Each day at Gilwell Field, the Scoutmaster or Staff Chaplain will have the opportunity to deliver a daily devotional, as part of the assembly. This guide was originally developed for the six-day format, with the expectation that it might be modified to fit future Wood Badge Courses.
WoodBadge Devotional (click here to download)
For each devotional entry, there are four elements:
Chaplain’s notes – listing which Wood Badge curriculum is being presented later that day, in order to give context for the daily devotional. This is intended for the speaker, but not to be shared with the participants until after the course.
Introduction – an opening thought or scenario to set the tone, which reflects elements of the upcoming day and shows where prayer or growth might be coveted.
Prayer – an ecumenical prayer, suitable for all faiths, to further focus the hearts and minds of the participants and staff, and then allow them a moment of silent meditation for their own communing with their understanding of their Creator.
Space – where a supplemental scripture or additional prayers might be written, depending on the format at faith basis of the course.
I hope that you find this useful. Feedback is a gift, so please consider leaving comments below regarding how this might be improved or better utilized.
Originally written for and delivered on Circle Ten Council’s Wood Badge Course WB 110 (S2-571-14-3), using a common Scouting experience (shooting sports) to describe one’s faith and the pursuit of proficiency in reverence:
- Lesson One – Sight Alignment – you adjust, God doesn’t
- Lesson Two – Sight Picture – focus not on the target, but on God
- Lesson Three – Marksmanship & Discipleship – be consistent and slow down
- Lesson Four – Affecting the Bullet – rely on the divine power/powder behind you
For the Wood Badge course, there was an initial 25m instructional on Interfaith in Scouting, followed by a 25m Worship Service. Attached are the instructional notes, the worship service program and the sermon (10m):
WB 110 Interfaith Instructional Info
WB 110 Worship Service Program
WB 110 Worship Service Sermon
Serving Him, and you, through Scouting.
Some might have heard the phrase “A Church should not be a Warehouse for saints; it is a Distribution Center for servants.”
It’s a cute way of reminding folks that the miracles, parables, historical accounts and even the dialogs written in our scriptures are not there purely for information. While the books and the classes can help the reader make key decisions in their faith, the primary purpose is not merely to educate, but also to energize and enable the believer for the mission that they are called to. If reading the written words or attending church were simply to inform or entertain, then they would mostly be a waste of time, albeit an enjoyable one.
Wood Badge is the same way. Our own Wood Badge experiences would have been a waste of time, albeit an enjoyable one, if they had only served to inform or entertain us for the six days that we were there. Similarly, the upcoming course is not really even to inform or entertain those participants whom we will be serving. As leaders, we should be mindful that our primary audience to impact with this event are those whom we will likely never meet — those that will be affected by the new leaders that we are energizing and enabling during our course.
PLEASE PRAY — To our Creator, we humble ourselves. We ask that you would help us to settle our hearts and clear our minds, so that we might be better instruments to educate, to energize, to enable, as well as to entertain those who are preparing to take this journey with us. We lift up those that are being left behind while we take this journey together and ask for an extra measure of patience, protection and blessings for those who must endure our absence. And we lift up not just those who will be participating, but even more those who are destined to be impacted down the road by what we humbly deliver together. Thank you for those that came on the trail before us, thank you for those on the trail ahead that we are here to serve, and thank you for your provision along the way. Amen.
Originally written for BSA C10 WB 110 Staff Development kickoff
Our district’s annual Camporee has many journeys taking place:
- One of the first campouts for those new Boy Scouts who recently crossed over from Cub Scouts
- New Leaders in place, since most troops just recently finished their elections
- New OA Brotherhood members who are reaffirming their call to Cheerful Service
- New OA Candidates being tapped out
We are all on journeys – some that need a little course correction, and others that need a 180 reversal. This sermon starts with reading the Christian Parable from Luke 15:11-32 on “The Prodigal Son”. When delivered to a multi-faith audience, as ours was, we explained that while the story being read comes from the Christian Bible, listen to the story as it relates to each of us.
CLICK HERE for the sermon of the Lost Son (or Scout)
Note: The inspiration for this sermon came through a breeze that I can only describe as the Holy Spirit in action — click here to read more about that experience.
A few weeks ago, while at church, one of my sons pointed out that the speaker on-stage was casting three shadows. Later, I explained that there were three spotlights on him from different directions — and each light was casting a shadow in-line with that light.
For my son, I went on to explain that the speaker and his shadows was one way to understand the Holy Trinity — God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. The speaker was the same speaker — but depending on the relative perspective of the spotlight, different shadows were cast. In much the same way, while there is but only one God, He casts multiple shadows depending on your perspective — as the all-powerful original Creator, as a sacrificial savior for the sins of the world, or an all-knowing and ever present source of righteousness and discernment — or other perspectives, such as Healer, Redeemer, Counselor, Defender, Provider, etc. The key to remember is that all of those impressions are simply shadows of our God, based on the perspective that you are looking at Him. Of course, in the bigger picture, there can be no shadows without light, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to find so many shadows (facets) cast by that which we call the Light of the World.
The key idea of interfaith scouting is to enable each scout to grow in their own faith – according to their own understanding of who God is. As a Chaplain (adult) or Chaplain’s Aide (CA) youth, your role is to facilitate an environment for that growth — even though some scouts may not share the same faith as the C/CA. When you, as the C/CA, are delivering the reverence aspects of your scouting program, you are like the speaker in the initial analogy. Each scout will have a different perspective, but hopefully they will hear wisdom and see opportunities to give thanks in the shadows of their understanding of God that are enabled through the reverence program that you deliver. As the C/CA, you may be a speaker, but your goal is to deliver a program that helps each boy recognize a shadow.
As always, thanks for reading.
Each Wood Badge course has two Interfaith services:
1.The first delivered by staff, in order to not only provide opportunities for Reverence but also to instruct the participants in how to deliver an Interfaith service.
2.The second is delivered by the participants, with coaching provided by the Course Chaplain.
I was honored to serve as the course Chaplain for Circle Ten’s Wood Badge 98 course, at Philmont in August 2011. Here are their materials:
Staff-led Service — Sermon (only)
Staff-led Service — Sermon and Interfaith instructional info
Staff-led Service — Program handout
Participant-led Service — Program handout