Scouting Chaplain Saves the Day at Jamboree 2017


Imagine going to one of the nation’s top youth events with one your friends and then getting lost in the crowd. You’re by yourself as thousands of others your age pass by you, and you don’t know where to go.

Scouting Chaplain Saving the Day

Kenneth Steppe, a Jamboree chaplain for the National Scout Jamboree 2017, had such an experience helping a lost Scout at this year’s Jamboree.  

“The first boy I ran across was clearly not having a good day. He was sitting on a bench, which was unusual because there were thousands of kids passing back and forth. I sat down, chatted with him and found out he had lost his buddy and wasn’t having any fun; so, I got him to whitewater rafting in time. I also found out he had been away from his faith and his church for a long time. We talked about his faith, and because of my interfaith background I was able to talk to him in doctrinal terms and got him directed to ongoing sub-camp worship services available here.”

The Role of a Scouting Chaplain

Per the BSA website, Scouting chaplains like Steppe, not only help Scouts in need, but they also help add a spiritual tone to troop meetings and campouts. Additionally, Scouting chaplains can provide spiritual counsel when requested or needed.

When describing his role helping struggling boys at National Jamboree, Jeff Fisher, another 2017 Jamboree chaplain said this, “Listen, mostly what we do is listen and try not to render judgments, but just listen.” 

Scouting Chaplains Helping at Jamboree

Each year over a dozen chaplains, like Steppe and Fisher, volunteer their services to the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. Chaplains represent a variety of different faiths but do not proselytize.

Instead, they are there to be friends to Scouts and leaders, and to encourage both groups in their Scouting endeavors. Chaplains can also help Scouts develop their relationship with God through interfaith meetings.

Whether it’s to be a friend, help a lost Scout rekindle his faith, or even just listen, Scouting chaplains exemplify the Scout motto to “be prepared.” And although they might not wear capes, they are superheroes ready and willing to serve those in need.

Kimball Vaughn
Hi, I'm Kimball Vaughn and I'm a Super Super Senior studying PR at BYU. During my first five years at BYU I've been an avid exercise enthusiast, chef, and adventurer.

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