A pioneer movement is an organization for children operated by a communist party. Typically children enter into the organization in elementary school and continue until adolescence. The adolescents then typically joined the Komsomol or a similar organization.
In most communist countries, membership of the pioneer movement is officially optional. It used to exist in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and remains in for instance Cuba. Older children may continue in other communist organizations, but that would typically be done only by a limited number of people who might also be destined for elite position in the communist society.
Several features of the pioneer movement are reminiscent of the scout movement. It however also includes teaching of communist principles. Opponents of communist states claim this is in fact "indoctrination".
A member of the movement is known as a pioneer and a scarf, typically red but sometimes blue, is the traditional item of clothing worn by a pioneer. The pioneer organization is often named after a famous party member that is considered a suitable role model for young communists. In the USSR it was Lenin, in East Germany, it was Ernst Thälmann. The Thälmann pioneers were taught the slogan "We are Ernst Thälmann pioneers. We wear our red scarf with pride."
The communist parties in Russia and other countries continue to run a pioneer organization, but membership tends to be quite limited.