SOON, WE’LL BE entering the season in which “Peace on Earth” will be on the lips of many as we embrace the holidays. I can’t think of a better time of year to encourage everyone in the Boy Scouts of America to take part in World Scouting’s Messengers of Peace initiative.
Messengers of Peace is a 10-year effort by the 161 National Scout Organizations of the World Organization of the Scout Movement to involve individual Scouts, as well as the national Scout organizations from all six worldwide regions, in peace-building activities.
As a part of this program, Scouts from all over the world can earn international recognition in the form of “Mini Nobel Prizes” for significant community-service projects. This idea was conceived in the belief that through these acts of community service, Scouts across the world can contribute to world peace.
It’s a marvelous notion, and I can’t say enough about the support of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (a great friend of Scouting) and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden (the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation) for launching this initiative in September. We know that Scouts all over the world already are active in peaceful endeavors. Through Messengers for Peace, the hope is that Scouts will take those existing community programs and expand their impact toward global peace.
No matter whether Scouts are from Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Mexico, or Des Moines, Iowa, they all share a common bond. Never before havewe intentionally focused the attention of 30-million-plus Scouts around the world on the idea that no matter where they live, they can participate in fostering peace through community service. More information on the application process can be found at messengersofpeace.info.
Messengers of Peace is an inspiring way to gather our young people to bring calm to a world that’s so desperately in need of acts of kindness. My holiday wish for the BSA is that we set the example for others as we take part in this historic moment for world peace.