Duty To God & Religious Emblems

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A Scout is Reverent

One of the basic tenants of Scouting is Duty-to-God.  The first point of the Boy Scout Oath is the promise “To do my Duty to God” and the last point of the Scout Law is Reverent, as in a “Scout is Reverent”.  There are many ways you as an adult scout leader can build faith into your unit’s scout program, whether you are in a pack, troop or crew.  An important concept to keep in mind is that we need to be respectful of other faiths and not promote one faith over another.  However, it is ok to concentrate on one faith if everyone in the unit is of that faith (e.g. Jewish units, some Catholic, Protestant and Muslim units). 

Duty to God

With that said, in multi-faith units it is ok to have Scouts do something that’s in their personal faith tradition that is appropriate for the timing and to share it with the unit. For example, in the Jewish tradition on Friday night before dinner, a Jewish scout may give a special blessing over grape juice and challah bread.  Several years ago at summer camp, Troop 2000 wanted to expose all their scouts to this tradition.  So they asked everyone to watch.  Opportunities like this where people realize that they are not necessarily being asked to participate, but rather to observe are great occasions to educate those in other faiths.  The difficult part is that it mostly works for groups in the minority.  Also, non-denominational services are an excellent way to show our Duty-to-God in a respectful way.

Council Duty to God Award

The Council Duty to God Award was created to recognize those registered Scouters who have demonstrated an exemplary history of transformational leadership in supporting and promoting the spiritual foundation of Scouting at the local Council level. It acknowledges the unswerving dedication to faith, fellowship, and service of those whose character embodies the moral principles and shared ideals of the Boy Scouts of America. The deadline submit nominations is January 31, 2024. Nominations can be sent to Michelle Byrne at michelle.byrne@scouting.org

Unit Leaders & Committee Chair Resources

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Chaplain Aide Resources

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Questions? Please contact your District Professional by visiting the Staff Directory.