A Czech Scout's View
by Jiri Danda

Let me introduce JUNÁK - the Association of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in the Czech Republic.

Our organization was founded by A.B.Svojsˇk in 1911. JUNÁK was banned after the Nazi occupation in 1940, after the communist coup in 1948, and after the Soviet occupation of our country in 1970. Scouts were persecuted, but all that time, Scouting had been continued here, even illegally. Since 1989 we have existed legally again.

At the moment we are members of IFOFSAG and WAGGGS (they accept our guides as a founder member). We are not yet members of the WOSM (We were members as former Czechoslovak Scouting, before the separation of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993).

We are one Scouting organization (one organization, one administration, but two different programs: one for Boy Scouts and one for Girl Guides. There is no coeducation). At the moment our organization has approximately 70,000 members (our country has got 10,000,000 citizens).

We are divided into program groups by age. We use these age ranks :

6-11 years
VLCATA (Wolf Cubs) and SVETLUSKY (Fire Flies)
(the name for our brownies was chosen by the book Broucci by Jan Karafiat)

SKAUTI (Boy Scouts) and SKAUTKY (Girl Guides)

15-18 (25...)
ROVERI (Rovers and Rangers)

OLDSKAUTI (Old Scouts)

Czech Scout Promise

On my honor I promise that I will do my best,
to serve the highest Truth and Love faithfully at all times,
to fulfill my own duties and to observe the Scout/Guide laws,
to be prepared to help my country and my neighbors with all my soul and body.
(Optional "May God help me so.")

As you can see, the Czech Scout Promise is quite unusual. It's because of the historical background. In 1911, when our movement was founded, our state did not exist yet. The area of the today’s Czech Republic was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Czech people didn't like that absolutist state at all (the government tried to oppress them not to use the Czech language and to speak German, in the last years there was a strong police state etc.). The main supports for regime were the army, the police and the Catholic Church. These were the reasons, that in our promise wasn't the loyalty to the king or to the supreme being expressed.

Czech Scout/Guide Law

A Scout/Guide ...

  • Speaks the truth
  • Can be trusted and is loyal
  • Is useful to society and helps others
  • Is a friend to all people of good will and a brother/sister to all Scouts and Guides
  • Is courteous
  • Protects nature and valuable human products
  • Obeys his/her parents, superiors and Scout/Guide leaders
  • Is of cheerful mind
  • Is thrifty
  • Is pure in thought, word and deeds

This file or parts of it may be freely used, printed and re-distributed as long as you enclose this paragraph and keep the references to the respective contributors and to the maintainer (listed below) intact. Contributed to rec.scouting by Czech Scout, Jiri Danda, a student at the Prague Technical College, XDANDA@dinf.fsv.cvut.cz. Maintained in rec.scouting FAQ #9 by Danny "Spike" Schwendener, Wolfsmeute Orion/Glockenhof, Sihlstr. 33, CH-8001 Zurich, Switzerland -- dannys@iis.ee.ethz.ch

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Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 1997
Last Modified: 7:19 AM on May 4, 1997