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mrkstvns

Grace before meals

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I've never been a scout campout where meals didn't begin with a pause to say grace.

Some scouts use a standard form of grace followed by their family or church.  Some scouts like to make up their own free-form grace, fitting their prayer to the place and moment. Some scouts use standard forms of grace they get from BSA camps.  

Here are the 5 most common BSA graces heard throughout scouting...

Philmont Grace
For food, for raiment
For life, for opportunity
For friendship and fellowship
We thank thee, O Lord

Sea Base Grace
Bless the creatures of the sea.
Bless this person I call me.
Bless the Keys, You make so grand.
Bless the sun that warms the land.
Bless the fellowship we feel,
As we gather for this meal.

Summit Grace
For this time and this place,
For Your goodness and grace,
For each friend we embrace,
We thank Thee, Oh Lord.

Northern Tier Grace
For food, for raiment,
For life and opportunity,
For sun and rain,
For water and portage trails,
For friendship and fellow ship,
We thank Thee, Oh Lord.

OA Grace
For night alone that rests our thought
For quiet dawn that lights our trail
For evening fire that warms and cheers
For each repast that fuels our work
We give thanks, O Lord.


 

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When I was a scout, our patrol never said anything prior to eating. We only witnessed this practice at Council wide events.

In my roles over the years as a scouter, most of the time a meal blessing was done was at the direction of an adult. Usually "reminding" the scouts they do it.

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3 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

When I was a scout, our patrol never said anything prior to eating. We only witnessed this practice at Council wide events.

In my roles over the years as a scouter, most of the time a meal blessing was done was at the direction of an adult. Usually "reminding" the scouts they do it.

Perhaps grace is more common in those units chartered by a church or temple. 

Grace is definitely said in my son's troop (chartered by a catholic church), and the boys just do it as a matter of routine.

When I was growing up though, my troop was chartered by the school's PTA. We didn't say grace unless an adult "reminded" us...

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Which goes to a look at the troop chaplain and chaplains aide roles.  Too often, the plain old Phimont grace is used even though no one knows what raiment is.  We would be in lot of trouble without raiment.  In the bible belt of the south, I've only heard a free-form, or "in your own way, by your own beliefs" we now have a minute for a blessing.

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I've emphasized it with our scouts because our CO is religious and most of the scouts' parents are religious. There's usually one scout in every patrol who won't mind offering a blessing in his own words.

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When I was on staff at Camp Ransburg (CAC, 1980), a staff member said grace before each meal and another lead a song after each meal.

This was at the front of the dining hall for the entire camp! 

 

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At a Troop level,  in my experience as both a kid and as an adult, a prayer before the meal sometimes happened and sometimes not.  There was always some type of Sunday morning gathering on campouts where prayers would be said.

Summer camp was quite a different story. "Grace" was and is said before every meal.  

There are a couple of favorites from my youth.  At camp we would often sing (as a group of about 500 people in the dining hall) an old Methodist hymn:
"Be present at our table, Lord, Be here and ev'ry where adored, These mercies bless, and grant that we May feast in Paradise with Thee."

When I was on staff as a kid, I really loved when one of my brother staff-men would give the prayer in the dining hall.  He was Jewish, and would do the prayer in Hebrew and give the translation:
Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, hamotzi lehem min ha'aretz. 

Translation: "Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth."

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