|World Organization of the Scout Movement|
|Secretary General||Ahmad Alhendawi|
|World Scout Committee Chairman||Craig Turpie|
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM ) is the largest international Scouting organization. WOSM has 172 members. These members are recognized national Scout organizations, which collectively have over 50 million participants. WOSM was established in 1922, and has its operational headquarters at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and its legal seat in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the counterpart of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
The WOSM's current stated mission is "to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Scout Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society". WOSM is organized into regions and operates with a conference, committee and bureau.
The WOSM is associated with three World Scout Centres. The World Scout Jamboree is held roughly every four years under the auspices of the WOSM, with members of WAGGGS also invited. WOSM also organises the World Scout Moot, a Jamboree for 17- to 26-year-olds, and has organised the World Scout Indaba, a gathering for Scout leaders. The World Scout Foundation is a perpetual fund governed by a separate Board of Governors and supported by donations for the development of WOSM associated Scouting programs throughout the world.
As a result of an international conference held during the first World Scout Jamboree at Olympia, London in 1920, leaders there agreed to create a Boy Scouts International Bureau (BSIB). An office was established at 25, Buckingham Palace Road, London, and the then International Commissioner of The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom, Hubert S. Martin, was appointed as Honorary Director. The first task of the bureau was to co-ordinate the discussions and to prepare a second international conference in Paris in 1922. At the 1922 Paris conference The International Conference of the Boy Scout Movement, its committee and BSIB were constituted by the founding member organizations. In 1961 The International Conference of the Boy Scout Movement reconstituted the organization introducing the name World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The International Conference of the Boy Scout Movement became the WOSM's World Scout Conference, its International Committee became the World Scout Committee and the Boy Scouts International Bureau became the WOSM's World Scout Bureau.
The World Scout Conference (WSC) is the governing body and meets every three years, preceded by the World Scout Youth Forum. The World Scout Conference is the general assembly of Scouting and is composed of six delegates from each of the member Scout associations. If a country has more than one association, the associations form a federation for coordination and world representation. The basis for recognition and membership in the World Scout Conference includes adherence to the aims and principles of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and independence from political involvement on the part of each member association.
The Conference meets every three years and is hosted by a member association. At the World Scout Conference basic cooperative efforts are agreed upon and a plan of mutual coordination is adopted.
|Date||Number||Location||Country||Member Countries||Host Candidate Countries|
|1920||Retrospectively referred to as the "First International Conference"||London||United Kingdom||33|
|1922||First International Conference (retrospectively referred to as the "Second")||Paris||France||30|
|1924||Third International Conference||Copenhagen||Denmark||34|
|1926||Fourth International Conference||Kandersteg||Switzerland||29|
|1929||Fifth International Conference||Birkenhead||United Kingdom||33|
|1931||Sixth International Conference||Baden bei Wien||Austria||44|
|1933||Seventh International Conference||Gödöll?||Hungary||31|
|1935||Eighth International Conference||Stockholm||Sweden||28|
|1937||Ninth International Conference||The Hague||Netherlands||34|
|1939||10th International Conference||Edinburgh||United Kingdom||27|
|1947||11th International Conference||Château de Rosny-sur-Seine||France||32|
|1949||12th International Conference||Elvesaeter||Norway||25|
|1951||13th International Conference||Salzburg||Austria||34|
|1953||14th International Conference||Vaduz||Liechtenstein||35|
|1955||15th International Conference||Niagara Falls, Ontario||Canada||44|
|1957||16th International Conference||Cambridge||United Kingdom||52|
|1959||17th International Conference||New Delhi||India||35|
|1961||18th International Conference||Lisbon||Portugal||50|
|1963||19th World Scout Conference||Rhodes||Greece||52|
|1965||20th World Scout Conference||Mexico City||Mexico||59|
|1967||21st World Scout Conference||Seattle||United States||70|
|1969||22nd World Scout Conference||Espoo||Finland||64|
|1971||23rd World Scout Conference||Tokyo||Japan||71|
|1973||24th World Scout Conference||Nairobi||Kenya||77|
|1975||25th World Scout Conference||Lundtoft||Denmark||87|
|1977||26th World Scout Conference||Montreal||Canada||81|
|1979||27th World Scout Conference||Birmingham||United Kingdom||81|
|1981||28th World Scout Conference||Dakar||Senegal||74|
|1983||29th World Scout Conference||Dearborn||United States||90|
|1985||30th World Scout Conference||Munich||West Germany||93|
|1988||31st World Scout Conference||Melbourne||Australia||77|
|1990||32nd World Scout Conference||Paris||France||100|
|1993||33rd World Scout Conference||Sattahip||Thailand||99|
|1996||34th World Scout Conference||Oslo||Norway||108|
|1999||35th World Scout Conference||Durban||South Africa||116|
|2002||36th World Scout Conference||Thessaloniki||Greece||125|
|2005||37th World Scout Conference||Hammamet||Tunisia||122||Hong Kong|
|2008||38th World Scout Conference||Jeju-do||South Korea||150|
|2011||39th World Scout Conference||Curitiba||Brazil||138||Australia, Hong Kong, Switzerland|
|2014||40th World Scout Conference||Ljubljana||Slovenia||143||Italy|
|2017||41st World Scout Conference||Baku||Azerbaijan||169||Malaysia|
|2021||42nd World Scout Conference||Digital||170|
|2025||43rd World Scout Conference||Sharm El Sheikh||Egypt||France, Mexico|
The World Scout Committee is the executive body of the World Scout Conference and is composed of elected volunteers and one appointed Secretary General. The World Scout Committee represents World Scout Conference between the meetings of the full conference. The World Scout Committee is responsible for the implementation of the resolutions of the World Scout Conference and for acting on its behalf between its meetings. The Committee meets twice a year, usually in Geneva. Its Steering Committee, consisting of the Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen, a Youth Advisor and the Secretary General, meet as needed.
The committee has 21 members. Twelve, each from a different country, are elected for three-year terms by the World Scout Conference. The members, elected without regard to their nationality, represent the interests of the movement as a whole, not those of their country. The Secretary General, the Treasurer of WOSM and a representative member of the board of the World Scout Foundation and the chairmen of the regional Scout committees are ex-officio members of the committee. The six Youth Advisors to the WSC are elected by the World Scout Youth Forum are participating in all of the WSC meetings and are also part of the governing structure between the meetings.
The World Scout Committee has set up work streams to address the top strategic priorities, as defined by the World Scout Conference, which at present include:
Standing committees include:
|Andy Chapman, Chairperson||United States||2024|
|Jo Deman, Vice-Chair||Belgium||2024|
|Sarah Rita Kattan, Vice-Chair||Lebanon||2024|
|Mehdi Ben Khelil||Tunisia||2024|
|Mori Chi-Kin Cheng||Hong Kong||2024|
|Wayne Adrian Davis||Ethiopia||2024|
|Eun Gui Kim||Korea||2024|
|Pia Melin Graasbøll||Denmark||2024|
|Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General||Jordan|
|Joseph Lau, Treasurer||Hong Kong|
|Héctor Robledo Cervantes, Chairperson WSF||Mexico||2021**|
|Kent Clayburn, Chairperson Elect, WSF||USA||TBA|
The Bronze Wolf Award is the only distinction awarded by WOSM, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting. It was first awarded to Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell by a unanimous decision of the then-International Committee on the day of the institution of the Bronze Wolf in Stockholm in 1935.
The World Scout Bureau (WSB, formerly the International Bureau) is the secretariat that carries out the instructions of the World Scout Conference and the World Scout Committee. The WSB is administered by the secretary general, who is supported by a small staff of technical resource personnel. The bureau staff helps associations improve and broaden their Scouting by training professionals and volunteers, establishing finance policies and money-raising techniques, improving community facilities and procedures, and assisting in marshaling the national resources of each country behind Scouting.
The staff also helps arrange global events such as the World Scout Jamborees, encourages regional events, and acts as a liaison between the Scouting Movement and other international organizations. A major effort in the emerging nations is the extension of the universal Good Turn into an organization-wide effort for community development.
The Bureau was first established in London, England in 1920 and moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1959. The International Conference directed the move of the Bureau from Ottawa to Geneva on 1 May 1968. In August 2013, WOSM announced the relocation of the World Scout Bureau Central Office (WSB-CO) to Kuala Lumpur where it is now located.
This list includes Secretaries General ||and their deputies from the World Organization of the Scout Movement and members of the World Scout Bureau. From 1920 to 1968, this function was called Director
|Director||1920-1938||Hubert S. Martin||United Kingdom|
|Director||1938-1951||John Skinner Wilson||United Kingdom|
|Director||1965-1968||Richard T. Lund||United Kingdom|
|Secretary General||1968-1988||László Nagy||Switzerland|
|Secretary General||1988-2004||Jacques Moreillon||Switzerland|
|Deputy Secretary General||1991-2004||Malek Gabr||Egypt|
|Deputy Secretary General||1991-2004||Luc Panissod||France|
|Secretary General||2004-2007||Eduardo Missoni||Italy|
|Deputy Secretary General||2004-2007||Dominique Bénard||France|
|Deputy Secretary General||2004-2007||Luc Panissod||France|
|Secretary General||2013-2016||Scott Teare||USA|
|Secretary General||2017-incumbent||Ahmad Alhendawi||Jordan|
World Scout Centre is a brand of the WOSM but the two World Scout Centres are operated by regional divisions of WOSM and an independent body:
The WOSM emblem and membership badge is the World Scout Emblem, a purple, circular logo with a fleur-de-lis in the center, surrounded by a length of rope tied with a reef knot (also called a square knot). Baden-Powell used a fleur-de-lis badge awarded to British Army scouts and subsequently adopted and modified the badge for Scouting. The arrowhead represents the North point on a compass, and is intended to point Scouts on the path to service and unity. The three points on the fleur-de-lis represent the three parts of the Scout Promise: - service to others, duty to God and obedience to the Scout Law. The two five-point stars stand for truth and knowledge, with the ten points representing the ten points of the Scout Law. The bond at the base of the fleur-de-lis symbolizes the family of Scouting. The encircling rope symbolizes the unity and family of the World Scout Movement.
The needs of Scout youth in unusual situations has created some interesting permutations, answerable directly to the World Scout Bureau. These permutations fall generally into three categories:
Both the Boy Scouts of United Nations and the International Boy Scouts of the Canal Zone have long since disbanded, and the only remaining directly registered Troop is the International Boy Scouts, Troop 1 located in Yokohama, Japan.
In addition to these three groups a temporary recognition was extended by the BSIB to Scouts in displaced persons camps after World War II. In 1947 at the 11th International Conference the "Displaced Persons Division" of the BSIB was established to register and support Scouts in displaced person camps in Austria, Northern Italy, and Germany. These Scouts did not receive the right of membership in the Boy Scouts International Conference but gained recognition as Scouts under the protection of the Bureau until they took up residence in a country that had a recognized National Scouting Organization, which they then could join. The D.P. Division was closed on 30 June 1950.
The International Conference of the Boy Scout Movement decided to admit and recognise the exile Russian Scout group as the "Representatives of Russian Scouting in Foreign Countries" on 30 August 1922 and the Armenian Scouts in France were recognized as a "National Movement on Foreign Soil" on 30 April 1929.
The Boy Scouts of the United Nations began in 1945, and for years there was an active Boy Scouts of the United Nations with several troops at Parkway Village in New York City, with but 14 members in 1959.
The International Boy Scouts of the Canal Zone, a group in Panama with Scouts that claimed British and not Panamanian nationality was originally placed under the American Scouting overseas of the BSA but, in 1947, was transferred under the International Bureau. In 1957 the group had over 900 members and existed as a directly registered group until the late 60s.
The third category in the directly registered groups, the "mixed-nationality troops", were registered after discussions concerning such troops took place at the 3rd International Conference of 1924 at which the BSIB was authorized to directly register such groups. It seems that the discussion at the 1924 International Conference was, at least in part, prompted by a letter to Baden-Powell from the Scoutmaster of one such troop in Yokohama, Japan. Janning's troop became the first troop directly registered by the BSIB. Only a few troops were directly registered as soon the practice was discontinued and new "mixed" groups were encouraged to join the National Scout Association of their country of residence. In 1955 only two such groups were still active, a troop in Iraq that disbanded that year, and the first group to be registered, the International Troop 1 in Yokohama. The international troop in Yokohama is the only remaining active troop of the small group of the originally directly registered mixed-nationality troops.
Publications of WOSM include:
the first International Conference was held in Paris in 1922, when Great Britain became one of the founder-members of the world organization.
At Balboa we met up with Gunnar Berg and Ray Wyland of the B.S.A., also on their way to Bogota, and had a conference about the question of coloured Scouts in the Canal Zone, who claim British and not Panamanian nationality. It was agreed that they should be taken under the wing of the Canal Zone Council of the Boy Scouts of America, but ten years later they were transferred directly under the International Bureau as the International Boy Scouts of the Canal Zone.