Youth organizations

The first Estonian scout group was created 13 May 1945 in the US zone near the Sachsen and Thüringen areas. Most of these boys, who, along with Estonian scout master Herbert Michelson started this troop and later started DP scout troops in Augsburg and elsewhere. Boy and girl scouts groups, as well as the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) started sports and games groups in every DP camp in the second part of 1945. They were created by the initiative of young people and their leaders. Unlike military power, which regarded youth organisation sympathetically, the UNRRA deterred these groups. UNRRA officials feared that the establishment of organisations could evolve into something political or militaristic. For example, young people were not allowed to walk abreast, or at first, even wear a uniform.

In early December 1945, the First Youth Days were held in the US zone where old and new organisations engaged in activities. The Estonian Youth Work Centre was also established in the US zone. From there on, regular youth leadership days were held in summer and winter, as well as training camps. Youth organisations ended their activities in relation to the resettlement of young people and their leaders to new countries.

Organised youth groups developed most rapidly in the largest Estonian camp in Geislingen. In late autumn 1945, a church was organised in this area, men and women's Christian associations (YMCA, YWCA), and the most active scout organisation. The first youth organisation meeting was held on November 9, 1945 where a three-member panel was elected. The largest boy and girl scouts leaders meeting was held on November 18, when the decision to build the “Estonian Boy Girl Scouts Group” was made. A month later, the Society of Friends was founded within the same organisation. In March 1946, there were 384 scouts in Geislingen, of whom 207 were boy scouts and 177 girl scouts, and half were in uniform. In June of 1946, there were a total of 410 boy and girl scouts, including the youngest members, the cubs and brownies.

The Geislingen Young Christian Associations were established in December 1945, and in June 1946 there were 316 male members and 101 female members in the two respective organisations. Members of the YMCA actively participated in sports, many of which were top athletes, gymnasts, track and field, football and handball players, and the national basketball team member Valdeko Valdman, who was the head of the sports association. The most active period in sporting events took place in the summer and fall of 1946; the largest event was held from 16–18 August, in the US zone.

Girl and boy scouts in a DP camp in Germany, probably in 1946.
VEMU FK.61-36
Girl scouts of the Estonian school in Schleswig in 1948.
VEMU FK.61-37
Leaders of girl scouts in Altenstadt camp, undated.
VEMU FK.61-109