Scouting began in England in 1907, based on the ideas of founder Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell and his book “Scouting for Boys.” The book and program proved to have universal appeal for boys and quickly spread worldwide. The Scouting program spread around the world until it became what it is now—the largest voluntary youth movement in the world, with a membership of more than 25 million.
A member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8, 1910, by W.D. Boyce. Through the BSA’s International Department, American Scouts and international Scouts are provided a common resource of programs, funding, and training that increases and enhances their experience in the brotherhood of Scouting.
Periodically, there will be opportunities to participate in Scouting on a global scale. Scouting organizations from other countries hold national Jamborees in their own country and every four years Scouting holds a World Jamboree. Information on upcoming international Scouting events are listed below.
World Jamboree 2019
When: July 22 to Aug. 9, 2019
Where: The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, Beckley, West Virginia
Cost: Not yet available
More information is available on the World Jamboree website.
The Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. Held on the third full weekend of October each year, this worldwide jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby radio amateur’s ham shack. In the Gulf Ridge Council, amateur or “ham” radio operators visit Spook-O-Ree, bringing their gear so Scouts can share Scouting fellowship over the airwaves. There are many ways to get your Scouts involved in JOTA. For more information, please go to http://www.scouting.org/jota.aspx
European Camp Staff
Through the European Camp Staff program, young leaders from the Boy Scouts of America have the opportunity to learn more about Scouting in Europe by working at a European Scout center. Scout centers in Europe do not operate in the same way that BSA camps do. The staff members of a typical European Scout center are usually involved in many different aspects of operating the center rather than specializing in one particular area.
All participants in the European Camp Staff Program must be between 18 and 30 years of age and must be volunteers registered with the Boy Scouts of America. To ensure that the experience is worthwhile, participants should be prepared to commit themselves to work for a minimum of six weeks. More information is available in the info sheet and on the National Council’s website.
International Spirit Award
Registered Scouts and Scouters who have completed the necessary requirements, have gained a greater knowledge of international Scouting, and have a greater appreciation and awareness of different cultures have countries may receive the International Spirit Award. The requirements and the application are here.