Scouting for Lutheran Youth

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Background

  • Lutheranism is a major Protestant denomination that originated as a 16th century movement led by Martin Luther.
  • 4.6 percent of the U.S. population are Lutherans. (Source: 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, Pew Forum)
    • 2.8 percent practice mainline traditional Lutheranism.
    • 1.8 percent practice evangelical traditional Lutheranism.
  • In 2010, there were:
    • 70,349Cub Scouts in 1,778 packs
    • 47,109 Boy Scouts in 1,823 troops
    • 3,638 Venturers in 429 crews

How the Lutheran Faith Is Organized

  • Lutheran congregations belong to one of three major religious organizations:
    • Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)
    • Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
    • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
  • The ELCA is the largest Lutheran organization with, as of 2008:
    • 4,543,037 baptized members
    • 10,348 congregations
    • 14 high schools
    • 296 elementary schools

Role of Scouting in the Lutheran Church

  • Since 1926, Lutheran congregations have been apprised by their national church bodies about the benefits to youth who participate in the Scouting program.
  • The Lutheran church bodies work with the Boy Scouts of America to:
    • Develop and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with the Boy Scouts of America.
    • Provide literature related to Scouting and the church’s ministry with children, youth, and families.
    • Provide and administer religious growth programs for Lutheran youth in Scouting.
    • Emphasize the religious aspect of the Scouting program.
    • Promote religious worship at outdoor Scouting functions, BSA national jamborees, and a chaplaincy program at Scout summer camps.
    • Foster among Lutheran congregations a regard for Scouting as a resource for ministry, and assistcongregations with Scouting units to use those units as effective ministry tools.
    • Help Lutheran adults in Scouting understand and carry out their ministry roles and give recognition to those who faithfully serve children and youth through the Scouting program.
  • The National Lutheran Committee on Scouting was formed in 1941 with representation from the Lutheran churches, which encompassed approximately 95 percent of U.S. Lutherans.
  • In 1967, the work of the National Lutheran Committee on Scouting was incorporated into the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. (LCUSA).
  • The National Lutheran Association of Scouters was formed to equip Lutherans and other Christians to minister to young people, using the programs of our partner youth-serving agencies to:
    • Encourage Lutheran youth to grow in knowledge of the Triune God and in their relationship to the Lutheran church through religious growth programs.
    • Publish a periodic newsletter, The Lutheran Scouter.
    • Foster the organization and growth of local Lutheran associations of Scouters, committees on Scouting, and similar groups.
    • Sponsor national meetings and regional forums of the membership.
    • Promote the use of unit and camp chaplains and chaplain aides.
    • Foster such other relationships and programs as may be jointly approved by its executive board.

Scouting Youth and Adult Recognitions

  • In 2010, according to P.R.A.Y., the God and Country religious growth program was used by:
    • 1,338 Cub Scouts
    • 1,119 Webelos
    • 368 Boy Scouts
    • 151 Venturers
    • 102 adults

Youth Emblems

God and Me




Purpose

  • Encourages children to become best friends with Jesus, and tell their story of “God and Me” together.

Eligibility

  • Youth in first through third grade

Requirements

  • Designed to be completed in four to five sessions.
  • Youth completes sessions on: God Created Me; Jesus is God’s Gift to Me; I Can Talk with God; Because God Cares for Me; and I Can Care for Others.

God and Family




Purpose

  • Helps youth understand the importance of family, and God’s role in a healthy family.

Eligibility

  • Youth in fourth and fifth grade

Requirements

  • Designed to be completed in six to seven sessions.
  • Sessions include:
    • We are God’s Family
    • Family Heritage, Spiritual Heritage

God and Church




Purpose

  • Gives youth an opportunity to understand the church’s structure and objectives,and to participate in service projects that will give them a better understanding of the mission of the church

Eligibility

  • Youth in sixth through eighth grade

Requirements

  • Designed to take three to five months to complete
  • Sessions include: Meeting Christ; Worshipping God; and Witnessing and Ministering for Christ.
  • Must complete a video or photo album to share what they learned.

God and Church




Purpose

  • Teaches youth to study the lives of men and women in the Bible, discovering what their lives teach them about God, and challenging them to integrate the faith of those in the Bible into their daily lives.

Eligibility

  • Youth in ninth through twelfth grades who do not necessarily have to belong to a Boy Scout troop

Requirements

  • Completion of five sections covering:
    • How God calls all kinds of people
    • God doesn’t expect us to do it on our own
    • Each of us must make a personal response to the call of God
    • God gives strength to face adversities
    • God can accomplish great things through those who are willing to do God’s will

Adult Emblems

God and Country Mentor Program




Purpose

  • Provides an adult with additional opportunities to model his or her Christian faith and to help a young child talk about his or her belief in God

Eligibility

  • Parent or guardian of a youth in the God and Country program series

Requirements

  • Completion of the God and Country curriculum working alongside a youth for whom the parent or guardian is responsible.

Lamb Emblem




Purpose

  • Acknowledges the distinguished service of Lutheran adults in fostering the spiritual growth of youth through the Boy Scouts of America to increase the use and quality of the Boy Scouts of America in Lutheran congregations as part of their ministries with youth.

Eligibility

  • Be an active member of a Lutheran congregation.
  • Minimum of 10 years of distinguished volunteer service to the church
  • Minimum of 10 years of distinguished volunteer service to the Boy Scouts of America
  • Serve as a Christian role model and leader to young people encouraging them to participate in the spiritual life of their congregation.
  • Promote the religious growth programs, the observance of Boy Scout Sunday, and chaplains and chaplain’s aide programs.
  • Exhibit leadership and be fully trained in the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Help organize new units in the nominee’s own and neighboring Lutheran congregations.
  • Recruit youth and promote full involvement of members in the program.
  • Encourage units to support group service projects in response to a community or congregational need.

Requirements

  • Submit nominations by application to the Lutheran Committee on Civic Youth Agency Relationships.

Servant of Youth Adult Recognition




Purpose

  • Acknowledges distinguished volunteer service by adults in ministry to young people through the Boy Scouts of America.

Eligibility

  • Be an active member of a Lutheran congregation or of another Christian congregation who serves Lutheran young people through the Boy Scouts of America in affiliation with a Lutheran congregation.
  • Minimum of five years of service to the church
  • Minimum of five years of service to the Boy Scouts of America
  • Be one whose Christian lifestyle is a model for young people.
  • Encourage young people to participate in spiritual growth opportunities in their congregations.
  • Promote the religious growth programs to young people.
  • Recruit adult volunteers, especially Lutherans, to give leadership to Boy Scout of America programs.
  • Be fully trained in his/her area of responsibility.
  • Reflect one’s Christian faith and the position of his/her church body in discussions and meetings of the civic youth agency at every level at which he/she is involved.

Requirements

  • Submit nominations by application to the Lutheran Committee on Civic Youth Agency Relationships.

Organization Information

  • For more information and materials on the religious growth programs and awards, contact P.R.A.Y. (Programs of Religious Activities With Youth):
    • Write to P.R.A.Y., 11123 S. Town Square, Suite B, St. Louis, MO 63123-7816; toll-free phone:1-800-933-7729; phone: 314-845-3318; fax: 314-845-0058.
    • Web site: www.praypub.org
  • For more information concerning NLAS or the locations and address of local Lutheran associations of Scouters or committees on Scouting, contact the NLAS secretary at P.R.A.Y. Web site: www.nlas.org

Updated March 2011

 

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