Long before the Internet shrank the globe, Scouting created a web of connections between young people of every race and religion, every social class and ethnic group. The Scout Oath, the Scout sign, and the left-handed handshake serve to remind Scouts and adults alike that more unites us than divides us.
Scouting exists in 161 countries worldwide. This year, we took steps to share our success and to learn from fellow Scouts who inhabit the global campground we call Earth.
Messengers of Peace
Today, Scouts in dozens of countries are working for peace by solving conflicts in their schools, building links between divided communities, teaching their peers about health and wellness, and repairing environmental damage. To recognize their efforts, the World Scout Committee launched the Messengers of Peace initiative in 2011. The BSA joined the effort this year.
Messengers of Peace projects appear on a special online map where Scouts can discover what their brothers and sisters around the world are doing to make a difference. Scouts who undertake peace-related service projects earn special recognition: a ring patch that goes around the World Crest emblem. The patch symbolizes participation in an ever-widening circle of those who are not just visualizing world peace but helping to make it a reality.
After more than a dozen years as the head of the BSA’s International Department, Scott Teare was appointed secretary general of the World Scout Bureau this year. He replaces France’s Luc Panissod in the position, which is analogous to secretary general of the United Nations.
Teare joins the World Organization of the Scout Movement at a time when it is refocusing on service to national Scouting organizations. Having had a front-row seat during the National Council’s 2008 reorganization, Teare brings a personal perspective to this crucial endeavor.