Old Scouts to Scout Active Support

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Old Scouts                                                      18 +                   

Old Scouts were gatherings of ex Scouts retaining strong links to Scouting. They originated in many forms and acted as a pool of potential leaders and support.  The term Old Scout, like that of Senior Scout, had some currency before becoming a formal section.  The 1919 POR listed an Old Scouts Badge.  ‘Any Old Scout of three years service and has obtained a legitimate discharge may wear…’ The Census returns prior to 1948 had space for Secretary of ‘Old Scouts’ Branches.

An invitation to Old Scouts to gather in Cambridge in 1935     It should be…  ‘devoted to a Smoking Concert, to which we hope old Scouts will contribute items.  It is hoped that many Scouters and Rovers will be present to meet former members of their Troops and Groups.  During the evening a suggestion for the formation of a Local Old Scout Branch will be discussed.’

The B-P Guild of Old Scouts             1948 – 1955  

At the International Scout Conference in August 1947, a resolution was passed which recommended that national Scout Associations should form extended association of Old Scouts. This was to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of Scouting in 1948.

It came into being in June 1948, and was set up to be a separate organisation on 28th Oct 1950.  The closest cooperation between the Association and the Guild was added to the 1952 POR.

A review was also made and a five point agreement was made:

  • Membership of the B-P Guild of Old Scouts should be encouraged by and from the ranks of the Scouts and Scouters themselves.
  • There must be direct liaison between the Boy Scouts Association and the B-P Guild of Old Scouts at all levels.
  • Each branch should perform services to local Scouts with individual members of each branch doing as much or as little as they were able. There was still a real place for those who could contribute only fellowship and moral support.
  • The B-P Guild of Old Scouts desired to include in its membership all associations of old Scouts whatever their titles. The Boy Scouts Association supported the Guild in this and urged all former Scouts to become members.

1948    BP Guild of Old scouts formed in Cambridge – first the 23rd later 7th, 9th, 12th and Association branches.

B-P Scouts Guild                                1955 – 1976

Renamed in 1955 in 1957 it adopted the IFOSAG badge.

Cambridge branch opened 17/10/1975 after several false starts

The Guild became a founding member of the International Scout and Guide Fellowship. Now renamed International Scout and Guide Fellowship.

Scout Fellowship                               1976 – 2009

The Scout Fellowship was formed in 1976 as part of a plan to restructure the support given by the old members of Scouting. Each District now had its own Fellowship, which replaced The B-P Scout Guild.

Scout Active Support                  2009 –

From September 2009 the Scout Fellowship has been renamed ‘Scout Active Support’ following a review which saw the need to broaden and strengthen the activities of Scout Fellowships, to make them more proactive and flexible support units for Scouting.

It is a division that provides support to units and activities.

National Scout Active Support Groups

National Scout Active Support Units are registered directly with the Scout Association. These include special interest, activity centre, faith-based and international organisations. Groups include Brownsea Island, Deep Sea Scouts, Faith and Activity Centre based groups.

B P Guild of Great Britain                 2017

An independent national organisation of former Scouts and Guides and other interested persons, inspired by the ideal of maintaining the Scout & Guide Spirit in everyday life.

JWR Archivist Jan 2019