Canadian Scout History

Figure 1.--Canadian Scouting adopted a Cubbing program at the same time as it was adopted in Britain (1916). American Cubbing did not begin until 1930. These Canadian Cubs in the 1990s sill wear the traditional British style Wolf Cub cap.

We have some basic information on the history of Scouting in Canada. Wcoting quickly crossed the Atlantic from England to Canada. The Boy Scouts of Canada were founded in 1907. Baden Powell first visited Canada in 1908. The idea of a boy's youth organization was new to Canadians, but after a brief period of adjustment it quickly became seen as a valuable civic institution. For a few years, Canadian Scouting was conducted under the auspices of the (British) Boy Scouts Association Overseas Department. The Canadian Parliament incorporated the Canadian General Council of the Boy Scout Association as an officvial act of parliament (1914). This meant, however, that Canadian Scouting was still strongly associated with British Scouting and the program showed that influence. A Cubbing program was introduced as the same time as in Britain. (1916). Canadian Scouts became an independent member of the Boy Scout World Conference (1946).

The 20th Century

The 1900s

Baden Powell published Scouting for Boys in 1907. Scouting in Canada began alomost immediately. The Boy Scouts of Canada were founded in 1907 or 1908, I have seen varied reference here. Baden Powell first visited Canada in 1908. Scout troops began forming all over Canada. Burlington was one of the first towns to adopt Scouting. Baden-Powell wrote to Governor General Earl Geey asking him to officially organize Scouting in Canada (1910). At first there was a period of adjustment. Some Canadians apparently did not approve of boys marching about blowing buggles and banging on drums. Most Canadians, however, saw the advantage of proviing boys wholesome activities. Scout groups conducted annual appeals to collect money for band instruments and other equipment. Scout bands became popular during the earky phase of Scouting. Scout groups began to be seen as civic groups and often municipal buildings were made available for Scouting. For a few years, Canadian Scouting was conducted under the auspices of the (British) Boy Scouts Association Overseas Department. The Canadian Parliament incorporated the e Canadian General Council of the Boy Scout Association as an officvial act of parliament (1914).

The 1910s

Scouting rapidly grew during the 1910s. Although only founded in 1907, it was already a popular and respected institution in the 1919s. A Canadian Scout contingent traveleds to London in 1911 for the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. Ontario Scouts held a Jamboree at Exhibition Park in Toronto (1912). His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, Governor-General of Canada, took the salute at the march past of thousands of Boy Scouts. World War I broke out in Europe (1914). A number of former Scouts volunteeered to serve with the British in France. Scouts supported the Allied war effort in various ways. An experiment conducted during 1914 in Goderich, Ontario to provide program for boys under Scout age. Wolf Cubs formally introduced in Canada (1916). This was the same time the program was founded in Britain. (Cubbing in America came much later.) Sea Scout and Rover programs were introduced in 1917. The First Canadian Scout Handbook was published in 1918.

The 1920s

Plans for the first Scout Jakboree had to be delayed because of Workd War I. They were finally able to organize the Jamboree after the War. Canadian Scouts attended the 1st World Jamboree at Olympia in London (1920). Scouts located graves of Fathers of Confederation (1927).

The 1930s

The 1st Apple Day Saint John, New Brunswick in 1932. Baden Powell visits Canada in 1935 for the last time. Toronto Scouts acquired the Crooked Creek Camp (1936). It cost $9,000 and came from the estate of J.H. Lennox. A Coronation contingent was formed for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in England (1937).

The 1940s

Canada joined Britain in World War II to opose the NAZIs (September 1939). The older Scouts boys and leaders join forces to serve in the military. Scouts support the war effort in a number of ways on the home front. Scout founder Baden Powell died at age 84 in Kenya (1941). The Canadian General Council continued officiqly as a branch of the British Boy Scout Association. Canadian Scouts finally became an independent member of the Boy Scout World Conference (now the World Organization of the Scout Movement) after the War (1946). A subsequent amendment to the Act of Parliament changed the name to Boy Scouts of Canada. The first Canadian National Jamboree was held in thd Connaught Ranges, Ottawa (1949). The Jamboree was attended by 2,579 Scouts. Scouts still wore the traditional lemon-squeezer hats with a light colored shirt and dark pants.

The 1950s

A Canadian contingent attended the 7th World Jamboree which was held in Austria (1951). This was only 6 years after World War II. Austria was part of NAZI Germany during the War. Given the terrible attrocities committed by the Germans during the war, it is interesting that the Jamboree was held in former Reich territory. The Europeans were very rapifdly putting the past behind them, especially the yiuth. There were 36 Canadian Scouts attending the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth (1953). As A British Dominion, the Coronation was still an important event for Canadians. Canadian Scouts held their 2nd National Jamboree in the Connaught Ranges, Ottawa (1953). Attendance totale 1,196 Scouts. The 8th World Jamboree was held on Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada (1955). The 9th World Jamboree was held at Indaba, Moot in England (1957). There were 1,500 Canadians who attended. The 10th World Jamboree was held in the Philippines (1959). There were 91 Canadians who attend. The uniform as best we can tell remained largely unchanged. Cubs cointinued to wear a uniform just like Nritish Cubs, a peaked cap, green jumper (sweater), short pants and knee socks. We think the short pants were grey, but we are not positive. Grey shorts were more common in Britain than Canada.

The 1960s

1961 - 3rd Canadian jamboree - Connaught Ranges, Ottawa -2,095 attend. 1961 - 1st national sailing regatta. 1961 - National office opened by G. G. Vanier. 1963 - 11th world jamboree - Greece - 467 attend. 1964 - Canadian Boy magazine starts. 1964 - Arctic & Northern badges introduced. 1964 - revised badge scheme for Cubs. 1966 - 5 star scheme for Cubs. 1967 - Venturer program introduced. 1967 - Scouts relocate graves of "Fathers" as Centennial project. 1967 - Expo service corps - Montreal. 1967 - Agreement signed with Les Scouts. 1967 - 12th world jamboree - USA - 1,178 attend. 1968 - 1st Arctic & Northern Jamboree - Yellowknife. 1968 - Scout program revised. 1969 - 1st national Venturer conference. 1969 - 1st national Rover delegates conference.

The 1970s

1970 - 2nd Arctic & Northern jamboree - Churchill. 1971 - Canadian Boy magazine discontinued. 1971 - Agreement with ethnic groups. 1971 - Rover program revised. 1971 - 13th world jamboree - Japan - 350 attend. 1972 - Revisions to Venturer program. 1972 - Beavers introduced on controlled basis. 1974 - Beavers accepted as program. 1974 - Rovers became co-educational. 1975 - 14th world jamboree - Norway - 1300 attend. 1976 - Scouts Canada logo intorduced. 1977 - 4th Canadian jamboree - Cabot Park, PEI - 16,000 attend. 1977 - National Venturer Forum - PEI 1979 - Scouts attend Dalajamb - Sweden The Scouts Canada logo was introduced and the organization, by its By-laws, adopted the name Scouts Canada (1976).

The 1980s

1981 - 5th Canadian jamboree - Kananaskis Country, Alberta - 19,000 attend 1982 - 75th anniversary celebrations 1983 - 15th world jamboree - Kananaskis Country, Alberta - 103 countries 1984 - Venturers become co-ed 1985 - 6th Canadian jamboree - Guelph, Ontario - 12,000 attend 1987 - 16th world jamboree in Australia - 1,100 attend 1989 - 7th Canadian jamboree - PEI - 10,000 attend. Carolun Soto published a photographic study, The Boy Scouts depicting Scounting in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 1990s

1991 - 17th world jamboree will be in Korea - 330 Canadians attend 1992 - Scouts Canada becomes officially co-ed 1993 - 8th Canadian jamboree held in Kananaskis Country Alberta. over 13,000 attend. 1995 - 18th World Jamboree will be in the Netherlands 1997 - 9th Canadian jamboree will be held at Boulevard Lake, Thunder Bay, Ontario Return to Top

The 21st Century



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Created: 5:34 PM 2/25/2006
Last updated: 12:19 AM 2/10/2012