The Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris
Külföldi Magyar Cserkész Szövetség

"This page is dedicated to Mr. Gabor Bodnar who has led the Association since 1945. As a young scoutmaster (25 at the time) he started organizing troops in Germany with several scout friends (we refer to them collectively as the Countryless Eagles). He is still active as our General Secretary. His tireless work built the organization into what it is today. He celebrated his 75th birthday last September. We who now are responsible for carrying forward this work owe him an eternal debt of gratitude for his work and sacrifices."

—Imre Lendvai-Lintner, Executive Director of the Hungarian Scouting Association in Exteris

The materials on this page were provided by Imre Lendvai-Lintner, the Executive Director of the Hungarian Scouting Association in Exteris. He writes:

Hungarian Scouting was founded in 1910. It was officially abolished in Hungary in 1948. In 1989 it was again legalized. Our organization started operating in the displaced persons camps in Germany and Austria in 1948 as the Paul Teleki Scout Association. In 1948, we renamed ourselves as the Hungarian Scout Association. In 1989, we returned the Association's original seal to Hungary and gave it to the new Hungarian Scouts Association (that was when we changed our name).

In the early fifties, the DPs (Displaced Persons, refugees from the Second World War and the new Communist regimes in Eastern Europe) started emigrating to various overseas countries. Our first overseas troop was founded in 1950 in Rio De Janeiro (unfortunately the troop disbanded about 10 years ago). Our 2 troops in Caracas, Venezuela are still active and just celebrated their 45th anniversary last October. After Brazil and Venezuela, troops were founded in the USA, Canada, Australia, and other countries. The organization grew from about 1000 members in the early 50's to over 6000 members in the late seventies. Today, we are 4500 strong and have 70 troops on our rolls. We have active five districts worldwide: I. Europe (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Great Britain), II. South America (Brazil and Argentina), III. (USA and Venezuela), IV. Australia, and V. Canada. Our largest district is the III. We have four councils in the 3rd district - New York (with troops in New York City (2), Passaic, NJ (2), New Brunswick, NJ (2), Philadelphia (2), and Washington (1)). The Cleveland council has troops in Cleveland (4), Chicago, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. Our California council has troops in San Francisco (2) and Los Angeles (4). Our Venezuelan district has 2 troops in Caracas.

Typically, we have a Boy Scout and Girl Guide troop in most cities that have substantial Hungarian populations. We are either closely affiliated or actually operate most Hungarian weekend schools around the world (outside the Carpathian basin naturally). We are especially proud of our scout leader training program. We have formalized leader training for patrol leaders (separately for girl guides, boy scouts, and cub scouts), assistant scoutmasters (scouters and cub scouts) and scoutmasters. We basically utilize the Gilwell method for our assistant scoutmaster camps. At all levels there is a competency test prior to acceptance and we expect leader candidates to complete pre-camp assignments which typically are equivalent to a detailed term paper at the appropriate age. We held celebrations of our 50th anniversary last year and had Jamborees in the USA (Fillmore, NY), Europe (Germany), and Australia (near Melbourne). Our South American troops will hold their Jamboree late in 1996.

We base on our work on carrying out our obligations at four levels (God, our adopted countries, our fellowman and the Hungarian nation).

Our ties are close not only with the Hungarian Scouts Association (in Hungary), but with the Hungarian Scout Associations in Slovakia, Subcarpathian-Ukraine, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Each of these countries has significant Hungarian minorities who have re-established the Scouting movement. Since the advent of democracy (1988) we have trained almost 500 scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters for these brother associations. We have invested over $350,000 in this effort, including running training camps (first in the USA, then Austria, and then finally in Hungary and Slovakia)., providing faxes and copying machines, and funds to purchase equipment and land for scout leader training camps. Our relationships are close. If we could only find substantial monetary support our work would be even more effective."

Külföldi Magyar Cserkész Szövetség. Home Page of the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris (in Hungarian).
Szlovákiai Magyar Cserkészszövetség. Home Page of the Hungarian Scout Association in Slovakia (in Hungarian).
Magyar Cserkészszövetség. The Home Page of the Hungarian Scout Association (in English and Hungarian) presents a variety of materials in both languages, including, a history of Scouting in Hungary, information on programs and activities and links to other related Scouting sites.
A Chronicle of Scouting in Eastern Europe: Hungary
Cousins: Scouting Abroad and In Exile. The Communists and the Nazis were quick to supress Scouting when they came to power. Scouting and its traditions were maintained by emigres and refugees of several Eastern Bloc countries. Though unaffiliated with the World Organization of the Scout Movement, many maintain ties and provide support to the re-emerging Scouting movements in the countries of their birth.

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Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1997
Last Modified: 9:02 AM on June 17, 1997