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100 years of scouting in Belgrade and Serbia PDF Print E-mail


Period of the establishment and consolidation of the movement




22. February Robert Stephenson Baden Powell Smith was born in London, United Kingdom.
His father was a priest, professor at Oxford University and the Faculty of Theology. He is the author of various religious books and a member of the Royal Society. His mother was the daughter of a famous English Admiral B.H.Smith. She was engaged in charity work. She was the first member of the Society for raising Girls' High School in London.
Instead of his father's footsteps Baden Powell, the youngest of five brothers, joined the Military Academy. As a non-commissioned officer he was a member of the 13th Husar squad with whom he was in India. Unlike the other officers he payed special attention to soliders induviduality and character. During Buri-English War 1889-1990. In South Arica, in the rank of colonel he commanded the English squads in the defense of Mafeking. Since city had a small number of people, because everyone was at the front, Baden Powell organized a company of boy scouts who had the duty to carry letters, notices and orders from one end of town to another and thus contribute to the victory of the English. Baden Powell returned from war as a hero, and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.

22. February, Oliva Klir Soames was born in London. Since 1912. wife of Baden-Powell. Later, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

27. February, was born Miloš Ð. Popovic in Cajetina, district Užice, Principality of Serbia.

Miloš' father, Petar Ð. Popovic was born 1842. in Užice. Having finished semi-gymnasium in Užice and the Kragujevac gymnasium he studied law at the Lyceum in Belgrade. After returning to Užice he was the senior district official, then judge in his hometown, Cajetina and Kragujevac. In the end he was a president of District Court in Smederevo but retired due to illness from which he died in 1890. in his 48th year of life. Mother Elizabeth was born in 1850. in Cacak. She was a homemaker. She died in 1931. Peter and Elizabeth had son Miloš and daughter Milica.

Miloš is married to Olga (1880-1955), a pharmacist by profession, had a son Petar (1904-1994) and daughter Nadežda-Seka, married Mijuškovic (1922-2000). Petar was a scout leader, participated in the first jamboree, and attended the Forest School in Gilvel park. Nadezhda-Seka was a scout leader in the thirties. She worked in the Ministry of Health of Serbia.

Dr Miloš Ð. Popovic has no direct descendants. Son Peter did not establish a family, and his daughter Nadežda was widowed very young.


After finishing elementary school in Užice and high school in Smederevo, Kragujevac and Belgrade, Miliša Ð. Popovic got a studentship from Serbian government and enrolled Faculty of Medicine in Vienna in 1895. which ended in year 1901.

Upon arrival in Serbia among other things he wrote, "... In Serbia it's as it always was. A handful od doctors. The people dont value them, authority either. Habitats are not so good, or clothes, water is frequently contaminated. Teachers and students thinned by tuberculosis ... We can not complain that a little number of children is born, but mortality is high among them. Nearly 40% of males never get to recruitment. Serbian people are now poor, and must strengthen ...". Salvation is seen in temperance and scouting.

He studied for a doctor, a dentist specialization, he was first in the Serbian language to publish books about the care and preservation of teeth. In Belgrade, General military hospital he set up a military dental station, a few years later in Niš also. At the beginning of the 1917. with the help of Lady Tebit, he established a dental station in Vodena (Greece).

1907. He founded a temperance movement in Belgrade, whose head was experienced Dr Jovan Danic. Soon he gets the support of the then most famous fighter against alcoholism Swiss professor Dr August Forel. A rule was addopted that anyone who accesses the movement "has to commit not to take alcohol, nor make it, nor give it to someone else." Thanks to material aid organizations led by Dr. Forel, he published a series of translated and original books and brochures that are suggestive of all deleterious effects of alcohol, and infectious diseases, especially tuberculosis.

In the temperance movement Dr Miloš Ð. Popovic was one of the most prominent. A tireless and agile and passionate orator and editor of the Journal "Saveznik". Under his influence short theatrical pieces were composed or translated, and performed: If I knew earlier, Fatal cup, Dead men and you drink.

Although the temperance movement gathered pace among the youth, Popovic was not satisfied because he realized that the habit, by its nature, is irreversible: it can not be reduced and disappear, it can only supplant another. Bad good, and vice versa. Temperance therefore lacked content. Popovic found it in scouting.

Miloš Popovic-brother Miša, is the father of Scouting in the Kingdom of Serbia and Yugoslavia. Often said "first and foremost duty of us scouts is to learn to be healthy for ourselves, but also for our families, nations, states, and if you want all mankind." The significance of these words is priceless. Miloš Popovic was not the first one to say them, but it was the right place, relying on those to come. "It is incorrect that the disease was fate! Hold on, and do not give up. You shall win. Scout is never dead, unless he is really dead! " Beden-Powell said a few years later.

"... Scouting is a school of health, survival and morality. Way of acquiring useful habits that crowd out murderous ones. Slavic nations lack developed sense of duty. To develop this sense is one of the most important tasks of scouting ...", said Popovic.

Miša expected responsibility for their own health and behavior from Scouts! Accepting the organization, rules, skills, clothing and insignia of world scouts, he also announced further educational goals: faith in God, respect for sovereign governments and helping the weak, respect for others' property, doing good deeds, trust in the elderly (parents, older brother, other) ... trust in doctors. For a doctor and only a doctor can answer any question from any scientific field, and even those most intimate ones.

Scouting included sexual education. Innocence until a certain age for scouts is a rule. Disease is a disease, none can be embarrassing, even when it is acquired during sexual intercourse. Hiding it from elderly and doctors, could be disastrous. Each disease is most successfully treated when it is just beginning. A Scout needs to be open. Does not lie. He speaks only the truth.

Miloš had great difficulty with adults. Therefore he said "... can not you see that in United Kingdom the king is the sponsor of the scouts! Local authorities in Germany, Hungary, France help scouts extensively, and it is incorrect that scouting among the youth in our country spreads violence. It has rules similar to military, and that's all. And in Serbia, the fiercest opponents of the scouting are proven friends of alcohol, who feel that without this vice they cannot do scouting ...".

In southern England on the island Brauns from 01. to 09. August, Baden Powell organized the first experimental Scout camp. The camp consisted of one company, whose head was Baden Powell, which consisted of 21 boys. The boys were divided into four units that are known as the "Wolf", "The Raven", "Taurus" and "Trumpeter".


Baden Powell published the book "Scout for Boys". It was a textbook in English schools for the fortnightly work with children. The book was translated into 35 languages.

Scout organizations were established in the English colonies: Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland and Malta.

In London, he opened the first Scout House - Home of British scouts.
During participation in military maneuvers in Germany, which were held in the fall of the 1908. doctor Miloš Ð. Popovic received a Baden Pauels book "Scout for Boys" from a German colleague, a military doctor. F. Lyon , which was translated into German. Dr. Popovic publishes excerpts from this book in magazines of the temperance movement when he returned to Serbia. Word SCOUTS he translated as Cetnik. He explains this by the following arguments "In our history, we had no scouts who moved in the jungles and the vastness of the unknown, but we had Uskoks, Hajduks and the Cetniks, who defended the honor and property of its people." So Scouting became Cetnicism, and members of the organization Little Cetniks.

In order to expand Scout Movement in London Bud Powell brings a group of friends from several countries together (most of them met while maintaining the fourth Summer Olympics from April to October, in 1908.). Meeting participants were informed about the first experience in working with the scouts.

Scout organizations were established in Chile, Denmark, Guyana, India, Russia, Sierra Leone, USA and Zimbabwe.

Baden Powell leaves active military service and fully dedicates to the work of Scout Movement.

In the UK the Scout Movement enrolled 109,000 youth.

Scout organizations were established in Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Jamaica, Kenya, Netherlands and Singapore.

Dr. Miloš Ð. Popovic is not only relying on written word, but also on visiting schools, traveling around small towns of Serbia, and bringing youth together in school yards, not in the halls, youth, who will be delighted to accept him.

At St. George's 06th May (at that time the Julian calendar was in use and the St. George's day was on April 23) he established the first Scout squad in Belgrade and Serbia, which he named "Lasta". Following the example of Baden-Powell, after assembly in the courtyard of the Third Belgrade High School (which at that time was the part of Belgrade called  Crown wreath), about thirty boys with scarves around their necks, in a column exceeding the distance from Fišeklijska street to Karadjordjev park. There they were tought by doctor Popovic with journalist Jovan Tanovic enthusiasts from the  Temperance Scout program: they play, learn different skills, make friends and rejoice. Encouraged by the support of young people, by the end of September brother Miša founded three units which he named "Vuk Mandušic" and "Soko".

Besides Serbia, scout organizations were established in Belgium, Belize, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago and Thailand.

Wars began, there was a lack of scouting time. During the Balkan wars (1912 and 1913) from hundreds of small Cetniks a small corps of volunteers was formed. They were assisted by the jurisdiction and hospitals, just like in South Africa during the Anglo - Boer War, boys acted in the besieged Mafeking. First World War interrupted the growth and operation of Scouting in the Kingdom of Serbia.

Scout organizations were established in Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Barbados, Estonia, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Lebanon, Mauritius, Palestine, Spain, Sri Lanka and Switzerland.
As in Serbia nobody wanted to publish Miloš'? translation of Baden Powell book "Scout for boys" in the Serbia known as the "Cetniks" on the beginning of the 1912. He decided to do it himself. Financial assistance of 500 dinars was given by King Petar Karadordevic. Serbian Literary Gazette in the number of 269th lavishes the book with praise and proclaims it as the golden book for youth.

On September 1913. King Petar Karadodevic, in Proclamation on the occasion of signing the Treaty of Bucharest, which ended the Second Balkan War, scouts are called "youth proved to be brave when it was hardest" (Almanac of the Kingdom of SHS 1919-1922.).

The first meeting of representatives of all scout units from Serbia was held in Kragujevac 02.03.1914. (Almanac of the Kingdom of SHS 1919-1922.).

Milan Teodorovic and Lazar Popovic from Sremski Karlovac, among other things were accused of setting up an illegal Scout organization in Sremski Karlovac 1910. (Archives of Yugoslavia Nu. 74-425-630. The suit imperial and royal state prosecution in Zagreb against Milan Teodorovic on 29/10/1915.).

Serbian government formed a Commission based in Paris for the care of the wounded and help for Serbs who have found refuge in France and England, especially those who have entered schools and universities as refugees. In many cities in these countries young people are gathering from Serbia to scout troops. The largest group of about 100 young, mostly in Belgrade, worked in Veferšamu, Kent, England.

Dr. Miloš Ð. Popovic, was outside the occupied homeland in the north of friendly Greece, in a picturesque Vodena (now Edessa) and he was reforming scouting. He brought together children refugees among whom are most boys and girls from Bitolje (Macedonia). He wored with children by applying scout method, dances, songs, handicrafts. Thus in the midst of a war, and despite the war, in exile Scout flags stood, created a discipline of salvation and hope, which Miloš Ð. Popovic believed in his whole life.

In "Scout Gazette (No. 68. in 1928.) Association of scout Dr. M. Ð.. Popovic among other things wrote the following: "... In Vodena in the center where in recovery was a large number of soldiers gathered a lot of refugee children. They asked for food with cans of canned food from soldiers. Realizing that children need to be organized on the 25. June 1917. I called a meeting attended by: Dr. S. Dimitrijevic, major medical, Dr. Michael Petrovic, medical captain, Milan Mitrovic, veterinarian, Dr. Valsamadžis, MD, Mitar Mitrovic and V. Vojinovic, medics, and Ms. Stanic and Milos Djukanovic, teachers and priest Ljubomir Radovanovic (especially active in helping children).

Two rules were adopted: 1. The goal, collecting children from 10 to 17 years of age and teaching them the Scout system, and 2. The main scout apartment will count 5 members, Chief, host, clerk and two supervisors. The trustees at other places, leaders and teachers as needed. Rules were adopted and prescribed curriculum which provided hygiene education, moral teaching, practical lessons and national development. After several days he began enrollment. From military camp we took some small tents and built a camp. From American Red Cross in Salonika, we took shirts and made children's clothes. We found that children got food from surplus of recovery center for the military. From barefoot, shaggy and dirty children after a few hours we made them pure and gave them haircuts. It is not necessary to describe the joy of those who have made this great work ...".

An informal meeting was held for number scout organizations in London (representatives of Serbia did not attend), where it was decided, at the suggestion of the Secretary Scouts of Greece Constantine Molasses to have the first World Scout Jamboree held in London 1920.

Dr. Miloš Ð. Popovic is one of the signatories of a telegram to regent Alexander in Zagreb 26.01.1919. The meeting of representatives of scouts and youth organizations in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Part of the telegram reads: "... Last updated scouting will help renew the youth who will become an integral part of your army, the foundation stone rampart, shield, power and happiness of our country ...". (Archives of Yugoslavia no. 74-200797)

Minister of Education of Kingdom of SCS  received a proposal Scout-Chetnik Youth Educational System from the Committee on scouting the Society for the Protection of Yugoslav children 30/01/1919. , and proposed to him by supervisors to submit applications for teachers in the classroom. (Law on education of the Kingdom of Serbia in 1905. Which was then in force, was barred from school youth to enroll in sport and other organizations, which operate outside the school system. Law on education of the Kingdom of SHS, 1922. The ban is referred only to high school youth - Archives of Yugoslavia no. 74-108-162).

Order of the Minister of Education of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia 02/01/1919. The program and system Cetnik movement is connected with the Sokol Association and could not be carried out otherwise than through Sokol program under the name Falcon. (Official Gazette of the Kingdom of SCS No. 23. Of 01.02.1919.)

Earlier this year within the Sokol Association of Kingdom of Serbs established a ward for scouting. After the order to prohibit the use of the name Cetnik and charges against leadership of Sokol Association that scouts are not national and patriotic organization, because the program was not formed in Serbia, but in the UK, Dr. Miloš Ð. Popovic organised members and introduced the name of the Scout and formed a Steering Committee to establish the Association as a scout independent organisation.

Family McLaren has made a donation to Scout Association of Great Britain and Baden Powell to build Gilvel park.

In Gilvel Park the first course of Forest School led by Baden Powell was held.

Steering Committee for establishing a Scout Association led by Dr. Miloš Ð. Popovic developed activity which is crowned with 01.10. establishment of BELGRADE UNIT OF SCOUTS. A few months after that the movement is expanding by establishing the second unit in Tuzla in 1921. third in Ogulin, then Osijek, Split, Banja Luka, Celje, Mostar, Pec, Skopje, Sibenik, Zagreb and furnaces).

The first World Scout Conference was held in London. The Conference decided to establish the World Scout Bureau based in London.

The first World Scout Jamboree was held in the Hall Olympia-London (then the largest building in the English kingdom, which covered area occupies 4 hectares). On Jamboree 8000 scouts participated, of which 16 scouts from Serbia who were studying in the UK. The first World Scout Conference was held durning Jamboree.

In one of the many messages and advice to scouts and their leaders, Dr. Miloš Ð. Popovic, among other things wrote: "... not having enough practical and technical experience, our movement before World War II, can be considered only as a precursor to the right one" ...


Documentation Center


The first attempts at systematic publication of archives, various documentary materials was in 1989. when the Scout Association has published a book of Belgrade Eng. Tomislav Nikolic, "The creation of the Scout Association of Republic of Serbia."

Many circumstances have contributed to much of the historical documentation of our organization remains within scout squads, most of them stopped working with members who build and create.

We want to stop this practice because the Scout Association of Belgrade for the most part created the history of the Scout Association of Serbia and the Scout movement in the area.

On the Jubilee of 100 years since the establishment of Scout organization is formed and documentation center that will collect existing annual Association, archives of squads and municipal associations, archives of prominent members, subjects with the Scout insignia, characteristics of actions and activities, video and audio materials. For Documentation Center reports directly to the Secretary of the Association.



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