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Boy Scouts

Scouting in Melbourne was formally established in 1908, one year after the publication of Sir Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for boys established the movement in Britain. British pamphlets on scouting had been received by pupils at Tooronga Road State School, Caulfield, in 1907 and an unofficial troop was established by a number of boys there.

It is difficult to say which was the first formally organised scout troop in Melbourne, but by the end of 1908 there were groups in Malvern, Carlton, Albert Park, Brighton, Caulfield, Hawksburn, Ivanhoe, Camberwell, South Melbourne, Toorak and at the Young Men's Christian Association near Princes Bridge. The first Chief Commissioner of Scouts in Victoria was Eyrl G. Lister, the founding scoutmaster of the Caulfield troop.

Baden-Powell visited Melbourne's scout troops during his 1912 tour of Australia, and the first Australian interstate Scout Rally was held in Melbourne in 1913-14. The first Australian Scout Jamboree was held at Frankston during the summer of 1934-35. A national jamboree has been held every three years since that time. Until the formation of the Australian Federal Council in 1921 each State's Scouting headquarters operated independently and was registered with the Scout Association in England. The Australian Boy Scouts Association, based in Sydney, was established in 1958 and changed its name in 1972 to the Scout Association of Australia. The movement, which is now also open to girls, had 25 500 members statewide in 2004.

Wayne Murdoch