Scouting in Romania or Bulgaria
David D. Miller +49 6221 404405 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Fri, 13 Dec 1991 17:43:43 CET
In most of the East European Countries, Scouting is in a bit of a mess at the
moment. Until the past year or so, Scouting in these countries has been
totally illegal, but has been continuing underground. In more than one case,
Scout Associations emerging from underground have found themselves to be one
of many in the same country, leading to conflict about who are the official
Scouts and who are not.
Even Western Germany many different Scout Associations (the most commonly
quoted figure is 70), but only four are recognized by WOSM and WAGGGS.
BSA can only cooperate with three of the four. Many of the remainder are
organized into an Association of Associations, which has international
contacts with similar unofficial Scouts in other countries.
Discussion is currently under way to merge the 20 or so largest unofficial
German Scout associations with the interdenominational Official
association, but the Christians and Catholic associations, which are
far far stronger in terms of membership, dislike the idea.
Many of the smaller associations have some very radical ideas, which don't fit
into Scouting at all: saluting to the national flag at every meeting;
wearing a uniform which shows position in the Troop; working for and earning
merit badges; ... The list goes on.
(The Troop I work with, in the Verband Christlicher Pfadfinder(innen), was
previously in one of the 20 associations which are trying to become recognized.
The idea of going back into contact with the association they left 4 years ago
is something the older Patrol Leaders and the Troop Leader are very much
against. They don't want anything militaristic in 'their' Scouting.)
Back to East Europe: contact your international commissioner, or your
BSA Council/National and ask them if there are known contact points.
If there is no luck there, try the World Bureau in Switzerland. They're
struggling at the moment with the problem of many associations trying
to rejoin world Scouting after a 50 year absence.
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - a unique experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City