Scouting and Peace
The booklet addresses the question, "What is Scouting's contribution to peace?" The question is examined from a historical perspective, then the main facets of Scouting's contribution to peace education are analysed.
“Peace cannot be secured entirely by commercial interests, military alliances, general disarmament or mutual treaties, unless the spirit for peace is there in the minds and will of the peoples . This is a matter of education”
Baden-Powell, opening speech at Kandersteg International Conference, published in “Jamboree”, October 1926 1
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed”
Constitution of UNESCO, 1945, Preamble 2
The subject of peace and peace education has been of constant concern for World Scouting – as it was for its founder as well – since the inception of the Movement .
A few years after the camp at Brownsea Island, when the Movement was expanding world-wide, the First World War ravaged Europe. That was at the beginning of the 20th century. Now we are at the dawn of the 21st century. Has the situation changed? Even if there has not been a world war for more than five decades, can we say that the scourge of war has been eliminated from the surface of the earth? Far from it! And it is enough to turn on the television or to open a newspaper to realise to what extent this is true.
The main aim of this paper is to explain how fundamentally Scouting is attached to peace, how Scouting has always been a peaceful and pacifying movement, and to record the many facets of its contribution to peace. Admittedly, most of them are indirect and many of them have gone unnoticed simply because they are unspectacular; they are however no less fundamental and no less important .