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Radioscouting in Czech Lands

Navigamus 2000
through the eyes of an independent observer

In the Czech Republic, radio scouts are organized as part of the water scouts because - as elsewhere in the world - there aren't enough of them to form a scouting group of their own. Even though somewhere beneath the surface, as it were, you will find the occasional point of friction, it is by and large a happy symbiosis.

It is not surprising, then, to find the radio scouts at one of the most representative scouting events, the Navigamus water-games festival with its long tradition - and each of them is inspired by their own particular subject. At the beginning of June 2000, over 1000 children came together from all over the Czech Republic to the Sec reservoir in central Bohemia for some Carribean pirate games. We received an invitation and that is why we can give our account.

OL5SCT Organizational centre

As always, the radio scouts contributed with the sound system and communications equipment and in addition, participants and spectators within a roughly 3 km area around were able to enjoy listening to the FM station, Radio Navigamus. HAMs from OK and the rest of the world could again obtain a fine commemorative QSL card for connecting to OL5SCT - foreign guests, OE1WN (OK8AAN), OE1EOA and OE1JBB helped out here as operators. The cherry on the cake was the special contribution made by Brother Amateur, who is known in the radio ham world as OK1DR, and who was in charge of the organization of the traditional Venetian (as it turned out, Carribean) evening. He also discharged the task extremely well because in addition to the dozens of little boats full of enthusiastic children, he was assisted - as with Navigamus 2000 as a whole - by means of radio stations and lighting involving the coordination of experienced colleagues, OK1BQT, OK1IME, OK1HMB, OK1PBX and OK1JMQ together with other operators from radio clubs OL5SCT and OK1ORJ. For the sake of completeness we would add that the radio scouts did not have the monopoly of the communications services: the Scouts Rescue Service CB network (SOS) was also in operation, for example, and its operators trained the radio scouts.

Radio NAVIGAMUS Amateur OK1DR Carribean evening

The impression made by the flotilla of little boats on the surface of the water in the middle of the enchanting early summer evening was tremendous, but that is not the most important thing. If you mix with scouts you really do see some things:

  • lots of children of school age who are having a marvellous time without needing any silly sales gimmicks like smurfs, Mickey Mouse or such,
  • a good few teenagers, who are in all earnestness testing out their human skills and sense of responsibility for the first time with various organizational tasks, and who don't feel any need for beer or 'grass' or prematurely available young ladies,
  • a good few adults who are devoting a lot of their spare time to all this and some old-timers amongst them who have carried the scouting values through the dark years of Nazi and Communist totalitarian rule down to the present day, usually at the cost of persecution and personal suffering,
  • guests from foreign countries both near and far, who are lending moral and material support to this renaissance of scouting, often from their own personal resources.

This is actually a night picture but you would not be able to see much from it 

When you are among scouts for some time, after a while you subconsciously begin to feel that something is missing. Then it hits you: scouts are not allowed to use vulgar words. This might appear to be rather superficial but it is only an appearance. Evil starts somewhere - why not confront it right from the start - with words. Scouting is based on the Christian tradition but you don't have to worry about any formal signs of this or any propaganda: scouting is primarily about upbringing and any formalism would only do harm to this.

When you mix with scouts you suddenly stop worrying that the only alternative for youngsters is emptiness and a syringe. You stop having doubts about whether making an effort to create a meaningful and good life in this country and on this Earth has any sense.

Thanks, scouts, and not just for the invitation.

Witnessed and written by:

© OK1QW, 2000