Romania was a founding member of the WOSM, having formally had Scouts between 1913 and 1937. Influenced by reading Baden-Powell's "Scouting for Boys", the first informal patrol of Boy Scouts was established in Romania in 1913 at Gheorghe Lazăr High School by Dimitrie Dimăncescu, his brother, Ioan, and classmates. Prince Carol would become the first formal troop leader. Others joined in broadening awareness of the Scout movement (Gheorghe Munteanu-Murgoci, Alexandru Borza, Vladimir Ghidionescu, Constantin Costa-Foru, Nicolae Iorga, Ion G. Duca and Colonel Grigore Berindei) who became familiar with the Scout movements in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Germany.
The translation of Baden-Powell's book Scouting for Boys into Romanian was published in 1915. That same year saw the official founding of the Cercetaşii României; on the occasion, Lord Baden-Powell sent a message of congratulations, with the admonition that Scouting should be adapted to the local situation. Membership grew quickly across Romania.
During World War I, Romanian Scouts were very active in defense activities. Ecaterina Teodoroiu guided a patrol of Scouts and Guides and was employed as a nurse, before joining the Romanian Army and dying a heroine. Many Scouts who helped the transporting of the wounded were killed during the air attacks. On September 29, 1916, Baden-Powell sent a message expressing regret to the Scouts for the death of their fellows. At the end of the war, the Boy Scouts marched in the front of the Victory Train, under the Triumphal Arch in Bucharest.
In 1920, 67 Romanian Boy Scouts and their leaders were present at the first World Jamboree in London, England. Before World War II, the Scout Movement developed further: many patrols were formed in towns and in villages, many camps, socials, expeditions and spectacles were organized, and a great number of magazines, literary writings and pedagogical studies were published for Scouts and their Chiefs. At the time, one of the devoted Boy Scouts was the philosopher Mircea Eliade.