The baha’i world


YOUTH ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE BAHA’i


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YOUTH ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE BAHA’i 

WORLD  



FLORENCE MATTOON  

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT 

 

(El 



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 

Teacher—a Leader  

—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 

tomorrow.  

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 

 

544 

 

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545 

 

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 

world.  

“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.”  

BAHA’i 


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 

 

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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 

from others.”  

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 



 

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a  


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 

 

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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 



 

 

 

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THE BAHA’I WORLD 

 

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.  

Since 


1937, 

the National Bahi’i Youth  

Committee has met at Louhelen Summer  

School to make plans for the coming year.  

In 193 

8, 

eight members were able to be  

present. In the spring of 

1939, 

the National  

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 

it 

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.  

A. 

ANNUAL WORLD 

BAHA’i 


YOUTH 

DAys  


The Fourth Annual World Bahá’i Youth Day was held February 26th, 

1939 

(except in Muhammadan countries, where 



it 

was held 

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 

World Civilization. 

The occasion was publicized by letters sent out to youth groups throughout the world. Most of the December, 



1939, 

issue of 



Bahd’I Youth 

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, 

and 


Lost Horizons. 

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, 

special invitations, newspaper publicity, 

 

BAHA’I YOUTH ACTIVITIES 



 

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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 

Youth Day.  

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.”  



In 

Bahd’I Youth 

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 



Bahd’I Youth 

Bulletin 

in the December issue. The purpose of this symposium is to make known to the peoples of the world the Great Message of 

Bahã’u’lláh.”  

B. “BAHA’I YOUTH”—AN 

INTERNAvIONAL  

YOUTH 


BULLET5N  

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. 



Bahd’I Youth 

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. 



 

 

 



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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 



Bahd’I Youth 

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 



Bahd’I Youth 

we read “There are to be five study days 

— 

in October, November, January, March, and 



April. The general theme will be the 

Bahá’I Epoch. 

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:  

October 


— 

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- 

 

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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 

— 

told of 



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 



Teaching. 

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 



be 

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 



Teaching 

(at 


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 

Jamestown,  

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 

Teaching, 

 

Bahá’i youth attending the seventh annual Bahá’i Youth luncheon held in conjunction with the Bahã’ i convention, Evanston, Illinois, 



1939. 

 

 



 

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552 

 

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 

Justice 

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 

1939 

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  

UNITEn STATES  

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.  

The following reports of summer schools in the United States appeared in Bahd’I Youth” l7ol. V, No. 3. 

 

LOUHELEN YOUTH SESSIONS—1939  



BETTT SCHEFFLER 

 

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, 



Character 

Building, 

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, 

concerning 

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 



 

553 

 

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 

 


 

 

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554 

 

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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