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[rec.scouting.*] Scouting Around the World Pt. 1 (FAQ 8)

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Subject: Lists of associations, oaths, promises and statistics Many more Oaths and Promises from around the world can be found at: There are more than 25 million Scouts, young people and adults, male and female, in 216 countries and territories. Scouting organizations are often associated with one or more large associations or confederations of organizations. Information on organizatinos and statistics about them are often available at the association sites. The World Oganization of the Scouting Movement is the largest confederation of Scouting organizations in the world Links to organizations affiliated with the (WOSM) can be found at: The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is the largest confederation of Guides in the world. Links to organizations affiliated with the WAGGGS can be obtained at Links to organizations affiliated with the Scouts of Europe: Links to organizations affiliated with the European Confederation of Scouting (Confédération Européenne de Scoutisme) and the The European Scout Federation (FSE) Links to organizations affiliated with F.S.E. Fédération du Scoutisme Européen: Links to organizations affiliated with the World Federation of Independent Scouts:
Subject: Australia For Scouting see: Scouting Australia: Guides Austrailia, Inc.
Subject: Scouting in Canada Scouts Canada , with which is affiliated with the Association des Scouts du Canada Girl Guides of Canada
Subject: Scouting in the Czech Republic Let me introduce JUNK - the Association of the Boyscouts and Girl Guides in the Czech Republic. Members of WOSM and WAGGGS Skautské køiovatce. Our organization was founded by A.B.Svojs=A1k in 1911. JUN`AK was banned after the nazi occupation in 1940, after the communist coup in 1948 and after the Soviet occupation of our country in 1970. Scouts were persecuted, but all the time, scouting had been continued here, even illegally. Since 1989 we have existed legally again. At the moment we are members of IFOFSAG, WOSM and WAGGGS. We are the merged organization (one organization, one administration, but too different programs for boyscouts and girl guides, no coeducation). At the moment our organization has got approximately 70 000 members (our country has got 10 000 000 citizens). We are using these age ranks : (info about spelling: because I can't send the Czech alphabet through the Internet, instead of the "hacek", originally a small "v" above the letter, I have to use " ~ " before it, instead of the "carka", originally a small comma above the letters, I used " ' " before it and instead of "krouzek", a small circle above the letter, I use " ` ") 6-11 years vl~cata/wolf cubs and sv~etlu~sky/fire flies (the name for our brownies was chosen by the book Brou~cci by Jan Karafi'at) 12-15 skauti/boyscouts and skautky/girl guides 15-18(25...) rove~ri/rovers and rangers 18-... oldskauti/oldscouts [The czech scout law and promises have been moved to the "law and promises" article at the end of this FAQ] As you can see, the Czech scouts promise is quite unusual. It's because of the historical background. In 1911, when our movement was founded, our state didn't exist yet. The area of the todays Czech Republic was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empeire. Czech people didn't like that absolutistic state at all (government tried to oppress them not to use the Czech language and to speak German, in the last years there was a strong police state etc.). The main supports for regime were the army, the police and the catholic church. These were the reasons, that in our promise wasn't the loayality to the king or to the supreme being expressed.
From: (Niels Kristian Jensen) Subject: Scouting in Denmark Date: 11 Sept 2000 From: (Niels Kristian Jensen) The full text of the "Scouting in Denmark FAQ" can be found here: In Denmark we have several Scout associations; The Danish Guide and Scout Association (Det Danske Spejderkorps DDS) , YMCA Scouts (KFUM-spejderne) , YWCA Scouts (KFUK-spejderne), The Baptist Scouts of Denmark (Danske Baptisters Spejderkorps DBS) , The Guide and Scout Association of Greenland (Det Groenlandske Spejderkorps DGS) and The Scout Council of the Faroe Islands. There is one additional uniformed organization called FDF , but they insist on NOT being scouts (they originate from the British Boy's Brigade).
Subject: Scouting in Finland GUIDING AND SCOUTING IN FINLAND Guiding and Scouting were established simultaneously in Finland in 1910. The two separate Unions were merged to form a single National Organization in 1972. The assosiation is called The Guides and Scouts of Finland (Suomen Partiolaiset - Finlands Scouter ry) and consists of 18 Member Districts, one of which is swedish- speaking (Finlands Svenska Scouter rf - The Swedish-speaking Guides and Scouts in Finland). The organization is affiliated to the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) as well as to the World Assosiation of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
Subject: Scouting in France In France, there are about 80 scouting organizations. Here are the descriptions of the main French organizations. 1) Scouting organizations to the Federation du Scoutisme Français (french scouting federation) which is the only belonging to WOSM : 1-1 Scouts de France : Catholic, co-educated (since 1982), 100'000 people (+ 15'000 adults) in 1300 scout groups, belonging to CICS (Conference Internationale Catholique du Scoutisme) * 5 ages : 6-8 years old : Sarabandes (beavers), they wear brown jumpers 8-12 years old : Louveteaux & Louvettes, they wear yellow shirts 11-15 years old : Scouts & Scoutes, they wear blue shirts 14-18 years old : Pionnier & Pionnieres, they wear red shirts 17-21 years old : Compagnons, they wear green shirts * Structure : France is divided into 21 Regions. A Region consists of 4-5 Departemental Collectivities called CoDeps. And finally CoDeps are divided into Groups with 1 or 2 of Meutes (Cub Packs), Troupes (Scout Troops), Postes (Venture Scout Units) or Relais (Rover Units). * History : Scouts of France organization was created on 25 July 1920 by Jacques Sevin and Father Cornette. * Website : 1-2 Guides de France : Catholic, girls only, 25'000 people, belonging to WAGGGS and CICG (Conférence Internationale Catholique du Guidisme) * Age range : 6-8 years old : Farandole 8-12 years old : Jeannettes (Brownies), they wear light blue shirts 12-14 years old : Guides, they wear dark blue shirts 14-17 years old : Caravelles, they wear red shirts 17-20 years old : Jeunes en Marche (JEM), mixed, wear green shirts. * Structure : It is the same as Scouts of France. * History : Guides of France organization was created on 1923. * Website : 1-3 Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses de France (EEDF) : 10'000 people, laics, mixed. * Ages : as in Scouts of France * History : created in 1911 * Website : 1-4 Eclaireurs et Eclareuses Unionistes de France (EEUF) : 10'000 people, protestant origin but open to everybody, mixed * Ages : 8-12, 12-16, 16-18 * History : created in 1911 1-5 Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses Israelites de France (EEIF) : 5'000 people, Jewish. * History : created in 1923 * Website : 1-6 Scouts Mulsulmans de France : Muslims, created in 1990. 2) Organizations not belonging to Federation du Scoutisme Français and thus not recognized by WOSM (but got the french government's approval) : 2-1 Guides & Scouts Unitaires de France : 25'000 people, catholics, boys & girls, not mixed. * Ages : 8-12, 12-18. * Structure : SUF has a very different structure from the other scouting organizations. Scout groups are almost independent. * History : Scouts Unitaires de France organization was created on 1971 by indepedent scout groups. 2-2 Federation des Scouts d'Europe (FSE) : 31'000 people, religious, sometimes paramilitaristic and integrist tendencies, boys and girls not mixed. * History : Federation des Scouts d'Europe was created on 1963 after a secession in the Scouts of France organization. Today this organization is said to be by religious people. At this time, FSE has many problems with the French youth ministry: it may lose the government's approval because they are said to have sold their members lists to extremist groups (which they deny). * Website :
Subject: Scouting in Germany - DPSG its a little bit difficult to describe Scouting in Germany, as there is nothing like *the* Scouting here. In Germany there are about 40 different Scout-Organizations. Three of them belong to the WOSM, which are the BdP (Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder), VCP (Verband Christlicher Pfadfinder) and DPSG (Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft St. Georg) .
Subject: Japan Boy Scouts of Nippon Girl Scouts of Japan (member of WAGGGS)
Subject: Scouting in the Netherlands (Holland) Since 1973 there is one scouting-organisation called: 'Scouting Nederland'. Scouting Nederland has the objective: 'to promote the Scoutingprogramme in The Netherlands, based on the ideas of Lord Baden-Powell, .... '. The total membership figure (all ages) of 1992 is, according to the annual report: 114.845; i.e. 85.266 juniors and 29.579 adults. Scouting Nederland is a member of both WOSM and WAGGGS.
Subject: Scouting in Indonesia The Scouting Movement of the Republic of Indonesia has a membership of about 15 million people (out of a population of 190 million) which is the largest in the world.
Subject: Scouting in Norway. In Norway we have several scout-associations, NSF, YMCA and YWCA. However, they are cooperating well, I think (At least so in this town, Bergen). NSF (Norges SpeiderForbund Norwegian Scout Association) is mixed boys and girls , they were two separate associations, but joined their forces in '78. YMCA (KFUM in Norwegian) is only men, as the name suggests, however I think they are closely linked with YWCA nowadays, and there may be exceptions, such as female scoutmasters. YWCA is the female counterpart. I will after this speak about NSF only, since that's the organisation I'm a member of. Most of it will apply for the other assications too, though, at least the major parts. NSF is divided into 4 age-groups: 6-7: Bever scouts (this one is fairly new, not so many have them yet). 8-10: Cub scouts. 11-16: Scouts (I really have no other name for them. :-)) 16+ : Rovers. The lower age for a scoutmaster is 17 years, however it is possible to become an assistant scoutmaster from the age of 16 years. Many scoutmasters are also rovers, and scoutmasters and rovers are often two names of the same group of scouts. There IS no official higher age for rovers, but the natural limit is somewhere around 22-23 years, when one often go away, get married or simply get other interests. In Norway we belive that scouting is outing, and try to do as much of our activities as possible in the nature. We have national camps every 4th year, and regional camp every 4th year, in such a way there will be two years between every major camp. In addition the groups have camps of their own, and there is also arranged national camps for rovers in particular, since they will often have other interests than younger scouts. A typical size for a national camp nowadays is 19.000 scouts, and the last regional camp in Bergen counted 650 scouts. This was with guests, though, there is always guest from other countries at our camps, and even at our last regional camp we had 150 foreign guests, some even from so far away as Spain. Last, a little tip for all those who leave their group for studies: towns, so those who want to continue with scouting when they leave town can join those groups. I know they have a lot of fun, and at least the one in Trondheim is a large resource when it comes to arranging national evenements. However, I guess Bjoern Arne can tell you more about that (
Subject: Russia After the downfall of the USSR, Scout units are emerging again in all the former Soviet republics. Scout UK has launched several programs to ducts of this project is a publication called Network Russia. Network Russia's goal is to encourage assistance to Russian Scouting and to ease relations and exchanges. You can get at least 3 copies of the printed edition each year by sending 2-50 to Network Russia, Oxfordshire County Scout Association, 22nd Oxford Scout HQ, Meadow Lane, Donnington, Oxford OX4 4BJ. To get a copy of the premier issue, ftp to and look in the directory for the file "network-russia-9306".
Subject: Singapore The Singapore Scouting Association The Scout promise in singapore I promise that I'll do my best, to do my duty to god and to the republic of singapore to help other people and to keep the Scout law. ------------------------------ Subject: Scouting in Slovenia Programme for different age ranges (branches): Cub Scouts - boys and girls (age 7-11) By The Jungle Book everything happens in the framework of happy family and through a joyful game. However, we are not playing our imaginary world, but we live it. By playing, which is the basic element of our work, we try to attain the objects of the annual programme, of the individual's personal growth, resposibility, and serving. The youngest members have a special Promise and Law to suit their age. They practice in group of six, united in a Pack, which is led by Akela and the assistants (Baghira, Baloo, Kaja...) Boy Scouts and Girl Guides (age 11 - max. 16) The members carrying out their activities in Patrols (6 - 9 of the same sex) in the progressive process of education, which is divided into five upbringing stages, attain all the objects of the Scout education. The fundamental method of work consists in adopting the way of adveture and selfeducation - on the basis of democratic decisions made at the Troop Council - as one's own attitude towards aducation and life. The Troop Leader's role is to arrange the way out of the members initiatives, and partly out of their own, as companions, as older brothers. After having travelled over the first stage, boys and girls make the Scout Promise. After having passed the whole process, or at the age of 16, they may pass to the higher branch. Their education is based on small groups of the same sex, led by one of them, and founded upon adventure, ambientation, technical skills and life in the nature. Rovers and Rangers (age 16 - max. 21) The Branch is divided into two parts. During the first part, the Novitiate, young people in groups of boys and girls first ao all learn to live together. Now, they must live as young men and women. Special emphasis is laid od the community and on challenges, which can be of different kinds - from tramping to disputing. The second part is the life in Clan, which has just like branch Boy Scouts and Girl Guides - a vertical structure and two Leaders. If possible we try to provide for their own Spiritual Assistant. Three elements are amphasized: the process, community and serving. The man departure is being educated. At the age of 21 he will be able to make decisions of his own as a man or woman. For this purpose the following educational elements are used: simplicity, living together, respect for one another in mixed groups, and personal serving, which is voluntary, individual, unpaid work for benifit of others. At the end of this process each member writes a letter of departure commiting himself/herself to live either as Scout of Guide for certain period of time without help of community or as Leader in the Associatiion, or to work in humanitarian insitutions or in politics. As we are in stage of abnormal growth, special programme directions for particular groups are not catered for. As an association we are aware of the fact that we have to be open to all. This is our standpoint when accepting new members. We put no limits to anyone because he or she is different. Therefore in the groups there are persons who are different (disabled, unbelivers etc.). Our international relations are quite intense, yet we are mainly users, as we are trying togather as much experience of others, we try to integrate them into our Scouting. We intensively cooperate with AGESCI and also with other Scout Associations (Poland, Spain, Austira, Ireland...) Particular attention is paid to the training of new leaders in order to set up the operation of our Association - and of its every Branch - in the most accomplished possible way, and as much autenthically to our Founder's bases, to the age of our members, and to our environmental conditions as possible. We are among the members of MSS - Slovenia, which has been founded after democratic changes in 1991. We have assumed the responsibility of carrying out some tasks for the benifit of young people in Slovenia. We are included in the Civil Protection organization in case of disasters or other misfourtunes. We cooperate with the Church and with local communities that are just arising at present. The programme is always based on the analysis of our environment. Moreover, we try to answer the needs of our surroundings with our initiatives, programmes, and with our work. Thus our activities are closely connected with our life in concrete circumstances. In spite of all our initial difficulties, which we admit and are aware of, the activity of our Association echoes far and wide, and sometimes it resounds even more than wished. But we alwalys try to do our best in accordance with Scout slogan.
From: (Anders Wennerberg) Subject: Scouting in Sweden THE SWEDISH GUIDE AND SCOUT COUNCIL (Svenska Scoutr}det - SSR) This is a co-operative body for the Swedish Guide and Scout associations. Over the years it had developed co-operative bodies for boy- as well as girl scouting in Sweden, and after the merge to co-educational associations a joint committee was formed in 1968 origin from these two bodies - The Swedish Guide and Scout Union, with the working title The Swedish Guide and Scout Council. In 1982 the name was changed to be solely The Swedish Guide and Scout Council. SSR is a member of WAGGGS and WOSM. The Swedish Guide and Scout Council deal with most international matters as well as joint questions and projects concerning the five associations (~150000 members). All five associations have mixed boys and girls and they have their own leadership training within their own organisations, through the local troop, on a district level, on a regional level and on a national level. Trefoil/Gilwell courses are arranged every year. Leaders are from almost all age groups. It is usual that a group has leaders of quite different age. Leaders are both old scouts and parents. I believe there is a majority of non-parents. It is not a tradition that parents follow their kids through the different age groups; instead they tend to stay in the same age group a number of years. There is no notion of ranks (like Star, Life, Eagle as in the BSA) in any of the scouting associations. There are however merit badges. The scout uniform differs in the five associations. Usually half uniform is worn - shirt and scarf. The Gilwell scarf is the same for the five associations and is worn over the collar. Amongst other things, in Stockholm, G|teborg (Gothenburg) and Malm| there are Reception Teams to receive and help you with contacts into the country. Contact The Swedish Guide and Scout Council before you come to Sweden. (Some facts of Sweden - almost 9 million people in Sweden, the biggest towns are Stockholm - capital of Sweden, G|teborg (Gothenburg) and Malm|, Sweden is measuring 1574 km (977 miles) from max. south-north, 499 km (310 miles) max. east-west and the total surface area is 449964 km^2 (173731 sq.miles), from south to north by road ~2100 km (~1305 miles). Sweden is a country with an extensive coastline, a very nice archipelago, woods, countryside, mountains and alp scenery.) The council also represents Swedish guiding and scouting in the world associations and other members countries as well as other organizations, authorities and keeping in contact with the public. Postal address: Visiting address: Svenska Scoutr}det Igeldammsgatan 22 P.O. Box 49005 Stockholm S-100 28 Stockholm Telephone: + 46 (0)8 650 35 35 Sweden Telefax: + 46 (0)8 653 07 43 THE SALVATION ARMY GUIDE AND SCOUT ASSOCIATION (Fr{lsningsarmens Scoutf|rbund - FA) Founded 1916, 3000 members in 55 groups. FA Scout is a branch of the local Salvation Army Young People's Corps. The program is characterized by traditional scout activities with outdoor life, international awareness and community involvement. But the aim also includes definite guidance towards making a personal decision to accept the Christian faith and life style. There are four sections of activities, both boys and girls take part in all four. The shirt is medium blue with a red scarf that is worn underneath the collar. Minior scout (7-9 yrs) Junior scout (10-11 yrs) Patrol scout (12-14 yrs) Senior scout (15-20 yrs) Troop leaders must be 18 years of age. THE SWEDISH YWCA-YMCA GUIDE AND SCOUT ASSOCIATION (KFUK-KFUMs Scoutf|rbund) The YMCA-Scout Association was founded 1911 and the YWCA-Guide Association in 1921. In 1960 they merged to form The Swedish YWCA-YMCA Guide And Scout Association. 18000 members in 430 groups. Some of the scout groups originate from local YWCA-YMCA groups. But many have other parents organizations. There are Baptist scouts, Adventist scouts, Blue-band scouts, Methodist scouts, Swedish Salvation Army scouts, although most groups are independent and not in any way associated with the local YWCA- YMCA group or with any church. The aim of all activities is to give the members various experiences, understanding and knowledge of outdoor life, with consciousness of the environment, questions of faith and moral issues, a sense of international responsibility and involvement in public affairs. There are five sections of scouting, both boys and girls take part in all five. The shirt is medium blue with a white (or the group's colour) scarf that is worn underneath the collar. Beaver scouts (5-7 yrs) Minior scouts (8-9 yrs) Junior scouts (10-11 yrs) Patrol scouts (12-15 yrs) Rover scouts (16- yrs) THE TEMPERANCE GUIDE AND SCOUT ASSOCIATION (Nykterhetsr|relsens Scoutf|rbund - NSF) Scouting began as an activity within the Swedish Temperance Movement in 1927. Four decades it was run by two different associations, NTO's Guide and Scout Association and IOGT's Guide and Scout Association. In 1970 they were united and became NSF. 7000 members in 120 groups. A fundamental principle of NSF, along with the Guide/Scout law and promise, learning by doing, the patrol system, outdoor life and international, is personal temperance. Members over 12 years of age make a temperance pledge. This means they do not drink any beverage with more than 2.25 % of alcohol by volume. There are four sections of scouting, both boys and girls take part in all four. The shirt is medium blue with a dark-blue scarf that is worn underneath the collar. Beaver scouts (7 yrs) as a trial activity Minior scouts (8-9 yrs) Junior scouts (10-11 yrs) Patrol scouts (12-15 yrs) Senior scouts (16- yrs) THE GUIDE AND SCOUT ORGANISATION OF THE SWEDISH COVENANT YOUTH (Svenska Missionsf|rbundets Ungdom-scout - SMU-scout) Founded 1931, 35000 members in 545 groups. The Guide and Scout Organisation of The Swedish Covenant Youth is part of the activities within youth work of the Swedish Covenant Church. The program is characterized by traditional scout activities with outdoor life, questions of faith and moral issues, learning by doing, the patrol system, international awareness and responsibility, community involvement and guidance towards a personal Christian faith and life style. There are four sections of scouting, both boys and girls take part in all four. The shirt is green with a brick-red scarf that is worn over the collar. Nying scout don't wear full uniform, just a yellow scarf. Nying scout (7-9 yrs) Scout (10-12 yrs) Teenage (13-15 yrs) Senior scouts (16-18 yrs) After 18 years of age you become leader. There is 1 sea scout troop. THE SWEDISH GUIDE AND SCOUT ASSOCIATION (Svenska Scoutf|rbundet - SSF) Founded 1912, 82000 members in 635 groups. The Swedish Guide And Scout Association is a non-political organization, which runs scout activities for children, young people and adults, from 7 years of age and upwards. There are five sections of scouting, both boys and girls take part in all five. The shirt is medium blue with a white (or the group's colour) scarf that is worn underneath the collar. Beaver scouts (7 yrs) Minior scouts (8-9 yrs) Junior scouts (10-11 yrs) Patrol scouts (12-14 yrs) Senior scouts (15-18 yrs) Members over 18 years old are leaders and can also form a rover scout unit. There are about 150 sea scout troops along our coasts.
Subject: Scouting in Switzerland See:
Subject: Scouting in Liechtenstein see:
Subject: Scouting in the UK The Scout Association is the largest Scouting organization in the United Kingdom. They are a member of the WOSM Information on the Scout Association can be found at: SSAGO (Student Scout and Guide Orgaisation) SSAGO is the official organisation for Scouts and Guides at University or College in the UK. SSAGO clubs covering over 30 Universities and Colleges exist, with programs both active and social much like a Venture Scout or Ranger Guide unit. At the institutions not covered by clubs, students can join SSAGO directly as "Individual" members. Web Page: Email: F.S.E. (Fe`de`ration du Scoutisme Europe`en) of Great Britain. The F.S.E. is a very small traditional Scout organization and has nothing to do with the mainstream organization "The Scout Association". The F.S.E. of GB is a member of an organization called C.E.S. (Confederation of European Scouts), a pan-European organization which binds traditional Scouting organizations together across Europe. More information can be found at: Baden-Powell Scout Association
Subject: Scouting in the USA There are two organizations within the United States that use the word Scouts in their title: Information on the Boy Scouts of America (a member of WOSM) can be found at: Information on the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) (a member of WAGGGS) can be found at: There are other organizations in the United States that have historical roots either with Scouting or Guiding in the United States or elsewere: Information on the Campfire Boys and Girls can be found at: Alpha Phi Omega (USA) Alpha Phi Omega is a National Service Fraternity whose cardinal principles are Leadership, Friendship and Service. Out program of service is directed to four areas: Campus, Community, Nation, and Fraternity. We were founded by former Boy Scouts who wanted to continue Scouting ideals in the college setting. We have about 350 active chapters in the United States and more than 225,000 students have chosen Alpha Phi Omega. There are about 150 chapters of Alpha Phi Omega, Philippines and we are interested in extending to other countries. We were founded in 1929, until 1967 membership was only former Boy Scouts, however today membership is now open to any college student, male or female. We are not a social fraternity. We have no selective or exclusive membership requirements and there is absolutely no hazing. We maintain strong ties to its Scouting roots. HOWEVER, the BSA does not finance or govern the fraternity in any way. Examples of Service to Scouting include sponsoring Scout troops, staffing Camporees and other functions, cleaning up Scout camps and assisting in fundraising. Address for further information: Alpha Phi Omega National Office 14901 E. 42nd St. Independence, MO 64055-9932
Subject: Vietnam Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1992 14:52:09 GMT My name is Hung Le, and I'm a former cub Scout, boy Scout, venturer, rover Scout and Scouter of BSVN (Boy Scout of Vietnam). Currently, I'm with the Santa Clara County Council, BSA as a unit commissioner. I would like share with all fellow Scouts out there on the Net- work some personal experiences that I have had with the Scout or- ganizations, especially with the BSVN. These experiences are so valuable to my life and my children as well... When I joined the Boy Scouts of Vietnam, my country was torn apart by the war. Everywhere I went, there were always fighting leftovers. It was dangerous to travel, abeit going camping, but even so, we managed to have wonderful times, troop leaders were very creative in finding places for kids to camp, to have a meeting location. Scout meeting was always outdoors, in the open air. A lot of times we went camping without a Scoutmaster because of the mili- tary draft. During my 6 years as a boy Scout, I had three Scout- masters and their average age was about 19 years old. I remember taking my Panther patrol (yes, a Blank Panther), on a trek to a remote waterfall. Each member had to be separated by a distant of 10 meters, so that a bobby trap grenade would not de- cimate the whole patrol. I learned valuable survival skills from the boy Scouts, during the war, not only to help myself, but help to my family and other beings as well. Beside learning knots and semaphores, we also learned camouflaging, how to recognize booby traps, different type of ordnance (by default), and servicing re- fugee camps. Servicing refugee camps was a constant activity for the troops and the posts. Sometimes the pack would chip in their help in making greeting lines for some big shots who come and visited refugee camps. During the Tet offensive of 1968, my ex- plorer post managed a makeshift refugee camp in Dalat province for more than 3 months. This included security for people in the camp (A lot of problems came from rowdy bands of government sol- diers trying to intimidate the female refugees, but when they saw the Scouts, they thought another military unit was handling the refugee camp). This also included searching for food (mostly, by contacting GI units and the government in the area) for refugees. Sanitation was always the biggest task of the day: Talk about cleaning the out-houses for refugees!!! At times we organized 'dare-devil' teams to go into battle areas to retrieve civilian and, sometimes, military bodies to bury or to take back to the city morgue. The morgue was always full during those days. In the city, there was another youth group organized by the Red Cross, and we competed with them in collecting the wounded and the dead, along with other war trophies. One time we collected a "broken" bomb and decorated it as a gate for our refugee camp. It was quite a deterrent for those who passed through that gate. The war also took a personal toll in my life. My very first cub- master was blown up in his Jeep from an ambush. I went to his funeral without seeing his face since there were nothing left to see. The second cubmaster was killed and left behind his pregnant wife and two small girls. The third cubmaster spent almost ten year in the re-education camps. My first patrol leader volun- teered for Airborne division at the age of 17, and came back in a light casket. His mother told me that after he was killed in the DMZ area, he had to wait for a few months for transport of his body back home... There were so many Vietnamese Scouts in my area that I know never made it to 18th year birthday. Frankly, without Scouting, it would be very hard for me to find solace for those senseless killings. Looking back, I admired all of my Scout leaders. They were true men (unfortunately, I never had any fe- male leaders, even at cub age) of their word, who lived up to Scout promises and Scout laws. At times, they weighed their lives light as a feather, but sometimes, as heavy as the biggest mountain in the north. At that time, deserting from the Army was rampant, but I rarely saw or heard of Scouts were deserters. Even in that bloody environment, I had a blast when I was in Scouting. I had so much opportunities to learn about myself and about other people. Nowhere else in life have I found such deep and emotional relationships. It was not unusual that my whole pa- trol attended Christmas mass with one Catholic member, although 6 out 7 members were Buddists. My favorite patrol member was a Chinese who came to the Scout meeting with Chinese goodies from his father. Many times my patrol went camping near the National Military Academy so that at night times, we could look at the sky, watching the yellow flares in searching for communist in- truders. During teen age, I traveled up and down the coast of Vietnam, hitch hiking with two other Scouts to the Delta areas. We spent two days in a notorious, scary Cambodia village near the border with Vietnam, and had a chance to observe how people were trafficking at the border. A few times, my troop went camping out of town by trekking to the military airstrip. We got in there be- cause we knew well the soldiers at the entry post. Besides I heard that the American Senior Military Advisor there was also a former eagle Scout. We waited for the next empty cargo plane, asked the pilot where is his next stop, then asked for a ride. Many times we had to camp at the dirt spot nearby. It was adven- turous and a lot of fun, and a lot of disapointment too. During the Spring offensive of 1972, I went to the national jam- boree with more than 10,000 Scouts camping in one of the very hot spots near Saigon. The GI Star and Stripes newspaper called it the "Warboree". Every night, there were skirmishes between two ranger batailons and the local communists from the neighborhood village.(It was possible that some of the local boys also parti- cipated in the Jamboree). The opening night was festooned with "Fire Dragons" tracers, shot from C-47 aircraft circulating ahead. Laying their backs on a green grass field, the Scouts tried to decifer beautiful colors from different flares, or 'pfuff pfuff' noise from different types of gunship helicopters. Unforgettable experiences!! The Boy Scouts of Vietnam Association, ceased officially to exist as a member of the World Scout Bureau when the communists took over the South in 1975, but thousands of Vietnamese still join Scout organizations in the country they resided in. Many Scout units were formed in the refugee camp in Philippine, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. I believe in France, there is an official Vietnamese Scout Association operating under the Scout Federation of France. It is estimated that there are more than 3000 Vietnamese Scouts in Vietnamese Scout units world-wide. In 1990, we had the Third International Vietnamese Jamboree in Cutter Camp, Boulder Creek, California, with more than 700 Viet- namese Scouts from 6 countries. The event was also to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Boy Scout of Vietnam. ------------------------------ End of FAQ 8 Part 1 **************************

User Contributions:

Nathan Read
That was very informative it was also very nice I learned a lot.

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