Russian Association of Scouts/Navigators

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Membership badge of Russian Association of Scouts/Navigators

The Russian Association of Scouts/Navigators (Russian: Росси́йская Ассоциа́ция Навига́торов/Ска́утов), or RAS/N (РAН/С), is the national Scouting federation of Russia, which became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 2004. The coeducational Russian Association of Scouts/Navigators has 13,920 members as of 2004.


[edit] History of Scouting in Russia

early postcard of Scouting in Russia

[edit] 1908 to 1920

In 1908, Lord Baden-Powell's book Scouting for Boys came out in Russia by the order of Tsar Nicholas II. It was called Young Scout (Юный Разведчик, Yuny Razvedchik). On April 30, 1909 a young officer, Colonel Oleg Pantyukhov, organized the first Russian Scout troop Beaver (Бобр, Bobr) in Pavlovsk, a town near Tsarskoye Selo. In 1910, Baden-Powell visited Nicholas II in Tsarskoye Selo and they had a very pleasant conversation, as the Tsar remembered it. In 1914, Pantyukhov established a society called Russian Scout (Русский Скаут, Russky Skaut). The first Russian Scout campfire was lit in the woods of Pavlovsk Park in Tsarskoye Selo. A Russian Scout song exists to remember this event. Scouting spread rapidly across Russia and into Siberia, and by 1916, there were about 50,000 Scouts in Russia. Nicholas' son Tsarevich Aleksei was a Scout himself.

With the advent of communism after the October Revolution of 1917, and during the Russian Civil War from 1918 to 1920, most of the Scoutmasters and many Scouts fought in the ranks of the White Army and interventionists against the Red Army.

In Soviet Russia the Scouting system started to be replaced by ideologically-altered Scoutlike organizations, such as "ЮК" ("Юные Коммунисты", or young communists; pronounced as yuk), that were created since 1918. There was a purge of the Scout leaders, many of whom perished under the Bolsheviks. Those Scouts who did not wish to accept the new Soviet system either left Russia for good, like Pantyukhov and others, or went underground. However, clandestine Scouting did not last long. On May 19 1922 all of those newly created organizations were united into the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union (it existed until 1990). Since that year, Scouting in the USSR was banned.

However, some features of Scouting remained in the modified form. The Scout motto "Bud' Gotov" ("Be Prepared") was modified into the Pioneer motto "Vsegda Gotov" ("Always Prepared"). Mention of God was removed, replaced by Lenin and the communist party. But there was no separate separate organizations for girls and boys and a lot of new features were introduced, like Young Pioneer Palaces.

traditional Russian membership badge, still used by several organizations

[edit] Russian Scouting in exile

The organization Русский Скаут then went into exile, and continued in many countries where fleeing White Russian émigrés settled, establishing groups in France, Serbia, Bulgaria, Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay. A much larger mass of thousands of Russian Scouts moved through Vladivostok to the east into Manchuria and south into China.

Colonel Oleg Pantyukhov, Chief Scout of Russia, first resided in France and then moved to the United States, where large troops of Russian Scouts were established in cities such as San Francisco, Burlingame, California, Los Angeles, etc. He returned to Nice, France where he passed away.

Russian Scouting was recognized as a Member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, in exile, from 1928 to 1945.

Russian Scouting eventually split into two organizations over ideological differences. These are the modern-day National Organization of Russian Scouts (NORS) and Organization of Russian Young Pathfinders (ORYuR/ОРЮР). As neither organization was created ex nihilo, they may both be considered legitimate successors to the Русский Скаут heritage.

Russian Jamboree badge

[edit] After 1990

The Scout movement began to reemerge and was reborn within Russia in 1990, when relaxation of government restrictions allowed youth organizations to be formed to fill the void left by the Pioneers, with various factions competing for recognition. Some former Pioneer leaders have also formed Scout groups, and there is some controversy as to their motivations in doing so.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement asked the Scout Association of the United Kingdom to assist the Scout Organizations in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg regions. Other national Scout organizations are involved in helping other regions; the Boy Scouts of America are involved in the regions to the east of the Urals, for instance.

As with many European nations, several Scout associations were actively supporting the growth of Scouting in Russia, and served Scouts with regards to persuasion of faith, national orientation and geography. There were over 20 such organizations, notable among them:

There are quite a number of smaller and localized Scout organizations, and the above list is by no means comprehensive. Also, some of the above mentioned organizations may be defunct or have merged with others.

At the end of the 1990s, several of the associations formed the All-Russian National Scouting Organisation (ARNSO) (Всероссийская Национальная Скаутская Организация (ВНСО), Vserossiyskaya Natsionalnaya Skautskaya Organizatsiya (VNSO)), guided by WOSM. In 2000, it became a member of WOSM.

The membership was transferred in 2004 to the RAS/N, following the disintegration of ARNSO. RAS/N is also an umbrella federation of different associations, some of them former members of ARNSO.

In addition, there are USA Girl Scouts Overseas in Moscow, serviced by way of USAGSO headquarters in New York; as well as Cub Scout Pack 3950 and Boy Scout Troop 500, both of Moscow, and Cub Scout Pack 36 of Irkutsk. Russia is in a peculiar position (as is Norway), as American Scouts there may be linked either to the Direct Service branch of the Boy Scouts of America, which supports units around the world, or to the Horizon District of the Transatlantic Council, which supports units in west-and-central Europe, the Near East and North Africa, at the discretion of the individual pack or troop.

Finally, Russian emigré Scout organizations, generally aligned to either NORS or ORYuR but not connected with RAS/N, have independent branches in Australia, Ukraine, and the United States.

[edit] Scouting in administrative subdivisions of Russia

RAS/N is presently active in Amur, Astrakhan, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kirov, Kostroma, Lipetsk, Magadan (which has a relationship with the Western Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America), Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov, Tambov, Vladimir, Voronezh, and Yaroslavl Oblasts, and in Altai and Primorsky Krais. A Eurasia Foundation grant was awarded in July 1998 to the North Eastern Scout Council of Magadan Oblast "Podvig" to develop youth organizations in Magadan Oblast.

[edit] Scouting in ethnic subdivisions of Russia

Scouting is becoming familiar in nonRussian parts of the federation, and is being developed in several ethnic republics and subdivisions.

[edit] Russian Scout and Guide ideals, program, and awards

The Scout Motto is "Bud' Gotov", translating as "Be Prepared" in Russian. The Russian noun for a single Scout is "Скаут", but can alternately be "Разведчик" or "Навигатор" depending on the organization. As "Разведчик" also carries the connotation of "spy", now often perceived as negative in the post-Soviet period, many now refer to themselves as "Скаут" or "Навигатор", the more neutral term for the original meaning, an advance party sent to reconnoiter the terrain, similar to pathfinder or explorer.

The highest Russian Scout distinction is known as the Order of the Bronze Beaver.

[edit] Russian Girl Guiding

Girl Guiding in Russia is served by Rossiskaya Assotsiatsia Devochek-Skautov, a World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts member with 1,158 Girl Scouts.

[edit] Network Russia Scout Fellowship

Network Russia Scout Fellowship badge in Russian
Network Russia Scout Fellowship badge

Early in 1991, The Scout Association and the Boy Scouts of America were asked to assist the World Bureau to encourage the development of Russian Scouting, with the UK assisting in European Russia, and the BSA assisting in Siberia. In 1991 an experimental camp was held in Odessa, Ukraine by UK Scouts. In 1992, an international training course for 17 Russian leaders was held at the International Office at Gilwell Park and a study visit to Moscow and Saint Petersburg to establish direct links between British and Russian groups later in the year.

The UK support network became the Network Russia Scout Fellowship in March 2000, and continues to support Scout relationships with Russia, establishing a web-based point of contact and holding meetings twice a year to encourage developments in Russia.

[edit] See also


[edit] External links and References

Much information given by and gratefully acknowledged from the late Margarita Suwalowa of ОРЮР.

Image:--Eurasiareturn.gif Members of the Eurasian Scout Region

Full members: Armenia | Azerbaijan | Georgia | Moldova | Russian Federation | Tajikistan
Potential members: Belarus | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Turkmenistan | Ukraine | Uzbekistan

Image:Scoutsexilebadge.jpg Scouts-in-Exile

Historic Scouts-in-Exile: Armenia | Belarus | Cambodia | Czech Republic | Estonia | Latvia | Lithuania | Poland | Russian Federation | Slovakia | Slovenia
Present-day Scouts-in-Exile: Bosnia and Herzegovina | Cuba | Hungary | Laos | Ukraine | Vietnam


Russian Association of Scouts/Navigators

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