Favorite thing: Probably the area will be renewed for the use of the school children, with some new clever programs of stay and education. It would be a shame that the whole complex becomes forgotten, or even worse, that it becomes an ownership of some of the new developers who would erase it from the face of the Earth.
Fondest memory: Even if it's maintained as a park would be a great idea since the surrounding area lacks nice parks and this has become a popular place for weekend walks of many people from Dubrava,
Pionirski grad today
Favorite thing: Today school is closed, and many pavillions are not in use any more. School library is almost empty after all the books about heroic Pioneers and Socialist Youth were selected and put aside. I doubt the copy of the Bosko Buha movie is usable any more.
Fondest memory: Still, after years of neglect most pavillions were renewed recently - at least important things like the roofs, windows and toilets. The company that takes care of the complex is doing a fine job of maintaining the area that now serves like a big park with sports and children playgrounds for the locals.
In case of some conferences and larger school excursions some pavillions can be used for accommodation. Occasional Schools in Nature are sometimes organized.
But everywhere is visible that the glory days of Pioneers are gone and the new youths have some new ideologies.
School in nature
Favorite thing: Pioneers weren't learning only in classrooms but whole campus was shaped like one big classroom where Schools in Nature were organized.
Fondest memory: There are paths where Pioneers could learn about different plants, about the cycle of water in nature, about creation of the clouds and origins of thunderstorms.
One of the forest paths is named "Alley of the Birds" where Pioneers would become familiar with Tito's birds that would simply wait on the trees and pose so Tito's Pioneers could get to know them better.
Education is important!
Favorite thing: Pioneer Town wasn't only a dormitory, of course, since education was important and everything was important in the education of Young Tito's Pioneers.
Fondest memory: A relatively large school was built here as well, for special occasions like championships of knowledge and the like. A large library contained many important books and should there be Pioneers here on the occasion of the Republic Day even a cinema was made, seating 200 persons, so Pioneers could enjoy their annual watching of the Bosko Buha movie.
Education was really important issue in shaping the true Tito's Pioneer.
Favorite thing: There were even larger buildings in Pioneer Town, some of them organized like hostels with large dorms - usually used by members of Tito's Youths for their gatherings. And some buildings were like small hotels with small rooms used by teachers for their annual gatherings, seminars or congresses.
Fondest memory: The architecture of these pavillions and buildings was very nice like the overall setting of the complex as well. Some of the best architects worked on those buildings and even today they emit the freshness of the modernist ideas according to which they were shaped.
Favorite thing: So, this was an introduction into the years of Tito's Pioneers that I supposed was important to write. As you can see, Tito's Pioneers were quite important organization. We even had our own town - Pioneer town in Zagreb.
Fondest memory: The area was built in late 1950s on a 50 hectares site. In a beautifully landscaped area Pavillions are scaterred - each consisting of two rooms (one for Tito's Boys and one for Tito's Girls), toilets and showers as well as a separate rooms for teachers.
There were waiting lists of many schools visiting Zagreb and usually the dates a school would get in Pioneer Town would determine the days a certain school or class would visit Zagreb.
Special occasions were gatherings of Pioneers from all Yugoslavia when only selected ones would have a chance to spend a week or so in this special setting, attending special courses or simply enjoying in the fresh air.
Baton of the Youths
Favorite thing: Pioneers had the official greeting. In our school we were obliged to use it at the end of the each day at school. President of the Pioneer Union would step forward and say "For our Country with Tito". And they would (of course I was the president - haha) reply: "Forward".
Even this had sense at those days. Although Tito died when I was at the first grade.
Fondest memory: Oh yes, Tito's Youths had their annual manifestation that was repeated every year for Tito's birthday.
Every year the Baton of the Youths would start from a different place in Yugoslavia and would travel through all republics of the country. After a month or two (No matter if there was an earthquake, plane crash or a big flood news would always start with the report about the movement of the Baton) it would finally arrive to the central stadium in Belgrade. And the nation would celebrate Tito's birthday. (The fact that the guy was dead didn't stop us from doing it untill 1990 I think).
End of being a Pioneer
Favorite thing: The days of the Pioneer Youth could not last forever, however heroic and beautiful they were, since there were many things ahead of the Young Socialist Youths.
So, in the 7th grade another Big Event was organized. It was time to say goodbye to Pioneer times, Pioneer Red Scarf and Pioneer Blue Cap as it was time to receive another Red membership card - this time the membership of Tito's Youths.
Fondest memory: Tito's Youths was much less imaginative organization than Tito's Pioneers. For one thing - there was no official outfit. No big songs. No official flags. The only thing that didn't change was the right and the obligation (my God - this combination made sense in those times) to watch Bosko Buha movies at least two times per year.
Favorite thing: The membership in Tito's Pioneers for the young child meant the beginning of the participation in Self-governing Socialist life of Socialist Yugoslavia. (Geez, those things sounded like they had a meaning back there). Each class was a basic unit of Pioneer union. Once per week we even had Pioneer Union classes. Where we would discuss all matters that shaped the small lifes of Tito's Pioneers. Each class would elect representatives for the School Union of Pioneers. Where even more important matters were discussed.
Fondest memory: On selected days an official Pioneer outfit was obligatory, usually on state holidays, important dates of our Heroic Past or on birthdays of certain heroes, like heroes after whom the local Pioneer Union was named.
On every big date, like on Days of the Republic or on Days of the Army (yes, that was holiday as well) a big line of kids all wearing red scarfs would go to the local theater where we would have to listen local war veteran talking about the Heroic Battles, usually followed by movie about one of the first Tito's Pioneers - a partisan hero Bosko Buha.
Favorite thing: Although it does seem strange to me, there are some people who were never Pioneers. In fact, kids in today's Croatia are no longer Pioneers - and although I am aware of the dangers I'll be called nostalgic for some passed times I have a feeling they are losing a nice part of their childhood.
Fondest memory: So, as soon as you would become a school kid at the age of 6 your class would start with preparations for the fist Big Event of your education. The day you would become Tito's Pioneer.
The day was usually 29th of November, the birthday of Yugoslavia. What preceeded to this Big Day were hours and hours of rehersals of Pioneer songs, Pioneer anthems and Pioneer oath.
On the Big Day your mom would dress you in Pioneer outfit - dark blue dress or trousers and white shirt. And finally at the ceremony you would receive Pioneer symbols: dark blue cap with a Red Star, Red scarf and a small red Tito's Pioneers Membership Card.
(Ideally, if everything went well, 15 or so years later you would replace this red card for the real red card of the member of the Communist party)