Sandor Sik

Our camp is named after Dr. Sandor Sik (Alexander Sik)… a Piarist priest, governor of the Hungarian Piarist Order, teacher, poet, literary translator, literary historian, Church writer, and scout leader.
HIS LIFE:       Born in Budapest, Hungary on January 20, 1889, Sandor Sik spent most of his childhood years in the city of Gödöllő. He always enjoyed and considered this city to be his true home because he was surrounded by happiness and faith.

His father was also named Sandor. His mother Flora Winternitz, was born Jewish and converted to Catholicism before the birth of their children. At the birth of Sandor, his 3 siblings died of scarlet fever after which four more siblings were born: Endre (Andrew), Miklos (Nicholas), Flora, and Ilma.

Sandor started elementary education in Grade 1 in a Budapest private school then continued Grades 2 -4 in Gödöllő.

After numerous suggestions from priest friends, his father enrolled him for 5 years at the Budapest Hungarian Piarist Gymnasium. The priestly atmosphere and caring teachers meant a lot to Sandor, so he committed himself to becoming a priest, opposing his parents who wanted him to be a lawyer. Having learned of this, he outright stated his intention toward priesthood. He did his noviciate at Vac. The early death of his father seriously impacted the family…to poverty and eventually, their home was sold. From Gödöllő he went to Kecskemét to continue his studies, there his catechism teacher confident and prefect was a decisive influence, guiding his path towards Sandor’s interest for literature and priesthood. He became a teacher…

He started his teaching Hungarian and Latin at the gymnasium at Vac as a home-room teacher. In addition, he also taught history and religion. At the end of the first year, at a young age, he was ordained. Sandor continued his own university education in theology in Hungarian, Greek and Latin..graduated in 1908. Continued to teach and in 1910 he received his teaching credentials. This was followed by his doctoral dissertation, and in 1929 he was assigned to Szeged University, Faculty of Literature. During the war, he resided in the Piarist House, Budapest. Eventually, the order moved to Kalocsa college where he and other priests continued their priestly duties.


For the next 16 years, from 1947, Dr. Sik became the Provincial General of the Hungarian Piarist Order. In 1961, he celebrated his golden anniversary mass. Even though that year his health started to fail, spiritually he remained alert but never complained! He died on September 28th, 1963.



HIS SCOUT LIFE:  In 1911 his life, interest, and inner commitment were pointing in the direction of the emerging scout movement. He took active part in the planning and developing of the scout movement. That very year he planned and led a scout leaders training camp. His ideal for the Hungarian Scout Association was to be based on a religious and ethical foundation, based on strict volunteering. He became the first president and as such, he represented Hungarian scouts at the first Leader’s Congress in Paris.
During the 1912 school year he organized his scout troop at the Budapest Piarist gymnasium. The troop’s first camp was down the Vag River.  Hungarian scouting began… He wrote the 10 Scout Laws as well as the scout anthem still used today. He led the next camp, a National Camp where 8,000 scouts attended. In 1933, the World Scout Jamboree was held in Gödöllő where he assisted Count Pál Teleki camp chief. The scout movement magazine Táborkereszt (Camp-cross), launched in 1935, dealt with and aided the religious teachings in scouting.
He wrote the first section of the Scout Leader’s Manual and contained his extensive philosophy in scout pedagogy used today…its goals and directives.
Sandor Sik was not only an intelligent person but one who also lived scouting to its fullest!

What was Sandor Sik’s philosophy?: To be a better person…!

What did it mean for scouts THEN and NOW?
Sandor Sik formulated it this way:
  1. “Scouting is an arrangement of one’s lifestyle form. It focuses on the complete, not the detail. The onus is not on what, but how…the principle, ideal, and the practical gathered from evangelical, nations past and practical individuals; specifically on how a scout can tie together and implement these… Scouting, with its many facets, is in summation a pedagogical movement that strives to prepare good citizens.”
  2. „The characteristics of scouting is responsible for serving others.”
  3. „The peculiarity of scouting is the spirit of brotherhood.”
                   What was Sandor Sik’s pedagogy: Being a better Hungarian…!
„ There is no greater and more urgent stake for Hungarian scout is to remain a scout only if one believes and accepts it fully.”
In one of the hundreds of poems Sandor Sik’s exemplary life as a person and Hungarian scout is clearly visible and shows direction to all scouts:


Regardless, if others like it

Or not,

Regardless, if  others see it

Or not,

Regardless, if it will be successful

Or not,

Do the good!

Do everything good,

That you can,

There, where you are,

As you able,

As grand as you can,

But always, let that be your program,

                                         ALWAYS!                 /Sik Sandor/

                                              Translated by: T. Lukacs  Copyright! ©TL. 2021


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