Bratislava 2021

Welcome to the 22nd Annual Gathering of the Friends of Scouting in Europe in Bratislava, Slovak Republic – 7th – 10th October 2021

For the 22nd FOSE tour, we have been invited to Slovakia … a melting pot for European history throughout times … having been an important destination for uncountable historical visitors including Celts, Romans, Hungarians, Hapsburgs, Austrians, Germans, Czechs, Communists, Covid19’s, and many, many more. During this year’s FOSEtour, you will have the possibility to get a smell of all this. The present programme has (after a delay of more than a year caused by never-ending lock downs) been prepared and pressure tested in late June/early July. The programme represents content and timing which your humble organising team considers feasible in a World haunted by a pandemic, considering present and possible corona restrictions. When choosing accommodation, places to eat, and things to do, we have given priority to safety and, not least, stability, i.e. all providers are, under these extraordinary circumstances, found likely to be there and to be operative, also in October. All entities involved have proved themselves capable of maintaining adequate hygienic measures. Developments in the health and travel situation under Covid-19 may however, in spite of this, make changes necessary until the very last moment. We shall be based in Bratislava, but shall also have a chance to see some of the surrounding Western Slovakia which is a paradise of friendly green hills, vineyards and literally hundreds of remains of medieval castles, Hrady, residing high above the landscape, each one on its own little hilltop. The chosen theme for this year’s event will be SCOUTING IN AN EVER CHANGING WORLD. Scouting has been present in Slovakia since the days of BP, but has almost endlessly been interrupted, suspended, forbidden, and interrupted again by political changes – and latest by the pandemic. Each and every time, scouting has survived at the end – and is presently the largest youth organization in the country
Who can participate in the event? All Friends of Scouting in Europe and their adult family members are welcome, and so are their friends. Availability of accommodation as well as catering and transportation may force organizers to limit the number of participants, therefore be sure to book as early as possible. First come first served.
Registrations for the event Please fill in & submit the attached form as soon as possible, and no later than 15th August 2021. Payment info will be sent out upon registration. Please note that we can neither guarantee hotel accommodation nor the price of rooms for later registrations. Registrations will, for the same reason, be considered final and binding. Please observe that organisers have no access to data on separate, national arrangements in connection to the FOSE meeting (such as e.g. the Swiss team’s tour) and that you must therefore register your participation in the FOSE meeting separately, even if you are taking part in such other, additional programme.
Duration of the FOSE event The official programme will start on Thursday, 7th October early afternoon, and end on Sunday, 10th October after lunch. Please check out the details below. Please advise if your travel arrangements necessitate late arrivals or early departures. For those not being able to take part in the full programme, a shorter week end session (Saturday afternoon until Sunday after lunch) will, on request, be available at a reduced fee.

Be prepared … notes on travelling to the Slovak Republic

The Slovak Republic is a member of the EU, including the Schengen Treaty. However the Covid-19 pandemic gives rise to a varying array of travel restrictions. At the time of preparing this programme, travellers to the Slovak Republic are generally exempt from requirements of quarantine, conditional on their being fully vaccinated. Up-dated information can be found at republic/. Irrespective of origin, all travellers must fill in an electronic application (“eHranica form”) prior to arrival (and max. 2 days before). If you travel by air, further restrictions including tests may apply. Our departure information, dispensed after your registration, will provide possible updates. It is however your own responsibility to observe and to fulfil entry formalities. Visitors from non-EU countries are especially encouraged to check for possible visa requirements and entry restrictions with official information web sites, and local consular services prior to departure.

Bratislava has an international airport just off the city limits. There are daily direct flights to and from several European destinations. However, quite a few travellers choose to fly in via Vienna, the airport of which enjoys more frequent international connections. From Vienna, there is an hourly bus service to Bratislava – a ride of roughly 1 hour, ending just 500 metres from our hotel.

Be prepared … notes on insurance

Everybody should check their insurance cover for expenses (medical as well as repatriation) related to possible illness and accidents that may occur during your stay in Slovakia – including such expenses that may follow from Covid-19. EU citizens should bring their blue EU healthcare certificate. A travel cancellation policy might also prove a good idea – our programme is bound up on firm contracts with hotels, caterers and logistics providers, and therefore we cannot offer any refunds in case of your cancellation.

Please note, on the other hand, that a cancellation of the tour as such due to sudden travelling restrictions, is considered a highly unlikely event. Should this however be made necessary, we shall of course do our utmost to remunerate registered participants, depending on possible refunds to us.

Be prepared … notes on climate and clothing

Our Slovak hosts have (almost) promised us an Indian Summer for the October stay. However BE PREPARED for autumn showers and chilly nights.


a) Programme

As everybody will be aware, the planning of this year’s tour has awaited the developments in the travel situation in Europe. This means that not all contracts with providers of catering and transportation are final yet. The cost for participants will however not exceed the level of previous years of

€ 299

The programme will, as usually, be arranged on an all inclusive basis, so the programme fee will cover all common transportation throughout the prolonged week end, all excursions, guides, entrance fees, customary tips, and (not forgetting) catering inclusive of drinks during meals from Thursday afternoon until farewell time Sunday early afternoon.

It has become a tradition to use any financial surplus from the gathering, should it occur, to sponsor a Scout project, with priority given to a project in the host country.

b) Accommodation

The group will stay at the IBIS Hotel which enjoys a second-to-none location, within less than 4 minutes walking distance from the maze of narrow cobble stone paved winding streets and beautiful squares constituting the historical Old Town of Bratislava. If you turn right instead of left, a short uphill walk brings you to the Bratisalava Castle with a magnificent view over the City and the Danube.

All rooms are equipped with en suite toilet/shower, cable TV as well as free WiFi.

Accommodation for all 3 nights will cost € 159 per person in single rooms, and € 87 per person sharing a double room (queen size bed). Quoted prices include all fees and taxes. Safe private parking in the basement may be enjoyed against a supplementary fee. The hotel is entirely no smoking.

If you want to extend your stay, additional nights at your hotel may be booked together with your registration for the FOSE tour in the enclosed form. Such extra nights will be charged at the group rate. Only such reservations made together with your tour booking will be charged at our very favourable rate. Later (or individual) bookings should expect to pay the normal rate charged by the hotel, and are subject to vacancies.


Thursday 7th October

Where are we?

We meet in the hotel lobby, and together with a local scout with a background as an architect, we shall study the fascinating contrasts between old and new in downtown. Later, a prominent representative of the official Slovak Republic will enlighten us on financing youth organizations in the country. Dinner will be served at the U Zlateho Bazanta restaurant, some 10- 12 minutes walk away from the hotel.

Friday 8th October

What are they doing?

This will be an excursion day. Highlights will be –

  • Visit to a Hrad. No visit to Slovakia without experiencing a medieval castle. The Hrad Korlatka is special because it is partly maintained by scouts. We shall learn about the history of the castles, and about the scout community goodturn.
  • Pezinok scouts. We shall see and touch a small project, recently supported by FOSE. We shall also learn about challenges for a provincial scout group.
  • Lunch at the Pesinský Preš
  • Surviving Covid-19 This is not a medical study … however we shall learn what Slovak Scouts did to keep up members and activities during the pandemic
  • Financing a scout hall The Senec scouts have managed to have a villa-style scout hall built for themselves. How did they?
  • Annual meeting Back in Bratislava, we shall have the annual meeting of FOSE, before we end the day at the
  • 1st Slovak Pub which will serve dinner.

Saturday 9th October

What are they thinking?

During exactly the same week end as the FOSE visit, Slovak Scouting will be having a Scouting Symposium in the town of Nové Mesto nad Váhom, roughly an hour’s ride north of Bratislava. We’ll go there and have an impression what’s up at the moment. We’ll also have a chance to spread out the message of FOSE’s possibilities to several hundred scout leaders from across the nation. Some may also be prepared to show us ideas for small projects.

On our way back, we shall have a spiritual experience at the Chateau Modra winery which produces top class wines, red and white.

Back in Bratislava, we shall – after a rest – commonly enjoy our traditional.

Farewell dinner which will be served at the Bratislava Flagship Restaurant.