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Should Vespers be manditory in attendance?

[Troop level to Camporee level]


What are some of your views on Vesper services.


What are some of your best remembered services?


If adults do not attend but make their scouts attend, is this showing quality leadership?


Questions by Eagle Foot....





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If a scout is reverent, then attending Vespers isnt a question of manditory since coercement is not needed.


As B-P once said


"There is no teaching to compare with example."


All leaders should attend Vespers as well.


Now, it may be from time to time a scout will profess his faith does not condone group worship, if told that I would it accept it once and be sure to discuss with the scouts family what precepts their faith follows. I have had a few scouts say they were Wiccan but had no knowledge of the faith. At Powederhorn one of my fellow crew members said he was Wiccan and discussed it quite thoroughly.


I would tell the troop they are expected to attend Vespers unless a valid excuse is accepted.

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My Oath.

My God.

My Promise.

Can we demand anyone to pray ?

How we communicate with our God is a choice that is up to the individual.

Yes we need to invite everyone to Vespers / Scouts Own.

We need to be mindful that not everyone is of the same creed.

I fail to see how a leader can demand that the Scouts attend while he doesn't.

Some of the best "Services" are those which the Good Lord gives us without any notice.

On a hike when we see the beauty of creation and we stop and chat to the Scouts about how lucky we are and how someone is looking after us.


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Not trying to get off subject, just adding a bit of info --- my sister is Pagan. She attended a Protestant church a few months back when I got baptized. She recently attended a Catholic Mass for someone who had died. We all might learn something from attending Vespers even if it is not the same religion we practice each day.


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Celear communications of expectations (unit to National) should alleviate any problems. Our unit participates in Vespers during any Scout function at which we are given the opportunity as a sign of our world brotherhood as scouts. That's how we lay it out to parents. We also attend Catholic Mass or let parents know in advance if we will not be able to include before our return on Sunday afternoon. (Several evening Masses are celebrated in our city.) I note the particulars because some units might try squeak by w/ 2 leaders on a given trip and then they are confronted with what to do when trying to allow boys to not attend the unit activity.


Any other ideas....

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Not exactly sure about meaning of vespers. But we have a Scouts Own service every camp. It is non-denominational, and in my Troop has not had any readings from any book of faith that I recall. Not that we would mind but the Scouts are spending some time getting the words and thoughts right and using someone elses words gets in the way.


We dont sing either - they hate it.


But they all come.


And it is a requirment for a senior Scout to design and lead a Scouts Own so I suppose that Scouts Australia see spiritual reflection as mandatory. I do too.


Best remembered: a service with the Scouts facing the water and the speakers standing behind, last weekend the prayers for one of our Scouts who has had two operations recently, a prayer for a classmate who suicided - the prayer was never finished, but we understood.


Eagle Foots final question must have been initiated by a specific incident. I assume it is rhetorical.

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Making Scouts attend when the leaders does not is clearly inconsistant. The only excuse would be if youth protection/safe scouting made it necessary.


I personally like the Philmont approach to religious services. At 7:00 p.m. every night there are four services in base camp. There is a Catholic mass, a protestant service, a Jewish service, and a LDS service. Everyone is encouraged to attend the service of their faith, and are invited to attend any of the others if they would prefer that. Those that don't attend service of some type are asked to remain in there camp, keep quiet, and be respectful of that time that is set aside for the 12th point of the scout law. Those that don't attend services are also encouraged to pray/meditate/reflect according to their beliefs during that hour.


If a Scout's religous views do not allow for participation in a service, then they should not be required to attend unless youth protection/safe scouting makes it necessary.


That is just my opinion.

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