Scouting began as a programme for boys 11 to 18 years of age. Yet almost immediately others also wanted to participate. The Girl Guides programme was started in 1910 by Baden-Powell. His wife Olave, whom he married in 1912, became Chief Guide.
A Wolf Cub section was formed for younger boys. It used Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book", to provide an imaginative symbolic framework for activities. For older boys, a Rover Scout branch was formed.
Between the two world wars Scouting continued to flourish in all parts of the world - except in totalitarian countries where it was banned. Scouting is voluntary and based on democratic principles.
During World War II, Scouts undertook many service tasks – messengers, firewatchers, stretcher-bearers, salvage collectors and so on. In occupied countries, Scouting continued in secret with Scouts playing important roles in the resistance and underground movements. After the war ended, it was found that the numbers of Scouts in some occupied countries had, in fact, increased.
Many countries gained their independence during these years. Scouting in developing countries gradually evolved to be a youth programme which was designed by Scout leaders in each country to better meet the needs of their communities.
Scouts, particularly in developing countries, became more involved with issues such as child health, low-cost housing, literacy, food production and agriculture, job skills training, etc.
Drug abuse prevention, life skills training, integration of the handicapped, environmental conservation and education, and peace education became issues of concern to Scouts around the world.
By the 1990s Scouting had been reborn in every country where it existed prior to World War II, and it started throughout the newly independent countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly the USSR).
In 2007 the Movement celebrated its centenary - 100 years of Scouting. What started as a small camp on Brownsea Island is today a growing Movement with members in nearly every country in the world. Through its unique combination of adventure, education and fun, Scouting manages to continuously renew and adapt itself to a changing world and the different needs and interests of young people across the globe. In doing so it continues to be an inspiration for young people to become active local and global citizens, helping them in creating a better world.