Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani
|Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani|
|Headquarters||Piazza P. Paoli, 18
|Chief Scout||Giuseppe Finocchietti (Abruzzo)|
|Chief Guide||Rosanna Birollo (Veneto)|
|Presidents of the National Committee||Matteo Spanò (Tuscany)
Marilina Laforgia (Apulia)
The Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (Association of Catholic Guides and Scouts of Italy, AGESCI) is a Catholic Scouting and Guiding association in Italy. AGESCI is coeducational and has 176,382 members and 32,126 leaders (including 1,971 priests), making it the largest Scout association of the country.
AGESCI was formed in 1974 upon the merger of the Associazione Scouts Cattolici Italiani (ASCI, founded in 1916) and the Associazione Guide Italiane (AGI, founded in 1943). Some ASCI and AGI leaders, who disagreed with the merger (and the principle of coeducation) and refused to join AGESCI, formed the Associazione Italiana Guide e Scouts d'Europa Cattolici (AIGSEC or Scouts d'Europa) in 1976, along with disgruntled members of early AGESCI.
Along with the non-religious Corpo Nazionale Giovani Esploratori ed Esploratrici Italiani (CNGEI), AGESCI forms the Italian Scout Federation (FIS), Italy's national member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
Affiliated to AGESCI are the Südtiroler Pfadfinderschaft (SP), the Catholic association of the German-speaking minority in South Tyrol, and the Slovenska Zamejska Skavtska Organizacija (SZSO) serving Slovenes in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
AGESCI has a federal structure, composed of regional sections, provincial/diocesan sections and local groups. The region with most AGESCI members is Veneto (13.4% of the total), followed by Emilia-Romagna (12.5%) and Lombardy (10.3%).
There are three age ranges/units in AGESCI (and they are present in most groups):
- L/C: Lupetti and/or Coccinelle (Wolf Cubs and/or Brownies), aged 8–11/12, organized into packs.
- E/G: Esploratori and Guide (Explorers and Guides), aged 11/12–16, organized into troops and patrols.
- R/S: Rover and Scolte (Rover Scouts and Ranger Guides), aged 16–21, organized into crews.
Units can be only-male, only-female or coeducational; in the latter case they have to be led by a male leader and a female leader. Mono-sex E/G units are very frequent (45% of the total in Marche, 41% in Emilia-Romagna, 40% in Sardinia, 38% in Veneto, etc.). L/C mono-sex units are rare (22% in Sardinia, 21% in Marche, 19% in Emilia-Romagna, etc.), R/S mono-sex units are even rarer (16% in Sardinia, 11% in Sicily, 8% in Campania, etc.).
Each group is co-ordinated by two group leaders and directed by a comunità capi (leaders' community), where all adult leaders belong and, possibly, at least a priest. It meets quite often (weekly in most cases) to plan all educational activities in the group. Its work is driven by a three-year progetto educativo (educational plan), which gives a common thread to the programme of all units, ensuring a common focus across all age ranges. Rover scouts and ranger guides may join the leaders' community upon completing their education and leaving the crew; more specifically, this moment is marked by a cerimony called partenza (departure).
In order to be awarded of the Wood Badge, scout leaders need to go through a lenghty training, mainly consisting of three formation camps.