Clubs for Older Scouts, Old Scouts and Scouters

Cambridge District Scout Archive

A number of Clubs have been started for Old Scouts, Scouters and Patrol Leaders.  Little remains of their activities.  Separate pages exist for some of the following which are listed from the date of foundation, or the date founded in Cambridge.

1913    Scouts’ Friendly Society       

Details of how this worked in Cambridge are missing.  The general function of a Friendly Society, to provide a financial safety net for members, was mixed with a register of Old Scouts providing a reserve of Scoutmasters, speakers and helpers.  Monthly meetings were a part of the plans.       

BP Scouts Official History p 261 suggests that all over 18 were obliged to join a Friendship Society but maybe this should read ‘should’.  I have been unable to find any obligation for all adults to belong to a Friendly Society. 

1916    Old Scouts Association                                

The motto of the first groupings of ‘Old Scouts’ was ‘Once a Scout Always a Scout’. The phrase was first uttered by Lord Kitchener at a Scout Rally in Leicester in 1911

On October 4th, 1916, Baden-Powell, wrote: “I enclose and outline of a scheme for ‘Old Scouts’, quite rough for criticism.”  Local Old Scout Groups were initiated at Troop or District level.

An attempt to provide a national structure and organisation for ‘Old Scouts’ came in 1933 when Elwes wrote an HQ Pamphlet Old Scouts. Who they are, How to organize them. What they can do? 

1919    Cambridge Scouters Club/ Scoutmaster Club

The Cambridge Scouters Club originated in 1919 but gradually diminished and a meeting was called in 1922 to discuss its future.  It appears to be this Club that Ken North refers to as being ‘reorganised Dec, now open to Town & Uni. Rovers’.

Plans are laid to have one social and one talk a term with Valentine Richards (Christs) and C T Wood (Queens) willing to use their rooms.  Subs were agreed at 2/- per annum, later deduced to 1/6.

In 1923 a meeting proposed Cambridge Scouter Training Courses, a meeting in which ‘camp songs sung with Mr. Armitage on the piano‘.  A meeting later that year notes ‘including several ladies whom we were very pleased to welcome’. In 1927 plans for meetings at Peterhouse fellows garden and Leighton, home of DC were arranged by Valentine Richards.

The Minutes continue until 1931 and the 10th AGM.  Subs were reduced to 1/- and, without any indication of decline, end before the book is completed. 

1920    Old Scout/ Senior Scouter

A club initiated by H Mallet which encouraged but was not exclusively for Old Scouts based at the Albert Institute. This was before the purchase of the building as Scout HQ.  This is a different Club from the 1919 Cambridge Scouters Club as evidenced by the two entries in Reveille.

Scouts of 15 and over (and all P.L’s. of 13 and over, who are full members of any Troops may join the Club by paying 1/6 a year. Members of the Senior Club will be entitled to attend the Socials on Saturday evenings, as well as a certain number of classes, etc., which the Senior Troop hopes to throw open to them     Reveille

The Club later removed a chaperon requirement and introduced billiards and cards.   The District Exec requirement that any non Scout member become a Scout within 3 months was strongly opposed by the members and the SM in charge resigned this responsibility.  

1926    Proposed that it should close and Local Authority carry on the function  Nov 1926

1932    Seeonee Pack

This ran either side of WW2, alongside Socials, which may have included ‘guests’, and District Cub planning meetings.  The boundaries between the meetings were blurred.

See separate page

1946    Scout Club     

The House Committee of Grafton St HQ considered a Scout Club.  It was agreed that it would be suitable but required a suitable man to take charge.  No further plans recorded.  District Records

1948    B-P Guild of Old Scouts        

It was decided that 1948 should be marked by the formation of ‘Old Scouts’ Branches in all member countries. It was decided to establish a B-P Guild of Old Scouts in Britain. The 23rd Old Scouts Branch voted to become a branch of the BP Guild of Old Scouts ahead of its formation in June 1948. The 7th Cambridge report a branch in a 1950 review.

1955    The B-P Scout Guild                                                 

In 1955 renamed to form ‘The B-P Scout Guild’

1965    Scouters Troop Meeting      

Reference was made to a Scouters Troop Meeting at the AGM.  No further details exist.

1974    Scout Fellowship                                          

The ‘District Scout Fellowship’ replaced the ‘Guild’ as this would enable many other groupings that were assisting in the support of Scout Groups, such as various forms of District Service Teams, to all work together.

1997 Friends of Scouting UK

Part of the Scout Association it was for ex Scouts to support Scouting. Friends of Scouting Europe still exists to raise funds.

1999    The Fellowship was fully integrated into the Scout Association under the heading ‘Adult Support’ and, at the same time, a National Scout Fellowship Team was created to enable it to better achieve its support rôle.

See also Old Scouts to Scout Active Support

JWR Archivist Feb 2019