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Junior Leader Training -- White Stag Leadership Development

The Symbolism of the White Stag

Fourth World Jamboree patch

In 1933, 14 year old Béla Bánáthy attended the Fourth World Jamboree hosted in Gödöllõ, Hungary. The Jamboree badge: the "Miraculous Stag" of Hungary. At the conclusion of the Jamboree, the founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, spoke about the mythical White Stag of Hungarian mythology:

You may look on that White Stag as the pure spirit of Scouting, springing forward and upward, ever leading you onward and upward to leap over difficulties, to face new adventures in your active pursuit of the higher aims of Scouting—aims which bring you happiness.

Twenty-five years after the Jamboree, having survived serving on the Russian front in World War II and escaping to Austria afterwards, Béla pursued a dream in his new homeland, the United States of America. He began a leadership development program for boys. He called it "White Stag Leadership Development," and adopted a stylized emblem of a white stag as the program symbol, based on the badge of the Fourth World Jamboree. This program became the model for the Boy Scouts of America's national Wood Badge program and junior leader training program.

The White Stag program embraces the ideal of "ever leading you onward and upward" by challenging individuals to overcome challenges, continuously evaluate, focus on learning, and always strive to improve.

The White Stag Legend is adapted from the myth of the Hungarian people. Just imagine you are deep in the forest and all is dark around you. You have been brought to this spot under The Order of The Still. The campfire burns low before you, and all eyes are focused upon it as you wait, wondering why you have been brought to this mysterious spot in the deep of night. Suddenly, a voice booms out from somewhere beyond the campfire light and begins to speak.

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