Scouting is a well-known venue that has engaged young men throughout the country for more than 100 years. Members of Scout units can range in age from kindergarteners to college age. Episcopal and Anglican congregations are a significant supporter of Boy Scout units (more than 1100 units at the end of 2017).
There has been an Episcopal presence at National Scouting Activities for as long as
Scouting has been in the United States. Today, three areas, in particular, stand out:
- Every four years the Boy Scouts gathers Scouts from all over the world at a National Jamboree. At the Jamboree:
- There is an Episcopal Eucharist on Sunday during the Jamboree.
- Episcopal priests and deacons have served as Jamboree chaplains
- A display is available to introduce Jamboree participants to the Episcopal Church and its Anglican traditions.
- Episcopal Scouting is represented on the National Boy Scout Religious Relationships Committee by two Brothers. This way the Brotherhood is able to bring an Anglican perspective to how the Boy Scouts interpret their Duty to God.
- The Brotherhood and the Boy Scouts have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on October 17, 2016. The agreement is designed to increase Brotherhood participation in Scouting and to create more Scout units in Episcopal and Anglican churches.
What can Brothers do to get involved with Scouting? Some ideas include:
- Serve as a mentor for one or more of the religions awards available to Scouts through the God and Country program.
- Serve as an adult leader for the Scout unit chartered to your congregation.
- Encourage your congregation, or your Chapter, to charter one or more Scout units. Many congregations charter only one, of a possible four (different units are targeted to different age youth), Scout unit. By chartering additional units synergy between the units can develop so the Scouting experience is better for all youth.
- An Assembly Scouting Committee could advise the Bishop on worthy recipients of Scouting’s adult religious Award, the St. George medal.
Episcopal Scouting by Robert Rapp is a compilation of resources relevant to Episcopal Scouting. Some of the content is a bit dated but there is still much of use.
The Philmont Protestant Worship Book is used by crews at Philmont for their services.
Duty to God from Program Features provides resources on how to integrate a Scout’s Duty to God into a Unit’s program.
The Memorandum of Understanding is the agreement between the Brotherhood and the Boy Scouts of America that describes how each organization will mutually support youth.
Religious Awards in Scouting provides manuals for both Scouts and their adult mentors for the four awards available in Scouting’s God and Country program. The manuals can be downloaded as a resource for any Scout interested in earning one of the awards.
Religious Awards in Scouting
Scouting offers youth the opportunity to be recognized as they learn more about their faith tradition through the four God and Country awards. The Episcopal awards are based on our understanding of the sacraments. Brothers can serve as adult mentors to help Scouts earn the award appropriate for their age. The links below allow a Scout and their adult mentor to download the manual with the requirements for each of the God and Country awards.
Baptism (God and Me) is the introductory award in the Episcopal series of awards in the God and Country program. The award is targeted for youth in grades 1 through 3: Tiger, Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts and Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts. As they earn the award, Scouts learn about Baptism and how it is the ‘entrance’ into the family of God – the Church.
Scout Manual: Link to Scout Manual for Baptism
Mentor Manual: Link to Mentor Manual for Baptism
Holy Communion (God and Family) is the second award in the God and Country program. This award is the second level for the Scout as they learn more about their Duty to God. It is targeted for Scouts in Grades 4 through 6: Webelos 1 and Webelos 2 Cub Scouts and Girl Scout Juniors. As they earn this award, Scouts learn about the Eucharist and giving thanks to God for what Jesus did and does for us.
Scout Manual: Link to Scout manual for Holy Communion
Mentor Manual: Link to Mentor manual for Holy communion
Confirmation (God and Church) continues the God and Country Program. This award is targeted foe members of Scouts BSA from age 11 through age 14 and Cadette Girl Scouts. Through earning this award Scouts learn about making a mature commitment to Christ by confirming their faith in Christ to a Bishop.
Scout Manual: Link to Scout manual for Confirmation
Mentor Manual: Link to Mentor manual for Confirmation
Relationships (God and Life) is the award in the God and Country program for the oldest Scouts (Scouts BSA 15-18 and Venturers or Senior Girl Scouts). In the Episcopal Church, marriage is the celebration of a relationship between two people. However, there are many other kinds of relationships: family, friends, coworkers, etc. Scouts learn about many kinds of relationships, both positive and negative, so they are better prepared for adulthood.
Scout Manual: Link to Scout manual for Relationships
Mentor Manual: Link to Mentor manual for Relationships