Tag Archive for Boy-Scouts

How to deliver God & Church in Three Lock-Ins

God & Church is the third phase of the PrayPub discipleship program that is recognized for Christian Protestant Scouts in the 6th thru 8th grade (including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.) and is the next phase of growth beyond God & Me (1st thru 3rd grades) and God & Family (4th & 5th grades).

Last year, I developed a guide for delivering God & Family as an overnight lock-in, instead of six meetings.

This year, we’d like to try delivering God & Church in three lock-ins.

The typical schedule for God & Church is eleven (11) meetings, including the introductory session, seven lesson meetings and three “Mile Marker” unit wrap-ups. Instead, OUR schedule will be three (3) single, overnight lock-ins and a closing party/event, spread over a three month period. Each lock-in will include multiple lessons from the program guide, small group time for discussion and project work, and free time.

Here is the first draft of the God & Church three lock-in format – God n Church Lock-In Guide 2014-01

“Feedback is a Gift” and “A Scout is Helpful” … so am hoping that you will take a look and let me know what you think, especially if you have experience with the God & Church curriculum.

Thank you for your time.

DDCC – District Den Chief Coordinator (idea)

Here is an idea that I would like feedback on: a district (or sub-district) den chief coordinator (DDCC).

As a former Cubmaster/ASM and current Commissioner, I am a huge fan of Den Chief’ing, when it is done right:

  • The Cub Scouts see an ideal example of what staying in the program looks like
  • The Cub Leader gets an extra set of hands and ideas
  • The Troop gets an ambassador to the Packs that may join them
  • The Boy Scout learns leadership

But there are challenges that have to be managed:

  • Ensuring that the Boy Scout acts as a “leader” and not just “a big cub to be handled”
  • Ensuring that the Boy Scout participates and is able to receive coaching, just as they would if they were serving within the Troop
  • Ensuring that every Den gets a Den Chief (that wants one) and that every suitable Boy Scout gets an opportunity to serve/lead/learn.

As an Asst. District Commissioner, I serve 5 troops and 9 packs. At a minimum that would be 36 Dens (Wolf, Bear, Web1 and Web2 times 9 packs) that need Den Chiefs, but there are likely more like 45 dens in my service area. While I have helped many boy scouts find packs and vice versa, and am sure there are lots of other 1:1 matchups going on, I’d like to try something new:

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An Amazing Army Adventure for Boy Scout Troop 845

This weekend, I had the profound honor to spend the weekend at Fort Hood, the US Army Post in Killeen, Texas. Troop 845, including my son and I, had the amazing opportunity to spend a weekend with several of our country’s finest soldiers.

Troop 845 at Fort Hood

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November = Wring-Out and Re-Charter

It seems like we just got done with School Night for Scouting (see earlier Rally and SNfS blogs) and it is time to start thinking about the next phases of the membership process – wring-out and re-charter. And while they are very different, one helps the other (and you):


Wring-Out is the very simple process of ensuring that everyone that you (the Pack/Troop leadership) thinks is on your rolls are actually registered with BSA and vice versa. It should literally take you 5 minutes to do, because typically, the only request is that you email a copy of your unit roster to your Commissioner or District Executive. From there, someone at the Council office will compare your roster to what is in the BSA system. Inevitably, BSA will find someone on your roster that they don’t have paperwork on but is active in your unit (solution: fill out an app).

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A Guide for Chaplains Aides

In an effort to provide more structure and guidance for the Chaplains Aides (CA) in my district’s troops, I drafted a small guide that was intended for the Troops to consider, adapt and utilize if they chose to.  The guide draws out that CA is a leadership function, not just a service function, so the CA(s) should be leading, including:

– Preparing before campouts to deliver their Scouts’ Own Services

– Delivering the SOS itself, with the enlistment of supporting team members

– Debriefs after each SOS, as an opportunity to improve and grow

– If a CA is unable to attend a campout, they are still responsible for ensuring that an SOS still occurs during the campout, including the preparation and the debrief.

It also includes two signature sheets:  one signed at the beginning of the term of service (acknowledging expectations) and the second signed at the end of service for completion.

CLICK HERE to download the first draft of the Guide to Chaplains Aides


The Guide is a work-in-progress, with this being the first draft for considered use this Fall & Winter.   I will update the guide after lessons learned, as well as after suggestions offered by Scouters on the Internet.

As always, thanks for reading and your feedback.

I love Merit Badge Colleges

I really do !

There are a lot of folks out there that think that Merit Badge Colleges (MBCs) diminish earning the Merit Badges (MB), and they certainly do when the MBC is delivered with the intent to “Spend a Saturday, take home two badges.”

Similarly, there are folks that treat MBCs kind of like the summer community college where you took hard (aka Eagle) courses in an accelerated way, so as to avoid doing them during the traditional way. And that is equally bad.

Like most things in life, the problem is in the intent and the execution, not in the thing itself.

MBCs are not the problem – expecting to earn one or two merit badges in a day is.

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How to Deliver God & Family as a Weekend Lock-in

Many Cub Scouts initially earn their purple knot (youth religious award) through God & Me for 1st-3rd grade – but don’t continue through the progressive program for higher ages.

By the time that they are Webelos or Boy Scouts, they often have so many other activities that they (or their parents) don’t want to sign up for 6 to 8 weekend meetings.  So, in our district, we tried delivering the God & Family (4th & 5th grade Protestant) program as a weekend lock-in.

The boys checked in at 6PM Friday and walked out 4PM Saturday, with the next part of their discipleship journey complete … along with some new purple knots or gold pins.

Click here to download a Guide to How to Deliver a God & Family Lock-in.


My hope is that you’ll consider delivering this in your own Councils and Districts – and provide feedback for how we can improve the guide.

Good Scouting and Many Blessings!

Religious Recognitions for Scouts

All religious courseware and programs are prescribed by the various religious institutions that have chosen to develop them. The programs are not created or maintained by the Boy Scouts. BSA simply approves the program structure and provides a method of recognition via the Uniform Knots for Scouts and Adults.

Youth Religious Award

Many religious study programs offer a multiple courses, based on the age of the Scout:

Upon completing the first course of a religious study program, the Scout is authorized to wear the Scout Religious Award, otherwise known as the “Purple Knot”, which is available from most Scout uniform shops.  If a Scout completes additional religious education programs, they are authorized to wear a small metal ‘device’ (pin) on their Purple Knot for each subsequent program completed, so that one Purple knot is worn throughout their scouting experience.

Cub Scout DeviceWith Cub Scout device #926 Cub Scout Device

with Webelos device #932


Boy Scout DeviceVarsity DeviceVenturing DeviceSea Scout device
Boy Scout, Varsity, Venturing and Sea Scout devices


The Purple Religious Youth knot earned earned as a youth can be worn on an Adult Leader’s uniform, as well.  Adults can also be awarded earn a different religious knot.

NOTE : If a Pin or Medal is awarded by the religious institution for completing a course of study, the pin/medal OR the purple uniform knot can be worn — typically not both, as it is redundant.  The exception would be a necklace-based medal which can be worn for formal award ceremonies such as Boy Scout Courts of Honor, whenever other formal saches or similar regalia are worn.

If you know of other resources related Religious Programs, Awards or Rank Advancements, please let us know !



What BSA says on Faith – Boy Scouts

The Boy Scout Oath promises:
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.


The 12th Point of the Scout Law is that “A Scout is Reverent“.

A Scout is reverent toward God.

He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others. Wonders all around the world remind us of our faith in God. We find it in the tiny secrets of creation and in the great mysteries of the universe. It exists in the kindness of people and in the teachings of our families and religious leaders. We show our reverence by living our lives according to the ideals of our beliefs. Throughout your life you will encounter people expressing their reverence in many different ways. The Constitution of the United States guarantees each of us the freedom to believe and worship as we wish without government interference. It is your duty to respect and defend others’ rights to their religious beliefs even when they differ from your own.


Scouting 4 God Commentary:

Reverence” in the Scout Law comes down to three key mandates – found within  the first line of text above:

He is FAITHFUL in his religious duties.   Above all else, are you and your Creator in alignment?  Every person of every faith is individually accountable to their Creator for their own actions.  The Scout Law reminds us of this accountability.

He RESPECTS the beliefs of others.  As is the purpose of this entire website and the BSA charter, while we may not agree on what our Creator looks like, we must respect others viewpoints.   As your faith calls you to share your faith, do it respectfully in ways that does not tread on beliefs of those around you.  Moreover, Scout Leaders and those responsible for leading religious activities within Scouting events must be very sensitive to ensure that their language and activities do not enforce only one particular faith.

We find it in the tiny secrets of CREATION.  As our common denominator, we embrace a Creator.  Especially with Scouting’s emphasis on outdoor activities and camping, it should be easy to be constantly reminded that a Creator exists — and therefore is suitable to be reverent to.


See also – the BSA Charter & Bylaws andthe Cub Scout Promise

BSA Recognized Faiths thru PrayPub

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