Ludek VAJNER (Ludek.Vajner@LFMOTOL.CUNI.CZ)
Thu, 8 Feb 1996 10:18:49 -0600
New subscribers: VAJNERS, Czech Republic. Members of the 18th Old
Scout Club (guild) in Prague 6. Two children - daughter Olga, 11, son
Petr,6. Interested in Rover&Ranger activities and in Family Scouting.
Ludek Vajner, 42, veterinarian, senior lecturer of Dept Histol &
Embryol, 2nd Med Fac, Charles Univ Prague; Olga Vajnerova, 38,
veterinarian, senior lecturer of Dept Physiol, 2nd Med Fac, Charles
Univ Prague, vicepresident of the Czech Old Scout Guild, a ranger
I'm very sorry I sent my first message in a such terrible encoded
appearance. Now I repeat my message in the decoded form.
Family Scouting - A new specific activity
in the Czech Old Scout Guild
Three years ago, in spring 1993, we (Ludek VAJNER and Olga
VAJNEROVA) decided to try to create a new style of scouting for young
families, i.e. families with children aged 0-6 years.
The immediate inducement came from our own family circumstances
that we felt as some problems and wanted to solve them. Of course we
realized these problems were almost the same for all families under
These problems were:
- The support of the compactness of a family during busy days.
- The getting over the relative and absolute isolation of the woman
during the early children's childhood, isolation in woman's job and
in previous friend relations.
- The need of interchanging experience of children.
So we decided to arrange a summer camp for similar families. We
employed the proffer of the help given by several older scouters -
psychologist Vaclav BRICHACEK (former chief of Czechoslovak Scouts
and Guides), Jana PFEIFFEROVA (former president of the Czechoslovak
Old Scout Guild), composer Karel JANOVICKY (former music editor of
BBC, London), Vladimir KOPRIVA (former president of the Czech Old
Scout Guild), and Jan PFEIFFER, professor of rehabilitative medicine
at Charles Univ, Prague, and their guests, Radovan ZAK, professor of
biochemistry at Univ Chicago, and Jiri DUNOVSKY, professor of the
child emergency centre at Charles Univ. All they acted as camp
The summer camp took place at a chalet in Giant Mountains in
August 1993, four families were present, each with two children aged
from 3 to 9 years. The camp programme consisted of a part for all
parents - lectures, practicals and discussions on various topics (see
trainers) during mornings and evenings, of a part for all children -
some games or creative activities during mornings (under the
"command" of one parent from the "couple-in-charge" - at this camp we
used for these purposes "mixed couples", i.e. man and woman from
different families, while the second parent provided the camp with
cooking and similar duties), and of a family part - the time in
afternoons reserved for either individual or common family
activities. The camp lasted seven days.
During this camp we established the Family Scouting Paper, based
on our common experience. There were several reasons of the existence
of such style of scouting:
- Many rovers and rangers or young scouters leave scouting for
they "have no time" for the full scout activities in troops in the
state of matrimony.
- Many young families with little children must learn their new
roles as a married couple and as parents.
- Many women must solve the encounter between roles of the
mother and of the working woman.
- Many couples find themselves alone among their friends that
have no child yet.
- Many families loose or free contacts with their parental
families and feel a vacuum without a wider family.
The attempt of the solution we see in meetings of families all
the year. The determining condition for forming such groups seems to
be the closely similar age of children.
We stated several spheres in which the cooperation of families
seems to be very useful.
- Usual trips or hikes with unusual activities (e.g. we
inspired ourselves with some Outward Bound activities).
- Meetings at cultural gatherings.
- Meetings with some specialists (e.g. in psychology,
pediatrics, room-design etc.).
- Reciprocal help in baby-sitting, moving etc.
All such activities lead to the improvement of the self-
education and the feeling of appurtenance not only in parents but
even in so young children. This is very important difference from
purely recreation activities or "pre-scouting" for little children.
We think they have time enough for typical scout activities in their
future patrols and troops.
This situation is up-to-date for us now, after three years.
We do not know in what it will result. There are some
possibilities - to continue in gathering new couples with little
children, or to change ourselves into a typical Old Scout Club
(guild), or to join existing Old Scout Club (guild). The second one
seems to be the most probable in us.
We have arranged further camps in 1994 and 1995. At these camps
we have tried to prepare in addition our own lectures and practicals,
according to our individual interests and jobs; we think it has gone
Please send us your opinions on this scouting style. We shall
especially appreciate your own experience, both similar and quite
different, with this phenomenon, the Family Scouting.
Please use as subject Family Scouting.
In this recent time our Family Scouting Club (guild) consists of
seven families in Prague, we know several similar groups of scout
families (but they have rather different conception of activity). In
spite of some differences (better: thank heavens for such a
diversity!) the Family Scouting will probably become an integral part
of the Czech Old Scout Guild.
Yours in Guiding Olga
Yours in Scouting Ludek
Yours in Family Scouting Vajners
Vladimir.Sykora@vscht.cz (our "FS secretary")
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City