Scouting is happening all around the world – there are National Scout Organizations representing their home countries and delivering the promise of Scouting in virtually all areas and regions globally. The BSA International Department and the SHAC International Committee work to help Scouts and leaders from the BSA to experience the bigger picture of Scouting and connect with it through our involvement in the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
Events Awards Resources Contacts
International Scouting Day
October 21, 2023 | 10:00am - 3:00pm
Cockrell Scout Center
2225 N Loop W, Houston, TX 77008
Scouting happens all around the world. On International Scouting Day, Scouts will be able to participate in a variety of hands-on activities to learn about international Scouting.
- JOTI / JOTA - Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI) and Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) events will be held
- Radio Transmitter Balloon - A small balloon fitted with a WSPR transmitter (Call Sign - K2BSA-5) will be launched into the jet stream and tracked around the globe. Last year it was tracked all the way to South America!
- Interpreter Strip – Are you bilingual? Earn your interpreter strip off in Spanish, German, French, Italian, Vietnamese, Japanese, and perhaps more languages!
- International Spirit Award & International Scouter Award – Learn about the International Spirit Award and International Spirit Award awards and work on some of the requirements at the event.
- Friendship Knot – Learn how to tie the friendship neckerchief knot, then share it with your friends!
- Messengers of Peace – Learn about the Messengers of Peace Award and get a chance to be a Peace Hero.
- International Excursions/Exchanges – Learn how to join an international Scouting contingent to travel to Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, and beyond!
- World Friendship Fund – Learn about the World Friendship Fund; learn how Ukrainian Scouts provide humanitarian aid daily during the current Ukraine-Russia conflict, and multiple ways to support these brave Scouts.
- International Peace Light - Learn about the International Peace Light Ceremony and eternal flame from Bethlehem and how to get the flame for your home or unit.
- And much more!
Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI)
Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI) is an annual Scouting event sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and is held the 3rd weekend of October. This event utilizes the internet and the numerous devices that are used to get online, from your home computer to iPad tablets to mobile phones, to link Scouts from around the world. Last year, JOTA-JOTI had over 1.5 million Scouts and leaders participate in more than 160 countries!
Scouts of any age can take part and can participate at home with the help of an adult, or they can participate in a Scout group at a council-wide event. JOTI is an economical way of communicating around the world. The event allows Scouts to "meet" other Scouts from around the world through the Internet and share more information than just "Hi." The exchanges can include such information as name and location, Scout rank, age, and hobbies. Some exchanges lead to long-lasting friendships. Another great idea is to use JOTI participation to help fulfill some of the Citizenship in the World or Digital Technology merit badge requirements!
Jamboree On The Air (JOTA)
Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. Held on the third full weekend of October each year, this worldwide jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby radio amateur’s ham shack. Many times the hams will agree to set up at a Scout event. There are many ways to get your Scouts involved in JOTA.
International Peace Light Ceremony
The Peace Light is a flame that is lit in Bethlehem and is transferred and shared in communities during a pilgrimage across the world via volunteers, many of whom are Scouts and Scouters, and is meant to promote peace, harmony, and unity among all people of the world regardless of race, ethnicity or creed. Many churches, Scouting, and associated community organizations use the Peace Light in worship services, tree-lighting events, and other special ceremonies.
Each year in November, a child from Austria lights a lantern from the continuously burning oil lamp in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the site of Jesus' birth. The light, known as the Peace Light, stored in special explosion-proof lanterns, is then flown with a safety adviser back to Vienna, Austria, where it is shared with delegations from across Europe who distribute it with a message of Peace to their own countries for use at ecumenical services. Scouting organizations then take the light to houses of worship, hospitals, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and places of public, cultural, and political importance - to anyone who appreciates the significance of the gift.
In early December, representatives transport the Peace Light from Austria to New York City. A distribution ceremony of adults and children gather at the airport to welcome the light of peace and kindle their own flames. Many other dedicated volunteers meet, share, and move the Light across North America, person-to-person, coast-to-coast. The Peace Light is a sign of hope. It has expanded from a small flame to a sea of lights in a few years and shines with its message to millions of people worldwide. Visit the Peace Light North America website to find the Peace Light near you.
World Scout Jamboree
2027 | Poland
The 26th World Scout Jamboree is an educational event that brings together the world’s young people to promote peace and mutual understanding, develop leadership and life skills. fuel inspiration, empower, find self-balance, prioritize mental health, and celebrate the power of young people - the true sparks of inspiration who act for what they believe in and embrace bravery to create a better world! Unlike any other youth event, the World Scout Jamboree is an opportunity to be surrounded in diverse global cultures and joining new Scouting friends at a single destination for 12 unforgettable days. The jamboree experience extends beyond home—and beyond the boundaries of countries—to create a global adventure that will last a lifetime! It is specifically designed for young people ages 14 to 17 years old from National Scout Organizations, which are members of WOSM. There are three ways to be a part of the USA contingent. Scouts ages 14-17 have the unique opportunity to join the contingent as a youth. Scouters may apply to be either an adult leader with the contingent or an IST (International Service Team (staff member).
US Contingent World Scout Jamboree
Upcoming International Events
International Scouting offers a world of opportunity. Whether you’re looking for an international adventure or want to find out more about how to hold an international event, contact the International Committee Representative.
The International Spirit Award is an award for youth and adult leaders who seek to broaden their knowledge of international Scouting and increase appreciation and awareness of different cultures and countries.
The International Scouter's Award encourages Scouters to broaden their involvement in Scouting through participation in world Scouting activities and recognizes Scouters for their contributions to world Scouting.
The Messengers of Peace Award is to recognize Scouts and Scouters who participate in a Messengers of Peace project (service project). A global service project program carried out by Scouts throughout the world. This prestigious "MoP Ring Patch" is earned by completing a service project that meets the criteria.
The World Conservation Award is to encourage all youth members to think globally and act locally to preserve and improve our environment. Involves advancement and project work and can be earned by Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Venturers.
The World Crest is an emblem of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and may be worn by all registered youth members and adult leaders as a symbol of their membership in a worldwide Scouting brotherhood. A small amount from the sale of each emblem is sent to the World Scout Foundation to help extend Scouting in developing nations throughout the world. This adds an opportunity for each Scout to personally share indirectly in the activities of brother Scouts in other lands. The emblem is worn as a permanent patch centered horizontally over the left pocket and vertically between the left shoulder seam and the top of the pocket.
Interpreter strips may be worn by Scouts and Scouters who can carry on a conversation in a foreign language or in sign language, write a letter in the foreign language (not required for signing), and translate orally and in writing from one language to another.
- Messengers of Peace is a global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. Using state-of-the-art social media, the initiative lets Scouts from around the world share what they’ve done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities. .
- World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) is a federation of more than 160 recognized national Scout organizations.
- BSA's International website
- BSA Resources
SHAC International Committee
The international committee relies heavily on a very dynamic, dedicated, and diverse group of volunteers to bring a truly international flavor to the Scouts in the greater Houston area and to the surrounding councils. Everyone has something to contribute to the group's diversity. The international committee is always looking for more people interested in expanding their knowledge about a culture other than their own. Whether you have an international experience to share, or simply want to learn more about international Scouting, find the international committee on Facebook. The focus of the international committee is to raise awareness for the worldwide brotherhood of Scouting through:
- Unit activities
- Presentations and displays at council and district events
- Facilitating contacts with foreign Scouts and Scouters
- Broadcasting information on international Scouting happenings
- Offering support and resources for SHAC Scouts and Scouters who are interested in participating in International Scouting.
Here is a list of activities that packs or troops can do to become more aware of international Scouting:
- Make sure all Scouts and Scouters wear the World Crest in the right position on their uniform to show their membership in the world Scouting family.
- Encourage Scouts and Scouters to participate in the International Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) and Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) during the third weekend of October.
- Find out about Messengers of Peace and initiate a project.
- Work on the World Conservation Award. Find out about a conservation project in another country and help the Scouts of that country (e.g., turtle project).
- Hold an international night and learn about Scouting in another country. Ask parents in the unit from another country to help.
- Learn about Baden Powell and the history of Scouting.
- Find out if there is an exchange student at the local high school who has been a Scout in his or her country. Ask them to share some Scouting experiences with your unit. Check with your local ROTARY club.
- Establish a Scout pen-pal relationship with Scouts in a different country.
- Promote the World Scout Jamboree held every four years.
- Take up a unit collection for the World Friendship Fund.
- Host one or more visiting international Scouts
- Attend international encampments in the US or overseas.
- Earn the International Spirit Award.