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Vlasta Macková (1920) - Biography

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Even without the uniform, one needs to be able to tell that you are something different

Vlasta Macková, née Litochlebová, was born May 5, 1920 in Česká Třebová. She grew up with the influence of Scouting. Her father became a district correspondent for Junák (Czech Scout organization) and her mother helped lead the girl's troop in Hradec Králové, where the family moved in the 1930s. In 1931, as a young Scout, Vlasta took part in the Slavic Jamboree in Prague, and later attended similar meetings in Poland and Yugoslavia. In 1937 she was selected as a delegate for the Czech Girl Guides to participate in the Silver Jubilee of American Girl Guides. She formed life-long friendships and contacts during this trip. In 1939 the family moved to Prague, where Vlasta began studying at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University. However, she attended the classes for only a few weeks, since the universities were ordered to close down in October 1939. During the war she completed an economy course for secondary school graduates and she began contributing to the magazine Zákon mládí ("The Law of Youth"). Immediately after the liberation in May 1945, Vlasta volunteered as a nurse. Vlasta Koseová, the Chief Guide at that time, offered her a job as a secretary for the Girl Guide group and later as a foreign correspondent. Vlasta Macková accepted both and apart from these activities she also worked to organize forest schools and to establish and maintain contact with Scouts abroad. She became a life-long friend of Vlasta Koseová. After the ban on Junák in 1950, she devoted her time to her family, but she still kept in touch with her friends abroad through letter-writing. During the period of the Prague Spring in 1968 she became the Czech Chief Guide in the restored Junák and the federal vice-chief guide of Girl Guides. This however lasted only for two years as Junák became banned again in 1970. Vlasta then helped with its second restoration and served as the Chief Guide of Girl Guides until 1992. She strove to connect Czech Scouting to worldwide organizations. Vlasta also attended an international conference of Girl Guides in Singapore, being already 70 years old at that time. She did not run for the Chief Guide in the following convention as she wanted to pass the position to the younger generation. She became the honorary Chief Guide of Junák. She is the holder of the Order of the Silver Trefoil and other awards and a member of Svojsík's troop.

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