On 15th January, 2023, a few representatives of the Czech Woodcraft League met in the Ostrava city with their fellow Woodcrafters from Poland. The meeting could have been rather formal as the participants were going to deal with a sort of serious issues, but the session was far from being formal, from the beginning to the end. The atmosphere was very warm and friendly and we hope that it will stay with us in the future as well. We dare say that the meeting was held in the mood of genuine brotherhood.
The Poles were represented by Robert St. Bokacki ” Szumiący Dąb”, the member of WROP (Great Council of Eagle Feather) and by Karol Stryjeński, the secretary of WROP. The Czech Woodcraft League sent their Chief – Tomáš Sadílek „Chlup“, their Keeper of the fire – Tibor Parák „Wičháka“ and their Vice-chief and the Guardian of Seton´s seal – Marek Havrlík „Nechodí.“ The patron of The Woodcraft Wikipedia, Aleš Kapica „Keny“, was also present. He has been in touch with Polish Woodcrafters for many years.
The agenda that we discussed was the following:
- The organizational structure of the Czech Woodcraft League.
- The experience the organization has gained in the course of the 33 years of their existence.
- Successes and failures in WLCz´s latest history.
- The System of Deeds.
- Views of the future of the Woodcraft movement in Central Europe, the movement outside Central Europe and the concept of cooperation in the Woodcraft movement in Czechia, Slovakia and Poland.
We are looking forward to seeing our Polish brothers and sisters at their Grand Council Fire which is going to be held in May, 2023.
Marek Havrlík – Nechodí
The Vice-chief of WLCz, the Guardian of Seton´s seal.
This meeting was crucial for us. We had been dreaming of it since October 2022, since the day when WROP was established in Poland. For us, the Czech Woodcraft League is a proof that the idea of Ernest Thompson Seton is still alive, and that it is even more important nowadays than it was 120 years ago. We are fascinated by Woodcraft and we had always desired to have a talk with the people who are the leaders of the world´s largest Woodcraft organization. We didn’t know them, but we believed they would trust us.
All the way down from Warsaw to the Ostrava city we talked with Karol about our expectations. We were coming to the meeting with the hope that the Czech brothers were ready to help us build a strong Woodcraft community in Poland. We wanted to share our plans and ask them for some advice.
We arrived in town one hour before the meeting was due. Before entering the restaurant where we were about to meet, we strolled for a while around the market square and along the neighboring streets, and had tea in a café. Finally, at 1:00 p.m. sharp, we entered a typical Czech pub where typical Czech dumplings and goulash are served. The Woodcraft League representatives had been waiting for us. The introduction was very warm and after a moment we felt like old friends.
Our Polish WROP was represented by Karol Stryjeński – the secretary of WROP and Robert St. Bokacki “Szumiący Dąb” – a member of WROP.
The Czech brothers immediately agreed to come to our April 2023 Woodcraft conference to share their experience, and to our Woodcraft Grand Council Fire in May, 2023. They also gave us a whole bunch of their publications and hinted at how to start working with the System of Deeds. We also got their permission to translate the Czech Birch Bark Roll.
We returned from the Ostrava city full of energy and enthusiasm. We met people who offered their helpful hands to us. After only a few hours we had spent together we felt inter-connected more than we had expected before coming to the meeting.
Dear Czechs, we thank you for this truly fraternal meeting in the Ostrava city and we are looking forward to the following ones: the first one on April 22, 2023 in Konstancin-Jeziorna, during the national Woodcraft conference entitled „Puszczaństwo, czyli las jako sytuacja wychowawcza” and then at the long May weekend at the Grand Woodcraft Council Fire.
Robert St. Bokacki ” Szumiący Dąb”