BSA Declaration Of Religious Principles
The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an Obligation to God, and therefore recognizes the religious element in the training of the member. BSA is absolutely Nonsectarian in its attitude toward this religious training. BSA policy is that the home (Parents & Family) and organization or group (Local Church) with which a member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.
All boys in Troop 947 are encouraged with their family to have a selected religion and faith that honors God with belief in a higher Being. Through-out the BSA program and advancement including regular advancement Board of Reviews, boys are asked about how they are doing in their Duty To God. If your family is seeking a local church or other religions body and would like assistance please contact the Troop Chaplain who will assist in a nonsectarian manner.
A Scout’s Duty To God:
- A scout is Reverent – 12th Scout Law
- He is reverent towards God
- He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the conviction of others in matters of custom and religion
Religious Program Offerings
Duty to God and a boy’s religious growth is a corner stone in the Goals of the Boy Scouting Program. There are a number of roles and program offerings that support this Goal including the following:
- Charter Organization – Troop 947 Charter is granted by the Boy Scouts of America to Lord Of Life Lutheran Church, West Chester Ohio. Boy’s of all recognized faiths are accepted by Troop 947 according to the policies of Boy Scouts of America
- Religious Emblems – BSA has approved a number of religious programs and medals that can be worn on the Official Scout Uniform. More about these medals and emblems can be found on www.praypub.org and by talking with the troop Chaplain Aid (Boy) or troop Chaplain (Adult). More on Religious Emblems is listed on www.praypub.org.
Five Simple Steps to Get Started:
1. Scout gets specific booklet for their religion – Check with Scout Store or own religious organization. Scouts and/or their parents can identify the appropriate age based emblem with Troop Chaplain Aid, Troop Chaplain, and at www.praypub.org.
2. Scout Parents review the program guidelines – Some programs require participants to be official “members” of the religious institution. Age or grade requirements may vary for each emblem program. The program sets its own guidelines as to who may serve as counselor. Some require Clergy and others allow parents or others to serve as counselors.
3. Families should talk with their religious/church leaders and show them the booklet before beginning any program. Most emblem programs required being completed under the auspices of that religious organization. Many programs require the signature of the local religious/church leader.
4. Scout completes the requirements, obtains the proper signatures, and follows the instructions to order the emblem. Emblems are not available from local council or scout store. Typically send forms to your religious committee if Catholic, LDS, or Jewish. Protestants mail form directly to PRAY – see www.praypub.org.
5. Emblem should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the Scouts religious institution or church. These awards can be presented at any time of the year. Some faiths prefer to make presentations at specific times of the year. Scout Sunday/Sabbath in February is a perfect time to recognize recipients. Catholic Committee on Scouting has an annual Cathedral Ceremony with the local Bishop.
Religious Roles within the Troop
Chaplain Aid – A Boy Scout that has been elected to this spiritual leadership role.
- Qualifications – Mature and Sensitive, has earned respect and trust of fellow scouts, First Class Scout or above, working on or received own religious emblem.
- Works with Troop Chaplain to meet the religious needs of Scouts in the Troop
- Works with Troop Chaplain to plan and provide appropriate interfaith religious services at troop outings – Boys can do as much of service as they feel comfortable.
- Promotes the religious emblems program with in the troop
- Encourage Scouts to strengthen their own relationship with God in Prayer, Devotions, and taking part in their own faith and religious activities.
- Member of Patrol Leaders Council – Ensure religious holidays are considered and spiritual emphasis is included in troop activites.
- Help Troop Chaplain or other adult plan and conduct annual Scout Sunday – Typically in February.
- Chaplain Aid Training available at Camp Friedlander every week of summer camp whether attending camp or not.
Chaplain – An appointed Adult that provides spiritual Nonsectarian leadership for the Troop. Troop 947 Chaplain is currently Mr. Dan Eslinger (513-874-4738) who has filled the role of Ordained Spiritual Elder for a local West Chester, Ohio church.
- Qualifications – Typically filled by a religious leader, or an appointee of the chartered organization that is a clergy member, lay minister, or religious teacher. Chaplain is a Troop Committee member that has been accepted by the Troop Committee Chairman.
- Provides spiritual elements for troop activities and meetings as needed.
- Provides spiritual counseling when needed or requested – Boys and Adults.
- Encourage Scouts and families to strengthen their own relationship with God in prayer, devotions, and taking part in their own faith and religious activities.
- Encourages Scouts to participate in the religious emblems program of their respective faith.
- Work with the Chaplain Aid to fulfill their role including plan and conduct annual Scout Sunday – Typically in February.
- Based on knowledge of a Scout’s faith preference, may advise new scouts and their family of locations of local churches of that faith. Chaplain is not allowed to proselytize.
- If requested to pray or conduct a church service for a group, will tailor the prayer or service to match the faiths of those present. If all faiths are not know, will use generic interfaith content.
- Note: Some faiths have specific requirements that cannot be fulfilled through an Scout interfaith service. Other arrangements may be necessary and can be discussed with the family as needed.
Boy Scouts – Talk to Troop 947 Chaplain Aid about roles, emblems, and troop spiritual activities and events. If there is a sensitive or personal topic you are encouraged to discuss with your local religious leader or the Troop 947 Chaplain (Adult) in a confidential manner.
Troop 947 Chaplain
Mr. AJ Schweier firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic – Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Mr. Joe Schneider (513) 518-9042
Mr. John Hughes (513) 574-1814
Mr. Frank Finnern (513) 398-1496
Mr. Alan Brown (513) 238-5040
Mr. Stacey Dickerson (513) 344-1086