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Well, I think that he lost his ecumenical spirit when he hinted that the approach the catholic instructor was taking was like being a bit of a Pharisee....

I know, Beavah is just one of those lovable commishy types that keep right on yammerin' while you show him the door.

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And why is ANYONE discussing how a faith administers their own award, which is NOT a BSA award, but is only "approved" for wear on the uniform?


If the faith wishes to "teach" the award, that is their thing, not ours. The faith defines the requirements for the award, BSA has no say in how it is learned/counseled/proven.


Worksheets, booklets, research essays, sessions with the pastor/rabbi/minister, none of these things are items for outside discussion to my mind. These are for the faith (and it's liaison with BSA) to determine.

Now, whether the faith itself is acceptable to the BSA, there's another thread; but I won't start it.


Ya, Camilam42 might have come off as "a little rough" on Beavah, but her defensiveness was politely appropriate IMHO.

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C42: Just trying to be "inclusive" , I guess. I had a fifty/fifty chance. :-) My apologies.


Still, how a particular faith addresses their religious award is ,to me, at least, much an academic exercise and of interest, but not really something for me to critique.

We did a "group" when I earned the "God and Country" waaay back when.

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And why is ANYONE discussing how a faith administers their own award, which is NOT a BSA award, but is only "approved" for wear on the uniform?


I think that is the right view of it. It doesn't necessarily need to conform to someones vision of 'scout spirit.' I'm pretty sure that in our district the protestant awards program is open to all youth, not just Scouts. John-in-KC can confirm or deny that claim.

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"I think most of the trained and experienced Scouters have at least some level of aversion to "merit badge classes" as being a generally weak thing to do. Yah, sure, we allow for it sometimes at camp, but even there we recognize it's a weakening of both the spirit and intent of the program."


Kinda having a bit of a hard time with bits of this.

I have in the past ranted on about my strong dislike about Merit Badge classes.

I have visited Troops where the entire Troop is either as a whole or broken down into different groups to work on the badge or badges of the week. - This just seems wrong to me.

But having said that I do believe that a lot of the skills that we pass on do need instruction.

While a lot of the time this instruction is done one on one, very often it can be done in a small group.

When you take a small group of Lads who want to find out about the joys of canoeing and you teach them the "J" stroke. Is this a class?

When I have a couple of Sea Scouts plotting a course and I'm watching over them is that a class?

My point is that sometimes classes are not all bad.




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Not being a Scout myself, my opinion is limited at best. But working with Cubs does...somewhat..present similar situations.



We might have a den meeting inside to show the boys different types of knots. Might have some posters, pictures, looking in the book, etc...


But at some point, we want to see the boys show they know them too. Now, I guess since I work with my Webelos son, I can't really say for the Tigers, Wolves or Bears.


But after going over the knots with the boys, we take them outside. Let them try a few applications. Maybe see what they do at the next campout.

Granted, our dining fly is actually a tarp pulled over a fitted aluminum frame. Uses those short bungie cord/ ball fastener thingys. But we let theboys taught line the frame to either stakes or cinderblocks.



I guess it comes to this: Teaching something in a class or class like setting would be okay if it isn't the end all to getting a badge.


At some point, the scouts should show some sort of practical outside aplication of it's use.


Kinda like driver's ed. Classroom to learn how to do it. Outside to practice ACTUALLY doing it.

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As WAKWIB posted, in our District we have a church that sponsors, across two counties, the PRAY curriculum for youth religious emblems. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are welcome to partake.


We run 8 sessions across 4-5 months. One of the things I like in the God and Church program, which I counsel, is we make worship, somewhere, anywhere, an element of the program. We get families in the door of churches to listen to God's Word.


Our target audience is unchurched to minimally churched families.


PRAY recognizes us as one of their highest producing programs in the Nation. The Heart of America Council is consistently first or second in the Nation for protestant youth religious emblems. My Roman friends conduct a parallel operation; I will have to check with them and see what their production is.


We also use traditional methods, of folks working with Pastors and Directors of Christian Education to make sure Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4-Hers get opportunities to earn these emblems. I'm the resource person for my parish on this.


Kids are learning about God. In many cases, they are getting their first systematic exposure to God. That's a good thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And why is ANYONE discussing how a faith administers their own award, which is NOT a BSA award


Because it's an interestin' scouting topic, and because we want to be helpful, eh?


The point I clearly didn't make very well is that what camilam was describing is contrary to what the National Catholic Committee on Scouting materials say about how their Catholic scouting awards are to be done. The Catholic awards program is very well aligned with the BSA program materials, eh? They're really quite good. If yeh do Parvuli Dei well, you're doin' cub scouting well. If yeh do Ad Altare Dei according to the expectations of the NCCS then you're doin' MB counseling well according to the policies of the BSA.


So camilam's local implementation is ignorin' the instructions from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (a group run by the national Catholic bishops conference) and the spirit and methods of the BSA programs at that level. That's their choice, of course... leastways, I think the local Catholic parishes can ignore what their governing body says to some degree. I support that they have the right to choose to do that.


I just don't think ignorin' the materials of both groups is goin' to get the outcomes that they want, eh? So I'm counseling 'em to try to use the Catholic Awards program as it's written. That seems reasonable to me.


No different with the LDS. In that case, their program materials do align with the way they choose to do Scouting in some ways. I've always supported that. The ability to modify the BSA program to suit the CO is a feature of scoutin'.


But when Gary_Miller shared some of the details of the implementation and what the stated LDS program goals were was where I had some difficulty. Given their stated goals, the way they were structuring their first year program didn't make sense to me, eh? It doesn't get 'em to their goals. Now, there may have been unstated goals which were more important than the stated ones, but I can't know that. So I inquired whether a local ward was allowed to try a different approach more in line with da BSA materials to see if it didn't do a better job for what they wanted.


Now, yeh may all disagree with me, and that's fine. Mrs. Beavah says she disagrees with me just so I don't get a big head. ;)


But there's somethin' to point out. When I'm suggesting/cajoling/offering criticism or feedback I'm doin' it to the individual who is offering the program and who is posting to the forums. To their face, so to speak, to try to get 'em to think about other ways they might use the program materials better.


That to me just feels better than the other practice of offerin' blistering criticisms of scouters who aren't "here" for "not following the program" based on the post of some disgruntled 3rd party. Quit the troop! They're awful! and all that noise. Talkin' behind the person's back, essentially. That's easier, for sure. Da person who isn't here to defend himself won't argue. But it just doesn't seem appropriate to me.


Though it is fun to see FScouter pokin' at me for suggesting someone else try following the program. :)



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Way back in my youth (The Protestant Days), I entertained the thought of possibly doing God & Country. I thought (Man, this looks tough. I don't know about tackling this on my own. Maybe if I had a few friends doing it with me, it wouldn't be so bad ". Guess what? I never did it.


Fast forward to my Catholic years. Both my sons did AD ALTERE DEI, and the youngest the Pope Pius XII. Son 1 went and did it with a friend & about 12 others. I attended a prayer service they did. That was my total involvement working 3-11 shift.


The younger one, I made sure I was off that night to make sure he had a way there. He had 8 in his program. About a month into his program, the mentor underwent an organ transplant, and yours truly was blindsided into the mentor position by the DCCS Chair.


Several fo the Scout expressed the fact that they felt they did learn more about their Catholic faith in AD ALTERE DEI then they did in CCD. I feel a lot of these Scouts would not do this program on their own. They are more at ease in a group setting. We also try and get some of the older Scouts to come back and help mentor the program. The younger ones are more prone to open up and discuss things more with the older Scout then us old geezers.


We also encourage the parents to stick around or the classes. Most parents also state that they have left knowing more about their faith then when they started sitting in.


I'm not fond of AD ALTERE DEI & POPE PIUS XII being in a classroom setting. I agree it appears to much like school. I have been trying to figure out a way to take part of he program out to a weekend camping retreat setting. (open for any suggestion on a new thread or by PM)


But as SSS states, it is a Faith based program set up by the specific Faith communities, and is available to any youth of the faith, not just Scouts. National only recogizes the award by allowing us to wear the medal

on the uniform. That is if National is willing to recognize that Faith's Emblem program (past thread).


Rambling thoughts of a

Council Religious Relations Chair



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Hiya ASM915,


Yah, I think there's the same temptation with the religious awards programs as there is with MB's, eh? The temptation to turn 'em into "classes" or "MB Universities" or such.


A friend sent me a copy of the page from the Ad Altare Dei counselor training that is titled "Counseling Techniques". Yeh might check it in your copy. It's really a great description of what MB counseling should be like. So da actual program materials for Ad Altare Dei instruct counselors to treat it like MB counseling. There can be some group sessions, but it's meant to be small, friendly, personal. Not CCD.


So I'm just tryin' to nudge folks to try to do it that way, eh? Yah, yah, I know. The large majority of MBs these days come from group classes. So it's no surprise that da religious emblem folks are doin' the same school-like thing. But that doesn't mean I can't be an advocate for the more authentic Scouting Way, eh? ;)


Da Pope Pius medal for Venturers/High Schoolers is a bit different, though, since that requires group discussion. But it's supposed to be group discussion as I understand it, not teaching/lecture.


Again, I'm not one of those papist fellows, so I don't have an insider's perspective on this. But we do have a lot of Catholic units in these parts, and I do look in on religious award sessions and ceremonies in my role of bein' a friend to the units. Plus a good friend is a Jesuit attorney and canon lawyer, and you know how those Jesuits can be ;).




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Beahvah, one of the problems I'm running into in our DCCS is having to work around the octagenarians entrenched in their ways. one good thimg is that we have not had the problem of priests steppingv up and demanding that we do this or that with the classes held at their parishes. We have encouraged them as IRs to step up and politely ask the SM "how many of our Scouts have worked on their Religious Emblems Award? Oh really!! Why haven't they? Can this be pushed as a Troop improvement this year since a SCOUT IS REVERENT?" Then again, that is a goal that I would like to set for all our religious oriented CO's.


As for POPE PIUS XII, it is run as a discussion groupn while the AD ALTERE DEI is more out of the book. YUCK!!! But unfortunately that is how it's set up. My friends in the Diocese of Columbus (DOY)(Love thae one), run an AD ALTERE DEI weekend, & a POPE PIUS XII weekend at a state park. They cover some items. Scouts have to have project ideas to present to the counsellors. Not a big project, but a decent. If it's a shabby one, back to the drawingboard. They the meet with the counsellor a few more times. Our DIOCESAN COMMITTEE ON SCOUTING CC is appalled at the idea, has to be a class setting.


Counsel wise we have a nightmare when it comes to the Catholic church we have to deal with five dofferent Dioceses over two states. Makes life interesting.

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As a matter of protocol and a request....


Please do not use the term "Papist."


It is a pejorative and it is insulting to Catholics. It is an anti-Catholic slur which was coined during the English Reformation. As a faithful Catholic, I would appreciate it if you did not use it any further.


Thank you.

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In the same spirit, I would respectfully ask you to avoid making statements such as the following:


"For Catholics, the Catholic perspective on religion is how we are to form our consciences. Not the other way around, which is how many Protestant communions view it."


Most Protestant theologians would agree with the proposition that you advance as being uniquely Roman Catholic.


You know to an absolute certainty what you believe, and I know to an absolute certainty what I believe. But I do not know exactly what you believe, nor do you know exactly what I believe.


It often makes conflicts superficially easier to resolve if I can first decide what you believe, and then refute it. It's easy, but it's not being Trustworthy, nor is it bearing true witness. If you strive to always bear true witness, then it's easy to avoid bearing false witness. :)

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