Scouting in Finland
Guiding and Scouting in Finland?
Both girls and boys, Finnish and Swedish speakers are united under the same organisation – the Guides and Scouts of Finland (Suomen Partiolaiset – Finlands Scouter). We have 65 000 members in 850 local groups. The Guides and Scouts of Finland is a member of both the World Association of the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the only Guide and Scout organisation in Finland.
What does the scout uniform look like in Finland?
The guides and scouts in Finland have either a blue or light brown shirt. With that you can wear skirt or trousers that are preferably (navy) blue. If you have a skirt, you need to have blue socks and blue or black shoes. Dark shoes are worn with trousers.
The neckerchief varies depending on the local group. The Finnish representative neckerchief that is used e.g. at international camps and events is blue with white borders.
As a last piece of clothing we have a little blue and white hat called Väiski (from the name Väinämöinen, the main character and sorcerer of the Finnish national epic Kalevala). The Väiski is mostly used by the Finnish speaking Guides and Scouts but is used by everyone while abroad.
More information about our uniforms (and link to shop to buy your own) can be found here.
What does a typical Finnish scout camp look like?
A Finnish scout camp is usually built from scratch in the middle of woods. If it is an area that has previously been used as a camp site, some basic infrastructure may exist. For washing, there are cold showers (if any) with water from a nearby lake or the sea and the toilets might be temporary ditches with only a spar to sit on.
At the Evo campsite there are some basic infrastructure ready and the toilets are not just ditches with a spar, but the showers will still be cold! 😉
This is what a Finnish camp might look like
Age groups in Finnish Scouting
The Guides and Scouts of Finland offers program to all its members between 7 and 22 years of age. Within the frames of this program, the Guides and Scouts are divided into five different age groups. The adults have a supportive role, they make possible for the children and young people to enjoy their hobby.
Cub Scouts are 7–10-year-old, and they are organized in groups of 8–12 Guides/Scouts. The group is led by an adult Guide/Scout leader. The group meets weekly for its Cub Scout meetings which consist of learning and playing. In addition they go on short hikes and participate in camps and competitions.
Adventurers are 10–12-year-old and work together in teams with 10–15 members. The team has adult leaders who take care of program activities. Children can also try out leadership by performing minor tasks during the team meetings. Adventurers explore different skills like first aid, cooking outdoors and cooperation with others.
Trackers are the 12–15 years old Guides and Scouts, organized in groups, girls and boys separately. The groups consist of 4–12 Guides/Scouts and they meet once a week. The weekly activities are led by a young leader (an Explorer, see below) but an adult Guide/Scout leader directs the activities and has major responsibility. The themes of the Tracker program are camping, creativity, survival and society.
Explorers are Guides and Scouts within the age range 15 to 17, and they are organized in small teams. In addition to the weekly meetings, the teams go hiking and participate in camps and other events. An adult leader supports the group and plan activities together with youngsters. The Explorers practice leadership by attending leadership training and leading a Tracker group.
Rovers are 18–22-year-old and work in project based groups consisted of 3-5 persons. The aim of the projects is to explore the home country as well as foreign cultures. They meet once or twice a month and they plan their own program by choosing from numerous activities. Each individual makes a personal development plan according to his/her own interests.
Want to join scouts and guides in Finland? Read more in the homepage of The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Guides and Scouts!
For more information about Finnish scouting check www.partio.fi/en/