The Michigan International Camporee and Becoming Ambassadors of the Golden Arrow
Why should you participate in the Michigan International Camporee?
The Michigan Internationa Camporee is like no other scouting event in Michigan and is like very few scouting events in the world. For example, you will not work on merit badges or rank advancement. The purpose of the Michigan International Camporee is to share your culture and make scouting friends from other cultures.
MICamporee is not just for boys because in much of the world scouting is coed. Girls and Women are a vital part of the Camporee.
You will spend the week before the Michigan International Camporee hosting an international scout group or a member of the all volunteer Staff. You will help your scouting friends to understand how Michiganders live. During this homestay week in past MICamporee's, there have been trips to Michigan landmarks and nearby amusement parks. The International Groups often have put on a show of their native dances and costumes. You will travel to Camp Rota-Kiwan near Kalamazoo where you will camp together with your international scouting friends or volunteer as a member of the staff. You'll make deep friendships that will last a lifetime. In the spirit of scouting's founder, Lord Baden Powell, you will become an Ambassador of the Golden Arrow. Since the first MICamporee in 1997 thousands of "Arrow Ambassadors" have been sent into the world to spread the scouting message of peace and fellowship.
The story of the Golden Arrow from the 3rd World Scout Jamboree
The farewell ceremony on the last day, 12 August, 1929, consisted of a march with flags and banners past the royal box with the Chief Scout and other officers, ending in a Wheel of Friendship formed by the Scouts, with 21 spokes symbolic for the 21 years of Scouting. While burying a hatchet in a cask of gilded wooden arrows, Baden-Powell addressed the gathered Scouts.
Here is the hatchet of war, of enmity, of bad feeling, which I now bury in Arrowe. From all corners of the world you came to the call of brotherhood and to Arrowe. Now I send you forth to your homelands bearing the sign of peace, good-will and fellowship to all your fellow men. From now on in Scouting the symbol of peace and goodwill is a golden arrow. Carry that arrow on and on, so that all may know of the brotherhood of men.Then he sent the golden arrows as peace symbols to the North, South, West, and East, through the spokes of the Wheel of Friendship.I want you all to go back from here to your countries in different parts of the world with a new idea in your minds of having brothers in every country... Go forth from here as ambassadors of goodwill and friendship. Every one of you Scouts, no matter how young or small, can spread a good word about this country and those whom you have met here. Try to make yourselves better Scouts than ever; try to help other boys, especially the poorer boys, to be happy, healthy, and helpful citizens like yourselves. And now, farewell, goodbye, God Bless you all.
Polish Scouts and the Golden Arrow.
In the early part of the Second World War a Polish soldier was taken prisoner in his own country and managed to escape. He was a Scout, and had been the one to receive the Golden Arrow from the hands of the Chief at the Jamboree at Arrowe Park on the coming-of-age of Scouting in 1929. He had lost everything – home, family, and all that he held most dear – except one precious possession – the Golden Arrow, in rough wood, which he was determined to take away with him. After passing through many adventures he reached Great Britain. Nothing arrived except one brave worn-out Polish soldier and his Golden Arrow. He sought out a Scout whom he knew, and by whom he had been taught his Scouting in the old days at Gilwell Park. To him he gave the Arrow, saying that for the present it was no longer of any use to him. He had brought it to the only haven he knew. It was afterwards given into the safe keeping of small, country troop, who looked upon it with great pride. The Chief never knew this story, but would have loved it if he had, and might truly have said:
I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth I know not where...
Some day, when war is over and peace has come, the Arrow will go back to Poland. That is what the brotherhood of Scouts does for people. That is the spirit of Scouting. And badly will that spirit of comradeship be needed for the reconstruction of the world that lies ahead. In 1996, during the camp celebrating the re-admittance to World Scouting of the Polish Scout Association, the Golden Arrow was given to Polish International Commissioner.