Dutch East Indies Boy Scout Movement (1912-42)

Figure 1.--Here Queen Wilhemena inspects DEI Scouts in 1937 at Apeldoorn. The press photo caption read, "Dutch Indian Boy Scouts paid Queen Wilhemina a courtesy visit at the Palace where her majesty is shown inspecting them in full regalia." We're not sure why the Scouts have different headwear. The boys wearing fezes may be Muslims.

Scouting was founded in Indonesia while the country was the Dutch colony of the Dutch East Indies (1912). It was organized as a branch of the Nederlandse Padvinders Organisatie (NPO). This was the Dutch Boys Scouts. After 1916 it was organized as the Nederland Indische Padvinders Vereeniging (Netherlands Indies Scout Movement). Other Scouting associations were founded. We note a memoir from a boy who was an eager Cub and Scout in the years before the Japanese World War II invasion. We believe that relatively few boys were involved, but have little information. One reports suggests that Scouting was very popular and quite a number of boys joined. We havev no actual numbers. We suspect that many of the DEI Scouts were from the more Dutch-related Christian minority, but again have little actual data. We do not know if Scouting was an integrated movement or if there were separate units for Dutch and Indonesian boys.


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Created: 8:32 AM 7/23/2008
Last updated: 8:32 AM 7/23/2008