Re: Religion in scouting
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 18 Sep 1991 16:50:00 EDT
Thanks for your insight. I think you will find this just as enlightning
When I was starting out as a married Scoutmaster, I would hold my Patrol
Leaders's Council meetings at my apartment. Not soon after the second
such meeting, I received a call at work from the mother of one of the
"Why are you trying to make my son change??", she yelled at me through the
"What do you mean, "make your son change"? ", I said back, putting my feet
on my new desk and grabbing my coffee cup (which almost fell from this effort).
"You are making my son into a...a whatever you are!!", she yelled back.
"My son says that everytime he goes over there, they say some prayer and
then get to work."
"oh..." I said. "And you don't like that!"
"NO!!," she yelled back. I got a cup of coffee and was doodling on my "buckslip"
pad as I replied honestly.
"Yes ma'm, we do start every meeting with a prayer. And your son led it last
month. Those that don't want to say it don't have to, but I have yet to have
someone to object."
"The prayer was written I believe by a Presbertarian minister after attending
a camping trip in New Mexico. It has been said over dinners and breakfasts
and in the middle of the night. I am not a presbetarian...I am a general
protestant. But I have seen Catholic bishops lead people in it, Buddhist
priest that chant it, and Korean ministers to translate it into Korean for
"But why do you start every meeting with a prayer like that. I thought I was
sending my child to a Boy Scout meeting....." she was hot.
"Ma'm", I replied, twice to interrupt her. "WE do it to remind all of our
Scouts of the need for good manners. I am sure that you give some kind of
blessing at your dinner table before you eat. You see, ma'm, when you drop
off your son for this meeting, I am just getting home. It is dinner time for
me and my wife and daughter. So, rather than to delay the meeting, I let the
meeting go on...you see, I am the advisor to the meeting...I am not in charge
of it. Joey is."
"So before we eat, one of the Scouts say grace. They have learned the same
grace because it is the one that they say before they eat at camp. We rotate
it each month so that each Scout has a chance to do it. They also stand at
the head of my family's table. Have your son told you how it goes??"
"no", was the almost silent reply. I had to place the receiver close to my
ear to hear it.
"Well, its called the Philmont grace, and our version goes "for food, for
rainment, for friendship, for fun, we thank thee, oh Lord".
She apologied and asked me to write it down so that she could use it at
dinner that evening.
(When I go to a catholic church to organize a new unit, I tell that story.)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City