Lily Hufiec Harcerzy na Podbeskidziu im. Armii Krajowej

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The foundations of the Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland (ZHR)

(extracts from the documents posted on

Scouting Association of the Republic of Poland (ZHR) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989. Ideologically and programmatically continues the traditions and educational thought of several generations of Polish Girl and Boy Scouts.

ZHR roots date back to 1980, when the Andrzej Malkowski Scout Instructors Circles were created by the scouts and instructors independently of communist system. One of the main objectives of creating ZHR was to return to the principles of education developed by the outstanding scout instructors - creators of scouting in Poland. This work was actively supported by the Girl and Boy Scouts who filed the Scout Oath before the Second World War. ZHR refers directly to the tradition of Polish Scouting formed in 1911, to the wartime history of underground organizations: Grey Ranks and Polish Corps, and as well to the post-war independent scouting. (Genesis of ZHR)

The Association is an independent organization; ideologically separate from any political party, and bases its activities solely on the voluntary work of the members.

The basis of scout education is to serve the neighbor. But it cannot be separate from  adventure and scout action. ZHR every year organize winter and summer camps, interim camps and rallies. We wander through the mountains, go rafting, sail and bike, all in close contact with nature. We can also boast of the presence on the international Scout gatherings, expeditions on Kilimanjaro, the Himalayas, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Siberia.

Actions taken by the ZHR is based on a specific method, called the scouting method. The source of its creation dates back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when its creator – Sir Robert Baden-Powell - observed the effectiveness of small groups. He developed system of education, which was installed in Polish realities by Andrzej Malkowski in the early twentieth century.

(Objectives and method of education in the ZHR)
Our service to God and Poland is sincere and wholehearted. [...] Scout service, personal life in the family and among friends, schooling, professional work, other fields of social activity are filled with the scout ideals. We do not separate the scouting and personal life. Everything is done in relation to God.

(Commentary on the scout promise and scout law for ZHR).
In its activities ZHR is based on Catholic social teaching. [...]

To support the work of religious education ZHR establish appropriate organizational structures: the Supreme Council [...] appoints the Association Chaplain, which is responsible for coordinating the activities of chaplains and pastors throughout the country. [...] In view of the fact that the overwhelming number of members of the ZHR is Roman Catholic, chaplains and pastors are Roman Catholic priests. [...]

Therefore, we look forward to a continuing willingness to personal development and the growth of conscience of each of us, dedicating the following words of John Paul II: "What does it mean 'watching'? This means that I try to be a man of conscience. That the conscience is not drowned, not distorted. I recognize the good and evil, and not blur. I am developing in the good and try to improve the bad, overcoming them in myself. " (Principles of religious education in ZHR, the Annex to the Resolution of the Supreme Council No 96/7 ZHR of 20 June 2009)

We believe that the most appropriate way of indicating the pupils attitudes promoted by the scout educational system is a personal example. This also applies to education in religious and spiritual dimension. Education through personal example is only possible if the instructor attitude to life derives from its deep aspirations and beliefs. Because of these assumptions, ZHR instructor is a practicing Christian, ie. belongs to the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church or any of Evangelical Churches. (Spirituality in ZHR)

On 20th of September 20 of 2002 the appropriate ecclesiastical authorities, at the request of ZHR established Blessed Fr. Vincent "Wicek" Frelichowski patron of the Polish Girl and Boy Scouts. This was implemented in response to the call of Pope John Paul II during the beatification Mass in Torun, June 7, 1999:
I appeal to the whole family of Polish scouts, of which the new blessed was deeply connected. Let there he be for you, the patron, teacher of nobility and advocate of peace and reconciliation.

On Saturday, September 13, 2014, during the XXXII scouting pilgrimage to Jasna Gora, at the time of the evening prayer to the Virgin Mary, on the altar before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Scouting Association of the Republic offered the vote of gratitude for the 25 years of the organization existence. Bishop Joseph Gozdek, Delegate of the Polish Episcopate to Scouts, sent on this occasion a letter in which he thanked the Boy and Girl Scouts for White Service during the canonization of John Paul II in Rome and for the program "ZHR for the Family".

Nevertheless, despite variety of things we do, we always aim for the one goal - to rise youth for the people ready to change surrounding world according to last message of Sir Baden - Powel:

"Leave this world a little better than you found it."

("Be prepared!")
Scout Girls and Scouts of the Troop of the Podbeskidzie Region