Scouting in Yugoslavia

Igman 92 / Scouting in Yugoslavia
Amblem Saveza izviđačkih organizacija Jugoslavije

Among the activities of children and youth, as well as the elderly throughout Yugoslavia, probably the most popular and most numerous was the organization of scouts! Moving and resorting in nature, competitions, camping, flagging, learning of various skills, such as “reading” maps, proper compass usage, signaling, knot joining and raising tents, organization of camps, scenes, night of the aliens, and social affiliation, sense of belonging, security, and responsibility with a large amount of goodwill and self-discipline – the virtues of scouts that have always been enveloped.

Organized into wards, clubs and constellations, scouts attracted attention to their very clear structure, division of duties, responsibilities, tasks and duties, but also highly disciplined, patient and persistent educational work with young generations. In their work, a special place was the very close cooperation with the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) and the TO (Territorial Defense) staff, as well as the municipal structures for the ONO and DSZ (International Defense and Social Self-Defense).

Since 1920, activities have been revived and extended to the territory of the entire kingdom of SHS, and later to the kingdom of Yugoslavia. As early as 1922, representatives of Yugoslav Republican exiles participated in the founding meeting of the World Scout Movement in Paris. During that period, it was organized at the level of the state-level alliance, and in 1924 the first “League of Sharks of the Kingdom of Shakes” was held in Sarajevo. In the period from 1930 to 1940, the work of the Alliance or its individual members was banned or difficult, due to the political, and because of the difficult economic situation. After that, and because of the outbreak of World War II, the work of the Scout Organization ceased.

In the territory of Yugoslavia, the scouts are beginning to be organized in 1911 – first in Serbia – Dr. Miloš Popovic, within the organization “Trezvena mladenka” inspired by the texts of the Baden-Powell book “Boys Scouting”, is also the first senior of scouting organizations in our region.

After that, in 1913, “Đačke izletne družbe” (Croatian Diving Clubs) operated in the program of scouts, in order to create the “Croatian Scouts Association”, which, in 1914, adopted the name “Skaut” and new uniforms. In 1915, the organization of scouts in BiH was followed by the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, but then all the activities went off because of the World War II.







Jamboree SIOJ

After the Second World War, Bosnia and Herzegovina became the first captain, and in 1953 the Yugoslav Republican Scout Organizations joined the Alliance of Scouting Organizations of Yugoslavia (later Yugoslavia Scout Association).

The learned and trained skills had to be demonstrated, not only within the base squad, but also in competitions organized at the regional or republic level. But besides the work there was always fun, and there was great popularity in nature, summer vacations, and especially in the activities of the scouting organization. There were paintings, of which between 1954 and 1987, eight were held:

from the 30th of April to the 3th of April, 1954, at Ban’s Hill (Košutnjak-Pionirski grad) in Belgrade with 1,200 participants

from 07 to 16 August 1957 in Pale near Sarajevo (6,000 participants),

1961 in the whole of Yugoslavia

from 01 to 10 May 1966 at Fruška Gora (10,000)

from 02. to 12. VI. 1970 on Lešće (Bled) (7.500)

from 01 to 14 July 1975 at Petrova gora (6.000)

from 01 to 10 July 1983 in Tjentište (9,000)

from the 30th to the 10th of July 1987 at Adi Ciganlija in Belgrade with over 12,000 participants.


Age structure of members of SIOJ (Association of Scouting Organizations of Yugoslavia) :

– younger than 10 years:  Cubs
– between 10-28 years:  Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
-older than 28 years




a) 1., 2. i 3. fly for cubs 

b) 1., 2. i 3. star for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

c)The Partizan star (the carrier becomes “Scout-Partizan”), the most honorable of SIOJ, to contribute to the development and popularization of the organization


Organization and Rankings:

Scout troop and 

  • basic organizational units
  • numeric state of  troop, as well the number of troops,it depends on the size of the scout group,and iz was approximately number of members
  • the chief was responsible for the troop, most often a youth of high school age.

Scout group

  • headed by a chief (senior adult) had his own staff consisting of the most active members, troops of the team and senior scouts
  • The odds were either plain (SMB uniforms) or Atlantis Scouts (blue uniforms).

Municipal Alliance of Scouts

  • in the event that there were more than one scout group in the municipality, a municipal staff was elected with an equal number of members from each group
  • the president and secretary were members of the municipal system ONO and DSZ
  • fewer municipalities had only one scouting group.

Scout Association (republic)

  • all groups of the republics were members of the republican SI
  • are organized annually (summer) and conferences (in winter)
  • In addition, the “schools” (School for Chiefs of the scout groups)

Association of Scouting Organizations of Yugoslavia (SIOJ)

  • encompassed all Scout organizations in the SFRY area.


The Association of Scouts of Bosnia and Herzegovina has renewed its membership in the World Scout Scout Organization in 1999. The desire of the Scout Association is to be an organization that will help a young man choose their own path by discovering and experiencing the world through life in nature.


Scouts, of course, still exist today in all the republics of the other Yugoslavia. With their activity and work, they still attract attention, though not as massive as ever.

The famous poet MIROSLAV ANTIĆ – MIKA (1932-1986), a longtime member of the scouting organization, told reporters on one occasion:

Perhaps no psychologist will fail to explain why the scouts are good people. There are no rules, no prescriptions, there is an air condition, something that forms both consciousness and conscience, some warmth, some beautiful light in the eyes. Being a scout, it means to be healthy, plain, just, dreamer, poet, and drug. In this general quest for existence, in these excesses, both young and old, the scouts are the white, beautiful and pure side of the youth.


Today, the Scout Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 3 Alliances: Federation of Scouters of Federation BiH, Federation of Scouts of Republika Srpska and Scout of Brcko District.

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