Lithuanian Scout Exile Issues
Romas Pakalnis

Established in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, in 1918 by Petras Jurgela, from a pack of Scouts, the youth organization had grown to 22,000 active members, including Girl Scouts, by the end of 1940.  A members of the International Scouts Bureau, the boys well represented their country in the World Jamborees in the Netherlands and Hungary, as well as in many international camps.

During the communist occupation in 1940, the Scout movement was forbidden. The penalty for being a good Scout, loving God and country, was confiscation of belongings and assignment to slave labor camps in far east Siberia.  Persecution of the youths caused them to age in their teens, while many Scout leaders and Boy Scouts were tortured and murdered by the communists.

During the Nazi occupation (1941-1944), the Scout movement continued to be forbidden; however, to help their country, the Scouts worked with the underground forces.  The communists, after having tasted of this peaceful small country, returned for its second occupation.  Many of the Boy Scouts and their leaders fled the country to save their lives, settling among other people in displaced person camps in Germany.

Feeling the need of the Scout organization at the end of the war, these leaders initiated blooming of the Scout lily in different parts of Germany, so that by the end of 1948-49 at the time of emigration, Boy and Girl Scouts numbered approximately 2,000 in the various displaced persons camps.

During the emigration period, many Lithuanian families were scattered all over the world, but all members of the Lithuanian Scout movement are members of the Lithuanian Scout Association, with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.  The central committee is responsible for all branches of Scouting, including Girl Scouts, such as the Cub Scouts, Rover Scouts, Sea and Air Scouts.  A National Jamboree is held every four years.



National Jubilee Jamboree
National Jubilee Jamboree
45th Anniversary
August 17, 1963

A National Jubilee Jamboree took place at Camp Child, Plymouth, Mass. from August 17-September 1, 1963. For this Jamboree, the Lithuanian Scout Association printed special covers and seals in three colors - yellow, green, and red; three seals in one set.  These colors represent the colors of the Lithuanian flag. The designer of the seal is Mr. Jatuzis.  The seals were printed in West Germany.

The design of the seal depicts the rising sun over the ancient castle built in the 13th century by the founder of the capital city in Lithuania, Grand Duke Gediminas.  This stands for the birth of the Scouts and the independence of the Lithuanian state.  The official Boy Scout lily is in the right corner, and the Girl Scouts "rutele" (the Lithuanian national flower) is in the left corner.  Lithuanian ribbons "joustos" are set on each side of the seal.  "Jubilee Camp" is printed on the top of the stamp in Lithuanian.  The covers, printed against a forest green background, have an attractive picture of an old Lithuanina wood carving "rupintojelis" (Jesus Christ sitting as he worries), an original piece from Lithuanian folk art.



Diamond Foundation of Lithuanian Scouting
Diamond Foundation of Lithuanian Scouting
50th Anniversary
1968

5th Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree
5th Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree, 1968

Lithuanian Scouts First Day Postcard of the 5th Lithuanian Scout (Boys and Girls) Association National Jamboree 1968.VII.8-22 (gathering of Lithuanian scouts from all the world outside the occupied Lithuania), celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lithuanian scouting at the Camp Rakas (Chicago’s Lithuanian Scout camp facility), Custer, Michigan.

Lituanica 25
LITUANICA 25 (year anniversary) 1974

Lithuanian Scouts First day cover – Chicago’s Lithuanian Scout Camp in Camp Rakas, Custer, Michigan starting in July 13, 1974.

Lituanica 25, 1974
Lituanica 25, 1974

Four sub camps : 1. Lithuanian Boys Scout LITUANICA District – LITUANICA 25, cover; three sub camp name stamps in the back of the cover - 2. Lithuanian Girl Scout KERNAVE District – VEJO VINGIS; 3. Lithuanian Girl Scout AUSROS VARTAI District – VILTIS; 4. Lithuanian Girl Sea Scout NERIS District – NIDA.

Troop Leader Conference
Troop Leader Conference, 1976

Lithuanian Scouts cover with a special cancellation, on Lithuanian Darius and Girenas stamp, for the Lithuanian Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troop Leader (Draugininku) Conference (Saskridis) 1976 in USA.

Camp Atgaiva, 1977
Camp Atgaiva, 1977

Lithuanian Scouts cover sent from Lithuanian Scout Camp in 1977 called ATGAIVA, in Chicago.  Lithuanian Scout (Boys and Girls) camping facility called RAKAS at Custer, Michigan.

6th Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree
6th Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree
60th Anniversary 1978

Lithuanian Scouts First day postcard of the 6th Lithuanian Scout (Boys and Girls) Association National Jamboree 1978.VIII.13-26 (gathering of Lithuanian scouts from all the world outside the occupied Lithuania), celebrating the 60th anniversary of Lithuanian scouting at the Treasure Valley Scout (US Boy Scout) Reservation.

6th Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree
6th Lithuanian Scout National Jamboree
60th Anniversary 1978


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SOSSI Journal, VOL XIII, No. 1, January 1963
Modified by Keith Larson, 1999