Scouting in Italy

Scouting in Italy

The Scout Movement in Italy consists of about 40 different associations and federations with about 220,000 Scouts and Guides. Next to Germany, France and Russia, Italy is the country with the most fragmented Scout movement.


The first attempts at Scouting in Italy go back to 1910. They are due in part to the meeting of English gentlemen who were directly influenced by the work and ideas of Robert Baden-Powell, with Italian educators already engaged in pedagogic activity within the new education of the beginning of the century.

The meeting between teacher Remo Molinari and Francis Vane, an old aide of Baden-Powell's and a former Scout Commissioner of London before Baden-Powell ousted him from the Scout Association, led to the founding of the Ragazzi Exploratori Italiani on July 12, 1910, in Bagni di Lucca, in Tuscany. The press coverage and the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III at San Rossore on November 6, 1910 gave much publicity to their initiative. This saw the creation of new troops under the name of Ragazzi Patrioti in Tuscany's cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence. The interest of authorities and educators peaked in Genoa and Lombardy. The organization was also known with other names, including "Boy Scouts della Pace (Peace Boy Scouts)".

Another important meeting took place in 1910, between English doctor and educator James Richardson Spensley, who had met Baden-Powell, and a Catholic educator from Genoa, Mario Mazza, would bear more durable fruits for Italian Scouting.

Mazza had founded, in Genoa in 1905, a movement of active education "Juventus Juvat" splintered in groups of boys known as "Gioiose". Mazza understood that the principles and methods of his organization would better work out within the Scouting Movement, as he knew it from meeting Spensley and attending a conference given by Sir Vane. This would later expand into all of Liquria and also in Florence and Naples and by the way of absorbing some of the troops left over from Vane's experience. On New Year's Day 1911, the REI sent their wishes to Baden-Powell and all their Boy Scout brothers of Great Britain.

Vane was busy with all these initiatives which he qualified as an Italian Section of the British Boy Scouts, which he had founded in England when he was expelled from the Scout Association, until 1914 when he was called to war. By that time, however, REI had disbanded, and in 1912 another organization was born, called CNGEI.

For this reason, the official birthdate of Scouting in Italy is often listed as 1912. Italy was a founding member of the World Organization (WOSM) in 1922. Italy was readmitted to WOSM in 1946.

Italian Scouting associations

Italian Scouting associations include the following nationwide organizations (with their respective members):
* Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo (FIS), member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, umbrella federation of
** Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (AGESCI), 177.000 members [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 2006 | url = | title = Cos'è l'Agesci |language= Italian | format = | work = | publisher = Associazione Guide e Scout Cattolici Italiani| accessdate = 2006-12-07]
*** Südtiroler Pfadfinderschaft (SP)
** Corpo Nazionale Giovani Esploratori ed Esploratrici Italiani (CNGEI), about 12.000 members [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 2006 | url = | title = Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo | language= Italian | format = | work = | publisher = Federazione Italiana dello Scautismo | accessdate = 2006-12-07]
* "Movimento Adulti Scout Cattolici Italiani" (MASCI), member of the International Scout and Guide Fellowship (adult scouting, nationwide)
* Associazione Italiana Guide e Scouts d'Europa Cattolici della FSE (AIGSEC-FSE), member of the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d'Europe, about 20.000 members
* four members of the World Federation of Independent Scouts:
** "Associazione Indipendente Scout" (ASSISCOUT)
** "Associazione Scautistica Cattolica Italiana" (ASCI) (often called "new ASCI" to distinguish it with the similarly named association operating 1916-1974 which later became AGESCI)
** "Federazione del Movimento Scout Italiano" (until June 2006 "Federazione Scautistica Italiana"; FEDERSCOUT), former member of the Confédération Européenne de Scoutisme; an umbrella federation that includes the following local and regional associations:
*** "Associazione Gruppo Scout "Pescara 1" (Abruzzo)
*** "Associazione Giovani Scout" (AGISCOUT, Apulia)
*** "Scout Nautici Cattolici Sirio" (Calabria)
*** "Associazione Italiana Scout Nautica Antares" (ANTARES, Lazio)
*** "Associazione Scautistica Europea" (ASE, Lazio)
*** "Boy Scouts of Italy" (BSI, Lazio)
*** "Associazione Scout Damanhur Italia" (Lombardy)
*** "Associazione Soccorritori Italiani Scout" (ASI-SCOUT, Lombardy)
*** "Giovani Esploratori Lombardi" (GEL, Lombardy)
*** "Associazione Giovani Esploratori Sardi" (AGES, Sardinia)
*** "Gruppo Scout Madonna del Rosario" (Sardinia)
*** "Associazione Giovani Esploratori ed Esploratrici Apuani" (AGEA, Tuscany)
*** "Fondazione Scout Firenze 1° "Marliani Silvano" (Tuscany)
*** "Gruppo Promotore degli Scouts - San Casciano Val di Pesa" (Tuscany)
*** "Associazione Veneta Scout Cattolici" (AVSC, Veneto)
*** "Gruppo Scout Vicenza" (Veneto)
** "Sezione Scout di Gela "Fabio Rampulla" (Sicily)
* "Associazione Italiana di Scautismo Raider" (ASSORAIDER)
* "Associazione Italiana Scout Avventista" (AISA), affiliated to Pathfinders International
* "Associazione Scout Evangelici Italiani" (ASEI)
* Hashomer Hatzair
* "Royal Rangers Italia - Associazione Scout Evangelica", affiliated to Royal Rangers International

There is also a large number of regional and local associations. Those affiliated to national organizations are listed above. Among the independent associations are:
* "Amici delle Iniziative Scout" (AMIS, Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
* ["Associazione Guide e Scouts San Benedetto"] (SSB, Sicily)
* "Giovani Scouts Italiani" (GSI, Sicily)affiliated to BSA of NATO base of Sigonella
* "Protezione Civile Scout Cattolici Italiani" (PCS, Apulia)
* [ "Associazione Scout San Giorgio"] (ASSG, Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

International Scouting units in Italy

* Združenje slovenskih katoliških skavtinj in skavtov with the
** Slovenske Zamejske Skavtske Organizacije, serving the Slovenian minority in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the association is also affiliated to AGESCI
* Boy Scouts of America, served by the Transatlantic Council
* Girl Scouts of the USA, served by "USA Girl Scouts Overseas—North Atlantic (NORAGS)" and by "USAGSO headquarters"
* Vietnamese Scout Association-Hoi Huong Đao
* Scouts Unitaires de France
* The Scout Association (UK), served by "British Scouts Western Europe, Germany District"
*Girlguiding UK, served by "British Guides in Foreign Countries"

Vatican City

Vatican City is one of 35 countries where there is no National Scout Organization that is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement or WAGGGS at the present time.

Since Vatican citizenship is only conferred upon members of the clergy (who are celibate) or those who have been appointed to work at the Vatican and their families, and it is usually revoked upon the termination of their employment, there are few children in Vatican City, thus it is unlikely any Scout unit will ever be started.

In 1986 Pope John Paul II was given the Wood Badge insignia as an honorary Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani (AGESCI) leader.

The Pope, as Bishop of Rome, is required to approve the appointment of chaplains for all AGESCI Scout groups in Rome, and for all Scout districts of Rome (even though this is usually delegated to the Cardinal Vicar). He regularly meets most Catholic Scout groups in Rome as he visits Roman parishes.



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