The Hungarian Scout Association was established in Hungary in 1912, two years after the first troops were formed in 1910. Hungary was originally a charter member of the World Organization of Scout Movements.
Hungary was host to the 4th World Scout Jamboree, held in Gödöllő in 1933, attended by more than 26,000 scouts from 54 countries. The first and only Girl Guide/Girl Scout World Jamboree, Pax-Ting, was also held in Hungary in 1939.
By World War II, the membership reached 60,000. After the war, the communist regime made scouting very difficult and permanently banned the movement in 1948.
In 1945-46, young Hungarian scout leaders who fled the country after World War II formed the first troops outside Hungary in the refugee camps of Austria and Germany. The Hungarian Scout Association in Exile was established in 1948. Troops were formed in other Western European countries, and as refugees emigrated overseas, also in South America, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The Association’s headquarters are based in New Jersey. All leaders and executives are volunteers, except for one modestly paid executive secretary, who handles the day-to-day administrative duties of the organization. At its peak, in the 1970s, there were close to 6,000 Hungarian scouts worldwide, operating in nearly 90 troops in 12 countries, on four continents.
In 1989, with the fall of the communist regime, scouting was re-established in Hungary. The Hungarian Scout Association name was returned to the newly formed organization, and the worldwide organization was named Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris (Latin for “outside of”). With a 40-year lapse of any official scouting activity, the worldwide organization played a major role in helping the rebirth of scouting in Hungary.
Many books, training manuals and leadership training camps held by leaders from the West assisted scouting in taking a new foothold in the country. Today, the membership is about 10,000 in Hungary. In addition, Hungarian scout associations have been formed in countries bordering Hungary with large Hungarian minority populations, namely Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Serbia.
Today, the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris has more than 2,500 scouts in 14 Western countries in nearly 70 established and developing troops.
As of 2015, on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, there are units in the following cities: Boston, Massachusetts; Garfield and New Brunswick, New Jersey; New York, New York; Sarasota, Florida; Wallingford, Connecticut; Washington, DC.