Every year in Scouting we celebrate an event called Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath near February 8th, the anniversary of Scouting’s founding.  Here are three reasons why this event should figure prominently in your pack or troop calendar:

  1. You pay respect to your sponsoring institution. If your Pack or Troop is like the majority of units and sponsored by a faith-based institution, you can encourage your Scouts and families to attend services in uniform as a unit during the week of Scout Sunday, which is February 7th this year.  This shows your sponsor that your unit appreciates them not just as a sponsor but as a house of worship.  Your unit can take it a step further by doing a service project on your sponsor’s property and showcase pictures of it at a display table in the lobby after services.  This event also gives you a chance to do some recruiting from other parishioners.  Even if a Scout chooses to attend services at his own church or temple, on this one Sunday, he can be encouraged to do so in uniform.
  1. Work on faith-based requirements. In the evolving Scouting program, there are a growing number of requirements devoted to exploring faith, and the weeks leading up to Scout Sunday are a perfect time to complete these requirements.  In Scouting, a non-denominational organization, we leave it up to the parents or guardians to talk with each child about their family’s particular religious beliefs.  No family or Scout is ever pressured to attend services for an institution of a different faith, but many families do not regularly attend a religious institution anyway, and these requirements deliberately give them a chance to explore new ways to practice their faith.
  1. It’s good for the Scout’s soul. In the hectic pace of today’s life, many families don’t have a chance to even discuss their spirituality.  Many children grow up not practicing a faith at all and miss out on what could be an important part of their lives.  Giving families a chance to explore faith benefits parents and siblings of Scouts too.

One of the great values of Scouting is that it inspires families and children to explore areas of interest and areas of life that they might not otherwise encounter.  Understanding one’s spirituality is such a vital part of growing up to be an honorable adult; make sure your pack or troop takes every opportunity to make this great Scouting experience available.

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Dr. John Hovanesian
Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America, Dr. John Hovanesian, M.D., is a seasoned Scouter and blogger who shares tips and tricks to help your family get the most out of your Scouting experience.

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