The final of the fourth edition of the Polish Diaspora Educational Board Game Tournament “Wojtek the Bear” in Poland

My name is Maksymilian and I am the finalist of the fourth edition of the Polish Diaspora Educational Board Game Tournament, “Wojtek the Bear”. This annual contest is based on the historical events which took place between 1920 and 2000, which shaped Poland as it is now.

Over four days I competed with over a hundred children of Polish origin, who live outside of Poland.

The competition is named after a bear. Not just any bear! Wojtek was a Persian bear which had a Polish heart. During the Second World War he fought alongside the 22nd Artillery Company of the Second Polish Corps.

The games we played included:

  • The “303” board game is based on the Battle of Britain in 1940 (303 was a Polish fighter squadron initially based in Poland, but then moved to England, once stationed at Biggin Hill).
  • The “111” board game is based on the defence of Warsaw in 1939 (111 was a fighter squadron based in Poland, which started off with a mix of both American and Polish pilots).
  • The “7” board game is based on the defence of Lviv in 1920.

During my visit to Poland, I saw many interesting places like the Royal Baths. The historic place was designed in the 17th Century by Tylman Van Gameren. This was intended for the last King of Poland, King Stanislaw August Poniatowski. The king really admired British gardens making the grounds a wood-like place. Much of the grounds remain the same as you would have found it hundreds of years ago. The main palace is called the Lake Castle as it is surrounded by a large lake where you can find fish. The place also has many peacocks running around!

Another educational place I went to was a large science museum called Copernicus Museum. It had many interactive exhibitions and is named after a famous Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus.

I learnt many new facts about Polish history and tradition; for example, the Polish Constitution of the 3rd of May was the first constitution in Europe, and the second in the world (the first being Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union in America).

I made new friendships, and although we were born in different countries our Polish roots shape our unique identity.

My team and I did very well, though we did not come in the top three. Maybe next time. 🙂