Talk:Scout (Scouting)

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DAB war[edit]

The edit war over:

Some troops are co-educational, for those troops this article is about the girls too.
For girl troops and boy scouts in co-educational troops see: Girl Guide and Girl Scout.

is going to continue, because these two disambiguation statements are a mess and offend people. I note that the latest IP editor involved is from a UK IP. In the UK, the name has been Scout, not Boy Scout for decades and equal participation of girls and young women is accepted as standard. This article, in spite of many well-intended editors trying hard to change it, is still written from a USA POV. The very title grates with Scouting readers from the UK and other places such as Australia. The second disambiguation statement says boys in UK troops are covered by Girl Guide and Girl Scout, but the first says the girls are covered here in Boy Scout. No change of wording is going to make this satisfactory. Girl Guide and Girl Scout, of course, has similar problems. Note too that many WAGGGS organizations do not have troops, but companies.

I have two suggestions:

  1. Combine the two articles into a single article called Members of Scouting and Guiding organizations, or perhaps, Members of Scouting organizations, although I think it is very much better to be quite clear here. The article could then deal with all the variations around the world in an NPOV fashion. The current titles could then be used for articles about the 11 - 15 or 11 to 18 or whatever, Scout or Guide section. That is if we decide to not remove all the international articles on sections, as Ed has suggested.
  2. If people do not like this suggestion and insist on two articles, then the wording of the disambiguation has to be completely different and I am not sure that is possible. It needs to be along the lines of "This article is about the members of Scouting organizations affiliated to WOSM or following related programs independently. For members of Scouting or Guiding organizations affiliated to WAGGGS or following related programs independently, see Girl Guide and Girl Scout". In Girl Guide and Girl Scout it needs to be essentially the reverse. This would also allow the articles to avoid being "boy-" and "girl-centric" and deal with the coeducational situations fairly. However, the respective use of "boy" and "girl" in the two articles would still be a problem. --Bduke (talk) 21:58, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Another symptom caused by the fact that the various national organizations are structured too differently to make this easy and to please every one. I'd like to know what Kingbird has to say about this. RlevseTalk 22:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
We have Age Groups in Scouting and Guiding. It has a section on "generic" articles, then a very nice table for many national Scouting organizations. The table then breaks each NSO down into sections by age and links any articles thereof. From that list, the only NSOs to currently use "Boy Scout" are the Boy Scouts of Bahrain and the Boy Scouts of America.
The devil is in the details. Scouting does a good job of being universal without being overly specific or overly general. When we start trying to do this at the section level, I think it starts to break down. Compare Boy Scout to Scouting— both articles are covering the same ground and describing the same things. We have some history, age groups, activities, progression and uniforms in both. Boy Scout also tries to cover organization, but it appears very BSA-centric to me.
The better articles are those that show "Boy Scouting" or the equivalent within the structure of the NSO: Scouts (Australia), Scouting Ireland Scouts, Scout Section (UK) and Boy Scouting (Boy Scouts of America).
--— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 23:50, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Well is anyone going to have the intestinal fortitude to flag the article for merge? Albatross2147 (talk) 01:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Before anyone does that, the whole scheme of restructuring the Boy/Girl articles should be worked out. Otherwise, we'll just have another huge mess. Keep in mind, this set of articles will never make everyone happy and will always be unstable. As long as the grand scheme makes sense and is logical, I have no particular preference. RlevseTalk 01:54, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that this largely redundant article is only here still because of rearguard actions fought by some. The article could be usefully written as a short historical overview of what a "boy scout" was with links to the two(?) gender specific organisations to cover the current position. Albatross2147 (talk) 02:12, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

But there are no gender specific organisations at the international level as you well know from Australia. The historic stuff is done elsewhere. Let us try to get it right, by moving carefully and slowly. There are several different issues here (see also the discussion on the Project talk page):

  1. Do we want international articles on the various sections. If so, is this on the one on the Scout Section?
  2. Do we want articles on "the boy", or "the girl" or "the member"? I am inclined to say we do not, but if we do I strongly maintain that Members of Scouting and Guiding organizations is the way to go. These days, any article on "the member" has to be gender neutral. What do others think about this specific point? --Bduke (talk) 03:22, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
My recommendation is to merge any applicable bits of this article into Scouting. The unit affiliation material should be developed in NSO articles, as each is unique. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 03:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

This debate is on going on in 3 places, at least two. It needs to be consolidated. RlevseTalk 11:03, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I think everyone is aware that there are several inter-related discussions; each article should be discussed individually as well. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:26, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Only to a point, a grand scheme needs to be fleshed out rather than a piecemeal approach. RlevseTalk 12:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
1. this is the one on the Scout Section. Merged it with the Girl Guide/Girl Scout section article and make it unisex.
2. An (short or long) article is needed to connect the NSO specific core section articles and sections. An article that explains the different ways: horizontal or vertical patrols, one or two core sections , etc. so readers known what to look for in the the NSO specific core section articles or sections.
3. The article is not BSA-centric but somewhat unitair-centric. (unitair = one core section) I have tried the last month to make it less BSA-centric, but some of the wording is still from BSA sources.
--Egel Reaction? 16:14, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Regarding #2: The NSO sections are listed Age Groups in Scouting and Guiding by age. We can expand the first part of that article. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 16:36, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Also, why does this article on "Boy Scout" have a picture of both boy scouts and the female equivalent. Whereas the Girl Scout article just has Girls in it - either the Girl scout article has a generic picture (same as this) or the boy scout article gets an image of a boy scout, not both sexes.
Another thing - the "Girl Guides" article title is incorrect - because a Guide can either be a girl or a boy - so while we are talking about these gender related issues - the title of the "Girl Guides" page should just be titled "Guides" as it is supposed to be gender NPOV. --Gothgirlangel1981 (talk) 17:58, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
When we get to that level, what is the difference between a Guide and a Scout? --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 19:21, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
It is all in tradition and history, which is why I suggested that the explanation should lie with words such as "This article is about the members of Scouting organizations affiliated to WOSM or following related programs independently. For members of Scouting or Guiding organizations affiliated to WAGGGS or following related programs independently, see Girl Guide and Girl Scout". Anything else is going to be wrong in some sense to some people. I single article on "the member" would get around a lot of difficulties. --Bduke (talk) 23:50, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

In response to Bduke's question 2 above, I think that it has become very difficult on wikipedia to say anything general about Guiding and Girl Scouting because someone will always point out that some Guides are boys. This is a fair point, but I think it has become overdone. If you take a look at the WAGGGS website, it's all about girls. Not girls and a few boys. They say of themselves "The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a worldwide Movement providing non-formal education where girls and young women develop leadership and life skills through self-development, challenge and adventure." Their catchphrase starts "Girls worldwide say..." WAGGGS has not felt it necessary to change its name. This is not because they don't realise some WAGGGS member organisations take boys, it's because taking boys is an anomaly, not the norm. It's an anomaly we shouldn't ignore, but nor should we get too wrapped up in it. Kingbird (talk) 05:01, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree, but the same (replacing "girl" by "boy") can not be said about Boy Scout. Why can we not have a general article about the member? That is if we want any such articles. I think we can talk about the organisation and structure the members are in and hence what they do, but it is doubtful we can talk about "the girl" or "the boy" as our guidelines suggest we do. I would like an attempt at one general article about the member to see if it can work, and then a new look at worldwide articles on sections, including the key historical first sections for Scouts or Guides, which currently we do not really have, while having reasonable ones on Cubs, Beavers, Rovers and I think Brownies and Rangers. --Bduke (talk) 05:24, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Have I got this right? Are we collectively proposing three types of articles? Type 1 - articles about the movement - most importantly Scouting and Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting (or acceptable variant name) Type 2 - articles about different age sections/branches in individual organisations, for example, Cub Scouts (The Scout Assocation), with an umbrella page called Age Groups in Scouting and Guiding. Type 3 - article(s) on an archetypal Scout/Girl Guide/Guide/Girl Scout/Members of Scouting and Guiding organizations. Kingbird (talk) 05:32, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Not quite, I think. There is a concern that Ed has introduced that the articles on sections at an international level should not exist. I'm not sure. There is, to me, to take an example close to my heart, a case for a general article on Rover Scouts to cover the concept across the world and then articles on Rovers in UK or Australia (I forget the actual titles) or where ever. I am sure there are Guide equivalents. That argument seems to be one part of what this discussion is all about. Another part is the view that Scouting covers everything, so Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is below that. I'm not sure that you really accept that, and I'm not sure that I do, and I'm not clear that the BSA guys understand the issues, although they are acting in absolute good faith and we just may be not understanding each other..--Bduke (talk) 10:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

This discussion seems to have centered here, so let's keep it here as much as possible. I am seeing signs it will eventually yield a result that we can all agree upon. The way I see it, Scouting is one movement with different facets, including but not limited to Rovers, Explorers, Girls, Cubbing, Sea Scouts, etc. They are all offshoots (spawned from) of the same initial movement, found by B-P in 1907. Girl involvement first started by girls showing up at the "boy only" meetings, which surprised B-P and also impressed him and it led to the founding of the Girl facet of the movement. Each of these facets deserves its own article, with Scouting being the parent, just as they all can be traced directly back to Brownsea Island in 1907. These facet articles I view not subordinate to but in conjunction with Scouting. RlevseTalk 11:19, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

If you change the article so "Boy Scout" doesn't exist - then you have to change the article that says "Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting" to just "Guides" and merge the Girl Scout article with this one - we cannot have a general "Scout" article, (removing the boy scout name) and keep a girl scout article - thats just blatant sexist and I do not agree with that. We either keep "Boy Scout" and "Girl Scout" articles as they are or we have a general "Scout" article and a generic "Guides" article. Also remember that in some countries still, girls still "have" to join the Guides and boys still "have" to join the scouts - they are still single sex, so creating a universal article may not relect the true structure of the movement everywhere.--Gothgirlangel1981 (talk) 12:18, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
That's why hashing this out is so difficult, things are quite different in various countries, but they do all have one common source, Brownsea Island, 1907. RlevseTalk 15:53, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Guides (including Girl Scouts) are 99% Girls, that is not sexist, that is reality. Part of being a Guide is being proud to be female. The Guide movement has besides their roots in the Scout tradition, strong roots in (First-wave) feminism. It is impossible to make a gender-neutral/non sexist article about a partly feminist movement.
Gender not as important for a (Boy) Scout as it is for a (Girl) Guide (or Girl Scout), and at least 15% of Scouts are female. So it is possible to make a gender-neutral/non sexist article about Scouts. I even think the article about Scouts needs to be gender-neutral.
There are more countries where girls can choose and boys can't, than there are counties where boys can choose and girls can't. In the countries where girls can choose, there are often more girls member of the girls-only organization than of the co-ed organization.
--Egel Reaction? 16:26, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Still, by saying that its Girl Guiding, when boys are in it is not correct. It should be "Guides" not girl guides. In the UK a Guide can be a girl or a boy and in some parts of the USA too. You're basically saying that we have to make scouting gender neutral but, guiding not, that stance is sexist in itself. 15% of scouts are girls, that is an extremely small percentage the same as Boys that are guides. Also, boys do have a choice in most countries. One of my friends' son's is a guide, I should know this sort of stuff. --Gothgirlangel1981 (talk) 17:13, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm not saying that we should not have universal articles (better than generic), but we can't think of them as international. Scouting does a good job of being universal without saying that every NSO does things a certain way. I still believe that we cannot write about a member without writing about the program and vice versa— you can't have a Scout without Scouting. We need to examine each of the existing universal articles carefully and individually and ensure that they are not trying to state that every NSO uses the same programs and methods. We also need to ensure that a universal article does not degenerate into generalities.

Let's look at Boy Scout specifically:

  • Only 15 of 156 WOSM NSOs still use the "Boy Scout" in their name; see List of World Organization of the Scout Movement members; all others use "Scouts."
  • As noted, most of those with Scout sections are now co-ed.
  • The age is listed as 11–17, but Age Groups in Scouting and Guiding shows that Scout section ages vary— most are 10–14 with another group such as Venture Scouts or Explorer Scouts for ages 14–17.
  • Compare Boy Scout to Scouting—these articles cover much the same ground. What information in Boy Scout is unique as compared to Scouting? The only unique section I see here is Unit Affiliation— this appears to be presented as universal, but I am rather doubtful.
  • The article uses a lot of general terms: most, many, may, some, usually and the like. This is a symptom of attempting to describe a Scouting section that is used in different ways in different NSOs.

Trying to maintain universal articles on Scouting sections is going to be problematic on several levels. A better solution would be to work on expanding Age Groups in Scouting and Guiding and tying in articles on age groups and not names. For example, Beavers (Scouting) and Cub Scouts could become Scouting for junior youth, Boy Scout and Venture Scout could become Scouting for middle youth and Rover Scout would become Scouting for senior youth. This gets around the preconceptions associated with the wild variety of section names and ages. We could have Scouting for specialty groups to include Lone Scouts, Air Scouts, Sea Scout and Extension Scouting.

This also applies to Girl Guides and Girls Scouts. The question here is to have Girl Guiding and Girl Guiding for xxx youth or to combine age levels in Scouting and Guiding for xxx youth. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 16:27, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Note the WOSM even lists Boy Scouts of America, which obviously has "Boy" in the title, as COED as it admits girls to Venturing and other older Scout programs though it does not admit them to Troops and Packs. RlevseTalk 17:06, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I think there is some merit in Ed's suggestions about age groups, but I do not agree with his last sentence. I think Lone Scouts, Air Scouts, Sea Scout and Extension Scouting should remain but the first three renamed to Lone Scouting, Air Scouting and Sea Scouting to concentrate on the organisation. Note two of them are redirects now. They certainly should have similar names and similar redirects. --Bduke (talk) 22:16, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Frankly, I was ambivalent on the specialty idea. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 23:36, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Bduke's comments on changing the names of the Lone Scout etc articles. I'm not sure about Scouting for xxx youth as titles. It's an ingenious solution, but I'm not sold on it yet. Kingbird (talk) 05:36, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Scouting and Guiding are international movements. Sections are not international movements, just the manner in which the NSOs package and present the program. There is no international Beaver or Rainbow movement as these are levels within a program. There is a bit of confusion in naming, since Boy Scouting was the seminal movement that has now expanded into Scouting. I know a lot of NSOs use the term sections; the BSA makes a distinction here by referring to Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing as membership divisions of a unified Scouting program. We can certainly compare similar sections, but trying to write about them as if the sections were the movement is misleading. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 12:24, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

copied from Talk:Girl Guides: For what it is worth, my daughter is a Guide in Queensland, Australia, and while there are non-co-ed guiding organisations like that in Australia, I think there should be a separate article with links to other scouting articles. Folding the Guides under Scouts would be a bit like folding USA under England. An article like this allows other scouting movement articles to be linked to in a way that clarifies Guidings relationship with the rest of the movement, rather than implying that Guiding is a sort of appendix to Scouting. Alexlaw65 (talk) 10:29, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


After seven weeks with no further discussion, I presume we are leaving the article as is. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 13:02, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


    • I only left it because I was sick of some peoples' obtuseness and unwillingness to concede an inch. The meaninglessness of Some troops are co-educational, for those troops this article is relevant to them. For girl troops and boy scouts in co-educational troops see: Girl Guide and Girl Scout. is self-evident and possibly (on an umpteenth reading) possibly deliberately constructed to inflame and annoy. If I had my way I would reduce this article to An obsolete term used to describe a youth member of s scouting organisation. For Boy Scouts of America see... Thinking about it that's what I might do... Albatross2147 (talk) 13:19, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

This is a very stale discussion, but Albatross2147 is right that the problem is not sorted out. Let me try to convince you about a solution I proposed long ago. The problem is that this article is trying to do two things. We have no international article on the Scout section, although we have international articles on Cubs and Rovers. So this article is trying to be that, but it is also trying to talk about the "Boy", i.e the member of this section. We are then faced with the point that in many countries, half the "Boys" are actually "Girls". I think it is just impossible to write about the member. We should write about the "Scout section", explain that we have mixed or single sex units, and describe what they do. While we do not do this for Cubs or Rovers I suggest that we merge in the Guide article that covers the section. Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is the one about the member. Interestingly Girl Guides starts with "Girl Guides or Girl Scouts is a parallel movement to Scouting" - not single movement, but parallel movement. I think that article should stay. Scouting should remain as it is as the main article on the whole movement. It is remarkably odd that we do not have an articles on the first sections to be founded. This should be about the section that follows Cubs and Brownies (whatever they are called) and that covers roughly the (10,11) to (14-16) age group. I would go as far as to say that an article on the member is not encyclopedic. We certainly do not have sources on the member. We have sources on organization and activities. This is not going to be easy and will involve a major rewrite, but I think we should try. --Bduke (Discussion) 22:22, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

[Section split for editing convenience]
I agree that this is still an issue, and indeed it had popped to the top of my issue list after six months. I am still not enthused about any of the universal articles that are about "persons" such as Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Rangers or Rovers. Scouting and Guiding are international movements. Sections are not movements, just the manner in which the organizations split the program by age, and none are the same from one Scouting or Guiding organization to the other. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 02:38, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


This matter should be addressed urgently. The page visitation stats show that 200+ people per day are visiting the page. That is 200+ too many who are being mislead as to the nature of scouting. Even the caption on the first image is misleading - there is no evidence that the females in the image are "guides" they could just as easily be scouts and in fact given the context of the image probably are. The page should probably be amended to a disambig page with links to the appropriate pages including but not limited to the BSA page. I would concede that some notes on the historical use of the term would be appropriate but that would have to include the pejorative usage. I am sure that this change will be strongly resisted by some here who do not concede the possibility that females can be scouts but that rearguard action must be overcome. Albatross2147 (talk) 03:15, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Please clarify. For example, are you saying girl scouts are Boy Scouts? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 04:22, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
In a large number of countries there is no distinction ie. Scouts are co-ed. A youth member of the national scouting organisation can be either male or female and can participate in all activities equally. Boys and girls are "scouts" not "boy scouts" and "girl scouts". In most countries the term "Boy Scout" is redundant or archaic or, worse still, used as a somewhat pejorative metaphor to describe someone who is both immature and a stickler for procedure. Does this help? Albatross2147 (talk) 23:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
And what would you do with the material in this article? Also, it seems this would affect the whole set of articles on membership. Sumoeagle179 (talk) 23:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Why is that a problem? As Gadget pointed out almost a year ago this article has info which is covered adequately and appropriately elsewhere. If it isn't then it can be moved quite easily to BSA, Scouting or whatever or put in an article with a more appropriate name. To be quite frank we have pussyfooted around for too long: it has to be said that this article has only survived in its current form because of some editors' personal ideological, anti-feminist and political agendas. They cannot for whatever reason accept that scouting has moved on from the Edwardian era. Or to put it another way the term "Boy Scout" is pretty well redundant in scouting and we should reflect this. By all means have a detailed section in the BSA article and those relating to other non-coed national organsiations but don't try to push an agenda by maintaining the meaningless travesty that this article has become. Albatross2147 (talk) 00:50, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, that crude language and personal attacks certainly isn't going to gain you any support. Sumoeagle179 (talk) 02:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Ahhhh... the power of a "space" - I have provided an Wd link for your edification. That's dealt with the purported crudity (and I as a former sailor had to look thrice). Now where's the personal attack? And whilst you are at it come up with a substantive argument rather than red herrings. Albatross2147 (talk) 02:52, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
The phrase "because of some editors' personal ideological, anti-feminist and political agendas" certainly does not help and it might be considered to be an attack. Nobody here is "not conceding the possibility that females can be scouts". Everybody is aware that they can. Nobody is anti-feminist. Yes, I agree that something needs to be done about this article, but I think we need to step back a little and think about it calmly. I will try to do that in the next few days. --Bduke (Discussion) 07:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia works by consensus, Albatross2147, ad hominem-type attacks slamming other editors' motives seldom carry the day. This article is correctly titled in accordance with WP:NAME, as evidenced by Googling the term "Boy Scout". It seems to me the best way to resolve the issue is by discussing the etymology in the Lead and explaining that most English-speaking WOSM members now use the term "Scout", etc. This would flow nicely into the rest of the article and related wikilinks for the general reader.  JGHowes  talk 14:59, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I get confused about who is anti-feminist. Guiding is a feminist movement, there is a direct link from the Women's suffrage movement to the start of Guiding. Guiding today is still gynocentric feminist, girls and women are equal (or better) but different to boys and men (opposite to Postmodern feminism). In many (developing) countries Guiding play a major part in the struggle for equal rights for girls and women. In many countries girls prefer to spend their spare time in a girl-only guide organisation even when there is also a co-ed Scouting organisation (UK, New Zealand, Canada etc). Often girls in a co-ed Scouting organisation, in countries without a girl-only guide organisation, proudly call themselves Guide ( a.o. Scouts en Gidsen Vlaanderen). In many countries/languages there is a different word used for a male and a female Scout, so "Boy Scout" is not completely redundant.
I think it is best to start with Bduke's idea from 22:22, 3 November 2008 (UTC) and see what an article about the section / theme will gives us. The (Boy) Scout and Girl Guide sections are for 90% the same, the rest can be covert in a section of the article. --Egel Reaction? 15:42, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Obviously I am happy to proceed on the basis of consensus otherwise I would have made a preemptive strike on the article itself (however futile that might have been). The somewhat inflammatory rhetoric was successful in getting people thinking about the issues here - so it is not necessarily a bad thing. I did not mention any particular editor(s) but if you know who I am talking about then you know there is some basis in fact for this. I am a bit confused by what JGH says about the relationship between SERPs and Wp article titles but I'd go along with what the rest of what he has to say. To Egel I would say that I am not looking to merge Scouting and Guiding. The Duke is as ever sensible and right. FWIW I would refrain from editing the content of this article during a considered re-write. Albatross2147 (talk) 22:28, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

My earlier views now in the archive referred to by Egel is here. I see that I first raised questions about this article in August 2007 also in that archive.

There are several thinks wrong about this article. Let me try to explain them separately and clearly:

The first point is not in the article itself, but in the box at the top of Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Scouting, where under Boy Scout it states:

"About the boy 11-17 years, activities he does in Scouting, Troop/Patrol, Scout Law, Motto, Uniform. Not about history, not about the organization or movement. This article should include a remark that girls may follow this line of Scouting too, instead of being a Girl Guide (Europe/World line of thinking)".

Now someone who has never known her or his Scout association to be other than one where in every section there are girls and boys mixing together on an entirely equal basis, this comes as a shock. "Why is it only about the boy"? "What about me?", she says. Then, the "girls may follow this line of Scouting too" is a classic example of making females feel on the outside or not "proper members". Feminists have, quite rightly, objected to this sort of position for many years. So for a start, this whole paragraph needs to be changed, but I do not think it can be changed without changing the article itself.

Second, the article does exactly the same. The lead starts with "A Boy Scout is a boy .." and ends with "Some troops, especially in Europe, have been co-educational since the 1970s, allowing boys and girls to work together as Scouts.".

Third, I have difficulty with the emphasis on the member. Our sources are generally about the organization, not the member and indeed much of the article is about how the Scout section is organized and what it does. If however, we are going to talk about the member, we can not talk about "the boy" unless we restrict this article to male only Scout sections and have a different article for those who equally admit boys and girls. I do not think anybody wants that.

I stick with my long held view that this article should be largely about the section. It has been said that sections differ and it is impossible to have such an article. Well we have perfectly good articles on the sections - Cub Scout, Rover Scout, Venture Scout and Beaver Scout. Is it asking too much to have an article on the core section that has a continuous link back to the early Scout Patrols that formed after the publication of Scouting for Boys?

Clearly, a change in title might help us considerably but we have overused the term "Scout" and a new name is not easy to dream up. I have thought long and hard on this. Two possibilities are "Scouts in Scouting" or "Scout and Boy Scout". With either of these we could start the article off as "A Scout or a Boy Scout is a member of the original section of the worldwide Scouting movement that began in 1908, after Lt. General Robert Baden-Powell published the book, Scouting for Boys. They are usually 11 to 18 years of age, although some Scouting associations now have a separate sections for members in the top part of this age range. Today they can be boys or girls. Some associations have the section only for boys, while others admit both boys and girls." Parts of the rest of the lead can be retained. Finally replace "Boy Scout" throughout the article by "Scout" and we have something that would be a lot better and more general that what we have now.

The "see also" at the top: "For girl troops and boy scouts in co-educational troops see: Girl Guide and Girl Scout." would be better altered to "For Guides and Scouts who are in organizations that trace their origin to the early Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement, see Girl Guide and Girl Scout. That article would need attention to make it clear that it is about organizations that owe their origin to B-P forming Guides. There is of course the same problem with that article that the title is about girls yet some of these organizations admit boys. That is a matter for another discussion. I see the article refers to the "Guide Movement" in linking to Girl Guide and Girl Scout. Perhaps that would be a better title.

Well those are my thoughts for now. I really do hope we can resolve this matter this time round. --Bduke (Discussion) 02:13, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The BSA makes a formal distinction between Boy Scout as a person and Boy Scouting as the membership level, also Cub Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing and Sea Scouting. I don't know if or how this is used outside the BSA. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 14:33, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Often the name of the section is just the plural of the name of the member. In Dutch a "Welp" (Cub) is member of the section "Welpen", the name of the membership level is the concatenation of the themes in the membership level "Welpen en Kabouters" in Flanders and DWEK in the Netherlands. In France depending on the scouting organisation the section is called "louveteaux" (boy cubs), louvettes (girl cubs), Branche cadette, Branche jaune (the last two together with the "jeanettes" (brownies)), the membership level / theme can also be called "Louvetisme" (cubbing). --Egel Reaction? 15:32, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I just reviewed age groups in Scouting and Guiding. Only four organizations use Boy scout as a section name, although some may translate to Boy Scout. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 17:55, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


I suggest mergeing These four articals: Scouting, Boy Scout, Girl Guide and Girl Scout Girl Guides. and adding information for this artical: YES Scouts. -- (talk) 09:20, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: Pass[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the GA criteria. I'm specifically going over all of the "Culture and Society" articles. I believe the article currently meets the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. I have made several minor corrections throughout the article. Altogether the article is well-written and is still in great shape after its passing in 2006. Continue to improve the article making sure all new information is properly sourced and neutral. This article would benefit from more sourcing, and I'd recommend sourcing statements that readers may question over their verifiability. These include statements such as "Many boys joined Scouting activities, resulting in the movement growing rapidly to become the world's largest youth organization.", "Only a small percentage of Scouts attain them.", and "The original uniform, which has created a familiar image in the public eye and had a very military appearance, consisted of a khaki button-up shirt, shorts, and a broad-brimmed campaign hat." If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article history to reflect this review. Happy editing! --Nehrams2020 (talk) 21:29, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Boy Scout is a boy or a girl[edit]

How is a Boy Scout a boy or a girl?

A Boy Scout (in most countries simply a Scout) is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement.

Boy Scouts were originally the core membership section of Scouting for boys 11 to 18. As more Scouting organizations have become co-ed, only a few still use the term Boy Scout as the name for a membership section, the largest of which is the Boy Scouts of America. The mid-age section is now often called Scouts or a similar local name. Many Scouting organizations have a Scout section aged 11 to 14 or 15 and an older group from 14 to 18 known as Rangers, Rovers, Venturers or a similar name.

--—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 14:46, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


Is it appropriate to have this section in this article? This article is an international article, yet this section is entirely about the BSA. The section is actually larger than the one in Boy Scouts of America. I suggest removing this section and adding some of the material to the section in the BSA article. After all, the controversy is not restricted to one section of the BSA. --Bduke (Discussion) 00:12, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Agree, that section needs to go. This is supposed to be an international article. RlevseTalk 00:34, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
It doesn't belong here at all. It is well placed in the BSA and the BSA controvery articles. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 03:26, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Clever boy[edit]

So we have 200+ people a day looking here do we? They are going to think that people who write about Scouts are idiots. Despite all the best efforts of many editors above, the first line still effectively says "A Boy Scout is a boy or a girl". Stupid!

But a very clever boy.

Come on. We have to do better than that.

HiLo48 (talk) 09:29, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

This article is one of several that attempts to discuss the members as separate from the movement. It tries to generalize subjects that are disparate across the Scouting organizations. The hatnotes are a mess. I think a merge to Scouting would be the best solution. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 10:53, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes. That makes a lot of sense to me. I only just discovered this article today. I see nothing that isn't already recorded elsewhere in Wikipedia. I note we also have an article called Boy Scouts! It's hard to see what purpose this article serves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by HiLo48 (talkcontribs) 11:00, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
See also Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and Girl Guides which are a similar mess.---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 11:44, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

I have on several occasions tried to say that these articles on members are inappropriate. We need to be talking about sections and organizations. Can we take this back to the Scouting Project talk pages to see if we can get a better outcome? --Bduke (Discussion) 11:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

This topic comes up every year or so. However you put it into the nutcracker, it's a difficult nut to crack and please everyone, especially because in some countries the Scouting organizations are sex-segregated, some are unisex, and some (like BSA with its Venturing program) are a mishmash. RlevseTalk 13:13, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
The title "Boy Scout" is clearly inappropriate for an article dealing with members, "Scout (Scout Movement)" would be more appropriate. DuncanHill (talk) 15:05, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Announced at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Scouting#Boy Scout. The disambiguation page Boy Scouts well defines Boy Scout as a member of a Scouting organization. This article tries to deal with Boy Scouts in a very generalized manner as members and is made up of summaries of other articles. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:44, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Good suggestion DuncanHill. No matter how tough a nut it is to crack, it cannot say "A Boy Scout is a boy or a girl". HiLo48 (talk)

Let me try to widen this discussion. As Ed says above, "Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and Girl Guides which are a similar mess", although the latter is not too bad and has rather different concerns. The problem in my mind is indeed the very first sentence "A Boy Scout (in most countries simply a Scout) is a boy or a girl" but not because it says a boy is a girl, although obviously that needs fixing. The problem is that it is about the members, as the summary at the top of the Project talk page says:- "About the members, boys or girls aged 11-17 years, activities they do in Scouting, the Scout section, Troop/Patrol, Scout Law, Motto, Uniform. Not about history, not about the organization or movement.". Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting has a top header that says "This is an article about the young person in the Scouting movement". It starts with "A Guide, Girl Guide or Girl Scout is a member of a section". These two articles should be about the Scout and Guide sections respectively and only about the member in the context of the activities that the section does. It is not the job of wikipedia to write about the members. Sources are not about members as such but about the organization and activities. Other articles focus on the section although the first few words are worded rather differently:-

Note that while Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting starts with wording similar to three of the above, its content is more like Boy Scout. All four of the above are more clearly about the section. The start of Rover Scout is better but I would prefer "Rover Scouting is a section of Scouting .."

I think the suggestion to rename it to "Scout (Scout Movement)" is a good one. Perhaps with that we can make progress this time. We then need to alter the emphasis to be about the Scout section. I do not believe that would be a big job. Some material could be moved to Scouting or deleted if already covered there, but we do need an international article on the Scout Section. A similar job needs to be done with Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. We should then slightly alter the other section articles. --Bduke (Discussion) 22:28, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

I intend to boldly move this article to Scout (Scout Movement) later on today if no-one objects. This discussion has been open for some time, and has been linked to from the Scouting Wikiproject, and I have seen no objections so far to the suggested name. I hope that such a move will provide an impetus to the other suggested improvements which Bduke refers to above. DuncanHill (talk) 16:55, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking the same. "Scout (Scout Movement)" is a bit awkward though— how about "Scout (section)"? ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 17:07, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Please do it, then get rid of that stupidest sentence in Wikipedia, about boys being girls. I like Scouting too much to see that idiocy remain. HiLo48 (talk) 17:39, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Utter utter confusion[edit]

What in this article is about? The article is supposed to be about "Scout (Scouting)" but nearly all of it is about particular national organizations' peculiar use of the term "scout", groupings, organizational structure and units which are only relevant to particular organizations and not necessarily related to a "scout" or scouts, programs, age groups, sections and most bizarrely "Foundation". How can you have the foundation of a scout? How can a scout be a pathfinder? A scout is a scout and a pathfinder is a pathfinder. Move all this rubbish to other articles. A lot (most) of this is just not necessary for an article defining "scout" in scouting. Take each sentence and ask if it is about a "scout" and necessary to define and explain a "scout". Not much of it is relevant. Then we have some idealogues trying to expunge the term "Boy Scout" and others trying to redefine words. A scout is just a collective term including boy scouts and girl scouts. We may not call them boy scouts any more but there are still boys and girls. Conversely, boy scouts and girls scouts are just particular genders of scouts. The term boy scout has a particlar meaning and historical meaning, it may not be in common use any more but it still exists as a term. The article is not trying to define your organizatons. Worst of all, the article has redirects to it trying to define other terms by this one.

I suggest separate very short articles on Scout(s), Boy Scout(s), Girl Scout(s), Scouting, the Boy Scout Movement, the Scout Movement, sea scout(s), air scout(s). These are separate terms with different uses, even if historical, so why try to define them all together. Articles on each of these should be kept free of the separate scout organizations and their peculiar points of view and the like of scout sections, scout programs, scout patrols, troops, companies, groups, clubs, etc. except by links. Robert c2227 (talk) 12:46, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

As you can see from previous discussion above, there is an awareness that there are issues here, and in the other universal section-specific articles in. My opinion is that we should not try to create such universal articles as such, but instead have one article that details the age groups and notes the variety of methods used by the various national Scouting organizations. Age groups in Scouting and Guiding would be a good article to expand. --— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 16:32, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
One of the problems is that there is in the world no clear majority viewpoint about Scouting, there are only significant minority views. These significant minority viewpoints overlap partially, but all in different places. To achieve a NPOV we can only try to patch those overlaps together (or write a extremely short dictionary definition). This applies in particular for the 11 to 18 year age group, where Scouting is organized very differently in the USA from the rest of the world. If you would limit to the largest minority view on this subject, this would seem very alien for a majority of the readers of this wiki. What a Scout is determined by what he / she does (Activities) and the environment where he / she is doing that (Unit affiliation). --Egel Reaction? 18:36, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Some of the extremely short articles you will get if you remove all description of the variety of methods used by the various national or local Scouting organizations or unorganized Scouts:
*A Scout is an adolescent boy or girl who does something that is based on or inspired by the ideas of Robert Baden-Powell, especially the book "Scouting for Boys".
*A Sea Scout is an adolescent boy or girl who does something water related that is based on or inspired by the ideas of Robert Baden-Powell.
*An Air Scout is an adolescent boy or girl who does something air related that is based on or inspired by the ideas of Robert Baden-Powell.
*A Rover Scout is a young adult who does something that is based on or inspired by the ideas of Robert Baden-Powell.
--Egel Reaction? 20:12, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
The various articles on Scouting generally, as opposed to country-specific articles, have always been a problem, but this seems to be a compromise that is accepted. The point I think you miss, Robert, as it is perhaps easy to do so, is that this articles is about the member of the Scout section, as opposed to a member of a Cub Scout, Explorer Scout, Rover Scout, Beaver Scout, Joey Scout, etc. section. This is made difficult by the fact that the age group, roughly 11 - 18, is a single Scout section in some associations/countries, but split into Scouts and Senior Scouts, Explorer Scouts or Venture Scouts in others. The "Foundation" section is there because this section is the one that B-P first founded in the UK in 2008. All other sections were added later. My own view is that this article should focus on the section, not on the boy or girl who is a member of the section, although of course it will talk at lot about what the members of the section do. However, others do not agree with me. Finally, I have no idea what you mean by "Then we have some idealogues trying to expunge the term "Boy Scout"", and I suggest that you do not describe material that many people have worked on and struggled over for years as "rubbish". --Bduke (Discussion) 21:01, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Firstly, Bduke's final point is taken. The material is not rubbish, it just does not belong in this article and my comment was (poorly) directed at the structure and organization of the information rather than the material itself. I agree with Gadget850, who suggests that this material belongs in a different article - Age groups in Scouting and Guiding. Read each sentence and ask yourself does it define "scout" or something else. Bduke criticizes my comments but then indicates exactly what I suggested "that this articles is about the member of the Scout section". If that is what you are writing about, put it under that heading not this one. Each of the sections terms listed by Bduke is organization specific and belongs under an article on that organization or a sub-article. This avoids the very differences creating difficulties. Bduke suggests I miss the point of what this article is about but this article is about "scout" and it is Bduke and others who are trying to make it about something else. Robert c2227 (talk) 00:16, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

"Scout" needs to be defined. There are members of the movement in Cub Packs, Rover Crews, Venturer Units, Guide Companies, Brownie Packs, and so on as well as those in Scout Troops. Scout is used both in general and in particular on its own for members of the Scout Section, the first to be created by B-P. This article has all along been about the particular use as members of Scout Troops. This is also the age group between 11 - 18 or 11 - some lower age down to 14. This is the difficulty. The problem is not just the content, but the name of the article. There is a bunch of articles where we have long discussed the best name for them. There is even the problem that the general article Scouting for the whole movement, leads to problems about the name of the article about the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting movement, which like the WOSM organisations is a part of the whole Scouting movement, as well as the name about the article on the Guide section. We have perfectly good articles about "Cub Scouts", "Rover Scouts", "Brownie Guides", and so on. For completeness we should have an article about "Scouts" in the narrow sense of members of the movement in Scout Troops in the 11 plus age, as well as one on members in Guide Companies in the same age range. We can not avoid seeing this article in the context of many others. We have to consider the titles of the articles as well as content. Robert, you are new here. Take time to get a general view of all the Scouting and Guiding articles and get more understanding about the variation around the world. I do not know where you come from, but it always strongly influences how new editors approach the articles on wikipedia. Slowly we have all come to realise how marvellously varied the whole Scouting movement is, but that does not make life easy for us. --Bduke (Discussion) 07:39, 14 January 2013 (UTC)