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scottteng

Worst/best Scout Sunday services

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Some Scout Sunday services are very educational and inspiring and the scouts seem to learn a lot others just seem to go over like a lead balloon. The best one I have been too was the one conducted by the local reform synagogue. The Rabbi had been a scout in his youth albeit in Canada and a scout leader early in his career. He had also had a secular career apart from being a rabbi and basically did an abbreviated service with a couple of short Hebrew readings and prayers along with showing us an old Torah which had been rescued from the holocaust. A short sermon which was mostly about his life and how much he enjoyed scouting and then opened up the floor to questions. Most of the attendees were cub scouts and they came up with some of the oddest questions which he cheerfully answered. I think most all of the scouts came away with more knowledge and a better appreciation of the Jewish faith. Most of the duddier ones seem to be those where the minister views the service as a opportunity to recruit for his church.

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The worst?

 

The services where scouts read from passages chosen because the were the first thing that their thumb hit. A few droning hymns. Nothing inspirational or motivating.

 

The best?

 

Philmont, we hiked into an open field after sunset. Each scout and scouter sat in a large circle, 20 to 30 feet from each other. Clear night. The service leader with a lantern stood in the middle and recited the Oath, Law, Outdoor Code. Then sat down in the lotus position, doused his light and stared at the stars. No instructions to us, we just followed suit and stared at the stars with him. Total silence. About 15 minutes later (heck it could have been 3 hours), he stood and walked the 30 minutes back to camp. We followed single file. No words, total silence.

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Some years back I was asked to prepare a Scout's Own Service for the people attending National Camp School.

I choose Peace as the theme.

I had a lot of poems that kids from troubled spots all over the world had written.

There were a lot of people, the room was big but not really big enough.

Being the good Scout I am, I had come up with two services, basically the same, but one was a little longer than the other.

As the service progressed I noticed that one Lady seemed deeply moved by the service. She was crying.

This put my ego into overdrive.

I thought that I had found my calling. -Thinking to myself how good I was! Needless to say I went with the longer of the two services.

When it was over a lot of people came up and said that I'd done a good job.

The Lady who I'd seen crying was leaving the room. So I went up to her and said how I hoped that she didn't find the service too much.

She said that her crying had nothing to do with the Scout's Own Service and that her daughter had just called to say that her cat had died.

I'll keep my day job!!

Eamonn.

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