A Religious Smorgasbord
Turba, Thomas N RV (tnt1@PO11.RV.UNISYS.COM)
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 11:12:00 -0600
On Saturday, October 26th, Scouts and Scouters from the Northwest District
of the Indianhead Council were treated to a "Religious Smorgasbord".
The event consisted of visiting five different places of worship where
participants "tasted" a little of the religion at each. The activity was
designed to open Scouts minds and give them an awareness of the similarities
and differences of some of the religions in the area.
At each place of worship a short presentation and question and answer period
was held in the sanctuary or main place of worship. The topics covered
included: historical background of the religion; makeup of the local
congregation; training and expectations for clergy, members, and youth in
the religion; how the religion is practiced; and how new members are
recruited into the religion. Each presentation began by showing the Scout
religious emblem for the religion.
The five religions covered in the one-day event were Catholic, Lutheran,
Baptist, Baha'i, and Buddhist. Each had a one hour time slot that was
strictly adhered to.
Participants included siblings and parents as well as Scouts and Scouters.
Scouts were encouraged to have a parent along so that they could later
answer questions and put the day's events into their family's religious
perspective. Certificates of attendance were given to all.
The event was a success for everyone involved. The clergy were very
receptive to have the opportunity to talk about their religion, the Scouts
learned a lot, and everyone got a better awareness of some of the religions
and religious practices in their community. Although questions were at
first slow in coming, they flowed freely by the end of the day.
It is planned that future such smorgasbords will highlight different
religions in the area. Some possibilities include a Native American
religion, LDS, Jewish, Hmong, Eastern Orthodox, ...
The "Chef" for this smorgasbord was Sue Reitan, a committee member and past
committee chairperson of Troop 297 in Roseville, Minnesota. She received
inspiration for the event from the article "In Search of Reverence and
Understanding" which appeared in the March-April 1996 issue of Scouting
T. N. T.
Thomas N. Turba
ASM Troop 297 (among other things)
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