Scouting started in 1907 with what is now known as the Scout section, which was followed by the establishment of the Cub Scout section (Cub Scouts) in 1916. During World War I, the need for a Scouting Programme for young adults arose, leading to the formation of the Rover Scout section in 1918. The term "Rover Scouts" was first mentioned by Baden-Powell in The Boy Scouts Head Quarters Gazette in August 1918 and the scheme was fully established by November 1919. He wrote a handbook for the new scheme, which was published in 1922 under the famously known ‘Rovering to Success’. It contained his philosophy for a happy adult life as well as ideas for activities that Rover Scouts could organise for themselves. The Centenary of Rover Scouting was a little bit tricky to determine because of the above-mentioned dates. Therefore, the World Scout Bureau checked the documents and the archives, and contacted the Scout Association in the United Kingdom (The Scout Association) and several other National Scout Organizations (NSOs) to confirm, align and coordinate the year of the Centenary. After a substantial investigation, and thanks to the Scout Programme Team of The Scout Association and archivists at Gilwell Park, we are confident to say that Rover Scouting began in 1918. This can be confirmed by the 3rd World Rover Moot that was held in 1939, the so-called ‘coming of age’ Moot – meaning that the section was considered to be 21 years old in 1939. On that note, the World Scout Committee decided in March 2017 to announce 2018 as the year for the Rovers Centenary. Rovers Centenary is an opportunity for Scouting worldwide to raise its profile among young adults and senior sections in line with the World Organization of the Scout Movement’s Vision 2023. This will help to attract more young people within this age range who may help to increase the membership and volunteer with the younger sections. This being said, it is important to highlight that Rovers are not only members who just practise Scouting at grassroots level. They are also the leaders of this Movement in the near future. While the celebration of the Rovers Centenary will primarily be the responsibility of the NSOs, calls for a closer working collaboration at all levels – World, Regional and National – should be done. Therefore, we propose to support and collaborate with NSOs to highlight the Centenary through various activities, focusing on the main areas of activities suggested by the Empowering Young Adults, Guidelines for the Rover Scout section document that will be developed, planned and rolled out throughout the year.

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