The Boy Scouts Association of Zimbabwe
- This article is about the youth movement. For the defunct Rhodesian military units, see Selous Scouts or Grey Scouts.
20px History of Scouting in Rhodesia
Scouting in the former Rhodesia and Nyasaland started in 1909 when the first Boy Scout troop was registered. Scouting grew quickly and in 1924 Rhodesia and Nyasaland sent a large contingent to the second World Scout Jamboree in Ermelunden, Denmark.
A detailed history of this very early period was written in Burnham: King of Scouts, a biographical novel by Peter van Wyk. Frederick Russell Burnham (1861-1947), an American from California, taught Scouting to Robert Baden-Powell, inspiring Baden-Powell to eventually found the Boy Scouts. Burnham went to Africa in 1893 to scout for Cecil Rhodes on the Cape-to-Cairo Railway. He was a scout in the Matabele War and gained fame when he survived the British equivalent of Custer's Last Stand. During a rebellion in 1896, Burnham took Colonel Baden-Powell into the African hills and taught him scoutcraft. Baden-Powell's very life was changed, and forever after that he promoted Scouting at every opportunity.
The great popularity of the Boy Scout movement in Rhodesia was due to its outdoor program such as hiking, camping, cooking and pioneering, which was unusual in the protectorate. Additionally, the training and progressive badge system was targeted towards helping others, leading to responsible citizenship.
Because of the prevailing circumstances earlier in the 20th century, a separate movement was established for black Africans called "Pathfinders". By the 1950s the time was considered to merge both movements into one Scout Association, as was done with the South African Scout Association.
Rhodesia hosted the Central African Jamboree in 1959 at Ruwa.
20px Scouting in Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Interestingly, in the 10 months the nation's name changed to Zimbabwe Rhodesia, from June 1, 1979 to April 18, 1980, a photo was taken of a group of Scouts from around the world. This photo, which features a Scout wearing a uniform emblazoned with a large Zimbabwe Rhodesia badge over the right pocket, was used for the cover of 250 Million Scouts by World Chief Scout Executive Dr. László Nagy in 1985.
Present Scouting in Zimbabwe
In 1983, Mr. Charles A. Martin was awarded the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting.
- Girl Guides Association of Zimbabwe
- Frederick Russell Burnham
- Scouting on Two Continents, by Major Frederick Russell Burnham, D.S.O. LC call number: DT775 .B8 1926. (1926)
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