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John-in-KC

Get Ready For New Requirements In Faith

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Let's be fair. 

With all due respect Morzart, I can't read your stuff. Anyone who goes off ranting about scout leaders looking to "ambush" scouts is not quite right to me. I've been around this scouting stuff a long enough to know what is real and what is made up. I admit my weakness of lacking patience, so you'll have to forgive me that I am not giving any credence to your ridiculous hypothetical analogies which contribute absolutely nothing to the discussion. I enjoy intellectual discussions, but I'm a bit pragmatic and rather start from a practical starting place of common reason. Not far out extreme what-ifs intended more to get attention. Have you ever been to an EBOR? 

 

 

Have a great scouting day

 

Barry

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Slightly off topic: Last night at our council membership committee meeting, our field services director called out the changes to the newest version of the adult application.  Now any new adult volunteer will have to initial next to several sentences saying s/he understands that s/he'll have to undergo a background check, won't sue BSA, and has read the Declaration of Religious Principles and will adhere to all BSA policy.  

 

I really don't see BSA backing down on the Duty to God part of Scouting.  As many have said before, we don't have to change what we've already been doing in our SM conferences.  Helping other people at all times, doing a good turn daily, and being reverent are all part of doing your duty to God, in my opinion.  As for me, I personally don't intend to sit a Scout down and ask him how often he goes to church.  I'm going to continue to do my SM minutes about being a good person and helping out, and I'm going to ask a Scout how he has lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his daily life.  Boom.  Done.

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I was looking for some statement made in some official BSA documentation something about a boy choosing a rock as their higher power and that would be fine.. I know I had found it once or twice in the past, but couldn't today (so if anyone knows where it is, maybe they can post it.)

I am pretty certain that the statement you are looking for has never been made in any official BSA publication or document. The statement you are talking about was made by a BSA spokesman, either in an interview with a newspaper reporter that was published in a newspaper article (in which case, who knows whether it was accurately quoted), or in a press release.

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What kind of open ended questions do people ask boys to get them to talk about Reverent or Duty to God? Do you preface it with anything? For example: "I'm not here to tell you what to believe" or "different people have different ideas about this."

 

Just as in first aid we shouldn't go beyond our training, but I don't mind the intent of these "changes." The only change I see is national micromanaging things.

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What kind of open ended questions do people ask boys to get them to talk about Reverent or Duty to God? Do you preface it with anything? For example: "I'm not here to tell you what to believe" or "different people have different ideas about this."

 

Just as in first aid we shouldn't go beyond our training, but I don't mind the intent of these "changes." The only change I see is national micromanaging things.

 

"How have you lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your daily life?"  ;)

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What kind of open ended questions do people ask boys to get them to talk about Reverent or Duty to God? Do you preface it with anything? For example: "I'm not here to tell you what to believe" or "different people have different ideas about this."

 

Just as in first aid we shouldn't go beyond our training, but I don't mind the intent of these "changes." The only change I see is national micromanaging things.

"What is your definition of the 12th point of the Scout Law?"

 

"How do you live the 12th point of the Scout law in your daily life?" 

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I am wondering if the BSA is going to provide training to Scoutmasters on how to deal with certain answers that they might receive, for example, "I don't know if there is a God." I know that some SM's have to deal with that already, and on occasion someone has reported such an event in this forum and we have talked about it. But the fact is that there are many SM's who do not discuss the subject of "Duty to God" in SMC's, and I am pretty sure my troop's SM is one of them. Now National is requiring all SM's to do so. So maybe National needs to train the SM's on how to deal with the consequences. The example I give above is just one of a number of possibilities that could leave an SM wondering what to do next.

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With all due respect Morzart, I can't read your stuff. Anyone who goes off ranting about scout leaders looking to "ambush" scouts is not quite right to me. I've been around this scouting stuff a long enough to know what is real and what is made up. I admit my weakness of lacking patience, so you'll have to forgive me that I am not giving any credence to your ridiculous hypothetical analogies which contribute absolutely nothing to the discussion. I enjoy intellectual discussions, but I'm a bit pragmatic and rather start from a practical starting place of common reason. Not far out extreme what-ifs intended more to get attention. Have you ever been to an EBOR? 

 

 

 

Have a great scouting day

 

Barry

 

I have seen someone identifying them self as a SM on the Scouting forum say that they would not allow a non-Christian to be a Scout because the BSA says duty to God. So it might be a rare thing but it will happen, heck there are plenty of troops where the adults do everything they can to control the scouts now.

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Yeah ... BSA is being bone-headed and dumb.  It will hurt the program and the membership.  Even worse ... this expansion will result in fewer adults of faith.  

 

You can't force a belief.  I am Catholic and live in a state that a few years ago had strong pushes by the Church to remind people continually about the evils of abortion and same-sex marriage.  All it did was drive people away.  It took our nuns to shame the leaders by stating their role was to take care of those in need and not to be public advocates for political positions.  ... The Church has not changed it's beliefs, but it seems to be focusing more now on serving the needs of others, both faith and physical needs.  The Church got side-tracked by huge political fights and it hurt the Church badly.  

 

It's the same thing with BSA.  Many teenagers are not sure on their faith beliefs and test out atheism.  If you ask them, many that are loosely grounded will make a poor choice and we lose them.  Many families that are not rooted will be lost too.  

 
SO THEN .... What happens when the person is 20+ and has problems?  What happens when they lose their job or one of many critical life events?  What happens when they are at their parents death bed?  What will happen when that man is facing his own death?  Will he pray?  
 
I believe young people are influenced by their surroundings.  In scouting, there is prayer and talk of the importance of reverence.  And, I'd hope the scouts see prayers before meals and at ceremonies.  And, I hope scouts meet in churches and such.  I hope the scouts have chances to associate with people of faith.
 
It is the "association" with those of faith that is important.  
 
These new requirements have nothing to do with helping youth develop reverence.  They are using God in a political battle and it's shameful.
 
A very special man I respect greatly once said  "What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?" ... We believe faith is important and rightly so.  ... But to be meaningful ... we need to preach to more than those already in the flock.  
 
Worse yet, many people who love Scouting will be forced ... including myself ... to tell people to skirt that part ... to minimize ... to ignore.  I will do it, but what does that tell our scouts and our scouting families.  It's a sad and damages the program.  But, otherwise our pack will need to fold soon if we keep telling people they don't match our membership requirements.  
 
=========================================
 
Scouting has always been "faith friendly" and not 
 
Scouting needs to serve everyone ... and hopefully as a result of an example set ... we will have many adults re-discover faith because they saw the example during their scouting years.
Edited by fred johnson

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Hopefully those units that are going to be over the top controlling on the issue of religion have already been doing that, and the boys have either chosen to live with it or walk away, let us hope this change does not give them a feeling they have more license to harass.. Which leaves the units that have stayed away from this topic and left it to the family.. If uncomfortable today, they will be uncomfortable tomorrow to broach the subject regardless of BSA saying now you gotta do it.. So, yes.. I hope there is some training offered.. Maybe not an official BSA training ever SM must take, but more a topic offered at a Scouting University, or a Scouting Kickoff, or some informal training offered to adults while at summer camp with there scouts in tow, who have nothing to do while the scouts are off doing merit badges..

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 But the fact is that there are many SM's who do not discuss the subject of "Duty to God" in SMC's, and I am pretty sure my troop's SM is one of them. .

Are you sure about that? Ask him and report back to us to how he advises duty to God. 

 

Matt, part of the question depends on age, maturity and life experiences. Ask a 11 or 12 year old if he understands duty God and reverence. Their general answer is something to the tune of "I don't know". Depending on the answer, a good suggestion is refer to ask his parents. Then ask him what they said at your next conference. God is a personal thing instilled and/or supported by the families, so families are the place for him to ask questions.

 

For the older scouts, ask them how they view the spiritual part of the oath and law to their scouting experience. They usually have pretty good answers once they have time to think about.

 

As for scouts who aren't sure, be careful not to confuse "I never thought about it" with "I'm not sure there is a god". Even kids of atheist parents haven't really thought about it. Again refer them to their parents or maybe even the scout law if you know parents aren't available. If you ever run into that one scout who doesn't believe in any higher power or whatever, don't be the one to remove him because these things change in us as we experience life. I don't really think anyone would, I have yet to meet a SM who said they would kick a scout out for not believing in god, That is the real world. Still, their is that requirment, so instead meet with the whole family together and explain that some kind of acknowlegement of spirituality is a requirement for Eagle. At some point the "scout and his parenst" must make a choice to how they want to deal with that. 

 

 

The naysayers here color this issue as a scary monster waiting to jump a scout and make him cry, but in reality it's one of the easiest subjects for adults because you aren't looking for any specific answer. We just are guides toward reflecting to their experience of the oath and law. However, don't ignore the subject completely because he would feel ambushed at the EBOR. 

 

It is strange to me that folks take this to the dark extreme, but I take comfort in that many of the forum participants here are not typical of the real world scouters. Still, from my experience demonstrating Scouting Spirit is the number one cause of families deferring to Council and National for their son's Eagle when the unit refuses to approve the scout. Scout Spirit is pretty important, but I found that usually the blame of these differences are caused by the SM because they neglected guiding the scout on the subject. That is why it is important for the SM to be thorough in reviewing a scout over the years along with the BOR. They are a check on each other and can save a lot of hassle from the scout who doesn't appear worthy and shows up at the SM's door with a lawyer. Scouts should get a review of all the points of the law and oath sometime in his scouting career.

 

Barry

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... hit send too soon ...

 

Scouting has always been "faith friendly" and should never be "faith based".  Scouting does it's Duty To God by serving everyone, not just those already in the flock.

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  Eagledad .... I do many boards of review.  I can guarantee you I'll leave to  the scout's church and/or his family.  I'm sure out scoutmaster will too as we've talked about it.  And when I train others, I'll recommend it too.  

 

Most leaders are not pastors or counselors or prepared for the nuances of the discussion.

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I have seen someone identifying them self as a SM on the Scouting forum say that they would not allow a non-Christian to be a Scout because the BSA says duty to God. So it might be a rare thing but it will happen, heck there are plenty of troops where the adults do everything they can to control the scouts now.

Of course, but should advice or policy be given to the rare extreme actions, or the common scenario. For every one bad example, there are a thousand good ones. So it's not fair to categorize the general population from the example of one. Even worse is to categorize from fantastic made up analogies.

 

I have seen a lot of EBORs, I have never once seen a EBOR where a scout wasn't given the highest respect even when he was marginal in his answers. These board members go into every review thinking they will pass the scout and have zero intention to push him in a corner. They do a good job with honor and should be respected as such.

 

Barry

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  Eagledad .... I do many boards of review.  I can guarantee you I'll leave to  the scout's church and/or his family.  I'm sure out scoutmaster will too as we've talked about it.  And when I train others, I'll recommend it too.  

 

Most leaders are not pastors or counselors or prepared for the nuances of the discussion.

 

That is your opinion, thanks.

 

Barry

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