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France: Scouting organizations

Last modified: 2024-03-30 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: scouts |
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Fédération du scoutisme français

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Flag of Fédération du Scoutisme Français - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The Fédération du Scoutisme Français, in short, Scoutisme Français, is a non-political organization grouping six Scout associations registered by the Ministry of National Education as Youth and Popular Education associations:
- Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs de France (EEDF), established in 1911; secular, 15,000 members, 201 local groups;
- Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs Israélites de France (EEIF), established in 1923; Jewish, 4,000 members, 55 local groups;
- Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs de la Nature (EDLN), established in 2007; Buddhist, 1,000 members, 12 local groups;
- Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs Unionistes de France (EEUdF), established in 1911; Protestant, 6,000 members, 109 local groups;
- Scouts et Guides de France (SGdF), established in 2004 as the merger of Scouts de France (est. in 1920) and Guides de France (est. in 1923); Roman Catholic, 91,000 members, 860 local groups;
- Scouts Musulmans de France (SMF), established in 1990; Muslim, 500 members; 10 local groups.
[source: Official website]

The six associations that were established between 1911 and 1923 - Éclaireurs de France, Éclaireurs Israélites de France, Éclaireurs Unionistes, Fédération Française des Éclaireuses, Guides de France, and Scouts de France - soon constituted two umbrella organisations, the Bureau Inter Fédéral (BIF) for boys' scouting, and the Comité de liaison for girls' scouting.
The Fédération du Scoutisme Français was established in 1940 by the six founding associations, which signed the Oradou Charter (Charte de l'Oradou).
In the 1960s, membership was reduced to five organizations following the merger of the Fédération Française des Éclaireuses with other associations. The Scouts Musulmans de France were admitted on 1 January 1994. In June 2004, the Guides de France and the Scouts de France merged to form the Scouts et Guides de France. The Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs de la Nature were admitted on 23 April 2017.

The flag of Scoutisme Français is white with a blue-gray border,the federation's emblem at hoist, "SCOUTISME / FRANÇAIS" in blue letters at the emblem's right; below, the emblems of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts.
The emblem of Scoutisme Français is composed of a blue-red clover leaf superimposed with a white-fleur-de-lis and, in the lower part, with the white letters "S-F".
Photos: 2015, 2015, 2017

Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022


 

Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs de France

[Flag]

Flag of Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs de France - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The flag of EEDF is white with the association's logo: photo (2015), photo (2020),

Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022


 

Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs Unionistes de France

[Flag]    [Flag]

Flags of Éclaireuses et Éclaireurs de France (left, current flag ; right, traditional emblem) - images by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The flag of EUdF is white with a thin green border and the association's emblem in the center: photo (2021), photo (2021).

The present-day's emblem appears to have been derived from the association's traditional emblem, which was used on a dark blue flag. The flag is probably still in use: photo (2012), photo (2019).

Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022


 

Scouts et Guides de France

[Flag]    [Flag]

Flags of Scouts et Guides de France (two versions) - images by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The Scouts de France were founded in 1920 by Father Jacques Sevin (1883-1951), Canon Antoine-Louis Cornette (1860-1936), Paul Coze (1903-1974) and Édouard de Macédo (1900-1965). The Guides de France were founded in 1923 by Albertine Duhamel (1871-1937) and Marie Diemer (1877-1938). In 1930, there were 35,000 Scouts de France and 23,000 Guides de France.
The association's pedagogical reform initiated in 1964 resulted in 1971 in the leave of the opponents to the reform, who established the Scouts Unitaires ed France (SUF). An attempt to reunite the two associations failed; in 1982, the Scouts de France accepted girls. The Scouts de France and the Guides de France merged in 2004 to form the Scouts and Guides de France. [source: Official website]

Jacques Sevin (1883-1951) studied at the Jesuit seminary of Saint-Acheul, located near Amiens; after the expelling of religious congregations from France, he moved to Arlon (Belgium), where he pronounced his perpetual vows. In 1913, the Jesuit review "Études" published two articles criticizing the Scout Movement initiated in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941). During summer vacation, Sevin stayed in a Jesuit camp located close to Roehampton, where one of the earliest Scout troops was based. He met Joseph Butt (1869-1944), Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, and Francis Bourne (1861-1935), Archbishop of Westminster, who introduced him to Baden-Powell.
Ordained priest in 1914, Sevin was hired in 1916 as a teacher at the Jesuit college of Mouscron (Belgium). With the support of Gustave Fache (1878-1932), he set up a Scout troop and wrote the first draft of his famous book "Le scoutisme. Études documentaires et applications". During that period, he wrote the founding texts of the Scouts de France and designed an emblem for the movement. Kept clandestine under German occupation of Belgium, the troop was recognized in 1919 and granted uniforms ordered in England.
Transferred to Paris in 1920, Sevin took part to the first meeting of Chief Scouts; this resulted in the registration of the Statutes of the Fédération des Scouts de France on 25 July 1920. Sevin was named Secretary General and Commissioner General of the federation; he composed the famous anthem "Chant des Adieux" (Farewell Song), inspired by the Scottish "Auld Lang Syne". The federation was canonically approved in January 1921 by Louis-Ernest Dubois (1856-1929), Archbishop of Paris. In July 1921, Baden-Powell awarded to Sevin the Silver Wolf, the movement's highest honor.
Sevin was appointed editor of the review "Le Chef", aimed at educating more and more Chief Scouts. From 31 July to 10 August 1922, he organized in the park of the castle of Chamarande, near Paris, the first national camp of the Scouts de France, gathering 600 young boys. He then attended classes in Gilwell Park, the Chief Scouts' education center founded by Baden-Powell, being named Deputy Camp Chief. Sevin would serve as Camp Master in Chamarande until 1933.
Sevin's charisma and personal orientation caused increased rivalry inside the Scouts de France. He resigned from the office of Commissioner General in 1924 and was progressively removed from the official direction of the association. The new president of the federation, General Arthur de Salins (1857-1936), opposed to the militarization of the Scout Movement, accused him to attempt to settle a "Scout Order" in Chamarande, of abuse of power and breech of trust. To prevent tensions within the Scout Movement, Sevin eventually resigned on 24 March 1933.
In 1935, Father Sevin met in Anjou Jacqueline Brière. With his support, she founded in 1944 in Issy-les-Moulineaux a nun's congregation called Dames de Sainte-Croix de Jérusalem; the congregation's priorate was relocated in 1949 to Boran-sur-Oise, north of Paris. Father Sevin was proclaimed venerable on 10 May 2012. His beatification process is on-going. [source: Les Amis de Renard Noir website]

The flag of the SGdF is white with the association's logo, or restricted to the logo's graphic part (blue with the "three-triangles" symbol). The flag is used for communication purposes: photo (2019), photo (2020), photo (2021).

[Flag]

Former flag of Scouts et Guides de France - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The former flag of the SGdF was white with the association's former logo: photo (2019), photo (2017).

 

[Flag]

Standard of Scouts et Guides de France - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The standard of the SGdF is a rectangular flag charged with the Scout cross. The standard is used as a symbolic representation of the movement's values, during masses, promise ceremonies, unit's "explorations" etc... [source: Official website]. Photo (2014), photo (2017), photo (2018), photo (2019), photo (2021), photo (2021).

The pennant of the SGdF is a triangular version of the standard: photo (2010), photo (2011), photo (2017), photo (2017).

Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022


Former Scouts de France

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Flag of Scouts de France - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

Scouts de France use three different flags, all similar but in different shapes: square, rectangular (2:3), and triangular.

The cross and shape of the flag comes from the old French army colors from the 18th century that would always be square and have a white cross througout.
The red Cross of Jerusalem with the fleur-de-lis is the symbol of Scouts de France designed by Father Jacques Sevin, co-founder of scouting in France.
Green is the colour of the scout branch. There used to be the same in red for the rovers.

Jean de Vannoise, 19 March 2009

Flag in use: Photo (2018).

Units used the flag with the unit's name, in gilded letters, placed in canton: photo, photo (2015), photo (2016).

Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022


 

Scouts Musulmans de France

[Flag]

Flags of Scouts Musulmans de France - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022

The Mouvement des Scouts Musulmans de France (SMF) was established in 1990 by Cheikh Khaled Bentounes. Its Statutes were registered in 1991 during the Gulf War, aiming at bringing together Western and Eastern countries through the values of the Scout Movement. The Scouts Musulmans de France joined in 1994 the Fédération du Scoutisme Français. [source: Official website].

The flag of the Scouts Musulmans de France is white with the movement's emblem in the center: photo, photo (2017), photo (2018), photo (2021), photo (2022)

Ivan Sache, 10 April 2022


Scouts Unitaires de France

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of Scouts Unitaires de France, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019

Scouts Unitaires de France (SUF; website) was established in 1971 as a splinter group from the Scouts de France.
In the 1960s, François Lebouteux (b. 1929) initiated a pedagogic reform of the Scouts de France. In 1964, the units of the "pathfinder" branch (12-17 years) were split into "rangers" (12-14 years) and "pioneers" (14-17 years), in order to propose activities specific to each age classes. The old and new organizations were maintained until 1971, when the new pedagogy was imposed to all units. As a reaction, some 20 groups left the Scouts de France and created the Scouts Unitaires de France, claiming that the "unitary" pedagogy, founded on the "elder brother / sister" principle (the elder teach the younger) was closer to Baden Powell's philosophy. They also wanted to maintain separate boys and girls' groups.
The SUF counts now some 30,000 members.

The flag of the SUF (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo), derived from the flag of the SdF, is square, green with a white cross and the movement's emblem in the center. The emblem is composed of a red fleur-de-lis superimposed with a fleur-de-lis vertically divided white-black.
The flag is also used in rectangular shape (photo).

[Flag]

Flag of the sea branch of SUF - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019

The sea scouts branch of SUF uses the square flag with the emblem featuring a red anchor beneath the cross (photo).

Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019


Europa Scouts

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Flag of Europa Scouts - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019

Europa Scouts (website) is a scout movement founded in 1987 by Pierre Géraud-Keraod (1917-1997) after his expelling from the Association des guides et scouts d'Europe. Europa Scouts is mostly composed of groups following the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (traditionalists recognizing the authority of the Holy See).

The flag of Europa Scouts (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is yellow with a white cross (the colors of the Holy See) and the movement's emblem in the center.
The emblem is composed of a red Maltese cross superimposed with a fleur-de-lis, vertically divided green-white.

Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019


Escoltes Sant Jordi / Scouts San Jordi

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Flag of Escoltes Sant Jordi / Scouts San Jordi - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019

Escoltes Sant Jordi / Scouts San Jordi (blog) was established in 2007 in Perpignan, the capital of French Catalonia. The group's bilingual name (Catalan / French) contains a dual reference to St. George, as the patron saint of Catalonia and the patron saint of England, the cradle of the scout movement. St. George is also the patron saint of the knights and pathfinders.

The flag of Escoltes Sant Jordi / Scouts San Jordi (photo) is square, white with a red cross (St. George's cross) superimposed by a Cross of Jerusalem (the common symbol of French Catholic scout movements) and a yellow fleur-de-lis with red veins (the colors of Catalonia).

Ivan Sache, 28 October 2019


 
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