The Scout Law teaches, “A Scout is reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.” It is important that Scouts be taught to recognize the beliefs of other Scouts and to respect those beliefs.
Most Scout units have boys of mixed faiths or none at all. Those same units hold outings and activities that span weekends that should include an opportunity for members to meet their religious obligations.
A troop worship service should be conducted and all encouraged to attend. The troop chaplain aide and the troop chaplain (or other designated adult) should conduct these services.
When present, members of the clergy or chaplain aides may be asked to lead the troop or other Scouting groups in prayer. If the group consists of mixed beliefs, or if the beliefs of the group are unknown, then prayers should be of an interfaith content. However, if the group is of like belief, then it is entirely appropriate to offer belief-specific prayer.
If services for each faith group are not available, an interfaith worship service may be the solution. However, some religions have specific requirements based on their own beliefs that would not be fulfilled through an interfaith service, and this also needs to be considered in conducting a weekend outing.
When planning an interfaith service, it is recommended that scripture, prayers, hymns, and all other parts of the worship be considerate of everyone present—respectful of all religions.
Sample Interfaith Worship Service
Call to Worship: Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his!
We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
O Lord, our Heavenly father, we lift our hearts to thee at the beginning of this new day. We come to this time and place of worship with thy beauty all about us; in the sky, in the trees, in the earth, and in all thy creation. We praise thee, and come to worship thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, who gives us each new day. Amen.
Hymn: America the Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain.
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thorough-fare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.
Leader: A true and worthy person recognizes his obligations and does them without being watched or compelled.
Scouts: A Scout is trustworthy.
Leader: We owe much to many—to home, school, community, nation, and to God.
Scouts: A Scout is loyal.
Leader: The Good Samaritan showed the spirit of doing a Good Turn.
Scouts: A Scout is helpful.
Leader: A real friend is one who remains loyal in victory and in defeat.
Scouts: A Scout is friendly.
Leader: Courtesy is the mark of a true gentleman. It is shown in thoughtful acts and kindly respect for everyone.
Scouts: A Scout is courteous.
Leader: Kindness is the way people show respect for others.
Scouts: A Scout is kind.
Leader: Life is filled with things that we must do whether we like them or not. One of the marks of growing up is to willingly accept responsibilities.
Scouts: A Scout is obedient.
Leader: Our moods make our days. If we are grouchy, our day is gloomy. If we are happy, the day is always happier.
Scouts: A Scout is cheerful.
Leader: The world offers many gifts. A wise man uses them with care.
Scouts: A Scout is thrifty.
Leader: To each of us comes danger, difficult tasks, and temptations. When faced with a choice between courage and cowardice, we must be brave.
Scouts: A Scout is brave.
Leader: Cleanliness is next to godliness. To have a clean body, a clean mind, and a clean record is a rewarding achievement.
Scouts: A Scout is clean.
Leader: Character is determined by the things we worship. If we respect ourselves and our fellowmen, and see them as gifts of goodness from God, we live on a high plane.
Scouts: A Scout is reverent.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and grant you peace.