Boys' Youth Group Uniforms: Countries--Sweden

Figure 1.--Here we see some Swedish Scouts, I think about 2000. Note the uniform in the national colors of blue and yellow. There were at the time, however, five major associations with varied uniforms.

We have very little information on Swedish youth groups at this time. We know that Scouting was popular in Sweden, but we have very little information about the movement in Sweden at this time. We have no information on any other Swedish youth groups other than Scouting. We do know that the YMCA/YWCA and Salvation Army was active in Sweden and had youth activities as well as cooperaing with Scouting. Scouting was the principal Swedish youth group. Sweden was not occupied by the Germans in World War II thus there were no Fascist youth groups promoted by the NAZIs. There may have been a Swedish right wing group, but we do not have any information at this time. We do note a group of Scouts being mobilized during World War II about 1940 to assist in case Sweden was attacked. They even had military steel helments, I do not know if there were any indiginous nationalist youth movement in Sweden. Hopefully readers will be able to tells us something about the Swedish youth movements.


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 Association of the Swedish Couvenant--SMU-scout), and the Svenska Scoutf|rbundet (Swedish Guide and Scout Association--SSF).


Swedes were also among the leaders in girl scoulting/guiding. Girls in Sweden began to organize at the local level (1910). This seems to have been promted by developments in Britain. Girl Guiding at the national level was founded (1913). Guiding in the British term for girl scouting. And many countrues round the world adoptd the name guiding rather than scouting for the girls. The Swedish Scout motto is: "Var redo!" - "Alltid redo!" (Be Prepared! - Always prepared!) The junior unit as in Britain were the Brownies. At first Brownies wre the only junior group, but younger groups were otganized, the same process as with the Cubs. Interest in combining Guiding and Scouting began (1960s). Both Swedish Scouting and Guiding as close relations to the Swedish Royal Family. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is the most prominent member of the Scouterna and the Honorary President of the World Scout Foundation- All his children are members of the movement. We continue to see separte units for the boys and girls, although there was a growing inteest in unifying the movement (1990s).

Guides and Sccouts

guides and Scouts were officially merged (2013). The new organization is the Guides and Scouts of Sweden and has a membership of about 70,000 boys and girls. The unification process was more complicated than just combuning boys nd girls. Scouts in Sweden were previously organised in five different associations. There was an umbrella organisation known as the Swedish Guide and Scout Council. The member associations varied in size and were organised in different ways but all shared common ground in the Scout method and the values of Scouting. Preliminary unifification discussions began (mid-1990s). The process began with jointly organising a national camp for all five Scout associations, The first Swedish national jamboree was held at Rinkaby in the municipality of Kristianstad (2001). The same site was later used for two more large camps, Jiingijamborii and the the World Scout Jamboree (2011). These camps were important steps in welding together the Swedish Scout movement. It enabled the different associations meet and work together for the first time. Guide and Scout leaders held a joint campand worked on developing a common strategy for the future of Swedish Scouting in Sweden. They worked on a common programme, common training modules and a common Scout uniform. The creation of one united organisation has been a natural step after all this prepratory work.

Salvation Army Young People's Corps


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Created: 10:30 PM 12/19/2004
Last updated: 1:18 AM 4/10/2018