Scouting Nederland

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Scouting Nederland is the national Scout organisation of the Netherlands with approximately 110,000 members (53,324 male[1] and 54,663 female, 87,000 youth members,[2] as of 2010.

Scouting Nederland
Scouting Nederland
Headquarters Leusden
Country the Netherlands
Founded 1911 / 1973
Membership 110,000
Patron Princess Máxima
Affiliation World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts,
World Organization of the Scout Movement

Scouting portal

The official patron of Scouting Nederland is Her Majesty Queen Máxima of The Netherlands, the wife of the His Majesty The King of The Netherlands, Willem-Alexander. From 2005 is Scouting Nederland also affiliated to the International Scout and Guide Fellowship, April 2011 the ISGF suspended that affiliation.


Scouting for boys was started in the Netherlands in the summer of 1910 when the first Scout troops were formed in a few cities. Scouting started about a year later for girls. Dutch Scouts were among the founding members of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 1928 and also among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1920.

On 7 January 1911 the first national organisation was founded, the Nederlandsche Padvinders Organisatie (NPO, Netherlands Pathfinder Organisation). They merged with the Nederlandsche Padvinders Bond (NPB, Netherlands Pathfinder Federation) on 11 December 1915 and became known as De Nederlandse Padvinders (NPV, Netherlands Pathfinders). In 1933 some Scout Groups broke away from the NPV to form the Padvinders Vereniging Nederland (PVN, Pathfinder Association the Netherlands), because difficulties concerning the Scout Promise arose. The difficulty was that boys who recognised no god still had to promise "To do my duty to God and my country". The Scout Groups found that one grew hypocrites this way. The NPV and the PVN almost reunited in 1940. The PVN was not refounded after World War II. Although the NPV was open to boys of all religions, a Roman Catholic organisation was founded in 1930, the Katholieke Verkenners (KV, Catholic Scouts). First inside the NPV, but after 1938 as a separate organisation. After World War II the Roman Catholic Church wanted to merge all Roman Catholic youth organisations. After negotiations the Katholieke Verkenners were allowed to go on as Verkenners van de Katholieke Jeugdbeweging (Scouts of the Catholic youth movement). The Katholieke Verkenners became a separate organisation again in 1961.

Girls got their first own organisation in 1911, Eerste Nederlandsche Meisjes Gezellen Vereeniging (E.N.M.G.V., First Dutch Girls Companions Society), but this organisation never got many members. Girls had also been member of the NPO but the NPV was boys only. On 16 January 1916 the Het Nederlandsche Meisjesgilde (NMG, Dutch Girls Guild) started, which later changed its name to Het Nederlandse Padvindsters Gilde (NPG, Dutch Girl-pathfinders Guild), followed in 1945 by the founding of a separate Catholic organisation, the Nederlandse Gidsenbeweging (NGB, Dutch Guide Movement), which later changed its name to Nederlandse Gidsen (NG, Dutch Guides).

During World War II all Scouting movements were prohibited and officially dissolved in the Netherlands, because the organizations refused to merge with Youth Storm, the Dutch National Socialist youth organization. Still, many continued their activities secretly. After the end of the war, Scouting again became very popular and therefore many of the current local Scout Groups in the Netherlands were founded in 1945 or 1946.

The four separate organisations (NPV, KV, NPG and NG) existed until 1973, when they all merged into Scouting Nederland (SN).


The emblem of "De Nederlandse Padvinders" consisted of a Fleur-de-lis and a banner with the Scout Motto "Weest Paraat" . The emblem of "Het Nederlandse Padvindstersgilde" (NPG) consisted of a ten point white star for the ten lines in the Girl Scouts law on a blue Trefoil for Girl Scouting/Guiding with the Scout Motto "Wees Bereid", variants are still in use by Het Surinaamse Padvindsters Gilde, Het Arubaanse Padvindsters Gilde and Padvindstersvereniging van de Nederlandse Antillen. Before 1936 the NPG had the same emblem with an eight point star because of an eight point law. Het Nederlandsche Meisjesgilde had the same emblem with an eight point star but with the letters NMG. The emblem of the "Katholieke Verkenners" , consisted of a Fleur-de-lis for Boy Scouts, on a cross potent for Catholic Scouts, a variant was used by the Katholieke Verkenners Suriname. The emblem of the Nederlandse Gidsen (Beweging) consisted of a light blue Trefoil for Girl Scouting/Guiding on a yellow Cross potent for Roman Catholic Scouting/Guiding, a variant is still in use by the Gidsen Suriname.


Het Nederlandsche Meisjesgilde / Het Nederlandse Padvindstersgilde 1916-1936

  • Be much (help) at home
  • Do not despise any kind of work
  • Be honest and faithful
  • Be helpful for human and animal
  • Speak and think no harm
  • Obey without complaining
  • Wear disappointment with cheerfulness
  • Care for your health

The NPG after 1936 and the NPV, KV, and NG had a law based on the Scout Law.

Dutch recipients of the Silver Wolf Award

  • Jean Jacques Rambonnet - chairman N.P.V., Chief Scout
  • Arie E. Oosterlee - May 1938 - Head quarter commissioner N.P.V.

Motto, Promise and Law

Scout Motto

The Scout Motto is in not much use after the merger. The Motto before the merger was for Cub Scouts was Doe je best, for Boy Scouts Weest Paraat and for Girl Guides Wees Bereid.

Scout Promise

The Dutch Scout Promise is one of the few in the world where the reference to God is optional. It makes the Netherlands an exception to the WOSM guidelines. The Constitution of WOSM states that the Promise should include a reference to Duty to God,[3] but six countries, including the Netherlands were granted the right in the 1920s by Lord Baden-Powell to additionally use an alternative promise without a reference to God.[4] WOSM decided in 1932 that no new exceptions would be made and expressed the hope that the few remaining countries would stop using any promise lacking a reference to Duty to God.[4]

Section Dutch English translation
Beavers No official Promise (Some groups made their own promise)
Cub Scout
Ik beloof mijn best te doen
(met de hulp van God)
een goede Esta / Welp / Kabouter / Dolfijn te zijn,
iedereen te helpen waar ik kan
en me te houden aan de Esta- / Welpen- / Kabouter- / Dolfijnen-wet.
Jullie kunnen op me rekenen.
I promise to do my best
(with the help of God)
to be a good Esta / Cub Scout / Brownie / Dolphin
to help everyone where I can
and to live by the Esta / Brownie / Cub Scout / Dolphin law.
You can count on me.
Scouts Ik beloof mijn best te doen
(met de hulp van God)
een goede Scout te zijn,
bewust het goede te zoeken en te bevorderen,
iedereen te helpen waar ik kan
en me te houden aan de Scouts-wet.
Jullie kunnen op me rekenen.
I promise to do my best
(with the help of God)
to be a good Scout
to search for and encourage the good consciously,
to help everyone where I can
and to live by the scouts law.
You can count on me.
(Declaration of Willingness)
Als Explorer wil ik samen met anderen
de wereld om mij heen ontdekken
en meer leefbaar maken.
Met de inzet van mijn mogelijkheden
en met eerbied voor alles wat leeft
wil ik de kansen die ik krijg benutten.
Ik probeer zo goed mogelijk om te gaan
met de middelen die mij ter beschikking staan
en ik respecteer mijzelf en anderen.
Being an Explorer I want, together with others,
explore the world around me
and to make this world a better place to live in.
with the use of all my talents
and with respect for all that lives
I want to make use of the chances I get.
I try and cope as best as I can
with the means that are available
and I respect myself and others
De jongeren van Scouting Nederland
streven er naar door samen te ontdekken
te bezinnen en te dienen
zich open te stellen en in te zetten voor hun medemens.
By exploring together
the adolescents of Scouting Nederland
aim at reflecting and serving,
to open up and get into action for their fellow man
Leaders Ik beloof mijn best te doen
(met de hulp van God)
voor jullie een goede leider/leidster te zijn
en jullie te helpen een goede Bever / Esta / Kabouter / Welp / Dolfijn / Scout / Explorer te zijn.
Ik beloof ook bewust het goede te zoeken en te bevorderen.
Ik wil dit doen samen met de andere leiding van de .... groep.
Jullie kunnen op me rekenen.
I promise to do my best
(with the help of God)
to be a good leader for you
and to help you being a good Beaver / Esta / Brownie / Cub Scout / Dolphin / Scout / Explorer
I also promise to search for and encourage the good consciously,
I would like to do that together with the other leaders of the .... group.
You can count on me.

Scout Law

All Dutch Scouts pledge faith to the Scout Law in their Scout Promise.

Section Dutch English translation
Beavers No Law
Cub Scout
Een Esta / Welp / Kabouter / Dolfijn speelt samen
met anderen in het Land van Esta / in de Rimboe / in Bambilië / op en rond het water.
Hij / Zij is eerlijk, vriendelijk
en houdt vol
en zorgt goed voor de natuur.
An Esta / Cub Scout / Brownie / Dolphin plays together
with others in Esta Land / in the Jungle / in Bambilië / in and around the water
He / She is honest and kind
He / She perseveres
and takes good care of nature.
Scouts Een Scout trekt er samen
met anderen op uit
om de wereld om zich heen te ontdekken
en deze meer leefbaar te maken.
Hij/Zij is eerlijk, trouw, en houdt vol.
Hij/Zij is spaarzaam en sober
en heeft zorg voor de natuur.
Hij/Zij respecteert zichzelf en anderen.
A scout ventures out into the world
together with others
to explore the world around him / her
and to make it a better place to live in.
He / she is honest, loyal and will persevere.
He / She is thrifty and plain
and cares for nature.
He / She respects him / herself and others


Scouting Nederland is open for everyone irrespective of belief, race, skin colour, handicap, political context, sexual preference, or age. Scouting Nederland is co-educational and open, but single sex Scout Groups and Scout Groups with a religion are allowed.

In the Netherlands, most Scout groups are regular Scouts, but special programmes have been developed also for Water Scouts and Air Scouts. Apart from the standard age groups, Scouting in the Netherlands has a separate division for handicapped members, called the Blauwe Vogels (BV, (Blue Birds) or Bijzondere Eisen (BE, Special Needs).

The Crown Scout rank was the highest a Boy Scout could achieve in the Netherlands, until the mid 1970s.

Regular Scouts

Logo of Scouting Nederland

The regular Dutch Scouting programme is divided into several age groups, although some age groups partly overlap and there are multiple programmes for some age groups.[5]

The age group for ages 5 to 7 is called Bevers (Beavers).

For ages between 7 to 11 the programme is called Welpen (Cubs). Until 2010 there were also Kabouters (Brownies), mostly for girls and Esta's for co-educational groups. These programmes and the "Dolfijnen" are being replaced by a redesigned Welpen programme with a second main character, the girl Shanti, and more water animals.

The age group 11 to 15 is called Scouts, but often the old, now unofficial, names Verkenners (Boy Scouts), Padvindsters or Gidsen (Girl Scout/Guide) are used.

The age group for ages 15 to 18 is called Explorers, but often the old, now unofficial, names Rowans for boys and Sherpa's for girls are used.

The age group for ages 18 to 21 is called "Roverscouts", before 2010 "Jongerentak", but more often the name "stam" (crew) is used or the old, now unofficial, name Pivo's" (Pionier(st)er/Voortrekker Ranger/Rover)

The age group above 21 is called Plusscouts.

Water Scouts

Sail emblem Lelievlet

In the Netherlands there are about 300 [6] Sea Scout Groups. Because the dutch scouts are sailing on all kinds of water (not only "Sea") they speak about "Water Scout" instead of Sea Scouts. Approximately 32 % of the Water Scouts are girls. The total fleet of all Dutch water scout groups consists of 54 guard ships, 120 tugboats and motorboats, 100 Lelieschouwen, 1,550 Lelievletten (iron sailboat for 6 persons) and 40 Juniorvletten (smaller size of the Lelievlet). Sea Scouting has its own sections for many age groups, but Cub Scout and Beaver Scout Sections can also be a part of the Group. Officially, there are specialized water scout programs for 12 years and older.

Until 2010 there was a special water programme for age 8 to 11, Dolfijnen (Dolphins). This is being replaced by a redesigned Welpen programme with a second main character, the girl Shanti, and more water animals.

Members are called Water Scouts from 12 to 16 years or more often Zeeverkenners, a unit is referred to as Wacht (Watch). The adult leaders are called Schipper (Skipper) and Stuurman (Coxswain). A patrol is called bak, its leader Boots(man) and his/her assistant Kwartiermeester. Water Scouts (which number 5,400 in the Netherlands) use Juniorvletten or Lelievletten.

The (Matrozen ter) Wilde Vaart (sailors of the high seas in English) are the Sea Scouting version of Explorers, a unit is referred to as Afdeling Wilde Vaart uses Lelievletten or Lelieschouwen. The 1,400 members are aged between 16 and 18 years.

The approximately 2,000 Rover Scouts and Ranger Guides of the Dutch Sea scouts are called Loodsen (Harbour pilots).

Air Scouts

Being not very common, there are only about 15 Air Scout groups in the Netherlands. At the scouts age (10-15), they are called Luchtscouts or Luchtverkenners and Air Scout Explorers are called Astronauten (Astronauts).


The Northern Pinkster Camp (Dutch: Noordelijk Pinksterkamp or NPK) is a Scouting camp held on the military practice terrain Marnewaard in the province of Groningen. The camp is held every year at Pentecost. The camp is held for members of Scouting Nederland from the northern Netherlands provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe.

The Northern Pinkster Camp is the largest annual Scouting camp of the Netherlands and one of the largest of the whole of Europe[7]. In 2007 when the camp was held there were almost 3500 participants.


Welpen of Scouting Nederland

The official uniform of all Scouts in the Netherlands consists of blue trousers, a light blue t-shirt, a light blue sweater or a shirt, a neckerchief that is different between Scout Groups and optionally a cap. The shirt differs between the different age groups, the ages 5 to 8 can wear a red shirt, the ages 7 to 11 a light green shirt, the ages 10 to 15 a khaki shirt and the ages above 14 a dark red/violet ("brick") shirt. Apart from that, all Sea Scouts can wear a dark blue shirt and all Air Scouts can wear a light gray shirt.


External links