by Martin Eliasson
2007-08-22 20:30:26

So many, so few

A few things about the state of the scout movment in Sweden and the group I belong to has puzzled me lately. How come we are so many enlisted but still so few involved in core activities?

Part 1

It started when I heard the statistic (not confirmed yet) that in 10 years, the SSF (Swedish Scout Organization) has lost 100 000 members, going from 160 000 to 60 000 members. In the same time, the number of member aged above about 19 has remained pretty constant.

Part 2

  • In my scout group, we are about 45 young scouts
  • In my scout group, we are totaly 89 members
  • This makes 44 leaders, right?

we still have great difficulty finding leaders for our different age groups

Photo showing only members left in color, the rest of the members in black and white

The photo shows all members that are still active in color, the rest of them in black and white.


  • Most of the scouts (I haven't done the statistics yet) joined the scouts as adults and has not grown up within the movment.
  • The necessary changes to the way our movment works goes painfully slow.
  • 2 out of 100 young scout who join our group end up as leaders. This is not enough to sustain our group since the best scout/leader ration is 5 to 1 so each leader must in average be active for 20 years for our group to be self-sustainable.


Here I have assembled a histogram of scout group size for all scout groups from Sweden going to Jiingijamborii . Notice how small most groups are.

histogram of scout group sizes going to Jiingijamborii.