National Boy Scout Uniforms--Serbia

Figure 1.--Here we see Serbian Boy Scouts about 1930 at a camp site. Unfortunately the image is not identified and we do not know just where it was taken

The history of Scouting in Serbia is somewhat complicated and disjointed because of all the political changes affecting the country during the 20th century. Serbia was a new nation with historic origins created out of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. The first Serbian were founded by Dr. Miloš Popović, in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Vranje and Valjevo during 1911. We do not know much about these early units. Serbian suport of terorist groups sparked World War I. The country was occupied by the Central Powers (1915). We do not know what happened to Scouting during that period. A new nation after World War I was formed around Serbia which united the southern Slavs--Yugoslavia. Serbia was one of the 20 original signatories that founded the World Organization of the Scout Movement. I am not sure to what extent there was a Yugoslav Scout movement during the inter-War era. This was a time of growing ethnic and religious animosties and many boys may have preferred to have been in a movement with their ethnic group rather than a Yugoslav national group. I do not know how Scouting officals hanfled this problem. There was a Russian Scout association (Русский Скаут) organized in Serbia. They were Russians emigrees who fled the Bolshevicks after the Revolution and Civil War. Serbia was a popular refugee for the Russians because of liguistic and religious simiarities. Scouters had to suspend organized activities after the German World War II invasion (April 1941). The Germans preceived the Serbs as hostile and participation in a uniformed youth group would have been dangerous. The Communist partisans under Tito seized control of the country after World war II. I am not sure to what extent Scouting was prmitted by the Comminists, but it was apparently taken over by the Goverment. At which time Yugoslavia lost its WOSM membership. Individual Scout associations were founded in all the different Yugoslav republics (1951). The Communist government also founded the Pioneer movement-- the Pioniri. I am not sure how to the two organizations coexisted, but Yugoslavia did not ban Scouting as was th case in the Soviet-controlled Eastern European satellite nations. > Scouring was further complicated by the breakup of Yugoslavia in th 1990s. Serbia tried to hold the country together by force and retauined the fiction of Yugoslavia even after all the different republics had left the union and declared independence except Montenegro. Thus all that was left of Yugoslavia was Serbia and Montenegro when the country was admitted as the 137th member of WOSM (1995). Montenegro, however, broke away from Serbia and declared independence (2006?). A Serbian reader tells us in 2007, "We have an active Scouting ptogram in Serbia. We stagedca prade in Belgrade during October to Celebrate Baden Powell's birthday."


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Created: 10:55 PM 11/29/2007
Last updated: 3:13 AM 11/30/2007