Estonia is one of the three Baltic states, bordered by the Baltic Sea, Latvia and Russia. Covering an area of 42.227 square kilometers, Estonia is a flat country of which 40% is forest. The highest point is Suur Munamägi (Big Egg Mountain) in South Estonia – 318 meters, which is also the highest point in the Baltics.
Despite the northerly location, we can enjoy a mild climate because of marine influences. Travelling around, you can find here numerous lakes and more than 2.000 islands. Here are also many swamps and fens for enjoyable hiking. The warmest month is usually July, when the temperatures hover around 20…25°C.
Estonians, who are ethnically and linguistically close to the Finns, make up about 68.7 % of the 1.3 million population, Russians constitute 24.8% and the rest other minorities. The official language is Estonian, but Russian is also widely spoken and English as well. The majority of Estonians are evangelical Lutherans.
After centuries of other countries’ rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940, we regained the freedom again in 1991. Today, Estonia is a multiparty republic, which has a popularly elected 101-seat parliament, called Riigikogu. The president – Kersti Kaljulaid – is elected by parliament for a five-year term, the prime minister is nominated by the president and approved by the parliament. Since 2004 Estonia is a member of the European Union.
Tallinn – the capital of Estonia, is one of the historic towns of Northern Europe. First known as Reval, appeared in 1219 at the base of the harbor castle conquered by the Danes and acquired town rights in 1248. In the 10th century, the ancient Estonians had already established their central trading point on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. Nowadays Tallinn has about 400.000 inhabitants. The Old Town is a living monument to the heyday of the Hanseatic League in 14th-15th centuries and offers much to discover.
Tere tulemast! – Welcome!
SCOUTING IN ESTONIA
Scouting in Estonia began first in 1912 when a group of boys gathered in Pärnu. Estonian Scouting was a founding member of the World Organization from 1922 to 1940. After that scouting was forbidden in Estonia, but kept alive in the foreign countries where Estonians were living. Estonian Scout Association (Eesti Skautide Ühing) was founded in 1995 after the revitalization of scouting in Estonia, which occurred towards the end of the Soviet occupation in 1988-89. It was recognized and became a full-fledged member of the WOSM again in 1996. When founded, there were 200-300 members in several counties of Estonia, today the number is about 1.200 throughout the country. The Association is managed by a National Committee, which is elected by the General Assembly for a term of 3 years.