Staying prepared since 1912

Youth movements did not start with scouting, as religious groups, self-developing clubs, self-organising teams have always existed. But we do not know any other popular movements that had such a great influence on the youth and that still exists. Its unbroken popularity is owing to its basic principles like openness; because anybody could join the scout movement regardless of origin, social situation or religion. Probably, its independence from politics also did good to the movement. It was not easy to ignore politics when certain youth movements were considered by the public as child-sections of the Party.

Retired lieutenant general of the British Army Robert Baden-Powell alias BP was the founder of the scout movement. After the Boer War, he decided to use his experiences and write a reference book on military scouting. For his great surprise, the volume became extremely popular with school-boys, which inspired him to write the book ‘Scouting for Boys’, and it spread in the British Empire rapidly after its publication.


The scout movement started in Hungary in 1910, and was institutionalized in 1912 in the frame of the Hungarian Scout Association. Unfortunately, Hungarians were not allowed to participate in the first World Scout Jamboree after the war, but they had such great successes on the following ones that Hungary could organise the 4th World Scout Jamboree in Gödöllő in 1933. Chief scout Count Pál Teleki and chief scout of the world Sir Robert Baden-Powell inspected the camp every day. Several records were made about the arrangements and the opening ceremony as well.

Scouts were dismissed by the Arrow Cross Party in 1944, and later the communists merged them into the Pioneers Association in 1948, which meant the end of the movement. Surprisingly, the leadership of MSZMP (Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party) demanded to delete the following expression from the statutes: ‘the child-section of the Party’. The democratic scouting work could restart only in 1989.

Translated by Zita Aknai


More thematic virtual exhibitions