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Savez izviđača Hrvatske

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File:SiH badge.png
Membership badge of Savez izviđača Hrvatske

Savez izviđača Hrvatske (SiH; Croat for Scout Association of Croatia) is the Croatian national Scouting organization. As part of Yugoslavia, Croatia was a founding member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1922 to 1948. Independently, Croatia has been a member of the World Organization since 1993. The coeducational Savez Izviđača Hrvatske has 4,821 members as of 2004.


In 1881, Mate Mudrinić founded the Scholar Excursion Society in Vinkovci, modeling it on similar organizations within what was then Austro-Hungary. The Society dealt with premilitary instruction for school children. Similar arganizations spread all over Croatia. As the name implied children went on excursions camping and gained knowledge similar to Scouting.

The first Scout group in what was then Austria-Hungary was founded in Budapest in 1910, and from there the movement spread to Croatia. The first Croatian Scout units were established in late 1913 and 1914. This Scout Association was mentioned as being in the founding of the World Organization.


When the Croatian Scout movement began, Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the first Scout units were founded just prior to World War I, having beein introduced from Hungary. In 1911, the first units in what is now Croatia were founded in Istria, then under Italy; 1912 in Ogulin and other tourist resorts like Lepenica, Đavolji Vir, Plitvice and Sušak. The first Scout units appeared in other major cities as early as 1914. During World War I, Scouts organized places of refuge and fire-fighting units, and served other wartime needs.

Post war

Immediately after the war, in 1919, Croatian Scout groups were reestablished in Slavonski Brod, Vinkovci, Osijek, Ogulin, Virovitica, and shortly after that in other cities. A large number of Scout groups in Slovenia contributed to the establishment of the Scout Parish for Croatia and Slovenia, which was founded in Osijek in 1922. Several Scouts from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia took part at the inaugural meetings of the World Scout Movement in Paris in 1922, and WAGGGS in 1928.

According to a register appeared in 1923 in "Scout", then journal of the Scout Parish for Croatia and Slovenia, there were 14 Scout groups in Croatia, comprising those founded previously in Ogulin, Osijek, Zagreb, Sušak and Bjelovar, and those newly founded in Petrinja, Nova Gradiška, Koprivnica, Bakar, Ruma, Daruvar, Krapina, and Krk. The terms then used were vod (patrol), jato (pack), četa (troop), stjeg (group), and for members: skaut, planinka (girl Scout), brđanin (rover), brđanka (female rover), poletarac (cub Scout), vođa (leader), četovođa (troop leader), skaut master (Scoutmaster).

Political interferences

In 1923, the King himself became patron of Yugoslav Scouts. Yet, in 1929 all associations not bearing 'Yugoslav' in their names were banned. However, Croatian Scouts existed until the end of World War II, bearing Croatian in their name, with the checkerboard pattern from the Coat of Arms of Croatia as their emblem and standing openly against the Monarchy. In the territory occupied by the Partisans, Young Pioneers appeared during World War II, leading to the cooption of Croatian Scouting in 1946.

Scouting in Yugoslavia was coopted by the Tito government in 1950, at which time WOSM membership was forfeited. Although Croatian Scouts were expelled from the membership rolls of WOSM in 1951, the organization did not stop its work. As early as 1950, members of the Pioneer organization, Pioneer-Scouts, were selected to be trained to lead camps and excursions. The first training was organized from May 19-25, 1950. This date, May 19th, is celebrated as Scouts' Day in Croatia. These trainings were organized by regions. The most detailed documentation still extant is of Bjelovar region training, held from June 13-19, 1950 in Pandurski Jarak near Koprivnica, with 26 leaders present.

The Zagreb training was held in Brežice near Krka in 1950. Berislav Orlović, Ljerka Paver-Kovačević, Kamilo Ferenčak, Mladen Bjažić and Danko Oblak were some of the leaders present. The trainees studied from the Russian manual Vožatago, which was in fact a modified Scout handbook. Scout units were founded across the country in autumn 1950, based on these training sessions. The first Scout groups founded were the Pioneer-Scout troop Mladi Partizan (Young Partisan) and Ivo Lola Ribar Scout troop in Split; Pioneer-Scout troop Bijela Strijela (White Arrow) and a Scout troop at a male grammar-school in Zagreb. Antun Mladen Štern founded the Munja (Lightning) patrol in Osijek's Hall of Culture, which grew into Ivo Lola Ribar Scout group on November 27, 1953.

In 1951, individual Scout associations were founded in all then-Yugoslav republics. The first was Zveza tabornikov Slovenije (ZTS) in Slovenia, and the second was Savez Izviđača Hrvatske (SIH) in Croatia.

The Scout Association of Yugoslavia, Savez Izviđača Jugoslavije, was founded on November 24, 1951 at a meeting held in Zagreb. The Scout movement grew and thrived until the Yugoslav breakup in 1991. Croatian Scouts organized themselves once more in defense efforts, engaged in army education, civil service, evacuation, and in defending their country in battle, many Scouts gave their lives.

Scouting since break with Yugoslavia

The previous Savez Izviđača Hrvatske orientation was changed on June 2, 1991, when new plans and programs and a new Statute were created, and all contacts with the Scout Association of Yugoslavia were broken off. Savez Izviđača Hrvatske returned to its roots as voluntary non-political, educational organization for young people, and were the biggest and most organized Scouts of the former Yugoslavia. It became fully prepared to meet their needs in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals. Their goals are to help the youth of Croatia become responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities. Savez Izviđača Hrvatske received recognition by numerous western nations. On July 19, 1993, World Organization of the Scout Movement voted the Savez Izviđača Hrvatske to full membership, as one of the first Croatian associations granted membership in an international organization.

At the end of 1998, total membership was 3,865 Scouts, and as of 2005 the count was 4,068. Membership in the Scout Association of Croatia is voluntary and open to all who take the Cub Scout Promise and the Scout Oath respectively.

Scouts from Croatia participated in the 1995 World Jamboree in Holland and participate in other Jamborees in Europe. In December 1998, Croatia sent 56 Scouts and Leaders to the World Jamboree in Chile.

The Scout Association of Croatia has sponsored and run the humanitarian program called "The Sunrise City Project", a summer camp for children of the 1991 war. Croatian Scouts as well as many Scouts from other countries volunteer as staff. Their aim is to offer a summer camp program to children who have been victims of the war. The resocialization and integration of these children into society is a major goal. The Sunrise City Project began in the summer of 1993 and has been held every year. Since 1993, 1,525 affected children, 1,648 Scouts and 526 volunteers from Croatia and other countries have participated in Sunrise City.

Sections and ideals

There are four sections of Scouting based on age:

  • Cub Scouts-ages 8 to 11
  • Scouts-12 to 15
  • Venture Scouts-ages 16 to 20
  • Rangers and Rovers-21 on

The Scout Motto is "Budi Pripraven" ("Be Prepared")

Cub Oath:

Voljeti i upoznavati svoju domovinu,
Postivati Bozje zapovijedi,
Ispunjavati Zakone poletaraca i
Svaki dan uciniti nesto dobro.
I promise that I will: love and learn about my country,
Obey God's commandments,
Fulfill the Cub Scout Laws and
Do a good turn every day.

Scout Oath:

Svojom cascu potvrdujem da cu
Voljeti i upoznavati svoju domovinu,
Postivati bozje zapovijedi,
Uvijek pomagati ljudima,
Zivjeti i raditi po Izviđačkim zakonima.
On my honor, I promise that I will Love and learn about my country,
Obey God's commandments. Help other people at all times,
Live and do upon the Scout Laws.


Cub Scout Laws

  1. Poletarac je dobar drug, pravedan i hrabar. (A Cub Scout is a good fellow, just and brave.)
  2. Poletarac postuje svoje roditelje i starije. (A Cub Scout respects his parents and elders.)
  3. Poletarac dobro uci, vrijedan je i nesebican. (A Cub Scout is a good student, devoted and unselfish.)
  4. Poletarac voli i cuva prirodu. (A Cub Scout loves and preserves nature.)

Scout Laws

  1. Izviđač je dobar prijatelj, vedar i drustven. (A Scout is a good friend, cheerful and sociable.)
  2. Izviđač postuje roditelje i starije, a pomaze mladima i slabijima. (A Scout respects his parents and elders and helps the younger and weaker.)
  3. Izviđač stalno uci i primjenjuje nova znanja. (A Scout learns constantly and applies the acquired knowledge.)
  4. Izviđač je koristan clan zajednice u kojoj zivi. (A Scout is a useful member of his community.)
  5. Izviđač je cestit, uljudan i nesebican. (A Scout is moral, courteous and unselfish.)
  6. Izviđač je vrijedan, istrajan i cijeni rad. (A Scout is devoted, persistent and cherishes work.)
  7. Izviđač voli prirodu, upoznaje ju i cuva. (A Scout loves nature, learns about nature and preserves it.)
  8. Izviđač odgovorno izvrsava zajednicke odluke. (A Scout implements mutual decisions responsibly.)
  9. Izviđač cijeni i razvija duhovne i kulturne vrijedonsti. (A Scout cherishes and develops spiritual and cultural values.)
  10. Izviđač skrbi o svom zdravlju i tjelesnoj sposobnosti, i kloni se stetnih navika. (A Scout cares about his health and fitness and avoids bad habits.)
  11. Izviđač cuva cast i ugled svoje udruge i cijelog Izviđačkog pokreta. (A Scout protects the integrity and honor of his organization and the Scout Movement.)
  12. Izviđač je cast da mu vjeruju. (A Scout's honor is to be trusted.)

International Scout units in Croatia

In addition, there are Girl Scouts of the USA Overseas in Zagreb, serviced by way of USAGSO headquarters in New York, as well as American Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, linked to the Horizon District of the Transatlantic Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which supports units in west-and-central Europe, the Near East and North Africa.

External links and references

Much of this article was distilled from the Savez Izviđača Hrvatske website.