Scouts in Georgia
10 September, 2010
Scouts in Georgia

When the Soviet era kids went to primary and middle schools all the way from the 1917 Russian Revolution to the late 80's and early 90's of the last century, they were all (literally tens of millions of them) regimented as Young Pioneers with a red tie around their innocent and unsuspecting necks, and were sworn into faithfully serving the great USSR. And none of them even knew that their peers in other countries were organized into a great Scout

movement all over the planet to do good and noble things to the benefit of their own nations and the entire civilization.



Even if the Soviet youngsters of a certain category had heard of Scouts, they were told by their politically terrified and painfully brainwashed grownups that the Scouts were bad guys and the Pioneers were good ones. That was an overall Soviet attitude and a Communist ideological direction, which could not have been helped until it was demolished and gone about 20 years ago. Thank God! Things have changed and Scouts are now in Georgia too. We have our own powerful organizations, newly created Scout traditions, rules and activities. The best proof of this is that the beloved city of all Georgians - and not only theirs - is hosting two serious international events: the First Eurasia regional Scout Youth Forum titled 'Youth Initiative in the development of Scouting in Eurasia' (7-8 September, 2010) and the 4th Conference of the Eurasia Regional Scout Organization (9-11 September, 2010).

Probably, not many of us have even the faintest idea that Batumi and Scouts being together is not just another accident. As early as the beginning of the 20th century a small group of Scouts from Great Britain came to the area to initiate a Scout chapter in the Kintrishi Gorge. The foundation for the wonderful tradition was undoubtedly laid but the fortune had it that the Scout movement would not develop vigorously here because of the political vicissitudes of the time that had been in store. Whatever was the fate, the historical justice has worked and here we go - the Scouts are in Georgia today. Hurrah!

Batumi made well-planned preparation for both events. Shorena Lomadze, Chair of the Achara ('Adjara' is a Russian version of the spelling of the autonomous region) Organization of the Georgian Scout Movement and Irina Pruidze, Secretary General of the National Organization have done their possible best to let Forum and the Conference go smoothly and be an outstanding success. With them is Mzia Apridonidze, the experienced veteran Scout, although still young and full of energy. Mzia is one of the founders of the national chapter. She has been working for the Georgian Chapter of the international Scout movement for many years and has enjoyed it tremendously. I can't help saying that she promised me to recommend me as a future member if I might be interested with which I agreed without even thinking much. Yes, I am going to be a Scout. Seriously! As I said, I used to be a Young Pioneer in my terribly remote childhood when communists ruled the country.

GOSM, the Georgian Organization of the Scout Movement is quite busy in general. They coordinate the work of smaller groups, they organize meetings on occurring problems, arrange lectures, seminars, exhibitions, concerts, expeditions, excursions, camps, hiking, sports competitions and many other activities which are most compatible with the Scouting idea in general. They also establish clubs and chapters all over Georgia.

The Georgian national Chapter has special goals, among them, contributing to the development of the younger generation in achieving their full physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual potentials both as individuals and responsible citizens; finding opportunities for self-realization; contributing to the process of formation of a person based on national and world cultural values; molding of professional interests and practical skills in the youth of Georgia.

The Achara Organization of the Georgian Scout Movement (AOGSM) was founded anew in 1996 although there were Scouts here in 1919. They are today more than 200 member strong body. Shorena Lomidze is the founder and irreplaceable leader of the Chapter.

The two international Scout events - the Forum and the Conference - currently taking place in Batumi certainly underline that the Georgia has become an organic and natural part of this great international movement in which people of various ages and backgrounds are massively involved. The world knows and honors this great movement and Georgia and its beautiful region Achara are most active members of this wonderful international family.

 

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