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A Boy Scout is a boy, usually 11 to 17 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. This movement began in 1907, when Lt. General Robert Baden-Powell held the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island, South England. To advance his ideas, Baden-Powell wrote the book, Scouting for Boys, which targeted boy readership, and described the Scout method of using outdoor activities to develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth.

Boy Scouts are organized into troops averaging twenty to thirty Scouts under guidance of a Scout leader. Troops subdivide into patrols of about six Scouts and engage in outdoor and special interest activities. Troops may affiliate with national and international organizations. Some national Scouting associations have special interest programs such as Air Scouts, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure, Scouting bands and rider scouts. Some troops, especially in Europe, have been co-educational since the 1970s, allowing boys and girls to work together as Scouts.