USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country





Earlier in this text we mentioned recruiting a minister or religious leader as a unit chaplain.  You've probably already figured out that a Chaplain must be a member of the clergy and probably know that most Scout Camps have one or more Scout Chaplains.  This leaves the question of what does a Scout Chaplain do?   Here are a few of the things Scout Chaplains do:


1.   Serve as a resource to new families on opportunities for worship in the area (at no time should the chaplain proselytize).


2.   Help in the event of accidents, illnesses and other problems.


3.   Work with Chartered Organization Representatives.


4.   Support unit leadership through recruitment and recognition.


5.   Encourage Scout participation in Religious Emblem study programs.


6.   Help plan and conduct worship experiences.


7.   Identify service opportunities.


8.   Sensitivity to Needs (alert for personal, family, or social situations that may require special care).




The chaplain aide is an approved youth leadership position for Boy Scouts and its responsibilities are to encourage spiritual awareness and growth in the lives of Troop members and to assist the chaplain.  A Boy Scout seeking this position should have earned or be in the process of completing his religious emblems study program.  It is recommended that the Boy Scout selected by at least a Star Scout that has demonstrated an ability to exercise mature and sensitive judgment and who has earned the trust of fellow Scouts.  The duties of Chaplain-Aides include:


1.   Maintaining the Troop's religious emblems award progress chart.


2.   Presenting an annual overview of religious emblem program opportunities to the Troop.


3.   Compiling and keeping up-to-date lists of local clergy who have agreed to be counselors for the various religious emblem programs.


4.   Presenting an overview of religious emblem programs to Cub Scout dens and packs on request.


5.   Serving as the youth coordinator for the observance of the annual Scout Sabbath or Sunday in February.


6.   Working with the troop chaplain.


7.   Preparing a Troop prayer.


8.   Assisting in religious emblem recognition ceremonies (remember that presentation of a religious emblem is the responsibility of the local religious institution in which it is earned).


9.   Encouraging Troop members to strengthen their own relationship with God through personal prayer and devotions and participation in religious activities.


10. Participation in patrol leaders' council planning sessions (to ensure that spiritual emphasis is included).


11. Working with the Troop Chaplain, compose appropriate prayers for meals (with sensitivity to various theological and religious positions embraced by the faiths represented in the group).


12. Work with the Troop Chaplain to plan appropriate religious services for all members during weekend Troop campouts.




[1]      Information in this section is taken from BSA's The Roles of Troop Chaplain and the Chaplain Aide, No. 5-216A (1992)


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