Re : Bdp: German Ranks and badges
Ralf Kohl (Kohl@IFOR.MATH.ETHZ.CH)
Thu, 10 Nov 1994 12:11:36 +0100
in advance : most of the german scouts I dealt with were very keen on
trading badges and scarfes. So I guess this incident was bad luck to you.
One point you should be aware of is the fact that there are dozends of
different scouting associations in Germany. The three biggest ones (BdP,
VCP, DPSG) are unified in the RdP, the only association which is accepted
by the WOSM. But the RdP is an organization which deals with high level
organizational subjects (as far as I know). The average scout doesn`t
identify with the RdP but with her/his association, many of them not even
know that there is a RdP.
The association I am member of is the DPSG, the biggest scouting
association in Germany. Before the german unification took place we had
about 100.000 members (related to 60 Mio inhabitants), now this number is
out of my sight. Most of the groups are coed.
I am not familiar with the word "ranks". But I guess a "rank" system does
not exist in the DPSG. The scouts are member of groups which are basically
devided by age :
7-11 "Woelflinge" = cubs orange
11-14 "Jungpfadfinder" = ? blue
14-17 "Pfadfinder" = Scouts green
17-21 "Rovers" = rovers red
The last column marks the colour of the scarf and the "rank" badge, the
only signs which show the rank. A girl or boy changes the rank more or less
automatically when he/she is old enough; in addition the state of personal
development is taken into account. At each change they have to give a new
promise. Anyone who becomes a leader gets a grey scarf and badge, but is
not forced to do a promise.
The DPSG officially states, that the uniform has to be very simple : apart
from the rank badge, which consists in a coloured lily(sp?) (cubs badge :
the head of a wolf) you may wear :
(1) the WOSM lily
(2) A badge with a german flag, which lately changed to a european flag.
When you take part in a speacial event (national activities, jamborees, ..
) you may wear a badge which is related to this activity . After one year
you are supoosed to take it down. So far the official part.
In real life you find groups which strictly apply these rules, and on the
other hand you may meet scouts which are very decorated. An "in between
solution" is the campfire coat : a blanket which carries all the badges you
earned, bought or traded. You usally wear it during the campfires (were it
is the perfect cloth : warm at the always cold back and letting the heat of
the campfire in at your front) and probably the scouting ceremoy. So far my
Fellow DPSG Scouters : Did I forget anything, do you have a different view ?
At last I like to point (for everybody who doesn`t know about) to the
virtual world : you can find an unofficial DPSG www page
(http://rzstud1.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/~ua36/pfadfinder/) and a german mailing
list (email@example.com) where you can get additional
information and contact german scouters.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City