Swiss Guide and Scout Movement
The Swiss Guide and Scout Movement (Pfadibewegung Schweiz (PBS), Mouvement Scout de Suisse, Movimento Scaut Svizzero, Moviment Battasendas Svizra) is the national Scouting and Guiding association of Switzerland. Scouting was founded in Switzerland in 1912 and was among the charter members of WOSM in 1922 and among the founding members of WAGGGS in 1928. The originally separate Swiss Guide Federation and Swiss Scout Federation merged in 1987. The PBS has 56’372 members in 700 local troops (as of 1997).
The Swiss Scout Movement is mixed at all levels. The only thing that still reminds of the old separation between Girl Guides and Boy Scouts is that some of the terms for different levels (in one or more of the three major languages spoken in Switzerland) are different.
The young age of Swiss leaders is a tradition. Even members of the district or national committees are rarely older than 30. The result is more freedom at the unit level, no discrimination, and a very important experience in leadership for young people.
The mandatory parts of the Swiss uniform are the shirt, the tie, any kind of good hiking boots, a fire lighter and a Swiss army knife. Optional parts are belt, Scout jeans, hat, dagger, etc. A youth receives his/her tie and vulgo (Scout name) from his unit leader in an initiation ceremony.
The Swiss Scout Movement is a member of J & S, a governmental institution which promotes sports among youths. Camps for youth in the 12-18 age range are subsidized by J & S, and also receive some basic material (wool blankets, denim square units, ropes, spades, etc.) from J & S for these occasions. J & S is also deeply involved in leader training, because unit leaders are basically special youth sport trainers.
The association is divided in four sections according to age. The different languages---Swiss German, French, and Italian---use different terms for sections:
- Brownies and Cubs: Bienli/Wölfli Template:De icon, Lutin/Louveteau/Louvette (French), Lupetti (Italian) - ages 8 to 11
- Guides and Scouts: Pfadi Template:De icon, Éclaireuse/Éclaireur (French), Esploratrici/Esploratori (Italian) - ages 11 to 15
- Ventures: Cordée/Raider/Pio Template:De icon, Cordée/Raider/Pionnier (French), Pionieri (Italian) - ages 15 to 18
- Rovers: Rover Template:De icon, Guide/Routier (French), Rover (Italian) - ages 18 and older
The age groups overlap because Swiss Scouts move a Scout to the next level according to his/her maturity, not his/her age.
The Scout Motto "Be Prepared" translates as "Allzeit bereit" in German, "Toujours prêt" in French and "Sempre pronto" in Italian.
(With the help of God,) with your help and happily I promise to do my best:
- To study in details the values of our Scout Law
- To search or the meaning of my life
- To be involved in the community where I live.
Guides and Scouts, we wish:
- To be honest and sincere
- To listen to and respect others
- To rejoice in all that is beautiful and give joy to others
- To be thoughtful and helpful
- To share
- To choose to the best of our abilities
- To protect nature and respect life
- To face difficulties with confidence
- And to commit ourselves.