What is Stezka (Path)
» Answer to the call of the wild
» Hope, love and belief
» Physical exertion and spiritual uplifting
» Joy of the sun and rain
» Social event
» Stress for the kidneys and vocal cords
» Burst of anything
» Medicine against pessimism
» Return to the depths of student’s soul
» Sleeping bag, hiking boots and guitar
» Drained purse
» Source of friends
» Beautifully served toil
STEZKA cannot be described in words, you must experience it!
It is the beginning of the 60’s, students start their studies at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Prague Technical Institute. The Cold War is thawing. Here we can find the roots of what was called later the „Détente“.
In these events are caught the non-resident boys in the Hlávkova and Podolská Student Hostel. From one day to the next in the big city, alone for everything, from filling one’s stomach to ten exams of the first year. They soak up the atmosphere of the theatre „Semafor“, of the beerhouse „U Fleků“, they dance, play football and marriage. Next year they find old and new friends in the pub „Na Sibiři“. Life is not only struggle, but also search for and creation of joy.br>In autumn 1962 things get moving, when the Czech-Polish Convention on Small-Scale Border Contacts is concluded and a few friends leave for the unknown to the jubilee „X. Ogólnopolski rajd studentski“. Beautiful atmosphere, unknown until that time, drives boys into action also at home, but the initiative of their final years ends with their diploma. In autumn 1963 there is another rally, the third rally in which our students participate. A few groups are formed, going together to the mountains. Under the auspices of ČSM (the Czechoslovak Union of Youth) they reach a good position at the Faculty and are invited to the Dean’s College, Tonda Rosický as a representative of the class, Vašek Kobylka as deputy chairman of the Faculty Committee, and establish close contracts with the Student Hostel Council in Podolí. The post-rally initiative is taken over by Honza Novák. Also other people come to the meetings at the Podolí Student Hostel, to see their acquaintances from the rallies. We agree upon the principles of the activities and formal organization of the club. We accept the name „Tourist Academic Club“ (TAK) (according to the Polish „Akademicki klub turystyczny“ – AKT). In 1964 the Faculty Committee of the Czechoslovak Union of Youth approves the articles of association of TAK. The first event is organized in spring 1964 in the Krkonoše Mountains and here Jeník first pronounces the word „STEZKA“ (path). At that time we have also some money to deposit on our own account. The first four Routes begin their activities.
Search For An Identity
The first period of TAK activities is considerably influenced by the Polish example. We maintain very close friendly relations with the students of the Wroclaw Polytechnic. We draw on the advice and experience of Francek Kawcyňski, Marek Wilczyňski and the legendary girl Jagoda.
The organization of the first Paths does not cause any problems, since few people take part in the event. Accommodation is arranged personally, correspondence and agreements are on the blank forms of the Faculty Committee, it is not necessary to order train. Most often we use the night train „Flamendr expres“, the legendary train leaving around midnight from the now non-existing railway station Praha -Těšnov.
Badges are a problem. Owing to the small series, the production of badges at Znak is expensive and thus we use the faculty workshops – three half-days of work and enthusiasm of each of us.
The weather for the first Path is not good, but the Path reaches the highest density of mechanical engineers per one square meter – 116 persons and knapsacks in the Krkonoše Mountains.
The fame of the first Path spreads quickly and brings its fruit. A loan of the Student Hostel Council changes into a subsidy, there is a display case with TAK’s advertising material in the Charles Square, the Student Hostel Council lends us a basement room for a clubroom and the first Prague people not residing in the student hostel are coming to the meetings. From Route No. 1 there separates Route No. 5, from Route No. 4 Route No.6.
The first DEZOB in 1968 is called „Disorienteering Run through Night Prague“, later we accept its translation as „Disorienteering Run to the Lesser Town“. February 24, 1970 sees the approval of the application for transfer to ČTO (Czech Union of Tourists), so that our name is TJ TAK. There follows the first cooperation with NOHYB (established in 1969) and the title „Model Group“. In 1972 we organize the first ball at Žofín in Prague. There arises the basis of PANTAKOVKY and the first event of that name takes place in Soběslav in 1973. With our first babies there comes the first pram rally, also in 1973. The first „BORDER RAID OF THE HUSSITE ARMY“ takes place in 1976 in the Krkonoše Mountains and Jizerské Mountains. There follow two Routes of cross-country skiers against each other and also the first ROUTE BANDS Competition, each year with a guest (Míle, Chudinkové W. Ryvola). In winter 1977 we organize the first NORA (den) (winter weekend with accommodation in the open, on the snow). Our children are growing and since 1978 there exist „Bystřičky“ (Smarties) (summer camp for children and their parents), since 1980 „Ďáblík“ (Little Devil) (summer camp), children’s trips and other TOM activities (Youth Tourist Group within TJ TAK, established in 1978).
In 1979 Tomáš Häckl becomes chairman of TAK and we organize the first Route Bands Competition. In 1980 we organize the first FOREST GAMES. The competitions change each year, but „Dr. Voštěp“, „Prometheus‘ Regatta“ (impressive night race with burning torches) and the „Night Hunt“ become classics. Since 1987 we organize „WELCOMING SUMMER“ in the Prague park Vojanovy sady every year. It is a meeting of Route Bands and goodies, mostly also of good weather.
….The beautiful event we are talking about is called STEZKA – for many years, when I pronounce this word, I get pleasantly excited – it is the excitement experienced only by young men before their first date.Ing. J. Kozák