However, clandestine Scouting did not last long. Komsomol persistently fought with the remnants of the Scout movement. Between 1918 and 1920, the second, third, and fourth All-Russian Congresses of the Russian Union of the Communist Youth (Российский коммунистический союз молодёжи, or Rossiyski kommunisticheskiy soyuz molodyozhi) decided to eradicate the Scout movement and create an organization of the communist type, that would take Soviet youth under its umbrella.
On behalf of the soviet government Nadezhda Krupskaya (Vladimir Lenin's wife) was one of the main contributors to the cause of the Pioneer movement. In 1922, she wrote an essay called Russian Union of the Communist Youth and boy-Scoutism. However, it was the remaining scoutmasters themselves, like Innokentiy Zhukov and some others around Nikolaj Fatyanov's "Brothers of the fire", who introduced the name "pioneer" and convinced the Komsomol to keep the scout's motto "Be prepared! – Always prepared!"
Just some days before the Komsomol conference the Moscow scoutmasters adopted a "Declaration of the scoutmasters of Moscow concerning the question of the formation of a children's movement in the RSFSR on May 13, 1922. Thereby they suggested to use the system scouting as a foundation of the new communist organisation, and to name it "Young pioneers".
The main contribution of the scoutmasters was the introduction of the new expression system scouting into the discourse on communist children's and youth organisations. By doing so they avoided the dissolution of the scout organisation as it would happen sooner or later to any organisation opposed to the Komsomol.
On May 19, 1922 the second All-Russian Komsomol Conference adopted the scoutmasters' suggestions and decided to "work on the question of a children's movement by using the re-organized system of scouting. During the following years many of the remaining former scoutmasters founded pioneer groups and educated future pioneer leaders.
May 19, 1922 was later on considered the birthday of the All-Union Pioneer Organization (Всесоюзная пионерская организация, or Vsesoyuznaya pionerskaya organizatsiya). By October 1922 pioneer units were united to form an organization Spartak Young Pioneers (Юные пионеры имени Спартака), which was named after V. I. Lenin by a decision of the Central Committee of Komsomol of January 21 1924. Since March 1926 it bore the name Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization.
By the middle of 1923 it had 75 thousand members. Among other activities, Young Pioneer units, helped by Komsomol, played a great role in the eradication of illiteracy (Likbez policy) since 1923. Membership was at 161 thousand in the beginning of 1924, 2 million in 1926, 13.9 million in 1940, and 25 million in 1974. Many Young Pioneer Palaces were built, which served as community centers for the children, with rooms dedicated to various clubs, such as crafts or sports. Thousands of Young Pioneer camps were set up where children went during summer vacation and winter holidays. All of them were free of charge, sponsored by the government and Trade Unions.
There was also an age-scale structure: children of 10-11 years were called Young Pioneers of the first stage; 11-12 years were Young Pioneers of the second stage; 13-15 years were Young Pioneers of the third stage. Young Pioneers of 15 years could join Komsomol, with a recommendation from their Young Pioneer group.
The main governing body was the Central Soviet of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union, which worked under leadership of the main governing body of Komsomol. Its official newspaper was Pionerskaya Pravda.
The main goals and duties of Young Pioneers and requirements of membership were specified by the Regulations of the Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union; by the Solemn Promise (given by each Young Pioneer joining the organization); by the Rules of the Young Pioneers; and by the Young Pioneer Motto, всегда готов! (vsegda gotov!, "Always Ready!"). There were two major revisions of them: in 1967 and 1986.
Although membership was theoretically optional, almost all the children in the Soviet Union belonged to the organization; it was a natural part of growing up.
The main symbols of Young Pioneers were the red banner, flag, Young Pioneer's red tie, the badge. Attributes: the bugle, the drum, the uniform (with badges of rank). Some of rituals were: salute, Young Pioneer parade, banner bearing, raising of the flag. Most common traditions were the Young Pioneers rally (usually round a bonfire) and festivals.
The Young Pioneers who excelled in academic study, work, sports or social activity were elected to the self-governing institutions, were sent as delegates to the Young Pioneers gatherings (including All-Union ones). The most notable were recognized in the organization's Book of Honor. During World War II, many Young Pioneers fought against Nazis in partisan detachments, which existed near their homes on the territories occupied by Nazi Germany. Nearly 30 thousand of them were awarded various orders and medals; 4 Young Pioneers became Heroes of the Soviet Union. One of the famous young pioneer All-Union camps was "Artek" located in Crimea, Ukraine. The camp was located on the top of the mountain "A-yu-dahg" which means "Bear's Mountain". Only the best students were selected to go there based on their grades and leadership. Young communists from other countries were welcome as well. It was an international young communist summer camp and an equivalent to USA's Disney Land.