Scouts’ Day or Guides’ Day is a generic term for special days observed by members of the Scouting movement throughout the year. Some of these days have religious significance, while others may be a simple celebration of Scouting. Typically, it is a day when all members of Scouting will re-affirm the Scout Promise. In the United Kingdom and Denmark, 23 April is celebrated as Saint George’s Day. As Saint George is the patron saint of Scouting, 23 April is also celebrated as Scouts’ Day there.
Since the publication of Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell in 1908, all Scouts and Girl Guides around the world have taken a Scout (or Guide) promise or oath to live up to ideals of the movement, and subscribed to a Scout Law. The wording of the Scout Promise (or Oath) and Scout Law have varied slightly over time and from country to country. Although most Scouting and Guiding organizations use the word “promise”, a few such as the Boy Scouts of America tend to use “oath” instead. Typically, Scouts and Guides will make the three-fingered Scout Sign when reciting the promise.
In the UK, many Scouting Districts celebrate the day with a parade of the groups and sections to a church or other suitable venue, often outdoors, where a service is held where the Scout sections all re-affirm their Scout Promises. However, it is becoming more difficult to encourage participation by the youth membership, so many Districts forego the parade and church service in place of a more family oriented day. The focus of the day is still the affirmation of the Promise by all members.
Each St. George’s Day is also marked by a service in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, which is open to all recipients of the Queen’s Scout Award in the previous year.
A Queen’s Scout is a Scout who has attained the Queen’s Scout Award. The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest youth award achievable in the Scouting movement in the Commonwealth realms, including the United Kingdom, Canada (Queen’s Venturer Award), Australia, and New Zealand, where Scouts operate under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth II. Whether the award recipient is a Queen’s or King’s Scout depends on who is the current Monarch of the Commonwealth realms.
If you are not a Scout or a Guide, you could still share the spirit by celebrating the Scouts and Guides in your family and friends. Tell them how proud you are of them! You could also go camping, or simply helping the people around you that are in need!
How about you? Tell us your favorite Scouts’ Day activity, or share your most memorable Scouts’ Day celebration!