Scouting in Germany
Joerg Gastel (gastel@HP817S.RZ.UNI-DUESSELDORF.DE)
Tue, 27 Jun 1995 17:56:40 MESZ
> Hello scouts over the world,
> After my introduction on SCOUTS-L I got some requests to describe
> scouting in germany. So I try a small report:
> It is not easy to describe scouting in germany in general. I am shure
> its quite different to scouting in other countries. This is due to
> the german history in dieffernet ways, I think.
> Ron Fox wrote me some questions:
> >1) How many different associations there are.(...) Do different
> >religions have their own Scouting organisations in germany?
> First let me say, there are many different Scouting assoziations in
> germany,somewhere between 80 and 120.But there are only four
> associations, which are members of WOSM and/or WAGGGS.This are:
> DPSG (Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft St. Georg) a catholic association for
> boys and girls.
> PSG (Pfadfinderinnenschaft St. Georg) also catholik but only for
> VCP (Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder)an
> evangelical association for boys and girls
> BdP (Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder Deutschlands)also a
> coed organisation, interconfssional
> (Pfadfinder is the german expression for scout)
> Each of this four have between 50 000 and 120 000 members.
> Most of the other associations (I don`t know much about them) have
> less than 10 000 members, some less than 500.
> As scouting spread all over the world between 1907 and 1915, there
> were existing many different youth organisations in germany, for
> example sport groups or church groups. I think there were much more
> organiced groups as in other countries in this time. Many of this
> groups adapted the ideas of Baden-Powell ("scouting for boys" 1907)
> in their program. So the different scout organisations arose in
> germany and till today they found no way together. only the four
> great organisations, I wrote about, gatherd in a wing of
> associations, in order to get the membership in the
> Some of the other organisations are only using the name "scouting",
> but not the idea, others of them also do good "scout-work".
> I am member of the DPSG, so I am only able to tell about it in the
> >2) What are the age and sex divisions? How are they organiced?
> The DPSG has a completely coed program, besides there are troops
> who do activities only for boys or girls.
> We have four age-levels:
> 1."W lflinge" cubscouts aged (7)8-11
> 2."Jungpfadfinder" young-scouts aged 12-14
> 3."Pfadfinder" scouts aged 14-16 1/2
> 4."Rover" aged 16 1/2 - 21 and in some tribes older
> In every tribe (scoutgroup at one place, normally all four age-
> groups belong to one tribe)the scouts of every age-level meet
> weekly for one or two houres. The age-groups are devided in
> patrols. If one scout reaches the age-frontier for the next
> level, he will get up to it. Mostly we wait till two or three
> boys can change the level together.
> In the age level groups boys and girls work together. In some
> cases also the patrols are coed, in other cases the age-level
> devides in boys patrols and girls patrols. This is not generaly
> organiced and the decision about depents on the tribe.
> Every age-level has one or more adult leaders (in most cases
> 2 or 3) aged over 18.
> The leaders of all age-groups of the tribe meet together perhaps
> twice a month in order to handle the whole tribe and to have
> an exchange of experiencis.
> The whole organisation is structured very democratic: Every patrol
> elects its "Kornett" (speaker). Every year the tribe must hold a
> meeting with all leaders, all Kornetts, some elected parents and
> special referents. This meeting has to do all important decisions
> in the life of the tribe. They elect two people (one male and one
> female) as board, a bit comparibel to "scoutmaster". The board is
> elected for a period of three years and is responsible for the
> whole life of the tribe, especially for finding and qualifiing new
> leaders, the money ... .
> >3)What do they do? What type of ranks and offices do they have?
> It is a bit difficult to describe, because the programs of the
> different tribes are quite different.
> We do not have anithing comparible to the system of the
> merit badges.
> There is a common way of working in our scouting, we call
> "Projektmethode" project-method. Its main points are:
> 1. motivation through the leaders
> 2. getting ideas for the projekt (age-group thinks together)
> 3. dciding for one idea (all together)
> 4. planning the work, it should take between 3 and 10 weeks
> 5. dividing the work in the patrols
> 6. time for the patrols to do their part of the work
> 7. coming together, exchanging the results
> 8. finishing the work together to a "great" result
> 9. presentation (e.g. in the tribe, in the public, newspaper)
> 10.party on the success
> In general every theme for such a project is possibel.
> Emphasisely we trie work on social projekts,ecological projekts,
> scoutcraft projekts.
> There is one great projekt organiced by our national headquarter
> every year and much tribes take part in it. Is always an socil
> projekt with two aims. On the one hand scouts should learn about
> the theme (e.g.about the fife of handicapts) and on the other
> hand we alltogether collect money for the projekt.
> Like in every other country german scouts like camping and
> hiking very much.I read the discussions in rec.scouting and
> SCOUTS-L about cubscout-camping. In germany it is normal for cubs
> to go camping!
> We also don`t have any ranks. It may be that this is due to
> the german history of 1933 to 1945. Many german people have an ambivalent
> relationship to everything that looks a bit like miliatarism, I
> think. So we also do not have this relationship to our german
> flag, like I saw it in the USA. There are much scoutcamps which
> do not have a german flag. And more than there are some scouts,
> who do not own a scout uniform. Perhaps you know that Adolf Hitler
> took the scoutuniform in 1933 to cloth the Hitlerjugend. And till
> today some people think of HJ when they see scouts. I know some
> reports from scouts, who were violantly attaced by antifacists,
> cause they did not know the differece between scouts and HJ.
> There was so much worst things in the time of Hitler-Germany, so
> that the germans got an other relationship to their country
> and everithing that can remember to this time than other nations.
> But all this is not a general view. There are also many scouts who
> love their scout uniforms (and I belong to them), but everione has
> to respect other feelings. And there are also many germans who have
> positiv associations with scouts. But all this is a chapter, that will
take a lot of time to explain, and I am not shure if someone, who did not live
in germany for a longer time is able to understand this chapter
> O.K. it should have been enough for today. I tried to give a small
> report on some aspects of german scouting. It can not be an complete
> I hope you found interest in reading and excuse my english expression.
> Pleas send your comments and requests on this report also to SCOUTS-L
> and directly as mail to me.
> Yours in scouting
> SCOUTING THE WORLD -- DPSG STAMM L RICK -- BSA CHIPPEWA VALLEY COUNCIL
> Joerg Gastel
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City