Scout Sunday

The Boy Scouts of America designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 (Scouting Anniversary Day) as Scout Sunday, which is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting. However, each chartered organization can use either of two other options to celebrate this special day. An organization can adopt a specific Sunday to celebrate. In the instance of the United Methodist Church, Scout Sunday is celebrated on the second Sunday in February. It also is permissible for a local church to celebrate on the Sunday most acceptable to the pastor and congregation.

Scout Sunday Observance

This is a suggested format for your unit’s annual Scout Sunday observance: Suggested Scout Sunday Service of Worship(outline)

  • Call to Worship
  • Responsive Reading
    • The Scout Law
    • On My Honor
    • Hear Our Prayer
  • Pastoral Prayer
  • Offertory Prayer
  • Scripture Reading
  • Prayer of Dedication or Offertory
  • Meditations
  • Benedictions
  • Closing Hymn

Suggested Scout Sunday Service of Worship

(Adapt for your special day.) 

Processional with U.S. flag, unit flag(s), and Christian flag. Call to worship

    (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer or Sea Scout)

Invocation Opening hymn Prayer

    (Composed and delivered by a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer or Sea Scout)

Hymn Responsive reading Offering

    (Suggest that money collected be used to support the local council camp chaplaincy program.)

Offertory prayers

    (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer or Sea Scout)

Hymn Scripture

    (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer or Sea Scout)

Meditation Lord’s Prayer Hymn God and Country program

    (Give a brief explanation; pass out fliers, cards, and envelopes for the pastor. Present awards to youth who have earned them.)

Benediction

    (Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer or Sea Scout)

Call to Worship

(Opening sentences)

  1. Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! (Psalm 106:1)
  2. The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
  3. But they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
  4. God calls us together to worship this morning. From our work and play within the world, God gathers us to give thanks for creation’s goodness, for the strength to labor, for the wisdom to relax.

From amidst our friends and family, God brings us here to participate in a community of faith, Christ’s people, a new family. From everyday conversations, talks, and chatter, God invites us to engage one another in dialogue, to speak in truth from the depths of heart and mind, to pray freely. Let us heed God’s call and rejoice in what God enables. Let us pray together.

The Scout Law

Leader: The Scout Law is a guiding light to millions of boys and young adults throughout the world today, but the principles of the law have been brought to us from ancient days.

  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

Scouts: A Scout is trustworthy. 

Leader: 

  • He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. (Luke 16:10)

Scouts: A Scout is loyal. 

Leader: 

  • You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. … (Leviticus 19:18)
  • For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to thy needy and to the poor, in the land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Scouts: A Scout is helpful. 

Leader:

  • Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
  • Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (Psalm 133)

Scouts: A Scout is friendly. 

Leader:

  • Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Scouts: A Scout is courteous. 

Leader:

  • A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. (Proverbs 12:10)

Scouts: A Scout is kind. 

Leader:

  • Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor thy first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:1-3)

Scouts: A Scout is obedient. 

Leader:

  • A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. All the days of the afflicted are evil, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:13-15)

Scouts: A Scout is cheerful. 

Leader:

  • Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8)

Scouts: A Scout is thrifty. 

Leader:

    Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Scouts: A Scout is brave. 

Leader:

  • Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:3-5)

Scouts: A Scout is clean. 

Leader:

  • And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)

Scouts: A Scout is reverent, he is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.

On My Honor

Leader: All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. (Psalm 25:10) 

Scouts: On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country. 

Leader: 

  • Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord the people whom he has chosen as his heritance. (Psalm 33:12)
  • My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you. (Proverbs 3:1-2)

Scouts: On my honor I will do my best to obey the Scout Law—and the Law is this: A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 

Leader:

  • And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
  • Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Scouts: On my honor I will do my best to help other people at other times. 

Leader:

  • Remember also the Golden Text: And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6:31)
  • Do you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. (I Corinthians 3:16-17)

Scouts: On my honor, I will do my best to keep myself mentally awake. 

Leader: 

  • Wisdom is the principal thing: Do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Get wisdom; get insight. (Proverbs 4:5)
  • How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to thy word. (Psalm 119:9)

Scouts: On my honor, I will do my best to keep myself morally straight. 

Leader: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)

Hear Our Prayer

Leader: Let us pray for Scouts, for Scouters, and for all people. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Because we have failed in the trust others placed in us, we pray for forgiveness and for renewal to be trustworthy. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For strength to be loyal to our calling in baptism as his disciples in the world. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For forgiveness when we saw the need to help and passed that need by, when we failed to ask if we could be helpful to a friend or a stranger. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For the spirit to be friendly to all people and even to those who are unfrienpy to us. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For the gift of courtesy to all people but especially to the elderly, the disabled, and little children. Lord in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For a heart that rejoices in being kind to people, to animals, and to earth on which we live. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For the will to discipline ourselves to be obedient to the will of our God, and not to our selfish desires. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For a cheerful spirit to see us through disappointing events in our lives, for a faith that believes God will bring some good even from events that cause us pain and sadness. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For an appreciation that all that we have is the gift of our gracious God, for a mind and a heart that will be thrifty in managing the resources God has entrusted to our care. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For the courage not to be afraid of doing what is right and to be brave in working for justice. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: For the will to work to keep clean our minds, our hearts, and our land. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer.

 Leader: For the gift of reverence for God who values all that he has created; for reverence for people, for animal life, for the earth and all its resources—all precious in God’s sight. Lord, in your mercy, 

Scouts: Hear our prayer. 

Leader: Into your hands, O Lord, we commend all the people and all the needs we bring before you in our prayers, trusting in your mercy, through our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Scouts: Amen.

Pastoral Prayer

Almighty God, creator of us all; grant us the patience to wait and listen to your voice. Help us not to seek the answers in the silence of prayer, but rather let your thoughts, God, travel to us and through us as we dare to ascend your mountain of law, your holy hill of truth. O God, how thankful we are that you have come into our lives through the Holy Spirit. You know, Lord, that we’re not perfect, that we want to improve. Show us where we can. We pray today for God’s children—all the children of the world. May they find peace and love in their families and schools and learn the love of Jesus Christ for each and every one of them through our lives as we interact with them on a daily basis. We also pray for our young people, who are seeking a cause which is worthy of their life’s commitment and a leader who is deserving of their devotion. We know that our youth must deal with a host of options. So, we pray that they may choose Jesus Christ. We pray you will be with our Scouts as they continue to follow the Scout law and work toward being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Offertory Prayer

  1. Bless us O God, and these gifts which we bring. Use them to further the Scouting ministry. Amen.
  2. May these gifts which we bring be merely an extension of our daily duty to you, O God. Amen.
  3. May the gifts that we now offer up to God be a sign of our trust in God’s promise of a new tomorrow, a better day, a sign that love and forgiveness have indeed found a way.

Scripture Reading

  1. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) The Salt of the Earth. The Light of the World. (Matthew 5:13-16)
  2. Parable of the Sower. (Matthew 13:1-9)
  3. The Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37)
  4. The True Glory of Jesus. (Mark 9:2-9)
  5. Moab Rebels Against Israel. (II Kings 2:1-12a)

Prayer of Dedication or Offertory

Your importance in our lives, O God, is reflected in our gifts. We return to you, through the ministry and outreach of this church, a portion of all that you have entrusted to us. We promise that these offerings will not be the end of our giving. We will also invest our time and abilities in your work of healing, comforting, teaching, guiding, and proclaiming good news. Bless each gift, whatever its size, and multiply the good to be done through our talents and treasure. Amen.

Benedictions

  1. Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time, now and forever. Amen.
  2. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways.
  3. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
  4. May the Great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with you until we meet again. Amen.
  5. May the Lord bless you and take care of you; may the Lord be kind and gracious to you; may the Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.

Suggested Worship Aids for Scout Sunday Service

Hymns:

  • “For the Beauty of the Earth”
  • “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
  • “God Bless Our Native Land”
  • “God, Who Touchest Earth with Beauty”
  • “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?”
  • “Standing On the Promises”
  • “All Glory, Laud and Honor”
  • “All Creatures of Our God and King”
  • “All Beautiful the March of Days”
  • “All Things Bright and Beautiful”
  • “In the Stars His Handiwork I See”
  • “Shepherd of Eager Youth”
  • “I’ll Be a Sunbeam”
  • “Praise Him, All Ye Little Children”
  • “Jesus Loves Me”v
  • “Father, Let Me Dedicate”
  • “Make Me a Blessing”
  • “Arise All Youth of God”

Scouter Prayer

Dear Lord, from your judgment seat on high, Look down on a Scoutmaster such as I. Search me through and find me whole, Then help me, Lord, to reach my goal. Help me, Lord, to work for Thee, Guard my homeland—keep it free. Help me to work with others and be kind, Helpful with my hands and mind. Keep me, Lord, both well and strong, To help growing boys along. Control my thoughts, keep them right, Sound, clean weapons for life’s fight. Protect my morals, keep them high, Grant this to a Scouter such as I.

—Author Unknown

The Guy in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf, And the world makes you king for a day, Then go to the mirror and look at yourself, And see what that guy has to say. For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife, Who judgment upon you must pass. The feller whose verdict counts most in your life Is the guy staring back from the glass. He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest, For he’s with you clear up to the end, And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test If the guy in the glass is your friend. You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum, And think you’re a wonderful guy, But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum If you can’t look him straight in the eye. You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years, And get pats on the back as you pass, But your final reward will be heartaches and tears If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

—Dale Wimbrow

Program Covers

Check with your local council Scout shop or visit ScoutShop.org for Scout Sunday supplies.

Bringing Youth to Christ Through a Scouting Ministry

Adapt for your congregation’s newsletter or bulletin. The Scouting program at (name of congregation) is more than just an activity for our youth to learn about the outdoors. Scouting provides fun, fellowship, and training to our youth as well as youth in our community. It emphasizes honesty, self-reliance, and respect. Through a year-round program, it affects character, citizenship, and personal fitness. But the success of our Scouting depends on our volunteers, who serve in a variety of leadership roles so that our young people may benefit from our Scouting ministry. As the Boy Scouts of America celebrates its anniversary, we salute the splendid volunteers who serve as Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, and Venturing Advisors, and in other positions of leadership.

I think the Gospel is a very powerful, yet a very simple message. It is a message of love, respect, and responsibility. Scouting is all of that. —Pastor Peter Paine, Waukegan, Illinois

(The God and Country program) really made me think about my relationship with God and made me evaluate it. —Scout Robert Lalley, Princeton, New Jersey

When you look at the Scout Law and the principles which Scouting teaches young people, all those things are basically biblical principles. —Pastor Robert Cushman, Princeton, New Jersey

I’ve seen him study the Bible more in preparation to do devotions, that all the boys participate in . … —Elinor Dalene, Parent, Wyckoff, New Jersey

It is our troop, we can really build it the way we want, we can determine those factors that are important to us to build into the program, just as God would have us to do. —Pastor Don James, Wyckoff, New Jersey

Many volunteers give their time so Scouting’s members will be involved in a quality program. Merit badge counselors help Scouts learn more about vocations and hobbies. Volunteers see that the Scout camps of the (name) Council have the necessary physical facilities and that all camp activities meet the high health and safety standards of the national organization. Volunteers serve behind the scenes on committees so that community organizations using the Scouting program can find the best leadership possible for the youth related to their organizations. Volunteers, too, provide training for these leaders and offer a continuing service to every Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, and Venturing crew. Many men and women offer their services to Scouting, but more volunteers are always needed to serve as leaders or share their special skills with young people and other adults. All these people experience a special sense of achievement through their work in Scouting. We congratulate all the volunteers who are active in Scouting throughout (insert name of community) and want to offer a special prayer and word of the thanks to the leaders of (insert Pack, Troop, or Crew number) chartered to (name of congregation).

A Psalm for Scouts and Scouters

The Lord God is our Great Scoutmaster who provides all our needs.

He lets us camp in forests tall and meadows green.

He leads us on trails besides waters deep and still, brooks babbling, streams rushing, and rivers raging.

He restores our bodies, minds and souls, even as we observe the eagle soaring to greater heights above.

He encourages the Eagle Scout in his upward climb.

He teaches Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers to live the Scout Oath and Law.

Even though the trails may lead through dark valleys with towering mountains, we are courageous because he leads us onward.

He continually blesses us with food for mind and body.

Even when our enemies dislike or distrust us, he blesses us with the gifts of love and forgiveness.

Surely, his goodness and mercy will sustain us all the days of our lives.

And, when we climb the final trail through the awesome pass that leads to the Great Councilfire, we shall join those who traveled the trail before us and joyfully live with him forever!

Meditations

Be Prepared (Read Matthew 25: 1-13) Though the winter air was crisp, an early sun warmed our faces as we prepared to start a twenty-mile hike. We were properly dressed for the weather. We had our boots laced tightly to protect our feet from the cold water in the streams we knew we would have to ford. Our packs held our lunch, rain gear, dry socks, and first-aid supplies. We were prepared. However, the sun soon faded from view as unexpected storm clouds covered the sky. Soon it was raining and our pace was slowed. The water in the streams was now too deep to ford, so we lost time finding better crossings. The rain changed to driving snow, and our footing became treacherous. We were losing time, and the day was slipping away. The storm passed, but now it was getting dark and we still had several miles to go. It was at this point that we realized we were not prepared—we had no flashlights in our packs, not one. We stumbled along in the dark and finally, with great difficulty, finished the hike. Some of the best training we receive comes as a result of our own mistakes, failures, omission—not being prepared. If this is true, why must mankind persist in making the same mistakes over and over? Prayer: Dear God, help us learn from our mistakes. Help us be prepared to serve others as Christ has served us. Amen.