniri. I am not sure how to the two organizations coexisted, but Yugoslavia did not ban Scouting as was th case in the Soviet-controlled Eastern European satellite nations. > Scouring was further complicated by the breakup of Yugoslavia in th 1990s. Serbia tried to hold the country together by force and retauined the fiction of Yugoslavia even after all the different republics had left the union and declared independence except Montenegro. Thus all that was left of Yugoslavia was Serbia and Montenegro when the country was admitted as the 137th member of WOSM (1995). Montenegro, however, broke away from Serbia and declared independence (2006?).



We beieve that the Boy Scouts were organized in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the 1910s. Slovenia at the time was still a Austro-Hungarian province. We believe Scouts at that time were orgnazied on a national/ethnic basis. This organization continued after he War when Slovenia became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Scouting appears to have been organized in Slovenia in 1922. It think the movement had the support of Sokoli. but I do not fully understand te relationship. We are unsure how much internaction there was with other Yugoslav Scouts. During and after World War II, Scouting as banned by the Fascists (German and Italian). It was officially dissolved on June 10th, 1941 because of World War II. After the War when the Communists took over, Scouting was again banned. With the fall of Communism, ethic tensions intensified. Serbian efforts to dominate the country after Tito resulted in a series of wars as the constituent republic attempted to seceed from te Yugoslavian Federaton. Slovenia was the first to seceed and did so with a relaively short, bloodless war (1991). After the fall of Communism. the Pioneers disappeared. As far as we know, Scouting is currently the only active youth movement. The World Organization of the Scout Movement accepted Slovene Scouts (September 1994) Slovenia has two different Scouts associations in Slovenia: the Scout Association of Slovenia (ZTS) and (Slovenian Catholic Scout Association (ZSKSS).


Swedish Scouting was founded by Emil Winqvist (1908). It is just one more example of how rapidly Scouting spread in Europe and North America after it was originally founded in Britain. Physical education teacher Eble Lieberath in Gothenburg was also instrumental in launching Swedish Scouting. He was interested in some form Of youth activity for his students. He had heard of Wanderviogel in Germany. He came across a copy of Baden-Powell's book Scouting for Boys while traveling to England. He translated it into Swedish. Swedish Scouting from the beginning was strongly supported by the Swedish royal family. Today King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is the most prominent member of the Svenska Scoutrådet and his children are active Scouters. Guiding was founded soon after (1910). The first Boy Scout association was formed (1912) followed by the first Girl Guide association (1913). The Swedish Scouts were among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (1922). And the Girl Guides were among the founders of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (1928). There are five major Scout associations in Sweden. The Associations formed what is now the Svenska Scoutrådet (The Swedish Guide and Scout Council--SSR) which is the national organization represenenting Sweden in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Originally there were separate Scout and Guide oordinating council. The joint SSR was formed after the merger of Scout and Guide groups (1968). The SSR is a member of WAGGGS and WOSM. It deals with international matters as well as a rage of common issues and projects concerning the five major associations. All five associations now have mixed boys and girls membership. The five associations are based on sponsoring organizations. The groups included religious-social movements that wanted to guide youth. They include: the Fr{lsningsarmens Scoutf|rbund (Salvation Army Guide and Scout Association--FA), the KFUK-KFUMs Scoutf|rbund (Swedish YWCA-YMCAFuide and Scout Association), Nykterhetsr|relsens Scoutf|rbund (Temperance Fuide and Scout Association--NSF), Svenska Missionsf|rbundets Ungdom-scout (Guide and Scout Associatiin of the Swedish Couvenant--SMU-scout), and the Svenska Scoutf|rbundet (Swedish Guide and Scout Association--SSF).


Swiss Scouts organized their first groups a few years adter the movement was founded in Britain (1910). The Scout groups began forming cantonal associations and several (Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Berne, Bâle, Zurich and St.Gallen-Thurgau) when the Swiss Scout Federation (SSF) was founded in Berne (1913). The first Girl Guide groups were formed (1913). The various Guide groups because they were organized locally had a variety of basic belifs, uniforms, and symbols. The national Swiss Guide Federation (SGF) was founded (1919). Guide groups in Berne, Geneva, Bâle, Lausanne, Neuchâtel and Zurich agreed to seven articles of the Guide Law, a common constitution, and a common badge. The SSF began printing (booklet for the Swiss Scout) (1920). The movement was still quite small in the early and mid-1920s. One source reports that there were eight groups with 60 Scouts (1926). Lous Blondel from Geneva becomes the Chief Scout (1927). Blondel plays a major role in making Scouting an important institution in Switzerland. Swiss Scouts have their first Rovermoot or national jamboree/campout at Kandersteg (1931). Kandersteg becomes a permanent camping center for Swiss Scouts (1935). The second Rovermoot campout is held near Geneva (1935). The Swiss Scout movement had grown to 97 groups with 6,400 Scouts. Switzeland is a multi-cultural country with German and French speakers as well as a much smaller Italian-speaking country. With rise of the NAZIs in Germany (1933), it was unclear how the different communities would be affected in neighboring Switzerland. We do not know, for example, if there was different attitudes toward Scouting in the different language/etnic comminities. (Scouting was banned n Germany and Italy, but very important in France.) Swiss Scouting fared better during World War II than Scouting in many other European countries. Switzerland was not invaded and occupied by the NAZIs. Many Swiss expected a NAZI invasion. As part of the military preparations during the War, Swiss Scouts were integrated into the Swiss Army as an auxiliary service.


Few Scouters around the World have experienced a more difficult history than Ukranian Scouts. Labeled a subversive group by Soviet, Polish, and NAZI officials the group was supressed for most of the years since its founding in 1911. The Uktanian Scouts in a newly independent Ukraine are now building a strong national Scouting Movement.


Ulster is part of the United Kingdom. The uniforms of the British Scouts is the same for all of the countries making up the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ulster, and Wales). There are some differences in that the Scottish Scouts as an option are allowed to wear kilts. I think the same is true in Ulster, but it is less common for the boys to do so. Other than this the uniforms are idebntical. I am not sure how the strife between Catholics and Protestants have affected the Sciut movement. Presumably Catholics and Protestants for the most part are in separate units. I suspect that Scouting is more common for Protestant than Catholic boys.


Wales like England, Scoland, and Ulster is part of the United Kingdom. As far as we know, Welsh Scouting was essentially the same as English Scouting. We know of no significant difference. We assume a badge identified Welsh Cubs and Scouts. We wonder if English boys in Wales also wore that badge. Perhaps it was seen as a unit identifier. We wonder how language is handled in Welsh Scouting. We suspect that this has changed substantially since Scouting was first established.


Yugoslavia today includes the republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia and Montenegro first gain independence at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Joint Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes created in 1918 at the end of the World War I. The first Scout units in whay is now Yugoslavia were founded in 1911 in Serbia. Scouting was established in Yugoslavia in 1919. Yugoslavia was a founding association of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922. King Alexander of Serbia assumes sovereign powers and renames the state, Yugoslavia in 1929. Germany launcheed a devesating surprise attack on Yugoslavia in 1941. Rival resistance groups form: Chetniks (Serb Royalists) and Partisans (communist, under Tito). The Association ceased its activities in 1941 when the German occupation forces ordered the Scouts to disband. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia established in 1945. The Coomunist partisan leader, Marshall Tito is Prime Minister. The Communists disband the Scouting Movement. WOSM recognition withdrawn. The European Community recognizes independence of Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992. Yugoslavia welcomed as the 137th member of the World Organization in 1995. Originally one of the founding members of the World Organization, Savez Izvidjaca Jugoslavije remained active for a period in the former Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia following the dissolution, in 1991, of the socialist state.


HBU has obtained a number of images of Scout uniforms, but can not identify the nationality. If you can figure out what country these boys are from, please let HBU know.


Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Chronology Pages:
[Return to the Main chronologies page]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s] [The 1990s] [The 2000s]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Web Site:
[Return to the Main National Scout Page]
[Activities] [Biographies] [Chronologies] [Countries] [Essays] [Garments] [Organizations] [Religion] [Other]
[Introduction] [Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Questions] [Unknown images] [Boys' Uniform Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Uniform Web organization pages:
[Boys' Brigade] [Camp Fire] [Hitler Youth] [National] [Pioneers] [Royal Rangers] [Scout]

Created: February 9, 2001
Last updated: 10:12 AM 3/21/2015