Slovenský skauting (Scouting Slovakia), or more properly, Zväz slovenských skautov (in English Union of Slovak Scouts, in Hungarian Szlovák Cserkészszövetség), is the primary national Scouting and Guiding organization of Slovakia. With 4,521 Scouts and about 3,000 Guides as of 2004, Slovenský Skauting is the largest youth organization in Slovakia and a member of both the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
Scouting was established in the area that comprises Slovakia, while under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1912. Scouting in Slovakia started in connection with Hungarian Scouting as Slovakia was, at the time, economically and socially linked more closely with the Hungarian parts of the Empire. As part of the fledgling Czechoslovakia, Slovakia was a Founding Member of WOSM from 1922 to 1948, with an interstice in which Scouting ceased to exist as a result of Nazi German occupation in 1940. During the later period of Soviet dominance, like the neighboring Czech Republic and Hungary, Scouting went underground to reemerge under more suitable conditions.
After the November 1989 Velvet Revolution, Scouting was one of the first organisations to re-emerge from working underground. By the close of 1989, the number of Scouts in Czechoslovakia was 80,000. On February 1, 1990, the Federation of Czech and Slovak Scouting was officially registered, paving the way for its re-admittance to the World Organization during the World Scout Conference in Paris in July 1990, re-recognised by the major world Scouting organisations. Slovak Scouting returned as part of federated Scouting in Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1992. Upon Czechoslovakia's dissolution on December 31, 1992, Slovenský Skauting and Cesky Junák were required to apply for membership of the World Organization as the national member organizations of the Republic of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, respectively. Slovakia was welcomed as a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in its own right since 1997.
Since Czechoslovakia split in two, Slovenský Skauting has started independent development, working hard to train its leaders and to update its youth programme. Several training courses have taken place over the last decade, and a Strategic Planning Seminar is being organized with the support of the European Scout Office. Interestingly for a landlocked nation, Slovenský Skauting maintains a section of Sea Scouts.
The Slovakian noun for a single Scout is Skaut.
- Cubs/Brownies - ages 6 to 11
- Scouts/Guides - ages 11 to 16
- Rovers - ages 16 to 25
The Cub Scout/Brownie Motto is Be Better. The Guide/Scout Motto is Buď Pripravený, translating as Be Prepared in Slovenský. The Rover Motto is Serve.
- With the help of God, I promise to do my best.
- To help other people, to make a good turn everyday
- To keep the Brownie/Cub Scout Law.
- On my honour, I promise to do my best,
- To do my duty to God and to my country,
- To help other people at all times
- And to keep the Guide/Scout Law.
Brownies/Cub Scout Law:
- A Brownie/Cub says the truth
- A Brownie/Cub helps others.
- A Brownie/Cub listens.
- A Brownie/Cub is a friend.
- A Brownie/Cub takes care of nature.
Guide/Boy Scout Law:
- A Scout's honour is to be trusted.
- A Scout is loyal.
- A Scout is to be useful and to help others.
- A Scout is a friend of all people of goodwill and a brother/sister to every other Scout.
- A Scout is courteous.
- A Scout protects nature and all valuable creations of people.
- A Scout obeys his/her parents, principals and leaders.
- A Scout is cheerful and considerate
- A Scout is thrifty.
- A Scout is clean in thought, word and deed.
As Native American symbology and mythology has been popular in Central Europe since the 1880s, the highest rank is the Three Feathers of Eagle.
Other Slovakian Scout organizations
- File:Czech & Slovak.jpg Serving the Slovak community outside of the country is a combined Scouts-in-Exile organization, Czech and Slovak Scouts Abroad.
- File:Magyar Cserkészszövetség membership badge.png Other Slovakian Scout organizations include the Szlovákiái Magyar Cserkészszövetség, ethnic Hungarian Scouts in Slovakia linked to Magyar Cserkészszövetség.
International Scouting units in Slovakia
In addition, there are USA Girl Scouts Overseas in Bratislava, serviced by way of USAGSO headquarters in New York.
Information was distilled from Eurofax 65, February 1998. Eurofax is the monthly newsletter of the European Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). It is produced by the European Scout Office and is distributed to all member associations in the European Scout Region and the Europe Region WAGGGS, and others. The Scout Oath and Law was translated to English by Jozef Baláž, Assistant International Commissioner, Slovakia.