For the last 114 years, Methodists have sought to provide learning opportunities for youth through Scouting. Before the Boy Scouts of America was formed, some Methodist churches across the United States saw the value in living experiential lessons and the practical application of servant faith. They started Scout Troops. When BSA was formed, they joined.
Boy Scouts continued to pour resources and training into the volunteers who serve. Positions became more specific and structured. Two deep leadership, Youth Protection, Parents Guides(s) to Protecting Your Children From Child Abuse, and skills focussed training built high functioning, fun, and low problem groups. Safety increased rapidly and abuse descreased. These susccesses led to two unique outcomes. Many volunteers stayed with the Scouts long after their own children grew up. And BSA groups slid from the focus of most churches who supported Scouting before. BSA had served so well that the church did not see a need to provide focus on the youth and adults in Scouting.
The BSA bankruptcy changed the perception. 84,000 of claims of abuse were leveled at the BSA a majority pre-dating the 1974 CAPTA Act that addressed child abuse and neglect. The harm done needed to be recognized and justice served. Providing program for children and families to grow could only happen if the past taught the harsh lesson. The realization that the focus had shifted within churches became front and center. Many churches recognized the need to embrace ministry in community safely.
With the approval of the court to proceed with the restructuring, it is important for the church to stay in the safe agreements. It is also important that we live out our faith in community. Scouting is a perfect tool for time together. There is an expectation of Duty to God and Reverence. As BSA has made clear, the faith community should attend to the spiritual side. Our agreements commit the church to pray, hold Scout Sunday, and serve with Scouts. These are simple but fruitful ways we serve. It is important for the church to do for the least of these as Christ directed. Faith goes well beyond the legal agreements and into the eternal relationships.
One thought on “Time for a Relationship”
Been a Methodist all my life ( 75 years old ) & active in Troops of 4 communities! Also active as a District/Council Scouter. Run Scout Sunday every year…charter member of NAUMS. Keep up the good work for our Scouts.