Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris
The Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris (Külföldi Magyar Cserkészszövetség), headquartered in New Jersey, is a worldwide organization dedicated to fostering the ideals of scouting in youth of Hungarian origin who live outside of the Carpathian basin.
The organization has its roots in the postwar refugee camps of West Germany in 1948. Hungarian scout leaders, exiles themselves, recognized that scouting was a viable framework to provide refugee children with character-building activities. As these families eventually started new lives on different continents, the scouting network continued to grow. It now encompasses 70 troops in 14 different countries. More than 70 years later, scouting has provided countless children and young people with unforgettable scouting experiences, friendships, and connections to their Hungarian heritage.
The original group of exiled scout leaders, whose vision looked beyond the devastation of postwar Europe, is known in scout lore as the “Hontalan Sasok” (Stateless Eagles). Their commitment – particularly that of longtime organization leader Gábor Bodnár – ensured that the tradition of Hungarian scouting survived around the world, even while it was banned behind the Iron Curtain for 40 years. Following the end of Communist rule, it was our “exile” organization which assisted the reestablishment of Hungarian scouting in Hungary and the surrounding countries.