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No Chaplains Aide:Why ?

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For Troops out there that do not have the Chaplains Aide position filled, why not?


Is it because the leaders can't or don't want to be bothered with counseling the position holder?


Is it because we don't live by what we preach, so therefore we allow the boys to follow in our footsteps?


Is this why the position, to many, has become a joke, and a non-desired position by the Scouts?

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No Chaplains Aide:Why ?

I don't know the answer.

There are some units where all POR's are a joke. Filled by Scouts who are allowed to wear a patch for the required length of time in order to say they have held a POR.

We don't have a Chaplain of any sort in the Ship due to the fact that the Scouts said that they didn't want one.

A couple of years back the then Boatswain herded all the Scouts off to church services at a Winter Training weekend. This didn't go over very well with the Ship.

A lot of the youth in the Ship are at an age where they are questioning their religion, their faith and their believes.

We don't have a job description for a Chaplain.

We do have some deeply religious Scouts who could do the job. I'm not sure but I kinda think some of the other Scouts might feel that they were having religion forced on them.

As a Ship we do invite Scouts to say a prayer before a meal. But to be very honest this seems to be a bunch of words that are just said and have little or no meaning to most of the Scouts.

When we are away I normally attend Mass and invite anyone who wants to tag along to do so. At times I do make a point of inviting the RC Scouts. This might be me putting them in awkward position?

Right now we really don't have enough "Work" for someone to do to make the title really mean anything, it would just be a title.



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We have no one who is interested in doing the job and we won't push someone to do it.


There are POR's that I believe are essential - SPL, ASPL, PL, Quartermaster, and Scribe.


There are POR's that I think are great to have if you have the numbers to support them: Troop Guide, OA Troop Rep, Librarian, Den Chiefs, JASM and Instructor.


Then there are the POR's that should be filled only if the other POR's are filled, or only if someone has a real interest in it: Chaplain's Aide, Historian and Buglar.



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A related question: How many units have a Chaplain? That would be the ideal person to mentor a Chaplain Aide. (Hello, church chartering organizations????)


I think that most scouts have some innate sense of religion; however, many families do not practice their religion overtly - witness the frequency with which other activities trump attendance at religious services. As a result, boys don't feel comfortable leading religious aspects of troop life.


We run into the problem of being "interfaith" or "non-denominational", which waters down what most people are accustomed to. Then there are the problems of finding appropriate prayers and readings, and songs that are known to more than 1 or 2 people and are singable without some kind of accompaniment (I can't take my pipe organ on a camping trip - yes, I'm an organist/choir director and son of a minister).


We tout the mantra that religion is up to the scout and his family. If we do anything other than a pure Scouts Own, then are we not potentially infringing upon the "rights" of the family?


Scouts Own is a nice ideal, but unless a scout is mentored in how to lead a true Scouts Own, then he is likely to come up with something that mirrors his own religious experiences and family beliefs. God forbid that we should expose scouts to religious beliefs and practices other than their own.


Sometimes it seems like just too much work to help scouts observe the 12th point of the Scout Law. Done correctly, it takes a LOT of work! (This from a SM whose unit has often been called upon to lead services at district and council events.)

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Our troop does have a Chaplians Aide.


In our troop he works with the Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster in planning a church service, which we do on Saturday night of each campout.


He also helps plan Scout Sunday within the troop.


Somebody perviously mentioned that """""There are POR's that I think are great to have if you have the numbers to support them: Troop Guide, OA Troop Rep, Librarian, Den Chiefs, JASM and Instructor.""""


In our troop the Troop Guide is one of the most esstential positions. We have a New Scout Patrol. We have a New Scout Assistant Scoutmaster. However, the Troop Guide is more on the level of the new scouts. He knows what to say and how to teach so that the new scouts will understand it. He is one the plans the program for the New Scout Patrol and then works with the Assistant Scoutmaster to make sure it will work and get the scouts to First Class in the First Year.


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This is dependent on how your troop camps.


In my old troop, we camped Friday to Sunday 99% of the time, so we had three chaplain's aides, and coordinated the Scout's Own on Sundays.


My new troop rarely camps on Sundays, thus no aide.


If the only role of the Chaplain's Aid is to do the opening and closing prayers at meetings, then it's not worth filling the position.

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I'd like to take a little different tack on eolesen's comment. For some of the troops that have NO inclination towards the 12th point of the Scout Law, maybe a CA would be good to do the opening/closing prayers along with meal grace as nothing more than a valid example of one who's responsibility it is to have such 12th Law dynamics in the troop. If there is no one to remind everyone to take off their hats, stand up and pray the Philmont Grace, then that whole point of the Scout Law is basically being ignored. Lead by example and a good CA will do just that. This position doesn't need to be some elaborate Sunday AM worship specialist, but maybe just gather everyone up, read a psalm, have a short prayer and be done. But at least there is someone responsibile for remembering the 12th point of Law.



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  • 2 months later...

In my troop, it hasn't been too hard to get the boys to be the Chaplain's Aide because they feel it's the POR where they have to do the least work!!


Another question I would like to throw out is, of those troops who DO have CA's...how many of those boys actually have or are working on their religious emblem, as one of the "requirements" for the POR say they should? I know that in our case, we probably have not had one who even earned it in Cubs. However, we only rarely have the training available for the boys for the most part...and the council can't even tell us where to find someone who can do the training for the boys.



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We have a pretty active chaplain aide corp, mostly because we have a Polish National Catholic Church Priest as an ASM and his son in the troop. Makes for lively liturgical discussions versus Greek, Russian, Ukranian and Byzantine theologies. Being Roman Catholic helps somewhat

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Over the last several years, sometimes we've had a Chaplain's Aide, sometimes we haven't. Sorta like the Bugler. If there is a fellow who is interested in the position, the SPL will appoint him; otherwise it goes unfilled.


On the other hand, we have two adult Chaplains.

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eolesen writes:If the only role of the Chaplain's Aid is to do the opening and closing prayers at meetings, then it's not worth filling the position.If that's all there was to the CA, I would agree with you -- but if you've taught TLT to your leadership corps and studied the position description cards, you know as well as I do that there's far more to the CA position:

At a minimum, the CA should be encouraging the other boys to earn the religious emblem of their faith.


The CA can work with the PLC to develop an appropriate recognition when awarding the religious knot after a Scout earns his religious medal.


The CA works with the PLC to ensure that program planning accounts for religious holidays and that spiritual emphasis is included in troop activities.


Unless your troop doesn't eat on its campouts, the CA can lead grace before meals.


If your troop is chartered by a church, the CA can coordinate the troop's participation in Scout Sunday observances.

The CA POR can be as much (or as little) as the Scout and his mentors want to make it.

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