Be prepared for adventure

Global youth movement

Scouting is a global voluntary, non-political educational movement of young people, supported by adults. It is open to and inclusive of all without distinction of gender, origin, race or creed, in accordance with the Purpose, Principles and Method that the Founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, conceived.

The Scouting Effect | © Scouts Australia

While Baden-Powell formulated his ideas over many years, the World Organisation of the Scout Movement acknowledges 1 August 1907 as the date on which he founded Scouting. Scouting soon spread throughout the world, with Scout Groups starting in Australia in 1908. Read more about the history of Scouting in Australia and around the globe in the Scouts Australia-produced document that includes a biography of Baden-Powell, who was born on 22 February 1857 and died on 8 January 1941.

This message to all Scouts was found among Baden-Powell’s papers after he passed away.

Dear Scouts,

If you have ever seen the play Peter Pan you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest. It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of goodbye.

Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over.

I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.

I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life. Happiness doesn’t come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence. One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.

Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy. Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.

But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people. Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best. ‘Be Prepared’ in this way, to live happy and to die happy – stick to your Scout promise always – even after you have ceased to be a boy – and God help you to do it.

Your Friend,


Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of Scouting

Fundamentals of Scouting

Unity requires all members of a movement to adhere to the fundamental elements defined as being the basis for its existence. The Fundamentals of Scouting are the Purpose of Scouting (including the Mission of Scouting), the Principles of Scouting and the Scout Method.


The program is the What, Why and How of Scouting. The Why and the How are the Purpose of Scouting and the Scout Method, respectively. The What are the adventurous, fun, challenging and inclusive activities, each of which fits under one of four Challenge Areas.


The same navy blue shirt forms the basis of every Scouts Australia uniform, with the collar and sleeve colours indicating the age section in which the Scout is active. The shirts of leaders are all navy blue.