The Boy Scouts of America designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 (Scouting Anniversary Day) as Scout Sunday, which is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting. However, each chartered organization can use either of the two as options to celebrate this special day. Similarly, Scout Sabbath and Scout Jumuah are also important days of observance that take place near the BSA’s anniversary.
An organization can also adopt a specific Sunday to celebrate. In the instance of the United Methodist Church, Scout Sunday is celebrated on the second Sunday in February. It also is permissible for a local church to celebrate on the Sunday most acceptable to the church leadership and congregation.
“From the Scout’s perspective, in the Scout Oath and Law, one of the first things emphasized is God,” BSA’s Director of National Alliances Lee Shaw said. “Religious institutions charter over 73% of Scout units throughout the country.” Collaborations between the Boy Scouts and people of faith experienced a slight increase in 2016 from 2015.
Shaw and his team work with faith-based charter organizations to help identify how these organizations can highlight God in the units they host and serve. He emphasizes the importance of the BSA’s continuing mission to support Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell’s focus on God in Scouting. In an effort to continue to highlight the twelfth point of the Scout Law, a new national adult award has been established – “The Duty to God Award.” It was developed to recognize individuals who have displayed unshakable faith and a deep commitment to God.
Scout units are urged to participate in the religious services. Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath and Scout Jumuah are important opportunities for units to attend services in uniform, conduct a flag ceremony, speak about Scouting, present religious awards and/or formally thank the chartering organization for their support throughout the year. One can use the opportunity to participate in the service such as offering prayer. Consider having an information table in the foyer or hospitality area to share the good news of how A Scout is Reverent.
Resources to Use When Planning a Scout Sunday Observance
- Call to Worship
- Responsive Reading
- Pastoral Prayer
- Offertory Prayer
- Scripture Reading
- Prayer of Dedication or Offertory
- Closing Hymn
- Suggested Worship Aids for Scout Sunday Service (hymns)
- Scouter Prayer (prayer)
- A Psalm for Scouts and Scouters
- The Guy in the Glass (prayer)
- Program Covers and Inserts
- Bringing Youth to Christ Through a Scouting Ministry (newsletter article)
- Scout Sunday Program Cover, Information Insert and 2017 Emblem
How is your unit celebrating this month? Share your stories in the comments below!