This Scout Group was started in 1944 by Lt.Col.M.K.J.Cantlay (A Senior Teacher) & Edward L. Bradby, who was the Principal at the time. The Inaugural meeting was held on the 16th of June 1944. 24 boys attended this meeting. However according to Principal C. Hartley’s Annual Prize giving report there had been a Scout Group at Royal College in 1918 with Mr. F.D.Wijesinghe of the school tutorial staff in charge. Thereafter no records are available until Mr. Cantlay started the Scout Group in 1944.
The Silver Jubilee celebrations were held in 1969 just before Lt.Col.M.K.J Cantlay retired from the school to look after His mother. Lt.Col.Cantlay was an Asst. District Commissioner of Colombo District Scouting at the time of his retirement.
Since the retirement of Lt.Col.Cantlay, although there was adult supervision & help at irregular intervals, the actual leadership to the Scouts was given by the Senior Scouts and also young Rover Scouts. This “Generation Gap” did rock the boat quite severely many times, especially during the seventies and the eighties.
Although the Scout Group continued to have a very strong Patrol System.
At the beginning of 1978 the Royal Junior School was absorbed in to Royal College. The 45th Colombo which was administered by Royal Junior School was cancelled and the Scouts of 45th Colombo were absorbed in to the 42nd Colombo Scout Group. From that point onwards all were called as the students of Royal College and all the scouts were of 42nd Colombo Scout Group.
Currently there are main 2 troops which conduct activities in Royal College, One on Wednesday evening, another in Saturday morning & in Friday evening. The Cub Scouting is conducted in Wednesdays evening. The total Scouts of Royal exceeds well over 600, excluding Cub and Singithi scouts which is around 850 (as per census figures 2018). The activities of the troop are mostly handled by Senior Scouts & Instructors. But Masters from the Academic Staff is also appointed to look into regular activities.
Scouts & Leaders
The general coordination with the school authorities is done by Mr. Riyaz Alhur the Group Scout Leader (& Senior Games Master), who is in Charge of overall Scout activities of the College, and assisted by the Masters In Charge of Scouting and Akelas. Scout Leaders are mostly former scouts who continue to serve the alma mater by naturing the budding royalists to become Presidents Scouts, having qualified in Internationally recognized Wood badge -Scout Leader Training Course. Many old Scouts of this Scout group too help on a regular basis.
Earlier the Scouts used to go on one outstation camp each the first school term & the second school term & two Camps during the third term. But due to the competitive nature of the school curriculum and
Examinations, the camps are now generally restricted to one large outstation camp each by the Scouts meeting on Wednesday evening and on Saturday Morning. In addition to these they conduct many smaller camps inside and outside the school premises. The Scouts also organize regular Camp fires where Scouts from other schools as well as Girl Guides are invited. The Scouts also organize approximately 20-community service Projects per annum in connection with the President’s Scout Award. The jewel in the crown of scouting activities in the year is the Lt. Col. M.K. J. Cantlay Challenge Shield Inter Patrol Competition camp, which runs thru a weekend in the thrid term, filled with challening scouting competitions that test the both physical and mental endurance of the scouts to enthrone the best of best for the year.
The first Scout to win the Queen’s Scout Award from this Scout Group was in 1953. Since then until 1972, when Sri Lanka became a Republic there were 29 Queen Scouts. Since 1972 this was renamed the President’s Scout Award and there were 26 winners of this award up to 1981.Since then an average of about 15 Scouts per annum has won this award. The requirements for this award have been made more and more difficult during the recent years. We do not have any records of Cubs who won the Leaping Wolf Award. But since 1985 until a few years ago, an average Of 10 Cub Scouts won its successor “Gold Star” annually.