How to Ask
It is okay to ask Scouts and their families about their Faith.
The BSA is not a public organization like a Public School, where faith issues are considered taboo. Instead, the BSA explicitly states that reverence to a diety is a mandate of membership, as part of the Scout Law, the Cub Scout Promise, and the guiding principles of Sir Baden Powell. Faith is part of how a boy grows into the man that they are capable of becoming.
Our job as Scout Leaders is to enable each boy to grow in their own faith, so that they can reach their own potential. You cannot accomodate each boy’s faith needs any more than you can accomodate their eating requirements, if you do not know what each boy needs.
Consider writing a survey form for each scout
Much like the Talent Survey that is given to many adults, in helping find subject experts for teaching scout topics, the form should be filled out by the Scout and their parents, and include questions such as:
|What activities are you involved in?||This will help you plan when boys may attend less functions due to sports seasons or band activities|
|What religion does your family practice? If so, what church/temple/mosque do you attend?||Nice and simple, and intermixed with other questions that related to becoming aware of each boy’s needs|
|Do you have any food allergies? If so, what?||Consider avoiding these all together, if not overly restrictive|
|Do you have any food restrictions or preferences (e.g. vegetarian, non-beef, non-pork, vegan, kosher)?||This will help you plan your overall meals|
|Anything else that you want the Troop/Pack to know about you?||(the catch all)|
Once you know about each boy, then you can accomodate their needs, both physically and spiritually. Without that knowledge, you run the risk of really offending someone with an ‘allergic reaction’ to your religious program, or starving them of any deity recognition at all.
This website is intended to provide you with links to tools and resources that will hopefully help you with running a Scouting program that respects and encourages the faiths of all of its members.