To know more about what it means being a Boy Scout, here are some links to enrich your understanding:
The Aim and Method
The aim of the Scout Section is to encourage the spiritual, mental and physical development of the eleven to sixteen years old youths as an integral part of the continuous training of the Scout Movement.
Guided by adult leadership, and based on the Scout Law and Promise, an enjoyable,attractive and worth-while scheme of progressive training and the Patrol System are provided and operated.
Father of Scouting: Baden Powell
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, known as B.-P., was born in London on 22nd February 1857. His father, Reverend Baden-Powell, a Professor at Oxford University died when B.-P. was only three years old. B.-P. was the 6th son and the 8th of 10 children of his father. He studied at Charterhouse School where he began to exploit his interest in the arts of Scouting and woodcraft. He and his brothers were always in search of adventure. He spent his holidays camping, hiking and sailing. In all this, B.-P. was learning tent pitching, map and compass use, and wood-fire cooking.
B.-P.’s academic result at school was not very outstanding. But he had excellent performance in the open examination for the Army and was commissioned straight into the 13th Hussars, bypassing the officer training. He served in India, Afghanistan and South Africa with the 13th Hussars.
In 1897, he was promoted to command the 5th Dragon Guards. B.-P. firstly introduced Scouting training in the 5th Dragon Guards and gave badges to award the soldiers when they achieved certain standards.
In 1899, he helped defend Mafeking during its 217-day siege in Boer War in South Africa. By using the local boys as messengers in the corps during the siege, he was strongly impressed the courage and resourcefulness of the boys. The siege of Mafeking ended on 17th May 1900. He became a national hero for his success in the defending.
During the 217-day siege, B.-P.’s book ‘Aids to Scouting’ was published and became very popular. When he returned to England as Inspector General of Cavalry, it was found that the book was widely used by youth leaders and teachers in the country.
In 1907, he led a groups of 20 youths plus his nephew and an older brother of the boys on camp to Brownsea Island, Poole, Dorset to have an experimental camp in order to test his ideas in practice. In 1908, his another book ‘Scouting for Boys’ was published. It was regarded as training aid for many organisations. Boys also tried the ideas by forming themselves into Scout Patrols. Scouting gradually became a worldwide Movement. ‘Scouting for Boys’ has been translated into many different languages and dialects. He had established an office to handle the large number of enquiries concerning the Movement in 1908. With the advice of His Majesty King Edward VII, B.-P. retired from the Army in 1910 and fully concentrated in the Scout Movement.
He was enthusiastic in the development of Scouting and also its sister Movement, Guiding. He traveled all over the world in order to encourage the growth of the Movements. In 1912, he married Olave Soames who was very helpful in all his work.
In 1920, B.-P. was acclaimed as Chief Scout of the World in the 1st international Scout Jamboree took place at Olympia, London.
In 1929, at the 3rd World Jamboree held in Arrowe Park, to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the publication of “Scouting for Boys”, he took the title of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell and Gilwell Park became the International Training Centre for Scout Leaders.
In 1938, he returned to Africa for his semi-retired life in Nyeri, Kenya because of his ill health. He died on January 8, 1941 at the age of 83.
The Scout Law and Promise
On my honour,
I promise that I will do my best,
to do my duty to God and to my Country,
to help other people and to keep the Scout Law.
- A Scout is to be trusted.
- A Scout is loyal.
- A Scout is friendly and considerate.
- A Scout belongs to the world-wide family of Scouts.
- A Scout has courage in all difficulties.
- A Scout makes good use of time and is careful of possessions and property.
- A Scout has self respect and respect for others.
The Scout Motto: Be Prepared
The Scout Motto of the Scout movement, in various languages, has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907. Most of the member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) share this same motto.
In English, this motto is most commonly Be Prepared, and it is no coincidence that this motto can be shortened to B. P. and Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the movement, used to shorten his surname into B.-P.
In the third part of Scouting for Boys Robert Baden-Powell explains the meaning of the phrase:
The Scout Motto is: BE PREPARED which means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.
“To do the right thing at the right moment” can be extreme:
“Where a man has gone so far as to attempt suicide, a Scout should know what to do with him.”
“BE PREPARED to die for your country if need be, so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed or not”
Procedures during Investiture
The Investiture is very personal occasion for the Scout, Scout Leader and the Troop. The Scout is making a solemn promise, and they are going to help the Scout to keep it. It should therefore be conducted by the Scout Leader, not by a visiting Commissioner.
For Investiture, the troop will form up in open square formation. A desk with the troop flag laid on the surface will be placed at the opening end of the square with scouters behind. Investiture will proceed on patrol basis.
- The patrol leader leads his new scouts and takes position in the middle of the far side of the square formation.
- The patrol leader and the new scouts march to the position two steps behind the desk and halt.
- The patrol leader and the new scouts salute the scouters.
- The scouters return the salute.
- The new scouts march one pace forward towards the desk.
- The new scouts form the Scout Sign with his left hand on place it on top of the troop flag.
- The new scouts answer the questions form the investing scouter.
- The investing scouter announces it is time to make the promise.
- All invested scouts and scouters give a half-salute.
- The investing scouter form the Scout Sign with his left hand on place it on top of the troop flag.
- The new scouts makes his promise under the lead of the investing scouter
- All invested scouts and scouters finish giving the half-salute.
- The new scouts receive the beret, group scarf and membership badge from the scouters.
- The new scouts march one pace backward away from the desk.
- The patrol leader and the new scouts salute the scouters.
- The scouters return the salute.
- The patrol leader and the new scouts turn around.
- The patrol leader and the new scouts salute all scouts.
- All scouts return the salute.
- The patrol leader and the new scouts march back to the far side of the square formation.
- The patrol leader leads the new scouts back in formation.
Celebrations will be held after the Investiture.
Scout Association of HK
The Scout Association of Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港童軍總會) is the overall Scouting organization in Hong Kong. Scout training was first introduced to some boys in Hong Kong in 1910; the First Hong Kong Boy Scout Troop, affiliated with the St. Joseph’s College, was founded in 1913, and registered with the Boy Scouts Association in Britain in 1914; and the Hong Kong Boy Scouts Association, a local association of the British Boy Scouts Association, was launched in 1915. The Hong Kong branch became an autonomous association and the 111th member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1977.
In 2008, the association had 95,877 uniformed members, with approximately 2700 Scout groups in the sections Grasshopper Scouts, Cubs, Scouts, Venture and Rover Scouts, making it the largest uniformed youth organisation in Hong Kong. The headquarters at the Hong Kong Scout Centre (香港童軍中心) in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon host the administration, headed by the Hong Kong Chief Commissioner (香港總監).
The association runs campsites, including Gilwell Campsite (基維爾營地), Tai Tam Scout Centre (大潭童軍中心) and Tung Tsz Scout Centre (洞梓童軍中心), as well as hostels and Scout Activity Centres. It annually organises the traditional Scout Rally, providing Scout competitions and activities. For specific anniversaries, themed jamborees have been organised.
Brief history of Hong Kong Scout Movement
1913, Scouting in Hong Kong official registered at the scout Association Great Britain, as the scout Association Hong Kong branch.
1951, Establishment of three Scouting regions – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories.
1957, First Colony Jamboree.
1961, Golden anniversary camp.
1966, 50 year anniversary of Cub Scout in Hong Kong.
1971, Diamond Juilee of Scouting in Hong Kong.
1973, Mr. K.C. Ma apponited as Colony Commissioner.
1976, Establishment of East Kowloon Region.
1977, Establishment of the 34 Scout District.
1977, Hong Kong Scout Movement officially recognised as a member of the World Scout Association.
Scout Sign and Salute
The three-finger salute is used by members of Scout and Guide organizations around the world when greeting other Scouts and in respect of a national flag at ceremonies. In most situations, the salute is made with the palm face out, the thumb holding down the little finger, and with the fingertips on the brow of the head. There are some variations of the salute between national Scouting organisations and also within some programme sections.
A “half-salute”, known as the Scout Sign, is also used in certain situations. The hand is still held palm facing out, and the thumb holding the little finger, but the hand is held at the shoulder instead.
Meaning of the three fingers
In his book, Scouting for Boys, Robert Baden-Powell chose the three-finger salute for Scouts to represent the three aspects of the Scout Promise:
Honour God and the King
Obey the Scout Law
Salute or sign?
Originally, Baden-Powell intended for Scouts to salute each other in greeting when they first saw each other for the first time using the “secret sign”, or half-salute. This was regardless of whether the Scouts knew each other or not. Officers, such as Patrol Leaders, Scoutmasters, or members of the armed forces, were to be saluted with a full-salute.
Full-salutes were also required at the hoisting of the Union Flag, the playing of the national anthem, or at funerals.