• August 7, 2014
  • 84

Rebirth of Polish scouting in the Lithuanian enclave of Polish identity

Polish scouting, keeping true to its founders’ ideals, raises young people in the spirit of Christian and national traditions, encourages to be ready for tasks requiring responsibility, and learns respect to the Creator’s work and, above all, other people’s dignity.

For some reason, a couple years ago, Polish scouting diminished in Šalčininkai, the enclave of Polish identity in Lithuania. The youth were willing to form a troop but there were no qualified leaders or legal grounds to establish an activity operating under the motto “God, Honour, Fatherland.” After many failed attempts at getting qualified help in Lithuania, the Stanisław Moniuszko Troop in Białystok of the Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland decided to lent them a helping hand and invited fifteen students of Jan Śniadecki Gymnasium in Šalčininkai for a summer camp in Borki.

The main theme of the camp was a Polish children’s book Akademia pana Kleksa by Jan Brzechwa. The activities included watching the film clips; learning basic rules of ecology and first aid; meeting forest rangers, firefighters, and professional soldiers; outdoor and strategic games; visiting Białystok and the Jurassic Dinosaur Park; night alarm and appeals; all of this, along with campfires, hiking, festivals, contests, and parties, made the participants unite, work on their own self-improvement, and learn the basics of the scouting life.

The inexhaustible camp staff worked hard for everyone to have fun: Troop Scout Leader Marta Wyszkowska, Assistant Troop Scout Leader Agata Pietryszyk, Šalčininkai Group Scout Leader Gabriela Sewioło, and other Scout Leaders: Justyna Bielska, Emilia Płoszczuk, Dominika Bazyluk, and Agnieszka Janoszuk. Deputy Scout Leader Krzysztof Wiśnioch served wonderfully as a Białystok guide and Scout Leader Maciej Radziszewski gave four oldest participants a chance to spent a night in the forest.

We had twelve fantastic days of fun, relax, learning, self-improvement, brotherhood, and other elements important in young people’s development.

We are immensely glad that students of our gymnasium will be able to follow the scouting trail and reach highest ideals, teach themselves, be better, conquer all their weaknesses, and, as Robert Baden-Powell hoped, try to “leave this world a little better than you found it.”

Vice-Principal of Jan Śniadecki Gymnasium in Šalčininkai Beata Mockienė

Translated by Michał M. Kowalski within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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