The Boy Scouts movement was founded in 1907. Playing music together belongs to the aspects of their group activities. Therefore instruments for accompaniment such as the Ukulele were crucial. This is reflected, e.g., in the publications of the official Boy Scout magazine in the U.S., Boys' Life, which also reflect quite exactly the “three waves” of popularity of the Ukulele.

Pictures and Videos

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Lil' Liza Jane. score of 1916 with boy scouts
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Harmonizing. Boy scouts tuning an ukulele, USA, c. 1925
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Charles H. Towne: Cover of Boys' Life (Aug. 1935)
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Christian boy scouts, Switzerland (1984)


British Boy Scout plays Ukulele at World Jamboree in Kirarahama (Japan) (2015)


Cub Scouts learn Are You Sleeping (2013)

The Ukulele in Boys' Life

PeriodMentions of Ukulele
1917–1929 51
1930–1949 7
1950–1969 28
1970–1989 5
1990–2009 1
2010 4

Roy Smeck: Boy Scouts Hike

Roy Smeck published an easy exercise piece for ukulele in 1928 which he named “Boy Scouts Hike” and thus dedicated to the Boy Scouts.1)


1) Originally set in D major, then the most common tuning for ukuleles.