08 March 2017

Messengers of Peace, An Initiative Started by Two Kings

What is "Messengers of Peace"?

Messengers of Peace is a World Scout Committee initiative designed to promote and recognize service projects that contribute to world peace.

What is the program’s goal?

The goal of Messengers of Peace is to inspire millions of young men and women throughout the world to work closer toward achieving peace. Using state-of-the-art social media, the initiative lets Scouts from around the world share what they’ve done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities. The result will be a mosaic of stories, data, and results showing the impact of the Scout movement—a tool for recruiting members, assuring parents, inspiring donors, and making existing members proud to be Scouts.

Who runs the program?

The initiative is inspired by the World Scout Committee, administered by the World Scout Bureau, and driven by youth volunteers worldwide. Participation by the Boy Scouts of America is being coordinated by the International Department and a team led by Peter E. Hyman.

How did the initiative come about?

The initiative stems from the 10-year-old Gifts for Peace program, which has inspired over 10 million Scouts in 110 countries to work toward peace in their local communities. After hearing about this work, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia noted that “Scouts are the messengers of peace.” He and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, honorary chair of the World Scout Foundation, formally launched the Messengers of Peace initiative in September 2011.

What do we mean by peace?

Scouting defines peace as more than just the absence of war. In terms of the MOP initiative, peace encompasses three dimensions:
  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
What types of projects qualify as Messengers of Peace projects?

Any project that has a significant impact on the community in any one of the three dimensions above would qualify. Messengers of Peace projects include unit-level service projects, William T. Hornaday Award, and Eagle Scout service projects—any projects undertaken within a Scouting context that impact peace

How do we know if our project qualifies?

It qualifies if it meets the definition of peace given above. No one beyond the unit has to approve a project’s Messengers of Peace status.

What about projects Scouts do through schools or religious institutions?

Messengers of Peace is only designed to recognize projects undertaken through Scouting. Many of those projects may involve other organizations, which is fine, but there must be a Scouting connection.

What about Girl Scout projects?

BSA members who participate in a Girl Scout project that meets the MOP definition above are eligible to receive MOP recognition.

Can you give me some examples of qualifying projects?

Projects like these inspired the Messengers of Peace initiative:
  • Scouts in El Salvador working to disband violent street gangs
  • Scouts in New Orleans working on the ground to rebuild post-Katrina New Orleans
  • Scouts in the Great Lakes region of Africa running an inter-ethnic peace education project
  • Scouts in Sierra Leone rebuilding their communities following a decade of civil war
  • Scouts in Ireland bringing young Catholics and Protestants together
  • Scouts in Haiti doing work in rescue, relief, and rehabilitation after the deadly earthquake in 2010
Do we have to work with specific national organizations on Messengers of Peace projects?

No. Working with local organizations with similar goals to Messengers of Peace can be an excellent approach.

Who should report Messengers of Peace service projects?

MOP service projects should be reported by the individual in each unit designated to report Journey to Excellence service projects.

How do I submit a Messengers of Peace project?

To designate a Messengers of Peace project, simply select Messengers of Peace as the partner organization when entering a service project through the Journey to Excellence website (www.scouting.org/Awards/JourneyToExcellence).

Can an individual complete an MOP project? If so, how does he or she submit it?

Yes, individuals can complete MOP projects. (An Eagle Scout service project is a good example.) Reports must be submitted by the unit’s designated person for registering service hours. The individual will get credit for the hours he or she worked.

Should we submit our projects on the Messengers of Peace website?

No, just submit your project through the Journey to Excellence website, as described above. The BSA is working with the World Scout Bureau to have projects posted on the Messengers of Peace map. Also, the BSA is working with the World Scout Bureau to collect information on all projects that have already been registered in the world system.

We would like to share a video of our Messengers of Peace project. How can we submit it for consideration?

Send a message to international@scouting.org with the subject line of "Messengers of Peace."

What recognition items are available?

In addition to the unit certificate, any Scout or Scouter who participates in a qualifying project is eligible to wear a Messengers of Peace ring patch around the World Crest on his or her uniform. A unit representative can purchase these ring patches at a local Scout shop, council service center, or ScoutStuff.org.

Can an individual earn Messengers of Peace recognition more than once?

Yes, but only one ring patch may be worn.

Do Messengers of Peace ring patches go to all unit members or just those who participate in a Messengers of Peace project?

Only those who participate in an MOP project are eligible to receive the ring patch.

Is there a Messengers of Peace video we can use to promote the initiative to our Scouts and the public?

Yes, video clips highlighting specific MOP projects are available on this website.
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