The Scouting movement is unique among non-faith-based youth groups in that it recognizes and expects a belief and duty to a higher power of its members. It’s part of rank achievements in Cub Scouts, one of the points of the Boy Scout Law, and the first obligation in the Scout Oath and Venturing Oath.
Each year, during Scouting’s anniversary week, we have an opportunity to join with our religious organizations and sponsors in observing Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath. Scout Sunday falls on the Sunday of the week containing the BSA’s anniversary, February 8, while Scout Sabbath is the following Saturday. In 2012, Scout Sunday is February 5 and Scout Sabbath is February 11.
Make plans to observe Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath with your religious organization sponsor, or encourage your members to do so in their own congregations.
- Scouts and Scouters should wear their uniforms to services. If you earned the religious medal of your faith, be sure to wear it.
- Contact your religious leaders and ask them to announce it to the congregation, and to encourage all present and past Scouts and Scouters to attend in uniform.
- Ask to have Scouts and Scouters recognized during services. Volunteer to assist with the service in some way, such as handing out bulletins or programs, ushering, lighting candles (a Scout is careful with fire, after all) greeting worshipers, or serving refreshments after service.
- Ask if you can present the colors before service, or participate by reading Scripture passages or responsive readings.
- There are many resources for Scouts’ Own services at campouts; one of the most comprehensive is found at the US Scouting Service Project website. See if your religious leader is willing to adapt or incorporate some of the material into the service.
- Present religious medals or knots that Scouts, Scouters and church members earned.
- If your charter renewal has been completed, hold a charter presentation ceremony.
- Conduct a service project, such as a food drive or coat collection, on Scout Sunday/Sabbath. (Be wary of soliciting monetary contributions, even for worthy causes; we are not allowed to do that.)
- Set up an informational display about your unit and answer questions from worshipers. You may recruit some new members as a result.
- It would be a great day for Cub Scout packs to hold their annual Blue & Gold Banquet or for troops to hold a court of honor.
- Recognize those who participate with a Scout Sunday or Scout
Sabbath patch. BSA Supply offers one each year, and some councils also design their own.
- Thank the religious leader and church elders or committee members for their sponsorship of your unit.
- Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper announcing Scout Sunday and Sabbath. If possible, take photos of Scouts attending service and submit them for publication.
Do not allow Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath to go unobserved. A Scout is Reverent, and should observe Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath.