Today in Philippine History, October 5, 1923, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, was formally established as a branch of the Boy Scout of America

Wednesday October 05, 2011 ()

On October 5, 1923, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, was formally established as a branch of the Boy Scout of America (BSA).

  
  

The Manila council of the BSA, was initially funded through the help of various civic-organizations namely: the YMCA, Knights of Columbus, Masons, Elks, Filipino and Chinese Chambers of Commerce, the U.S. Army, the Catholic and Protestant churches, and the American Legion.

Scouting history in the Philippines traces back to the American occupation of the islands. The boy scouts first documented formation of a scout troop in the islands was that of the Lorillard Spencer's troop of Zamboanga formed in 1914 by a U.S. Navy Lieutenant named Sherman Kiser.

This is just seven years after Lord Baden-Powell founded Scouting in England in 1907 and four years after the establishment of the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.

Lt. Kiser got the idea of putting up a boy scout in the Philippines upon the suggestion of American charity worker Caroline Spencer of whom he was initially assigned to escort in Sulu.

Mrs. Spencer saw how Filipino boys could benefit from scouting and discussed her ideas with Kiser.

She actually shared the idea to organize boy scouts troop in the Philippines since her son, Lorillard Spencer, was an active scout in the United States, hence became the name of the troop.

Although Kiser was reassigned to Zamboanga, he still formed a Scout troop composed of young Muslim boys.

Upon learning of the formation of a new troop, Mrs. Spencer sent monetary support to purchase uniform and construct a headquarters.

Realizing the benefits that Scouting was bringing to the boys, Assemblyman Tomas Confesor of Iloilo sponsored a bill in the National Assembly providing for the establishment of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines to replace the Boy Scout of America.

The bill was signed into law as Commonwealth Act No. 111 by President Manuel L. Quezon on October 31, 1936, thus marking the month of October as Scouting Month.

Hence, it was formally established on January 1, 1938, and recognized on October 1, 1946, by the Boy Scouts World Bureau.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons


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