The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP) / English Summary

ZHP mission is to educate young people, that is to support them in their full development and character formation by posing challenges.

The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP) is registered as an independent legal entity in Poland providing dynamic, values-based, non-formal educational and leadership training programmes for girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 25. Its activities are open to all young people, regardless of origin, nationality, race or creed. It aims to provide a safe environment for young people to develop their fullest potential as responsible and active citizens who participate in their local, national and international communities and all areas of society. Currently the membership of ZHP is over 90 000 girls and boys and leaders.

ZHP is member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). Women are registered as members of WAGGGS, men are members of WOSM.

ZHP is also a member of:

  • International Catholic Conference of Guiding
  • International Catholic Conference of Scouting
  • International Scout and Guide Fellowship
  • International Link of Orthodox Christian Scouts DESMOS

Contact us! ZHP HQ’s International Department – [email protected]; 0048 22 339 639

Age groups in ZHP

Brownies and Cub Scouts, in Polish: zuchy (6-10 years) – Play in their packs

In the programme of the youngest members the world of imagination plays an important role. Any kind of learning is accomplished by playing games. The youngest members are organized into cub packs. Children learn to integrate into a collective of friends. Adults give them real responsibility gradually but at the same time they ensure physical, emotional and mental safety.

Guides and Scouts, in Polish: harcerki & harcerze (10-13 years) – Learn about the world and people through games and fun

The importance of the patrol system is growing at this age. It is a system of natural “gangs” of young people, which enables full participation and self-realization of each member. At the head of such a patrol there is an experienced peer – a young leader (patrol leader). A symbolic framework of scouts and guides is discovering and exploring the world around them and the outdoors is the preferred environment for activities.

Venture Guides and Venture Scouts, in Polish: harcerki starsze & harcerze starsi (13-16 years) – Look for their place in life by undertaking various projects

The characteristic form of activity for senior scouts and guides is quest. The teams begin their quest to discover new authorities and their own perspective on the world. They learn responsibility by carrying out projects. The adults are present but their role is that of advisers and supporters.

Rangers and Rovers, in Polish: wędrowniczki & wędrownicy (16-21 years) – Help others, master their skills and reach beyond their capabilities

The majority of activities of this age group take place at the level of rover groups. Adult leader is the first among equals. The centre of rover programme is composed of wandering, travelling, self-discovering, discovering of one’s values and character. Rangers and Rovers prepare challenging projects for themselves. They organize mountain expeditions and international trips. They participate actively in environmental protection and carry out service for local communities.

The Guide and Scout Promise

It is my sincere wish to serve God and Poland with the whole of my life, to give my willing help to other people, and to obey the Guide and Scout Law.

The Guide and Scout Law

  1. A Guide/Scout conscientiously fulfils the duties stemming from the Guide and Scout Promise.
  2. A Guide’s/Scout’s word is to be trusted like that of Zawisza the Knight.
  3. A Guide/Scout is useful and helps others.
  4. A Guide/Scout is a friend to everybody and a brother to every other Guide/Scout.
  5. A Guide/Scout acts chivalrously.
  6. A Guide/Scout loves Nature and tries to get to know it.
  7. A Guide/Scout is well disciplined and obedient to her/his parents and superiors.
  8. A Guide/Scout is always cheerful.
  9. A Guide/Scout is thrifty and generous.
  10. A Guide/Scout is working on herself/himself; she/he is pure in thought, in word and in deed; she/he is free from addictions.

The Brownie/Cub Scout Promise

I promise to be a good Brownie/Cub Scout and always obey the Brownie/Cub Scout Law.

The Brownie/Cub Scout Law

  1. A Brownie/Cub Scout loves God and Poland.
  2. A Brownie/A Cub Scout is brave.
  3. A Brownie/Cub Scout always tells the truth.
  4. A Brownie/Cub Scout remembers about her/his duties.
  5. Everybody feels happy with a Brownie/Cub Scout.
  6. A Brownie/Cub Scout tries to be better and better.

ZHP’s Governance

The most important authority of ZHP is General Assembly, which takes place every four years. General Assembly elects the National Executive Board, led by the Chief Commissioner. The National Executive Board consists of minimum 5 people and is an executive board of the association.

National Board

  • Ms Martyna Kowacka – Chief Commissioner
  • Ms Katarzyna Brzyska – Treasurer
  • Ms Agata Erhardt-Wojciechowska – Deputy Chief Commissioner, Adults in Scouting and Guiding, Organisational Culture
  • Ms Anna Pospieszna – Deputy Chief Commissioner, Programme and Educational Methods
  • Mr Bartosz Bednarczyk – Deputy Chief Commissioner, External Relations
  • Ms Dominika Brożek – Board Member, Training
  • Mr Piotr Jaworski – Board Member, Organisation and Logistics
  • Mr Dawid Schwann – Board Member, Property Management

The General Assembly also elects the National Council and the ZHP’s President. The Council is comprised of 30-40 members. It decides inter alia in the matters of the methodological system, directions of the educational work and works with the leaders, and it approves the directions of the board’s actions taken in a given year. The President cares about unity, ideological principles and tradition of ZHP. Mr Krzysztof Pater has been ZHP President since 21 May 2022.

On the national level also Central Auditing Committee and the National Scout and Guide Court are active.

As a non-government organization, ZHP consists of 17 regions – one in each local government and one separate in the capital city of Warsaw.

If you would like to find out more about ZHP, the report in English is available now: “The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP)”.