THE SCOUTING MINISTRIES
Some United Pentecostal Churches have used scouting as a part of their church program for many years. We are now making an effort to make scouting available to all of our churches that would like to use it. We are going to develop a United Pentecostal Church program in as many Boy Scouts of America councils as is practical– considering the location and concentration of our churches. We will deal more with the organizational structure in a later paragraph. First let’s take a general overview of scouting.
A. The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide, for community organizations, a program that offers effective character, citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth.
B. To provide a wholesome activity with a Pentecostal atmosphere and standards for our children.
C. To provide opportunities for involvement in leadership training and character development.
D. To provide an outreach ministry of the church in reaching children for the Lord.
II. Religious Policy:
The Boy Scout Association does not define what constitutes belief in God or practice of religion. This is left to the chartering
organization or church. This gives our churches a Boy Scouts of America program with Pentecostal leadership, Pentecostal doctrine, and Pentecostal standards; a complete Pentecostal program.
III. Holding Young People:
The United Pentecostal Church of today is blessed with a good spiritual atmosphere for our young people. Yet there is a great need for wholesome activities that compliment and strengthen that atmosphere. Pentecostal scouting can do just that. If you do not gain one new person through scouting and yet through this program you bless and help and keep the youth you now have, it is a success. Our young people deserve the best help we can give them: enjoyable, helpful activities with a spiritual accent. Scouting will be for you what you make it, by your choice of leadership, and the priority level given it by pastor and church.
IV. Outreach Ministry:
He that winneth souls is wise! Scouting is another tool to be used by the church to win young people to the Lord. Often a young
person will come first to the scout troop, then to Sunday School and last to the church and the Lord.
V. Levels of Scouting:
In 1930, the Boy Scouts of America created a new opportunity for boys younger than Boy Scout age called Cub Scouting. A year-round, home-centered program used by chartered organizations, emphasizes involvement between boys and their parents,
adult leaders, and friends. In the multi-dimensional plan of the Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scouting is where it all begins. Currently, it is the largest of the Boy Scouts of America’s three membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Exploring.)
The program has the following purposes:
1. Influences a boy’s character development and spiritual growth.
2. Develops habits and attitudes of good citizenship.
3. Encourages good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body.
4. Improves understanding within the family.
5. Strengthens a boy’s ability to get along with others.
6. Fosters a sense of personal achievement developing new interests and skills.
7. Provides fun and exciting new things to do.
8. Shows a boy how to be helpful and do his best.
9. Prepares him to be a Boy Scout.
Any boy who has completed the second grade and is 7 through 10 years old may join a Cub Scout pack. He is then assigned to a den. Den meetings are held each week, usually in the afternoon at one of the boy’s homes, or at the church, under the supervision of a volunteer den leader. The leader is generally the mother or father of one of the boys. A den also may have an assistant den leader; a den chief, an older Boy Scout or Explorer who helps the leader with activities; and a denier, a Cub Scout elected by his peers who assists the den leader and den chief.
Like other phases of the Scouting program, Cub Scouting is made available to the church which becomes the charter organization. Each church appoints one of its members as a Scouting coordinator. The organization, through the committee, is responsible for leadership, the meeting place, and related materials for pack activities.
Groups responsible for supporting Cub Scouting are the boys and their parents, the pack, the chartered organizations, and the
community. The boy is encouraged to pay his own way by contributing dues each week. Packs also obtain income by working on approved money-earning projects.
Cub Scouting emphasizes learning by doing and includes a plan of advancement for each boy. The boy works on requirements based on his age.
Upon joining a pack, the boy’s parents teaches him his Bobcat requirements: learning the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack,
handshake, salute, sign, and motto.
If a Cub Scout is 7 or 8 years old and has completed the second grade, he may begin work on his Wolf achievements. There are 12.
When a Cub Scout is 9 years old or has completed the third grade, he begins working on his Bear achievements. Again, there are 12.
Webelos (pronounced I) is code for “We’ll Be Loyal Scouts.” After earning the Bear badge, a Cub Scout graduates with ceremony into a Webelos den. This is a special den for a boy who has reached age 10 or completed the fourth grade. The Webelos Scout program is more challenging to the older Cub Scout–in fact, he’s now called a Webelos Scout and wears a different kind of neckerchief and hat signifying his new status. Meetings are usually held in the early evening or on Saturday. His leader is a man assisted by other den fathers, and the den chief is older and more experienced than those serving Cub Scouts. Also, the Webelos Scout’s advancement is recorded by his Webelos den leader rather than his parent. He begins work immediately on the Webelos badge, which leads to the Arrow of Light Award, Cub Scouting’s highest honor. In addition, heaven earn 15 Webelos activity badges.
Apart from the fun and excitement of Cub Scout activities, there are a number of ideals expressed in the day-to-day life of the young boy and his leaders.
Cub Scout Promise:
I, (name), promise to do my best.
To do my duty to God and my country,
To help other people, and
To obey the Law of the Pack.
The Law of the Pack:
The Cub Scout follows Akela (his leader).
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.
The Cub Scout motto is, “Do Your Best.”
The Cub Scout colors are blue and gold. Blue signifies the sky, truth, spirituality, and loyalty. Gold stands for warm sunlight, good
cheer, and happiness. Together they symbolize what Cub Scouting is all about.
A Cub Scout pack may choose to organize a Tiger Cub group of 7-year-old youth and their adult partners. Each group is made up of 4 to 6 youth members. They meet as guests of the pack twice a year for the blue and gold banquet and graduation.
The pack selects a Tiger Cub group organizer who is trained by the district or council. This person conducts the organizational
meeting of 7-year-olds and adult partners and keeps a monthly contact with the group by phone.
The Tiger Cub program is on two levels. First, the boy and the adult meet in the home weekly to conduct activities for the whole family. Second, the boy and adult meet monthly with other Tiger Cubs in the group, using the monthly “Big Idea” for the activity. Each monthly group meeting is hosted by a boy and adult team.
The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide, for community organizations, a program that offers effective character,
citizenship, and personal fitness training for youth.
Boy Scouting, one of three membership divisions of the Boy Scouts of America, is available to boys who are at least 10.5 years old and have completed the fifth grade or who are 11 through 17 years old. The program achieves the Boy Scouts of America’s objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor activities.
Thousands of volunteer leaders, both men and women, are involved in the Boy Scout program. They serve in a variety of jobs, everything from chairmen of troop committees to committee members and commissioners, to merit badge counselors and Scouting coordinators.The positions of Scoutmaster, assistant Scoutmaster, and Lone Scout friend and counselor are held by adult males only.
Like other phases of the Scouting program, Boy Scouting is made available to the church. Each church appoints one of its members as Scouting coordinator.
The organization, through the committee, is responsible for leadership, the meeting place, and support for troop activities.
Several groups are responsible for supporting Boy Scouting: the boy and his parents, the troop, the chartered organization, and the community. Boys are encouraged to earn money whenever possible to pay their own expenses, and they also contribute dues each week to their troop treasuries to pay for budgeted items. Troops obtain additional income by working on approved money-earning projects. The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the “Aims of Scouting.” They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.
The methods by which the aims are achieved are listed below in random order to emphasize the equal importance of each.
Ideals. The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Promise, the Scout Law, motto, and slogan. The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high and as he reaches for them he has some control over what he becomes.
Patrols. The patrol method gives Boy Scouts an experience in group living and participating citizenship. It places a certain amount
of responsibility on young shoulders and teaches boys how to accept it. The patrol method allows Scouts to act in small groups where they can easily relate to each other. These small groups determine troop activities through their elected representatives.
Outdoor Program. Boy Scouting is designed to take place outdoors. It is in the outdoors that Scouts share responsibilities and learn to live with each other. It is here that the skills and activities practiced at troop meetings come alive with purpose. Being close to nature helps Boy Scouts gain an appreciation for God’s handiwork and mankind’s place in it. The outdoors is the laboratory for Boy Scouts to learn ecology and practice conservation of nature’s resources.
Advancement. Boy Scouting provides a series of surmountable obstacles and steps to overcome through the advancement method. The Boy Scout plans his advancement and progresses at his own pace as he overcomes each challenge. The Boy Scout is rewarded for each achievement, which helps him gain self-confidence. The steps in the advancement system help a boy grow in self-reliance and the ability to help others.
Adult Male Association. Boys learn from the example of their adult leaders. In his quest for manhood, every boy needs contact with men he can copy. The Scoutmaster and his assistants provide a masculine image of the vitality and virility of Boy Scouting. Providing good examples of manhood is one of the methods of Boy Scouting.
Personal Growth. As Boy Scouts plan their activity and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. There is probably no device so successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting’s aims.
Leadership Development. The Boy Scout program encourages boys to learn and practice leadership skills. Every Boy Scout has the
opportunity to participate in both shared and total leadership situations. Understanding the concepts of leadership helps a boy accept the leadership role of others and guides him toward the citizenship aim of Scouting.
Uniform. The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout’s commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.
Local councils operate and maintain over 600 camps. Also, high-adventure bases are directed by the national office. They are Philmont Scout Ranch and Explorer Base (New Mexico), Main National High Adventure Area, Northern Wisconsin National High Adventure Base, Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, and Charles L. Sommers National High Adventure Base (Minnesota and Manitoba).
C. Exploring is a program division of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women aged 14 through 20. Its purpose is to bring a character building, citizenship training and fitness program to the youth of America through churches and community organizations. An Explorer post can be organized by your church to provide an outreach ministry to neighborhood youth. The adult leaders, meeting location, and program resources are provided by parents and other adults in the church. The local Boy Scouts of America council provides staff and volunteer help to organize the post and train its leaders. It also provides ongoing support in the form of literature, liability insurance, camps; equipment, and area-wide activities.
An Explorer post is different from a Boy Scout troop in that the program is flexible to meet the varied interests of high school-aged youth.
The program of your post matches the interests of young adults with the skills and resources of the adults in your congregation. For example, if your church has a number of outdoor enthusiasts, they might help the post plan a camping trip. Other church members could arrange programs on careers, service projects, missions, hobbies, tours, social activities, citizenship, and religion.
An Explorer post can serve your church in one of the following ways:
1. The existing high school-age youth group adopts Exploring as a supplemental resource. This brings the facilities and program resources of the Boy Scouts of America to the group without changing its purpose. Exploring offers program enrichment opportunities to your youth fellowship which could help it to grow.
2. The church could organize an Explorer post apart from the existing youth group to serve, as an outreach ministry, the youth of the neighborhood or community. The program of this post might center on outdoor activities, social events, career information, and service projects of interest to youth. This post would be supported by volunteer leaders selected from church members.
3. The post could “specialize in a specific program or activity. For example, if the church has a number of adults with a keen interest in a hobby or activity, they could share this interest with youth. The post could specialize in skiing, sailing, hobbies, outdoor trips, music, church vocations, or any other worthwhile subject. The local Boy Scouts of America council may have a survey of nearby high schools and be able to provide names of students interested in the post’s “specialty.”
Here are some steps to organize an explorer post.
1. Key leaders of the church meet with Boy Scouts of America council representatives to discuss organizing a post. The church determines the purpose and program of its post and selects the necessary adult leaders (over 21) including an advisor, one or more associate advisors, and a post committee of five or more men and women.
2. The Boy Scouts of America council provides training for these adults and assists them in the steps to start a post.
3. The program of an Explorer post is based on an inventory of what equipment, resources, and facilities the church can make available and a list of the careers, hobbies, skills, or contacts adults in the church are willing to share with youth.
4. The post committee plans the first few months’ program–usually two meetings and an activity each month. Once the post is organized, the elected Explorer officers and the adult Advisor plan an annual program based on the members’ interests and the church’s program capability inventory.
A variety of literature, audio-visuals, training, activities, and awards is available to Explorer posts through local Boy Scouts of
America councils. Leaders should obtain a copy of the Explorer Leader Handbook and Post Organization Pamphlet.
Training sessions, advisor meetings, conferences, and volunteer service teams are available to help post leaders. Council-side
activities such as ski trips, camps, canoe bases, road rallies, and other events are planned to supplement post programs. A quarterly Exploring Journal is included in the $3.50 Explorer membership fee. Post leaders and the church are covered by Boy Scouts of America liability insurance.
Here are some ways Exploring can support your youth ministry.
1. Exploring is the young-adult division of the Boy Scouts of America which brings the services of your local council-camps and
facilities, liability insurance, leader training, literature, and program support-to your youth group.
2. The program of each Explorer post is flexible and based on how your church or religious organization wants to reach its youth.
3. Exploring “belongs” to your church or religious institution which selects the leaders, plans the program, and determines membership.
4. A variety of local and national activities, leadership conferences, service projects, awards, and scholarships are available to Explorers.
5. Exploring can attract young adults “outside” your church or religious institution, serving as a neighborhood or community outreach ministry.
6. The programs and resources of Exploring can enrich your high school/college youth program.
7. Your explorer post can share ideas and plan activities with other posts in your Boy Scouts of America council.
VI. Administrative Structure
1. There Shall be a Director of Scouting Ministries. He shall be recommended by the General Sunday School Director and appointed by the Executive Board of the United Pentecostal Church International for a term of three (3) years. By virtue of his office he shall be a member of the General Sunday School Board and a member of the Relations Committee of the Boy Scouts of America.
2. There shall be six (6) Regional Representatives for scouting to serve on the Scouting Commission. One from each region of the Boy Scouts of America. They shall be licensed ministers of the United Pentecostal Church International. They shall be recommended by the General Sunday School Director and the Director of Scouting Ministries and appointed by the Executive Board of the United Pentecostal Church International for a term of three (3) years.
3. There shall be three (3) members from the General Sunday School Board to serve on the Scouting Commission appointed by the General Sunday School Director and shall serve for a term of three (3) years.
4. The United Pentecostal Church Advisory Committee on Scouting shall consist of thirteen (13) members as follows:
a. The General Sunday School Director
b. The General Sunday School Secretary
c. The General Sunday School Promotional Director
d. The Director of the Scouting Ministries
e. Six Regional Representatives
f. Three members from the General Sunday School Board
B. Meeting Time
1. The thirteen (13) member Advisory Committee shall meet annually at the General Conference. The time and place shall be
designated by the General Sunday School Director and the Director of Scouting Ministries.
2. All decisions reached and plans made for the Scouting Ministries by the Advisory Committee on Scouting Ministries at said
meeting shall be presented to the General Board for airing and final approval.
c. District Structure
The District Scouting Ministries Director shall be the District Sunday School Director or a licensed minister appointed by the District Sunday School Director and approved by the District Board. He shall serve for a one (1) year term.
D. Local Structure
The Local Scouting Council Advisory Committee shall consist of the Coordinator from each participating church in a given council (or area). This Coordinator shall be appointed by the pastor of the participating church. The Chairman of the Local Scouting Council Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the District Scouting Director with the approval of the Presbyter(s) of the section(s) affected- (U-P.C. sections in a given state.)
Scouting offers many achievement awards in each level. Most church groups offer a “God and Church” — “God and Country” etc. We are working on our own “God and Country” program. This will take several months to put together but you will be hearing more about it in the future.
VIII. Financial Structure
The local program is supported by dues each week, work projects, etc. When groups want to make trips or other activities which cost extra, fund raising projects are suggested.
Scouting is a part of the Sunday School Division and supported as such. Also, friends of Scouting can make contributions to the District Program.
1. The first three years the Scouting Ministries shall be financed from the “Save Our Children” Easter Offering. At the end of
three years a fresh look will be given to the scouting program, concerning finances and a just and compatible plan will be forthcoming. It can be left as it is now.
2. Any funds given by an individual, a corporation or derived from scouting activities shall go solely for scouting administration
and programs for the Scouting Ministries. These funds shall be under the direct supervision of the General Sunday School Director and the Director of Scouting Ministries.
10 STEPS TO ORGANIZE A UNIT
1. Church is informed about Scouting.
2. Church adopts Scouting–Pastor appoints Scouting coordinator.
3. Church appoints organizing committee.
4. Hold orientation session with the members of congregation and parents of youth.
5. Select unit leaders–meet with committee to register unit.
6. Train leaders in program planning.
7. Plan program.
8. Recruit youth.
9. Start unit meetings.
10. Install unit and present charter at a formal service in the church.