Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder
|Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder|
Association of Christian Scouts and Guides
The Verband Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (roughly: Association of Christian Scouts and Guides, VCP) is a German Protestant coed Scouting and Guiding association with about 47,000 members.
It is a member of the Ring deutscher Pfadfinderverbände (Federation of German Scouting Associations, RdP), which in turn is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and a member of the Ring Deutscher Pfadfinderinnenverbände (Federation of German Guiding Associations, RDP), which in turn is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).
The association was formed in 1973 through the merger of three Protestant associations:
- Bund Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen (founded in 1922; only in Bavaria; girls only)
- Christliche Pfadfinderschaft Deutschlands (first groups in 1910, founded in 1921; boys only until 1969)
- Evangelischer Mädchen-Pfadfinderbund (founded in 1926; not in Bavaria; girls only)
In 1976, some traditional Scouting groups left and formed a separate association, using the former name Christliche Pfadfinderschaft Deutschlands again.
Two years later, the VCP held his first national jamboree. Since then, roughly every four years a national jamboree has taken place:
- 1978 - Kirchberg, near Koblenz
- 1984 - Eschwege
- 1988 - Ruhpolding
- 1992 - Ferschweiler Plateau, near Trier
- 1998 - Rheinsberg in Brandenburg
- 2002 - Rehau, near Nuremberg
- 2006 - Großzerlang, near Rheinsberg in Brandenburg
- 2010 - Wolfsburg
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first groups of Protestant Scouts and Guides were formed in the still existent German Democratic Republic. Today, the VCP is present in all Federal States of Germany.
The association is divided in three age-groups:
- Kinderstufe - Cub Scouts (ages 7 to 10)
- Pfadfinderstufe - Scouts (ages 10 to 15)
- Roverstufe - Rover Scouts (ages 16 to 20)
There is also a special branch for adults in Scouting, the Erwachsenenarbeit, which aims at all members older than 18 years including leaders and non-leaders.
Like most German Scout associations, the VCP emphasizes on youth leadership. Most patrol leaders start at 16 and most leaders up to district level are younger than 25.
The VCP has no common Scout Promise. Its constitution proposes the following text, but other wordings are possible:
- Im Vertrauen auf Gottes Hilfe
- will ich christliche Pfadfinderin/christlicher Pfadfinder sein
- und nach unseren Regeln mit euch leben.
- Trusting on the help of God
- I want to be a Christian Scout/Christian Guide
- and to live with you according to our rules.
The association has no common Scout Law. It uses Scout rules, which should be formulated individually by each group. The constitution proposes a number of points, which should go into these rules. Despite this, many subdivisions of the association use a common Scout Law.
The VCP runs two national Scout centres:
- Rieneck Castle in Lower Franconia
- VCP-Bundeszeltplatz (National Campground of the VCP) in Großzerlang near Rheinsberg in Brandenburg
as well as a number of regional Scout centres mostly maintained by subnational divisions of the association.
Rieneck Castle was leased by the Christliche Pfadfinderschaft Deutschlands in 1959 and bought in 1967. It is mainly used for training courses on national level. A regular international Scouting and Guiding event on Rieneck Castle is the annual IMWe. The VCP-Bundeszeltplatz was bought in 1997 and hosts camps from group to national level.