Scouts & Girl Guides

The history of the Scouts and Girl Guides are very much intertwined.  Scouts was established by Lt. Gen. Robert Baden-Powell in 1907.  Baden-Powell was a British soldier who gained recognition for his unorthodox scouting methods.   Eventually he became responsible for training other soldiers.  Upon his arrival home after the war, he discovered that the manual he had written for soldiers was being used to teach Boys’ Clubs and Boys’ Brigade.  He then decided to write a book specifically for boys.  In 1907 he decided to put his ideas into motion and organized the first camp on Brownsea Island.  The camp was well received and thus was the beginning of the Scouts organization.1

In 1909, a Scouting rally took place at Crystal Palace in London, England: 11,000 boys attended.  To Baden-Powell’s great surprise, there were a large number of girls who made their way to the rally and demanded entry.  So impressed was Baden-Powell that he had asked his sister, Agnes to create a program for girls.  A few years later when Baden-Powell was married, his wife Olave also became active in establishing the Girl Guides.2

It did not take long for both movements to find their way to Canada.  Scouts groups were established in Canada the same year the movement began in Britain.3  By 1912 there were Girl Guide groups established in every province.4  Each organization is sub-divided to accommodate different age groups.  Scouts consists of; Beavers, ages 5-7, Cubs, ages 8-10, Scouts, ages 11-14, Venturers, ages 14-17 and Rovers, ages 18-26.5  Girl Guides consist of; Sparks, ages 5-6, Brownies, ages 7-8, Guides, ages 9-11, Pathfinders, ages 12-14, and Rangers, ages 15-17.6

The mission of Scouts is “To contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society.”7  The Cornwall Scouts Club was established in Cornwall in 1972.   Roy Mutter began the club with a group of boys who came from the former New Haven troop.  The group held its meetings at the Cornwall Lions Club.8  Although membership has dropped over the years, Scouts continues to operate in Cornwall.  Beavers is the only program currently running with roughly eight children registered.

The mission of the Girl Guides is; “Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada enables girls to be confident, resourceful and courageous, and to make a difference in the world.”9  The date of establishment of the Girl Guides program in Cornwall is unknown.  It could be assumed that the Girl Guides groups began around the same time as the Scouts.  According to the newspaper clipping found below, a North River Club had also been established at the end of 1971.  Roughly twenty-nine girls are registered in different levels of Girl Guides in Cornwall.  The groups meet weekly at the Cornwall United Church.

newspaper clipping brownies

 Newspaper Clippings Courtesy of Margaret and Bruce "Buddy" MacKinley


Newspaper Clipping Courtesy of Arelen & Ryan Clory - From the Guardian, December 30, 1971


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