A Brief History of 
International Catholic ScoutingClick here for Home

  Scouting in the rest of the world is both similar and different to Scouting in the United States. However, one thing that is similar is the spiritual component of the Scouting program, at least in most Catholic Scouting programs.
   I've provided some information about the spiritual component in the Scouting Movement and a speech on the same by the former Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. In addition, the English-language text of addresses from various Popes on Scouting is also available.
   I've provided a very brief chronology of the international development of Catholic Scouting. If you're interested in learning more about the evolution of the International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS), I would suggest obtaining a recent publication of the history of the ICCS. It does not go into any detail on the history of Catholic Scouting in individual countries, just the ICCS. It can be purchased from Italy via this web site.

1909 - Baden-Powell visited Argentine, Chile and Brazil. Scouting had already started in Buenos Aires, Argentina in a British Boy's school. The Boy Scouts de Chile was started in 1909.

1910 - Abbé Petit started Catholic troops in Belgium.

1912 -The Association of Baden-Powell Belgian Boy and Sea Scouts was formed and Jean Corbisier was the Chief Scout. Father Melchior became the first Aumonier General.

1912 -In Austria, Scouting was organized in the Catholic Church with the formation of the Öesterreichisches Pfadfinderkorps St. Georg (ÖPK - Austrian Catholic Scout Association).

1916 -The Italian Catholic Scout Association (Associazione Scautistica Cattolica Italiana) was founded.

1919 -A Catholic Guide Association and the Belgian Catholic Scouts were formed, with Abbé J.D. Mercier was the Aumonier General.

1920 -During the Jamboree of Olympia (London), the International Office of Catholic Scouts (IOCS) was created. *Les Scouts de France (Scouts of France) is started by Rev. Jacques Sevin S.J., the Abbot Comette, Edouard de Macèdo, and Paul Coze for Catholics.

1923 - The Braga Local Authorities approved the "Corpo de Scouts Católicos Portugueses", later changed to "Corpo Nacional de Escutas" (the Portuguese Catholic Scout Association).

1924 - 2nd World Jamboree, Copenhagen, Denmark.

1925 - Catholic Scout Advisory Council formed in Great Britain. *Pius XI declared 1925 a Jubilee and Holy Year. On September 6th, he addressed 10,000 Boy Scouts from all over the world, including Scouts from the USA, Great Britain, Arabia, Palestine, Ireland, France, Austria, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Malta, Syria, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg, and Italy.

1927 - Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland founded. *Cardinal Mercier combined two existing Catholic Belgium Scouting Associations into a single Catholic Association (Baden-Powell Catholic Scouts). This was composed of two distinct organizations, based on language: Fédération des Scouts Catholiques (FSC) for the French-speaking youth and the Vlaams Verbond der Katholieke Scouts (VVKS) for those speaking Flemish.

1928 - The Italian Catholic Scout Association was suppressed by Pope Pius XI, after the Fascist Government decided to disband them. While Catholic Scouting was suppressed in Italy, Catholic Scouting was still taking place in Egypt and Jerusalem by Italian Scouts.

1929 - With the assistance of the Knights of Columbus, the Boy Scouts of Mexico (Associacion de Scouts de Mexico) was founded on October 12, 1929. It was Catholic in nature. *3rd World Jamboree, Birkenhead, England.

1930 - In April, the Verkenners van de Katholieke Jeugd Beweging (VKJB - a Catholic Scout Association) was formed in the Netherlands.

1933 - Baden-Powell had an audience with Pope Pius XI, urging him not to consider suggestions of creating a separate international Catholic Scouting organization. B-P also met with Mussolini at the same time to discuss the OSB. *4th World Jamboree, Godollo, Hungary.

1937 - 5th World Jamboree, Vogelenzang, Netherlands.

1938 - When Germany annexed Austria (the Anschluss) in March, Scouting was suppressed and many high profile Scout leaders were sent to internment camps. The ÖPK (Austrian Catholic Scout Association) was suppressed by the Nazi government.

1944 - The Italian Catholic Scout Association was reestablished.

1946 -Austrian Scouting decided not to have Open and Catholic Associations, but one single Open Association. They formed the Pfadfinder Österreichs (PÖ).

1947 - 6th World Jamboree (Jamboree of Peace), Moisson, France. *The International Catholic Scouters Conference (ICSC) is formed.

1948 - The 1st ICSC Conference is held in Luxembourg, devoted to leadership training. *The Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft St. Georg was formed in West Germany for Catholics.

1949 - The ICSC held its 2nd Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1950 -Dissent within the Austrian Pfadfinder Österreichs caused the formation of the Östereichischer Pfadfinderinnenverband St.Georg (ÖPVSG) for Catholic youth. *West Germany formed a Scouting federation for the three Scout Associations, called the Ring Deutscher Pfadfinderbunde. * The ICSC held its 3rd Conference in Ommen, The Netherlands.

1951 - The 4th ICSC Conference was held at Gilwell Park, with representatives from 15 countries, including Australia and Tanganyika. *Pius XII spoke to the participants at the 7th International Conference of Catholic Leaders in Scouting held in Rome. *7th World Jamboree, Bad Ischl Austria.

1952 - The ICSC held its 5th Conference in Rome, Italy.

1953 - The ICSC held its 6th Conference in Strasbourg, France.

1954 - The ICSC held its 7th Conference in Altenberg, Germany.

1955 - 8th World Jamboree, Niagara Canada. *The ICSC held its 8th Conference in Bruges, Belgium.

1956 - The ICSC held its 9th Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1957 - 9th World Jamboree, Birmingham England. *The ICSC held its 10th Conference in Fatima, Portugal.

1958 - The ICSC held its 11th Conference in Vienna, Austria.

1959 - 10th World Jamboree, Makiling, Philippines. *The ICSC held its 12th Conference in Lugano, Switzerland.

1961 - The ICSC held its 13th Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

1962 - The Holy See approves the Statues and Charter of the International Catholic Scouters Conference (ICSC). The World Committee confers consultative status to the ICSC. *Pope John XXIII "gave special recognition to the Boy Scouts by personally writing a special prayer for all Scouts of Catholic faith to use."

1963 - 11th World Jamboree, Marathon, Greece. *The ICSC held its 14th Conference in Jambville, France.

1965 - The ICSC held its 15th Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

1966 - The ICSC held its 16th Conference in Coblence, West Germany.

1967 - The ICSC is recognized as an International Catholic Organization. *12th World Jamboree, Idaho, USA.

1969 - The ICSC held its 17th Conference in Liege, Belgium.

1971 - 13th World Jamboree, Asagiri Heights, Japan. *International regions are formed within the ICSC.

1974 - The Italian Catholic Scout and Guide Association (AGESCI), was founded as a result of the merger of ASCI and AGI.

1975 - 14th World Jamboree, Lillehammer, Norway. *The ICSC becomes the International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS).

1976 -In Austria the formation of the Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Österreichs (PPÖ) was brought about when the ÖPVSG merged with the PÖ, thus dissolving the Catholic Scout Association. *The ICCS held its 18th Conference in Ougadougou, Upper Volta.

1977 - The Holy See approves the ICCS's new charter. *The ICCS held its 19th Conference in Montreal, Canada.

1981 - The ICCS held its 20th Conference in Anyama, Cote-d'Ivoire.

1983 - 15th World Jamboree, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

1984 - The ICCS held its 21st Conference in Providence (RI), USA.

1985 - The ICCS held its 22nd Conference in Benediktbeuern, West Germany.

1987 - 16th World Jamboree, Cataract Scout Park, Australia. *The ICCS held its 23rd Conference in Drogheda, Ireland.

1990 - The ICCS held its 24th Conference in Wegimont, Belgium.

1991 - 17th World Jamboree, Soraksan National Park, Korea.

1993 - The ICCS held its 25th Conference in Bankok, Thailand.

1995 - 18th World Jamboree, Dronten, The Netherlands.

1996 - The ICCS held its 26th Conference in Granavolden, Norway.

1999 - 19th World Jamboree, Picarquin, Chile. *The ICCS held its 27th Conference in Durban, South Africa.

2002 - The ICCS held its 28th Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece.

2003 - 20th World Jamboree, Bangkok, Thailand.

2005 - The ICCS will hold its 29th Conference in Malta.

2007 - 21st World Jamboree, Hylands Park Chelmsford (Essex) Great Britain.

   The above chronology is a work in progress. The information on this page is based on the research I had done at the time. Subsequent research might bring to light new facts which might require corrections.


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