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- Scouts Canada. Provincial Council of Newfoundland and Labrador
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In his memoirs William J. Brown stated that in the fall of 1908, Rev. Gordon Elliott, a clerical student at Queens College started a Troop in St. John's. This may have been the first scout troop established in Newfoundland. Around this time, other Troops were forming in larger centres such as Grand Falls and later Corner Brook. In the outports, teachers and doctors were mainly responsible for the beginnings of many Troops. The association ran on a voluntary basis until after confederation when it became part of the Boy Scouts of Canada.
The Canadian General Council of The Boy Scout Association was incorporated by an act of Canadian Parliament on June 12, 1914. It remained a branch of The Boy Scout Association until 1946 when it became a independent member of the Boy Scout World Conference.
Scouting began in 1907 when Robert Baden-Powell tested out his "Boy Scout Scheme" during an experimental training camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour, England. Powell wanted "a Scheme that would inculcate habits of self-reliance and concern for others". He wanted to effect this "by developing powers of observation and reasoning, by teaching practical skills and encouraging physical fitness, by instilling the virtues of self-discipline and obedience. Based on things boys liked to do." The movement today through its mission statement still adheres to the philosophy developed by Baden-Powell. In 1908 Powell, wrote a handbook "Scouting for Boys" which was published in six consecutive parts and based on a previously written book by Powell, "Aids to Scouting", a training handbook for the military. This new book may have sparked the rise of the scouting movement as a separate organization, and in 1912 it was incorporated as "The Boy Scout Association" through the Commonwealth by a Royal Charter granted by King George V. It was under this charter that the Boy Scouts Association of Newfoundland was established.
The Newfoundland Association was incorporated as Scouts Canada Provincial Council of Newfoundland and Labrador on January 9, 1979.
On November 1st, 1951 The Boy Scouts Association of Newfoundland ceased to be run on a voluntary basis when Arthur Tomlinson was hired as Executive Commissioner. Frank Kavanagh took over the position in 1963 and continued until his retirement as Provincial Executive Director in 1998. Paul Hillyard took over the position in April 1998 and is the current Executive Director.
At first, the organization was run from the personal office of the current association secretary until the position of Executive Commissioner was created in the early 1950s and the headquarters was established in the Morris Building on Queen Street. The second location was at 288 Duckworth Street, and following that in 1974 headquarters moved to its current home at 15 Terra Nova Road in St. John's.
Membership peaked in the 1980s to 12,000, but because of declining populations due to out migration and smaller families the numbers have dropped to 6400.
Soon after the scouting movement began it was realized that boys from all age groups were interested and a program was instituted to divide the troops into sections depending on age. These sections are: Beavers, five to seven years; Cubs eight to 10 years; Scouts 11 to 14 years; Ventures 14 to 17 years; and Rovers 18 to 26 years.
In 1968 program changes made it optional for Venturers and Rovers to have all male or co-ed sections. On November 21, 1992 the National Council approved a motion allowing The Boy Scouts of Canada to be an optional co-ed organization in all sections.
In 1998 the Provincial Council of Newfoundland and Labrador oversees 157 groups divided into 19 regions making up 28 districts under the leadership of 1291 volunteer leaders. These groups are resourced by 2 field executives supported by staff at Provincial Headquarters.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of various photographs collected by Scouts Administration and reflects the history and activities of the scouting movement since it came to Newfoundland in the early 1900s.
Records are arranged in the following series: Headquarters (1970-1980) including National Headquarters, Provincial Headquarters, and Commonwealth Headquarters; BP Visit (1935); Groups (1910-1994); Youth Events and Activities (1967-1998) including Graves of Fathers of Confederation, Beaverees, Cub-o-ree, Scouts, Venturers, MOPS, Rovers, and MOOT; Jamborees (1929-1995) including World Jamborees, Canadian Jamborees, and Provincial Jamborees; Training (1930-1994) including Adult Training, and Youth Training; Honours and Awards (1930-1997) including Adult Honours and Awards, Youth Honours and Awards, Staff Honours and Awards, Section Honours and Awards, and Chief Scouts Award; Provincial Campsites (Camp Nor'Wes) (1992-1997); Revenue Development (1976-1996) including Scoutrees for Canada, Apple Day, Golf Tournament, and Trails End Gourmet Popcorn; Conferences (1971-1995) including Commissioners Conferences, and Youth conferences; Scout Guide Week (1983-1996); Spring Smiles and Whistles (1954-1960); and Miscellaneous (1910-1997).
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