Scouting began in 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell, Lieutenant General in the British Army, held the first Scouting encampment at Brownsea Island in England. Baden-Powell wrote the principles of Scouting in Scouting for Boys (London, 1908), based on his earlier military books, with influence and support of Frederick Russell Burnham (Chief of Scouts in British Africa), Ernest Thompson Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, William Alexander Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. During the first half of the 20th century, the movement grew to encompass three major age groups each for boys (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Rover Scout) and, in 1910, a new organization, Girl Guides, was created for girls (Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout, Ranger Guide).
The movement employs the Scout method, a program of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports. Another widely recognized movement characteristic is the Scout uniform, by intent hiding all differences of social standing in a country and making for equality, with neckerchief and campaign hat or comparable headwear. Distinctive uniform insignia include the fleur-de-lis and the trefoil, as well as merit badges and other patches.
In 2011, Scouting and Guiding together had over 41 million members worldwide. The two largest umbrella organizations are the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), for
In 1910 the 1st Brightlingsea Troop were formed and the first mention in Parish records refers to a “gathering of Scouts for manoeuvres” at Dedham in June 1910, and the 1st Camp was at “Brickields” Gt Bentley in September of the same year. In the Great War 1914-18 Scouting expires in Brightlingsea but reforms as the 1st Brightlingsea Troop in August 1920 with Mr Waskett as Scoutmaster. There were four patrols: Bulldog, Seagull, Eagle and Peewit. In March 1921 The Troop moved into it’s new headquarters in a stable loft on the Brightlingsea gas-works premises. It should be noted the Troops full title then was “1st Brightlingsea (All Saints) Troop of B.P. Boy Scouts” In 1929 the Scout Troop was reformed as the 2nd Brightlingsea Troop and were allowed the use of the club room in Mr Philips Orchard as headquarters. Soon after in 1930 the 3rd Brightlingsea Troop was formed. It appears from Parish records The 2nd and 3rd Brightlingsea Troops enjoyed a healthy status which included the first two years of the Second World War 1939-40 but from January 1941 no Brightlingsea Troops are noted as having any mention in Parish records.
In 1946 the 4th Brightlingsea Troop was formed, which included part of the 3rd Brightlingsea Cubs & the School Troop, and it’s from this association with the school that today’s colours of the Scout Scarf (red & black)were adopted. Scout leaders at the time were Mr Tom Wright, Mr Tony Crane (MD of James & Stone) and then followed Mr Neil Richardson.
The 4th Troop have enjoyed various headquarters in the town including Marshes Yard, Duke of Wellington Pub (Wellington St) a garage near the YMCA, The Foresters Hall (now the sail loft in Tower St) then from a nissen hut to the present headquarters in Lower Park Rd where they have been for 30 years. At it’s most healthy the Scout group in Brightlingsea boasted two Beaver Colonies, three Cub Packs, three Scout Troops and a Venture Unit.
The continuance and survival of the Scout movement in Brightlingsea is through the dedication and commitment of willing adults who give up large amounts of time and dedication to the Scout group and various units, without them the Scout movement in Brightlingsea would cease to exist.