Audio Transcript for RECORDING #4: PLAST NATIONAL SCOUT ORGANIZATION
Plast was established in 1911, shortly after the Scout movement was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. The original members took their first Plast Oath in Lviv, Ukraine, in1912. Among the founders of Plast were Dr. Oleksander Tysovskyy, Petro Franko (son of writer Ivan Franko), and Ivan Chmola. The word “Plast” comes from the Ukrainian word “plastun”, which was the name for Ukrainian Cossack scouts.
Plast’s coat of arms
Plast’s coat of arms is Scouting’s fleur-de-lis (flower of the lily), interlaced with the Ukrainian coat of arms’ Trident (“Tryzub”). To reach its educational goals, Plast uses its own unique education method. Its basic principles include free-will membership, education, and learning through game and work; a gradual system of studies and trials; self-governing; encouragement of initiative and self-management; appreciation of nature and living in nature; support of special interests and talents of children and youth.
Membership in Plast is lifelong. Conventionally, membership falls into four age groups:
Cub Scouts (age 6-12)
Rover Scouts (12-18)
Older Plast members (18-35), and
Senior Plast members (35+).
All educational and administrative work in Plast is performed by Older and Senior Plast members solely on a volunteer basis.
Plast in Ukraine, uniting about 10,000 members of different ages, is the largest scouting organization in Ukraine. Today, about 130 local councils are active around the country. Plast actively cooperates with state authorities and other public organizations to implement various social and educational programs.
During the year, Plast in Ukraine conducts more than 100 educational outdoor camps with different specializations: sporting, marine, aeronautical, arts, skiing, alpinist, archaeological, horseback-riding, ecological, etc. At these camps, Plast members master the knowledge and practical skills developed during the year at weekly programs. Some of the biggest events carried out by Plast nationally are: intellectual-art competition “Orlykiada”, creative festival “Den Plastuna”, sporting event “Spartakiada”, distribution of Light of Peace from Bethlehem among local communities, tourism contests “Stezhkamy herojiv” and “Osinniy reyd.” On the local level, Plast councils organize many social, cultural, and educational events.
Plast also operates internationally, in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Plast organizations from all nine countries are united into the world-wide Conference of Ukrainian Plast Organizations, lead by “Nachalniy Plastun”, the Plast head.