Scouting in Bulgaria
Organizatsia Na Bulgarskite Skauty
National Organization
of Bulgarian Scouts

Flag of Bulgaria Emblem of Bulgarian Scouting

Member of the World Organization from 1924 to 1940.

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On January 17, 1999, The National Organization of Bulgarian Scouts, became the 151st member of the World Organization of the Scout Movements. Scouting began in Bulgaria in 1911-1913. In 1923, a national Scout organization was created. The next year, it became a member of the World Bureau. Scouting reached 6,000 members at the beginning of WWII. In 1940, due to the political situation, Scouting stopped its activities in Bulgaria. When the war ended, communists dominated the country and prevented Scouting from starting up again. After the collapse of the Berlin wall, Scouting was reborn again in 1989. It was not until 1995 that a national Scout organization was created that conformed to WOSM standards. The Scout organization has 2,000 members with 57 groups in the 20 largest cities and towns in the country. There is an active Sea Scout program on the Black Sea and in Silistra, on the Danube River. Each year, Bulgarian Scouts organize a national Jamboree. The last one was in 1998 and took place in Silistra. Bulgarian Scouts take part in community development activities in their country. They have carried out several projects with the Bulgarian Red Cross and have also taken part in reforestation projects. They receive good press and tv coverage.

Scouting in Bulgaria

Before the establishment of Communism in Bulgaria after World War II, there were over 60,000 Scouts in the country. With the advent of Communism, Scouting was outlawed and the resources of the Scout organizations were plundered and redistributed to the newly formed Communist youth organizations.

The primary goal of these organizations, whose membership was compulsory, was the indoctrination of Bulgarian youth into Communism. To complicate matters, these organizations adopted many of the trappings of the Scout organizations they supplanted.

Because of the bad experience with the Communist youth organizations, the Scouting Movement in Bulgaria is having a slow rebirth.

However, as stated by Stoyan Ivanov, the Chairman of the Bulgarian Scout Organization of Varna: "The democratic changes during the last two years in our country created conditions for the veterans of the Scout movement in Varna to start its restoration after it was suppressed by the totalitarian regime [for] half a century."

This is good news, but it should be remembered that the Scouting organization of Bulgaria is left without an inheritance of leadership, equipment, established program, and everything else that we are used to.

With special thanks to Thomas N. Turba, International Representative of the Indianhead Council, B. S. A. in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Tom led Scout contingents from St. Paul, Minnesota to Bulgaria in 1993 and 1995.

The Vratza Scout Troop has an extensive website that offers information about the state of Scouting in Bulgaria today. While it is in Bulgarian, it is certainly worth the visit. The site has some wonderful photos of Scout activities of the Vratza Troop.

Tom Turba’s "Report on a Scout Trip to Bulgaria" relates his experiences on his 1995 trip to Bulgaria with a group of Scouts from the Indianhead Council in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Tom Turba’s "General Information on Bulgaria" provides some useful background on the country.

If you would like more information on Scouting in Bulgaria, or on Tom’s visits with Scouts there, please write directly to: Thomas N. Turba at Thomas.Turba@Unisys.Com.

A Chronicle of Scouting in Eastern Europe

With the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and Russia, Scouting has returned to many lands where it had previously taken root. These pages chronicle the return of former members and the addition of new members to the World Organization of the Scout Movement. They also report the growth of Scouting in the other nations of Eastern Europe.

Scouting organizations around the world are assisting in the growth of Scouting in both Eastern Europe and Russia. They have been identified by country where information is available.

Currently, the "Chronicle" reports on the progress of Scouting in 19 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The Chronicle Home Page provides links to each.

Return to the Home Page of the Chronicle of Scouting in Eastern Europe and Russia

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Your feedback, comments and suggestions are appreciated.
Please write to: Lewis P. Orans

Copyright © Lewis P. Orans, 2002
Last Modified: 9:49 AM on October 10, 2002