Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrālā Organizācija, (Latvian Scout and Guide Central Organisation), the primary national Scouting and Guiding organization of Latvia is a member of both the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The coeducational Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrālā Organizācija serves 1,436 members as of 2008.
The Latvian Scout Organization Latvijas Skautu Organizācija was established in 1921, and Latvia was a founding member of the World Organization, from 1922 to 1940.
Guiding was started in Latvia in 1921 under the Latvian Youth Organizations. In early 1922 Latvijas Gaidu Centrālā Organizācija was set up, and Girl Guiding was permitted to operate as an independent organization. Latvia enjoyed a visit from Olave Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide, in 1933 and had a very active Guiding movement until it was banned in 1940.
In 1940, after the Soviet occupation of Latvia, a special officer was appointed by the communists to abolish Scouting. Scouting continued unofficially and underground, operating without uniforms and in the forests to avoid detection. In 1941, the Communists killed the Latvian Scout founder and President, General Kārlis Goppers (1876-1941). The former Scout Commissioner for Latvia, Valdemārs Klētnieks, fled to the United States as a refugee after World War II.
With the fall of communism, Scouting reemerged, and in 1989, the first Latvian Scout and Guide camp was organized. In 1990, Latvian Scouts held their fifth National Jamboree, "Renewal" and invited several other countries to participate.
Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrālā Organizācija (the Latvian Scout and Guide Central Organization, LSGCO) rejoined the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1993, as well as the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. There were 452 registered Scouts (as of 2008) and 984 registered Guides (as of 2003).
Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrālā Organizācija is the largest youth organization in Latvia. LSGCO's goal is to develop physical, mental, moral and social skills in Latvian youth and to develop a loyalty to Latvia. The main purpose is to recognize the needs and wants of Latvian youth and to encourage self development.
The Scout and Guide Motto is Esi Modrs, translating as Be Watchful in Latvian, the response to which is (masculine) Arvien Modrs!, and (feminine), Arvien Modra!, Always Watchful! The Little Fire Motto is Centīšos!, I will try. The Latvian noun for a single Scout is Skauts.