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CherokeeScouter

Interesting development with Scout Sunday

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Interesting occurrence yesterday. For the first time in many years, our troop decided to honor Scout Sunday and worship with our chartering organization, which by the way, is a new chartering organization for us. But we are doing everything we can to become a part of the church's community and after good collaboration with the church, we came up with a good program. The church reserved seating, had us march in with colors and then had the Scoutmaster and SPL make a few remarks. Then the church spruced up their normal after-service reception with special refreshments. Out of an 80-Scout troop, about 12 Scouts showed up in Class A. Not bad for a first time out.

 

But then a couple of hours later, an advancement report comes across my radar. One of the six Scouts is submitting an advancement report/request to credit six Scouts with an activity. Apparently, these six dressed up in Class A and attended their home church.

 

Needless to say, the Scout leaders who organized the event at the chartering organization are livid. And who can blame them? A lot of effort went into setting that event up. The church is so large, coordination is not a slam dunk. There wasn't any pre-approval from the SM or even the courtesy of letting the troop know what these Scouts were doing.

 

So now the talk is centered around whether the advancement chair and the SM are gonna accept the activity request.

 

My first reaction was absolutely not (I"m an ASM now). But the more I thought about, I was like "Why not?"

 

These Scouts took it upon themselves to dress up in uniform and go to their church. Yeah, they should have let us know ahead of time and all that, but I'm proud that they were proud of their uniform and of the tradition of Scout Sunday. And they showed some initiative. We can sit down with the Scouts next week and coach them up on how it could have been handled differently.

 

And no, we would not credit them with an activity if they had blown off a campout and gone camping on their own and then tried to get credit for an activity.

 

But this is a little more gray, I think.

 

What do you think?

 

 

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I see nothing gray at all - I see it in black and white - you have 6 Scouts who honored Scout Sunday and their faith tradition by attending Scout Sunday in full uniform at their home church - they attended Scout Sunday, they get the credit. Why the heck wouldn't you give them credit for that? It's obvious you didn't make attendance at Scout Sunday in full uniform at your chartered organization mandatory (only 12 out of 80 with 6 accounted for elsewhere? That's 18 out of 80, less than 25%).

 

You say that for the first time in years, the Troop decided to have Scout Sunday at your chartered organization - what did you do before? Encourage Scouts to attend their home churches in full uniform perhaps? Did you tell the Scouts that they had to get "pre-approval" from the Scoutmaster to attend their Home Church (and boy, I sure hope you didn't - if I were the parent of a boy who was just told he had to get approval from his Scoutmaster to attend church, there would be heck to pay). Did you tell the Scouts that you were creating a new tradition and that everyone should plan to attend the CO's services? Did you discuss that with the parents?

 

I would think very long and very hard about "coaching these boys on how it could be handled differently" Again, if I were the parent of a boy who was just told he should have handled going to his home church with his family differently, there would be fireworks at the next committee meeting.

 

So this is what you do - you accept that report, you praise them for showing up at Scout Sunday in full uniform, you get them the patches (and get someone to the Scout Office ASAP before the patches run out - whoever is passing by next should be able to get them). You profusely thank the leaders that did all that planning but tell them that it's far more important that those Scouts went to church than that they went to the CO's church and that the Troop is not about to question Scouts (and by extension, their parents) on the choices they make on where to attend church services and then you start planning for next year.

 

You have 62 Scouts and their parents that you need to convince to come to next years Scout Sunday services at the CO in full uniform - and you can have a friendly chat with the parents of the 6 Scouts that went elsewhere to see if it would be a violation of their church's tenent's to attend church at the CO next year. And you start planning for next year. Marching the colors in is a good start. Comments from the Scoutmaster could be a big Thank You (and I imagine it probably was). Comments by the SPL could be leading the Troop and any former Scouts in the church through the Scout Oath. Do you have a Chaplain's Aid? If so, maybe you could arrange it so that he does a reading during the services. Any reason the Scouts couldn't serve as Ushers on this day? Any reason they couldn't pass the collection plates around? Can you work with the Pastor on recognizing the various faith traditions of the boys in the Troop?

 

Congrats on this first step - don't sour it now by allowing pettiness to take root. I don't know the leader of your church, but I would imagine if you were to ask him/her their opinion, you would probably hear something very similar to "The important thing is that they went to Church somewhere".

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What advancement? Community service hours? Or the requirements that say "participate in x number of Scouting activities other than troop meetings"?

 

It seems to me that whatever it is, Scouts attending religious services on Scout Sunday, in uniform, should "count." As you say, there needs to be a discussion about communications and teamwork for the "next time". But I think you want to do that without discouraging the kind of initiative that was taken here - it just needs to be channeled a little better, if possible.

 

As for "Scout Sunday patches" - I have never heard of one, and we have Scouts attending Scout Sunday services at our CO every year. But if you give them out at the next COH, the boys who attended their "home church" should be recognized as well.

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Yeah, Cherokee, unfortunately, I think you're way, way off here. The "extra" 6 Scouts did the right thing just as much as the 12 Scouts who attended the service at your Chartering Organization. It's your Scouts who couldn't be bothered that deserve some scrutiny.

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Well, I never would have counted Scout Sunday as a troop activity, ever. It's doing what a reverent fella should routinely do, only with a different shirt and temporary change of venue.

 

At the same time, if the boy took the time to write it down in his handbook, I wouldn't strike it. Requesting it for other boys? If they don't write it in their own handbook ... I probably wouldn't count it.

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One of the six Scouts is submitting an advancement report/request to credit six Scouts with an activity. Apparently, these six dressed up in Class A and attended their home church.

 

Sounds like they're asking for "activity credit" for the Scout Sunday patch.

 

Question - does your Council/District/Unit have criteria for the Scout Sunday patch? As far as I can tell, there is no standard.

 

 

 

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<>

 

 

Heh, heh! That's putting too fine a point on the issue!

 

But I agree with those who would give all those who participated in Scout Sunday whatever credit and awards are due.

 

 

Now ---- what about the Scouts who didn't bother attending ANY service?

 

 

Frankly, I wouldn't say anything to them, either.

 

 

My congratulations to your troop and leaders for organizing a terrific Scout Sunday event.

 

As Cubmaster for a pack chartered by a Catholic parish, I tried to get a Scout Sunday event organized. A few boys and parents attended, but not many. The Priest made a few favorable remarks about Scouting.

 

Well --- we Did Our Best.

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This specific situation is filled with multiple grey lines. Charter org church versus their own. Scout Sunday versus regular Duty To God. Supporting the idea but not the plan. It really depends on the individual scout, but I tend to favor the scout and if they are boxed in and they need this to hit their last critical date or similar, then I'd be okay with it. I'd rather congratulate them for choosing to wear their uniform to church than to nit pick that they did not go to the charter org church.

 

Ideally, it ​should all be moot because your scouts and your troop should have so much going on that having the bare minimum for advancement is effectively never an issue.

 

Another way to put it is our troop has never had an Eagle scout with 21 merit badges. It's always 27, 32, 40 or more. Same with service projects. Same with activities.

 

 

 

TANGENT ...

 

... then a couple of hours later' date=' an advancement report comes across my radar. One of the six Scouts is submitting an advancement report/request to credit six Scouts with an activity. [/quote']

 

This is the part that would scare me. In our troop, the scout brings their handbook to a senior scout or the SM or an ASM and says could you sign off on this? If the requirement is X number of activities or Y number of service hours, then the scout needs to tell the signer what the qualified events / hours were. There is no troop tracking or a "request" to credit a service hour bank account. It's service, celebrate it. It's activities, enjoy it.

 

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Wow. This group never agrees on anything.

 

Reminds me of what the Soviet negotiator told my uncle during negotiations after WWII when my uncle suggested that the only thing they could agree on was to disagree. The Soviet fired back, "We DO NOT disagree!"

My uncle used to just laugh and laugh about that one.

 

So just for you Twocubdad, "Not True!!!"

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Well, we're a new troop, our CO is a Christian church. I heard rumblings about doing something on Scout Sunday. Showed up in uniform (not my regular church). It'll be an interesting discussion next meeting on why I was the only one that showed up. :)

 

Stosh

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When I was a boy we had a related incident. Just after the church got rid of the old minister (because he supported Civil Rights) and got a new minister (who could 'see' demons among us, not figurative ones either, the real deal with scales and all), on the very first Scout Sunday with the new minister, the troop had lined up as usual with the color guard ready to enter the church as a unit. The minister stopped the whole thing, saying he would not allow the American Flag to enter the church. This precipitated an extended fuss among the 'faithful' regarding the decision to get rid of the previous guy. All of a sudden no one wanted to admit they wanted this new one. I suppose some of the 'faithful' may suddenly have sprouted scales, maybe even horns, lol.

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