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Plast - National Scout Organization of Ukraine

Plast is a Ukrainian scouting organization. Plast’s goal is to promote an all encompassing, patriotic and self-educating program for Ukrainian youth based on Christian principles. Being a non-political and non-confessional organization, Plast educates youth as conscious, responsible and valuable citizens on the local, national and world community levels. We strive to educate the leaders of society.

Plast was established in 1911 shortly after the scout movement was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. Our first members took their first Plast Oath in Lviv, Ukraine in 1912. Among the founders of Plast were Dr. Oleksander Tysovskyy, Petro Franko (son of Ivan Franko – the famous Ukrainian poet, writer, political writer and public activist), and Ivan Chmola. The word “Plast” comes from the Ukrainian word “plastun” which was the name for Ukrainian Cossack scouts.

Герб Пласту - тризуб, переплетений із трилистою лілеєю
Plast's coat of arms

Plast's coat of arms is Scouting’s Fleur-de-lis - flower of the lily - inseparably interlaced with Ukrainian coat of arms Trident (“Tryzub”).

To reach its educational goals, Plast uses own unique education method. Its basic principles include free-will membership, education and learning through game and work, gradual system of studies and trials, self-governing  in a circle, encouragement of initiative and self-management, perception of the nature and living in the nature, support of special interests and talents of children and youth.

Unlike most scouting organizations in the world where membership is limited by the age of 25 years, membership in Plast is lifelong. Conventionally membership falls into four Age groups: Cub Scouts (age 6-12), Rover Scouts (12-18), Older Plast members (18-35) and Senior Plast members (those turned 35). All educational and administrative work in Plast is performed by Older and Senior Plast members solely on a volunteer basis.

Plast in Ukraine unites about 10.000 members of different ages and by that is the biggest scouting organization in Ukraine. Today about 130 local councils are present in all 24 Ukraine’s administrative units and in Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Plast actively cooperates with state authorities and other public organizations implementing various social and educational programs.

During the year Plast in Ukraine conducts more than 100 educational outdoor camps with different specializations: sporting, marine, aeronautical, arts, skiing, alpinist, archaeological, horse-riding, ecological, etc. At these camps Plast members master their knowledge and practical skills obtained during the year at weekly studies. Among the biggest events carried out by Plast on all-Ukrainian level are: intellectual-art competition “Orlykiada”, creative festival “Den Plastuna”, sporting event “Spartakiada”, distribution of Light of Peace from Bethlehem among local communities, touristic contests “Stezhkamy herojiv” and “Osinniy reyd”. On a local level, Plast councils conduct lots of social-cultural and educational events.

Besides Ukraine, Plast also officially exists in eight states, namely: Australia, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Plast organizations from all nine states are united into world-wide Conference of Ukrainian Plast Organizations, headed by Plast Head (known as "Nachalniy Plastun").