Here’s a stat that will blow your mind: If Scouts worldwide
formed their own country, they would comprise Earth’s 45th-largest nation—ahead
of Saudi Arabia, Australia, and the Netherlands.
That’s 28 million Scouts in 160 countries!
Sure, we in the BSA take pride in the fact that for close to
100 years, millions of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers have made the
organization strong in the U.S. But given those global numbers, it’s easy to
see that we represent just a fraction of the worldwide Scouting community. And
we honor our part in that, too.
In 2003, the BSA created the International Scouter’s Award. This square knot recognizes registered BSA Scouters for
their service to the international movement. You can travel several paths on
your way to earning this purple-and-white award. But they all involve
contributions to Scouting outside the U.S. Read on to find out more.
Choose from five basic categories, completing six total tasks
from three different categories, including:
- Giving leadership to international Scouting
- Giving leadership to international events held in the United
- Giving leadership to international events held in other
- Educating self and others
- Giving support to international Scouting
Each category offers different ways to complete its
Get the complete list and the official application by
clicking here (PDF). As you check off the requirements, you’re
helping promote the message of Scouting around the world. You’re growing,
too—soaking up some personal cultural perspective.
Let’s say you host Scouts or Scouters from another country
as part of a council activity. Or attend an international Scout conference at
the Philmont Training Center. Or—if you’re lucky—serve on staff
at the world Scout jamboree in Sweden in 2011. (Read Scouting magazine's story about the 2007 world jamboree here.)
Whatever. It’ll be fun and enriching. So after completing at
least six tasks and getting approval from your local council’s international
representative and Scout executive, you can apply for the knot. Your council
must approve your application and forward it to the International Division.
Wear the knot with pride so others can see your contribution
to spreading Baden-Powell’s dream to all corners of the world.
Chime In: Share your experiences with Scouts from another
country in our comments section.
Read on: There's more about Scouting around the world in Scouting magazine's May-June 2008 issue. Click here to check it out.