Golden Arrow (Scouting)

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The Golden Arrows are wooden gilded, about 40 centimeter-long Scout items, the symbol presented by Robert Baden-Powell during the 3rd World Scout Jamboree held in Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, England, in 1929 as a symbol of peace and brotherhood of nations all over the world. It is not certain how many arrows there were.


The Golden Arrows were presented during the closing ceremony, on 12th August. All scouts were formed in the “Wheel of Friendship” with Baden-Powell standing in the middle. At the ceremony Baden-Powell said:

"Here is the hatchet of war, of enmity, of bad feeling, which I now bury in Arrowe. From all corners of the earth you have journeyed to this great gathering of world fellowship and brotherhood. To-day I send you out from Arrowe to all the World, bearing my symbol of peace and fellowship, each one of you my ambassador bearing my message of love and fellowship on the wings of sacrifice and service, to the ends of the earth. From now on, the Scout symbol of Peace is the Golden Arrow. Carry it fast and far, so that all men may know the brotherhood of man.”

Then B.-P. sent four golden arrows to all the four winds. There were being passed from hand to hand.

“I want you all to take back to your countries a good account of Great Britain and all the boys you have met here, and the people who have tried to be good to you. Of course, any ass can see the bad points in people or a country, but a good Scout will look out for the good points in other people. I want you to remember the good points in us and forget the bad ones. Tell your friends in your own countries all the good you can about us, so that we can all think better of one another. Go forth from here as ambassadors of goodwill and friendship. Each one of you Scouts, no matter how young or small, can spread a good word about this country and those you have met here. I can only say now "Good-bye to you. Farewell . . . Try to carry on your Scout work in the meantime. Try to make yourselves better Scouts than ever. Try to help other boys, especially the poorer boys, to come and be happy, healthy, and helpful citizens like yourselves. And now, farewell, good-bye, and God bless you all.”[1]


Three of the Golden Arrows are placed in England. One in the Museum at the Youlbury Scout Activity Centre, near Oxford. The other, given to the Polish contingent in 1929, was last seen in 2000 in Warsaw, Poland. [2][citation needed]

Polish Golden Arrow

Polish Scouts with Golden Arrow. Summer 1996
“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."[3]

In 1996 (during the camp celebrating ZHP's /the Polish Scout Association/ readmittance to World Scouting) the Golden Arrow has come back to Poland and was given to Polish International Commissioner.

See also



  1. relation from the Jamboree
  2. according to the letter from John May to Alan Strong dated on 4 August 2004 and to the oral relations of ZHP's national headquarters' workers (December 2008)
  3. Marguerite de Beaumont, The Wolf That Never Sleeps, London 1944

External links