Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in Hungary (Cserkészet és Leánycserkészet) – This movement started at the initiative of Lord Robert Baden-Powell (Bi-Pi) (1857-1941) by organizing the young boys for the defense of Mafeking town in South Africa in 1897 during the Boer war. The movement grew rapidly. Its first camp was on the Island of Brownsea in 1907. In 1909 the British Boy Scouts’ Association was formed, and the Girl Guide movement also began. In 1920 the first Jamboree was organized in London. Today, Boy Scouts are active in some 160 countries.
The beginnings of the Boy Scout movement in Hungary go back to 1910. The first team was formed in the Reformed (Presbyterian) Youth Organization in Budapest. Their association was founded in two years. In 1914 they had 3,000 members. World War I, followed by the Versailles-Trianon Peace Dictate of 1920 truncated Hungary and was detrimental to the development of the movement. It received a new impetus in 1920 with its new Commander-in Chief in the person of Prime Minister Count Pál Teleki. At the 1924 Jamboree in Denmark, a team of 100 were present and in the competition they won third place. In 1926 they organized the Grand Camp at Megyer. The 1938 Jamboree in Gödöllő became another success. There were 900 teams with 53,500 Boy Scouts in Hungary in 1942. During Word War II, they helped protecting people.
The Girl Scouts movement started in 1919. By 1926 they had 100 teams with 5,000 members. In 1928 the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) were founded at Parád.
After World War II, the Scout Associations were re-established and there were 500 teams with 50,000 members. In 1948, under the Communist regime, the Hungarian Boy and Girl Scout movements were abolished by the order of the Minister of Interior. However, they were reborn in 1990. At the turn of the millennium there were 10 districts with some 300 teams with 20,000 members.
Hungarian Boy Scout teams continued their work in the detached parts of historic Hungary in the Carpathian Basin. In Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania)the movement developed well since 1909. After 1920 it worked within the Romanian Boy Scout movement as its Hungarian unit till 1937, when it was dissolved. It was newly formed in 1990 in Gyergyószentmiklós (now Gheorgheni, Romania). Its name is Romániai Magyar Cserkész Szövetség (Hungarian Boy Scout Association of Romania).Its chief protector is Reformed Bishop László Tőkés. In the former Felvidék (Northern Hungary, Upland now Slovakia) the Hungarian Boy Scout movement was tolerated; but at the end of World War II it was banned. In 1990 the movement was newly formed. In Kárpátalja (now Carpatho-Ukraine) and in the Délvidék (Southern Hungary, Southland now Voivodina, Serbia) and in Horvátország (now Croatia) the formerly banned Hungarian Boys Scout movements were reestablished in 1990.
Hungarian Boy Scout Association in Externis (Külföldi Magyar Cserkész-szöveség). This movement started right after World War II in the refugee camps of Germany, Austria and Italy. The first team was formed at Essen, Germany in 1945. Twelve Boy Scout Officers, the Homeless Eagles (Hontalan Sasok) were the initiators of this movement. In 1949 more than 40 Western European teams were active with 2000 members. It grew steadily under the leadership of the late Gábor (Gabriel) Bodnár. After the crushed Hungarian Revolution and Freedomfight in 1956, their membership rose to 5000. Today, its 105 teams live in 5 regions (Europe, Latin America, USA, Australia and Canada). The movement during its existence helped some 60,000 Hungarian students to graduate from high schools. Since 1990 they render assistance for rebuilding the movement in the Carpathian Basin. Its Veteran Organization in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada runs a large English language electronic library, the Corvinus Virtual Library (corvinuslibrary.com/hungarianhistory.com). – B: 1132, T: 7103.→Teleki, Count Pál; Bodnár, Gábor; Tőkés, László; Corvinus Library; Magyaródy, Szabolcs.