After the Fall of Saigon in 1975, both male and female scouting organizations were banned by the Communist regime. As refugees left, scouting troops first formed in Guam, and then later in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. These troops served the needs of male and female youths who were displaced from the homeland.
From Guam, refugees were dispersed throughout the world. In the summer of 1975, the beloved yellow flag, with the words “Hướng Đạo Việt Nam” written above the three red stripes and Lạc Việt written below, flew for the first time at Camp Pendleton, California marking the beginning of Hướng Đạo in the United States. Refugees who relocated to other countries also formed their own scouting troops.
Refugees approaching a U.S. war ship (April 1975)
In 1977, leaders from Liên Đoàn Lạc Việt at Camp Pendleton formed the first official scouting unit in the United States, Kha Đoàn Hướng Việt, which was registered with Boys Scouts of America (BSA) as Explorer Post 304 in remembrance of the Black April. Kha Đoàn Hướng Việt was disbanded in 1978.
Three former scouts and two former Trưởng from Kha Đoàn Hướng Việt along with two high school students formed Kha Đoàn Chi Lăng, officially registering with BSA as Explorer Post 279 on June 1979.
Tr. Thịnh and Kha Sinh Hà prepared a weekly flag ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California.
On June 9, 1979, Tuần Kim Sơn and Tuần Sao Mai were formed. Tuần Kim Sơn was led by Tuần Trưởng, Phạm Đình Ngà along with Tuần Phó, Phan Ngọc Hải and Hạ Quốc Khiêm while Trần Phượng Chi served as the first Tuần Trưởng of Tuần Sao Mai of female scouts until it was disbanded on August 5, 1979. Tuần Kim Sơn was disbanded on April 26, 1980.
Tuần Kim Sơn in 1979.
Tr. Lê Minh Lý presented an Award to Tr. Phạm Đình Ngà at the 2nd Anniversary ceremony of Kha Đoàn Hướng Việt.
Tuần Đống Đa was formed on Jul 28, 1979, led by its first Tuần Trưởng, Đặng Đình Toàn, and Tuần Phó, Nguyễn Thế Tân and Phùng Quang Tuyến.
Tuần Đống Đa in 1979.
Tuần Hoa Lư was formed on December 22, 1980. Nguyễn Thế Tân served as the first Tuần Trưởng, along with Phùng Quang Viễn and Vũ Văn Trung.
Tuần Hoa Lư in 1982.
Even though there were female scouts, it was not until August 2, 1981 when Tuần Mê Linh was formed to serve female scouts. Tuần Mê Linh was led by Tuần Trưởng, Pham Đỗ Thị Thiên Hương, and Tuần Phó, Nguyễn Thị Lệ Giang and Trần Thị Bích Ngọc.
Tuần Mê Linh in 1981.
Kha Đoàn Chi Lăng continued to grow in size, adding Tuần Tây Đô on August 22, 1981. Phùng Quang Viễn served as Tuần Trưởng and Nguyễn Cửu Trường and Nguyễn Thế Quý served as Tuần Phó.
Tuần Tây Đô in 1982.
As more female scouts joined, Nguyễn Thị Lệ Giang was recruited to be the Tuần Trưởng of the newly formed Tuần Thăng Long on June 26, 1982, with Trần Thị Bích Ngọc and Phạm Thị Mỹ Dung serving as Tuần Phó.
Tuần Thăng Long in 1982.
Kha Đoàn Chi Lăng added its fourth patrol, Tuần Vạn Kiếp, on July 10, 1982. Phùng Quang Viễn was recruited to serve as its first Tuần Trưởng, while Nguyễn Vũ Trung and Khưu Quốc Nam serving as Tuần Phó.
Tuần Vạn Kiếp in 1983.
On August 27, 1985, Tuần Phong Châu was created to meet the demands of female scouts. Phạm Thị Thu Nguyệt served as Tuần Trưởng and Phạm Thị Thiện Tâm as Tuần Phó.
Tuần Phong Châu and Thăng Long in 1987.
Prior to April 1975, male and female scouts were never in the same troop. As refugees displaced from their homeland, scout leaders had to adapt and incorporate both male and female scouts into one troop. When Kha Đoàn Hướng Việt officially registered with BSA as Explorer Post 304, they adopted the khaki uniform as their official uniform for both male and female scouts. On their khaki uniform, the Orange County Council Patch and numbers 304 were sewn on their left sleeves. Blue pants or blue jeans were often worn by both female and male scouts. There was little distinction between the male and female scouts in terms of their uniform.
Thanh Đoàn Chi Lăng with Blue uniforms in 1983 at the 4th Anniversary ceremony in Santa Ana.
When Tr. Thiên-Hương Phạm Đỗ first joined Kha Đoàn Chi Lăng as a high school student in 1980, she recognized a need to provide a separate identity for the girls. Being a Chim Non in Hội Nữ Hướng Đạo Việt Nam before April 1975, she introduced the light blue uniform for the girls to wear in the newly formed Tuần Mê Linh. She brought back from what she experienced in the past and sewed a light blue uniform to have collars, pockets and shoulder loops for girl scouts to wear. Female scouts were then differentiated from the male scouts by the color of their uniform.
As female patrols within Kha Đoàn Chi Lăng grew to three patrols, Tr. Thiên-Hương Phạm-Đỗ wanted to further promote the separate identity of female scouts, not just by their uniform, but also by the structure within a Liên Đoàn. In order to meet that need, Tr. Thiên Hương created Thanh Đoàn Chi Lăng with the approval of Leaders Council, serving female youths at the high school age.
Thanh Đoàn Chi Lăng in 1984
Liên Đoàn Chi Lăng continued to have both Kha Đoàn and Thanh Đoàn even after HĐTU-HĐVN adopted Thanh Đoàn around 1999 to refer to high school age scouts. With this change, there was no longer a distinction between Kha Đoàn serving male scouts and Thanh Đoàn serving female scouts. Rather, Thanh Đoàn serves both female and male scouts and this change was more consistent with the BSA Venturing Crew program.
Because Liên Đoàn Chi Lăng believes in the triad of scouting, we kept the Kha Đoàn, with the male scouts registering with BSA as a Venturing Crew, and Thanh Đoàn, with female scouts registering with GSUSA. Our female scouts also register with BSA as a Venturing Crew 2279. Kha Thanh Đoàn reflects the unique structure of the triad of scouting.
There are separate yells for each program:
Materials from Khóa Chí Linh.