Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani

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Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani
Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani.svg
Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts
Headquarters Piazza P. Paoli, 18
00186 Rome
Country Italy
Founded 1974
Membership 178,170[1] (2014)
Chief Scout Ferri Cormio
Chief Guide Rosanna Birollo
Presidents of the
National Committee
Ecclesiastical Assistant Davide Brasca B.
 Scouting portal

The Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts, AGESCI) is a Catholic Scouting and Guiding association in Italy. AGESCI is coeducational and has 178,170 members and 32,702 leaders (including 2,074 priests),[1] making it the largest Scout association in 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 had disagreed with the merger (and, above all, opposed the principle of coeducation) and had 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 the early AGESCI.

Since 1986, AGESCI has formed, along with the 12,000-strong non-denominational Corpo Nazionale Giovani Esploratori ed Esploratrici Italiani (CNGEI),[2] the Italian Scout Federation (FIS), Italy's national member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and 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,[3] and the Slovenska Zamejska Skavtska Organizacija (SZSO) serving Slovenes in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.[4]

In 1986 Pope John Paul II was given the Wood Badge insignia as honorary AGESCI leader.

Matteo Renzi, current Prime Minister of Italy, is a former AGESCI leader and editor of an AGESCI newspaper.[5][6]


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 (12.6%) and Lombardy (10.3%). As a result, 49.6% of AGESCI members are in Northern Italy (29.6% in Northeast Italy and 20.0% in Northwest Italy), 19.4% in Central Italy and 31.0% in Southern Italy and the Isles.[1]

There are three age ranges/units in AGESCI (and they are present in most groups):

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 (41% of the total in Marche, 40% in Liguria, 39% in Sardinia, 38% in Emilia-Romagna, 34% in Veneto and Campania, etc.), L/C mono-sex units are rare (24% in Sardinia and Marche, 18% in Emilia-Romagna, 15% in Sicily, etc.), while R/S mono-sex units are even rarer (10% in Sardinia, 6% in Sicily, 4% in Campania, 2% in Apulia, etc.).[1][7]

Each group is co-ordinated by two group leaders and directed by a comunità capi (leaders' community), where all adult leaders and at least a priest belong. It meets quite often (weekly in most cases) to plan all educational activities in the group. Its work is driven by a multi-year (usually 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 ceremony called partenza (departure).

In order to be awarded of the Wood Badge, scout leaders need to go through a lengthy training, mainly consisting of three formation camps.

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