Canadian Youth Groups

Canadian Boy Scouts
Figure 1.--These Canadian Scouts, presumably brothers, were from Ottawa. The portrait is undated, but was proably taken zbout 1930.

The only Canadian youth group that we have information on at this time is the Boy Scouts which were founded in 1907. Canadian Scouts adopted Baden Powell's British Scouting program. The Scouts as in many countries was the principal boys uniformed youth group. As Canada was a British Empire country, there must have also been a Boys' Brigade program, but we do not yet have any infornation about it.

Boy Scouts

The only Canadioan youth group that we have information on at this time is the Boy Scouts which were founded in 1907. The Scouts as in many countries was the principal boys uniformed youth group. We have begun to compile some limited information on Scouting in Canada. Our information, however, is very limited at this time. Few of our Canadian readers have to date provided us information about their Scouting experiences. Scouting was founded only a year after the program began in Britain and before the American Scouting ptogram was founded. The British influence on Canadian Scouting is stronger than on the American program. Canadian Scouts adopted Baden Powell's British Scouting program. One topic we do not yet have information about is to what extet it was an integrated natinal movement or a movement separating English and French-speaking boys.

Boys' Brigade

The Boys' Brigade quickly began spreading to other Empire countries spread across the United Kingdom and was becoming a worldwide organisation (early-1890s). Canadian boys began participating in the Brigade at a very early point (1889). hat as about two decades before Scouting. The Boys' Brigade owned a camp north of Toronto at Gravenhurst, Ontario. The last of the "Toronto companies" were the 11th and 9th. In addition, there were several companies in Hamilton Ontario (1st Hamilton), Montreal Quebec (6th, 8th Montreal and others), Winnipeg Manitoba, and Calgary Alberta. The Brigade was a largely Protestanr hroup. That limited its appeal in largely French Canadian Ontario. The string religious component of the Brigade meant that it did not compete well with the more secularly oriented Boy Scout movement. It was not just the religious element because many Scoutetrs had a religious orientation as well, but it was the more comprehensive, challenging program of the Scouts that tended to attract boys, including French Catholic boys in Ontario. One report suggests that the Brigade movrement in Cnada has declined significantly since the 1880s, but we have few details. The limited number of webpages on the interet suggests that this is the case, but we have very limited actual information.

YMCA

After the YMCA was founded in in England (1844), the idea quickly spread to other countries. The first Y in North America was founded in Montreal (1851). Unlike London, Montreal was a largely French city and strongly Catholic. This tested the ecumenical spirit of the Y which when founded in London was largely Protestant in the early years. And for many years there were problems with the suspicious Catholic hierary. The Montreal Y and others in Canada welcomed Christians of all denominations. Gradually developed roots with Catholic as well as Protestant churches. The Y established Canadian YMCA War Services (1866). They offered recreation, religious and entertainment programs, and for offering moral support to Canadian soldiers. They became know for providing hot tea, equipment, biscuits and more to Canadian soldiers. They would play an important role in assisting Canadian soldiers in the wars of the 20th century in which Canada played an important part. The Y developed summer camps like the Ys in America. This program was less important in the English YMCAs. As the Canadian Ys became increasingly established, like the Ys in America, Canadian Ys began adding swimming pools and developed an aquatic program. Education was anotyher important aspect of the Y program. The Montreal and at Toronto YMCAs began offering night classes at its facilities for both citizens and immigrants







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Created: 3:28 AM 1/18/2008
Last updated: 8:27 AM 3/24/2014