Chief Scout (The Scout Association)

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The Chief Scout is the head of The Scout Association. The present Chief Scout is the British adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls.


Robert Baden-Powell made himself Chief Scout of his own Scouting organization, The Scout Association. Following his death, Chief Scouts were appointed for the British Empire, then the British Commonwealth and Empire, then the Commonwealth and, since 1972, for the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories.

List of Chief Scouts[edit]

Chief Scouts of the British Empire and Commonwealth:

  1. Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, died 8 January 1941
  2. Arthur Somers-Cocks, 6th Baron Somers, March 1942, Chief Scout of the British Empire
  3. Thomas Corbett, 2nd Baron Rowallan, April 1945, Chief Scout of the British Commonwealth and Empire
  4. Sir Charles Maclean, later Lord Maclean, September 1959, Chief Scout of the Commonwealth. He resigned as Chief Scout of the UK in September 1971, but continued as Chief Scout of the Commonwealth until August 1975.

Chief Scouts of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories:

  1. Sir William Gladstone, July 1972
  2. Major-General Michael J. H. Walsh, February 1982
  3. Sir Garth Morrison, May 1988
  4. George Purdy, March 1996
  5. Peter Duncan, 5 September 2004 [1]
  6. Bear Grylls, 11 July 2009 [2]


The first Chief Scout of the association, Robert Baden-Powell made himself the Chief Scout for life. The association's charter and bye laws made no provision for his removal, retirement or the appointment of a successor. Subsequent Chief Scouts have been appointed by the Council of The Scout Association, which Council elects its own members including office bearers, while others are appointed by the Board of Trustees (formerly Committee of the Council), with others nominated as representatives from councils around the United Kingdom (the majority of whose members are appointed by the Board or Headquarters) and overseas branches controlled by Headquarters.[3] Working alongside the Chief Scout's Committee, the Chief Scout is responsible for the appointment of County Commissioners and County Presidents.[4]

Changed role[edit]

The role of the Chief Scout was changed fundamentally in 2009 with the functions split with the appointment of a UK Chief Commissioner (Deputy Chief Scout).[5] The UK Chief Commissioner took over most of the administrative duties and now heads the adult leaders and administrators of the association. The Chief Scout continues as the visible head of the association and still has key roles within its youth organization in the UK.


Each section of the Scout Association has an award meant to come from the Chief Scout; in Beavers, the award is the Chief Scout's Bronze Award, in Cubs it is Silver, in Scouts it is Gold and in Explorers, Platinum and Diamond. The only award higher than this is the Queen's Scout Award.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Chief Scout - Peter Duncan". The Scout Association. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bear Grylls announced as new Chief Scout". press release. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Council of the Scout Association". POR: Chapter 6: The Structure of the Headquarters of The Scout Association. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Chief Scout's Committee". POR: Chapter 6: The Structure of the Headquarters of The Scout Association. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  5. ^ "Bear Grylls announced as new Chief Scout". The Scout Association. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2011. Working in partnership with Bear will be Scouting volunteer Wayne Bulpitt, who takes on the new role of UK Chief Commissioner. 
  6. ^ "Awards, Decorations and Recognition of Service". Badges. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 

External links[edit]