On Pramuka Day, which is observed annually on August 14, Indonesians celebrate their national scouting organization. This holiday commemorates the world’s largest scout association, Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, as well as the organization’s first public parade in 1961. Scouting has been in existence since the first decade of the 20th century and came to the Dutch East Indies in 1912. It became an integral and compulsory part of the curriculum for Indonesian students in 2013, which has contributed to Gerakan Pramuka being the largest scouting organization in the world.
History of Pramuka Day
We can find them in their uniforms reciting scout laws, working hard to earn badges, or putting on their charm to sell their tasty cookies. Wherever we may find them, we know we can trust a scout’s word. Today, we recognize a group of honorable scouts — the Pramuka scouts!
The scout movement has been in existence since the first decade of the 20th century, with its humble beginnings originating in Brownsea Island Scout Camp, established by Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell, which tested ideas for his book “Scouting for Boys.” Subsequently, girls were also included in scouting through the Girl Guides. This was the start of a worldwide movement, with now over 38 million members, as well as several international organizations. Scouting was brought to the Dutch East Indies, now known as Indonesia, in 1912 as a branch of the Netherlands Pathfinder Organization. Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands in 1949, and at the time there were over 60 scouting organizations in the country. The geographical make-up of Indonesia made the administration and supervision of these scouting organizations challenging, creating a need for a single scout organization.
Two years later, the 13 strongest Scout and Guide organizations came together to form a governing body — Ikatan Pandu Indonesia (Ipindo) — with President Sukarno as its patron. This became a precursor to Indonesia becoming a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (W.O.S.M.) in its Asia-Pacific Region. Almost a decade later, at the start of the Guided Democracy period, Ipindo representatives and their patron came together to unify all Scouting and Guiding organizations into one as the Gerakan Pramuka. Its first public parade was held on August 14, 1961, which has become the celebration date for Pramuka Day.
Pramuka Day timeline
The Scout Movement is brought to Indonesia by the Netherlands Pathfinder Organization.
Ikatan Pandu Indonesia is formed as the federating body for Scouts and Guides under the government of President Sukarno.
Indonesia Scouts become a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (W.O.S.M.).
All Scout and Guide organizations are unified as Gerakan Pramuka, the official organization in Indonesia.
Pramuka Day FAQs
Is scouting compulsory for Indonesian students?
The scout movement has become a compulsory part of the lives of Indonesian students since 2013 when scouting became one of their curriculum’s study units. This has also become a large contributing factor in making the country the titleholder for the world’s largest scout group.
How many members are in Gerakan Pramuka?
As of today, there are over 21 million members of Gerakan Pramuka, accounting for almost half of the worldwide scout membership numbers. This is due to a variety of reasons such as the population of the country, the number of initial scout organizations before its formation, as well as the compulsory participation of students.
Does the Gerakan Pramuka have its own laws and promises?
Just like other members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (W.O.S.M.), Gerakan Pramuka has its laws and promises personal to the organization alongside general scout laws and promises. There are a total of 10 laws and three promises that the scouts of Gerakan Pramuka are expected to uphold.
Pramuka Day Activities
Attend a parade
All across Indonesia, parades are held throughout the day and even during the rest of the week. So if you find yourself in the nation, take advantage of the day by attending one of the many parades. These parades often include performances and activities from members of Gerakan Pramuka.
Sign your children up for scouting
Scouting and guiding is a great way for children to spend their leisure time as well as bond with other kids within their age group. With programs like the Cubs and Rovers, there is no excuse as they offer scouting for younger children and older adolescents. This is a great way for your children to learn valuable skills such as fishing and hiking, so make sure you sign them up for your local scouting group today.
Learn more about scouting
There are still so many interesting things you can discover about the scout movement. Take some time out today to do research and find out everything you can about it. From governing bodies to scout laws, there are many things to learn about scouts and the scout movement.
5 Interesting Facts About Scouting
It first spread to Malta
After scouting was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in the United Kingdom, he spread the first overseas branch to Malta due to family connections.
Only a few countries don’t participate
There are only five countries in the world that don’t have any kind of scouting organizations — Andorra, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vatican City.
Religion is important in the B.S.A.
The Boy Scouts of America is open to everyone except atheists.
The F.B.I. once used them
A program launched in 1971 by the F.B.I., Operation SAFE, recruited boy scouts as informants to watch out for suspicious activities in neighborhoods.
Agnes Baden-Powell paved the way for girls
Agnes Baden-Powell was the sister of the founder of the scout movement and established the Girl Guide movement in 1910.
Why We Love Pramuka Day
It’s a fun holiday
The best thing about Pramuka Day is that it is a really fun holiday, packed with activities and events. There is never a shortage of things to do on this day, especially if you find yourself in Indonesia at this time.
It’s one for the kids
We love this holiday because the kids get to have most of the fun. Scouting is one of the best activities you can participate in as a child, and this holiday creates a fun bonding opportunity for them and their parents.
It encourages scouting
Pramuka Day goes beyond celebrating the scouts of Gerakan Pramuka, it also raises awareness of the importance of scouting as a fulfilling experience. This increases the knowledge of the general public as well as encourages us to participate in the Scout and Guide experience.
Pramuka Day dates