Michael John Foster (born 12 January 1952) is the current Grand Scoutmaster of the Order of World Scouts. He is an Anglican Parish Priest, and is currently the Rector of the Chase, a group of 10 Churches in Dorset, England.

Early Scout Career

Began as a Wolf Cub in the Boy Scouts Association in 1960, and then a Boy Scout of the same Association in 1967, but left in 1971 owing to the sweeping changes ushering in the modern Scout Association.

Scout Career in the Order of World Scouts

In 1977, whilst at Oxford reading Theology at St Stephen's House, Oxford he re-founded the "St Stephen's House Rover Crew" as an independent venture, with the blessing of the then Principal, Dr David Hope (now David Hope, Baron Hope of Thornes). In 1979 he discovered that the British Boy Scouts, still existed as a single Troop in Lewisham. A former Principal of St Stephen's House, had been the Chaplain to the Lewisham Troop of the British Boy Scouts. In that year, travelling to Lewsiham during the Easter recess, he sought out Charles Brown, Chief Commissioner and Grand Scoutmaster. The Rover Crew at St Stephen's House by then had been registered with the University authorities as the Oxford University Rover Crew and was admitted as an affiliated Group to the BBS. He was made Commissioner for Oxfordshire. In 1983, when Vicar of Holy Trinity, Nottingham, Charles Brown appointed him as the Chief Commissioner. In 2000, the then Grand Scoutmaster, Ted Scott, who had joined the BBS/OWS in 1926, asked Michael Foster if he would become Grand Scoutmaster, allowing him to retire.

In Succession to Sir Francis Vane

Michael Foster is the seventh Grandscoutmaster in succession to Sir Francis Vane.

NameTermination of Tenure
Sir Francis Vane bt 1911-1912Resigned.
Albert Jones Knighton 1913-1926Resigned
Rt Hon Lord Alington 1926-1932Resigned
Samuel Nalty Manning 1932-1967Died in Office
Percy Herbert Pooley 1967-1971Died in Office
Charles A Brown 1971-1992Died in Office
Edward E Scott 1993-2000Retired as Emeritus Died in Office 2009.
Rev'd Michael John Foster 2000Current

Scout Historian & Academic

Dr Foster is acknowledged as a scout historian. He was the first person to track down the origins of the name "Boy Scout" as beginning in the UK in the Aldine Press - first in the New Buffalow Bill Library, 1899, and then the True Blue War Library 1900-1906 He has supplied the Article "Boy Scouts" for the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood, 2004.

Other contributions have been to the following books and Articles:

  • The Biography on Baden-Powell by the Author Tim Jeal.
  • The periodical 'Action Scout' ISO Press Westminster, 1988-1992.[2]
  • The Italian Book on Sir Francis Vane by Alberto dal Porto.
  • Sir Francis Vane, fifth baronet of Hutton by Roger T. Stearn - Article in the peridoical 'Soldiers of the Queen'.
  • The other Scouts, by Tom Wood - Article in the periodical 'Practical Family History'
  • Paul Kua's Book on Scouting in Hong Kong 1910-2010

He has been involved in other areas of research; In 1978 he was a Philip Usher Memorial Scholar,[3] and undertook research on "The Culturalization of the Greek Orthodox Church in Great Britain", and has undertaken a research degree in Psychology, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.