Article Submitted by Gene Butler, Growth Coach, National Service Center
When asked where religion came into Scouting, founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell replied, “It does not come in at all. It is already there. It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting.” Faith organizations are good for Scouting, and Scouting is good for faith organizations.
The Religious Relationships Membership Committee (RRMC) is charged with growing Scouting by joining faith communities with local Scouting communities. BSA has entered into Memoranda of Understanding with at least 30 religious partners as of May 2020.
We are excited to report that that 71 percent of all Scout units are chartered by faith-based organizations and 59 percent of all Scouts are members of a unit chartered to a faith community. This is good news, but we are fishing in a small pond. There is an ocean of opportunity out there. There are many more families in faith-based communities that would benefit from Scouting.
The RRMC has created two tools that can be used to help grow Scouting:
– A document you can use to start a District or Council Religious Relationships Committee, which will help you:
- Identify local faith groups as potential charter partners.
- Introduce you to local faith groups and help you effectively communicate with them.
- Inform local faith groups that their faith, in many instances, has an established relationship with the BSA.
– A Pamphlet called “What Every Religious Leader Should Know About the BSA.” Many faith leaders, especially some younger leaders, know little about BSA.
- The pamphlet introduces religious leaders to the BSA and explains how a BSA unit can expand their ministry.
- This pamphlet can be mailed to the Houses of Worship in your district; better yet, it can be brought by you and a Religious Relationship Committee member to a House of Worship.
- This pamphlet speaks to the values of Scouting, how they match religious values, and how the BSA provides activities with youth-appeal, accompanied by effective adult training.
You must tell the BSA story, and it begins with solid relationships with faith-based partners.
Please contact Gene Butler at Gene.Butler@Scouting.org if you need help connecting with a representative of a particular faith organization or for access to any supporting resources.
Scouting Wire would like to thank Gene for submitting this article.