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Religious services on overnight trips

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I'm with XLPAnel. I find the same thing, kids would like to get home and get some fresh cloths and a shower and some need a nap after ou campouts (Hikes, up late by the campfire etc). Leaders want to get home shower, change maybe a nap and be with the rest of the family before Monday and Work rolls around again. My wife is happy when we are back early enough that we can do some family stuff together and maybe I can get a project worked on at home.

We are up by 6 am on Sunday, break camp and wheels are rolling by 9, we are home by 10. Kids who's familys insist on making church pick them up and theri wishes are accomodated. I Once had a porpective scout who was crossing over from Webelos II and there was a lot of concern from the parent about church and services on Sunday. I told them we were back early enough to accomodate everyone. That wasn't good enough so I then offered his Son could be Cahplin Aid. That wasn't good enough. Then I suggested the father join as an adult leader and conduct what ever specialized service he was looking for. He backed away and insinuated I shoud be running a custome service for which ever demonination he and his son followed. I told him I was a volunteer, taking my time to run the troop, I had tried to accomodate him and non of my proposals were what he wanted, he basically wanted for me to add yet another thing on my to do list on campouts. When it was clear I wasn't going to provide what they alone wanted they decfided not to join. The son went into TiKwon Do and never joined any troop, he is happy and woring hard at that martial art and our troop continues to hum along. Religion is a touchy thing, it is hard enough to run a troop, I am not stepping into the religion hornet's nest. I leave it up to the parents and accomodate them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

"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. "



The following basic scout principles apply, not some vague idea of free time:


On my honor, I will do my best

TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD and my country

And to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.



Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, OBEDIENT, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and REVERENT.


A Catholic scout can only do the capitalized above if he attends Sunday Mass if at all possible (no need if in Philmont, a 3 day hike from civilization).







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Did you or did you not sign the DRP when you signed your adult leader app? Our mission as Scouters is to support the Aims and Methods of Scouting. The Values method includes faith. It's not for the parents to work out. It's for your PLC to figure out how to support the worship of God as part of the overall things they do, and support the families (and their brother Scouts) as they do it.


Welcome to tough challenges.

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You make an excellent case for units who wish to include religion as a major component to their program, should restrict membership to their particular faith. Like the LDS. If you want your scout to have that type of scouting experience, then seek out a unit that does that, hopefully chartered by your own church.


If you think religion belongs solely in the hands of the parents, then seek out a unit that supports that. But trying to blend different faiths and religious practices into a single religious centric program is more than just challenging.

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I didn't read anything in highcountry's post that suggested worship wasn't being supported.


I Once had a porpective scout who was crossing over from Webelos II and there was a lot of concern from the parent about church and services on Sunday. I told them we were back early enough to accomodate everyone.


I fail to see how that's not supporting this Scout's faith practices. A unit is under no obligation to import a member of the clergy to hold services at the campsite. Arriving home in time for each Scout to attend services seems more than sufficient to me. The DRP itself clearly states that religious life is the purview of the home and the family's religious institution, NOT the unit. Am I wrong, or misreading something?


Scouting is not exclusively a religious organization. If a family's faith and values call for strict worship service attendance at a certain time every week that simply can't be accomodated by the Scouting unit despite best efforts, for whatever reason, then perhaps Scouting isn't the right forum for that youth. It's the same for kids who don't like camping, or whose parents have an objection to wearing a paramilitary-like uniform, or don't agree with another of the aims or methods. The family and Scout has to decide what's most important to them.


As Gern said, it's a very complicated balancing act.

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I don't see a seperate signature line for the DRP. Reading the DRP (It has been years since I filled out an application so I have forgotten the wording since) I see nothing that requires the unit to provide religious services. I make it convenient for each family to provide the service of their choosing so I support it in that way. We are normally back early enough on Sunday and can accomodate everyone. The problem I had was one demanding parent that had to have something custom for his kid, and I tried a couple ways to accomodate. That wasn't good enough and he remained demanding, I was glad they never joined, he had clear warning signs of being a PITA, something I don't need more of when I am volunteering my time and energy. The other 30 some odd families were fine and dandy with the way things have been running, I'm not making major shifts to accomodate 1 complainer when the majority are good with how we run things.


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*sigh* It is never the duty of the unit to replace or establish the Scout's faith, however it may be expressed, either by the Scout or his family.


"Reverence to God and reverence for one's neighbour and reverence for oneself as a servant of God, is the basis of every form of religion. The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination. What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents' wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence, whatever form of religion the boy professes."


Robert Baden-Powell, Aids to Scoutmastership


If it is possible to remind the Scout of the beauty of creation and of it's Source, then do that. We will never obtain 100% agreement among ourselves on how to best recognize and acknowledge that beauty and our debt thereby. But to accomodate each Scouts individual requirements, and not seem too mushy in one's own faith, that is our challenge. If the Scout's family can't find some way to allow the Scout unit to make that acknowledgement, then, as has been said before, perhaps they need to find another unit.


Calling Father Mulcahy...


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