On July 1st, Scouts from schools all around the country took part in celebrations marking the anniversary of the foundation of Scouting in Thailand. In Samut Prakan, the governor, Mr. Kwanchai Wongnitikorn, and the head of the Education Area Office 1, Mr. Yongyuth Sapcharoen, presided over the ceremony at City Hall this morning. Scouting was first introduced in Thailand on July 1st 1911 by King Rama VI. Thailand was the third country in the world to take up Scouting. King Rama VI is fondly remembered as the “Father of Thai Scouting” and every year on Scout Day, on July 1st, Scouts pay homage to his image and take part in parades.
King Rama VI received his education in England. He was the first Thai monarch to have studied abroad. He graduated at Oxford University and also attended Sandhurst Military academy. He brought back with him many new ideas that he had seen. In Thailand he established the “Wild Tiger Corps” for adults and created a junior branch which continues today as the Scouts. Thailand is the only country in the world where Scouting was directly founded by a monarch. It is also honoured with being one of the Founder Members of the World Organisation back in 1922. Thailand probably also has one of the largest memberships because it is compulsory for every student to become a Scout.
At the City Hall this morning, there were representatives from different schools from around Samut Prakan. There were also different sections such as Cub Scouts, Scouts, Senior Scouts, Rovers and also Sea Scouts. All of these sections are open to boys and girls. Cub Scouts are Primary 1-3. Scouts are Primary 4-6. Senior Scouts are Junior High and Rovers are Senior High. From Cub Scouts to Senior Scouts it is compulsory for all students to join. The same goes for the teachers. After that, they can choose whether to join the Rovers. However, not all schools offer Rovers. During the ceremony this morning, the scouts reaffirmed their Scout Promise and then took part in the march past. The governor and other scout leaders took the salute.