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Scouting as an Outreach Ministry
There are many reasons that people don't go to church, many are out of
misconception or misguidance. Often times they are afraid to go because they
don't want to be proselytized to. Inviting the community to a “church” event
does not overcome these misconceptions. Many times just getting them to come to
the building itself, is half of the problem. The building has halls, classrooms
and conference rooms that are decorated with the Gospel of Christ. Why not let
them speak for you. Get them in the door!
LCMS Pastor Steve Wagner of Texas once said, "If the Church is once again to
become the center of the community, it must act like a community center".
That's what the Scouting Outreach Ministry is all about.
Scouting, if used properly, is an effective family outreach ministry for your
church. By using the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the
American Heritage Girls (AHG), you can effectively bring the community to
your facility and ultimately to your worship through Christian partnership with
the community. Both the BSA and AHG organizations share common
values as the church. The intent of Scouting as a Ministry is not to use these
programs in place of, but in addition to your existing church youth programs.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth serving organizations in
the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related
divisions. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout
Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make
ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values
of the Scout Oath and Law.
Girls is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization, dedicated to building women
of integrity while offering a wholesome character and leadership development
ministry for girls, ages 5 to 18. AHG was founded with the love of God ... through
the love of families ... for the love of children.
The mission of the
American Heritage Girls is "Building women of integrity through service to God,
family, community and country."
Both organizations are charter based, where as units are chartered (owned) by
the Charter Partner. This means that your church will own the units and have the
right to use the respective programs and all of their associated materials.
The commitment of a Charter Partner is to provide a meeting place for the units,
approve the leadership and to ensure the programs properly instills the ideals
and goals of their respective program.
Purpose and Goal of the Scouting Ministry
The purpose of the Scouting Ministry is to reach out to the local community by
providing a single night of wholesome family related activities through the
programs offered by the BSA and AHG programs.
To be most effective as a "Family" Outreach program, it is recommended that the
church, if possible, set aside a single night of the week dedicated to this
ministry and implement it as a "brother-sister" combination allowing for moms
and daughters, and dads and sons, to be involved together in similar programs,
thus building and maintaining the family unit.
There are many reasons that the Scouting programs make an ideal outreach for the
local church. Both the BSA and the AHG encourage a duty to God.
Both organizations recognize and promote the religious emblems program available
through the PRAY (Programs for Religious Emblems for Youth) organization and
both programs offer time for personal guidance and growth that can be influenced
by the chartering organization.
The goal of this ministry is to introduce the local church as a "community
center" enabling people who have not been a part of the church or have fallen
away from the church feel a level of comfort with the facility and the people.
With activities during the year, such as Scout Sunday, where scout participate
in the Sunday morning services, the local church can introduce its style of
worship and congregation to the families, in turn, opening the kingdom of God to
During the time the children are involved in the Scouting activities, a ministry
team can coordinate training sessions for the parents. This training can include
anything from parenting assistance classes, such as Dr. Lehman's course "How to
make your children mind without losing yours", to personal finance classes
offered by fraternal organizations.
Both organizations promote family participation. This is what makes these
programs ideal for family outreach exposing the un-churched community to the
local church and the Kingdom of Christ.
Commitment and Role of the Local Church
Both the BSA and the AHG have decided to work with each other to
establish a positive relationship and to cooperate in establishing units as a
result of the shared values and goals of both organizations. These same goals
are shared by the church in general.
As the Charter Partner, the church will promote and support the program by
representative to serve as the Charter Partner Representative, representing the
units to the church and representing the church to the units.
leadership, making sure that each leader meets the commitment and standards of
the BSA, AHG and the local church.
3.Provide a safe
meeting place preferably on the church campus or within the local community.
The only spelled out financial responsibility of the chartering organization is
the annual charter fees for the BSA and the AHG. The indirect financial
responsibilities come from the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities
If the units are starting from scratch and not already established, the local
church may want to provide seed money to help them start, but this is not
The local church may consider a ministry team that will be responsible for the
outreach portion of the ministry. This ministry team should have a budget to
support the cost of the outreach portion of the ministry. These costs will
include postage and marketing materials to mail out to the families inviting
them to special services or events. There will also be some expenses involved in
the providing of special classes to be provided to the parents of the children
attending the Scouting activities. Some of these costs can be recovered by
adding nominal fees for the extra classes or materials.
Each unit has the responsibility of earning their own operating funds through
unit fund raising activities. Fund raising is part of the program's goal of
teaching youth about financial responsibility.
The units may approach the sponsoring organization for the use of the facilities
to assist in these fund raising event such as car washes, pancake breakfasts,
ect. The church will have the ultimate decision in the use of the facilities for
As said in the beginning, getting the un-churched person to the building is half
of the battle. Once there, we as Christians, through our support, love and
service to the community can dispel any myths and misconceptions that may exist.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28 says to "Go", which means to be
present, to be an example, to show our faith and the Love of Jesus Christ by
being there for the community. Make the church the community center and it will
become the center of the community.
The units of the BSA program are:
A.Cub Scout Packs,
for ages 7-10, First -5th grade
B.Boy Scout Troops,
for ages 11-17, 6th grade - High School
for ages 14-20 (co-ed). 8th grade - age 20
Ideals of Cub Scouts
The Law of
- The Cub Scout follows Akela. The Cub Scout helps the pack go. The pack helps
the Cub Scout grow. The Cub Scout gives goodwill.
- I 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.
- Do Your Best
- Search, Discover, Share
Ideals of Boy Scouts
Scout Oath (or Promise)
- On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey
the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically
strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
- A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient,
cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
Boy Scout Motto
- Be prepared.
Boy Scout Slogan
- Do a good turn daily.
Ideals of Venturing
The Venturing Oath -
As a Venturer, I promise to do my duty to God and help strengthen America, to
help others, and to seek truth, fairness, and adventure in our world.
The Venturing Code
- As a Venturer, I beleive that America's strength lies in our trust in God
and in the courage, strength, and traditions of our people. I will, therefore,
be faithful in my religious duties and will maintain a personal sense of honor
in my own life. I will treasure my American heritage and will do all I can to
preserve and enrich it. I will recognize the dignity and worth of all humanity
and will use fair play and goodwill in my daily life. I will acquire the
Venturing attitude that seeks truth in all things and adventure on the frontiers
of our changing world.
The AHG consist of a single unit with multiple levels of program within
The program levels are:
- Ages 5-6 and in Kindergarten
- Ages 6-9 and in grades 1-3
- Ages 9-12 and in grades 4-6
- Ages 12-14 and in grades 7-8
- Ages 14-18 and in grades 9-12
Ideals of the AHG
"I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, and Serve in my
- As an American Heritage Girl, I promise to be
responsible, and reverent.
Both the BSA and the AHG have decided to work with each other to
establish a positive relationship and to cooperate in establishing AHG
units and BSA units as a result of the shared values and goals of both
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