Scouting is often seen only as a hobby for youth, but behind every trip and camp there are always adults making the hobby possible. Scouting for adults means volunteering while acquiring new friends, skills, experiences and memories. Of the 65 000 Scouts in Finland 20 000 are adults – of whom 45% have started Scouting as adults. Speaking Finnish is not necessary – Breta and Christian speak about how they got into multilingual Scouting.
Breta started a bilingual children’s group in Lohja
Bretislav “Breta” Kupera from Czech Republic started Scouting with his children in 2018 in a local scout group Lohjanjärven Loiske with experience of the hobby from his home country.
“My three children came from school with the idea to join Scouts. I offered my help to the group but did not know that it means that I will be 'akela' – the group leader for the smallest Scouts! It was a great opportunity for me to practice Finnish, be with the same nature-oriented people and at least to bring some of my previous experience from Czech Republic.”
“I’m limited with language, but it is not a problem. Kids are very keen to learn and be active. I was happy that my daughters helped me with translation from Czech to Finnish and back. Also many of the kids know English so well that they could help others. I think I speak much better Finnish now, so I can at least give the basic instructions in Finnish. I think it makes our group very unique: children learn also English during Scout meetings!”
Christian co-founded a multilingual Scout group
Christian Lwamba (49), a Scout leader from Congo, wanted to continue Scouting after being resettled to Finland by the UN. Lwamba contacted the Guides and Scouts District of Uusimaa in 2020. At the same time a new, multilingual Scout group Porvoon Scoutit – Porvoo Scouts was being founded in his hometown, and soon he joined the board of the new group.
Porvoo Scouts aim to offer multilingual Scouting to everyone interested and use all languages that the members know. This allows everyone to learn and teach. So far, the members of the Scout Group speak Finnish, Swedish, English, Russian, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Hindi and Tamil. The group members include and welcome both immigrants and natives.
“Having a multilingual Scout group is going to offer opportunity to everyone to join the group regardless of where he or she came from, and is going to promote cohesion among the members in exchange of experiences and skills,” says Christian Lwamba.
Looking for a new hobby?
There are already several Scout groups offering multilingual scouting in the Uusimaa area. You can join one of them or contact another group to start multilingual Scouting in your area!
- Järvenpää Scouts
- Scout group Polaris in Raasepori
- Olarin Eräkotkat – Wild Eagles In Espoo
- Myllypuron Mustarastaat in Helsinki