Since the first camp in Brownsea, Scouting has been an international youth movement that has captivated more than one billion Guides and Scouts. There are about 45 million Guides and Scouts in over 200 countries, all united by the common values of the movement. The Guide and Scout movement is organised as international and national associations.
Two world organisations, WOSM and WAGGGS
The World Organisation of the Scout Movement, WOSM, established in 1922, has local organisations in 161 countries. The membership of WOSM is open for girls and boys. The organisation has over 40 million members, about one third of them girls. The shirt emblem of WOSM is a white lily on a lilac background.
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, WAGGGS, was established in 1928. The members of WAGGGS are mainly girls and it focuses on promoting Guiding and Scouting activities and improving the conditions of girls and young women globally. WAGGGS has around 10 million members in 146 member countries. The shirt emblem of WAGGGS is a golden clover on a blue background.
The aim of the world organisations is to develop Scouting and support national associations. As the world’s largest youth movement, Scouting works actively to improve young people’s living conditions and opportunities to influence. The movement is having an impact in international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union. It also cooperates with other civic organisations to enhance the viewpoint of young people in, among others, development policies and education systems.
Both organisations have their own international funds, which are used to promote and support Scouting in developing countries. WOSM has the Scout U Fund (Universal Scout Fund) and WAGGGS the Thinking Day Fund.