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University of Scouting Duty to God/A Scout is Reverent Cheryl P. Baraty Kim R. Queen Co-Chairs, Milwaukee Jewish Committee on Scouting Instructors for the next 2 hours Cheryl P. Baraty: Involved in Scouting for the past 9 years.

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university of scouting duty to god a scout is reverent

University of ScoutingDuty to God/A Scout is Reverent

Cheryl P. Baraty

Kim R. Queen

Co-Chairs, Milwaukee Jewish Committee on Scouting

instructors for the next 2 hours
Instructors for the next 2 hours

Cheryl P. Baraty: Involved in Scouting for the past 9 years.

  • Cub Master and Troop Committee Member for Pack, Troop and Crew 392 Harry and Rose Samson Milwaukee Jewish Community Center
  • Co-Chair, Milwaukee Jewish Committee on Scouting for past 8 years
  • Member Milwaukee County Council Membership/Relationships Committee
  • Member, National Jewish Committee on Scouting for past 5 years
  • Instructor, Philmont’s Scouting Serves the Jewish Committee Course for 3 years and attended 3 years
  • Philmont Course Co-Director Designee of Scouting Serves the Jewish Community for 2005 to 2009
  • Member of Relationships Staff, 2001 and 2005 Jamboree
  • Patrol Guide Wood Badge Course 2004, Milwaukee County Council
  • District Member at Large, Join Scouting Chair
Kim R. Queen. Involved in Scouting for over 13 years.
  • Advisor Crew 392, Committee Chair for Crew,Troop and Pack 392, Harry and Rose Samson Milwaukee Jewish Community Center, the only Jewish-chartered Scout units in the State of Wisconsin, former Scout Master Troop 392
  • Co-Chair, Milwaukee Jewish Committee on Scouting
  • Member Milwaukee County Council Membership/Relationships Committee
  • Philmont Course Co-Director Designee of Scouting Serves the Jewish Community for 2005 to 2009
  • Member of Scuba Staff, 2001 and 2005 Jamboree
  • District Membership Chair, Fall Camp-O-Ree Chair and member Winter Vista Challenge Committee
  • District Commissioner
course discussion
Course Discussion

Each participant to introduce themselves by giving their name, position(s) in Scouting, whether their chartering institution is a religious entity and what kind, why this session is important to them, and what they expect to get from the course.

overview of program
Overview of Program

General Course Objectives

  • Understand the importance of “Duty to God” in the Scout Promise and the “A Scout is reverent” portion of the Scout Law and their role in Scouting programming
  • Understand the difference between Duty to God and A Scout is Reverent, subtle as they are, and how to integrate these concepts within your Scouting units
  • Understand how we as leaders implement these concepts in our programming and to do so with sensitivity
  • Overview of religious emblem programming
Understand the importance of “Duty to God” in the Scout Promise and the “A Scout is reverent” portion of the Scout Law and their role in Scouting programming.
Important to put this subject matter in the context of the stated purpose of the Scout Movement: “To contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities. You will see that the lynchpin to this purpose is spiritual development. Without it, the others cannot be reached. This is intrinsic to the Scouting Movement and the reason that all Scouters need to learn about the importance of the lessons in this course.
2.Understand that the two are intertwined.

A belief in God as the basis of all else and

performing one’s duty to God through one’s

own religion and reverence toward God in

general including respect and sensitivity for

other’s religious beliefs are hard to

separate, but both concepts are central to


duty to god
Duty to God

1.Duty to God is at the core of the scouting program

Based on Lord Baden Powell’s views. You can see that Lord Baden Powell based Scouting on his firm conviction that a belief in God is basic to a good life and a good human being, and that Scouting is to encourage to the extent possible the recognition within each boy and leader the importance of God and consequently service to others in their life.
b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell
  • “No man can be really good if he doesn’t believe in God and he doesn’t follow His laws. This is why all Scouts must have a religion.” (Scouting for Boys, 1908)
  • “If you really wish to find the way toward success, i.e. your happiness, you must give a religious base to your life. It is not simply attending church or knowing history or comprehend theology. Many men are religious almost without knowing it or having studied these things. Religion, briefly explained, means [--] First: know who God is. Second: use to the best the life He gave us, and do what he expects from us. This means mainly doing something for the others.” (Rovering to Success, 1922)
b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell
  • “There is no religious side to [the] Scout Movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is on becoming aware of God and His Service.” (Headquarters Gazette – November 1920)
  • “Scouting has been described as ‘a new religion’. It’s not, of course, a new religion. It’s just the application to religious formation of the principle now accepted in non-religious formation, i.e. to point out a precise aim to the boy and give him the way to learn and practice by himself.” (Quoted in Taccuino, a collection of Baden Powell’s writings and essays published in Italy. Dated January, 1912)
b Quotes of Lord Baden Powell
  • “I have been asked to describe in more detail what I had in my mind regarding religion when I founded Scouting and Guiding. I have been asked ‘Why must religion enter it?’. My answer has been that religion needn’t enter, because it’s already inside. It is already the fundamental factor pervading Scouting and Guiding. (From a speech to Scout and Guide commissioners, July 2, 1926)
These views have also been part of the American Scouting Movement from its beginning.

“The Boy Scouts of America has always been committed to the moral, ethical, and spiritual development of our youth. Scouting is not a religion, but duty to God is a basic tenet of the Scout Oath and Law. … While not intending to define what constitutes belief in God, the Boy Scouts of America is proud to reaffirm the Scout Oath and its declaration of “Duty to God.” (Position Statement Reaffirmation of the Position of the Boy Scouts of American on ‘Duty to God, October, 1985)

c. These views have also been part of the American Scouting Movement from its beginning.

“Our duty to God is to do what we know is right because it is right and for no other reason. … If we inquire further and ask what makes it right, the answer leads us straight back to our duty to God. It is right because God wants it to be so, and that is reason enough. … The only principle that will surely guide us, wherever we are and under all circumstances, is that which tells us ‘to do right because it is right, and for no other reason.’ What is really meant by [t]he word ‘religion’ is the habit of our will that binds us to God; that is, the habit of choosing to the best of our ability to do God's will rather than our own. … This is the essential principle of all sincere religion and it defines our relation to God and our duty to Him. … Many people include in religion a great many beliefs and customs in addition to this one principle; but we may rightly consider all such additional beliefs as matters which must vary according to differences in the human mind, and as forming a sort of shell for the inner kernel, which is the love of doing God's will. All men in whose hearts the kernel is alive can work together in spite of differences of opinion in minor matters; but those whose devotion to their less important beliefs keeps them separate from men of different ideas are in danger of losing the life of the kernel. If we feel that we do not know anything about God's will and so cannot love to do it, we can all learn to do so by obeying Him and earnestly asking His help. We should regularly go to some church and worship God wherever we get most spiritual help; we should say our prayers and examine ourselves every day; and we should respect the churches and religious opinions of other people when they differ from our own. … Of course our duty to God includes every duty to God and man because God requires us to do our duty to all men. We can easily distinguish between our real duties and those which are merely matters of worldly custom by asking ourselves in each case: "Is this a duty to God?" and "Am I doing this because it is right, and for no other reason?" … It is sometimes difficult to realize that all the strength we need comes from doing our duty to God, and to keep the fact alive within us, because we see so much successful and unpunished evil in the world around us; but, as we live longer, we realize that there is no real happiness connected with success of this kind, and we become convinced that all power, except that which rests upon God's will, is sure to crumble and disappear in time.” (The Scout Law in Practice, Chapter II, by Arthur A. Carey, Little, Brown and Company, 1915)

d. Position of the WOSM re: Duty to God.

i. The World Organization of the Scout Movement is the International component of the Scout movement consisting of recognized national Scout organizations including the U.S. It has publications which summarize the principle of the place of Duty to God in the Scouting Movement, that is as one of the three cornerstones of the Scouting Movement -- Duty to God, Duty to others, and Duty to self.

ii. Quote of WOSM

“The principles of Scouting, or values it stands for, are normally summarized in three categories: Duty to God: a person’s relationship with the spiritual values of life, the fundamental belief in a force above mankind; Duty to others: a person’s relationship with, and responsibility within, society in the broadest sense of the term, his or her family, local community, country and the world at large, as well as respect for others and for the natural world; Duty to self: a person’s responsibility to develop his or her own potential to the best of that person’s ability. What is important to underline here is the exact function of the principles, or values, within Scouting. At the level of the Movement as a whole, they represent Scouting’s vision of society, the ideals it stands for and the image it projects. For anyone joining the Movement, the principles represent those elements that each individual must be open to accept and must be willing to do his or her best to follow. This initial acceptance does not and certainly cannot in the case of young people, imply in any way an understanding of the full significance of these values, this can only be acquired through membership of the Movement over a period of time. … Once a young person has expressed his or her initial acceptance of these principles, through making the promise, the whole educational process within Scouting consists in enabling the young person to gradually understand these values, adhere to them and make them his or her own so that they permeate the person’s behavior throughout life. (The Essential Characteristics of Scouting,” World Scout Bureau, 1998)

A Scout is Reverent
  • A Scout is Reverent is also at the core of the Scouting program
b quotes of lord baden powell
b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell

a. Again this principle is based on the beliefs of Lord Baden Powell. A review of his works reveals the ultimate respect for all religions and the importance of encouraging all members to cultivate their own religious views while simultaneously maintaining the utmost respect for others views as well. The basic underlying principle is respect for God no matter how that respect is practiced.

b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell

“Love of God, love of your neighbor and respect of oneself as God’s servant are the basis for any form of religion. … By religion I mean not just a formal homage tributed to a Divinity, but a deeper acknowledgement of God as a Being perpetually inside and around us, and the consequent higher level of thought and action in his service” (ibidem)

b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell

“Scout Activities are the means by which you can lead the most accomplished street urchin to nobler feelings and that the faith in God start in him.” (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)

“Many difficulties may arise while defining religious formation in a Movement such as ours, where many religions coexist, so, the details of the various forms of expressing the duty to God must be left to the responsib[ility] of each single association. We insist however on observance and practice of that form of religion the boys profess.” (ibidem)

b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell

“The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination. What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents’ wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence [by] whatever form of religion the boy professes. (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919, p. 36)

b. Quotes of Lord Baden Powell

“I prefer to be guided by collective opinions of experienced men, and here a remarkable promise stands before us. Scouting has been described by various men and women of thought and standing as ‘a new religion.’ … It is not of course, … it is merely the application to religious training of the principle now approved for secular training – that of giving a definite objective and setting the child to learn and practice for himself – and that, I think everybody’s experiences will tell him, is the only training which really sticks by a man for good and ultimately forms part of his character.” (Speech, 1912)

b. These views have also been part of the American Scouting Movement from the beginning.

“Men of all religions believe that God is good and the source of all good in human life, and that we are all free to receive goodness from Him just in proportion as we conquer evil and obey His laws. Therefore, when we reverence the good in other people and try our best to live up to it ourselves, we are reverencing God, for obedience is the first point of reverence. … Men who love what is right can always work together in useful ways and do good work, without regard to the particular and detailed opinions which they associate with their own religion. … Men of … all different forms of religion differ from one another honestly in matters of opinion, and yet work together in a common spirit of obedience to God and his Law. … Loyalty to that form of religion from which we receive the most help to keep us straight is an important duty under the scout law, and it is a violation of that law to try and proselytize, or draw off any one from his own church or peculiar form of religious observance. There is room for all honest and sincere religious beliefs in the Boy Scout Organization. … There is no room in the Boy Scout Organization, however, for the spirit of intolerance which does not recognize the right of every man to his own convictions in matters of religion, and therefore we should exercise the greatest care and consideration in not doing or saying anything which might hurt the feelings of other people in matters which to them are sacred. … [R]everence brings with it a deep and lasting joy associated with appreciation and gratitude for all the great and lovely things in life. (The Scout Law in Practice, Chapter XVIII, by Arthur A. Carey, Little, Brown and Company, 1915)

c. Position of the WOSM re: A Scout is Reverent

i. The World Organization of the Scout Movement also has numerous publications which summarize the Scouting principle of A Scout is Reverent. The most comprehensive is the October 2001 Scouting and Spiritual Development, an over 70 page document setting out the view of respect for all religions very well. A few important quotes from this publication are now provided.

c. Position of the WOSM re: A Scout is Reverent

ii. Quotes of WOSM

“It is impossible to draw a line between the social and cultural world in which young people now find themselves and the religious/spiritual world, because the latter is part of the former. In actual fact, the way in which a young person grasps the religious/spiritual dimension in his life cannot be perceived in isolation because it is influenced by the way he sees his entire life.” (Scouting and Spiritual Development, Chapter 2.1, WOSM)

c. Position of the WOSM re: A Scout is Reverent

ii. Quotes of WOSM

“[W]e [should] avoi[d] making judgments on the merits of the religions themselves and on their followers or believers.” (Scouting and Spiritual Development, Chapter 2.1, WOSM)

“[U]sing the words of his time, B-P expressed clearly that the spiritual dimension is part of a whole, linked with other aspects of the fundamental principles[,] and all stems from the purpose of the Movement: the integral development of young people. We will see [in program implementation] the importance of this concept in programme design and development. (Scouting and Spiritual Development, Chapter 3.2, WOSM)

a national level
A. National Level
  • Relationships Division
    • Matters regarding religion and religious relationships are handled within the Relationships Division of National BSA.
    • Matters regarding all type of chartering institutions, such as religious institutions, Civic Clubs (Rotary, Lions, Elk, Knights of Pythius, etc), and others are handled with the Relationships Division.

i. These groups often have programs or scholarships Scouts can use. It is helpful to be aware of them, i.e. Knights of Pythias has Eagle Rank recognition

a national level31
A. National Level
  • Relationships Division
    • National Religious Committees are under the umbrella of the Relationships Division of Nation BSA and all meet and have representation at the national level through the Relationships Division.
    • Many Religious Committees present a one-week course at Philmont during the week reserved for the Relationships Division
    • The Relationships Division with the coordination of the religious committees publishes many publications of interest to religious issues: religious calendars, etc.
b buddhist scouting http www eagnet com edipage areaserv nbcs home htm
b. Buddhist Scouting
  • The Buddhist Churches of American supports the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting.
  • The National Buddhist Committee on Scouting oversees Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Campfire Boys and Girls
There have been Buddhist-chartered units in the U.S. since 1920 as well as Buddhist Scouts in non-Buddhist chartered units.
  • The Buddhist Churches of America National Buddhist Committee on Scouting works with the religious leaders of the Buddhist community to develop the Buddhist religious emblem program
  • The Buddhist Churches of America Notional Buddhist Committee on Scouting also works closely with the BSA Religious Relationships Director to promote a harmonious relationship between all religious denominations and organizations
Catholic: National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

i. The National Catholic Committee on Scouting is part of the Catholic Church, has been in existence since 1934, and is used for boys and girls in any scouting program. The Roman Catholic Church has used the Scouting program since the early days, and to date has been one the most extensive users of Boy Scouting of all the religious organizations.

It is the job of the Catholic Committee to guide the cooperative contacts between the Church and BSA, no small task as the Scouting program is recognized as an integral part of the total youth ministry at the diocesan level. Each archdiocese and diocese has its own Catholic Committee on Scouting and there are over 300 councils also with Catholic Committees on Scouting.
  • In 1995 the Catholic Committee together with the BSA launched an initiative to bring quality Scouting programming to more Catholic youth by placing emphasis on organizing more units, holding membership roundup, ensuring quality training, and securing more voluntary leaders.
The Committee through the Relationships Division, BSA has published numerous promotional items as well as training materials such as a pamphlet entitled BSA Religious Principles - An outline of BSA's religious principles and a Catholic interpretation of Scouting principles
  • Provides resources to church-chartered units
  • Provides resources to Catholic Scouters and separate religious specific training along with their own training certificate.
  • Promotes the religious emblem program
d. Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting

  • Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting. It is affiliated with the Church of Christ but is a separate non-profit organization. It supports all types of Scouting movements.
  • The MCCS logo is the Heart of the Servant, which symbolizes the four spheres in the life of a servant leader: service to God and His church; service to one's own family; service to the nation; and service to Scouting.
  • The MCCS was founded in 1986 to: interpret Scouting to members of Churches of Christ; encourage the use of Scouting by members of Churches of Christ; and promote spiritual growth by encouraging the use of the Servant Leadership series.
e.Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting

  • The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting oversees Scouting for the Eastern Orthodox Church. Its regional coordinators are set forth on the website.
  • In 1955, high ranking representatives of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the Antiochoian Orthodox Archdiocese, the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese, and the Orthodox Church in America met with the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. The prelates came attired in their robes of office to bestow their blessing on the Boy Scouts and to make known to their constituents that they wanted Scouting to become a part of the youth programs of the local churches. This was one of the first cross-jurisdictional enterprises of the Orthodox Churches in North America. Later they included Girl Scouts USA. As a result of this historical meeting, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) was created in 1960 by the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, whose purpose is to conduct the mission of our Lord and His Church via the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts USA programs on a national level.
iii. The word "Orthodox" is derived from two short Greek words, orthos, meaning correct, and doxa, meaning belief or glory. Thus, the word "Orthodox'' is used to indicate conviction that they worship God correctly. They emphasize Apostolic tradition, continuity and conservatism over a 2,000 year history. The Church is also spoken of as the "Eastern Church" to distinguish it from the Churches of the West. "Eastern" is used to indicate that in the first millennium the influence of their Church was concentrated in the eastern part of the Christian world and to show that a very large number of the membership is of other than Greek national origin. Thus, Orthodox Christians throughout the world use various ethnic or national titles: "Greek", "Russian", "Serbian", "Romanian", "Ukrainian", "Bulgarian", "Antiochian", "Albanian", "Carpatho-Russian", or more inclusively, as "Eastern Orthodox".
iv. The Mission of the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting is set forth in the website.

v. Each Orthodox Church, in partnership with Boy Scouts of America/Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and the Standing Conference of Canonical Eastern Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, wholeheartedly endorses Scouting and urges parish councils and the Reverend Clergy to sponsor the Scouting program on a local level. The individual Church may decide if the unit will be open only to Orthodox Scouts or if membership is not restricted in any way. Each parish is free to choose its own program.

vi. The language in the website to all members is worth providing here: “Scouting has many objectives that are common with those of our Holy, Orthodox Church. As a program devised especially for the formative years of our Orthodox youth, Scouting encourages a better Christian life; it aids in building character and developing wholesome habits and effective citizenship activities. The Scout motto “Be Prepared” implies not only physical and mental but also spiritual, moral preparedness. Scouting works hand and hand with the Church on all levels. A properly organized and supervised Scout program in a parish can do a great deal in keeping our youth close to the Church and its many varied, wholesome, character building activities; it trains boys and girls to be of service to God, country, and fellowmen - all of which constitutes a Christian upbringing. Finally, it trains our boys/girls not only how to be contributing citizens of tomorrow, but also participating members and leaders in our Holy Faith. We have many examples of Scouts participating as acolytes, choir members, Sunday school teachers, and in various other capacities in our parish life. A number of the Boy Scouts even found themselves drawn to the Holy Priesthood as a result of the close contact they had with their priest through this program. Scouting reaches every member of the family and leads him/her into the parish life of our churches. This program cannot be expected to cure all parish problems, but it can rally the youth around the priest with a Church-centered, wholesome program of education and fun. For this reason your national committee on Scouting urges all parish priests and interested laymen to learn more about Scouting and organize and sponsor an Orthodox Boy or Girl Scout troop wherever one does not now exist.”
f. Hindu

  • Information on Scouting within the Hindu community and the view of Scouting by the Hindu community is contained in the website and gives details where to get more information.
National Jewish Committee on Scouting
    • The National Jewish Committee on Scouting is not a formal part of any Jewish Movement but is a separate non-profit organization.
    • Jewish institutions have used the Scouting program since 1916; the National Jewish Committee on Scouting was formed in 1926.
The mission of the committee is:

*To promote Scouting for Jewish youth by securing new Jewish chartered organizations such as day schools, Jewish centers, synagogues, Jewish War Veteran units

*Continue to provide individual Scouts and units with quality programs and service.

*Develop literature and support materials to promote and implement Scouting under Jewish auspices or providing resources to Jewish Scouts and Scouters in non-Jewish chartered units.

*Recruit rabbis for national and international events, as required

*Provide support to local Jewish Committees on Scouting and to BSA council professional staff members

*Promoting and administering the Jewish religious emblems

iv. The Website contains a list of all regional and local Jewish Committees on Scouting
  • The National Jewish Committee on Scouting hosts a J-Scouts Listserv discussion group
  • The website Provides a link to the Girl Scout National Jewish Committee
LDS/Mormon Committee
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints adopted scouting as the activity program for the young men of the church shortly after Boy Scouts of America was founded. Today the church is one of the largest sponsors of scouting in the United States of America, and church sponsored scouting units are also found in many other countries. The Committee is administered by the Church.
    • The Mormon Church has modified the program to fit its Church requirements.
    • Currently one of the largest religious institutions to utilize the Scouting program
Lutheran Association of Scouters
    • The Lutheran Association of Scouters (LAS) is endorsed by the Lutheran Churches for members of Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts  USA, Camp Fire USA, or 4H. Its mission is to foster character and spiritual development in youth and adults by linking the resources of Lutheran and civic youth serving organizations
    • The Lutheran Association of Scouters was founded in 1926. It supports local LAS’s.
iii. The mission of a LAS is to support and encourage the efforts of local Lutheran congregations that have chosen to use Civic Youth Agency programs as a part of their youth ministry.

iv. The Association and BSA both provide Lutheran Scouting materials

United Methodist Church,
    • This ministry is under the direction of the National Association of United Methodist Scouters in affiliation with the Office of Civic Youth/Scouting Ministry, The General Commission of United Methodist Men, Nashville,
    • The Association implements its program as an outreach ministry within the Church to develop strong leaders.
    • The Association through the Relationships Division distributes training materials.
    • The National Islamic Committee on Scouting was formed in 1982. It is represented by many national Muslim organizations.
    • The Committee is responsible for formulating policies that govern the formation of Scouting in Islamic organizations such as centers or mosques, for guiding their cooperation with BSA, and for advising BSA in all matters relating to Scouting among Muslims.
iii. Islamic Terms

*Islam -- Arabic referring to the voluntary acceptance of the will of Allah and obedience to His commends

*Muslim -- a person who freely and consciously accepts the Islamic way of life and practices it

*Qur’an -- the sacred book of Islam. Muslim scouts study it in a Mosque until about age 12

iv. Basic Principles of Islam

*Oneness of Allah (Tawhis)

*Prophethood (Risalah)

*Day of Judgment and Life After Death (Yaum al-Akhira wa Ma’ad)

*Angels and the Unseen (Gahib)

*All the Books From Allah (Kutub

v. Islamic customs important to know for Scouting

*Prayer five times a day with washing beforehand required

*Fasting during the month of Ramadan from dawn to sunset. Check for other festivals.

*Giving to the needy

*Openly declaring faith in Allah and Mohammed as His last messenger

*Making a pilgrimage once during one’s lifetime to the first House of God in Mecca

*Only eat Halal foods (prepared according to Muslim law). Beef, lamb and chicken and fish may be permissible. Pork and alcohol are forbidden.

l. National Association of Presbyterian


i. Presbyterian churches have participated in Scouting since 1920 and use the program as a catalyst to strengthen relationships among youth family and the congregation.

ii. The National Association of Presbyterian Scouters was formed in 1986 and in 1988 became officially linked through a covenant with the Congregational Ministries Division of the Presbyterian Church. The Association has regional committees that coincide with the Presbyterian Synods.

The National Association of Presbyterian Scouters was formed to encourage and support Presbyterian congregations and their ministries with youth in using the BSA program.

iv. The National Association of Presbyterian Scouters together with the Relationships Division, BSA has developed literature to promote and implement Scouting in its churches and among its congregants.

v. Promotes religious emblems

Protestant Committee on Scouting

i. The Protestant Committee on Scouting is established through the Religious Relationships Division, BSA.

ii. The Protestant Committee on Scouting provides churches the opportunity to carry out a ministry with children, youth and families using the program and activities of Scouting.

iii. The Committee accomplishes its goals by:
  • Encouraging Protestant churches to recognize and make Scouting an integral part of its church and community's program
  • Administering and promoting the religious emblem program;
  • Providing Chaplain service for Protestant boys at Scout camps and camp-o-rees
  • Informing ministers and lay leaders of the relationship of church-related Scouting units to the church's total administration and program
  • Serving as a clearinghouse for all matters pertaining to the relationship of Scouting to the Protestant churches of the local council;
  • Promoting training of volunteers in carrying out religious functions that belong to the churches.
Religious Society of Friends – Quaker

i. The Quaker Church as formed a Friends Committee on Scouting. The purpose of Friends Committee on Scouting is to develop curricula for the religious awards programs of Scout groups, and to promulgate their use.  These curricula will be available for use by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Girl Guides, Campfire, and other Scout programs in the Western Hemisphere, and through any other youth group programs as seems appropriate.  The Friends Committee on Scouting will identify as well as facilitate avenues of support for Young Friends involved in these programs

p r a y
  • P.R.A.Y.'s mission is to encourage the spiritual growth of young people.
  • It administers the religious growth programs recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and Girls
  • P.R.A.Y. provides ways to promote religious growth programs and to build partnerships between the religious community and the national youth agencies.
  • P.R.A.Y. conducts research to show the positive effects of religious programming in youth organizations.
1. Council-level Relationships Committees
  • Not active in all councils
  • Some councils merge Relationships with their Membership committees. Need to check at your own local council to find out.
2. Religious sensitivity at Council-level activities needed

a. Know the religions of the Council membership and check religious calendars so as not to schedule events on an important holiday. The National Relationships Committee puts out a calendar of religious holidays that should be consulted.

b. Make sure that God is referred to an invocations in a way respectful to all religions of those attending, i.e. use the term “God” or “Lord” and don’t refer to Jesus is Jews and /or Muslims are in attendance.

3 religious sensitivity at council level activities needed
3. Religious sensitivity at Council-level activities needed

a. Know the religions of the Council membership and check religious calendars so as not to schedule events on an important holiday. The National Relationships Committee puts out a calendar of religious holidays that should be consulted.

3 religious sensitivity at council level activities needed67
3. Religious sensitivity at Council-level activities needed

b. Make sure that God is referred to an invocations in a way respectful to all religions of those attending, i.e. use the term “God” or “Lord” and don’t refer to Jesus if Jews and /or Muslims are in attendance

district level
District Level
  • Often perform religious ceremonies at Camp-O-Rees and other District-wide activities

2. Religious emblem programming important to encourage at the District level.

3. Sensitivity (discussed later) is very important at this level

unit level
Unit Level
  • Many aids from various religious committees are especially helpful here
  • It is important to invoke God at the unit level as part of routine activities, i.e. always say grace before a meal
  • Religious emblem work should be stressed at the unit level
  • Religious sensitivity very important at this level
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IV. Scouts Own
  • Scouts Own is defined by Lord Baden Powell as “a gathering of Scouts for the worship of God and to promote fuller realization of the Scout Law and Promise, but supplementary to, and not in substitution for, regular religious observances.” (Aids to Scoutmastership, p.38, 1919)
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IV. Scouts Own
  • Scout’s Own is a basic component of the Scouting program.

1. Scout’s Own addresses both Duty to God and A Scout is Reverent

a. Needs to be tailored to the group participating. May need to find out in advance what is the religion of the boys attending.

b. The service is to be a spiritual experience

c. Sensitivity a huge issue here.

C. Scout’s Own services are important to build into most events involving boys, especially overnights.

a. “We must be conscious of the message we are conveying to scouts by not making plans to provide for their worship. They are well aware of the detailed plans that are made for food, tents, materials, programs, transportation, etc. Is not worship of equal importance with these? Can we afford to convey the impression that it is not that important?” Rev. Michael Kazer

d. Components of a Scout’s Own Service
  • Acknowledgement of God and his creation and ourselves as part of it, expressed in a way that all the faiths that Scouting embraces can share together
  • A pause in our activity to discover something deeper and more permanent in the things we are trying to achieve or learn or enjoy
  • A response to the creator for the gift of life
e. Resources
  • Tons of resources available on the internet
  • The MacScouter’s “A Scout is Reverent Resource Book” Can be downloaded from the internet
  • Various Religious Committees materials
  • BSA materials
  • Local resources
  • Philmont Trail Guide
  • This is very important to the concept of reverence of all religions
  • Important to know holidays of those differing religions. See handouts
  • Specific customs important to know in planning at all levels of Scouting
  • Mormons pray through Jesus
  • Jews and Muslims cover their heads to pray; Christians remove their hats. The solution is to say please remove or cover your head as is your custom
  • Jews and Muslims do not eat pork
  • Jews use wine to pray
  • Some Christian denominations and Muslims do not consume alcohol
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  • Different religions have different dietary law
  • Jews keep kosher
  • Jews and some Muslims will not eat milk and meat at the same meal
  • Jewish holidays start at sunset
  • Some Christian and Jewish denominations, and Muslims have strict rules about mixing of the sexes, i.e., table searing and shaking hands.
  • Christians bow their heads when a religious leader is praying from “Let us pray” until “Amen”
  • Group input on other customs
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Religious Emblems
  • BSA publications with the religious emblems
  • P.R.A.Y. administers the religious emblems for over 50 religions, including all the ones discussed above.
  • Religious Counselor Training
  • Planning area-wide religious emblem activities
  • Religious Knots
  • RED Displays