USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country





Be merciful to me, O God, Be merciful, for I have taken refuge in You.  In the shadow of Your wings, will I take refuge until this time of trouble has gone by.


I will call upon the most high God, The God who maintains my cause.


He will send from heaven and save me; He will confound those who trample upon me;  God will send forth His love and his faithfulness.  Amen.




Oh beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties,

Above the fruited plain.



America, America. God shed His Grace on thee,

and crown thy good with brotherhood,

From sea to shining sea.


Oh beautiful for patriot dream,

That sees beyond the years,

Thine alabaster cities gleam,

Undimmed by human tears.


(Repeat Chorus)




Sanctify our campsite with your presence and joy. By the spirit of affection and service unite our

Scouting families, that they may show your praise in our land and in all the world.




(L)   God is our refuge and strength


(P)   A very present help in trouble


(L)   therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved


(P)   and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea


(L)   though it's waters rage and foam


(P)   the Lord of hosts is with us


(L)   the God of Jacob is our stronghold




Kum Ba Yah my Lord, Kum Ba Yah

Kum Ba Yah my Lord, Kum Ba Yah

Kum Ba Yah my Lord, Kum Ba Yah

Oh, Lord Kum Ba Yah


Someone's crying Lord, Kum Ba Yah


Someone's singing Lord, Kum Ba Yah


Someone's praying Lord, Kum Ba Yah







Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

Michael row the boat ashore, Hallelujah

River Jordan is deep and wide, Hallelujah

River Jordan is deep and wide, Hallelujah

River Jordan is chilly and cold, Hallelujah

Chills the body but not the soul, Hallelujah










Gathered Tonight In Our Maker's House


Written by Vince Sutherland (Vigil Name: AWELENDAM - "One Who Is Certain), Kia Kima Scout Reservation Staff,  Cherokee Village,  AR,  Chickasaw Council, Memphis, TN,  July 1993.   (Note: It is imperative that the Scouts & Scouters bring walking staffs with them to the service.  Without them, the service does not have the same level of involvement needed to conduct an inter-active service.)


Introduce .......... For the opening prayer.


Good evening Scouts and Scouters and welcome to the Tuesday night Kia Kima Vesper Service.  It is important at this time to ask each Scout and Scouter to remain silent as we observe this service tonight.  My name is ____________________ - tonight we will be exploring matters of importance regarding our journey as Scouts down the Scouting trail as well as the trail of Life.


We have gathered here tonight to observe the 12th point of the Scout Law, a Scout is Reverent, and the first part of the Scout Oath - to do our Duty to God and Country.


As we gather tonight in this, our Maker's House we must pay particular attention to the blessings of Nature which, crafted by our Maker, surround us at every turn.


Let us pause and ponder then, some special blessings we have encountered so far this week, let us remember:


     The cool, trickling waters of our River as it continues its eternal journey to the distant oceans.


      And think of the heart-warming and joyful laughter of swimmers splashing in the water on a hot, humid afternoon.


      Or think of the deep, inviting shade of the woodlands with powerful trees reaching ever toward the sky.


      And let us not forget the pride felt by all who have endured the ultimate challenge of the COPE experience as well as that very first, chilling step off of the repelling tower.


      And think of that wonderful, woodsy smell of a Scout campfire at night as stories are told and memories are shared and created.


Each of these experiences as well as many others, have become a vital part of each one of us and will stay with us as happy, wonderful memories throughout our entire lives.


Therefore, a Duty and Responsibility as Scouts rests upon our shoulders to ever offer our sincere and heart-felt gratitude to our Maker for the opportunity we have to visit this special world of His Nature - a world that strengthens our bodies, our minds and our spirits by the wonderful gifts so freely given us.  Let us pause now and offer our Thanks to our Maker.

Everyone please rise, remove your head-cover and bow your heads.


      Dear Heavenly Father:


We have come here tonight atop this hill in view of your wonderful vistas below and skies above to offer our sincere appreciation for the blessings You so freely bestow upon us.


We thank You for the Nature that You have so bountifully provided for our use.  May we always be mindful of our duty as Scouts to be reverent and dutiful to Your calling.


Remind us Father to always treat Your Nature with the respect and reverence it so richly deserves.


Help us also Father, as Scouts, to share our experience and knowledge of your Nature with those who would do it harm so that all peoples may continue to revere Your bountiful gifts.


This we ask in Your Precious name.   AMEN


As we are aware of the blessings that surround us tonight atop this magnificent crest we must also be mindful of the troubles and dangers that await us as we walk the trail of Life.


Life's troubles and dangers are vast and varied, confronting us each day as we live our lives amongst our families, friends, and communities.


These troubles and dangers can be over-come by sincerely trusting in our Maker and striving to develop an ever closer relationship with Him.  By doing so, we find the strength and determination so vital to us as we face the adversities of this life with strong, true Faith and Courage.


The history of man-kind has always taught all peoples to lean on their Maker for guidance and support in their journeys.


Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, spoke at great length in his first book, Scouting for Boys, of the need for a Scout to have a basis of strength and support as he undertakes a journey.


Baden-Powell speaks of this basis of strength and support in the form of a Hiking Stave, known in the United States as a Hiking Stick or Hiking Staff.


In his first drawing of a Scout, the founder of the Scouting Movement showed a boy with a staff in his hand.  The hiking staff has long been a symbol of a journey.  By carrying one with you, you will find the miles glide by.  The staff swings comfortably in your hand, giving balance and rhythm to your pace.


Use your staff to push back branches and brush, to flick sticks and stones off the trail, and to poke behind rocks and into holes.  The staff precedes you down the trail and is able to point out dangers and pitfalls which lie ahead.  By trusting in the strength, support and guidance of the staff, you are assured of a safer journey.


However, not heeding the clues offered by your hiking staff and taking your own direction can cause you to stumble and fall.  But, the good news is that the hiking staff is still there -beside you - ready to offer you the assistance you now need to pick yourself up and continue your journey.


If the fall produced an injury, making your journey more difficult, you can lean on the hiking staff to reduce the pain as you continue on.


Such is the same for our Faith and Belief in our Maker.  He points the direction for us in this life if we will but pay heed and listen.


He knows the path and pitfalls that lie ahead well, pointing them out to us as we continue forward on our journey.  Close attention to His guidance eases the path through Life exactly as the walking staff provides us clues of the unknown trail ahead.


When, in this life, we do not heed His guidance we are sure to stumble and fall.  However, we can take great joy and comfort in knowing, like the hiking staff, that He is there beside us to help us regain our footing and continue our journey.  Any harm or pain that may have come to us is reduced by leaning on His strength as He eases the journey ahead.


Walking staffs have been with us since the dawn of time and have been used by all peoples in every civilization.  Such is the case with our belief in our Supreme Being, our Father, our Lord, our Creator, or any other name that we, as humans associate with Him.


A glance at the varied walking staffs present here tonight gives us a clue of the variety of faiths known around the world.  No two staffs here are identical.  Some are taller, some are thicker, some are straighter, some are hardwood, some are softwood, some are plain, some are carved - the varieties and details are limitless.


So then are the faiths known by us and all other peoples.  No single individual can determine which walking staff is the best for all peoples - no more than they can determine which faith is the best for all peoples - the varieties, differences, strengths and styles of each faith, like the walking staff - are so vast.  Only an individual decision can suffice in this important and personal matter.


So, let us each heed the guidance offered to us on our journeys - our journeys down wooded paths and our journey through life.  Let us continually foster a strong belief and trust in the guidance and strength of our hiking staffs and, more importantly, our Maker.


May your journeys be smooth and stumble-free throughout this Life.


At this time, I would like to call upon ____________________ for the Benediction.  Once the Benediction has been completed, please exit the Chapel in reverent SILENCE.  Thank you.


           ____________________ gives the Benediction.



(Use this space to make notes for the Benediction)



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