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Scout Organisational Branches

ScoutingThe Scout training programme is progressive. It is applied through two branches of the Movement which are in themselves adapted to the changing psychology of growing boys and girls. Since not all young people mature at the same pace, there is flexibility in the age grouping of these Branches.



A boy or girl is normally admitted to the Cub Pack at the age of eight, but may join at seven years and six months under certain circumstances. A Cub 'goes up' to the Troop at the age of eleven, or under certain circumstances six months earlier. A Cub may not remain in the Pack after their eleventh birthday.




A boy or girl may be admitted to the Scout Troop after their eleventh birthday – or in the case of a Cub who has special permission, at the age of ten years and six months. A Scout may not remain in the Troop after their eighteenth birthday, except as a Scouter.



Hiking can be tiringThere is a third Branch of the Movement, ROVER SCOUTS, which is not essentially a training Branch although incentives are offered to encourage young men and women of eighteen to thirty years to continue their own personal training. That way they will prepare themselves for their own future while offering service to others.

The late Dr E G Malherbe, former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Natal, had this to say about Baden-Powell and Scouting: "It is strange that very few people seem to realise that in Baden-Powell we had one of the greatest educators of all time, and one whose name will live in the history of education. "In what lies Baden-Powell's great educational contribution? "

In simple terms, Baden-Powell succeeded in devising an organisation which gives the boy (and the girl) an interest in life at a time when most of them lose grip on their environment (chiefly their school work) and on themselves. At this stage youngsters begin to feel grown-up in some respects and want the privileges and freedom of the adult, while many of their reactions are still perfectly childish. They are betwixt and between – 'too big for a serviette and too small for a tablecloth' as the saying goes."

Scouting, then, is an educational movement concerned with the development of character, which encourages the young person to take the responsibilities for which they long, in an environment where no harm can come from their possibly immature decisions. Scouting is not a way of relieving parents of responsibility, since to succeed Scouting requires strong parent co-operation. It is not a way of keeping boys and girls amused. It is a Movement with a specific aim which it endeavours to achieve through a programme enjoyable to the young person.

SA Scouts Association