The Siberian Scout Initiative
In 1992, at the invitation of the World Scout Bureau and funded by a special grant, the Boy Scouts of America established a three year program to assist the formation of Scouting in the Siberian part of Russia. A seasoned BSA Scout professional with leadership experience in several local councils and the BSA national staff was appointed as the Project Director. In the next three years, he spent an average of 26 weeks per year in Siberia, primarily recruiting and training unit leaders, developing community level support teams, raising the visibility of Scout activities through the media and developing financial stability.
The project objectives included:
At the beginning of 1995 the Siberian Scout Association reported programs in more than thirty cities and towns in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. In four major Siberian cities–Omsk, Tomsk, Irkutsk and Perm–coordinating committees have been created to function as a local executive board to guide the growth of Scouting in the local community. In the fall of 1995, leaders from these cities and from the Siberian Association attended in-depth training at BSA National Headquarters.
In late 1995, a new BSA Project Director
was named to give leadership to the Siberian Initiative. Over the next several years, he
will spend approximately half his time in Russia. He finished his first visit in April,
1996 and returned to Russia in June.
The president of the Siberian Association of Scouts accompanied three leaders and sixteen Scouts to the 1993 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia in August.
In 1994, Philmont Scout Ranch, the
Northern Frontier National High Adventure Programs, and the Florida National High
Adventure Sea Base each hosted a patrol of Russian Scouts from the Siberian Association.
The patrols visited in the homes of local Scouts near each of the high-adventure bases.
SibAS leaders participated in the International Camp Staff Program exchange in both 1993
and 1994. Exchange programs, pen pal and other interactions have been encouraged.
In August, 1994, 124 Scouts and leaders from the B. S. A. attended the First Russian International Jamboree. Scouts and leaders from many countries joined the Russian Scouts in their celebration in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The 2nd Russian Jamboree is planned for
the summer of 1997 outside Moscow.
The World Friendship Fund and the United States Foundation for International Scouting have been actively involved in helping to re-establish and strengthen Scouting in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Projects have included:
Adapted from the BSA International Division’s "International Update" (1995 Printing), bulletins on the "Siberian Scout Initiative Project" (1993 and 1994), the "1993 International Annual Report" and the "1994 International Annual Report"
History and Traditions of Russian Scouting
|National Organization of Russian Scouts (Australia). The National Organisation of Russian Scouts (N.O.R.S.) carries on traditions of Russian Scouting from its foundation in 1909, through its exile from Russia, and to the present day. The Chief Scout of the National Organisation of Russian Scouts in Australia, has written this short history to create an awareness that Russian Scouting remained active for 85 years and that the rebirth of Scouting in Russia is another phase in a long tradition.|
|Campfire at Pavlovsk: The Park at Pavlovsk was the location of the first Russian Scout campfire on April 30, 1909. It is a special place to Russian Scouts, and today is the site of commemorative gatherings as Russian Scouting seeks its roots. Visit the Palace and the Park and learn something of their history and a Russian Scouting tradition.|
Links to Russian Scouting:
|Scouting in Russia reports on the activities of the Boy Scouts of America in Siberia and its Siberian Scouting Intitiative. The Americans work primarily with SiBAS, the Siberian Association of Scouts.|
|SiBAS, the Siberian Association of Scouts supports Scouting east of the Urals with major centers in Omsk, Tomsk, Perm and Irkutsk. (Site Under construction)|
|Network Russia documents the work of the Scout Association of the United Kingdom and British Scouts in St. Petersburg, Moscow and European Russia. The British are working with several associations. The largest, the Federation of Scouts of Russia (FSR) is based near St. Petersburg. Other organizations in European Russia include, the Union of Moscow Scouts, the St. Petersburg Scout Association, and the Volga Scout Association.|
|The Scouts de France are active in the Crimea, Ukraine and Belarus. Other European Scouting organizations, including the Danish and Belgian Scout Associations, are contributing to these efforts.|
|The 1st Russian International Jamboree was held on the shores of Lake Ladoga near St. Petersburg in June, 1994. (Photos by Scott Potter). This site is not currently available.|
|A Chronicle of Scouting in Eastern Europe and Russia. 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. 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.|
|Scouting Along the Silk Road: A Chronicle of Scouting in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Scouting’s emergence in the fabled lands of Central Asia and the Caucasus, including the former Soviet republics, Mongolia and Afghanistan, is chronicled in Scouting Along the Silk Road reporting on the progress of Scouting in 8 countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus.|
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Please write to: Lewis P. Orans
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Last Modified: 11:40 AM on September 19, 1999