As a presentation
The thread that holds us or… the difficulty to live with others.
The scheming or threads which are essential for this fabric to be
possible: the basic needs that the groups satisfy.
To learn that knitting needs time: the group and the
development of the abilities to live in community.
All the threads are important, all the threads are important:
education to citizenship under the patrol experience.
A knitter with art and inventiveness: BP’s thought about the patrol
“With the coming of good will and cooperation, trivial discords which have divided
the nation will cease; classes and creeds will not profess being brothers while they
behave as enemies and divide their home against themselves.
With good will and cooperation, nations will understand themselves and politicians will
not have possibilities of involving in war peoples that feel friendly availability for the
other one. They will discover that what really matters is the will of the peoples.”
As a presentation
Our movement founder’s dream goes on being today an invitation for the
world of the boys and girls, young ladies and adults: building a world where
diversity is considered a value; overcoming the barriers which separate
peoples and cultures, religious confessions and groups, people of different
generations, convoking everybody to the construction of a more fraternal
and fairer world for everybody.
To be happy making the other happy, leave the world better than we
found it is a challenge in a time when the biggest illiteracy seems to be the
impossibility to live peacefully with the others, to recognize the rights that
everybody has to have a decent life.
Fulvio Manara, Italian philosopher expresses: “To learn in Justice means go into a
logical transformation. We dream with a society where injustices disappear, that means the
imbalanced system of regulation of asymmetric conflicts in the power. We dream with a
society in which the destructive spirit (exploitation, violence, injustice….) is eliminated.
We wish a society in which abolishing the microstructures violence and develop a culture of
peace and justice, which gets to the brain and conscience of people…”
The Universal Forum of Cultures (Barcelona 2004) centered its reflection in
the matter of learning how to live together in a complex world. Pascual
Maragall expressed in this Forum: “We are more and more conscious of our common
destiny, and however at the same time we go on wishing that the others understand us in
what makes us unique, in what makes us singular”.
This genuine wish of being understood as unique in all the richness of our
personal and collective originality is frequently searched through violence
and confrontation with those who recognize themselves as different. That
way everyday life is full of pain which is generated by conflicts in all the
latitudes and at every scale.
Soler, Mercedes en Reequilibrar un mundo desequilibrado. Misión Joven 348. Madrid - CCS
Poverty and its exclusion mechanisms take children and teenagers as its
more vulnerable victims. Growing unemployment, migrations because of
economic problems, the impossibility of having access to education,
health, culture and decent work, generate a deep uncertainty even in
those ones who have a relative well being.
The economic needs influence on frustration and discomfort that families
are living and frequently become physical and emotional abandonment of
children and teenagers, and also old people.
In other social sections of the economic system which is elitist and highly
competitive make people run all the time behind money, fame or power.
Failure and error are forbidden. Belonging to the group of “chosen ones”
may lead to sacrificing family and friend relationships, rest and real human
values. Emotional prohibition in the smallest ones isn’t beyond families
which seem “to have everything”. Children are subdued to the same
exigencies as grown ups are, their agendas overloaded with obligations
doesn’t contemplate time for games and creative leisure, in some places
the disappearance of recreational places (squares and parks) leads to the
loss of the opportunity to play with other children and closing oneself in
front of the TV or computer.
Frequently, the adult world is amazed by the lack of interest, boredom or
apathy of the youngest ones, as if they didn’t have any responsibility in
their gestation. An Argentinean educator, Telma Barreiro, says: “this subject
of accepting progressively the expulsion of a great deal of population out of the productive
system is also based in the consolidation of certain indifference with the other, a
highlighted disinterest in the other and a determined fight to reach, one and one’s children,
certain welfare…” adding in another section how it is being built “a link matrix
that is not exactly the one of mutual care, mutual cooperation, support, solidarity, but a
matrix associated with this idea of “thinking about yourself us much as you can” where a
fiercely competitive logic predominates.”
Education goes on being the opportunity to develop a new look on
ourselves and the others, to open our hearts to the listening of other
realities, to set energies and enthusiasm to work with the others in a
common project. An education to peace and justice.
That way understood it B.P. when he made from patrol system the way to
integrate everyone’s individualism into a we able to produce ideas and
dialogues, to plan and act, to evaluate and celebrate life and shared
adventures, knitting solidarity nets from a small group to a reference
community and from there to the entire world.
That way understood it B.P when he recognized the exigencies to create a
person in communion with him/herself as a citizen responsible of his/her
neighborhood, country and planet.
In front of competitivity, solidarity;
In front of indifference; compromise;
In front of emptiness, the sense of life and history;
Instead of indifference, getting involved;
Acceptance and respect, replacing rejection and violence.
Passion for the other and for the world as a job and mission.
We wish the pages we share make us present once more in the call to be
communities that can be said “ look how much they love themselves”…
Communities that live Jesus Gospel through the Guiding paths…
Communities that don’t lock themselves enjoying the welfare that is for
Because, conviviality, loving care for the other, understanding and peace
are their most valuable outcome for everybody.
Silvia Staib de Chanes
“I hope my heart doesn’t get use to, Father,
seeing people from outside as strangers, not going
to meet them and help them,not creating spaces
among us to make them feel in their homes”
The thread that holds us or…
the difficulty to live with the others
In many cultures sewing press, fabric, threads…have a special meaning.
In our cold Patagonian south, the poncho is the peasant’s faithful mate in
the middle of the rains, and blizzards, it warms, covers and protects.
From the hands of skillful emerges this item of clothing that has been also
incorporated by teenagers and youngsters from our movement as part of
their camp clothing, guides like wearing them in their meetings and
bonfires and staying covered by them they tie confidences and memories
of the day that is finishing.
Ponchos, covers, “matras” and rugs, bells, girdles and bags give account
of a patient and silent job that is started in the wooden hand-made
spinning and goes on in the selection of colors, staining with vegetal inks,
the designs of the patterns, and the knitting of small or big sewing presses.
There are jobs that take months and learning this art takes years, because
of this we get annoyed when the person who buys it, local or tourist,
discusses the price of the artisan without recognizing his/her careful job.
The colors and designs of the south are different from those ones that are
used in the north or centre of the country, in this or that province…because
the color of the ground is different, natured marked the life of the origin
peoples, the history and traditions that give meaning to each design and
However, there are many coincident things in this labor of infinite
alternatives. The job is long and they have to be patient. From the spinning
of the wood, from the ability to spin the thread, the combination of colors
and the design will emerge the work which will satisfy the maker and the
person who wears it.
Learning how to live with the others has a lot of the art of the knitters.
Society itself can be seen as a thread we are all registered, knitting with our
daily actions a part of a common work and being, at the same time,
knitted, with family, school, friend, and neighbor threads.
The threads spread new designs, admit new tones, and give up others. We
can read our community and personal stories in knitting keys, knotted in the
past time and opened to the future.
What happens when the thread seems to make the knitting impossible to
have harmony? What happens when there are spaces without connection,
when the knitting is extremely tight and other parts are extremely fragile?
What happens when we don’t seem to have any part in the knitting or play
the play we are convoked for has lost its sense?
The Spanish Salesian Miguel Angel Garcia Mouscuerde offers us some
interesting reflections about the contradictions of these times that we
would like to share.2 Reflections which admit coincidences with Barreiro’s
ones although they speak from different continents…
”The human experience doesn’t unify from a general vision of the world and life. The idea
of a “personal speech” is introduced; each one grows its own garden. It would be easy to
go through disc stores and take from songs, from what you hear, from what you buy to
understand this speech. An excess of legitimized individualization, an extreme pluralism of
options and attitudes that are always and only under the importance of the personal
The author continues… ”This evidences the crisis of the institutions (especially the
culture and memory transmitter as family, school, university, syndicates, political parties,
the army and churches). These socialization centers seem to get weaker even though they
go on feeding the citizen with its symbolic flow and ritual.
The family and school are involved in this readjustment and keep being relegated to a
concrete sphere of life in concurrence with others. The first one suffers a new relation
problem which affects children. Family models which have to convert themselves to be the
first place of socialization and welcome.
Loneliness is not only or mainly not being with anybody, but also the absence of
satisfactory relationships, vitally rich.
García Morcuerde, M. A Comunicados pero no acompañados en Misión Joven. CCS
On the other hand, school take more and more time and earlier and earlier our children; in
contrast, many education professionals denounce that school has lost its condition of
leading institution) which dictated the reality theory, and nowadays move grown ups to
other social institutions.
In this context, youngsters – Peter Berger claims- have peeped the “neighbor’s garden” and
have seen different things. Cyber means are the “new domestic altar” and the protagonists
of this globalized society or “digital society” are young people. People’s inner world and
what happens around don’t have a meaningful reference background; everything is lived
immediately, in the present, moving in a space without horizon. Information society opens
new accesses where everything is easier to obtain, quick, efficient and abbreviated (like
mp3 music format).
Without forgetting to recognize that analysis can describe certain social
sectors of a particular reality, we are conscious that these sectors live
common experiences beyond north south frontiers.
To sum up, the author continues we get a pluralism of messages and attention
catchers: everybody has something to say and also the opposite! Everything depends, and
sometimes. Welcome puzzle youth.
Youngsters and adults find themselves fulfilled with appearances, without distinguishing
among important or insubstantial things. Reality becomes simulation. We go to virtual
reality through the window of the “media” (means of social communication) which privates
the news or actuality. The final result is the impossibility of reflection and critic, here
comes to satisfy the manipulation that fragments and bones reality. The high speed rhythm
of change, in digital technologies image and likeness, reduces the capacity of perceiving the
truths and lies of what is happening.
…Life is the catwalk of American Idol or Big Brother.
These reflections by Mercedes Soler in her article Reequilibrar un mundo
desequilibrado (Re balance an unbalanced world), also from the
magazine Misiòn Jòven, can complete the view on this social fabric we
paradoxically are part of and which at the same time produces us,
particularly adults, a missing living.
“If one of the two alternatives, ‘the human being is naturally good’ or ‘the human being is
naturally bad’, were true, we wouldn’t have the need of acting, compromising ourselves,
given that it wouldn’t’ be worth doing anything, because history would have its inner logic.
However, if we think it carefully, attitude of people about the future of humanity is not
rational hope, or desperation, but total indifference. We want to go out of the unyielding
attitude and indifference vicious circle these postures impose themselves. We want to act
to change, beyond thoughts and words. Acting means transforming”.
This affirmation of the indifference made by different “reality readers”
strongly impacts, that’s why I allow myself to add to the fabric the thread
of some personal experiences.
Working with children and teenagers in the area of emotional education,
tutoring people and groups, with adult educators in formation Seminars
and Workshops, I have frequently stated the idea of future, personal and
collective future. After many years when fears in front of what would
happen defined the emotions of people in relation with the things that
would happen: fear for being unemployed, violence, fear of being
excluded, fear of loosing the family, fear of economic lacks, future started
defining itself “in a different place” which wasn’t the correct one. This
other place resulted to process the unapproachable things. Indifference in
front of future never appeared, however there was no doubt that what
worried us was not humanity’s one, it was ours, the closest people’s ones,
the one that could be contextualized in our own environment. 3
In a parallel way, a strong solidarity movement was growing with the
participation of any kind of social actors: old people helping other old
people that had been left alone; thousands of help projects and
development performed by children, teenagers and young people from
educational institutions and non-formal educational movement; churches,
temples and parishes became in meeting places, welcome, support and
care places; neighbor centre which grew initiatives for their neighbors;
enterprises for the leisure field, health, environmental politic. Nets and more
nets were kitted among institutions, religious confessions, and groups.
An active and moving search to reaper, care, reconstruct and build,
through new paths, with new textures, designs and colors even they were
“My own” started being “our”, the resignation vicious circle was broken,
“it’s not my business”, the rules of a constructive game were created in
which we could be protagonists overcoming the importance “in front of
the enormous work” of modifying the reality even thought it’s complex.
The experience of the strength and support of the groups was and is
Experience confirms the value of Educating for life in group, educating to
live with others and grow with others, from the first moments of personal
For a fabric that is extremely intricate, these life experiences are knitted
together with some opposite ones. Violence in classrooms is a reality in all
the latitudes, violent confrontations in sport events occupy TV screens,
labor claims frequently finish with hurt and dead people. We could add, in
an infinite increase, from work abuse, sexual abuse, children and women
who are abuse and hit in their families up to the point of living wars. And at
this point I can understand Soler’s statement about the indifference to any
world which isn’t my world, up to the point of denying the essential value
that is the other’s life, my brother’s or sister’s life or even his/her own life.
Soler says “we frequently live interpersonal conflicts painfully and we would prefer being
able to eliminate them from our lives. The frequent sensation is the one of suffering
It is extremely important to have in mind the crisis we lived in my country, Argentina, in 2001.
injustice, not being understood, tolerating the other’s violence…” .
It’s worth thinking
about the most frequent answer of the human being has chosen to solve
conflicts in history: violence.
Violence, as the psychologist Silvia Bonino says, is the behavioral answer
more immediate to a conflictive situation…destructive aggression is rigid
and because of that not so able to keep in mind the complexity and the
different aspects of the conflictive situation.
Everyday reality convokes us to Educate to discover the complexity of
human relations an multiple faces of the conflict.
Under the anthropologist Patfoort, quoted in the same article, in the root of
the conflict there is usually a power unbalance. The one who feels
powerful and wishes to imposed his/her will, ideas, interests or points of view
must live with pressures. Many times, balancing the lost power he/she
shouts takes revenge, hits or even attacks him/herself through illnesses or
depression because of the received pressure. The accumulated and silent
injustice can produce violent reactions.
Everybody has experienced how difficult it is to dismantle a confrontation
in a work group when the increase of the conflict has been started. How
hard it is to solve when we only try to discuss reasons without mentioning
our fears and our necessities. We have all experienced a moment we
don’t face what we knew or saw just not to complicate things. And here
indifference, in small or big things is covered by an unyielding attitude or
blindness, is present again.
Just like “Seeing the cards of our needs and fears can make us vulnerable, but can also
allow us to recognize the humanity there is in the one we have in front of us, and may be
dismantle the image of the enemy which frames the adversary” it is also essential to
recognize what we have to leave aside the phrase “it has been always
been this way”, the phrase “changes aren’t possible”, the phrase “this
doesn’t affect me”, or “I’m neutral”.
From the simplest and closest… Educating to recognize our emotions and
feelings and at the same time recognize the other’s ones… Educating to
express our needs and our fears…Educating so that we could not be
indifferent to nothing which is human.
Representation capacity and symbolism typical of the human being
establish the bases of the most creative and healthy solutions to face the
conflict: “cooperate means to find a way which takes in mind exigencies”
of all the parts.
“Language, the capacity of verbalizing, expressing emotions, and points of view…help us to
reconsider all the complexity of a situation and imagine alternative situations”.
So… Educating to be assertive, making decisions, think in a divergent and
creative way, evaluate and self-evaluate to understand, improve and
mediate. Educating to express in words what happens to us, what we
perceive in our everyday realities, educating to recover dialogue, to
denounce, not to involve oneself with indifference in complicities “whether
they are innocent or comfortable”.
This way, the prejudice that characterizes the others as different ones and
distant from an us we are part of, some “others” suffer from mockery and
jokes to stigmatizations and exclusions up to the point of embracing a
spring with all kind of destructive behaviors, we are offered the empathy
antidote… recognition of the others alike ourselves… Every time we
manifest the identical humanity of the other one we step towards peace.
Because of that it is necessary to work over our own prejudices whether
they are ideological, cultural, economic, ethnic, and this only happens in
the meeting face to face with the true other, not with the idea we have of
the other person.
Overcoming “the sense of meaningless”, recovering the own power of
acting, going out resignation, discovering the resources, the talents we
have, alliterate ourselves and alliterate hearts and minds to live in
So, it would be a matter of becoming good knitters and teach the trade of
linking strings, dreaming threads which include and cover, creating designs
for everybody and which highlight the personal originality in a collective
A personal story to enjoy by the fire
From an anonymous story…
The man comes from anywhere. After walking long ways he arrives at a town, a grey
and cold day. The wind is blowing, advancing the snow.
The foster is hungry. He stops at a house door and asks something to eat.
But from the other side of the door somebody answers: “We don’t have anything, not
even for us.”
The foster understands and goes on. He stops at the next door and asks for a piece of
- We don’t have anything, even for us- a voice explains
- Have you got a big pan at least? The man asks
- Yes, we have a quite big one- somebody replies.
- Have you got any water left? He adds suggestingly
- Luckily, we don’t lack water- they answer
- Put some water in the pan on the fire, I’ll be in charge of the rest: I’ll bring a
stone to make some soup!- says the imaginative stranger. So many things happen in
the town, which many times people feel like believing something.
- A stone to make soup? They asked- what’s that?
- Well, a stone to make soup, is a stone that helps to make soup. Do you
understand? Asks the man. You don’t understand, but maybe because you are
tired of understanding or bored of understanding you just don’t do it anymore.
Everybody meets around the stranger without much expectancy. The owner fills
the pan with water and puts it on the fire. The stranger takes a stone out of his
pocket and drops it in a big recipient.
- Now, we just have to wait until it boils- he says. And everybody decides to sit and
wait. That weak complicity of waiting makes them talk. The man tells a story of
silences that makes everybody sad.
- Could you give me a little salt? The stranger asks
- Of course- the woman said as she takes some salt out of a jar. The man takes a
handful and put it in the pan. Sometimes waiting leads to say some things. The
stranger remembers something he was told and starts telling a story.
- One or two carrots wouldn’t be bad in this delicious soup- talks about carrots with
- Well, if it is a carrot, I think I can help- the woman says.
- Taking one or two out of the basket, maybe three as one of the little daughters
peels them and dice them.
- During life, a man is alone with his shadow- goes on the stranger. Everybody
seems to agree.
- The woman isn’t anymore just with her shadow- says the black eyed daughter. At
that moment the child who is playing with a knife comments that the town is full of
stories about loneliness. One of the girls says that she has a friend who has a one-
- How good could some potatoes be!! There is nothing like a thick soup- comments
the stranger. The oldest daughter of the family, as she peels some potatoes tells
that a woman got pregnant not to be so lonely. Without a husband with no other
purpose than taking care of somebody.
- An onion could make it tastier, if you allow me- says the woman, at the same time
she remembers that she couldn’t say a word until the age of five. The dumb girl,
she was apparently said. Until one day. After crying non-stop for 9 days, she
- Silence is an illness- says the grandmother, as she adds a red sweet potato and a
- I’ll bring a cabbage just taken out from the ground- says the owner of the house
going towards the pan. And he adds, changing the voice- the saddest day of my
life was when my father died. I was thirteen, I remember his big hands.
- A little pepper- if I may- adds the landlady
- It will be ready soon- says the stranger stirring the stock with a huge ladle. At that
moment the youngest child comes with a hen.
- Just what we needed for the final touch- everybody says. In a few minutes the hen is
clean, cut and in the pan.
- ¡Hum! How nice it smells- says the just arrived one.
- The traveler has a stone- his father explains- We are preparing a soup with it.
To pray together
Holy Father take care...
Good Father you are among us.
We feel your presence when you take care of us
Through our brothers and sisters.
Merciful Father you invite us to be careful
With the ones who suffer. This way we give testimony
Of your endless love for all the creatures.
We wish you be present in our world,
Through the people who compromise themselves to live,
The message of fraternity, dignity and justice
To each human being and to all complete creation.
We want to give the first step to be that way.
Do your will towards all the beings
It is our mission in life. To devote ourselves for the others.
Give for free what we receive for free.
Take care as you take care of us: caressing the one who is sad
Rising the one who has fallen down, curing the one who has been hurt
Fighting for the weakest ones, growing peace of truth.
Living carefully, humbly.
We are hungry of bread and tenderness.
Of justice and beauty. Of knowledge and silence.
Of contemplation and fight, Of happiness and Compromise.
Of sharing and friendship. Serenity and Hope.
Tears and delight.
We may not be completely happy until the rest
Of humanity is happy,
Until every human being reaches dignity,
Until we treat our mother gently, the Earth.
We will be forgiven when our life
is a permanent testimony of fraternity.
Don’t allow us to settle ourselves, to cold ourselves,
To lie down in the oversight hammock.
Let’s never put down the light that burns our inner part,
The spark that emerged from your fire, the burning need
of sharing you loving care with the other human beings.
This way, to fulfill our lives
We ask this to you, good Lord, who takes care of us so tenderly.
Miguel Ángel Mesa
“Thanks, God, because of the hugs I’ve received
from the child,Because of the body that formed me, because
of the caresses that covered me, Because of the food that made
me grow; And because of the thoughts that make me grow”
the essential threads for the knit to be possible:
he basic needs that the groups satisfy
We are born, we live, we grow, and we develop our potentials in the centre
of human groups.
The family, first peer group, offers us essential opportunities of interchange. It
reaffirms us as individuals, as existing people, unique and different, in the way
a mirror contacts as with who we really are and from its caresses, cares and
tenderness allow us to build the basic trust which will sustain a healthy
development. “We have started seeing since the most tender infancy, through perception
that our important others have had about ourselves and from the image that they projected on
Cruelty, a way of violence, oversight, the experience of being ignored or
uncared on the other hand, will build distrust in front of themselves and the
world, self-perception will frequently be dyed by devaluation.
Following Barreiro we can remember that even though family is essential in
the genesis process of identity construction, the groups will be essential in all
the steps of our lives. These ones give confirmation and acceptance.
The Basic need of peers finds this way its satisfaction in friends groups and
school, study group and work group, in the patrol and the neighborhood
groups, because we are relation beings, growing in the meeting with the
“Among the different groups we have been going through, there was and there will be some
paths we have felt great and others we have felt bad; there was and there will be groups and
personal interactions in their groups that gave us happiness and joy, and others that made us
suffer; or even in a same group there may be moments that make us feel better or worse than
others; moments or aspects of the link weft that made us grow, that were positive for our lives,
and others which “blocked” or placed pitfalls in our development and our progress as people.
Anyone the experience is foreseen by, the peer groups frequently result being
for people a devastating experience of isolation. Rejection, the exclusion
experience is for many kids and teenagers the most feared maltreatment.
But apart from peering what do we look for in a group?
The group is the place for confirmation or disconfirmation. The group gives us
the experience of being useful and valuable for the others, of being
competent in front of an assigned responsibility to concrete a project or job.
If we look in a guide patrol, everything in it is activity. Activity that requires the
use of multiple abilities and competences: jumping, running, climbing, setting
fire, setting up tents and understanding a topographic card, planning a
project and conceiving ideas and discussing, making decisions by consensus,
making reflections, foreseeing advantages and disadvantages, making
budgets, testing achievements and overcoming difficulties; singing, disguising,
dramatizing and surfing the internet to meet friends around the world and
many more things.
Barreiro, Telma Trabajo en grupos “Working in groups” Buenos Aires Kapelusz (1992)
These abilities that are discovered get deeper and spread in the patrol: social
ones, cognitive ones, physical, artistic ones, or if we understand them from
Gardner, as expressions of multiple intelligence confirm each child as a
valuable person, able to learn and go on learning.
These abilities and competences are put to the group service, each girls or
each teenager can live the enthusiasm of her/his personal achievements and
the shared achievements in an atmosphere where error is recognized as an
The group atmosphere of welfare facilitates “the opening, giving up masks”, power-
Barreiro would say- the most constructive aspects of the members of the group. The
common work convokes personal improvement and growing for everybody,
allows experiencing a distributed leadership and discovers potentials many
The group is the place of circulation of feelings, in this one the need of loving
and being loved find expression opportunities. From being called by name to
smiles, from greetings to gestures of tenderness or approval. Free love which is
not tied to what we know or the abilities we have, the point of having got the
points for the team or how nice one is. Affection just because of being part of
this “we” that the healthy group builds.
Life experience in group with or cheered by the presence of an adult demands
a compromise on what we call emotional education. To help the girls and
teenagers to be conscious of their emotions and feelings, their wishes and
hopes, to be able of sharing them in the inner part of the group to be able to
understand and open to the world of the emotions and feelings for the others.
Tolerance is not a goal to reach, it just the threshold, the starting point towards
tenderness, compassion, sympathy. And this goes hand in hand with the
company of an adult and the practice of an education in dialogue and
This group is also the practice of a responsible freedom, the acceptance of the
law, in Guiding, it is a proposal to improve in all the dimensions of the person.
The law defines a conviviality style not done from prohibitions but from the
always checked version of living a project of life to the other’s service and in
loyalty with the God of Life.
The group recognizes the efforts to live everyday a proposal that is not
impossible, a proposal that states goals personalized for each age, which is
demanding and announces itself as a challenge, that invites a fair look on
itself admitting strengths and weaknesses.
The experience of the law respect, responsibility in front of our own actions, of
dialogue that builds better decisions, it is part of the education to citizenship
that is always in the educational proposal of the movement.
The group is a place for emotion, responsibilities, peering; it is also a place to
build a value frame and shared senses.
The group, the welcoming place for new generations, it is also giving time to
find an answer to basic questions of identity and vocation: who am I? and Who
do I want to be?
If the group experience allows the children and teenagers to recognize them
in first place as fruit of God’s unconditional love in the loving presence of their
educators, they can knit a project to be in the world as the other people’s
brothers and sisters.
A story to share by the bonfire
One day a person who said to be the abbot of a big monastery went by the old man.
-What do you want? Asked the master.
The visitor as an answer, told him a sad story: in other times his monastery had been
famous in all the western world. There was harmony among all of them, and they
breathed happiness air. As a consequence of that, the number of people that wanted
to belong to that community grew. Now, there were many, nobody could understand
each other. The abbot explained the old man that they had done psychological exams,
pedagogical ones and that they couldn’t find any solution.
-That is chaos. Your fame as a wise person has arrived at us and because of that I
come to ask you for advice.
-Calm down-said the old man-see how everything has solution.
The old man went with the abbot to the monastery and he lived with the community
for some days.
And as time passed, he called the abbot and told him:
- I know where the problem is. You have in your hand a beautiful flower and fruit
garden, with fruit trees of any kina, but you have to know well all and each of the
fruits to know how to treat them, so that they give the appropriate fruit.
Here, there are people that are like nuts: they are covered with a hard outer core, it
is very hard to reach them, but when you can do it, they are very nice.
There are people that are like cherries: small, sweet and with nice aspect, but they
always have to be high and when you taste them they can break you a tooth with the
There are some that are oranges: if you taste them before the right season they are
sour and disgusting, but if you give them time to ripen they are very nice, tasty and
give a lot of vitamins.
There are others who are like prickly pears: always with prickles, always bothering
and leave spikes hard to take out.
There are some asparagus, they don’t taste and however they are useful to eliminate
Then you have bananas: always at hand, always sweet, always good but they are very
Others are custard apple: they are good, but they have an amount of seeds that are
not edible and you have to take them out one by one. The rest is good, however
There others who are pears: the outer aspect is green, they give the impression they
haven’t ripened, but when you taste them, they are ready.
There are others who are water melons. Very tasty, very colorful and very fresh.
What a pity that only in summer there are water melons.
Maybe there are more fruits. Follow these clues to recognize how you really are.
I have also observed how these fruits behave, sorry, these people, inside the group
There are groups that are fruitful, each person keeps its shape and taste. They are
unable to mix. They think that the prickle pear, prickle pear has to die. They are
very beautiful to decorate.
There are groups that are juice. They are able to mix the rest, but they do it in such
a way that they totally loose their identity; they loose their shape and color. The
result some times is nice, other times a strange flavor.
There are groups that are Macedonia, fruit salad: they are able to join the rest giving
their taste, but still being themselves. The little ones keep entire and the big ones
are divided in dice to contribute more to the group. The result is a good mixture.
And this way, they understood where their mistake was and the monastery was what it
used to be.
Some words to make them pray
The non-violence strength
A people and a man’s strength is on the non-violence. Try it. It is only possible because
of the massive return of men to the deep human values, as humbleness, sobriety,
solidarity, hospitality and friendship.
I have a conviction deeply rooted: only non-violence can save humanity.
To practice violence, you have to learn how to hate. For non-violence you have to
learn how to love.
I have tried to avoid violence, I really want to avoid it. The non-violence is the first
principle of my faith and the last one.
To build Peace
Peace is a tree that has to grow tall. Just like the cedar, we have to absorb a lot of
stones to ground the bases of its unity.
To build peace is to build a huge stable where all the cattle can sleep calmly.
It’s to build a castle so huge that in it could meet everyman without having to leave
It is not about amputating them to be inside.
To build peace is to get that God gives us his shepherd shroud to welcome in it
everybody with the width of their wishes.
As a mother loves all her children.
This one, who is shy and tender.
This one, who is anxious to live.
That hunchbacked, feeble, inappropriate.
Everybody, in their diversity, they touch her Herat.
Everybody, in the diversity of their love they are good for her glory.
Peace is that tree, that we have to grow slowly.
We need more light than what I have.
Nothing is still evident.
I have to choose, and at the same time, reject.
It would be too easy to achieve peace if everybody were similar.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A dynamic to work with our children
(Taken from the magazine Misión Joven by CCS)
Peace Texts - Herminio Otero
The following texts make reference to general attitudes, ether to become aware of
reality or to concrete which attitudes can be more efficient an possible in the creation
of a better world. Loyal to the statement of Manos Unidas («Change your life to
change the World»), we highlight personal attitudes, which leads to fulfill the
compromise in the fight for justice and solidarity. We haven’t chosen very well-known
texts (San Francisco Pray) or biblical texts or by the Holy Fathers. Neither have we
included songs, which can put my foot in it. Neither a narration or parabola. 5
REFLECTION, ANALYSIS, PROPOSALS
We don’t set concrete standards to work with each text. We just remind you that you van
use them in multiple ways.
Reflection and comment in group.
See many examples in J. J. Gómez, Educar para la paz, “Educating for peace” Ed. CCS, Madrid
1 9 92 ; H. Ot er o , Parábolas en son de paz,”Parabolas for peace” Ed. CCS, Madrid 1 9 93 .
As a greeting and motivation at the beginning of a meeting
As a starting point for following comments or deepenings.
Just to read them or listen to them.
To put them in a board.
As material that can be included in the activity programs or on informative pages.
To disseminate them in magazines of the group or church.
To adapt them through music or drama and represent them in any collective event.
Utopia of peace
It is in the horizon,
When I walk two steps, it takes two steps back.
I walk ten steps, and it is ten steps further away.
No matters how much I walk I never reach it
What is Utopia for?
It is for this, for walking.
The most important thing
It doesn’t matte what you are: a man, a woman, old or young,
worker, peasant, soldier, student or salesman. It doesn’t matter your political creed,
nor your religious creed…
If you are asked what is the most important thing for humanity,
Answer before, after and always: peace.
Li Tien Min
The reality of war
If you hear that a war has started.
If you hear that some young soldiers have died in the hands of other soldiers.
If you hear that on the other side of any frontier a camp has been set for
Refugees, who were a few yesterday and thousands today, ten thousands.
If you heart that because of the war’s fault there are mutilated people.
If you hear that millions of mothers cry their children because they have not only given
birth to them in pain but also in pain they have been taken out of their hands.
If you hear that hundreds of bombs have exploded in any city or in the centre of
any miserable town.
If you hear that some chemical weapons kill “without damaging”.
If you hear about raze division, brothers division.
If you hear bomb explosions instead of explosion of plows.
If you hear about the need of revenge and wish to kill.
If you hear that somebody has the wish of blood.
If you hear threatens, words of anger or resentment.
If you see children with submachine-guns on their shoulders.
If you see kisses drowning in floods of tears.
If you see hearts wondering exhausted.
If you see many men hat don’t have a man’s face or body…
It is because the Earth has stepped towards its extermination
And you and me are also responsible of it.
To reach peace
We can only reach World peace through the inner transformation of teh being.
It is a hard process, but it is the only way. Peace must be developed, mainly, in the
Love, comprehension, generosity are the basic elements of peace. Only when these
elements germinate in the inner part of a person, this one is able to create an
atmosphere of peace and harmony.
This atmosphere can be widened and spread from the being to the family, from the
family to the community, and finally, from the community to the entire world.
We serve the peace cause if we learn little by little to perceive not only the injustice
we are victims of, but also the injustice the others are victims of.
We are peaceful if everyday we fulfill little virtue actions: being nice with those we
have power on, no lying in front of those who are stronger, not considering oneself too
important or believing irreplaceable.
Karl Rahner (Adaptation)
“ Thanks to the ones that with their words, gave me faith in
myself, Made me more enthusiastic, and taught me to love.Thanks
for crossing my way.You rounded me with Your presence,
made me feel your hug,And transmitted Your Love.
Learn how to knit takes time:
the group and the development of
abilities to live in community
“The group meets many beings in a system that doesn’t live and act as an addition of
parts, but as a whole” and this space where we live the condition of being
ourselves in all our originality and being, at the same time, part of
ourselves, is undoubtedly a hard construction.
The fable of the porcupines by Schopenhauer, says that one long winter
night in a cave they try to heat themselves without hurting each other
with their bristles, the long dance of finding the right distance that
allows to share the heat and simultaneously don’t suffer exaggerated
tensions, is an appropriate metaphor for the meaning of building
ourselves as a group.
Without denying the autonomy of each member, defining the group as
a totality means to recognize the influence that everyone’s behavior
has in the others, the mutual dependence that takes part in the
affection level, the work, the roles, the values and power.
The guide is conscious that it is not enough to incorporate a girl to a
patrol for this one to be part of it, that not being anymore a group of
people of similar age to become a unity that solves and projects,
discusses and decides, that takes distance and gets closer, that has
conflicts and solves them as a part of a long way.
The adventure of communication is registered in the group, the
dialogue looking for consensus, the interchange of points of view, and
the conflict; express the importance that covers the construction of
common meanings. The group is the everyday opportunity to play and
plan together, but it’s basically the opportunity to build a horizon we
can try to reach together.
In the small group, the patrol, “it is a deep an authentic experience of the other” .
Going out from our own personal world, understanding what the other,
who speaks with words or silences, wants to communicate, the angers
or affirmations in a demanding exercise. Around the others’ words we
tend to knit a meaning weft. In order not to be monologue speakers,
we require a listening and sight exercise, and accepting that it is
necessary to build a space for meetings, a space for participation and
The patrol as a small group allows this possibility.
Pollo, M. El grupo, lugar de comunicación “The group, communication place”
The patrol is the place to meet face to face, the place for words and
gestures, of guffaws and cries. Everything has an affective tone,
information and data can flow fluently, believes and symbols can be
shared and celebrated. Life made of action and reflection is lived in
the centre of the patrol, is narrated once and once more in the
memory of the patrol book in the shared fires, they get meaning
beyond everyday life in ceremonies and prays.
The small group creates a code, a private language the differs it from
other groups. This language has a shared dimension in the movement
with the other groups through the wide world (a language that speaks
of values, a way of life, a horizon we walk towards) a particular
dimension more tied to the specific experiences of life, allowances and
This group code “is the place in which particular individuality of the group meets
connection with the individualities of the other groups and each one of the beings that
compose them…the code, in effect, it guarantees the difference, intimacy and group
reserve, preserving it from dispersion” .
Pennants, patrol ribbons, names mottos, corners and album-books are
elements from the educational proposal of the movement that
cooperates to build this group “grammar”
Working Roles that favor the leadership distribution, chiefs sub-chiefs
that assume responsibility to manage the democratic participation of
the group, they favor the formation of rich communication nets and a
distribution of power which is linked to the possibility to assume different
However, unrest is not something beyond group life, it is frequently bound to
the predominance of a way of configuration as a group, a matrix which is
defined as competitive.
The competitive matrix, generator of confrontations and antagonisms has
become “naturalized”, to be “considered a typical feature of human nature, when really
it is a characteristic of personality that results totally dependent of the motivational structures
of each culture” 9.
The Challenge of the Guide is to contribute to develop a cooperative and
supportive group matrix, in which it could be possible to participate without
being judged, where fear to be displaced doesn’t exist, where it could be
possible to create and believe, give and receive fondness, being part and
being recognized. A cooperative and supportive matrix in a mutual
acceptance and trust background, in a freedom and respect we can
experience being ourselves, unique and original and at the same time an
“us” able to work, play or project as a whole.
Cooperation doesn’t avoid conflict, confrontation or anger, proper of any
group, and we know this, we the ones who work with children and teenager
and, of course, with adults!!!. However, this way of solving conflicts gets
different shapes, this way the things that predominate are: learning from our
own mistakes, the group search of solutions, and the capacity to stress the
common welfare on the solutions that only satisfy only us.
Barreiro, Telma Conflictos en el aula “ Conflicts in the classroom” Buenos Aires Novedades
The author we have been quoting, Telma Barreiro, highlights the myth of
competence stimulus. It is interesting when we are tempted to centre all the
game and work proposal in the competence among patrols, obtaining
scores, the proposal of prizes in front of every project that is concreted. In
front of the risk of loosing the gratitude sense and the joy of doing things well
without wanting a “reward” we can let these reflections echo inside us.
“…the stimulus that competence gives doesn’t stimulate an authentic grow. Personally it leads
to an alienate way of relation with work, activity and goals…”
“…the inherent pleasure of creativity that is replaced by the non-stop search of the prize; the
work is a mean to win the others…”
“…as we talk about a moving goal, it obliges us to be constantly alert and generates anxiety…”
Talking about learning, the author says “…faced as a living process, that implies
discovering, investigating, questioning, creating and building, it doesn’t need external stimulus
and its realization itself implicitly leads to a personal grow, if we add the possibility of group
work and the satisfaction of cooperation, discovering with the others, the process becomes
something completely enjoyable…”
Barreiro, Telma Trabajo en grupos. “Work in groups” Buenos Aires Kapelusz 1992
This scheme adapted from a proposal by Coll for the group-class, can clarify
the role that the influence project of the movement has in the groups through
the educational presence of the guide and on the other hand, everything
the guides contribute as unique people with the characteristics typical of their
age, with their family history and all the richness and originality coming from
Both questions Hill have to do with the inner processes that spread to the inner
of the patrols and the guide communities.
How to educate in social abilities from the experience which is founder of life
Listen to, thank, ask with a “please”, ask, answer, ask for help, give help,
participate, say sorry, defend our rights, and be supportive in defense of the
others’ rights, respect a game’s rules, make a decision, state objectives and
work to achieve them, understand our own feelings to understand the others.
Abilities to live in group that we learn in family little by little, our first group and
the most meaningful one.
The literacy in social matters or first socialization seems to be weakened.
Teachers, catechesis teachers, cheerers of groups express their worry
because they have to teach essential conviviality rules. The family also
expresses their worry when it discovers that the attitudes in which his child is
educated are not shared by the families of his/her friends. Something that is a
rule or value for somebody, in other homes is not valuable.
On the other hand, everybody agrees that they must share a powerful
opinion creator and molder of social attitudes: the communication means
and new information technologies. Whether a high audience television
program, computer games, the role games or many other “presences” in the
world of the children and teenagers”. If we link this with the loose of places to
play and leisure places, we state at the beginning of this reflection, we can
recognize in hundred social sections of the increase of the amount of hours
we spend in front of the screen in at the expense of interchanges with other
children, group activities, outdoors group activities, sports practice, etc.
The adults’ World is not beyond this deficit of social abilities, difficulties to live
and work with the others and together with the things that are expressed in
the family. Activities multifrenia, the quickness to fulfill all the obligations, stress,
the amount of information to process every moment, exigencies whether real
or created by us that later become unreachable goals, are some describers
of our everyday life.
Because of that, when numbering some of the axis that the small patrol group
helps to spread, it is not a bad idea to ask ourselves how we evaluate
ourselves as leaders and adults in these dispositions to be and work with us:
Formulation of own ideas
Sensibility in front of the others’ reality
Respect to our own privacy and the other’s privacy.
Identification of wrong thoughts
Capacity to get involved in the collective search of solutions
Use of creative alternatives for the solution of problems
Analysis of the consequences of our own experiences
Capacity to listen
Statement of critics
Statement of self-critics
Democratic practice to make decisions
Acknowledgment of the ethic and social responsibility of our actions .11
Ferrer, V. Las habilidades sociales “ Social habilitéis” En revista Innovación educativa N 102.
How to teach social abilities or develop attitudes for life, whether some of the
presented in the previous paragraph or any other, has had diverse answers
along the years. Preoccupation in this field has an important part of the
reflection on educational pedagogy and psychology. Even though,
conducting models have predominated in the creation of programs for the
development of social competences, in the last decade many meaningful
contributions have been disseminated which can help to enrich our point of
view. We show some of them:
The Multiple Intelligence Theory by Howard Gardner, in which the
development of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence are
particularly interesting for this reflection topic.
The emotional Intelligence theory hand in hand with Goleman.
The philosophy proposal for kids by Lipman.
Gardner’s theory is without ignoring the genetic component, recognizes
intelligence as a liable to be developed. Recognizes the existence of eight
different intelligences that can interact and empower reciprocally, defining
intelligence as “the capacity to solve problems or create products that are valuable in one
or more cultural environments”.
Interpersonal intelligence, on of the eight ones, “it allows us to understand the
others and communicate with them having their different moods, temperaments, motivations
and abilities. Including the capacity to establish and keep relations to assume diverse roles in
groups, whether as members or leaders.” .
Collaborating with the group of development of one activity, contribute with
opinions or organize the others’ proposals in a viable project, being curious
and opened to discover the richness of personal, cultural, or social
differences, sensible to the others’ feelings, able to consider different points of
view, to share laughter and jokes. Expressions of an intelligence that grows,
as it is possible, to interact with the others in an acceptance and trust
“In the centre of our inner World there are the capacities w ego t oto understand ourselves and
other people, to imagine, to plan, to solve problems. There also live qualities such as
motivation, decision capacity, ethic, integrity, altruism, sympathy…”
Intrapersonal Intelligence understands our thoughts and feelings. As long as we
can make them conscious, more solid the relation between our inner and outer
world will be.
Both worlds are bond; both intelligences are developed in the environment of
Campbell,L.; Campbell, B.; Dickenson, D. Inteligencias múltiples “Multiple intelligences” Buenos Aires
Learning by doing as is proposed by the movement, cooperative learning
gets wider as we cooperate. In the game, in service to community, in the
international-friendship project, in the reconstruction of the patrol’s corner,
parents’ meetings, in the setting of the weather office or in the confection of
disguises for the play, as we cook under the rain or plan the night bonfire.
The dialogue exercise made silence or listening, words and gestures is not a
content of the guide who speaks, that one who interchanges ideas and
chooses, after evaluating possibilities and difficulties, that one who is the most
pertinent to the project in which the patrol or community will board; requires
confrontation of points of view, arguments which keep opinions, analysis
among diverse alternatives, conformity or disconformity expressions in front of
the definite election, constructions of consensus and acceptance of dissent
and acceptance of designs.
The rest of the made decisions and the construction of a working plan, the
effort made for the construction of a project (whether it is an annual service
that will demand to keep the assumed compromise during tie or the play that
implies to use different abilities to achieve a common objective) that will
allow to grow in essential attitudes for citizen life.
Evaluation along the project or closing of each meeting, the analysis of what
we have done and the attitudes we show in every meeting of the chiefs and
sub chiefs of the patrol allows the exercise of the critical view about oneself.
The evaluating view facilitates to meet those aspects to improve and allows
redirecting our own actions and the group’s ones to the defined objectives. It
discovers as perfectible and takes from mistakes an opportunity of grow and
Evaluation, even though difficulties, the wish to grow, the passion for
understanding are transmitted when children and teenagers meet guides
who assume enthusiastically their own permanent learning way.
The patrol meeting, personal conversation as we walk through a path, the
preparation after the promise, the shared pray, the celebrating spaces, the
desert experiences, the personal book or notebook, the opportunities to use
imagination, individual time to think in a special part of the camp. Spaces
and times that facilitate a better self-knowledge, the establishment of
personal goals, making questions about yourself, about the others, about a
complex and multidimensional reality.
To trust in oneself and in our own capacities, to recognize oneself us worthy of
esteem, worthy of being loved, able to love, welcome to the group, all that is
The educator is, again, essential. An attentive creator, able to manifest
esteem, affection and acceptance, creator of opportunities, sensitive and
sympathetic, just and coherent in its actions.
Recreating the reading of this scheme we can say that the inner part of the
patrol this permanent interchange of values, authority, work, affection and
organization is experienced in the daily meetings, services, camps, projects
To re-read the guide method under the light of the nowadays pysocology
and pedagogy, a passioning and challenging job.
A pray to preach together
The Funder’s pray to be used in international meetings
"Father of us all,
We meet before Thee here today, numerous in the lands we come from and in the races
we represent, but one in our Brotherhood under Thy Divine Fatherhood.
We come before Thee with hearts grateful and gladdened by the many blessings Thou hast
granted us and thankful that our Movement has prospered as acceptable in Thy sight.
In return we would lay on Thine Altar, as our humble thank-offering, such sacrifice as we
can make of self in service to others.
We ask that during our communion here together we may, under Thy Divine Inspiration,
gain a widened outlook, a clearer vision of all that lies open before us and of our
opportunity. Thus we may then go forth with strengthened faith to carry on our mission of
heightening the ideals and powers of manhood, and of helping through closer
understanding to bring about Thy happier Rule of Peace and Goodwill upon Earth."
Listen oh Father.
An image to contemplate and share
Which seeds are growing today in the ground
our patrol of cheerers, in the patrols of our
Which seed, as abilities for life in group, have
given us biggest difficulties to grow in this or
With which concrete attitudes as adults and
educators do we facillitate that life grows in
Whose are the hands that hold the
A story to share by the bonfire
(Taken from Misión Joven by CCS)
Parabola- The hardest Lesson
In Jesus’ life, he had counted occasions he could meet his apostles in a calm place.
They were usually surprised by a crowd that was as sheep without shepherd, and
wanted to listen to Master’s words. Jesus felt pity because of that, and started
teaching them calmly… Once he told them:
_ Love your enemies, make the good to the ones that hate you, bless to ones that
curses us, pray for the ones who lie. The one who hurts you on one cheek, give him the
other; the one who takes the shroud, don’t deny the robe.
The others, up to that moment, undaunted of the crowd started to adopt strange
shapes (as when we don’t understand something) and silence started to dissolve giving
place to an endless number of questions:
_ Master; do you mean I have to forgive my brother even when he keeps our father’s
_ And Lord; do I have to speak back with the neighborhood beggar who tried, knife in
hand, to rob from my children?
_ According to your words, do I have to come back the “The Nani” even though he is a
big mouth and is always putting his food in things?
_ Lord I have hear wrong or…don’t tell me that I have to start greeting again my ex
chief, the one who made me a fake contract and also fired me in two months.
_ I can’t believe it! Do I have to forget the money my neighbor owes me and start the
two families go out again?
_ I don’t understand that Lord…Do you mean I have to start buying again in “The
Dory’s” shop even knowing that everybody only criticizes me?
So, Jesus standing up and looking at them in tenderness, told them:
_ You do, friends, and not only that but you must treat the others as you want them
to treat you, because if you only love the ones who love you, what merit have you
got?...Love the ones you don’t get on well with, those ones who have done “something
tricky” to you, this way your reward will be big…
The crowd congregated in that place started to whisper with the ones who were around
them, so Jesus stopped talking, understanding that this lesson he had just given, would
have to be given many times along history….
José María Escudero
1. Imagine that we also listen to Jesus words. What would we would we have asked?
What excuses would we have done?
2. See other people’s regrets. Are they also ours? Which are the repeated ones in our
groups, which situations can we see them?
3. Share some experiences where we show how hard it is to give Jesus the other
cheek…but also search when we have behaved as Jesus shows: what has happened?
What was simplified healed or overcame in the relationship with the other people?
“...The real goal is not the search of principles and the knowledge
of rules in general, but their real application. Talking about virtue, it
can’t either enough to know what it is; it is essential, apart from this,
to make an effort to possess it and practice it…”
Every thread is important, every thread
is necessary: education to citizenship in the
experience of the patrol
“The 20th Century has left, among us, an essential legacy: education o citizenship, as well as
the rights that guarantee them, they are an essential requirement for consolidation an the
development of a fairer and more democratic society” . With these words, Pablo Gentili,
Argentine educator, introduces his reflection about the ethic and political
And what’s the meaning of educating for citizenship, “for some people it will express
in the future to form people who know their rights, duties and obligations, trained for the conscious
exercise of the political participation. For other people, it means educating individuals able to adapt
themselves quickly to the changes of the productive world, contributing with the growth of the
country. Responsible chooser, intelligent consumer, competitive worker.”
If we carefully observe our societies we perceive very diverse attitudes in front
of the citizenship living, some of them contradictory, others new, many of
Our social actors install inedited ways of presence in society, of protection of its
rights or of representation of its claims; a plebiscite style that leads to permanent
discussion of the public matter that takes place, and also, big spaces in the
means of communication with journalists that behave as opinion creators. The
youngsters who are compromised in many projects to improve their spaces
have, on the other hand, little presence in political parties, syndicates and
traditional structures of the democratic system. The dislegitimacy of the
authority questions, sometimes from its own opinion many times without serious
arguments. It seemed to advance in a huge distrust in the public duty. In
everyday life tends to prevail confrontation on the possibility of dialogue and
Gentili, P. Códigos para la ciudadnía “ Codes for a good citizenship” Buenos Aires Santillana 2000
consensus construction. And this happens at the level of small intermediate
associations, in the neighborhood and school dynamic as well as at the level of
local, regional or national structures.
When we read Gentili’s contribution “citizenship as a desirable practice is socially built
as a space of values, actions and common institutions that integrate the individuals, allowing a
mutual recognition as members of a community” we think immediately about our
founder. He understood the movement as am essential space of citizen
formation through the practice of participation values, freedom, autonomy,
respect for the others, values of the differences, supportive service to
everybody. He understood citizen formation as a construction that had the
dynamic of the patrol, the branch and the community of the space and
privileged time for the service of everybody. An anticipation of the active
compromise that every girl and boy expected in their adults lives in a
Education in values, sustain of citizen formation, goes little by little from values
recognition to orientate our own lives according to the moral principles that
they state. The Guide Law, The Scout Law are not only a horizon of sense we
orientate our lives towards, they are behavior rules that allow each one to
recognize good things, desirable things. They establish a desirable way of
being, “the lead us to behave in a determined way: they are moving principles” 14 .
Education in values develop and move our conciousness and mora sense. Chauì
says: “the sense and moral conciousness speak about values, senses, intentions, desicions and
actions reffered to good and evil and, because of that, they are born, are as part of our
What constitutes us as moral subjects...in his Invitation to phylosophy, the
same author will mention...
Consciousness about ourselves and the others, experienced in our movement in
relation face to face with the inner part of the patrol and the community and
the link among children and teenagers with the adult leaders;
To the capacity to control the will exercise of our decisions, feelings and actions
to be coherent with our consciousness.
To the responsibility in front of our own actions being able to assume their
To the freedom practice as a self-determination capacity. Objectives of the
practice of this freedom that from these Alitas to the Big Guides give place to
a greater autonomy.
It is undoubtedly that this education in citizenship founded in an ethic
formation is education in practice, in the big game of guiding; it is always
learn by doing. From the given word and creation of spaces of dialogue in
the patrol and in the branch of guide teaches participation.
From the valorization of the contribution of each girl or teenager, the guide
teaches in respect and valorization of the richness of all the diversities and
acknowledgement of herself, as well as a healthy self-esteem.
By accepting the mistake and its contribution to learning, the guide allows the
girls the acceptance of their vulnerabilities, the importance of will to grow
and the value of time and the effort in the concretion of an achievement.
The guides learn from their leaders about themselves, as reflection as in a
mirror the adult gives about her progress, of her possibilities, her difficulties;
and about the others and the world because of the guide attitudes they take
everyday of her compromises as adults, mothers, professionals, women.
The Guides learn from the practice of the democracy in the respect the
guides show for the decisions made by the patrols and the meetings of the
The comprehension and acceptance of differences of any kind is a
meaningful axis of the education to citizenship. There is no uniformity among
people , each of our girls and teenagers heritages a personal history, a family
one, motivations, interests, dispositions, rhythms to learn, wishes, dreams and
expectations that become her unique. With other girls of her same age she
shares some common interest and Basic needs that we can identify and this is
important to be acknowledged.
To respect the diversity of each girl means to offer many and rich experiences
of learning because Guiding is opened as a range of infinite possibilities, it is
also to facilitate the big game we play in the patrol evidences other
opportunities that we surely hadn’t thought about.
To respect diversity is also avoid every stereotype, classification or title to
identify our guides, if we do what we do they learn not to give titles or
denominations to the others, accepting every and each one as an unique
The patrol as an experience of democratic life is an experience of inclusion,
initiative, self discipline, solidarity, first among peers, later opening to all the
environments of daily life. As a small group the patrol can also act as:
subtle ways of excluding the new members,
misunderstanding self-discipline with submission to a patrol chief who is
energetic and dominant;
easily accepting the initiatives that come from the same people;
installing in comfort or passivity leaving in the adults the responsibility
that are proper, making compliment a way to avoid changes and
The practice of democratic life leads the guide to teach how to look with a
fair and objective look of the group, social background, the world. She
implies them in the job of teaching to judge, and analyze causes and
consequences, alternatives, dimensions of a complex reality. How to read
from the values of the movement everyday. She compromises them to teach
how to behave to transform reality, not to adapt, but on the contrary to make
a personal contribution for family life, school life, patrol life and community
life, building a fairer and fraternal society for everybody, to be a witness in the
history of the God who wants the good for his sons and daughters.
Educating for democratic life will be also educating for the resistance in front
of values that a fragmented society imposes from a compulsive press ion of
conformity. How to face the pressure of the means of communication,
bombing of fashion, publicity, opinion creators who shout their happiness
sales if it can be bought, be possessed, pretended, we close our eyes in front
of the pain and exclusion of millions people.
Educating to deny teh thought closing, validity that imposes the conses of ill
ways, which are also selfish, individualistic, of being in teh world.
Educating for citizenship, for some specialists, is to spread the possible
opportunities to facilitate how to live together; in this sense to answer from the
education to the right to “freedom”, to individualization in socialization, the
habitat to live in”. Because of that, an excellent book (that meets many
citizens of the world as an homage to two well-known publications by the
UNESCO: Learn how to live and Education encloses e treasure) sets the need
Democratic citizenship as a construction of a democratic culture (...) that is not fundamented
on knowledge and acceptance of other cultures (...) as a will to live with the others (...) as
tolerance which means patience, condescension o indulgence, but implies the knowledge of the
others and respect for the beauty of its culture. Democratic culture (…) doesn’t reject any
particular identity, ethnic, religious, linguistic or cultural nor can be developed in detriment of
the national fundaments, the collective solidarities ones, and common hopes.
This citizenship is kept in the participation and the practice of freedom, in
defense of human rights, in the fight against poverty. Mayor Zaragoza would
say: “democratic culture can’t develop in the desert land of ignorance, or take roots in the
centre of a fragmented society in blocked behaviors, unable to communicate among them…
Education is, so, in the centre itself of the democratic culture, because it allows to for human
Mayor Zaragoza, Federico. Ciudadanía democrática en Cinco ciudadanías para una nueva
educación “ Democratic Citizenship in five citizenshps for a new education.” Barcelona Grao 2002
beings provided with the capacity to differ, to chose, to make own decisions and not to act
under the instruction of others’ instances”.
Social citizenship, as a sensibility to know the reality we are registered, the basic needs of
humanity in a healthy life, intellectually rich, around a positive affection. As consciousness it
makes closer the use of resources and its fair distribution, inequality situations, privilege, exclusion
and poverty in the social field. As responsibility for the creation of a fair and equitable society.
Education in this dimension of citizenship leads to give reflection spaces so that
“the youngsters that integrate our societies do it in an adequate consciousness about which are the
social challenges they have to face, and they will have to adopt a personal position that implies a
certain responsibility in their behavior and also a political position to make her voice to be heard.”
Equalitable Citizenship, like the right to have education, an education which contributes with
the construction of a fairer and equitable society.
Juan Carlos Tedesco would say that this is necessary for education to
solidarity from the creation of the wish to live together; trust in the educators
in the capacities to learn that children and youngsters have and a resilient
focus in the education job.
Intercultural citizenship, as the acknowledgement of the cultural identities and richness of the
cultural diversity of the peoples.
Education for the recognition and valuation of cultural diversities anticipated
in BP’s thought with his friendship and fraternity proposal without frontiers, it
also means the construction of unity, the opening to “learning of other ways of
thinking, feeling and doing”, “the transmission of values as an integrate vision of the memory,
nature, community, and family, not only in the own culture, but also of the other ones that live
in the same territory space and in the rest of the planet”
Being citizen of the neighborhood and the planet, and finally, it is the proposal to link
environmental education with citizenship education. Worry and compromise of children and the
youngsters about the environment gives account of the growth of a planetary consciousness
about te complexity, interrelation and vulnerability of our world. We are realistic and we know
that even being very far from “living the wisdom land”. The dangers of contamination of the
environment, the irrational use of the resources, catastrophes that are due to irresponsibility,
shake us every day. Go from a domain relation to a relation of reparation, responsibility and
care about nature is a demanding way we have no to much time for.
Environmental education, assumed compromise made by many movements,
organizations and school is a reality to deepen, knitting nets that allow an
articulated participation. Our movement, which has always considered
Nature as a manuscript of God, has multiple opportunities for the
development of this citizenship. From education in silence to admiration in
front of the creation wonders, to the austere life in simplicity, from self-
knowledge to the recognition of the multiple relations with the human beings,
from participation in actions of environmental protection to promotion of an
Majó, Joan. Ciudadanía social en Cinco ciudadanías para una nueva educación
Menchú Tum, Rigoberta. El sueño de una sociedad intercultural en Cinco ciudadanías para una
upheld development, from responsible consume to the denouncement of the
violation of environmental laws.
A Pray to preach together
I believe in peace
I believe in always young peace.
In believe in the peace new men have.
I peace, recorded in flesh hearts.
In peace without times.
I believe in peace that destroys weapons.
In peace of laughter explosions.
In believe in justice peace.
I believe in solidarity peace.
I believe in mercy peace.
I believe in the peace of the Peace Creator.
Our Father, everybody’s father, neither
mine nor yours,
I believe in Peace
A dynamic to work with the groups:
Gallery of constructors of peace
The proposal is preparing for the group, the church, the neighborhood, or school a
Gallery of people for peace
How to mantle it:
1. Using interchange experiences
Using that each one of the members of the groups understand of society in peace
an justice, a group that lives in peace, in family that enjoys tenderness of living in
a small community, a group of friends who solve their conflicts using the diversity
of the others y their originality.
2. Using interchange and consensus
A common definition of peace is built
3. That can be expressed
with colors with songs
with words with photographs
with pictures with movements
4. So this way we explore life and testimony of people, men and women that along the
last years have been witnesses of peace in our neighborhood, in the middle of our
community, in our countries, regions, or continents.
5. In small groups we reconstruct their biographies, we search their stories, if they are our
neighbors we interview them, if they are far of us we investigate with in news material, if
they are dead we read their biographies and we plan an imaginary interview.
6. We explore the realities they are or were involved, conflicts that they denounced
and the participated in, the story of those conflicts or realities,
It is possible that from some of them we find a film that describes his/her life,
that we can see in groups and make a cinema-debate we can share with other
children and youngsters.
Some of them have left scripts (as example we include some texts) we can
contextualize the in a concrete epoch and reality, we can discuss what say those
words testified with life in the inner part of people, from the source they become
stronger to be witnesses of peace and justice.
7. We finally have the gallery, we invite other groups to participate, we create a
debate day, testimonies, round tables, cinema-debate, state concrete ways of building
better relations with our environments, in front of questions that worry us as church,
neighborhood and city community.
We give you some texts as presents...
If you hate someone, you will kill him with your imagination, with your words, with you
curses and your actions.
If you love someone, you will make him live, grow and develop in the heat of your
Non-violence is the central message of the Bible, as well far I understand “holy
peaceful ones” mentioned by Christ in the Sermon of the Mountain.
When I read Gospel, I feel Christian, but when I see Christians in wars, oppressing
peoples, colonizing them, getting drunk… I realize they don’t live in gospel.
Betting on peace
If the Earth were your body, you could feel where it hurts. Wars, politic and economic
oppressions, contamination wreak havoc everywhere.
Millions of children are hungry; I can see their hands poking in lots of rubbish looking
for some food.
Adults die in prison punished by their attitudes against violence.
There are a lot of people who are conscious about World suffering: their hearts are
compassionate. They know what to do and, in their tries to change things, they
compromise themselves in politic, social environmental work.
However, if they lack from the necessary vigor to keep an action life, they are
discouraged after a period of intense activism.
The authentic vigor can not be found in power, money or weapons, but in the immense
Tich Nhat Nanh
We hope Jesus teaches us to be knitters of groups, communities, societies
to be the support, shelter and welcome.
A knitter with art and inventiveness: BP’s thought
about the patrol system
By Mario Sicca- AGESCI
The Patrol System represents the stroke of genius of Baden-Powell’s method.
He himself realised it: “The Patrol system is the key to success in Scout training”. It “is the
one essential feature in which Scout training differs from that of all other organisations” .
In fact, the traditional way of training a youth group is for the adult to give a
course of instruction in talks and lectures. Not so in Scouting and Guiding,
Foreword to: J.Lewis, How to run a patrol, and Aids, WB, 40.
where the Patrol System is properly applied. Through it each Scout/Guide is
assured of individual treatment, and his/her increasing responsibility and self-
reliance become assets of citizenship.
It is also the distinctive feature of the central section – the Scout section – of
the educational method founded by B.-P.
This is why it is necessary to take a closer look at this system, in order to
understand its purpose and functioning.
1. The psychological aspect
The gang spirit is natural in the average boy or girl. Scouting/Guiding only give
a structure (here as in other aspects of the youth psychology) to a natural
Nevertheless the Scout/Guide patrol is not an instinctive, disorganised and
spontaneous grouping. It is not a class team in which all are at the same level,
but rather a family where the brothers or sisters have different ages, abilities
and tastes and are led by the oldest of them.
2. The purpose
The Patrol System is an essential means for the training of the boy’s or girl’s
personality. It is a school of responsibility. “It leads each boy to see that he has some
individual responsibility for the good of his Patrol. It leads each Patrol to see that it has definite
responsibility for the good of the Troop” .
The purpose of the Patrol System is, therefore, to give real responsibility to as
many of the boys or girls as possible, with a view to developing their
personality (which B.-P. calls “character”).
“The Patrol is the character school for the individual boy. To the Patrol Leaders it gives
practice in responsibility and in the qualities of leadership. To the Scouts it gives subordination
of self to the interests of the whole, the elements of self-denial and self-control involved in the
team spirit of co-operation and good comradeship” .
For the system to work correctly the Patrol Leader has to receive a real
responsibility, real power in the running of his Patrol, and a real say in the
affairs of the Troop. “If you only give partial responsibility you will only get partial
results” . “The Patrol Leader is responsible for the efficiency and smartness of his Patrol” .
Aids, WB, 20.
Aids, WB, 24.
SFB, DE, 26.
And the Scout/Guide leader has to hold Patrol Leaders “answerable for every
little thing which happens in their Patrol, whether it is blameable or praiseworthy” .
This is why the Scout/Guide Leader, as a rule, abstains from giving orders
directly to the Troop: he/she rather does it through the Patrol Leaders.
Also, it is normal for the Patrol Leaders to be charged to instruct their Patrols in
the various Scout techniques: knots, First Aid, Signalling, cooking etc. This is
also useful to establish the Patrol Leader’s prestige among his/her
3. The functioning
The Scout/Guide Leader has to use the Patrol System for passing on not only
the technical instructions, but the moral values as well.
This is only possible if the Patrol has a really autonomous life and activities of its
own: it should be capable of getting organised and taking real decisions, it is
a body having a personality and a distinctive atmosphere. Too often people
tend to forget that “the Patrol, not the Troop, is the unit of Scout organisation” 24. It is the
unit for all activities: work, games, hikes, camps.
Patrols have to be able to carry out their own outdoor life: Patrol hikes and,
for experienced Patrols, even short Patrol camps. The Scout Leader will assist
the Patrol Leaders in the planning of these activities and discreetly monitor
The Founder insisted on this Patrol autonomy even in Troop camps: “I strongly
advise small camps of about half a dozen Patrols; each Patrol in a separate tent and on separate
ground, so that the Scouts do not feel themselves to be part of a big herd, but members of
independent responsible units. Patrols should be kept intact under all circumstances ”.
Every member of it has a definite personal responsibility, with a specific role
and duties, whether in den or in camp.
4. The Patrol Leader
The Patrol Leader, as the key element of the system, has to possess at least
some leadership. This is something that is in part innate, in part it may be
acquired. B.-P. looked for natural leaders. As he put it once, “one of our methods
in the Scout movement for taming a hooligan is to appoint him head of a Patrol. He has all the
necessary initiative, the spirit and the magnetism for leadership, and when responsibility is thus
put upon him it gives him the outlet he needs for his exuberance of activity, but gives it in a
right direction ”.
Lecture to a Scoutmasters’ Training Course, early 1911.
Foreword to: J.Lewis, How to run a patrol.
HQG, June 1910 (rep. BPO, 14).
From the article Are Our Boys Degenerating?, circa 1918, in SAA.
The Patrol Leader, a 13-15 year old boy/girl, is given the technical and, to
some extent, educational responsibility of his/her fellows in the Patrol. He/she
should possess some magnetism for leadership, but should also be among the
older boys or girls of the Patrol. Boys/Girls are not likely to follow someone who
is much younger than them. And he/she must be good in the scouting
techniques: “he must be at least as good as any of his Scouts at the different jobs they have
to do. He must never ask a fellow to do anything he would not do himself” .
Then the leadership of a Patrol is too important to be ensured only by a boy or
girl. He/she needs the help of a Second who will assist him/her and replace
him/her in case of absence. The Second is normally proposed by the Patrol
Leader and appointed by the Scout Leader.
Concerning the style, “the Patrol Leader should get his discipline among his Scouts, not by
ordering them about and shouting at them, but by winning them over through personal
friendship, and by his own example of being able to do everything himself, so that each one of
them should do his work through energetic loyalty to and desire to back up his Leader” .
When speaking directly to the Patrol Leader, B.-P. stressed the importance of
the example: “It is no use having one or two brilliant boys and the rest no good at all. You
should try to make them all fairly good. The most important step to this is your own example,
because what you do yourself, your Scouts will do also. Remember that you must give them the
lead, and not the push” .
The profile of the Patrol Leader, leading the Patrol through its personal
enthusiasm and example, is exactly the same for boys and girls. This is what B.-
P. tells the Guides: “When you come to be a Patrol Leader you must remember that you are
really taking up a very responsible and important position, because you are going to be in
charge of a number of girls under you, who will form their characters under your example and
guidance, and if you choose to be a slacker they will become slackers, if you choose to be a
good Guide they will all become good Guides, or nearly all of them. You have got to command
your Patrol; well, you can only have their confidence if you have confidence in yourself; you
can only have confidence in yourself by knowing your work thoroughly and well. You lead
entirely by your own personal example, don't forget that; that is what tells, and that is the easy
way to get success; not only the easy way, but it is the only way” .
5. The Patrol spirit
By Patrol spirit we mean that each Scout/Guide in the Patrol has to feel
he/she is an essential part of a whole. Under the leadership of the Patrol
Leader, who all the time is exercising personal responsibility, the Patrol
progresses by healthy rivalry with other Patrols; it becomes a family in which
loyalty is a strong bond; as the Scouts discuss ways and means of increasing
SFB, DE, 26-27.
HQG, March 1916.
SFB, DE, 27 and (in part) GG, 171, Aids, WB, 66, and SFB (26th), 93.