At the first Boy Scout camp held by founder Robert Baden-Powell on Brownsea Island in 1907, the pioneer Boy Scouts were organised into four patrols and presented with a brass fleur-de-lis badge. They were then taught practical outdoor activities, such as knotting, tracking and camping, and tested on these skills. Upon passing the tests, each boy received a bronze badge in the shape of a scroll, featuring the words “Be Prepared”. The fleur-de-lis badge would later become the Scout’s membership badge, also known as Tenderfoot, while the scroll badge became the Second Class Scout badge.
This book compiles various collections of badges over the past century, from Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs to Rover/Venture Scouts and adult Scouters. It also contains the collections of related accessories such as hat plumes and medals, as well as information about the history of Scouting. Informative and extensive, A Century of Scouting Badges is required reading for anyone with an interest in the Scouting movement and its story.
“I spent many happy years of my childhood and youth in the scout movement. Scouting taught me good values and how to be a good leader. I thank Meng Hao for this wonderful book on 100 years of scout badges.”
—— Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“Wan Meng Hao is to be congratulated on achieving a Scouting first for his country that has yet to equalled in our own. He has produced a systematic and comprehensive encyclopaedia of the badges and artefacts relating to Scouting in Singapore over a 100-year period, since its inception in 1907. (He starts with an illustration of a supposed replica of B-P’s brass Brownsea badge). The book is a wonderful compendium of badges and other artefacts beautifully laid out and illustrated in full colour over 200 A4 pages with interesting and relevant text to tell the story. What makes this book of exceptional interest to our UK members is that up to the 1970s the Scout Association of Singapore relied on the UK Association for it badges and medals etc. The book covers all aspects and sections including WW2 and illustrates over 1,000 items, though it makes no claims to be a ‘tick list’. Mr Wan uses his own collection and those of others to depict some very rare items, some of which I have never seen before, to lovingly tell the story of Scouting in his homeland. A wonderful example of what Scout Badge Collecting is all about!”
—— UK Scout Historian Colin Walker
“After reading the first sample of this book, I was very moved! This book introduces Scouting badges, from the beginning of the movement more than one hundred years ago to today. The author introduces almost all the various identification badges carried on the uniforms of the Scout movement. When I look through the book, I can’t help but marvel at the Scout movement. There have been so many creators who have contributed rich treasures to the movement. I have also written books on the history and origins of Scouting, and deeply feel the difficulty of writing such books. I believe the author must have incomparable enthusiasm and loyalty to scouts. He would have needed to verify the many details—such as the year, location, and origins—information that cannot tolerate errors. A lot of data collection and interview work is required. Every time you see such a high-quality Scout information book, you can feel the hardships that the author has gone through. For all Scouting people and even those who just agree with the concept of Scouting, this book is a treasure trove of information that should not be missed.”
—— Ho Chung Keung, Hong Kong Scout Leader and writer
“Scouting historian Wan Meng Hao’s impressive A Century of Scouting Badges is a labour of love, almost two decades in the making. Meng Hao’s encyclopaedic knowledge of and passion for Scouting has resulted in this excellent and invaluable contribution to the very limited literature on the Scouting Movement in Singapore and British Malaya. A Century of Scouting Badges weaves in the overarching story of how Scouting has evolved through the years and how the progressive and proficiency badge curriculum enables many scouts to challenge themselves in their Scouting pursuits, to learn useful skills, crafts, and hobbies, to grow in knowledge and understanding of the world around them, to imbibe values and perseverance, and to contribute to their communities in relevant and meaningful ways. The Scouting Movement’s badges and awards, so thoughtfully recorded in this work, reminds us of the importance of striving not for its own sake but as a means of learning by doing and giving for the greater good.”
—— Associate Professor Eugene Tan, Singapore Management University
“This book is the result of Meng Hao’s journey in documenting scout badges. He explains succinctly the historical evolution of badges, and the book is replete with photo-illustration of badges and how some of these badges were worn. It will undoubtedly serve as a handy compendium for scout badges in Singapore.”
—— Associate Professor Yeo Kang Shua, Singapore University of Technology and Design