African Scouting (20th c.)
Pathfinder Warrant [Official Document]
Imperial scout headquarters and the national and territorial scout associations were deeply concerned with ensuring that only respectable and responsible men became scoutmasters. In colonial Africa, this meant that potential scoutmasters had to also respect the political realities of European minority rule. As in Great Britain, acceptable candidates received a "warrant" from the territorial scout association permitting them to form and lead scout troops. In Africa, the warrant system was particularly useful in preventing unauthorized Africans from founding their own versions of the movement.
More often than not, as was the case with this warrant for a South African Pathfinder troop, the scoutmasters were missionaries, teachers, or both. Dating from 1938, two years after the compromise that produced the four racially-segregated sections of South African scouting, the document incorporates both the Pathfinder arrow symbol and the official scout badge. However, the fact that it was issued by the "Pathfinder Boy Scouts Association of the Union of South Africa" sent a clear message that the Pathfinders were separate and distinct from mainstream scouting.
South African Scout Association. Special Collections. University of Cape Town. Annotated by Tim Parsons.
How to Cite This Source
"African Scouting (20th c.)," in Children and Youth in History, Item #95, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/95 (accessed January 24, 2017).
- Primary Sources
- "The Scouts' War Dance": Sir Robert Baden Powell's adaptation of a Zulu chant, c1910s [Chant]
- Organization of British Imperial Scouting [Table]
- An Appeal for African Scouts: Canon William Palmer to Imperial Scout Headquarters, May 5, 1923 [Letter]
- "A New Development in the Scout Movement in South Africa" [Article]
- Pathfinder Warrant [Official Document]
- The Scout's and King's African Rifles Uniforms [Photographs]
- Legal Protection for Scout Uniform, 1935: Tanganyika Government Ordinance [Official Document]
- A Rover Scout "Journey" [Memoir/Article]
- "The Interrelation of Colour" [Official Document]
- Mau Mau Fighters in Scout Uniforms, c. 1963 [Photograph]
- "Scouting – Helping to Prepare Leaders of Tomorrow" [Article]