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Some Boy Scout Level Changes in 2015

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I always cover the 3 Duties as part of my SMCs, asking the Scout to reflect on all 3 and talk about what they mean to him and how does he try to follow them. We then pick our way around the 12 points of the Law - I try to steer towards those that I think the Scout could work on, and I commend the Scout for those that he exemplifies.


When it comes to the Scout Spirit sign off, I have the Boy sign. I tell them that I typically do NOT interact in every-day life, and they are the best judge of that. It triggers a great interaction with the Scout.


My only issue with this new language is questioning why are are focused on just one of the Duties? It makes Duty to God seem to be MORE important due to the call-out.


From the BSA:


[h=3] Demonstrate Scout Spirit[/h] The ideals of the Boy Scouts of America are spelled out in the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan. Members incorporating these ideals into their daily lives at home, at school, in their religious life, and in their neighborhoods, for example, are said to have Scout spirit. In evaluating whether a member has fulfilled this requirement, it may be best to begin by asking him to explain what Scout spirit and living the Scout Oath and Scout Law mean to him. Young people know when they are being kind or helpful, or a good friend to others.They know when they are cheerful, or trustworthy, or reverent. All of us, young and old, know how we act when no one else is around.

"Scout spirit" refers to ideals and values; it is not the same as "school spirit."

A leader typically asks for examples of how a Scout has lived the Oath and Law. It might also be useful to invite examples of when he did not. This is not something to push, but it can help with the realization that sometimes we fail to live by our ideals, and that we all can do better. This also sends a message that a Scout can admit he has done wrong, yet still advance. Or in a serious situation-such as alcohol or illegal drug use-understand why advancement might not be appropriate just now. This is a sensitive issue, and must be treated carefully. Most Scout leaders do their best to live by the Oath and Law, but any one of them may look back on years past and wish that, at times, they had acted differently. We learn from these experiences and improve and grow.We can look for the same in our youth.


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Sounds to me like some folks at National have decided to double down on the religious stuff while they still have the chance - perhaps to try to nullify the Trail Whozawhatits folks as much as they ca

I don't understand the escalation of the duty to God requirements.   Scouting has always had faith elements, but our pack and troop are mixed faith, mostly Christian, but some Hindu and some non-

No,     a. B.S.A. supporrts the religious awards of Buddhists, Hindus, and other religions that lack a Christian sort of "God." - or any God at all. b. I was mugged at knifepoint once in a c


Or, to put it in a more Scoutlike way, some people might have legitimate concerns about it. But I think those need to wait until we see the actual requirement.


Well said.


As I read things this should be as sample as:


SM: "Do you understand that Duty to God, as a key part of the Scout Oath, is an important part of Scout Spirit?"

Scout: "Yes sir"

SM: "Are you meeting the expectations of your parents regarding your Duty to God?"

Scout: "Yes sir"

SM: "Would your parents agree that your fulfilling you Duty to God?"

Scout: "Yes sir"

SM: "You're a good scout, you know that obedient and reverent are important points of the Scout Law". Remember to seek spiritual guidance from your parents, and the religious leaders they choose for you.

SM: "Yes sir"


I honestly don't like this change in focus, as it's not our duty to instruct in faith, but rather to encourage each scout to follow the tenements of the faith chosen by their parent of guardian. However, lets see what final shape it takes. As I've pointed out, "Duty to God" is already a part of "Scout Spirit"; will this actually be a change, or just a different way of presenting the existing program?

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I have been developing a stock answer a scout should repeat to any God question. "I believe my Duty to God is to respect the religious beliefs others and to NEVER question their private religious beliefs. That's all I have to say on the matter. Thank you. Next? " Any suggested tweaks?


The smart scout will borrow from our Protestant brothers.


Scoutmaster: How have you done your duty to God?


Catholic scout: I tracked on this spreadsheet my attending mass and saying evening vespers for the last six months. I also served meals at the local shelter and shoveled my neighbors driveway. During our last camp out, I served as chaplain's aide and led a Sunday morning worship service. I also distributed Rosaries and prayer books to all my troop members.


Agnostic scout: We do not know the nature of God and thus do not know our duty to God. So, let's move onto the next topic.


Evangelical scout: I tuned all the radio stations in my parent's cars to Christian rock and made them sing with me.


Buddist scout: Each night, I sit in my room and contemplate the truth of my situation.


(Smart) Protestant scout: ... By faith alone ... What's next?

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Luther's Small Catechism.... I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in

Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel


enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith."


This ought to cover it for the Lutheran boys.... :)



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You do seem pretty paranoid about it. The paranoia could be justified if you had seen other examples where BSA acted in this manner' date=' but it appears it's a bad personal experience with a religious group that's driving it instead. You seem very fixated on your "non-Christian" status and a little uncomfortable with it as well. These days, one seems more likely to be persecuted if they are Christian than non-Christian.[/quote'] Yes because I am questioning wisdom of this proposal that means that I am uncomfortable with my faith and there not doing my duty to my faith. Ergo How could I show good scout sprit if I am uncomfortable. Therefore if I was a scout going for rank you would potentially deny based on You thinking that someone that is not your faith must not have a real understanding of their own. This just went from theorictally this could happen to just did happen.
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