At the last Federal Council in Paris at the beginning of October, our union welcomed (unanimously and with a standing ovation!) Croatia as an Observer Association.
It was one of the rare countries in Europe where, until recently, there were no Scouts of Europe: until now in Croatia, there was a civil scout organisation and an independent Catholic scout association, which is closer to the WAGGS organisation (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). And we now also have the pleasure of seeing our Baussant (the flag of our movement) flying there too!
This group came into being thanks to its leader, Marko: “I was never involved in scouting, until 10 years ago when I started looking at something that was a good activity and good for raising my children.” Marko discovered Scouts of Europe and decided that he wanted to offer quality Catholic scouting to his children.
The Croatian association opened in 2020, and is currently made up of 2 groups, with one unit from each branch. It currently has around twenty children, but our youngest sister association is determined to grow!
“I am currently the only leader,” says Marko. “I have a large family so that slows me down a bit in my leadership role and in expanding to the other places, but my goal is to strengthen the group, find more leaders and expand into other areas.” The association has a presence on social networks and in the Catholic media and hopes to raise its profile to reach more children and families. “We are at the very beginning of our activities,” adds Marko, “there are a lot of difficulties, but I think I’m a bit stubborn, so I push on”.
The young association has already received some visits and support: this summer, Laurent Wallut, a French Scout, paid them an initial visit, provided them the necessary teaching materials and prepared for the arrival of a clan of Rovers from Lille (France) for their first Scout campfire. International exchanges form the basis of our Scout cooperation, and being a Scout of Europe means looking beyond borders!
Don’t hesitate to follow the Croatian association on the networks to support them, and if you’re passing through (whether on holiday, or who knows, at your next scout camp!) they’ll be delighted to chat with you.