Czech Scouts visit Leicester

A Scouting family from Modra a village in the Uherske Hradiste County South east Czech Republic.
The Family, Husband (Zdenek), Wife (Palva), two sons (Vaclav 15, Bernard 9,) and daughter (Ana 16) visited the Great Glen Scout Group, Harborough District as part of an exchange week with a family from Northhants.

Zdenek who is a Scout Leader spoke of the history Scouting in the Czech Republic which started in 1911 by it’s founder, Antonin Benjamin Svojslk who took the idea from Baden Powell’s book (The Foundations of Scouting). And combining this with readings from Ernest Thompson Seton founder of (Woodcraft) he setup a trial camp like BP in 1912, which became the introduction to the movement within the Country.

The Scout movement in Czech Republic did not have a easy run, Zdenek went on to explain that Hitler banned Scouts in 1935 as he saw them as a army style uniformed group. Six years later when the war ended in 1945, The movement re-surfaced, only to be dispandend again in 1948 as a result of a Communist Coup. In 1968 during the Prague Spring, Scouts began to meet openly again only to be shut down again in 1970, though during that period many continued to meet in secret.

After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 Scouts were finally able to meet in public, and in 1990 they were officially registered. Today the Czech Republic Scouts or Skauts as they’re known by, host 53,000 Members from a population of 10 million, making it the largest youth organisation in the Country.

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