World Organization of the Scout Movement: Wikis


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World Organization of the Scout Movement
World Organization of the Scout Movement
World Organization of the Scout Movement
Headquarters Geneva, Switzerland
Country worldwide
Founded 1920
Founder Robert Baden-Powell
Membership 28 million
Secretary General Luc Panissod
WSC Chairman William F. “Rick” Cronk
World Organization of the Scout Movement
Scouting portal

The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) is the Non-governmental international organization which governs most national Scout Organizations, with 28 million members. WOSM was established in 1920, and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the counterpart of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

The mission of WOSM 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.[1] WOSM is organized into regions and operates with a conference, committee and bureau.


World Scout Conference

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.[2]

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. The Conference directed the move of the World Scout Bureau from Ottawa, Canada to Geneva on May 1, 1968.[3]

Date Number Location Country Member Countries
1920 First World Scout Conference London  United Kingdom 33
1922 Second World Scout Conference Paris  France 32
1924 Third World Scout Conference Copenhagen  Denmark 34
1926 Fourth World Scout Conference Kandersteg  Switzerland 29
1929 Fifth World Scout Conference Birkenhead  United Kingdom 33
1931 Sixth World Scout Conference Baden bei Wien  Austria 44
1933 Seventh World Scout Conference Gödöllő  Hungary 31
1935 Eighth World Scout Conference Stockholm  Sweden 28
1937 Ninth World Scout Conference The Hague  Netherlands 34
1939 10th World Scout Conference Edinburgh  United Kingdom 27
1947 11th World Scout Conference Château de Rosny-sur-Seine  France 27
1949 12th World Scout Conference Elvesaeter  Norway 25
1951 13th World Scout Conference Salzburg  Austria 34
1953 14th World Scout Conference Vaduz  Liechtenstein 35
1955 15th World Scout Conference Niagara Falls, Ontario  Canada 44
1957 16th World Scout Conference Cambridge  United Kingdom 52
1959 17th World Scout Conference New Delhi  India 35
1961 18th World Scout 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 Otaniemi  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  Germany 93
1988 31st World Scout Conference Melbourne  Australia 77
1990 32nd World Scout Conference Paris  France
1993 33rd World Scout Conference Sattahip  Thailand
1996 34th World Scout Conference Oslo  Norway 108
1999 35th World Scout Conference Durban  South Africa 116
2002 36th World Scout Conference Thessaloniki  Greece 126
2005 37th World Scout Conference Hammamet  Tunisia 122
2008 38th World Scout Conference Jeju-do  South Korea 150
2011 39th World Scout Conference Curitiba  Brazil

World Scout Committee

1939-1955 version of the World Scout Emblem, used by the World Scout Committee

The World Scout Committee is the chief executive body of the World Scout Conference and is composed of elected volunteers. 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, Switzerland. Its Steering Committee, consisting of the Chairman, two Vice-Chairmen and the Secretary General, meet as needed.[4]

The Committee is composed of 14 members. Twelve, each from a different country, are elected for six-year terms by the World Scout Conference. The members, elected without regard to their nationality, do not represent their country but the interests of the Movement as a whole. The Secretary General and the Treasurer of WOSM are ex-officio members of the Committee. The chairmen of the regional Scout committees participate in the World Scout Committee meetings in a consultative capacity.[5]

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:

  • Youth involvement
  • Volunteers in Scouting
  • Scouting's profile (communications, partnerships, resources)

Standing committees include:

  • Audit
  • Budget
  • Constitutions
  • Honours and Awards
  • Working With Others- a consultative committee of the WOSM and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), composed of members of the World Committee/World Board of both organizations
  • 2007 Task Force for the 100th Anniversary of Scouting, composed of members of the World Scout Committee, World Scout Bureau, World Scout Foundation, and The Scout Association of the United Kingdom

Current members of the World Scout Committee

Name Country Term to
William F. "Rick" Cronk Chairman, USA 2011
Dr. Mario Díaz Martínez Vice-Chairman, Spain 2011
Simon Hang-Bock Rhee Vice-Chairman, Korea 2014
Mrs. Thérèse Bermingham Ireland 2011
Eric Khoo Heng-Pheng Malaysia 2014
Georges El Ghorayeb Lebanon 2011
Wahid Labidi Tunisia 2014
John C.C. May United Kingdom 2014
John Neysmith Canada 2014
Nkwenkwe Nkomo South Africa 2011
Oscar Palmquist Brazil 2014
Gualtiero Zanolini Italy 2011
Luc Panissod Secretary General, WOSM
Maurice Machenbaum Treasurer, Switzerland

Bronze Wolf

The Bronze Wolf 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.

World Scout Bureau

The World Scout Bureau is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and has offices in six regional divisions:      European Region: Geneva, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium and Belgrade, Serbia      Arab Region: Cairo, Egypt      Africa Region: Nairobi, Kenya; Cape Town, South Africa; and Dakar, Senegal      Asia-Pacific Region: Makati City, Philippines; Australia; and Tokyo, Japan      Interamerican Region: Santiago, Chile      Eurasian Region: Gurzuf near Yalta, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia      grey areas such as Burma and Cuba have no Scouting

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.[6]

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.[7]

The World Organization of the Scout Movement is associated with the 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 17-26 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 Scouting programs throughout the world.

World Bureau (World Organization of the Scout Movement).png

The WOSM is the non-governmental organization (NGO), that represents the Scouting movement at the United Nations.[8] The WOSM and WAGGGS both have General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council ECOSOC of the United Nations.[9]

World Scout Centres

World Scout Centre is a brand of the WOSM and actually used by three Scouting facilities in different countries. These facilities are operated by the corresponding regional divisions or by independent bodies:


The WOSM membership badge, called the World Crest, is a purple, circular badge with a fleur-de-lis in the center, surrounded by a piece of rope tied with a reef knot (also called a square knot). The fleur-de-lis is an ancient symbol, originally used by Baden-Powell for the enlisted scouts of the British Army and subsequently adopted and modified 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 duties, to God, self and others. The two five-point stars stand for truth and knowledge, with the ten points representing the ten points of the Scout Law (see below). The bond at the base of the fleur-de-lis shows the family of Scouting. The encircling rope symbolizes the unity and family of the World Scout Movement.


As a result of the first World Scout Jamboree at Olympia, London in 1920, leaders there created the Boy Scouts' International Conference. All 31 nations represented at Olympia were the charter members. A Bureau was established at 25, Buckingham Palace Road, London, and the then United Kingdom International Commissioner, Hubert S. Martin, was appointed as Honorary Director. The Boy Scouts' International Conference was later superseded by the World Scout Conference.

The needs of Scout youth in unusual situations has created some interesting permutations, answerable directly to the World Scout Bureau. 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. Also directly registered to the World Bureau were the 900 member International Boy Scouts of the Canal Zone,[10] as well as 84 Scouts of the European Coal and Steel Community, an early precursor to the European Union.

Publication: Scouting 'round the World, 1977 edition


Publications of WOSM include:

  • Scouting 'Round the World: a book updated every three years with details on all WOSM member organizations;
  • WorldInfo: a monthly circular distributed in electronic format with the help of Scoutnet.

See also



  • Facts on World Scouting, Boy Scouts International Bureau, Ottawa, Canada, 1961
  • Laszlo Nagy, 250 Million Scouts, The World Scout Foundation and Dartnell Publishers, 1985


  1. ^ "The Mission of Scouting". World Organization of the Scout Movement. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  2. ^ "World Scouting". WOSM World Scouting. Retrieved February 1, 2006. 
  3. ^ Laszlo Nagy (1921 - 2009) / Secretary General / World Bureau / Governance / Our Organisation / Home - World Organization of the Scout Movement
  4. ^ "World Scout Committee". WOSM World Scouting. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  5. ^ "World Scouting". WOSM World Scouting. Retrieved 2006-02-01. 
  6. ^ "World Scouting". WOSM World Scouting. Retrieved February 2, 2006. 
  7. ^ "World Scout Bureau fact sheet". WOSM World Scouting. Retrieved February 2, 2006. 
  8. ^ "World Organization". World Organization of the Scout Movement. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  9. ^ "How We Work With The UN". World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  10. ^ Wilson, John S. (1959). "The International Bureau Goes on the Road". Scouting Round the World (first edition ed.). London: Blandford Press. pp. 134. ""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."" 

External links


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