Hội Huớng Đạo Việt Nam

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Membership badge of the Vietnamese Scout Association-Hội Huớng Đạo

Hội Huớng Đạo Việt Nam (HĐVN), the Vietnamese Scout association, presently exists in exile, and may be reforming within Vietnam itself. There are reports of clandestine Scouting activities in Vietnam dating from 1994[1] and 2002[2]. The association was recognized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1957 to 1975.


Scouting in Vietnam first started in the French schools for French children and upper-class Vietnamese children.

In 1930, two Vietnamese athletes, Trần Văn Khắc and Ta Van Ruc, started a Scout movement named Dong Tu Quan. Trần Văn Khắc is generally accepted as the founder of Vietnamese Scouting. This first Vietnamese Scout troop's activity program was heavily athletic.

Between 1933 and 1935, Vietnamese Scouting spread quickly among the population, as branches of the three main associations of French Scouts and Pionniers. Three branches of Vietnamese Scouting were established-Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Rover Scouts.

André Lefèvre, chief of the Eclaireurs de France, set up a training camp for 60 Scoutmasters from all over French Indochina. At the end of 1937, French Scouting sent Scoutmaster Raymond Schlemmer to the Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese areas of Indochina to oversee the setting up of the Fédération Indochinoise des Associations du Scoutisme (FIAS, Indochinese Federation of Scouting Associations) in all three regions.

From 1939 through 1945, the political situation affected Scouting activities all across the country, as World War II engendered a movement for an independent Vietnam. The French began to lose control and were finally overthrown by Japanese intervention. This ceased the French Scouts' activity in Vietnam, as well as all Scouting activities.

After the Geneva World Scout Conference in 1954, Scouting returned to Vietnam. The Scout Association of North Vietnam was abolished as North Vietnam was under communist rule, and as a result, the Scouts lost their former training ground, but soon established a new one near Dalat.

From 1954 to 1975, Scouting in South Vietnam played an important role in Vietnamese society. The Scout Constitution was drawn up in 1952, with the approval of the Ministry of Youth Affairs, and international recognition was given at the beginning of 1957. In 1959, Vietnam had 3,100 Scouts. In April 1975, South Vietnam was overrun by the Viet Cong, and the Vietnamese Scout Association was banned. Outside of Vietnam, Vietnamese Scouts formed an exile organization and continued their Scouting programs.

Present day

Vietnamese Scouting in exile is active in the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and France. Vietnamese Scouting in exile existed at least into the early 1990s in Los Angeles, alongside fellow Cambodian Scouting in exile and Laotian Scouting in exile groups. Semiannually, the Vietnamese Scouts in exile hold an international Jamboree.

According to French reports on clandestine Scouting in Vietnam there are actually more than 1,000 Scouts in Ho Chi Minh City with about 100 leaders. The movement isn't yet authorized by the government but it also doesn't face major difficulties. Some of the interviewed members expressed their hopes that their groups may lead to the rebirth of a national Scout organization.

Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting in Vietnam

The Hội Nu Huớng Đạo Việt Nam is a former member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, last mentioned in 1973.

Girl Guiding may again be making inroads in Vietnam, as in 1993 a reception was held in Manila, Philippines in conjunction with WAGGGS' Asia Pacific Symposium of NGOs for Women in Development. The aim was to introduce or reintroduce the Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting movement and to explore possibilities of starting/restarting Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting in Vietnam, as well as Cambodia, Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tibet. Fifty women leaders from those nations attended the Asia Pacific Symposium, sharing their Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting experiences.

International Scouting units in Vietnam

In addition, there are USA Girl Scouts Overseas in Ho Chi Minh City, serviced by way of USAGSO headquarters in New York, and there are American Boy Scouts in Hanoi, serving in Cub Scout Pack 844, linked to the Direct Service branch of the Boy Scouts of America, which supports units around the world.

Ideals and methods

The Scout Motto is Sắp Sẵn, translating as Be Prepared in Tiếng Việt.

See also


  • Scouting 'Round the World, John S. Wilson, first edition, Blandford Press 1959
  • Facts on World Scouting, Boy Scouts International Bureau, Ottawa, Canada, 1961

External links

Members of the Asia-Pacific Scout Region

Full members: Australia | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei | Republic of China (Taiwan) | Fiji | Hong Kong | India | Indonesia | Japan | Kiribati | South Korea | Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Nepal | New Zealand | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Singapore | Sri Lanka | Thailand
Associate members: Macau | French Polynesia
Potential members: Afghanistan | Cambodia | East Timor | Nauru | Samoa | Solomon Islands | Tonga | Tuvalu | Vanuatu | Vietnam
Countries without Scouting: People's Republic of China (mainland) | North Korea | Laos | Myanmar