Scout Movement in Sri Lanka

Know in brief, the history of the Scout Movement in Sri Lanka

In 1912, just five years after the formation of Scouting in England in 1907 by its founder Lord Baden Powell, Francis George Stevens, District Civil Engineer, planted the seed of Scouting in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) by forming the first-ever Scout Troop at Christ Church College, Matale in the Central Province with a group of 8 boys. Francis George Stevens was born in Tavistock, Devon, England on 2nd of June, 1891.Parents were Mr and Mrs Lambert Stevens of Liverpool.

At a time when Sri Lanka was a colony of the British Empire, an English engineer by the name F.G. Stevens was posted at Christ Church, Matale, a town approximately 100km North East of Colombo. His residence being right next door to the Christ Church Missionary School, he faced many a problem as the students made full of his garden and everything there. After problems including missing fruits and the constant disturbance of his much needed rest, he decided to do something about putting the boy's "spare time" to better use. Thus he came up with the idea starting a "Boy Scout Corps," already a major success in England.

  • 1912 - Scouting in Sri Lanka by F.G. Stevens (1st Chief Commissioner of Sri Lanka) at Christ Church College, Matale.

  • 1914 - Scouting brought to Colombo by F.G. Stevens, at Christ Church, Galle Face, Colombo.

  • 1914 - F.G. Stevans established the 1st Galle Mahinda Scout Group at Mahinda College, Galle

  • 1915 – First Scout Census

  • 1916 - Cub Scouting Started. Western Province Rally at Havelock Park, Colombo.

  • 1917 - First all Ceylon Rally at Havelock Race Course, Colombo.

  • 1917 - F. G. Stevans was awardedn the SIlver wolf on the eve of his departure to Egypt on War Service by Lord Baden-Powell

  • 1918 - Sea Scouting started in Sri Lanka at Trincomalee

  • 1919 - First competition for the King's flag and was won by Kandy Dharmaraja College.

  • 1920 - Senior Scouting started. Ceylon represented for the 1st time at an International Jamboree. (The 1st Imperial Jamboree in Olympia, U.K.)

  • 1921 - B.P.'s visit to Sri Lanka. An all Scout and Guide Rally was held at Galle Face Green to welcome him. Scouting started in Prisons.

  • 1924 - First Wood Badge Course in Mutwal.

  • 1925 - The First Wood Badge awarded to a Ceylon scout by Gilwell. Vernon Grenier becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1930 - First Wood Badge Course in Sinhala. Scout HQ moves to an old guardroom at Galle Face, Colombo.

  • 1932 - All Ceylon Scout Craft exhibition at Katugastota, Kandy. J.H. De Saram becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1934 - Second visit of Lord B.P. First visit of Lady B.P.

  • 1942 - K. Somasundaram becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1945 - Scout Head Quarters moved to Baladaksha Mawatha (Opposite Army HQ Slave Island)

  • 1948 - Col. C.P. Jayawardene becomes the Chief Commissioner. New Buildings of National Headquarters. Pedro Camp-site at Nuwera-Eliya opened. Job Week scheme started. First Rover Moot held in Kandy. Sinhala and Tamil edition of Scouting for Boys published.

  • 1952 - Ceylon Jamboree (1st National Jamboree) at Kumbi Kale (near the present BMICH, Colombo) to celebrate 40 years in Scouting.

  • 1953 - International Status awarded to Ceylon Scouting (Ceylon Scout Association)

  • 1954 - E.W. Kannangara becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1957 - Taking part in Jubilee Jamboree in England. Scout Council Act of Incorporation passed in Parliament (Recognized by the Parliament as an incorporated organization). Mr. Gerald Fernando joined the World Scout Bureau.

  • 1958 - Second visit of Lady Olave Baden Powell.

  • 1962 - Golden Jubilee Jamboree (2nd National Jamboree) at Race Course, Colombo.

  • 1967 - Fitzroy H. Gunesekera becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1968 - Third visit of Lady B.P. to Sri Lanka.

  • 1972 - Diamond Jubilee at Bogambara, Gampola. C.M.P. Wanigatunga becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1977 - H. Ratnasuriya becomes Chief Commissioner. National HQ shifted to Chithampalan Gardiner Mawatha.

  • 1982 - Theodore Seneviratne becomes Chief Commissioner. Special Commemorative Stamp in honour of B.P. on 125th Birth Anniversary.

  • 1983 - 3rd National Jamboree at Anuradhapura.

  • 1984 - 2nd National Cubboree.

  • 1987 - Rex Jayasinghe becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1990 - 1st SAARC Jamboree at Vihara Maha Devi Park, Colombo. Chief Commissioner Rex Jayasinghe dies just before Jamboree. J. Lionel Silva becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1992 - 4th National Jamboree in Kurunegala. M. Mazzahim Mohideen becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1997 - K.H. Camillus Fernando becomes Chief Commissioner.

  • 1998 - 5th National Jamboree, Pallekelle, Kandy.

  • 2002 - 6th National Jamboree held in Balapitiya to celebrate 90 years in Sri Lankan Scouting. H.S. Weerakoon was appointed as Chief Commissioner.

  • 2006 - 7th National Jamboree at Nuwara Eliya.

  • 2007 - World Scout Centenary. Mr. C. Batuwangala was appointed as Chief Commissioner.

  • 2010 - 8th National Jamboree at Angunukolapelessa, Hambantota.

  • 2012 - Sri Lankan Scout Centenary Year (1912-2012). 29th Asia Pacific Regional and Sri Lankan Centenary Scout Jamboree held at Dambulla.Professor Nimal De Silva becomes the 18th Chief Commissioner

  • 2014 – 8th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Leaders Summit 2014 at Gold Sands Hotel, Negombo.Colombo Centenary International Scout Jamboree (CCISJ 2014) at Madampe.Formed ‘Singithi Scouts’ section for the kids of 5 ½ to 7 years of age.

  • 2017 - Merrille Goonetilleke becomes the 19th Chief Commissioner. Janaprith Fernando was the first Sri Lankan elected to the World Scout Committee, the highest governing body of World Organization of the Scout Movement.

  • 2020 - Major General Milinda Peiris assumed duties as the 20th Chief Scout Commissioner.

  • 2021 - Janaprith Fernando becomes the 20th Chief Commissioner

Scout Districts

There are a total of 37 Scout Districts in Sri Lanka.

  1. Colombo

  2. Kurunegala

  3. Wattala-Jaela

  4. Galle

  5. Matara

  6. Kandy

  7. Chilaw

  8. Gampaha

  9. Anuradhapura

  10. Negombo

  11. Homagama

  12. Matale

  13. Kaluthara

  14. Kegalle

  15. Avissawella

  16. Badulla

  17. Batticaloa

  18. Puttalam

  19. Point Pedro

  20. Nawalapitiya

  21. Trincomalee

  22. Wennapuuwa

  23. Rathnapura

  24. Polonnaruwa

  25. Panadura

  26. Vavuniya

  27. Nuwara Eliya

  28. Kilinochchi

  29. Jaffna

  30. Kankasanthurai

  31. Monaragala

  32. Mannar

  33. Moratuwa-Piliyandala

  34. Hambanthota

  35. Mulativu

  36. Ampara

  37. Akkaraipaththu-Kalmunai

National Commissioners

You can refer this link to know about the National Commissioners and this link to know about the council

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