It all started at Przystanek Woodstock Festival. What inspired us to organize the concert was of course the first American Woodstock Festival of 1969, but the strongest impulse came from the famous Woodstock 1994, an event which had been organized to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Woodstock. And it was during the 1994 concert that an army of people with Peace Patrol shirts took the guest under its care for the first time. The idea of providing such a service proved quite successful and it seemed that it would be worth to try and transplant it onto Polish soil. The recruitment to Peace Patrol started when the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity was organizing its first Przystanek Woodstock Festival in Czymanowo. We appealed to young people who were involved in the Foundation’s and Jurek’s work and to the audience of his radio and TV programs. One thing was made clear – working in Peace Patrol is voluntary and the Patrollers are not be paid in any form. Sure, we offer them some area for tents and food from the field kitchen – but nothing more than that.
Another thing the Patrollers have to do at their own expense is come to our training sessions. The Foundation invites them to a very special place – the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity University in Szadowo-Młyn, our Volunteers’ Center. We spared no effort to give this place a special atmosphere and make sure that the time spent there will be truly unforgettable. And since every account of the Patrol meetings ends with a sentimental sigh and the wish to come back to Szadowo, it seems that we succeeded. Those who decide to stay with us for good not only visit Szadowo again but also sometimes they return there every weekend. Why? When you are a Patroller, each training session boosts your chance to go up the Peace Patrol ladder. With time, thanks to your personal involvement and strong will you might even start training others. Everything is possible!
Who comes to visit? Usually, our guests come alone. These are people who decided to fight a battle against themselves, against their weaknesses, who want to overcome the fear of being alone and of meeting complete strangers. But after a while the groups, though they were created at random, start to build a true team. As soon as after the first day they start to consider each other friends, and when the training is coming to an end they can all say with confidence: all for one, one for all! The Patrollers go back home with a document certifying that they passed the exam and that they know the rules of first aid. Besides, in our training they learn about civil rights and the legal side to working at Przystanek Woodstock Festival. Every Patroller receives our T-shirt and since nobody else has such T-shirts, the Patrollers wear them for identification – wherever they might be, they will be recognized.
Everyone is invited to become a Patroller – not only Poles but also people from all over the world. Generally, the training is in Polish but if you manage to organize a enthusiastic group of speakers of English, we will organize an English language training session for you.