- July 21, 2023
Why do children and young people choose scouting?
The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania is one of the biggest and most dynamic Polish organizations in Lithuania. It is an educational organization that gathers children and the youth. Currently, the organization consists of 700 people actively working for the Polish and Lithuanian communities.
Many teenagers interviewed by LRT.lt say that scouting is a part of their lives.
16-year-old Aurora says that she joined scouting nearly 10 years ago. „ At the age of 7, I became a Brownie Guide. I was very happy about it because I always dreamed of joining the group of scouts. This is because when I was a child I used to listen to my parents’ stories about their scouting experiences, which always piqued my curiosity”- says Aurora.
She adds that scouting is, above all, new experiences and people „Meeting new people from Vilnius, Lithuania, and from abroad but also strong friendships made on the scouting path. Scouting is also a constant development: spiritual, personal, and community development. While being a scout you always learn something new and educate yourself” says the interlocutor.
Aurora emphasises that scouting has made her develop a lot of traits, taught her communication, persistence, and teamwork. „ During my nine-year journey in the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania, I have certainly experienced personality growth. I definitely want to develop further because it’s not the end yet. I learned how to communicate with people, courage to be open for new things, teamwork and persistence” says the girl scout.
„A true scout believes in what he does and does it with all his heart. I think that a scout is a person with a moral backbone who is faithful to his values” she adds.
Aurora says that children and the youth choose scouting because they are curious about the world. In addition, the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania also consists of adults who devote their time to educating young people.
Despite some difficulties, Aurora has never wanted to give up scouting.„ Sometimes there are various demotivating situations that both scouts and people from the outside of the organization face but nice memories keep me from resignation” says the teenager.
16-year-old Ewa wanted to become a scout already in her early childhood. „I have always wanted to be a Girl Scout. I watched cartoons about American Scouts. I wanted to get stamps, buy cookies, and travel, just like them” She smiles.
Ewa explains that she joined scouting the Scouts when she was in 5th grade. „I joined the Scout Association after the scouts came to our school. It was a good decision, I met new people and went to a camp for the first time” says Ewa.
„ I can’t list what I have learned while being a member of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania but I certainly found the courage to start something new ” says Ewa. She adds that scouting also taught her persistence. „ I’m not afraid of beetles and insects as much as I was before” shares the girl scout.
Ewa says that the quarantine had a significant impact in terms of motivation to work in the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania. „My values changed, I lost the motivation to do anything” she says and then adds „ For me, scouting is an opportunity to get to know new people with whom you share interests. In my opinion, a true Scout should always help others, take care of nature, act chivalrously, and set a good example for others” says Ewa.
The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania continues the traditions of the pre-war Polish Scouting Association- Wileńska Chorągiew Harcerzy. It brings together over 10 scouting teams: Wileńska Drużyna Harcerzy “ Orsza” which works at the Church of St. Raphael the Archangel in Vilnius, Szumska Drużyna Harcerzy “Burza” im. ks. bp. Wladysława Bandurskiego works at the parish of Michael Archangel in Shumsk and at school in Kalveliai, Wileńska Drużyna Harcerzy “Czarna Trzynastka” works at Gimnazjum im. Adama Mickiewicza in Vilnius (where they also have a scout hut) and individual patrols work at schools in Suderve and Lazdynai, Wileńska Drużyna Harcerzy “Białe Wilki” im. Aleksandra Krzyżanowskiego “Wilk” works at gimnazjum im. J. I. Kraszewskiego in Vilnius. This is one of the largest and most active teams in the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association in Lithuania, in which there are 45 scouts in patrols, Związek Drużyn Harcerskich “Trop” works at gimnazjum im. Władysława Syrokomli in Vilnius.
Notable scouting events include World Thinking day, Lenten and Advent retreats, ceremonies in Rasos (May 3, November 11), summer and winter campaigns, and many others.
Translated by Patrycja Parzych within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.