Movimiento Scout Del Uruguay
by: Molly Gruber

Flag of Uruguay
Capital building of Montevideo

Uruguayan Culture:
In order to understand the culture of the Scouts, one must first look at the culture of the country in which they live. There is a very rich culture in Uruguay especially in its capital city of Montevideo where the majority of the troops discussed are based. Montevideo is a city rich in history as well as culture. Soccer is a very big part of culture in Uruguay whether you be a fan of Peñarol or Nacional, it always comes up in conversation. Not only are people very invested in their different teams, but also in playing the game itself. Another large part of the culture in Montevideo, Uruguay is walking along La Rambla and hanging out around the beach with your friends. People can often be seen playing soccer on the beach or in parks across the city.

Diego drinking Mate

A staple of Uruguayan culture is Yerba Mate, or just Mate. People drink so much of the highly caffeinated beverage that men and women alike carry leather bags made specifically to carry thermoses and mate, so that they can sip throughout the day. Mate is not a drink specific to Uruguay but also in Argentina as well. A big part of youth culture is also dancing and going to clubs. The main type of music that is played in the clubs is Reggaeton sung by artists such as Don Omar and Daddy Yankee. Soccer is not the only popular sport in Uruguay, basketball is also a popular past time.

History Of The Scouts:
The Movimiento Scout del Uruguay was founded in 1947 and became a part of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1950. The founder of the scouting movement Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden Powell came to Uruguay in 1909 where he noticed the enthusiasm for the idea of scouting, not only amongst boys but girls as well. In 1947, Movimiento Scout del Uruguay was made official.

This video is the product of my friend Rodolfo (Leader of Grupo German Sellera):

Mission Statement:
Educating in a value system through a proposal of experience in the community and in touch with nature, critical thought and creative, constructive thinking, upgrading the solidarity, generating a sense of responsibility towards their own development and that of others, commitment to life, based on peaceful coexistence, accepting diversity as a basis of tolerance.

'Our educational tool par excellence is the Scout method. By the Scout Method we mean a system of progressive self-education and personal attention that is obtained as a result of the interaction of the "Scout Law" and "Scout Promise" lived in small groups, learning through action with a program of activities progressive contact with nature, guided by adults trained and committed to the institutional mission.' (

Much like their North American counterpart (The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America) the Uruguayan groups also separate themselves into smaller groups of troops. There are many different troops mostly associated with areas of the city as well as churches. They also separate the groups into branches, the different branches being:
  • Lobatos (Cub Scouts)-ages 8 to 10
  • Scouts-ages 11 to 13
  • Pioneros (Pioneers)-ages 14 to 16
  • Rovers-ages 17 to 19

When a person rises through the ranks they get badges, but the scarfs (as seen below) that they wear are specific to their group.

Some of the groups from Montevideo include,
  • Grupo Scout German Sellera

  • Grupo Scout Catedral

We see Scouting "as an educational movement for children, youth and adults, which aims to provide its members tools for personal development and active participation in the community, committed and involved with the reality that envelops, proposing a system of values which are their own.

Grupo German Sellera painted over graffiti, as part of community services.
Scouts will meet once or twice a week and do community service, doing things such as painting over graffiti, cleaning up litter and improving conditions for programs without funds to get supplies etc. They also go out into the wilderness and camp, getting together with other groups and making bonds over their common goals.

Siempre Listo!
Scout Oath: As seen below, you hold three fingers up with your thumb and pinky in contact and say, "Siempre Listo". Always Ready

My connection:

When I traveled to Uruguay with my school in order to do community service, we lived in home stays with Scouts. The hospitality that was shown to us by our home stay brothers and sisters was incredible. They opened their hearts and their homes to us and allowed us to experience a day in their lives. From the activities that they allowed us to join in on, to seeing their passion for changing the world I realized that El Movimiento Scout del Uruguay is an important part of their lives.

Mi Familia Uruguaya

Works Cited:
Photos Courtesy of Molly Gruber (2007 and 2009), Video by Rodolfo Balliva as accessed by Youtube.

"International Scouting Organizations." Adventure Troop 97 Scouting Home Page. Web. 23 Nov. 2009. <>.

Kugel, Seth. "36 Hours: Montevideo, Uruguay." New York Times 25 Oct. 2009, Late Edition ed., TR sec.: 10-10. Print.

Movimiento Scout del Uruguay. Wikipedia. Web. 22 Nov. 2009. <>.