Scouts & The Invasion of Britain

Back in March, the UK Government released some previously classified files about the relationship between Scouting and the Hitler Youth (Hitler-Jugend). As usual the media made a big fuss about, well nothing really. There wasn’t a link between the two organisations and the WOSM put out a rather good press release explaining it all (read my post from March here).

One of the points they made was that Scouting was mentioned in the book “Informationsheft Groß Britannien”, which was to be issued to soldiers when the Germans invaded Britain.

I was in the library the other day and noticed a copy of this book, translated into English and now called “Invasion 1940 – The Nazi Invasion Plan for Britain by SS General Walter Schellenberg”. So I looked at the relevant section on Scouting and found that if anyone who had written about the supposed link between the Hitler Youth and Scouting had read this book, then they would have realised that there was no connection!

Here is what the book says (please don’t be offended by the language, it’s as originally written):

The International Boy Scout Movement

This was created in 1907 by the English military officer Lord Baden-Powell, who defended Mafeking in the Boer War. His organisation first limited its activities to England, later expanding over Europe (1911) thanks to propaganda from the British government and finally extended to the whole world. The Boy Scout Movement was established in the Dominions only after pressure from the English authorities.

Lord Baden-Powell is, as World Chief Scout, the leader of the International Boy Scout Movement. Its central headquarters is in London, in the so-called International Bureau which until recently has been managed by a half-Jew, Mr Martin, who was simultaneously the head of the Passport Office. The current manager of the International Bureau, John Wilson, also works at the Passport Office; for the previous eight years he was Chief of Police in Calcutta. It is possible that his successor there is a certain Mr Lunt. The International Bureau builds links between the individual national scout associations. An International Commissioner heads each national association and is responsible for maintaining the link with the International Bureau in London.The International Commissioner is required to draft monthly and quarterly reports on the economic, cultural and political situation of the relevant country and pass them to the International Bureau. In addition, any personal or written contact between groups have to go through him. The individual national Boy Scout sections are structured similarly to the International Bureau.

Although the individual Boy Scout organisations are ostensibly almost entirely devoted to pre-military youth education, the Boy Scout Movement is a disguised instrument of power for British cultural propaganda, and an excellent source of information for the British Intelligence Service. Lord Baden-Powell was run as an agent against Germany during the last war. The dissolution of the Austrian boy scout association has, amongst other things, provided proof of the link between the Boy Scout Movement and the Secret Service.

The English Boy Scout Movement follows a similar model, altered to fit English circumstances, to the German Free ~Youth Movement. Accordingly, there has been close personal contact between members of the German Free Youth Movement and the English Boy Scout Movement.

The 1926 Kanderstag Agreement on Minorities has special significance for international relations since it guarantees the constitution of minority scout groups in every country with a national scout association. The German Youth Front, a gathering of émigré youth leaders, also enjoys close ties with the International Bureau. Furthermore, it is suspected, due to its numerous connections abroad, the International Bureau works for British Intelligence.

Hahahahahahahaha! Well, when I was looking through the records of my District which were from the 1920’s onwards, I never noticed any reference to MI5 or MI6! I think the Nazis got their summery of Scouting a bit wrong (to use an understatement). The other interesting point is that, had Britain been invaded, BP was on the list of 2800 or so people to be rounded up and arrested (and probably shot). Of course BP was in Kenya by this time living out his last days.

It’s just a shame that when information is released, people don’t research things properly before coming out with the thought that Scouting was a right wing paramilitary organisation.

Last word to BP himself writing in 1917 after 3 years of the First World War –

The roots of Scouting have grown among young people of all civilised countries and are developing more each day. It might be thought that if in years to come, a considerable proportion of the future citizens of each nation forms part of this brotherhood, they will be joined by a bond of personal friendship and mutual understanding such as has never existed before, which will help to find a solution to terrible international conflicts.

Holiday Time!

Well all the schools have broken up for the summer holidays and the pupils / students and MOST of the staff (only 4 weeks until MY holidays – but that’s a rant I don’t want to go into here!) now have six weeks off.

The summer holidays bring an interesting dilemma for Scout Groups and their sections – whether to stay open or close for the holidays. To be honest, we normally close, so the Beavers and Cubs finish tonight and the Scouts are carrying on an extra couple of weeks because of a camp at the beginning of next month. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing for two reasons.

First of all, it’s the school holidays so families er, well, go on holiday! With all the kids scattering to the four corners of the globe, it’s nigh on impossible to know who is going to turn up from one week to another which means a normal programme can’t be run – you tend to end up playing games all night.

Secondly, it gives the Leaders a break. It gives them time off, to go their holidays and recharge the batteries ready for starting back refreshed, renewed and full of enthusiasm in September.

So have  great summer holiday and see you all in September (well actually not entirely true, of course, I’ll be posting here over the hols!).

Family Camp Video

At the Family Camp we held back in May, as well as taking a load of still pictures – see here, I managed to take some video with my little hand held Flip Video camera. I’ve finally got round to editing it all together and you can see the short version below (YouTube is limited to around 10 minutes).


If you want to see the full 40 minutes or so, then click here.

In the short version you can see the Beavers and Cubs making their pirate equipment(!), the BBQ we had on the Saturday evening and a few songs from the campfire.

If you watch the long version you can see the camp site in the rain (just for a change), the Beavers and Cubs making their pirate equipment, the BBQ and finally the full camp fire.

Hope you enjoy.

Recognising the Commitment

Last night was my Group’s Annual General Meeting. As well as the ‘formal’ stuff, awards were given out. It was pleasing to see three Beavers get their Chief Scouts Bronze Award and the Cub of the Year Award presented (we really need to have Beaver and Scout awards as well!).

But it was also pleasing to see a A Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service given to the Group Treasurer. A Group Treasurer is one of those mythical things that appears when money is needed or is required to be collected!

Seriously, a Group Treasurer is worth their weight in gold. It means that the Leaders don’t have to worry about keeping the Group’s finances in order. And, for example, it means that the Leaders do not have access to the bank account (like in our case).

Our Treasurer has been in the position for seven years now and we’re really lucky to have him. He was recently awarded his 5 years service award, but to get the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service is very impressive. Like our DC said last night, its great when uniformed adults get these awards, but even more special when a non uniformed member gets one. They too show their commitment to Scouting, but in different ways to the uniformed members, and rightly deserve to be honoured for their work!