Religion Vs Scouting

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Religion Vs Scouting

Postby MT's Mom » Tue May 26, 2009 7:59 pm

Hi All,

"Billy" is new to the troop. Billy lives with Grandpa. Mom & Dad are incarcerated. I have no doubt that Billy will be an Eagle, he is very excited and motivated about Scouting. He is just the kind of kid that will have his life changed by scouting.

I had heard that he was thinking about dropping out of scouts, Billy's G'pa is a Jehovah's Witness. Anyone have any thoughts as to how I can keep this great kiddo in Scouts and not cause grief for him at home/church? :(

I don't want do get into a huge discussion about doctrine etc. Maybe best to e-mail me rather than post on the forum?

Thanks!

MT's Mom
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Last edited by RWSmith on Tue May 26, 2009 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Click on her "E-mail" button to send her an e-mail
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A quick note about e-mail addresses...

Postby RWSmith » Tue May 26, 2009 9:24 pm

Folks,

For your own sanity, do not put e-mail addresses in your posts. It will be picked up by Spambots and that e-mail will be incessantly SPAMed, forevermore. Instead, go to your "User Control Panel" and make sure "Users can contact me by e-mail:" is set to Yes, which is the default. This way, only Registered Users can "see" your e-mail address.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby FrankJ » Tue May 26, 2009 9:43 pm

Hard to say. Perhaps meeting with G'pa & discovering his issues with scouting. Perhaps he thinks, as many do, that scouting is some how tied in with the military.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby smtroop168 » Tue May 26, 2009 10:08 pm

MT's Mom wrote:Hi All,

"Billy" is new to the troop. Billy lives with Grandpa. Mom & Dad are incarcerated. I have no doubt that Billy will be an Eagle, he is very excited and motivated about Scouting. He is just the kind of kid that will have his life changed by scouting.

I had heard that he was thinking about dropping out of scouts, Billy's G'pa is a Jehovah's Witness. Anyone have any thoughts as to how I can keep this great kiddo in Scouts and not cause grief for him at home/church? :(

I don't want do get into a huge discussion about doctrine etc. Maybe best to e-mail me rather than post on the forum?

Thanks!

MT's Mom
[E-mail address removed]


NOT AN EXPERT but I thought the Jehovah Witnesses did not allow their sons to join the BSA. One of their reasons is that they refuse to say the Pledge of Allegence. So if the Grandps has custody and he wants him not to be in Scouts, not much you can do.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby Mrw » Tue May 26, 2009 10:42 pm

The way I see it, the boy can be in scouts and do his duty to God and his country and respectfully wait while the rest of the troop says the pledge - probably what he does every day in school already.

I would emphasize to the grandfather that a scout is reverent and that you do not want to put the boy in a place where he feels forced to go against what is taught at home, but that you enjoy having the boy in the troop and that you would love to be able to watch him grow into an outstanding young man both in scouting and in life outside of scouts.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 27, 2009 10:11 am

Mrw wrote:The way I see it, the boy can be in scouts and do his duty to God and his country and respectfully wait while the rest of the troop says the pledge - probably what he does every day in school already.

I would emphasize to the grandfather that a scout is reverent and that you do not want to put the boy in a place where he feels forced to go against what is taught at home, but that you enjoy having the boy in the troop and that you would love to be able to watch him grow into an outstanding young man both in scouting and in life outside of scouts.


How will he complete Scout Requirement #6....say the Pledge of Allegience. Again, I'm no expert and have no issue with how people worship but I googled this and a couple of JW sites say that can't join Boy or Girl Scouts. I guess Grandpa will make the call.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby Mrw » Wed May 27, 2009 11:39 am

It has been a while since I looked at the Scout requirements - my bad...
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Wed May 27, 2009 2:25 pm

Scouts ISN'T for everyone (nor should it be). It's for those that fit a specific criteria and agree to abide by its tenets. While I think Scouting is the BEST youth organizations, there are others that would probably be a better fit in this young man's circumstances.

Why not do a little research into other youth groups in your area, and suggest one that is worthy AND palatable to the grandfather?
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby FrankJ » Wed May 27, 2009 2:53 pm

If the only issue was a religious reason for not saying the pledge of allegiance, I would find a way around that one.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 27, 2009 4:01 pm

FrankJ wrote:If the only issue was a religious reason for not saying the pledge of allegiance, I would find a way around that one.


I don't think that is the only issue with why the JW don't want their youth to be in the BSA or GSA.

But if it was....why would you subtract from the BSA requirements for him? What about others who didn't want to follow one of the points of the Scout Law e.g. Reverent?
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby wagionvigil » Wed May 27, 2009 6:13 pm

ANything that smellslike Patriotism is strictly out. I was a High School Band director and If it was a circus march they could play it if it was the Stars and Stripes Forever they could not. I finally decided that I would just tell folks up front when they signed up in Grade 4 or 5 for lessons that I will make no allowance what we play is what we play. I will give them lessons forever but band is out unless you can play whatever we play. If I gave in on a patroitic song I would have to give in when some would tell me they cannot play a religious song which would eliminate everything by Bach and the was never going to happen.In my neck of the woods there would be a couple others people would try to eliminate also.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby FrankJ » Wed May 27, 2009 10:28 pm

I don't think that is the only issue with why the JW don't want their youth to be in the BSA or GSA.

But if it was....why would you subtract from the BSA requirements for him? What about others who didn't want to follow one of the points of the Scout Law e.g. Reverent?


I expect you probably right, and there are bigger issues than the pledge of allegiance. Only meeting with G'pa will find that out. And you do not rewrite the program to fix it.

As far as subtracting from the requirements, it is duty god then my country. You need to do both. If you have a valid religious reason not say the pledge, but you can still do your duty to country, I can work with it. The same for foreign nationals in your troop. We have had one. Not uncommon in Europe.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby LSR » Thu May 28, 2009 11:09 pm

I work in a Social Service agency in my "real" job. Before that I taught in an "underresourced" public school system. When I got out of the USAF at 31, I had never personally known anyone who had been arrested, had their children taken away, utilities cut off or had gotten the marriage/baby sequence wrong. That was soon to change-with a vengance!

Unfortunately, this situation is far from uncommon. There are grandparents all over this nation spending what should be their retirement years raising their grandchildren. It's almost always due to drug use by the parents. I have a widowed woman in my caseload who is raising a nine year old grandson. She's 78.
As Scouters, we obviously have a different view of Scouting than the grandfather. Nonetheless, we have to go beyond mere acceptance of the grandfather's authority. We owe him the respect due a man making a painful decision based on what he sees as his duty to God and should clearly communicate that respect to the young man.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby alex gregory » Fri May 29, 2009 2:09 pm

Boy Scouts of America is not necessarily going to work for everyone. Scouts Canada would probably not work for me unless I was willing to promise to my my duty "God and the Queen"; I think the Queen and her frumpy hats are nice, but I'm just not sure what my duty to the Queen would entail.

Most of my boy scouting was in Milan, Italy and half the troop were not US Citizens. It was very hard for many of my friends to reconcile the requirements of BSA with their love of a country other than the USofA.

The good news is that in BSA the Oath is to God and my Country, not to God and the USA or to God and the Queen. "My" country happens to be the USA, but it could just as easily be Italy or Swaziland, and still be a valid BSA Oath. Scout Req. 4 only says "repeat" the Pledge of Allegiance, it does not say "recite and and swear to live by" the Pledge of Allegiance - I think there is wiggle room for a Scout to repeat the words of the Pledge of Allegiance without having to actually pledge his allegiance. The Oath and Laws on the other hand do not allow for a lot of wiggle room, a Scout is required to actually pledge to live by the Oath and Laws, regardless of which Scouting organization he or she chooses to join.
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Re: Religion Vs Scouting

Postby Cowboy » Sun May 31, 2009 8:20 am

Through my experiences with a good friend who is JW, I have found that BSA is just about completely incompatable. Each meeting opens with a Flag Ceremony (at least in our Troop). Communications MB requires that the boy lead a Scout function of some sort. The most common is a CoH, and you can NOT have a CoH without the pledge. Additionally: The Cit. MB's require both study and "participation" in government. The JW ban any involvement right down to voting. Unfortunately some boys will not be able to participate in Scouts due to religious reasons. BSA has accepted this, look at the listing of Religious Awards available, there is not one for JW. Sad, but we can still provide a solid, respectful, and moral model for ALL boys regardless of religious beliefs or involvement in BSA.
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