Air Scouts
Air Scouts are members of the international Scouting
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society....

 movement, of their respective Scouting organisations as a branch, similar to Sea Scout
Sea Scout
Sea Scouts are members of the international Scouting movement, with a particular emphasis on water-based activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and rowing. Depending on the country and the available water these activities are on lakes, rivers or sea in small or large ships. Sea Scouting...

 branches, with a particular emphasis on an aviation themed programme and/or flying-based activities. Air Scouts follow the same basic Scouting programme as normal Scouts but devote certain amounts of time focused on their air activities.

Air Scouts often wear a slightly different uniform from the rest of the Scouting movement and/or may have additional badges/insignia.

Most air activities are ground based like visits to airports and air museums, radio controlled model flight, aero modelling and camping on airfields. Depending on age group, country and Scout group the activities can also include parachuting or flights in light aircraft, helicopters, gliders or hot air balloons.


Major Baden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell
Baden Baden-Powell
For the town, see Baden-BadenBaden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell, FS, FRAS, FRMetS was the youngest son of Baden Powell, and the brother of Robert Baden-Powell, Warington Baden-Powell, George Baden-Powell, and Agnes Baden-Powell...

, Robert Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, Bt, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB , also known as B-P or Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement....

's youngest brother, was the first who brought flying-based activities into Scouting.

The 4th World Scout Jamboree
4th World Scout Jamboree
The 4th World Scout Jamboree, a gathering of Boy Scouts from all over the world, was hosted by Hungary and held from August 2 to August 13, 1933. It was attended by 25,792 Scouts, representing 46 different nations and additional territories...

 in 1933 was the first international gathering where Air Scouts were represented. On August 9 Robert Baden-Powell has visited the air scouts, in the company of Pál Teleki
Pál Teleki
Pál Count Teleki de Szék was prime minister of Hungary from 19 July 1920 to 14 April 1921 and from 16 February 1939 to 3 April 1941. He was also a famous expert in geography, a university professor, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Chief Scout of the Hungarian Scout Association...

 Hungarian Chief Scout and László Almásy
László Almásy
László Ede Almásy de Zsadány et Törökszentmiklós was a Hungarian aristocrat, motorist, desert researcher, aviator, Scout-leader and soldier who also served as the basis for the protagonist in Michael Ondaatje's 1992 novel The English Patient and the movie based on it.-Biography:Almásy was born in...

 (known as The English Patient
The English Patient
The English Patient is a 1992 novel by Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje. The story deals with the gradually revealed histories of a critically burned English accented Hungarian man, his Canadian nurse, a Canadian-Italian thief, and an Indian sapper in the British Army as they live out...

), who was a leader of the Hungarian Air Scouts.


Scouts Australia
Scouts Australia
Scouts Australia is an organisation for children and young adults from 6 to 26 years of age. Scouts Australia is part of the global Scouting movement and has been a national member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement since 1953...

 has an active Air Scouting program. Air Scouts Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

, located in Deakin, has a long history in Canberra being formed from the Second Canberra Scout Group formed in 1925. Air Scouts in Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

 are represented by two Air Scout Groups, the Bullsbrook and Morley Groups. Due to the size of Western Australia and the distances involved there are also Air Scouts in individual Scout Groups.{(WA Scouts - Air Wing Activities H. Butler BAL Air Activities = April 2011}}


Bangladesh Scouts
Bangladesh Scouts
The Bangladesh Scouts is the national Scouting organization of Bangladesh. Scouting was founded in Bangladesh as part of the British Indian branch of The Scout Association, and continued as part of the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association until the country's divided sections split in 1971 during the...

 has an Air Scouts programme and is a branch of Scouting for their Rover section, not a separate organisation. Organisationally Bangladesh Scouts
Bangladesh Scouts
The Bangladesh Scouts is the national Scouting organization of Bangladesh. Scouting was founded in Bangladesh as part of the British Indian branch of The Scout Association, and continued as part of the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association until the country's divided sections split in 1971 during the...

 has a separate region for Air Scout among its 11 regions.

The only known open Air Rover Units in Bangladesh is the TigerShark Open Scout Group which meets at the BAF Shaheen College, Dhaka. and the Rovers of the Samatat Open Scout Group also located in Dhaka.

All Scouting sections in Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 follow the same programme for their section but those Scout Groups with an Air Rover Scouts section then add an aeronautical flavour to the programme and activities.

Many Units meet more than once a week in the summer period and the additional meetings are used to develop aeronautical skills and airmanship training. It is not training for an Air Force career, although Air Scout training can be very useful for young people who are so interested.


Only one Group exists, which is hosted by a Belgian Paragliding Club.


Brazilian Scouting União dos Escoteiros do Brasil
União dos Escoteiros do Brasil
The União dos Escoteiros do Brasil is the national Scouting organization of Brazil. Scouting in Brazil was founded in 1910 and was among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922. The União dos Escoteiros do Brasil itself was founded in 1924; it has 53,055 members...

 has a very active and vibrant Air Scouting program for its Air Scouts (Escoteiros do Ar) known in Portuguese as "Modalidade do Ar".

The first Air Scout Group was started in Brazil in 1938, and hosted by the 5th Army Aviation Regiment in Curitiba, PR which currently operates the Integrated Air Defense and Air Traffic Control Centre. The original founding was initiated by the Army Aviator - Lt. Col Vasco Alves Secco who founded the Air Scout Group 'Captain Richard Kirk'.

Subsequently recognising the value of Air Scouting, the Brazilian Ministry of Aviation has issued decrees to all its units to provide support to Air Scout Groups at all its bases, as needed.

Besides the standard activities of Scouting, Air Scouts in Brazil have additional air activities and learn suitable technical aviation related skills.

Currently, the National Coordinator is the Scout Chief Fábio Augusto Giunti Ribeiro


The first Air Scout Group in Chile, "Rodolfo Marsh", was established on 17th Sept 1936 at the Chilean Air Force base at Quinteros. The founder and first Scoutmaster was Don Leopoldo Sánchez However no references to "Scouts Aéreos" have been found currently.


At present only one Air Scout Group - 'Tigres Del Aire' - is known of in Colombia, which is a member of Asociación Scouts de Colombia
Asociación Scouts de Colombia
Colombia has 11,057 Scouts served by the Asociación Scouts de Colombia. Founded in 1917, it was accepted into the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1933. The movement is coeducational, accepting both boys and girls....



Air Scouting in Cyprus is an active part of the Soma Proskopon Kyproi
Cyprus Scouts Association
The Cyprus Scouts Association is the national Scouting organization of Cyprus. It was founded in 1913 and became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1961. SPK has 5,926 members.-History:...



Egyptian Federation for Scouts and Girl Guides
Egyptian Federation for Scouts and Girl Guides
The Egyptian Federation for Scouts and Girl Guides is the national Scouting and Guiding federation of Egypt. Scouting was founded in 1914 and was among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922, while nominally independent from Britain...

 is structured into 4 central associations - Scouts, Sea Scouts, Air Scouts and Guides. The Air Scouts section headed is by the Commissioner for Air Scouts - Mohamed Abdel-Hamid.

Each of these four central associations has a corresponding regional association in the twenty-six governorates of Egypt; a coordination committee in each governorate organizes the activities and the cooperation between the associations.

The first Air Scouts in Egypt where formed early in 1954, and in the same year the executive committee of the Air Scouts was formed and held its first meeting in the office of the Director-General of the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority on 17/2/1954.

Trh most currently active Egyptian Air Scout regions are:
  • Air Scouting Association - Helwan
  • Air Scouting Association - Red Sea
  • Air Scouting Association - Northern Sinai
  • Air Scouting Association - Ismailia
  • Air Scouting Association - Cairo
  • Air Scouting Association - Qena
  • Air Scouting Association - Central Eastern

In January 2007 the first Air Scout Festival was held in Ismalia.


Air Scouts (Scouts de L'Air) started in the north of France in the mid 1930s. The first documented French Air Scout camp was held at Saint Cyr, 25 August to 1 September 1935. After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 it was restarted by a few groups and at the 1947 Peace Jamboree many full-sized gliders built by various Air Scouts where shown to participants and demonstrated as well as activities such as aeromodelling.

Currently only two practising Air Scout Troops are known - one based in southeast France and one of the smaller French Associations


Air Scouting in Greece is an active specialist branch of the Soma Hellinon Proskopon (Scouts of Greece) program. Air Scouts are called Aeroproskopon. There is a Region for Air Scouts of approximately 57 Air Scout groups. The first of these was founded in 1937.

Hong Kong

Air Scouting in Hong Kong started in 1967 when a Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 priest, Father Cunningham formed an Air Scout Troop in the 11th Kowloon Scout Group of Kowloon Wah Yan College during the 5-year expansion plan of the Scout Association of Hong Kong
The Scout Association of Hong Kong
The Scout Association of Hong Kong is the overall Scouting organization in Hong Kong. After the first Scouting initiatives in 1909, the Hong Kong branch of The Scout Association of the United Kingdom was started in 1914 by registering the St. Joseph's College Scout Group, and was formally...

. 11th Kowloon Scout Group (Kowloon Wah Yan College) is a "closed school Scout Group" with Scout membership open only to students of this college in the Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong. As a result there was only one Air Scout Unit in the territory from 1967 to 1972. In 1972 the Group added an Venture Air Scout unit.

In 1972, the Chief Scout of Hong Kong appointed Francis Yiu Cheong Chin as the first Air Scout Commissioner to develop and expand Air Scouting. Mr. Chin is a Queen's Scout, a Leader Trainer and a member of the Hong Kong Chin Brothers aviators with the long distance flying record of successfully completed “The First 100 horsepower Single-engine England to Hong Kong Long Distance Cross-Country Flight in History”. As a result Air Scouting spread and flourished after 1972. There are 18 Air Scout Units in 5 Regions of Scout Groups in Hong Kong.


"Saka Dirgantara" is the Air Scout specialism programme of the Indonesian Scout Association - Gerakan Pramuka
Gerakan Pramuka
Gerakan Pramuka is the national Scouting organization of Indonesia. Scouting was founded in the Dutch East Indies in 1912, and Indonesia became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1953. It has 17,103,793 members , making it the world's largest Scout association...

 aimed at the Rover Scout section (16-20) known as Satuan Karya
Satuan Karya
Satuan Karya Pramuka or special scout troops are the education tools, part of the Indonesian Scouting movement, to sharpen the Scouts' skills in certain fields, to build knowledge in the Information Technology field, and to answer the challenges from youth to provide advantageous activities...

. This aeronautical skills programme focuses on three different aspects:
  • Aero Sport
  • Aero Knowledge
  • Aero Tourism

Air Scouting in Indonesia is supported by the Indonesian Air Force and other aero club organisations.


Air Scouting is a branch of Scouting Ireland
Scouting Ireland
Scouting Ireland is the World Organization of the Scout Movement-recognised Scouting association in the Republic of Ireland, although it also has Scout Groups in Northern Ireland. Scouting Ireland is a voluntary, non-formal educational movement for young people...

 which combines the normal scouting activities such as camping and hiking with an interest in aviation and space.


The first Air Scout patrol was established in the Victoria Institution in 1951. The Air Scout group ceased to exist in 1955.

The 10th Kuala Lumpur Group in the Methodist Boys School was established in 1912 and converted to Air Scouts in 1952 and remains active.

The Kuen Cheng Air Scouts Troop was established in 2002.

Air scouts in Johore was established in 2008


Air Scouting (luchtscouting) in the Netherlands is an active part of the program. There are currently 15 Air Scout groups. They wear a gray shirt.


A single member Scout Group of the Confederación Interamericana Scouts Independientes (CISI) in Ascunión, Paraguay has both Sea and Air Scout sections. This is probably due to it being supported by the local Naval Air Force Base.


A small number of Air Scout Groups exist in Peru as part of the Asociación de Scouts del Perú
Asociación de Scouts del Perú
The Asociación de Scouts del Perú is the national Scouting organization of Peru. Peruvian Scouting was founded in 1911 and was among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922. It has 4,852 members .In 1973, Dr. Elias Mendoza H...

 (ASP, Scout Association of Peru).


Air Scouting (harcerskie lotnictwo) in Poland is an active part of the program. There are currently Scout Balloon Club, 1 Air Scout Group and 9 Air Scout Troops.

South Africa

Air Scouting in South Africa is an active part of the South African Scout Association
South African Scout Association
The South African Scout Association is the World Organization of the Scout Movement recognized Scouting association in South Africa. Scouting began in the United Kingdom in 1907 through the efforts of Robert Baden-Powell and rapidly spread to South Africa, with the first Scout troops appearing in...

 program. Although it has been recently neglected, since 2005 Air Scouting has really started to take to the skies, especially in Gauteng
Gauteng is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. It was formed from part of the old Transvaal Province after South Africa's first all-race elections on 27 April 1994...

, where the first Airjamborally since the 1980s was held during August 2005.

There are currently 9 Air Scout groups in South Africa.

What distinguishes Air Scouts from Land Scouts, or Sea Scouts is the uniform. Air Scouts do the following badges Advanced Navigation, Air Glider, Air Mechanic, Air Meteorologist, Air Navigator, Air Spotter and Air Traffic Controller
The Air Scout uniform is: A sky blue shirt (Short sleeve), Navy blue long pants or shorts, black socks, black shoes, the group scarf and a black beret.

Air Scouts also generally do their Air Explorer (As opposed to Sea Explorer or Explorer badge) advancement badge. The Explorer advancement badge is the last advancement badge before the Top Award (Springbok Badge). Challenge awards differ from Land and Sea Scouts. Whereas Land Scouts can obtain a Bushman's Thong and Sea Scouts the Bosun's cord, Air Scouts wear The Airman's Cord.

The Gauteng Area Air Scouts (With 5 of the 8 Groups) is the most active and largest Air Scouting area in South Africa.


Air Scouting activity had been extremely poor up to date, just a few single troops merged in ASDE (Scouts de España, WOSM
World Organization of the Scout Movement
The World Organization of the Scout Movement is the Non-governmental international organization which governs most national Scout Organizations, with 31 million members. WOSM was established in 1920, and has its headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland...

) from Valencia and Tenerife (Canary Islands), both experiencing a period of activity of about two or three years during the late 1970s. Today, there's a revival on the way with two active groups in the ASDE Madrid area, one more in the ASDE Castille-Le Manche area (in Albacete) and the older group alive in Barcelona belonging to the Associació Catalana de Scouts (Catalonian Association of Scouts, WFIS
World Federation of Independent Scouts
The World Federation of Independent Scouts is the non-governmental international organization which governs 82 affiliated Scout Organizations in 41 countries, with an estimated 200,000 members in 3562 Scout Groups...



The Sudanese Air Scout and Girl Guides Group is an active part of the Sudan Scouts Association and Girl Guides Association of Sudan. It was founded in 1975 by Isam Kamel and Alladeen Hassan Abas as part of the National Aviation Institute. In 1976, they transferred the Air Scout activities to the Sudanese Air Scout club in Nile Street Khartoum
Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran"...

. Sudanese Air Scout members attend local activities, in addition to activities organized outside of the Sudan, such as Arab and International Jamborees. Also, Sudanese Air Scouts send some members to study plane models in the Czech Republic.

United Kingdom

British Scouts have been involved in aviation since the early days of aviation. The first UK Scout Group known to have built and flown their own glider
Glider aircraft
Glider aircraft are heavier-than-air craft that are supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against their lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine. Mostly these types of aircraft are intended for routine operation without engines, though engine failure can...

 were East Grinstead
East Grinstead
East Grinstead is a town and civil parish in the northeastern corner of Mid Sussex, West Sussex in England near the East Sussex, Surrey, and Kent borders. It lies south of London, north northeast of Brighton, and east northeast of the county town of Chichester...

 who flew for 200 feet at an altitude of 25 feet, in 1912. The first powered aircraft to be owned by UK Scouts was an Airco DH.6
Airco DH.6
The Airco DH.6 was a British military trainer biplane used by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Known by various nicknames, including the "Skyhook", the trainer became a widely used light civil aircraft in the postwar era....

 presented to 3rd Hampden (Middlesex) Scouts in 1921.

The idea of Air Scouts as a distinct unit was resisted for many years, becoming an official branch of Scouting in 1941. The first National Air Scout camp took place in Avington Park
Avington, Hampshire
Avington is a small village in the English county of Hampshire.It is located on the banks of the River Itchen to the northeast of the city of Winchester...

 in July 1942 and in December 1942 a National Air Scout exhibition is held in Dorland Hall, London.
The Scout Association bought their first glider in 1959, and operated an Air Activity Centre at Lasham, near Alton in Hampshire, until 1978.

Currently around 10% of all Scouts in the UK are in one of the 160 Air Scout Troops or Explorer Units. An Air Scout Troop can apply to become recognised with the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 and thus can receive special opportunities and trips. This RAF Recognition is subject to a regular 18 month inspection by a designated RAF Reserve Officer. Air Scouting is also provided for within the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association.

United States of America

Air Scouts is a now-defunct program of the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

 (BSA). The Air Scouts program had four ranks Apprentice, Observer, Craftsman, and Ace (later under the Explorer program the ranks were Apprentice, Bronze, Gold, and Silver Award). The Ace (Silver Award) cloth knot and medal may still be worn by anyone who earned them before the program was dropped.

The program was established in 1941 and existed under the name Air Scouts until 1949, when it was renamed Air Explorers. With minor changes, this program lasted until 1965, when it was fully merged into the then existing Explorer program of the BSA as a specialty called 'Aviation Explorers'. It still exists today as part of the BSA's Learning for Life
Learning for Life
Learning for Life is a United States school and work-site based youth program that is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. It utilizes programs designed for schools and community-based organizations that are designed to prepare youth for the complexities of contemporary society and to...

Exploring (Learning for Life)
Exploring is a worksite-based program of Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America, for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years old...


External links

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