Zwiazek Harcerstwa Polskiego (ZHP)

Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting introduced: 1910 - Founder Member of WAGGGS
Number of Girl Guides/Girl Scouts: 49304 (31/12/2012)
Status: Full Member
Admits boys: No

WAGGGS Region:


Contact us

International Commissioner (WAGGGS)
Konopnickiej 6

Telephone: 00 48223390639
Fax: 00 48223390606
Email: wza@zhp.pl
Website: www.zhp.pl


Przyrzeczenie Harcerskie

Mam szczera. wole. calym ˙zyciem
pe ni´c slu˙zbe. Bogu i Polsce, nie´s´c che.tna. pomoc bli´znim i by´c pos uszna. Prawu Harcerskiemu.

Guide 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 Scout and Guide Law.

Obietnica Zucha

Obiecuje. by´c dobrym zuchem, zawsze przestrzega´c Prawa Zucha

Brownie Promise

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


Prawo Harcerskie

1 Harcerka sumiennie spelnia

swoje obowia.zki wynikaja.ce z Przyrzeczenia Harcerskiego.

2 Na s owie harcerki polegaj jak na Zawiszy.

3 Harcerka jest po˙zyteczna i niesie pomoc bli´znim.

4 Harcerka w ka˙zdym widzi bli´zniego, a za siostre. uwa˙za ka˙zda. inna. harcerke..

5 Harcerka poste.puje po rycersku.

6 Harcerka mi uje przyrode. i stara sie. ja. pozna´c.

7 Harcerka jest karna i pos uszna rodzicom i wszystkim swoim prze o˙zonym.

8 Harcerka jest zawsze pogodna.

9 Harcerka jest oszcze.dna i ofiarna.

10 Harcerka jest czysta w my´sli, mowie i uczynkach, nie pali tytoniu, nie pije napojów alkoholowych.

Guide Law (English)

1 A Guide conscientiously fulfils the duties stemming from the Guide Promise.

2 A Guide’s word is to be trusted like that of Zawisza the Knight.

3 A Guide is useful and helps others.

4 A Guide is a friend to everybody and a sister to every other Guide.

5 A Guide acts chivalrously.

6 A Guide loves nature and tries to get to know it.

7 A Guide is well disciplined and obedient to her parents and superiors.

8 A Guide is always cheerful.

9 A Guide is thrifty and generous.

10 A Guide is pure in thought, in word and in deed; she does not smoke or drink alcohol.

Prawo Zucha

1 Zuch kocha Boga i Polske.

2 Zuch jest dzielny.

3 Zuch mówi prawde..

4 Zuch pamie.ta o swoich obowia.zkach.

5 Wszystkim jest z zuchem dobrze.

6 Zuch stara sie. by´c coraz lepszy.

Brownie Law

1 A Brownie loves God and Poland.

2 A Brownie is brave.

3 A Brownie always tells the truth.

4 A Brownie remembers about her duties.

5 Everybody feels happy with a Brownie.

6 A Brownie tries to get better and better.


Motto - Czuj

Brownie Motto - Be Prepared

Age groups:

Harcerki starsze Ranger 15+

Harcerki Guide 11-15

Zuchy Brownie 7-11

Development of the movement:

Polish Guiding started in 1910, with a troop in Lwów, at the same time as the first two Polish Boy Scout troops were established. In January 1913, a Guide section was created within the Headquarters of Polish Scouting and Guiding. Guiding increased throughout Poland which at that time was still partitioned among Austria, Prussia and Russia. Parts of Poland were under German and Russian rule, where Guiding was not allowed and so Guiding had to operate in secret. When the First World War broke out in 1914, contacts between regions became difficult because fighting was taking place on Polish territory, and a special Guide authority was established in Warsaw. Throughout this period, before and during the First World War, Polish Guides co-operated actively with all those who worked and fought for the independence of Poland.

A new epoch for Polish Guiding and Scouting began when, after the First World War, Poland became independent again, and the war with communist Russia was won. In 1918, the nationwide organization Polish Guiding and Scouting Association (ZHP) was formally established.

In 1920, ZHP was represented at the 1st World Conference in Oxford and representatives of Polish Guides have attended World Conferences of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides since then. ZHP was a Founder Member of WAGGGS. The first national Guide Jamboree took place in 1924.

The year 1930 brought about a great change: a decision was made to establish within ZHP separate Guide and Scout Organizations, both with their own authorities at all levels. The Guide leaders created their own monthly paper called Wings which played a very important role in Polish Guiding.

In 1932, the Bucze Training School for Guide Leaders was organized in Silesia, and in the summer of that year the 7th World Conference took place in Poland, with Lady Baden-Powell among the many delegates attending.

When the Second World War broke out, many ZHP leaders left the country to continue Guiding/Scouting activity among emigré youth. The Guiding/ Scouting communities which remained in the Nazi-occupied country formed an underground organization linked to the Home Army. ‘Trefoil Union’ was one of the underground cryptonyms of the Guide Association and became well known, earning high respect from Polish society. Guides helped the weak, the poor, the homeless and children in need in different ways, and they participated in the Resistance Movement all over Poland.

When in 1944 the Red Army and the Polish Army advanced into Polish territory, the new communist regime was gradually established. Guiding became increasingly difficult to practise due to political pressure and finally, in 1950, ZHP was suspended and an organization for children with a few elements taken from Guiding and Scouting was organized in schools. Its name was ‘Scout and Guide Organization’, not ‘Pioneer’ as in other Central and Eastern European countries. Poland resigned its membership of WAGGGS in 1950.

After the political changes of 1956, ZHP was re-established, and many former Guide and Scout leaders returned to rebuild Polish Guiding and Scouting as a co-educational merged organization, not a joint one as before. But this traditional model was to survive for only a few years, as ZHP was gradually turned into a mass children’s organization, increasingly permeated by communist indoctrination. The years between 1960-1980 were difficult because of a strong influence of the Communist Party on the Association, but a number of troops preserved the best Guide and Scout traditions.

After facing years of difficulty, the laws concerning associations in Poland changed and ZHP decided, at its Congress at Bydgoszcz in 1990, to return fully to traditional values and methods, and worked intensively towards returning to both Guide and Scout World Organizations. The final part of this process was the Extraordinary Congress of ZHP on 10 June 1995, which amended the Association’s Statutes, making them fully compatible with the requirements of WAGGGS.

ZHP has good contacts with many European Associations, some with a long tradition – more than 25 years. ZHP has hosted, and attended many European events.


The ZHP programme is varied and rich. Each troop consists of 15-25 people and the programme relates to the needs of these troops. A great tradition of forest camping and traditional Guide and Scout activities is well combined with modern ideas to fulfil the educational objective of the Association. ZHP has well-developed special-skill activities, such as Sea Scouting, parachuting, life rescue, scout border guard, ballooning, scuba diving, scout post, horse riding, amateur radio communication, performed mainly by special-activity troops. Within ZHP there is a branch for handicapped children called ‘The Unblazed Trail.’ In 2003, this will celebrate its 45th anniversary.

A new programme, On the Paths of Healthy Life began in 1999/2000. This programme linked with the Building World Citizenship – WAGGGS' Perspective, Health. The aim was to develop attitudes, knowledge and skills connected with civilization and social diseases through promoting healthy lifestyles, hygiene and living in harmony with nature. The aims were addressed in six thematic blocks:

Use your health to help others. Examples: blood donations, first aid courses

Energy of life. Examples: fundamentals of healthy eating; practical knowledge on calorific values, eating at home.

Go ahead! Examples: learning how the human body is built; exercise; exercise and games for people with special needs.

Equilibrium. Examples: dealing with mental health problems; anorexia, bulimia, shyness and aggression; relation techniques.

Through the looking glass. Examples: beauty care and hygiene

Blind alley. Examples: additions such as drug, alcohol and tobacco. How to recognise people with addictions and help them.

In early 1999 ZHP reassumed the Peace Packs project based on the WAGGGS and UNHCR Peace Initiative which ran from 1993 to 1996. Guide and Scout units prepared a number of Peace Packs which are distributed to refugee children from Kosovo. The packs contain practical materials as well as toys and drawing kits.

The Deputy Chief Guide is responsible for implementation of the programme of the Association. She is supported by a Programme Team which consists of Heads of Programme Departments of Headquarters amongst others. The new programme developed for 2001-2005, decided on the following areas:

Patriotic and European education; Guiding in rural areas; Economic education; Reinforcing the educational character of the Association and improving the quality of Guiding and Scouting in Poland. The new programme is called ‘Colours of the Future.’

Another element of the personal development programmes for Brownies, Guides and Rangers is proficiency badges. These can be achieved through individual work, or in groups, and include first aid, nature, Scout and Guide techniques, self-improvement, life skills, social life, ethnography and culture.

Relationship to society:

Communication and Co-operation

Since its transformation in the early, 1990s ZHP is well respected by the general public. It has good relations with the state and local authorities, but still preserves its independence. It has been perceived as an important partner in educating young people in the spirit of patriotism. In August 1993, the President of Poland became an Honourable Protector of ZHP – a continuation of a good pre-war tradition. ZHP has a National Chaplain appointed officially, with an acceptance of the Primate of Poland. ZHP is a member of Catholic Conferences ICCG and ICCS.

All national newspapers and the information agency of the public TV receive coverage of all important events held by Guides and Scouts. Press conferences are organized prior to events of general interest, such as Summer Action, Winter Action, Congress and central events.

The Association produces a national monthly magazine for all leaders Czuwaj. Many troops and districts publish their own local magazines.


ZHP has a national Leader Training Centre calls CSI ‘Perkoz’. The Head of the Centre together with her Team is responsible for developing and, after it is accepted by the National Board and National Council, implementing the training strategy of ZHP. The Team is also responsible for training leaders and commissioners of regional level while Regions and Districts are responsible for preparing all the lower level leaders. Training is also conducted through workshops and during conferences which deal with specific problems both at national and regional level and also during Troop Leaders’ meetings in districts.

A new training strategy ‘Training and Adult Resources Strategy 2002-2005’ is being implemented to fully support all leaders, unify the training system by setting clear standards for performing each type of responsibility and developing new efficient methods of retention and recruitment of leaders.

All leaders and commissioners are responsible for their continuous development. After completion of each stage a leader obtains a ‘leader degree’ and has the right to wear a colour pad under the Scout and Guide Cross on the uniform.

Outdoor activities and the environment

As part of the Building World Citizenship project, a Programme of Ecological Education was launched. The aims were to increase ecological awareness of members and, in the long term, to influence the attitudes of the adult society. Guides and Scouts took part in ecological events, for example: World Earth Day, Clean Up the Earth, Health Picnic. Brownies, Guides and Rangers could develop their knowledge and skills through a system of special proficiency badges: eco-girl, defender of clean water; flower grower; meteorologist; herbalist and many more.