Portal:Scouting

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The Scout movement, also known as Scouting or the Scouts, is a voluntary non-political educational movement for young people. Although it requires an oath of allegiance to a nation's political leaders and, in some countries, to a God, it otherwise allows membership without distinction of gender, race or origin in accordance with the principles of its founder, Lord Baden-Powell. The purpose of the Scout Movement is to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities. During the first half of the twentieth century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups for boys: Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Rover Scout. In 1910, the Girl Guides was created, encompassing three major age groups for girls: Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout and Ranger Guide. It is one of several worldwide youth organizations.

In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, wrote a book for boys about reconnaissance and scouting. This book, Scouting for Boys, was based on his earlier books about military scouting, with influence and support of Frederick Russell Burnham (Chief of Scouts in British Africa), Ernest Thompson Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, William Alexander Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. In mid-1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in England to test ideas for his book. This camp and the publication of Scouting for Boys (London, 1908) are generally regarded as the start of the Scout movement.

The movement employs the Scout method, a programme of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports. Another widely recognized movement characteristic is the Scout uniform, by intent hiding all differences of social standing in a country and making for equality, with neckerchief and campaign hat or comparable headwear. Distinctive uniform insignia include the fleur-de-lis and the trefoil, as well as badges and other patches.

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1909 Crystal Palace Scout Rally

The Crystal Palace Rally was a historic gathering of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts at the Crystal Palace in London on Saturday, 4 September 1909. The rally demonstrated the rapid popularization of Scouting with an estimated 11,000 boys attending with the prominent presence of Girl Scouts also being significant for the start of Girl Guides/Scouts. The rally was held a year and a half after the publication of Scouting for Boys and The Scout magazine, and two years after Robert Baden-Powell's demonstration Brownsea Island Scout Camp.

The Rally was a precursor to the later Scout Jamborees and World Scout Jamborees. Read more...
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Official portrait, 2006

Robert Michael Gates (born September 25, 1943) is an American intelligence analyst, and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. He was originally appointed by President George W. Bush and was retained for service by President Barack Obama. Gates began his career serving as an officer in the United States Air Force but was quickly recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Gates served for 26 years in the CIA and the National Security Council, and was Director of Central Intelligence under President George H. W. Bush. After leaving the CIA, Gates became president of Texas A&M University and was a member of several corporate boards. Gates served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton, that studied the lessons of the Iraq War.

Gates was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush as Secretary of Defense after the 2006 election, replacing Donald Rumsfeld. He was confirmed with bipartisan support. In a 2007 profile written by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Time named Gates one of the year's most influential people. In 2008, Gates was named one of America's Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report. He continued to serve as Secretary of Defense in President Barack Obama's administration. He retired in 2011. "He'll be remembered for making us aware of the danger of over-reliance on military intervention as an instrument of American foreign policy," said former Senator David L. Boren. Gates was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Obama during his retirement ceremony. Read more...

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