Over the past century millions of boys and girls have benefited from various scouting programs that teach invaluable life skills. Many of these scouting organizations trace their lineage all the way back to Lord Baden-Powell, a British Army officer of the early 20th century who wrote an influential book entitled Scouting for Boys that caught on like wildfire. With the success of his innovative ideas for youth development, Baden-Powell and his book became the foundation for a new international scouting movement that would reach countries all over the world.
However, when Lord Baden-Powell’s ideas reached France, there were some priests in the country who were skeptical of the new movement and wrote articles denouncing it. At the same time one Jesuit in France, Jacques Sevin, had been following Baden-Powell’s progress and was not convinced that scouting should be tossed aside. Sevin decided he needed to go to the source and asked permission to travel to England to experience it for himself.
Sevin was allowed during the summer to observe the recently formed scouting troops and personally met Baden-Powell at a camp in 1913. This renewed Sevin’s interest in the movement and he returned to France thinking of different ways to incorporate the Catholic faith into scouting.