Scouts’ Day in Thailand Date in the current year: July 1, 2024

Scouts’ Day in Thailand Thai Scouts’ Day is celebrated on July 1 to commemorate the founding anniversary of the National Scout Organization of Thailand. It was established in 1911 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), who is known as the Father of Thai Scouting.

Vaijiravudh was the son of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V); he ascended to the throne following his father’s death in October 1910. Rama VI continued with his father’s plan of modernizing Siam and paid special attention to the creation and promotion of Siamese nationalism and the development of the country’s military.

Vaijiravudh learned about the Scout movement, created by British officer Robert Baden-Powell in 1907, during his stay in Great Britain. He was inspired by it and thought that creating a similar organization in Thailand would help to instill patriotism in children and young adults.

On May 1, 1911, King Vajiravudh founded the Wild Tiger Corps, a paramilitary unit answerable directly to the monarch that was essentially the king’s personal guard. Exactly two months later, he created a junior branch of the corps named Tiger Cubs (Luk Sua). It was based on Baden-Powell’s Scout movement. The founding anniversary of the Tiger Cubs, July 1, is now celebrated in Thailand as Scouts’ Day.

Thailand was the fourth country in the world to establish Scouting. Even when the Wild Tiger Corps was disbanded, the Scout organization continued to exist. In 1922, it became one of the founding members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The National Scout Organization of Thailand is a member of the Asia-Pacific Region of the WOSM, alongside more than two dozen national Scout organizations.

The National Scout Organization of Thailand is open to boys and girls of all religions. In Thailand, Scouting is part of the school curriculum, especially for grades 6 to 8. Because of this, Thailand has one of the biggest Scout organizations in the world, with over 800,000 members aged 8 to 25.

Although Scouting is not actually mandatory and children have the option to participate in other youth programs run by various organizations such as the Red Cross, most still choose Scouting. Thai Scouts wear their uniforms to school once a week on the day specified by the school. At the end of each term, they have to take a special exam.

The fundamental principles of the National Scout Organization of Thailand are adhering to spiritual values, being loyal to the country, promoting world brotherhood, helping others, practicing the Scout oaths and laws, and participating in community service and various program activities. Thai Scouts help clean up public areas, participate in traffic control, help first aid teams and fire brigades during emergencies, assist in flood control, etc.

The king of Thailand is the honorary Chief Scout to highlight the fact that the Thai Scout Organization was founded by King Rama VI (Thailand is the only country in the world where the Scout movement was founded by the monarch). On Scouts’ Day, Thai Scouts participate in parades and other events and activities that honor King Vajiravudh as the Father of Thai Scouting.

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Scouts’ Day in Thailand, holidays in Thailand, National Scout Organization in Thailand, King Vajuravudh, scouting in Thailand