Korean Boy Scout Movement


Figure 1.--The founding members of the Korean BoybScouts are seen hear about 1922.

Japan seized control of Korea (1909), after which the country became a Japanese colony. We know relatively little about Korean youth groups. The Scout Movement of Korea (BSKI) was founded in October 1922. Sir Lee Sang-Jae is elected as the first President of the BSKI in March 1924. At the time there were many limitations on Korean Scouts. Korea was a Japanese colony and any demonstration of Korean nationalism was discouraged and dangerous. The Japanese prohibited Scouting in Korea during March 1937 as relations with western Goverments began to deteriorate as the Japanese militarists expanded their expanionist policies in Manchuria and China. Not only were the Japanese concerned about any expression of Korean nationalism, but Scouting's western image and internationalist principles were increasdingly alien to Japan's militant nationalism. Scouting was revived after the Japanese surrender and the American liberation of South Korea.

History

The Scout Movement of Korea (BSKI) was founded in October 1922. Sir Lee Sang-Jae is elected as the first President of the BSKI in March 1924. At the time there were many limitations on Korean Scouts. Korea was a Japanese colony and any demonstration of Korean nationalism was discouraged and dangerous. The Japanese prohibited Scouting in Korea during March 1937 as relations with western Goverments began to deteriorate as the Japanese militarists expanded their expanionist policies in Manchuria and China. Not only were the Japanese concerned about any expression of Korean nationalism, but Scouting' weestern image and internationalist principles were increasdingly alien to Japan's militant nationalism. Cho, Chul-Ho is one of the most revered person is the history of Korean Scouting. He helped adapt the early Scouting movement to Korea. He was also a significant educator and led the independence movement while Korea was a Japanese colony. He taught the principle of scouting, a day good turn, Scout law and so on. He empowered young people's life, and opened their eyes leading lives. His spirit is still living in our mind even though he died delivering his mission. After liberation by the Americans in 1945 Korean boys took up Scouting, inluenced by both American officials and the Christian churches active in the country. The Boy Scout of Korea (BSK) officially resumed in March 1946. The BSK wass incorporated as a chartered organization in December 1947. The BSK was, unlike the initial Scouting movement under the Japanese, able to freely express Korean national spirit. North Kprea encouraged by the Soviets invaded South Korea in June 1950 and for a few months occupied most of the Peninsula. Scouting was not permitted in North Korea. At this time it was dangerous being seen as a Scout, especially an adult leader. American and United Nations forces moved noth after the Inchon landings in September? 1950, but the front line moved back to the area around the 38 parallel when the Chinese Communists intervened in December 1950. The Korean Scouts held their 1st National Jamboree is held July 1952. The Korean War was still underway at the time. The Korean Scouts in January 1953 join the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The Korean Scout movement has become well established by the 1960s and the hiostory begins to sound more like that of other countries. The BSK opened a National Training Center in September 1968. The Korea Parliament authorized the Act for Fostering Scouting and its National Organization in July 1969. The Korean Scouts opened its National Headquarters Building in October 1972. Korean President Park Jung-Hee is elected as Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Committee in August 1977. The 8th Asia-Pacific Regional Jamboree is held at Dukudae, Korea during August 1982. These regional jamborees gave evidence to the growing strngth of the Scout movement in Korea. BSK President Suk-Won Kim is elected as a member of the World Scout Committee in July 1983. The 17th World Scout Jamboree is Held at Mt. Sorak, Korea in July 1991. Mr. Park Kun-Bae is elected as the 12th President of BSK in March 1992. The 9th Korean National Jamboree is held at Mt. Sorak August 1994. The 1st Peace Tracking Camp is held in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Nation's Independence Day during July 1995. Reconstruction of a new headquarters building starts in January 1996. The 17th Asia-Pacific Regional Jamboree is Held at Mt. Sorak in August 1996.

Events

The Korea National Jamboree It is the most important nation event in the Korean Scouting calendar. It is held every four years with over 10,000 participants, including overseas Scouts.

Scouting in Korea

Novel programs

Scouting has been introduced to correctional institutions. Korea has Scout units for juvenile offenders. Korean officials believe that Scouting activities and program are helpful in reducing the likelihood of juvenile offenders turning into repeat offenders.

Handicapped youth also benefit from Scouting through various opportunities. 'Agoonoree' is held as an annual event for the handicapped, where Rover Scouts are actively involved to help the participants.

Enviromental focus

Korean Scouts have made a majpr effort on environmental education projects to attract all members of the organization to care and contribute to the protection of the environment. The BSK hopes to help young people develop an awareness of the natural environment and their role in its protection, various activities in favor of environment have been implemented as follows: Campaign through the media Street campaign for environmental issues, Environmental Beautification of Community Art Works contest, Exhibition on Conservation, Annual Water Clean Up camp called 'Save Our Streams(SOS)', Join in Public campaign for Environmental Protection.

Mission

The boy Scouts of Korea advocates fundamental principles that adhere to spiritual values loyalty to country, promotion of world brotherhood, helping others, practice of the Scout Oath and Law, and voluntary participation in community service.


Figure 2.--This Korean and American Scout photographed at the 1985 American Scout Jamboree. The American Scout was visiting the jamboree and thus not required to wear the complete uniform.

Organization

The Koreans have the same basic program sections as other Scout groups arond the workld:

Cubs

Cubs are boys from ages 7-11.

Scouts

Scouts are boys ages 12-14.

Senior Scouts

Senior Scouts are for boys ages 15-17.

Rover Scouts

Rover Scouts are for youths ages 18-21. The first three sections are designed solely for male Scouts, while the Rover program caters to the needs of both male and female Scouts

Uniform

Korean Scout uniforms have varied over time. The 1980s Scout uniform was grey, a color not often used by Scouts. The Cub uniform was blue, similar to the American uniform.

Scouts

Korean Boy Scouts in the 1980s wore a grey uniform, grey shirts and matching short pants worn with contrasting black kneesocks and black beret. Like many Scout associations, the Koreans selected a beret for their headwear. HBU is not sure why the beret has proven so popular around the world. Notice the Korean flag on the shirt and and red flashes on kneesocks.


Figure 3.--Korean Cubs in the 1990s wore a blue uniform quite similar to the U.S. Cub uniform adopted in 1980.

Cubs

Korean Cubs in the 1990s wore a blue unifiorm much like the American Cub uniform. I'm not sure when this uniform was adopted by the Korean Cubs. It include blue shirts, a kerchief, blue short or long pants, and blue kneesocks with yellow tops.








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Created: November 15, 1998
Last updated: 12:27 AM 12/20/2010