The Boy Scouts of America designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 as Scout Sunday. or Scout Sabbath. However, a chartered organization or local religious organization may choose to celebrate on another day. For instance, the Presbyterian Church and United Methodist Church celebrate Scout Sunday on the second Sunday of February so as to not conflict with Communion Sunday and in the Jewish faith, Scout Sabbath is celebrated on the Saturday after February 8 as Scouting Anniversary Day.
The Scout Law says that a "Scout is Reverent" and the Scouts of all ages promise to do their "Duty to God". These values strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith.
Scout Sunday/Sabbath Timeline
Steps for a successful Scout Sunday/Sabbath Suggested Time Line
- Set date of observance with Unit Leaders, planning committees, other organizations and sponsors of Scouting.
- Begin planning meetings 3 months prior to Scout Sunday/Sabbath.
- Submit announcements in the bulletin 2 months before Scout Sunday/Sabbath.
- Three weeks before Scout Sunday announce in the bulletin the need for youth and adult support through their attendance. Reconfirm the details with all contact members.
- Rehearse with all participants the day before the event.
- Scout Sunday - assemble 30 minutes or more before the service, set up displays and secure all final coordination.
- Reflect on the Scriptures and Scouting Connections.
- Planning Scout Sunday/Sabbath activities, an overview of the recommended planning activities.
- Secure approval from the church.
- Work with planning committee.
- Music (Based on the readings and the season)
- Calendar event and pre-meetings.
- "Advertise" - Scout Uniforms (Shirt, Pants, and/or Hats), recognitions to be presented, Charter Presentation
- Role of the Scout/Scouter; Greeters, Ushers, Servers
Scout Sunday Observance
- This is a sample format for your unit's annual Scout Sunday observance from Scout Sunday:
- Call to Worship
- Responsive Reading
- The Scout Law
- On My Honor
- Hear Our Prayer
- Pastoral Prayer
- Offertory Prayer
- Scripture Reading
- Prayer of Dedication or Offertory
- Closing Hymn
- These are sample materials from Scout Sabbath Services:
Scout Sabbath offers an opportunity for worshippers to honor Scouts and Scouters, as well as to learn more themselves about the value of Scouting as a youth program chartered to a Jewish organization. It gives a rabbi a framework to address Scouts directly, in addition to speaking about Scouting to the congregation.
Some rabbis use regular liturgy and supplement it with special reading. Others devote the entire worship services to Scouting themes, using Scouts and Scouters as readers. There is no "one right way " to conduct such a service. Most rabbis understand the purpose to be a strengthening of the bonds between the synagogue and the Scouting unit and plan accordingly.
A variety of Scouting-related resources, prayers, and readings are available:
- Religious Awards for Youth and Adults
- Based on the Twelve Points of the Scout Law
- Sermonic Material
- Statements by Lord Baden-Powell
- Scout Camping
- Scout Sabbath Sermon by Rabbi Jack Bemporad
- Sample Ner Tamid Presentation
Scout's Own Worship Service
The Scout's Own Worship Service is an interfaith service such as those above. It is a brief worship or meditation, specifically designed for Scouting events where there may be members of more than one faith group. The intention of an interfaith service (formerly known as a Scouts’ Own) is to provide a spiritual focus during a camping experience that does not reflect the views of a particular denomination or faith. An interfaith service can be defined as a gathering of Scouts held to contribute to the development of their spirituality and to promote a fuller understanding of the Scout Oath and Law, with emphasis on one’s Duty to God. Let’s take a look at what this definition means.
An interfaith service is a gathering of Scouts consistent with the 12th point of the Scout Law. This can be in groups as small as two or as large as a world Scout jamboree, though groups of a few patrols work best. In smaller groups, Scouts are able to get involved, share their experiences, and learn that spirituality is something that affects everyone.
An interfaith service is held for the development of the Scouts’ spirituality. Spirituality is that which is beyond the material, that which gives meaning and direction to one’s life. Scouting is primarily concerned with how people live out their beliefs in everyday life.
Scout Sunday Suggestions
If your Unit is not chartered to a religious organization, choose a church for your Unit to attend together in uniform. However, not all religions that sponsor a Scout troop promote wearing the uniform to church. For instance, the LDS Scout Sunday guideline states, "February has traditionally been designated as Scouting Month in the United States. Leaders of Scouting units chartered by the Church may plan and carry out approved activities to recognize this tradition. However, in keeping with the purposes of Sabbath observance, boys and leaders do not wear their uniforms to regular Sunday meetings or while administering and passing the sacrament."
- Official Boy Scout Links
- Scout Sunday - official BSA materials and links
- Scouting.org Scout Sabbath Resources
- Scouting in Protestant Churches
- The Scout Law with references to the Bible
- BSA Religious Calendar
- Scout Sabbath
- Manual for Chaplain Aides and Chaplains with a sample Scout funeral.
- Suggested Worship Aids for Scout Sunday Service(hymns)
- On My Honor (hymn) (PDF)
- Scouter Prayer
- A Psalm for Scouts and Scouters
- The Guy in the Glass (prayer)
- Program Covers and Inserts
- Bringing Youth to Christ Through a Scouting Ministry (newsletter article)
- Scout Sunday/Sabbath Links
- Scouts Own Service Links