The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Troop 102 seeks to condition and develop the physical, mental and spiritual capabilities of each Boy Scout while fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and Christian love.
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.
A Scout is
The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
Your Orthodox Church, in partnership with Boy Scouts of America/Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and the Standing Conference of Canonical Eastern Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, wholeheartedly endorses Scouting and urges parish councils and the Reverend Clergy to sponsor this program on a local level. Too often we fail to see the possibilities that this program offers in the Christian education of our youth.
Boy Scouts of America tell us in effect “Here is a program for you to use as you wish. We will provide you the resources and framework for your program and help train your leaders.” What more do we ask? The unit or units once established belong to the church and the Boy Scouts will issue charters. The priest and Parish Council have the responsibility of appointing Christian leaders to guide the activities of the units. The Girl Scouts appoint their leaders.
There are two types of troops a parish may sponsor. On the one hand there is the closed troop whose membership is open only to Orthodox Scouts; on the other hand, there is the opened troop whose membership is not restricted in any way. Each parish is free to chose its own program.
What does Scouting offer a Church?
- A program for boys/girls tailored to the local parish and administrated by the church, through the Priest and Parish Council.
- An opportunity of reading, teaching and training boys & girls and thus strengthening the parish.
- A cooperative program in which the Church, troop, school and home work together.
- Helpful up-to-date literature and program aids for the leaders.
- Assistance and guidance from competent professional and volunteer Scout leaders and also from the local Scout council office.
- Scouting does not detract from existing youth programs. Rather, they provide a Church-centered program of education and outdoor activities which supplements other youth ministries in the parish.
Scouting in the Parish Life
Scouting has many objectives that are common with those of our Holy, Orthodox Church. As a program devised especially for the formative years of our Orthodox youth, Scouting encourages a better Christian life; it aids in building character and developing wholesome habits and effective citizenship activities. The Scout motto “Be Prepared” implies not only physical and mental but also spiritual, moral preparedness.
Scouting works hand and hand with the Church on all levels. A properly organized and supervised Scout program in a parish can do a great deal in keeping our youth close to the Church and its many varied, wholesome, character building activities; it trains boys and girls to be of service to God, country, and fellowmen – all of which constitutes a Christian upbringing.
Finally, it trains our boys/girls not only how to be contributing citizens of tomorrow, but also participating members and leaders in our Holy Faith. We have many examples of Scouts participating as acolytes, choir members, Sunday school teachers, and in various other capacities in our parish life. A number of the Boy Scouts even found themselves drawn to the Holy Priesthood as a result of the close contact they had with their priest through this program.
Scouting reaches every member of the family and leads him/her into the parish life of our churches. This program cannot be expected to cure all parish problems, but it can rally the youth around the priest with a Church-centered, wholesome program of education and fun.