Tens of thousands of Scouts and Scouters from around the globe will attend this summer’s World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
But international Scouts and Scouters have been coming to America since the BSA’s earliest days, bringing with them ideas and traditions that have made the BSA better.
The most famous Scouting immigrant, William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt, arrived from Denmark in 1926 and went on to write the first Handbook for Patrol Leaders, the first Scout Fieldbook, two editions of The Boy Scout Handbook and an edition of the Handbook for Scoutmasters.
In the leadup to the World Scout Jamboree, Scouting spoke with five current BSA Scouters who began their Scouting careers in other countries. Click below for their stories.
- Jan Helge Bøhn, Oslo, Norway > Blacksburg, Va.
- Marcelo Guerra Hahn, Las Piedras, Uruguay > Kirkland, Wash.
- Natasha Brand, Thetford, England > Bentonville, Ark.
- Frank Fernández, Sagua la Grande, Cuba > Miami, Fla.
- Osama Mourad, Helwan, Egypt > Roswell, Ga.
Scouting Around the World
What started in 1907 as a camp for British boys on Brownsea Island has exploded into a global movement dedicated to making the world a better place.
Today, national Scout organizations in 169 countries are members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and about 60 more countries and territories have some form of Scouting.
According to WOSM, only five countries don’t have Scouting programs: Andorra, China, Cuba, Laos and North Korea. All told, Scouting reaches more than 50 million people in WOSM member countries.