Does your church have a Scouting program?

Scouting is indisputably America’s most successful youth program. Since 1916, Scouting has trained young men and women to grow, to learn and to obtain skills that serve them for the rest of their lives. A cornerstone of the Scouting program is a commitment to the prominence of God in one’s life as evident in the pledge to “do my duty to God,” a central point in the Scout Oath.

Such a program can be extremely beneficial in providing outreach opportunities to a church or religious congregation. By providing ageappropriate ministries, Scouting encourages boys and, in the Venturing program, girls to develop leadership skills, good character, an attitude of service, respect for the rights of others, a religious way of life, and many other noteworthy personal attributes. The program can even help the unchurched to begin to understand their need for God.

Not only does the Scouting program benefit the youth but also adults. It has been proven to build and strengthen family ties because parents play an  important and active role. Churches have witnessed new families becoming active by offering an opportunity for service and leadership for those who may not be actively engaged in other church programs. The Scouting training programs, with their emphasis on leadership and moral values, also provide churches with new faith-based leaders.

Scouting can be a wealth of opportunity to your congregation not only in the few ways already mentioned, but many more including providing facilities, programming options and even general liability insurance. And, one may ask at what cost to the church? As a chartering organization, the church provides a place to meet and selects its own leadership to direct the Scouting program for youth in its own best interest as long as it is in keeping with the stated principles of Scouting.

Call your local Volunteer Service Center today to find out more about how to enjoy positive results when Scouting is an integral ministry of your church’s youth program.

Presented by Dr. Thompson M. Faller, Vice President for Religious Relationships

Dr. Thompson M. Faller, Vice President for Religious Relationships for the Pacific-Cascade Council, BSA, is professor at the University of Portland and for the Russian Nurses Association. Dr. Faller is a member of numerous boards and committees including the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Educaton Association, the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, the Providence System Institutional Review Boards, Chair of the Providence Privacy Board, a Medical-Ethical consulant and visiting professor  for the OHSU Animal Care and Use Committee, the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, and is a Knight of Malta.

[ Originally published in the summer 2007 edition of CPC Times. ]

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