Scout/Guide Law and Principles
The Scout Law is the scout and the guide’s compass: on the day of their Promise, they pledge to follow it faithfully throughout their lives. The Law is one of the most important levers of the scouting method, which educates to freedom: only those who are truly free can use their will to follow a law. Also, commitment helps to continually seek the good and to serve in everyday life.
- A scout’s/guide’s honour is to be trusted.
- A scout/guide is loyal to his country, his parents, his leaders and to those who depend on him.
- A scout/guide is made to serve and save his neighbour.
- A scout/guide is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout.
- A scout/guide is courteous and chivalrous.
- A scout/guide sees in nature the work of God: he likes plants and animals.
- A scout/guide obeys willingly and does not half do things.
- A scout/guide controls himself: he smiles and sings even under difficulties.
- A scout/guide is thrifty and takes care of his own possessions and those of others’.
- A scout/guide is pure in his thoughts, his words and his acts.
- A boy scout’s/girl guides duty starts at home.
- Faithful to his/her country, a boy scout/guide favours a united and fraternal Europe.
- As a son/daughter of Christendom, a scout/guide is proud of his/her faith: he/she labours to establish the reign of Christ in all his/her life and in the world around him.
The scouting movement includes three branches.
Each scouting branch is dedicated to a specific age group:
- Yellow branch– Wolvets and Wolf cubs: 8 to 12 years of age
- Green branch– Guides and Scouts: 12 to 16/17 years of age
- Red branch– Wayfarers and Rovers: from 16.5/17 years of age to 20 years of age.
In line with the Educational Project, the goal of scouting is sainthood and this is applied through prayer, living a Christian life and the scouting method.
In the Yellow Branch the scouting method is based on the psychology of the child (need for playfulness) and an imagery that is conducive to living Christian principles.
Wolvets and Wolf Cubs
The Wolf Cub Branch is the younger branch of scouting.
Wolvets are organised in Clearings and Wolf Cubs are organised in Packs. Each does their best to later become a good Scout or Guide and good Rovers and Wayfarers.
The Wolf Cub method starts from a direct knowledge of the child, considers life with the child’s eyes, and – in the picturesque environment of the Jungle Book – offers him a coherent set of games and activities in which he can develop himself and improve within a “Happy Family”.
With the help of the chiefs the wolf cubs and wolvets progress within the pack to do their promise and further their skills to gain the 1st and 2nd stars. The wolf cubs and wolvets can master their skills in certain areas and earn their badges.
The Wolf Cub Promise: “I promise to do my best to be faithful to God, my parents, to my country, to the pack law and to help other people ever day.“
The Happy Family: Living out the Christian Virtues
The Happy Family is gathered in a circle around Akela with the assistants spread out within the unit (in order to encourage the shyest Wolf cubs/Wolvets to speak up) where the pack/clearing takes together a concrete resolution to follow a virtue to be carried out during the day.
It is “a complete system in itself” (Vera Barclay), perfectly adapted to childhood.
The basis of a wolf cub or wolvet outing relies on the Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling,
The wolf cubs and wolvets in the jungle play a lot of games!
The children are guided by their chief Akela assisted by Mowgli’s friends Baloo, Bagheera, Hathi, Chill, Kaa.
Pack law, Motto, Master word
For the smooth functioning of the wolf pack and to keep the focus and attention of the wolf cubs during the outings, we use the Pack law, Maxims, motto and Master word.
Pack law: The wolf cub always listens to the elder wolf, The wolf cub does not listen to himself.
Motto: Do our best!
Master word: We are same blood you and I.
The aim of Scouting is sainthood, and the green branch deploys the scouting method for Guides and Scouts in order to set them on this course.
The green branch method is based on teen psychology. It uses what interests that age group (the need for self-affirmation, the taste for adventure, the instinct to gather in order to play and act, the desire to live one’s adult life in advance) to channel their activities and their energy. In this way their sense of responsibility is cultivated. This is how they grow into responsible adults.
Organisation of the green branch
Scouts and guides are organised in patrols of 5 to 8 members, aged 11/12 to 16/17. Two to four patrols make a Troop (boys) or a Company (girls) led by a Troop Chief or a Company Chief with assistant chief.
Each scout and guide in the patrol has responsibility for an Action Post for which he/she acquires a special training. There are 7 Action Posts:
- The Pioneer
- The Messenger
- The Animator
- The Explorer
- The Cook
- The Liturgist
- The First Aider
Every Scout or Guide has a responsibility for the good running of the Patrol.
In the Patrol one of the teens is the Patrol Chief. Each Patrol Chief is responsible for his or her Patrol and is also a member of the council of the adult chiefs and thus he takes part in the governing of the Troop or Company.
Each Scout and Guide, is invited to progress by completing tests that develop the points of the scouting method. This progression starts with a preparation to the Promise, then a level of Second Class, then a level of First Class. This progression is completed by technical badges (navigation, signalling, cook, first aider). The tests for the classes are more focused on the acquisition of the scout spirit whereas the badges are technical realisations.
Scout Promise: “On my honour, with God’s grace, I pledge to do my best to serve God, the Church, my Country and Europe, to help my neighbour at all times, and to comply with the Scout/Guide Law“.
Adapting to the adult age the five aims of scouting, the « Road » for young men and the « Fire » for young women offer structures, methods and activities leading them to become conscious of their responsibilities and their personal vocation of men and women and to assume them in a spirit of service, as well as to transpose Promise, Law and Principles into a life rule.
Rovers and Wayfarers
Third and last step of the scout education, the « Rover » and « Fire » Branches are its coronation. Strongly inserted in the present, but always directed towards the future, they open in front of the young people a road widely open on their adult life.
Thanks to the « Rover » and « Fire » Branches, scouting and guiding (that would be truncated without them) take their full human dimension and reach their aim: to educate committed citizens and irradiating Christians.
Taking young adults who are still teenagers, the « Rover » and « Fire » Branches want to help them become adults able to “paddle their canoe themselves” (Baden Powell), conscious of their duties, devoted to serve.
Coming from the Troop or from the Company, or coming from outside, at 16/17 years old, Rovers or Wayfarers join a Clan (for boys) or a Fire (for girls). The period of the « Road » or the « Fire » is characterised on the one hand by the very deep feeling of becoming a man or a woman able to act alone, even to oppose oneself to those who would pretend to restrain one’s desires, and on the other hand by a certain worry in front of the unknown that still represents the society of grown-ups for most of them.
The Rover and Wayfarer are accompanied by two mentors, one who is a lay person, generally married, and one who is a priest. They guide the young adult throughout their journey in the red branch to help them discern their vocation, to the priesthood or religious life, or as a lay person, married or single.
The purpose of the uniform is to form a single and united group, showing no difference in clothing styles that would indicate the origin or social level. A visual expression of the whole pedagogy, the wearing of the scout uniform is also a sign showing unity wherever there are groups of Guides and Scouts of Europe.
- The uniform consists of navy-blue bermuda shorts or culotte, and beige, navy-blue or light-blue shirts, according to the age group, and eventually the activity field (e.g. mountain or sea scouts).
- All wear a leather belt with the scout cross on the buckle, a symbol of scouting adventure, reminding them that “to put on a belt is to freely accept discipline, to be ready to leave“.
- On the shirt are sewn badges which show the scouts’ various development stages such as classes, badges, proficiency badges etc,. They encourage the younger scouts to learn from their elders, and thus grow. Other insignia are there to show their Guides and Scouts of Europe membership, but also that they belong to their country, region, group and patrol (bands).
- Scouts and Guides wear a beret with two straps or a flat-brimmed hat, depending on the association.
- The neckerchief is the universal scouting trademark.
The emblem of our movement is an eight-pointed cross overlaid with a golden fleur-de-lys. It was chosen by the founders of the movement in Cologne in 1956.
The red Maltese cross recalls the ideal of former knighthood, in particular that of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The eight points also recall the religion of our movement’s members, and the red, the blood of martyrs. The eight points illustrated, for the former Knights of Malta, the eight virtues of the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount that they were to acquire.
The fleur-de-lys is the scouts’ universal emblem, recalling the fleur-de-lys pointing North on all the former maps – and thus the right direction-, and its points illustrate the three main virtues of scouts, i.e. frankness, devotedness and purity.
The emblem of the movement is worn on the beret, the chest, the belt buckle and on the flag of the movement, called Baussant.
The Baussant is the flag of the Guides and Scouts of Europe. The word “Baussant” comes from old French meaning “beau signe” or “beautiful sign”. This banner was created and adopted in 1966 during the movement’s pilgrimage to celebrate the millennium of St Michael’s Mount.
It is directly inspired by the Templar banner and has a two-tone background, black on the left and white on the right. As on the Templar gonfanon, where they are superimposed, these colours illustrate the fight of good against evil. The Guides and Scouts of Europe commit solemnly on this Baussant when they make their Promise.
The Baussant pictures our will as Guides and Scouts of Europe to help establish the reign of Christ in our lives and in the world around us.