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Plast–Washington, DC Branch

Plast-Washington, DC Branch is the local troop chapter (Станиця) of the nation-wide Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization – USA.  We serve families living in the Greater Washington area, including the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.  Our scouts generally meet on Saturdays after school of the Taras Shevchenko School of Ukrainian Studies in Bethesda, MD.  During weekly troop meetings, our scouts work on earning their merit badges (вмілости) while working on various projects to advance their rank (проби).  In addition to the weekly troop meetings, the Plast DC branch conducts fun and educational activities, including nature hikes, picnics, campfires, bike rides, white water rafting, ropes course climbing, ice skating, and other field trips.  During the school year, we prepare and encourage our scouts to attend Plast summer camps that take place in July and August.


(Plast-Washington, DC scouts before a bike ride in 2023.)

What is Plast?

Plast is a Ukrainian Scouting Organization whose membership is open to both boys and girls and continues throughout adulthood.  The youngest group is “Ptashata” (Пташата – УПП) for children ages 4-5.  Kids ages 6-11 years can join “Novatstvo” (Новацтво – УПН).  Adolescents ages 11-18 can join “Yunatstvo” (Юнацтво – УПЮ).  After graduating high school, young adults ages 18-35 yr can join “Starshi Plastuny” (Старші Пластyни – УСП).  Finally, adults ages 35+ can join “Seniory” (Сенйори – УПС).


History of Plast

Plast was founded in Lviv, Ukraine by Dr. Oleksander Tysovsky during 1911-12.  Dr. Tysovsky modeled Plast on the British Boy Scout movement founded by Lord Baden-Powell, but adapted to a Ukrainian context.  The name Plast is taken from Cossack history. The word Plastun comes from the name given by Cossack warriors to their reconnaissance scouts.  The aim of Plast is to develop patriotic young people to be competent, responsible, and valuable citizens to local, national, and world communities, and to promote the development of leadership skills.  Due to its patriotic orientation, however, Plast was banned in Ukraine by foreign occupying governments (including Germans and Soviets) during large portions of the 20th century.  Plast spread outside of Ukraine by Ukrainian refugees in post-war Germany in displaced persons camps, and subsequently flourished around the globe (in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Argentina, Australia, Germany, Poland, and others).


(Plast scouts with Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, who donated land in the Carpathian Mountains where the first Plast camps took place. Source: Subtelny.)

Objectives of Plast

The three main obligations of Plast are: (1) To be faithful to God and Ukraine, (2) To help others, and (3) To live by the Plast Code and obey Plast leadership.  The Plast Code specifies 14 character traits: 1. Keeping one’s word, 2. Conscientiousness, 3. Accuracy, 4. Frugality, 5. Fairness, 6. Politeness, 7. Brotherliness and well-wishing, 8. Equanimity, 9. Usefulness, 10. Obedience to Plast leadership, 11. Attentiveness, 12. Caring for one’s health, 13. Loving and caring for beauty, 14. Positive thinking at all times.



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