In 1984 in Chateauroux (France) during the Eurojam, everyone present took part in a pilgrimage to the Notre Dame in Paris.There took place the entrusting of the whole Federation to Mary’s Annunciation. In 2000, Pierrete Givelet,
the Federal Commissioners,
proposed the 25th of March the day of Mary’s Annunciation,to become
a special Day of Prayer for the entire Federation of European Scouting.
Ad Mariam, Europa!
Below, an interview with Ola Zejer, 17 year old patrol leader from Poland…
It’s the 25th of March. What day is this ?
Olga Zejer: The 25th of March is the day of Mary’s Annunciation. On this day, Scouts of Europe celebrate a Day of Prayer for the FSE and each year entrust the Federation to Our Lady. Here in Poland this day has a special significance and everyone takes special care to prepare for it. If the 25th is a week day, we meet on the weekend before. I admit I like this tradition. It is always very joyfull. An oportunity to meet in a wider scout group, to meet new people and to realy feel the scout brotherhood.
You’re a patrol leader. What does this day mean to you an your patrol?
I’m Kuguar’s leader in the 2nd troop in Józefów (near Warsaw). The Day of Prayer is an enormous meeting with other patrols, a big game. Every patrol wants to win. This encourages. It’s winter, so we learned to light a fire in the snow, new scyfers and cooking- also in the snow.
It’s a great oportunity for us to have scout rituals such as the Promise, nominations or the oath of loyalty. To have ones Promise on such a day is a great honour.
Tell me about the game… From what I remember, they were often conected with the topic of this day: Mary and her life, Europe, the Federation, scouting… And this year ?
This years topic linked in with the game. Prayer nad conversion. The beginings of christianity in Poland. At the start patrols were given a letter with the first clues, then they completed different tasks.
My favourite memories ?
I think that the most valuable thing, was to be able to see the joy on the faces of my scouts when they managed to light a fire in the snow in order to enter the field of the game. This year it was realy frosty and that’s what we’ll remember most. A simple thing such as writing for more than 5 minutes without wearing gloves became a chalenge. At the end of the game a prize, was buying back the body of st. Wojciech (a polich saint), which was a chalenge that lasted a couple hours.
I can almost feel the cold here in warm Barcelona when I hear about this.
Adventure! Did your patrol win?
Not this time, but the memories will stay on. In the end, it’s not about winning, but about having fun. And the fun was great despite the snow and low temperature. The patrols spirit, incredible unity and singing. Those are the things to remember for the rest of ones life.
Yes, one of the stronger memories is the quality of singing on that day.
In Poland it is a special day. Everyone who can comes, not only scouts, but parents, brothers and sisters… For the parents there is a special program and troops also have their own activities. But in the end, everyone meets during Holy Mass, which is prepared with great heart… and which is always accompanied by a choir.
This year we also sang a lot… For the third time I took part in the preparation of the choir. This year we also had a guest, a scout from France, who sang with the basses. Thomas is in Poland for an Erasmus. He found out about the choir from another scout and joined us. Practices lasted long weeks before the event.
The European dimension in singing…
Singing unites people, you don’t need to know the language as you can see.
Olga, last question: today we entrust the whole Federation to Mary, all the Scouts of Europe. How does your patrol live this European dimension ?
The European dimension is something very special for us. The awareness that in Italy, France, Spain there exist similar patrols, that they wear the same uniforms, that they live the same values, that they also meet every week. We can make contact with them, make friends. We write letters, e-mails, we follow the UIGSE page, websites, blogs, pictures on facebook… That makes these relationships easyer to maintain. It’s easyer , because down below lies the same spirit.
Next year our troop which means also my patrol will go to the Eurojam to France, where for sure the unity and brotherhood will be felt even more. We can’t wait! It will be an amazing adventure.
It is also a big motivation to learn languages. I know english and have started learning french. I would like to be fluent in italian. When one has friends in different parts of Europe, and one wants to comunicate, there is no better method. Thanks to scouting, countries thousands of kilometers away seem much closer….
Julia Ruman (Communication Team)
Day of Prayer for the Federation of European Scouting in Poland.
– Cracow (by Piotr Marczydlo)
-Radom (by Marcin Jedrzejewski)
-Warsaw (by Ula Rojek)