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Scouting and Guiding in Belgium

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File:Belg7.jpg
historic membership badge of one of the several Belgian Scout Associations

The Scouting and Guiding movement in Belgium consists of 15 to 20 different organizations serving about 160,000 members. Nearly all organizations are grouped by languages and confessions. The Crown Scout rank is the highest a Boy Scout can achieve.

History

The first Scout Troop was founded in Brussels in 1909. Englishman Harold Parfitt founded the first Scout Troop for British boys, belonging to the British colony in that city. Belgians observing the troop's activities also took an interest in Scouting and soon Belgian Scouting began.

Boy Scouts of Belgium (BSB) was founded on December 23, 1910. The first all-Belgian troop was founded in Brussels. They used the British badges, rules and uniforms. This association was open to all boys.

As early as 1911 the B.S.B. founded a Girl Guide or Girl Scout troop but World War I and the German occupation hampered their development, so the founding of G.G.B. was not until December 17, 1919. They also used British badges, rules and uniforms.

Belgium was again occupied by the Germans during World War II, between 1940-1944, and Scouting was banned by the Nazis. Some underground activities however were conducted. Scouting resumed after the liberation in spring 1944. B.S.B. and G.G.B. merged into one organization in July 1945. Each section remained separate, and there were no mixed groups until well into the 1980s.

The Sea Scouts of Belgium (SSB), was founded in April 1914. SSB is an open movement concentrating on Sea Scouting only and founded along the North Sea Coast in the Flemish speaking part of Belgium only. SSB did not have any connection with BSB. They also used British badges, uniforms and rules.

Organizations

Active on national or regional level are:

There is also a number of local organizations including:

  • Scouts de Genval
  • Scouts de Grez
  • Unité scoute protestante Jean Calvin
  • Unité scoute de Profondsart.

International Scouting units in Belgium

Thanks to the many international institutions in Belgium there are some international Scout organizations active in the country. Among them are the British Scouts Western Europe (part of The Scout Association UK), the Transatlantic Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Fetes locales partout en Belgique" (in French) (128KBPDF). Guides and Scouts of Belgium. 2006. http://www.lesscouts.be/fileadmin/documents/ZOOM100_Communique_presse.pdf. Retrieved 2006-12-08. 

See also

External links