History and Organization

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In the spring of 1908, just months after the book Scouting for Boys was published in England, Scouting came to Canada. Robert Baden-Powell wrote to Earl Grey, then Governor General of Canada, in 1910 to ask him to organize Scouting in Canada. Scouting was carried on as part of The Boy Scouts Association Overseas Department until The Canadian General Council of the Boy Scout Association was incorporated by an Act of the Canadian Parliament on June 12, 1914. The Canadian General Council continued to be a branch of the Boy Scout Association until October 30, 1946, when it became an independent member of the Boy Scout World Conference, now the World Organization of the Scout Movement. A subsequent amendment to the Act of Parliament changed the name to Boy Scouts of Canada. In 1976 the Scouts Canada logo was introduced and the organization, by its By-laws, adopted the name Scouts Canada. In 2007 The Boy Scouts of Canada legally changed its name to Scouts Canada.[10]

In 1972, Scouts Canada began accepting female members as part of its Rover Section. This was expanded in 1984 to include the Venturer Section. In 1992, co-ed Scouting was an option for all program sections and became policy for all sections in 1998.


Scouts Canada is divided into twenty Councils, formerly called Regions, each representing a whole province or large part thereof. Each Council is headed by a Council Commissioner appointed by the Executive Commissioner (the top staff member reporting to the Board of Governors). Councils are divided into Areas, formerly called Districts, each headed by an Area Commissioner appointed by the Council Commissioner. At each level there is what's known as a "Key 3" relationship.

Canada is the only country with more than one Scouting association separately recognized by WOSM. Scouts Canada and L'Association des Scouts du Canada are divided by language. A number of other countries also have more than one Scouting association that may form a national federation to receive joint WOSM membership. Scouts Canada and L'Association des Scouts du Canada send a joint delegation to meetings of the World Organization of the Scout Movement; this is coordinated through the Board of Governors' Committee on Cooperation.

Prior to the installation of His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada (who has been given the title of Patron Scout), every Governor General since Earl Grey has been either the Chief Scout for Canada (prior to 1946) or Chief Scout of Canada (after 1946).

Today, more than 28 million youth and adults, boys and girls, take part in Scouting programs in 155 countries and territories worldwide.