By Darryl Alder
Sep 21, 2015

Messengers of Peace, the World Scout Bureau, and International Day of Peace

Today is the International Day of Peace, which has been observed annually on September 21st since it was initiated in 1982. To commemorate the day, let’s reflect on our founder Baden-Powell’s vision of peace through the world brotherhood of Scouting.

In his final address to the 50,000 Scouts attending the Third World Jamboree in Arrowe Park England in 1929, Baden-Powell said:

Polish Scouts with Golden Arrow.

Polish Scouts with Golden Arrow.

“From all corners of the earth, you have journeyed to this great gathering of World Fellowship and Brotherhood, Today I send you out for Arrowe to the World, bearing my symbol of Peace and Fellowship, each one of you my ambassador bearing my message of love and fellowship on the wings of sacrifice and service, to the end of the earth. From now on the Scout symbol of peace is the Golden Arrow. Carry it fast and far so that all men may know the Brotherhood of Man.

Then he sent the golden arrows as peace symbols to the North, South, West, and East, through the spokes of the Wheel of Friendship. Continuing his remarks he said:

“I want you all to go back from here to your countries in different parts of the world with a new idea in your minds of having brothers in every country… Go forth from here as ambassadors of goodwill and friendship. Every one of you Scouts, no matter how young or small, can spread a good word about this country and those whom you have met here. Try to make yourselves better Scouts than ever; try to help other boys, especially the poorer boys, to be happy, healthy, and helpful citizens like yourselves. And now, farewell, goodbye, God Bless you all.”

Scouts who complete a project in one the dimensions of peace can add this patch to the World Emblem on their uniform

Then in 1939, according to the New World Encyclopedia,  “B-P, “was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, due to the onset of World War II, no Nobel Prizes were awarded that year.” Baden Powell died on January 8, 1941 in Nyeri, Kenya, never knowing his dream. But in September 2011, Messengers of Peace was launched as a global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work harder on his dream of peace through Scouting.

The following year, at our National Meeting, Rabbi Peter E. Hyman who serves as Chair or BSA’s Messengers of Peace, introduced the initiative by sharing the story of the Lion Patrol. Each member of that patrol refused conscription during Sierra Leone’s Civil War and for the sake of peace, each lost a limb as punishment.

(You can view other videos here)
Messengers of Peace is a World Scout Committee initiative designed to promote and recognize service projects that contribute to world peace in the areas of:

  1. The personal dimension: harmony, justice, and equality
  2. The community dimension: peace as opposed to hostility or violent conflict
  3. Relationships between humankind and its environment: security, social and economic welfare, and relationship with the environment

As you can see Scouting defines peace as more than just the absence of war and so this last Friday at Tifie Scout Camp at Mountain Dell Scout Ranch our Wood Badge Course took time out for an environmental service project. From scratch to finish we built a trail to help stabilize disturbed soil along a common camp pathway and to control runoff in the future.

Nearly one hundred hours of service were reported that morning. The following day at an Interfaith Worship Service, Wood Badge Participants raised $459 for the World Friendship Fund. For me it was an emotional offering of time and money from some very generous Scouters.

So what do you plan to do today to advance B-Ps dream of peace through the world brotherhood of Scouting? (Post your comment below or use #DayOfPeace and/or#MessengersOfPeace to post on social media.)

Darryl Thumbnail
Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Strategic Initiatives, Utah National Parks Council, BSA, just served on a five stake sponsored Wood Badge. If your stake is interested contact him or Steve Sutherland at the Orem Service Center

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6 thoughts on “Messengers of Peace, the World Scout Bureau, and International Day of Peace

  1. AvatarAnn

    Thank you for the reminder. Now I know what I’ll be doing for FHE tonight! As I’m reading I’m thinking what a wonderful world this would be if we could all live by the Scout Oath and Law.

    1. Darryl AlderDarryl Alder Post author

      The first time I saw it, I wept so hard I could hardly view it and I was in a room with hundreds of other Scouters

  2. AvatarTennys Bird

    I watched this video yesterday, it was extremely inspiring!I even used it for part of a FHE lesson.
    I am so grateful to live in the United States of America and to have the freedom to belong to the Boy Scouts of America.

  3. Pingback: What is Wood Badge? | Voice of Scouting

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