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.
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.
How is Messengers of Peace different from Good Turn for America? In terms of project reporting, MOP is very similar. However, MOP emphasizes peace and the influence Scouts around the world can have. It also adds a global recognition to the local and national recognition Scouts already receive for their service.
Why do we need a new program? Messengers of Peace is less a new program than a new focus—and an opportunity to connect and share with Scouts around the world without leaving home. It’s designed to integrate with Journey to Excellence reporting, as described below.
Is there an opportunity to connect with other Scouts from around the United States and in other countries? Yes, you can find out about other projects and get connected by visiting MOP’s Google map at http://scoutmessengers.com.
What is the Messengers of Peace Support Fund? As part of the Messengers of Peace initiative, the World Scout Bureau is administering a fund to help Scouting organizations in economically poorer countries to implement vital projects that create positive change in their local communities. It should be noted that the BSA is not eligible to participate in the Messengers of Peace Support Fund program.
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:
- The personal dimension: harmony, justice, and equality
- The community dimension: peace as opposed to hostility or violent conflict
- 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
Where can I get information on planning and conducting service projects? See “Journey to Excellence Service Projects—Unit Tips for Success” at www.scouting.org/awards/journey-to-excellence/unit-tips.
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).
I haven’t submitted a Journey to Excellence project before. How does the process work? Follow these steps:
- Go to www.scouting.org/Awards/JourneyToExcellence and click on the “Service Hours Website” link. (Volunteers with a MyScouting account can also reach the Journey to Excellence service hour website by clicking on the “Service Hours” link on the left side of the screen in the “Unit Tools” section.)
- If you have login information, enter it now. Otherwise, click the “New Users Click Here” link to create an account. Note that you will need your unit ID (five to 11 digits) and your unit number (four digits, no letters), which you can get by calling your council service center.
- Once you’ve logged in, enter the following information:
- Date of the project
- Number of registered Scouts participating
- Number of non-Scouts (brothers, sisters, friends)
- Number of adult leaders participating
- Number of other adults participating
- Total hours worked (number of workers times the number of hours they worked)
- Organizations that joined you on the project
- Who or what organization benefited from the project
- Number of items collected (if applicable)
- Select “Messengers of Peace” as the partner organization.
- Click the “Submit” button. When you submit your information, you will be asked whether you have any additional projects to record. To print a certificate, click “Print Certificate.”
Can I update a project I previously submitted? Yes. Once you’ve logged in as described above, click on the project name. To edit the project, click on a field, type in the correct information, and click the “Update” button. To print a certificate, choose “Print Certificate.”
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? Reporting your service hours on the Journey to Excellence service projects database logs the hours for your unit. Additionally, if you would also like to upload your project at http://www.scout.org/messengersofpeace, feel free to do so and be a part of the global effort.
We would like to share a video of our Messengers of Peace project. How can we submit it for consideration? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of “Messengers of Peace.”
Recognition and Promotion
Messengers of Peace Patch
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. 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. Anyone who participated in the project can wear the award.
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.
What else can we do to promote Messengers of Peace? Wear your ring patch once you earn it, promote the initiative through your unit website, and talk about the initiative at roundtable.