YOUTH ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE BAHA’i
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YOUTH ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE BAHA’i
OD has not forgotten man; man has forgotten God. As young Bahá’is we know that this is true. The world,
however, does not agree. It is our great responsibility and privilege to tell the world that God has again sent mankind a
—a Divine Manifestation to lead us out of the confusion, carnage, and despair of the world today. We no longer live in
a world of satisfied people who are sure of the future. Everyone is feeling the uncertainty of today and is fearing
Among the hopeful of the world there stand the Bahá’is who believe that “A new era of divine consciousness is upon
us. The world is going through a process of transformation. A new race is being developed. This is the hour of unity of
the sons of men and the drawing together of all races and all classes.” The Rahá’is know that the world faces an even
greater catastrophe than that of 1914. They know that out of this war will come for the first time a universal and
enduring peace. They look forward to a time when “Wars shall cease between the nations, and, by the will of God, the
most great peace shall come. The world shall be seen as a new world and all men will live as brothers.”
The entire Bahá’i world has been stirred to undreamed-of achievements by the steady flow of letters sent to us by our
Guardian, Shoghi Effendi. Through these dynamic letters we see our Faith, not as a visionary ideal toward which we
may falteringly grope, but as a firm rock upon which we may be permitted to help establish the New World Order. In a
letter to Bahã’i Youth, dated December 31, 1938, Shoghi Elfendi wrote that there were two major points which he
would recommend the Bahá’i youth to stress in all their talks and writings. “First is the all-important fact that mankind
is, in this age through the potentialities released by the Revelation of Bahã’u’lláh, entering the highest and most
significant stage of its development, mainly that of maturity, and that the Bahã’is view therefore the present- day
convulsions agitating society, in every realm of human activity, as signs and evidences of this new growth. The social
upheavals we are witnessing today, the moral confusion, the economic and political transformations, more swift and
cataclysmic than any humanity has ever witnessed, all mark the birth pangs of the New World Order revealed by God
for this age.
“Next to this teaching of the maturity of mankind, and as a corollary of it, comes the principle of the oneness of
humanity, which, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has repeatedly stated, constitutes the hall-mark of the Bahã’i Revelation. The
implications of this principle of the oneness of humanity are many and far- reaching, and it is on these that, the
Guardian feels, our Bahá’i youth should dwell in their talks and activities, proving by their deeds as well as through
their words, their faithful and whole-hearted adherence to this corner-stone principle of the Faith.
“Above all they should strive to get rid of all their ancestral prejudices, whether of race, creed or class, and thus attract
through the example of their lives many outsiders to the Cause. At a time when racial prejudice is becoming so
widespread and intense, it should be their constant endeavor to associate and mingle with the members of all races, and
thereby demonstrate to the world at large the hollowness, nay the stupidity of
BAHA’I YOUTH ACTIVITIES
The Bahá’ i children’s class of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, taken with their teachers, 193 8.
the racial doctrines and philosophies which are so increasingly poisoning the minds of individuals, classes and nations throughout the
“This,” he concluded, “is the high standard of thought and conduct which the Guardian wishes the Bahá’i youth to strictly and
faithfully maintain. May they, each and all, arise and live up to its high and noble ideals.”
STANDARDS AFFECT YOUTH
In a letter to the youth who attended the Louhelen Summer School, in Davison, Michigan, dated July 29, 1939, Shoghi Effendi wrote
that, “Above all, Bahá’l Youth, by their faithful and close adherence to those high standards of Bahã’I hfe and conduct, can best and
most effectively contribute towards the growth of that institution (Louhelen Summer School) and attract to it the attention and interest
of the non-Bahã’i world outside.” How easy it is for youth to unfurl banners and enthusiastically tell others of a great new Faith.
While we realize that the enthusiasm and adventurous spirit of youth is of untold value in the spreading of the Bahá’i Faith, still we
realize more and more that the character and
life of a Bahá’i is a thousand times more important than his words. Lip service is not enough. The Bahá’i Faith does require of its
followers exacting and sometimes demanding standards. Sometimes it is difficult to obey these standards. Bahá’i youth are
understanding more and more that it is necessary to do so. It is difficult to be different. It is not pleasant at first. Yet we know that the
character which we develop will be the rock upon which the Bahá’i Community will rise. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, many years ago, “I
desire for you distinction.” Today, we must gain that distinction by changing our own lives, transforming them, so that they will
attract others to the Bahá’i Faith. Bahá’u’lláh said: “Whoso ariseth among you to teach the cause of his Lord, let him before all else,
teach his own self, that his speech may attract the hearts of them that hear him.” Again Bahã’u’lláh wrote: “Let truthfulness and
courtesy be your adorning. Suffer not yourselves to be deprived of the robe of forbearance and justice, that the sweet savors of
holiness may be wafted from your hearts upon all created things. Beware, 0 people of Bahi, lest ye walk in the ways of them whose
words differ from their deeds. Strive that ye may be enabled to manifest
THE BAHA’t WORLD
to the peoples of the earth the signs of God, and to mirror forth His commandments. Let your acts be a guide unto all mankind, for the
professions of most men, be they high or low, differ from their conduct. It is through your deeds that ye can distinguish yourselves
As one talks to young Bahá’is, it is evident that they are eager to follow the ideals of Bahã’i conduct. When a young person recognizes
the greatness and majesty and love of the Bahi’i Faith, it is no longer hard for him to give up alcohol. While smoking is not forbidden,
it is strongly discouraged and many young Bahá’is have stopped smoking.
Bahã’is, old as well as young, must obey their governments. In case his country goes to war, the Bahã’i must also go to war, if called.
The Bahá’i is not a pacifist because he believes pacifism can only bring about anarchy. Shoghi Effendi once said to Helen Bishop:
“Non-cooperation is too passive a philosophy to become an effective way for social reconstruction.” The Bahâ’is believe that this is
the day of Justice. Justice must be brought about by peaceful means, however. Labor strikes and acts of physical violence are opposed
to the spirit of the Bahá’i Faith. Bahá’u’llãh once wrote: “In every country or government where any of this community reside, they
must behave toward the government with faithfulness, trustfulness, and truthfulness.”
Every young Bahá’i is required to engage in some work or profession, no matter how handicapped he may be. Bahâ’u’lláh said:
“Work, especially when performed in the spirit of service, is a form of worship.”
The virtues of courtesy, honesty, justice dignity, tolerance, and kindliness are enjoined upon every Bahá’i. ‘Abdu’l-Bahã stressed the
importance of chastity. To an American believer, he wrote: “Because in the ocean of divine knowledge one particle of chastity is
greater than ten thousand years of adoration.” Shoghi Effendi wrote in
The Advent of Divine Justice:
“In these days when the
forces of irreligion are weakening the moral fibre, and undermining the foundations of individual morality, the obligation of chastity
and holiness must claim an increasing share of the attention of the
American believers, both in their individual capacities and as the responsible custodians of the interests of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
A chaste and holy life must be made the controlling principle in the behavior and conduct of all Bahá’is, both in their social relations
with the members of their own community, and in their contact with the world at large. It must be upheld, in all its integrity and
implications, in every phase of the life of those who fill the ranks of that Faith, whether in their homes, their travels, their clubs, their
societies, their entertainments, their schools, and their universities. It must be accorded special consideration in the conduct of the
social activities of every Bahá’i Summer School and any other occasions on which Bahá’i community life is organized and fostered. It
must be closely and continually identified with the mission of the Bahá’i Youth, both as an element in the life of the Bahã’i
community, and as a factor in the future progress and orientation of the youth of their own country.
“Such a chaste and holy life, with its implications of modesty, purity, temperance, decency, and clean-mindedness, involves no less
than the exercise of moderation in all that pertains to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic and literary avocations. It demands
daily vigilance in the control of one’s carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with
its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures. It requires total abstinence from all alcoholic drinks, from opium,
and from similar habit- forming drugs. It condemns the prostitution of art and of literature, the practices of nudism and of
companionate marriage, infidelity in marital relationships, and all manner of promiscuity, of easy familiarity, and of sexual vices. It
can tolerate no compromise with the theories, the standards, the habits, and the excesses of a decadent age. Nay, rather it seeks to
demonstrate, through the dynamic force of its example, the pernicious character of such theories, the falsity of such standards, the
hollowness of such claims, the perversity of such habits, and the sacrilegious character of such excesses.
“It must be remembered, however, that the maintenance of such a high standard
BAHA’I YOUTH ACTIVITIES
John Eichenauer, the youngest pioneer of the
Bahá’i Faith, who in 1939, at the age of seventeen,
went to San Salvador to establish a center.
of moral conduct is not to be associated or confused with any form of asceticism, or of excessive and bigoted
puritanism. The standard inculcated by Bahá’u’llih, seeks, under no circumstances, to deny any one the legitimate right
and privilege to derive the fullest advantage and benefit from the manifold joys, beauties and pleasure with
which the world has been so plentifully enriched by an All-Loving Creator.”
It is not easy to become a true Bahá’i. That young man or young woman who sincerely strives to live according to these
standards and who glories in so doing—he is truly helping to build the world-wide Bahâ’i Community.
powerfully animates them in the service of the Cause of Bahã’u’llâh. Though lacking in experience and faced with
insufficient resources, yet the adventurous spirit which they possess, and the vigor, the alertness, and optimism they
have thus far so consistently shown, qualify them to play an active part in arousing the interest, and in securing the
allegiance of their fellow youth in those countries. No greater demonstration can be
BAHA’i YOUTH ACTIVITIES IN THE AMERICAS
The Bahá’i Youth of America have a tremendous goal to strive for. In The Advent of Divine Justice, there is a
paragraph addressed to the Bahá’i Youth of America. Shoghi Effendi wrote, “To the Bahã’i Youth of America,
moreover, I feel a word should be addressed in particular, as I survey the possibilities which a campaign of such
gigantic proportions has to offer to
the eager and enterprising spirit that so
given to the people of both continents of the youthful vitality and the vibrant power animating the life and institutions of the nascent
Faith of Bahá’u’llah than an intelligent, persistent, and effective participation of the Bahá’i Youth, of every race, nationality, and
class, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’i activity. Through such a participation the critics and enemies of the
Faith, watching with varying degrees of skepticism and resentment, the evolutionary processes of the Cause of God and its
institutions, can best be convinced of the indubitable truth that such a Cause is intensely alive, is sound to its very core, and its
destinies in safe keeping. I hope, and indeed pray, that such a participation may not only redound to the glory, the power, and the
prestige of the Faith, but may also react so powerfully on the spiritual lives, and galvanize to such an extent the energies of the
youthful members of the Bahá’i community, as to empower them to display, in a fuller measure, their inherent capacities, and to
unfold a further stage in their spiritual evolution under the shadow of the Faith of Bahá’u’llãh.”
Since 1933, the Bahá’i Youth activities have been steadily progressing. Before that time there were many unorganized groups of
young people who studied the Bahá’i teachings and discussed them together. Through the efforts of the National Bahá’i Youth
Committee these groups have become a very real part of almost every Bahá’i Community in the United States and Canada. More and
more groups are becoming organized throughout the world. Margaret Swengel, secretary of the National Youth Committee, sent out a
questionnaire to all the Bahá’i communities in the United States and Canada in September, 1939. To date sixty-six communities have
replied. In thirty-six of the communities who have so far answered the questionnaire there are active groups of young people studying
the Bahá’i Faith.
the National Bahi’i Youth
Committee has met at Louhelen Summer
School to make plans for the coming year.
eight members were able to be
present. In the spring of
Spiritual Assembly made a change in the
organization of the National Bahl’i Youth Committee. They appointed six young people to an executive committee of the National
Youth Committee. These six people live within easy traveling distance of one another. This makes
easier for them to meet together
frequently. Five of the executive committee were able to meet at Louhelen Summer School during the second session, in August.
There are eleven associate members of the Committee who live throughout the United States and Canada.
Following is the report of the activities of the American Bahá’i Youth in carrying out the plans made by the National Youth
Committee, in addition to their individual group projects.
The Fourth Annual World Bahá’i Youth Day was held February 26th,
(except in Muhammadan countries, where
February 24th because Friday is their holiday). This is the greatest teaching effort made by the Bahá’i youth of the world. It is the time
when Bahã’i youth, the world over, act simultaneously to teach the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. The general theme was
The Unfoldment of
The occasion was publicized by letters sent out to youth groups throughout the world. Most of the December,
was devoted to plans for the Youth Day. It contained a series of outlines for discussion of the five sub-
topics chosen. These sub-topics were:
Unity in Diversity, Wm’ld Order, What Hath God Wrought, One Common Faith,
Demonstrating the unity of their faith and the universality of their belief, countries as far apart as the United States,
‘Iraq, England, France, Canada, Egypt, Iran, and India participated in the event. Reports show that twenty-nine groups in the United
States and Canada took part. Ten groups abroad participated. Many groups abroad were unable to take part because they are forbidden
to have public meetings.
In preparation for this great day, regional conferences were held in New York and Chicago. Reports show a high standard of effort and
enthusiasm. Printed programs,
BAHA’I YOUTH ACTIVITIES
publicity in college papers, posters, and radio programs indicate a remarkable celebration of the Bahá’i Youth Day.
Most of the programs included musical selections and the serving of light refreshments.
A permanent record of these world-wide Symposiums has been sent to our Guardian, Shoghi Effendi. It is in the form
of a scrap book containing a general message signed by young Bahá’is at each Symposium, photographs, publicity,
programs, and detailed accounts of every session. Such an account has been sent to Shoghi Effendi after each Bahá’i
At the time of the Third World Bahã’i Youth Day, in 1938, a cablegram was sent to the Guardian: “Youth groups
throughout (the) world today collaborate (in a) unified public teaching effort (in the) Third Annual World Bahá’i Youth
Symposiums. May we so consecrate (the) spirit animating us (in the) service (of our) beloved Cause.” The Guardian
replied: “Deeply appreciate message. Delighted solidarity youth groups. Praying extension services increased
understanding and nobler standard Bahá’i virtue. Shoghi.” In reply to the cablegram which the National Youth
Committee sent on the day of the Fourth Annual World Bahá’i Youth Day, Shoghi Effendi cabled: “Pro-
found appreciation youth committee’s sentiments praying deepening spirit extensions services.”
of October, 1939, we read: “The Fifth Annual International Youth Symposium will be February 25, 1940 (in
Mul3ammadan communities the day of the Symposium will be Friday, February 23, as Friday is their weekly day of rest.” The general
theme this year is
The Dawn of a New Day.
The detailed outlines for the sub-topics will be published in the
in the December issue. The purpose of this symposium is to make known to the peoples of the world the Great Message of
B. “BAHA’I YOUTH”—AN
This magazine, a quarterly, has grown from a small, mimeographed bulletin to a sixteen-page publication in which is found editorials,
general articles, letters from Shoghi Effendi, verse, suggestions for study, international news, general letters from the Youth
Committee, announcements and book reviews.
is published in New York City. One thousand copies are printed of
each issue. Much of the credit for this splendid publication goes to the
The Bahâ’i Youth Group of Alexandria, Egypt.
THE BAHA’I WORLD
editor (Lawrence La Rocque in 193 8-39, Annamarie Kunz Honnold in 1939-40) and to the Business Manager, (Mae Graves Dyer).
C. STUDY DAYS
Since 1937, the National Youth Committee has planned Study Days “to prepare ourselves thoroughly for life in the Bahi’i community
and for youth work and effective teaching.” We need much more than a mere surface knowledge of the Bahi’i Faith.
In the June, 1938, issue of
we read the following report of the Study Days: “The five Youth Study Days, proposed
and outlined by the National Youth Committee last September, found enthusiastic reception in eighteen of our forty-four Youth
Groups. Sustained study day activity was reported from Montreal, Canada; Eliot, Maine; Springfield, Mass.; New Haven, Conn.;
Philadelphia, Pa.; New York City; Binghamton, N. Y.; Urbana, Ill.; Peoria, Ill.; Chicago, Ill.; Northshore, Ill.; Cleveland, Ohio;
Kenosha, Wis.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco, Cal., and Berkeley, Cal.
“Youth groups, with from three to twenty-five in attendance held regular concentrated study meetings in Bahá’i homes and Bahá’i
centers, each group following the procedure best suited to local conditions. When two study sessions on the same day were not
possible, ofttimes two Sunday afternoons or two evenings were used, or just one session was devoted to this new group study. In one
instance it was reported by a particularly zealous group that they held meetings for each Study Day until they covered all the material
outlined because it was difficult for them to find time for a day’s preparation all at one time.
“After a prayer and music and the reading of the suggested references (sometimes supplemented by other study material), smaller
groups sometimes followed the lecture
and-general-discussion-of-the-questions method; others reserved the first session for
individual study of assigned references, all of which were discussed in the second period; while others divided their number into
smaller groups, each group taking a division made in the study material, collectively analyzing the results of its reading, and being
responsible for a part of the discussion which followed.
“When only one session was feasible, the suggested questions were sometimes chosen beforehand, each member conducting his
special part of the discussion on the Study Day. In some cases, short talks were given by all the members of small groups, followed by
a general discussion on each phase of the subject.
“The plan of holding these youth meetings in private homes on our bi-monthly Study Days was believed to have been conducive to
added interest on the part of the youth themselves, and also to have created an interest in the neighborhood.
“Refreshments were invariably served between the session following the meetings.”
In 1939, there were seven study days. The first two days we studied
The Dispensation of Bahci’u’lldh
and the last five days
we studied the five sections of “Some Answered Questions.”
In the October, 1939, issue of
we read “There are to be five study days
in October, November, January, March, and
April. The general theme will be the
It was felt by the National Youth Committee that Bahá’i youth need to be
better informed about Bahá’i history; therefore, this topic was selected. The subject for the five Study Days are as follows:
Secular Persian History and History of the Báb.
November—Life of Bahá’u’lláh.
January—Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
March—Current Bahá’i History. (This will cover contemporary Bahi’i activities.)
April—The Golden Age: Study of the New World Order. Study Outlines will be published in the Bahá’i Youth Bulletin.”
We feel very strongly that these study days deepen the understanding and organize the knowledge of enrolled Bahá’i Youth and those
beginning a serious study of the Teachings. Knowledge is the lifeblood of the Cause. The most successful Bahi’is, both as teachers
and as individuals, are those who have the best understanding of the Teach-
BAHA’I YOUTH ACTIVITIES
ings. We feel that this study helps a young person to truly fill his place in the Bahá’i community.
D. PERSIAN DINNERS
In 1939, Bahá’i Youth Groups throughout the world met together in a novel and interesting way. Persian dinners were planned. After
eating oriental dishes, different members of the youth groups acted as story-tellers and told of the lives of the Dawnbreakers
the beauty and courage and wisdom and love of the great heroes of our faith.
E. REGIONAL CONFERENCES
The regional conferences in New York City and in Chicago have become annual events. The value of these conferences, usually held
about January 1st, in stimulating youth to new enthusiasm and activity cannot be emphasized too greatly. Perhaps it is not so much
what we talk about and discuss at the conferences as it is the joy of reunion which makes them so worth while.
In 1939 the general topic of both the Eastern and Mid Western conferences was
The talks and discussions were directed
toward working out plans for greater participation of young people in the teaching activity of the local and national communities.
Plans are already well under way for the
1940 regional conference in Wilmette, Ill. It is to be January 6th and 7th at the Bahá’i House of Worship in Wilmette. The theme will
Youth’s Destiny in a Chaotic World.
These topics will be discussed:
Bahd’i Character, Bahd’I Attitude toward War, The Minority Question
(how to attract minority groups), and
home, near home, and pioneering and settling new areas). Saturday evening, January 6th, the Northshore Youth Group will entertain
the guests at a buffet supper after which there will be a musical program.
Following is the report of the Third Annual Weekend Youth Conference held at Binghamton, New York: “M be of the Binghamton
Bahá’i Committee for Youth entertained at their homes those attending the third annual youth Conference June 10th and 11th, 1939.
Following a picnic supper, an outdoor meeting was held at which the speakers were Mrs. Willard McKay and Mr. John Sterns of
N. Y. On Sunday, the whole group was entertained at Quaker Lake with swimming, hiking, etc. In the afternoon, an informal
discussion meeting was held, at which Rinaldo Quigley, Betty Murray and Philip Sprague of New York City gave short talks. General
talks and discussion followed, during which plans for the summer were discussed, including a return visit of the Binghamton friends to
Jamestown. The main theme of the conference was
Bahá’i youth attending the seventh annual Bahá’i Youth luncheon held in conjunction with the Bahã’ i convention, Evanston, Illinois,
THE BAHA’I WORLD
and many new ideas were exchanged and talked over.
“Many non-Bahã’is from Binghamton also attended all sessions, and the total attendance at meals was approximately sixty. We feel
that the week-end was most inspiring, and we hope that it may really become an annual conference.”
F. YOUTH LUNCHEON
The seventh annual Bahá’i Youth Luncheon held in the ballroom of the Orrington Hotel in Evanston, Illinois, on Sunday, April 30,
1939, was a grand climax for all the youth who came to the Convention. The event, sponsored by the youth groups of Chicago and the
North Shore, has been for years a highlight on the program of the Convention. This year there were people at the luncheon from
Tihran, Iran; Honolulu; Toronto and Monctofl, Canada; as well as from every part of the United States.
Edwin Koyl of Chicago, as chairman, made all arrangements for the occasion. The program began with a prayer read by Joe Hannen.
Linda Taylor entertained us with two readings. Larry La Rocque, chairman of the National Youth Committee talked on the work of
the National Youth Committee and its relation to each local youth group. Vernita Mason read the paragraph in
The Advent of Divine
addressed by Shoghi Effendi to Bahá’i Youth.
Greetings from the Persian Bahá’is were given to those present by Mr. and Mrs.
Sabett. Marvin Newport, accompanied by Lillian Dobbins sang several beautiful songs. The climax of the meeting came with an
inspiring talk by Virginia Camelon, entitled,
Looking Back to 1939.
She painted a word picture depicting the historians of the year
2005 A.D. writing in letters of gold upon tablets of chrysolite the deeds of those who in
A.D., the 95th year of the Bahá’i Era,
arose with valor and determination to do their utmost for the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh. Florence Mattoon read the closing prayer.
Everyone felt it was one of the finest luncheons that have been given.
G. BAHA’i SUMMER SCHOOLS IN THE
The Bahá’i summer schools serve a unique function. Through them both adults and young people are enabled to see the type of
society possible when the laws of Bahá’u’llih are followed. There is a spirit of love and harmony and practical idealism pervading the
whole atmosphere of the schools. There are many opportunities for cooperation at the summer schools. The students help plan and
execute the program, they consult over problems arising, and they conduct the devotions and help provide group recreation. In their
dormitories they try to show harmony which transcends color, social, and age differences.
LOUHELEN YOUTH SESSIONS—1939
In the increased attendance, greater enthusiasm and more complete participation in youth activities at Louhelen Summer School this
summer, the Bahã’i Youth showed their desire to make the summer school a really fine institution and true center of learning. The
Youth Session was divided into two five day periods, the first from June 25 to 30, the second from August 16 to 21.
The morning program, beginning with devotions before breakfast, included three courses. The first on the subject,
was conducted by Miss Flora
Hottes in the first session and Mrs. Virginia Camelon in the second. The Bahá’i standard of conduct, its effect upon the individual and
upon society as a whole in creating a foundation for the New World Order, was emphasized. The first of the following two courses,
which were carried on simultaneously, was designed for younger and newly interested youth,
The Promise of All Ages,
the Bahá’i principles and history. Mr. Ralph Garner and Mr. Edward Miessler as the teachers of this class encouraged all of the youth
attending to take part in the discussions. The second class on the
BAHA’i YOUTH ACTIVITIES
Teacher and class at the Bahá’i Summer School, Louhelen Ranch, Davison, Michigan, during the 1939 Youth Session.
Prophet of Arabia was intended for those who wished to make deeper inquiry into a phase of religious study so closely
associated with our Faith. This class, given by Mr.
N. H. Firoozi, the first, and Mrs. Helen Bishop, the second session, involved an intensive study of the background of
Islam, that is, the conditions in Arabia before the appearance of Mubammad, the life and character of the Prophet, the
revelation of the Qur’án and the institutions and culture of the Moslem Faith. Valuable bibliographies designed as a
guide to more profound individual study were listed by both teachers.
In the afternoon class on the topic,
The Laws of Bahd’u’lldh,
directed in the first session by Mr. Clarence Niss and in
the second by Mr. Carl Scheffier, the youth discussed the Bahá’i laws as differentiated from the principles of the Bahá’i
Faith, the working of universal law, and the specific Bahá’i laws thus far known which in their present day application
will lead to the New World Order.
Bahá’i administration and the privileges and responsibilities of Bahá’i citizenship, involving the consideration of local
community problems, proved an interesting subject for a forum on the last day of the session. During the first period a
mock Spiritual Assembly was elected which then directed the local activities, meeting and discussing as a group the
problems which any Bahá’i Assembly might sneet.
Afternoons were, for the most part, left free for recreation which included swimming, tennis, ping-pong, croquet,
horseback riding and other activities. Often plans were made so that the group as a whole might do something together.
Early in the evening during the latter youth session, Mrs. Carpenter gave talks on the World Order Letters of Shoghi
Effendi, impressing again upon the youth the standards which they, as Bahá’is must uphold and the responsibilities
which rest upon them as the new world order unfolds. The young people at Louhelen enjoyed also a talk by
THE BAHA’I WORLD
Mrs. Carpenter on the pronunciation of Persian names and phrases.
Evening entertainment included a treasure hunt followed by group singing and a marshmallow roast in the glen, a masquerade party,
stunt nights in which everyone took part in presenting short plays, games and dancing. The youth groups from various cities in the
region cooperated with the North Shore group in planning the evening programs so that everyone might take part. Each day was
brought to a close with devotions held in the dormitories.
The importance of the Bahá’I Summer School at present and its place in the future order is stressed by H. Rabbani in a letter received
from Shoghi Effendi in answer to the message of greeting sent by the youth attending the June session. In it he says:
“Remembering the strong emphasis repeatedly laid by the Guardian on the importance of the institution of the summer school, both as
a center for the preparation
and training of prospective teachers and pioneers, and for the commingling and fellowship of various elements in the Bahá’i
Community, the Bahi’i Youth, on whom Louhelen Ranch has exercised a particular and indeed irresistible appeal, and whose sessions
they have so frequently and in such large numbers attended, have a peculiar responsibility to shoulder in connection with its
development into that ideal Bahá’i University of the future, which should be the aim of every existing Bahã’i Summer School to
establish in the fullness of time. Through their regular attendance at each and every session of the school, and their participation in all
phases of its activities, intellectual, spiritual, social and recreational, and above all by their faithful and close adherence to those high
standards of Bahá’i life and conduct, they can best and most effectively contribute towards the growth of that institution and attract to
it the attention and interest of the non-Bahá’i world outside.”
GEYSERVILLE YOUTH SESSION
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