Want to Join Nagoya Cub Scout Pack 758 or Girl Scout Troop 20301?
There are more than fifty million people involved in scouting throughout the world. Nearly every country on Earth has scouting programs for youth. Japan has over 200,000 scouts and scouters, and scouting here has existed for a nearly a hundred years. There are also a number of scout units connected with international schools and military bases. These are all American units with one notable exception. International Scout Troop #1 in Yokohama is the oldest independent boy scout troop in the world, founded in 1911 or 1912.
After thirty years or more, scouting for children whose first language is English has returned. Nagoya International School had scouting into the 1970’s. We think they were Troop 53 for the Girl Scouts, and Troop and Pack 54 for the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.
On Sunday, January 17 of this year the boys and girls of the newly formed Boy Scouts of America Cub Pack 758 and the Girl Scouts of The United States Overseas Troop 20301, held their first general meetings near Chayagasaka in Nagoya. We hope this is the beginning of many years of great fun and friendship for the children and families who join our group.
In the past it was difficult to organize scout units which operate in English. However recent years have seen the Nagoya expat population grow to such an extent that it is now large enough to support English-language-only units. We use the USA organizations because they are one of the few scouting countries that provide a global support network.
The Nagoya scouting group currently operates units for girls and boys from the age of five for girls, and from age six for boys, to the age of eighteen. At present we have 13 boys and 25 girls, and more than thirty adults, as scouting is very much a family affair. The scouts come from a number of different countries including the UK, Australia, Brazil, Serbia, Canada, New Zealand, China, Japan, Switzerland, and the USA. Both groups formed in November of this past year and have been to the Higashiyama Zoo and the Mizunami Fossil museum, as well as digging for fossils in the banks of the Toki River, among other fun activities.
Typically, the boys of the aptly named 758 (Na-Go-Ya in Japanese) troop meet once a week in dens of five or so members. Each den has a leader and an assistant leader who are responsible for ensuring that activities are planned and that meetings run smoothly. Boys are divided into groups known as Tigers, Bears and Webelos, depending upon the age of the boy. A pack meeting is held each month at which boys receive their badges and meet all the other boys from the various dens. It is also a great opportunity for parents to get together.
Our girls use the USA Girl Scouts Overseas program “Discover – Connect – Take Action” as a foundation, with a strong emphasis towards learning practical skills and outdoor activities.
Currently three troops are in operation and are defined according to a girl’s age on October 1st, the beginning of the membership year.
Daisies are aged five and six, Brownies seven and eight and Juniors are aged nine and ten.
Meetings are held twice a month on Sunday afternoon and are often scheduled with the boys.
Membership is open to all children of all nationalities. It is important that each child have good English language ability as everything is done in English. Costs vary. There are uniforms, books, and membership fees.
Each group’s annual plan includes activities to teach scouting skills, experience the outdoors, learn about our communities and about nature, acquire leadership skills, and in general, have a lot of fun. Our activities include:
* Activities at the Higashiyama Zoo
* Fossil hunting on the banks of Toki River
* Emergency Preparedness, first aid badges and Safety Awards
* Hanami and other nature trips
* Pottery making
* Outdoor activities like hiking and camping
* Art, science, and other museums
* Cooking, indoor and outdoor
* Learning about our community, Nagoya
* Community involvement and volunteer work
Contact Details & other Information:
Boy Scout web page:
Girl Scouts web page:
Girls: Secretary Richard Taylor
Boys: Membership Sarah Rumme-Nishida
Prospective volunteers should contact Mike Coutu
Girl Scout secretary, UK born Richard Taylor sums up the feeling within the troop when he writes: As an ex-pat dad and an ex-Scout I’m really delighted that my two daughters can enjoy the rich and rewarding world of Scouting in English in Nagoya. I think our rapid growth shows many other Nagoya parents feel the same way. The girls have all got on so well – there’s a real international feeling in the Troop meetings and organization. As Secretary of the Girls Scouts committee I have a wonderful way to help shape our girls’ experiences. There’s so much we have planned for our kids!