Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
True Believer

Religious services on overnight trips

Recommended Posts

As Sandspur noted, I think you may be over thinking "out of obedience to the BSA youth protection mandate"

 

The rule is two deep leadership on outings, and no one-on-one contact. Two adult leaders are not locked at the hip everytime scouts are present. A single adult can take a group of scouts to a service where there are others present as part of the over all outing without violating YP requirements. This is no different than a single adult driving a group of scouts to any other location/event.

 

SA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to mandate church services if you can't make it back on time on Sunday, then you need to meet the need for all the scouts in your troop. Again, this goes back to being chartered to a Presbyterian church. I'd say it's reasonable for any parent to assume that would imply that meeting the Sunday requirement would involve attending a Presbyterian church while traveling, and that additional arrangements would need to be made to accomodate the needs of other religions, not vice versa.

 

As for the parents who need to come camping so you have enough adults on Sunday or find another troop, it's the troop's responsibility (or more accurately the committee chair's responsibility) to get the adults they need to run the program. You want the parents to step up? There's an old saying involving flies, vinegar and honey which comes to mind. Actively recruit the parents, don't hand them ultimatums, or you may ulitmately find yourself in a 100% Catholic troop chartered to a Presbyterian church.

 

Or, as I said in my first post and Beavah said later on, you could always form a new unit chartered to a Catholic organization.(This message has been edited by nolesrule)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand the issue with Catholics and having to attend church. I don't think attending a non-Catholic church or participating in a Scouts Own service will cover the Catholic requirement. I don't think the Presbyterian CO would have too many complaints about the Presbyterian Scouts attending a Catholic church. After all, they were attending church.

 

Tradition or not, if this is driving a wedge in the Troop, something should be done to remove the wedge. Maybe hold a Scouts Own service on Saturday night & for those who that won't "cover", let the families deal with the issue when their son returns home on Sunday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True Believer wrote:

This is not an easy issue. It is not one that can be wished away by a Scouts Own Service

But, with respect, I think it is an easy issue. You are misreading the letter and intent of two deep leadership and creating an issue where none need be.

There is nothing to prevent the Catholic scouts who desire to do so attending Mass with one or more adults. No need for two. The adults are never alone with scouts in a one-one-one setting or in a compromising situation.

There is nothing to prevent other scouts (Catholic or otherwise) attending a non-Catholic or non-denominational service IF THEY DESIRE and are permitted to by their beliefs with one or more adults. No need for two.

There is nothing to prevent scouts remaining outside the church in an open, public area with multiple scouts and one (preferably two) leaders.

So, if you have ten scouts and three leaders, five scouts can attend the Mass with two leaders and the remaining leader can take the other five scouts to a Protestant church. Just an example.

The only issue I can see is if ALL adult leaders are Catholic and ALL insist they must attend THAT particular Mass. In that case, the non-Catholic scouts should not be left alone and might have to attend the Mass. I am not qualified to speak on the issue of a requirement to attend Sunday Morning Mass with no acceptable alternative. I can only say none of the Catholic scouters I have worked with for years ever brought it up in our troop. I believe you when you say it is an issue for some of your folks.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the more memorable events of my brief career as a cub was going on Scout Sunday to a Catholic service (Our CO was a Catholic church) where probably 3/4 of the boys were protestant. In retrospect, it was very odd having our DL pull us out of line to get communion, but at the time, it was very odd, because at that age I just couldn't process the idea of a church where only members were allowed to receive communion.

 

It's definitely an area where people should tread lightly, lest they step on someone's toes inadvertently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So long as you have two or more scouts together, you would only need one adult for each sub-group. The purpose is to have no one-on-one contact between adults and scouts. The exceptio being a scout can be one-on-one with their own parent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys raise a good point about overthinking the 2 deep rule. If one adult leader is present but not alone with the scout(s), there is no YP problem. I can't believe that we all (here) have overlooked such a simple matter.

OK. I have more than enough here to go to the Committee and have the policy changed to something more reasonable. Again, thank you all very much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on guys, this isn't rocket science. The Chartered Organization is Presbyterian, it's only fair that's where they attend. If somebody is going to pull the argument that he, or his child, does not want to attend there; and you do not have 4 adults (2 for the service, 2 for chaperoning the non-attenders) then it's not really an option anymore and nobody goes to church. All the better reason to be home early enough they can go to their own congregations, or maybe even be home Saturday night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I agree and have already mentioned the choice of which church they should attend, as has been pointed out only 2 (and not 4) adults are needed for the scenario you describe under youth protection guidelines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A solution may be gained by allowing boys to compromise together.

 

If you have twelve scouts in your troop, and go on 6 outings a year that require you to attend church, You could let the boys form "groups" and let each group have a say. If you divide the boys (4 Prot and 8 Catholic) into 6 groups, you will go to the Protestant Church 2 Times, and the Catholic Church 4 times, which accomadates your troop on two grounds:

 

1. Members are taken to a religious experience that they believe, and are given a chance to experience the beliefs of others

2. Still preserves the 'majority rules' mentality where the troop does what the majority wants to do, the majority of the time

 

 

 

HOWEVER, I personally question the decision of taking boys who went camping over the weekend to church before they have a chance to go home.

 

They are tired and dirty after two days, and probably do not want to dress up in their uniform and get it dirty just for church. You have experienced so much resistance because the leaders are tired and want to get back home to their families. The scouts want to shower.

 

Possibly you could just allow the adults that insisted that their scouts attend early church pick them up early? I know this may (on far out campouts) cause mommy to drive 3 hours round trip, but if church is REALLY that important for them, mommy will do it. In fact, the mommies can collaborate and even carpool the kids. It IS better to make 1 parent drive three extra hours than to make 15 people sit through an hour of something they would rather not be at.

 

And Finally reference back to the poster that said making scouts do a prayer at meals is hard enough. Agreed. Scouts will not do that unless an adult is there supervising. And when they do, the "prayer" is generally funny, "Dear God, thank you that when Johnny tripped he did not land on the broken glass. Also, thank you that my team won in football today, and that SM has not found my hidden food stash in my tent. Thank everyone for attending to eat this food at 9:30 tonight. Lets Eat!" Again, a camout is generally faced paced, and the boys have stuff they want to do, this is understandibly the first thing dropped. In you don't do the prayer, nothing happens to you. If you don't pick your paper-towels off the ground, SM yells at your patrol and stops your game.

 

Did you ever consider that the scouts may have something that they want to do on Sunday, and that they need not sacrifice their remaining weekend free time to please one or two avid church attenders.

 

 

 

 

To sum up the long post, Just have one of the 'die-hard' church attending parents volunteer to take the 'die-hard' church attending kids to church, and leave earlier than everyone else if it is a problem. Do not disconvience the majority to convienence the minority.(This message has been edited by xlpanel)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the problem missing Mass, or missing Communion? If it is Communion, can not a Eucharistic Minister give Communion? Have one of the parents train as a Eucharist Minister, a give Communion to th RC scouts at the end of a Scouts Own as the Prot. scouts are leaving.

 

Ther other choice could be the round robin approach. This campout we attend a RC church, the next will be a Protestant church. If we have Jewish scouts, the synagogue will be on the third camping trip, etc. This way they can learn about different religions, and maybe come to reaslize that we all aren't that different. Just like a 10 Commandment Hike visiting a place of faith from several different religions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The scouts want to shower."

 

xlpanel's comment above is the most interesting bit in this thread. I'd like to meet these so-called Scouts in your troop who are so conscientious about being Clean! ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the choice, teenage boys will often take the path of least resistance. When we gave them an opportunity to get out of going to church, they took it. The form of taking this opportunity came when some Scouts (the Catholics) were told they were going to Mass, and the other Scouts would be doing a "Scouts Own" at camp. Suddenly there were a whole bunch of "Catholic" Scouts who really didn't have to go to Mass after all - allegedly their parents had told them they didn't have to go if they didn't want to. A frustrating experience for leaders after finding a church in the area, calling to verify Mass times, and setting up vehicles and drivers to take the Catholic Scouts to Mass.

 

After a couple of these experiences, we decided that if any went to Mass, we all went - Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We are very transparent in this and announce two-weeks before and then again a week before a camping trip that we will be attending a Catholic Mass either on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. We have had no non-Catholic Scouts, parents, or leaders raise any kind of objection to this.

 

Over the years we have shared Mass in tiny little old churches, huge brand new churches, and everything in between. Where ever we go, the congregations are always welcoming. Yes, we do smell like camp fire, and our uniforms are wrinkly, but the Scouts are respectful and reverent. The Catholic Scouts participate in communion, and the non-Catholics sit quietly. In some places we've been offered the use of flush toilets (a true blessing!), have filled our water containers, and have learned about local resources from friendly parishioners and priests.

 

We do not regret our decision that we all go to Mass. It's been a very positive experience for all of us to attend a church outside of our faith and away from home. It is a wonderful feeling to see the smiles of surprise and welcome on the faces of parishioners and priests when 30 Scouts, all in uniform, silently file into a small Church on a dark and stormy evening.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I got a chuckle too, shortridge.

 

Most overnight camps don't have shower facilities!

 

On one of our trips to Gettysburg on the way back to camp after we finished the Johnny Reb hike, we stopped at a Catholic church in Gettysburg to attend mass. This was on a Saturday night. Since we were a little ripe, we sat in the back. Boy did we get the stares from the people in church! You woulda thought we were a bunch of lepers! We had our Class A's on but we still had some trail dust on us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SM 224 writes:

After a couple of these experiences, we decided that if any went to Mass, we all went - Catholics and non-Catholics alike. We are very transparent in this and announce two-weeks before and then again a week before a camping trip that we will be attending a Catholic Mass either on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. We have had no non-Catholic Scouts, parents, or leaders raise any kind of objection to this.

 

SM224: If this works for your troop, more power to ya!

 

But I am curious, what would you do if, say, a Lutheran scout insisted that he had to attend a Lutheran service? Would you just allow that on a single case basis or stick to your policy and require all scouts to go to a Lutheran service? Or Methodist?, Orwell you get the idea.

 

This policy of if one goes, we all go can get out of hand real quick. As long as it works for you, great, but it just takes one objection to open the issue.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×