- Table Mountain Tent photo courtesy Jack Brauer, WideRange Photo, LLC
This twelfth day of a Scout Christmas reminds us to be Reverent. The Scout Law states that we should be reverent toward God and faithful in our religious duties.
The first snowfall also signals the advent of the holiday season. All of us come from different backgrounds and celebrate in a variety of ways; each of our traditions gives us an identity and a sense of belonging.
In the final part of the explanation of ‘a Scout is Reverent’ in the Scout Handbook, it states that a Scout needs to respects the beliefs of others. When we share our beliefs and traditions, and in turn accept others’ traditions, we expand our circle, helping all to feel like they belong.
Here, one Scouter shares how a series of outdoor experiences solidified his belief in God and His plan:
“In 1979 after completing the mile swim in summer camp in Arizona, I felt strong and capable. After a week at camp we had a final troop campfire and all bore their testimonies [of God]. I knew then.
“In 1980 while earning the Environmental Science merit badge in Arkansas, I appreciated nature for the first time and felt closer to my Heavenly Father. I knew then.
“In 1980 when my Scoutmaster told stories about his service in Vietnam and shared his witness of the Lord’s protection of him and his men, I felt the Spirit very strongly. I knew then.
“In 1981 while on a six-day canoe trip our supply canoe capsized on the second day and we lost half of our food in the river. Our Scoutmaster knelt and prayed with us that we would have enough food to finish the trip. We not only ate, we ate well. I saw that my Scoutmaster trusted the Lord and that prayers were answered. I knew then.
“In 1983 our Explorer post went on a backpacking trip. After eight days, mostly rainy ones, with waterlogged packs, blisters, and mosquito bites, we went home as young men who had conquered an incredible task. I learned self-reliance, preparedness, and teamwork. I knew then.¹
Whether we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or none of these, sharing valued traditions and holding true to what they stand for will help us understand others and build both tolerance and reverence toward thier beliefs.
We hope this 12 day journey toward Christmas has done that for you. No matter who we are or how we celebrate, we are all part of a great organization that has taught us to show respect for others and their beliefs, especially in the Holiday season this year.
As an editorial staff, in the last twelve days, we’ve tried to share our beliefs through these inspiring messages. We hope on this final day of our Twelve Days of a Scout Christmas that they have meant as much to you as they have to us.
If you missed any of the twelve, please look back at these daily messages of Scouts being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and, of course above all, reverent.
How did the Scout Law come alive for you this holiday season?
¹Selection taken from Brad Harris’s Trails to Testimony, pg 106-7.