Celebrating 75 years of Lithuanian Scouting in Australia
At the end of 1958, upon the initiative of the District Council, the first gathering of all District Scouts took place – the IV National Camp, held from December 28, 1958, to January 9, 1959, in Mornington, Victoria. The camp was led by Scoutmaster B. Dainutis, assisted by a staff composed of Melbourne scouts. About 200 scouts from Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Melbourne, and Sydney attended the gathering. During the III LSS Australian Region Leaders’ Meeting held at that time, it was decided to organize larger District camps every two years.
Jamboree Badges throughout the years
The first District Camp took place in Ingleburn in 1960, from December 29 to January 10. A total of 178 scouts from all District units participated. The camp was overseen by Commissioner A. Krausas.
The commemorative 45th anniversary “Vilnius” camp (additional) of the LSS took place from January 2 to 11, 1963, in Mt. Crawford, SA, with 210 participants. The camp was led by Commissioner V. Neverauskas.
The second District Camp was held in Wonga Park, Victoria, from January 2 to 13, 1965, with 165 participants. Scout Leader L. Baltrūnas was in charge of the camp.
The third District Camp, “Neringa,” took place in Ingleburn, NSW, with the participation of 132 scouts. Commissioner V. Neverauskas served as the camp leader.
The fifth National Camp was held in Mt. Crawford, SA, from January 3 to 13, 1969, with 177 participants. Dr. A. Mauragis served as the camp leader.
The fourth District Camp, “Nemunas,” took place in Wonga Park, Victoria, from January 2 to 13, 1971, with approximately 160-180 scouts. Commissioner A. Karpavičius was the camp leader until January 5, after which Vl. Stasiliūnas assumed the role.
The commemorative 55th anniversary camp and the 25th anniversary camp of the District took place from January 3 to 13, 1973, in Ingleburn, NSW, at the “Aušros” campsite. A total of 167 scouts participated, with Commissioner Dr. A. Mauragis as the camp sponsor and Scout Leader B. Barkus as the camp leader.
The fifth District Camp, “Trakai,” was held in Houghton, SA, from January 3 to 13, 1975, with Commissioner J. Vanagas as the camp sponsor and Assistant Scout Leader V. Ilgūnas as the camp leader.
The sixth National Camp took place at the beginning of 1978 in Gilwell Park, Victoria. It involved 300 scouts from all over Australia and over 100 scouts from the United States, Canada, England, and Brazil. The camp was attended by numerous high-ranking officials. Scout Leader H. Antanaitis led the sixth National Camp, with Dr. A. Mauragis as the camp sponsor. The camp was filmed by television stations, mentioned on the radio, and described in local and American press. A camp film was made, and a camp newspaper called “Miško aidas” (Forest Echo) was published. Bruce Gorney, the chairman of the World Scout Committee, came from Switzerland to congratulate the camp.
Adelaide Scouts circa 1960
VII – The 7th Regional Olegas Truchanas Camp: January 2-14, 1979, at the “Aušra” campsite in Ingleburn, NSW. The camp had 90 participants and was led by Scout Leader A. Mauragis.
VIII – The 8th Regional “Land of Heroes” Camp: January 2-11, 1981, at the “Woodhouse” campsite in Picadilly, SA. It had 100 scouts and was led by Scout Leader B. Barkus. LSB Chief Scout V. Vidugiris also camped together. During the camp, the “Oak” – “Amber” Leader courses were held, conducted by leaders from these schools who arrived from the USA, Scout Leaders R. Fabijonas and V. Aleknienė.
IX – The 9th Regional “Our Lithuania” Camp: January 3-12, 1983, at Gilwell Park, Victoria. It had 100 scouts and was led by Scout Leader D. Čižauskienė, with the camp supported by Regional Leader A. Pocius.
X – The 10th Regional “Baublio Aid” Camp: January 2-12, 1985, near the Murumbidgee River, close to Canberra. It had 100 scouts and was led by Assistant Scout Leader M. Mauragis.
XI – The 11th Regional “King Mindaugas” Camp: January 2-11, 1987, at Mt. Keira, NSW. It had 100 brothers and sisters, and the camp was led by Sister M. Cox.
VII – The 7th National Camp: January 2-10, 1989, in the Mylor area, South Australia. It had 82 scouts and was led by Assistant Scout Leader D. Baltutytė.
XII – The 12th Regional “Revival” Camp: January 2-12, 1991, in Geelong, Victoria. It had around 110 campers and was led by Brother N. Ramanauskas.
The 75th anniversary jubilee camp of LSS : January 2-10, 1993, at Camp Coutts near the town of Waterfall, NSW. It had around 110 scouts and was led by Sister E. Žižytė-Garrick.
XV – The 15th Regional “Aušra” Camp (with the inclusion of National and jubilee camps, the numbering of camps changed): January 2-11, 1995, at Loftia Park, near Adelaide. It had 98 scouts and was led by Assistant Scout Leader A. Pocius.
The 50th anniversary camp of LSS in the Australian Region was organized from January 2-11, 1997, at Gilwell Park, Victoria. It had around 130 scouts, including a guest from the USA, the Chairman of the LSS Council, Scout Leader B. Banaitienė, and guest Scout Leader Father A. Saulaitis. On the 50th anniversary day of the region (January 5), the Chief Scout Leader of Victoria’s scouts, representatives of Polish, Latvian, and Estonian scouts, as well as a group of scout veterans from the early days of the region, visited the camp. The camp was led by Scout Leader N. Ramanauskas.
The regional camps continued, with the last one taking place in January 2023 at Pennant Hills, Sydney, under the leadership of “Aušra” wolf cub pack leader Scout Leader Kristina Rupšiene.
December 1960, dugout table with its decorations at the Ingleburne 1st National Jamboree