The Objective of the Literature is to broaden the knowledge of all Youths & Adult in Scouting on the topic Scouting and Religion, and their fundamental expectations as Leaders of the Scouting Movement.
Equally to create a paradigm shift in the minds of leaders that do not have thorough knowledge of how the theme “Scouting and Religion” is being managed around the world.
Scouting, also known as the Scout Movement, is a worldwide youth movement with the stated aim of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, that they may play constructive roles in society.
The movement employs the Scout method, a program of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports.
What is Scout Method?
Scouting is taught using the Scout method, which incorporates an informal educational system that emphasizes practical activities in the outdoors. The Scout method is the principal method by which the Scouting organizations, boy and girl, operate their units.
WOSM describes Scouting as "...a voluntary nonpolitical educational movement for young people open to all without distinction of origin, race or creed, in accordance with the purpose, principles and method conceived by the Founder..." It is the goal of Scouting "to contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potentials as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities
The World Organization of the Scout Movement's (WOSM) definition of the Scout method has been modified over the years. Through the 1980s it was composed of four elements: Scout Law and Scout Promise (Scout Oath), learning by doing, development of small groups, and a progressive and attractive program of different activities. This changed in the 1990s. WOSM now divides the method into seven elements; namely:
1. Law and Promise
2. Learning by doing.
3. Team System
4. Symbolic Framework
5. Personal Progression
7. Adult Supports.
We are not going to go into details of the above mentioned; they are just required as references in the contexts of this learning.
SCOUTING AND RELIGION:
A Scout should be spiritual nd Scouting is open to all religions. Scouting deals with religions in the practical way: by nature study (to see what God is) and helping others (which is what God asks for). According to Baden-Powell this is part of all religions. Scouting develops the spiritual side through teaching life-saving techniques and by promoting the daily good deed. Today religious practice is not a duty any more, as long as the Scout follows the Scout law and promise.
Religion in Scouting and Guiding is an aspect of the Scout method that has been practiced differently and given different interpretations over the years.
In contrast to the Christian-only Boy’s Brigade, which started two decades earlier, Lord Baden Powell founded the Scout movement as a youth organization (with boys as 'Scouts' and girls as 'Guides'), which was independent of any single faith or religion, yet still held that spirituality and a belief in a higher power were key to the development of young people.
Scouting organizations are free to interpret the method as laid down by the founder. As the modern world has become more secular and as many societies have become more religiously diverse.
Founder’s views of religion's place in Scouting
When creating the Scouting method, Baden-Powell was adamant that there was a place for God within it. In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell wrote specifically about Christianity, since he was writing for youth groups in the United Kingdom: Indeed, the Scout Promise requires an incoming member to fulfill their "duty to God".
However, the founder's position moved shortly after the Scout movement began to grow rapidly around the world, and his writings and speeches allowed for all religions. He did continue to emphasize that God was a part of a Scout's life: When asked where religion came into Scouting and Guiding, Baden-Powell replied, It does not come in at all. It is already there. It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.
Though we hold no brief for any one form of belief over another, we see a way to helping all by carrying the same principle into practice as is now being employed in other branches of education. Baden-Powell's gravestone bears no cross or other religious symbol. Rather, in addition to the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Badges, it bears a circle with a dot in the centre, the trail sign for "Going home" / "I have gone home": .
Religion and spirituality is still a key part of the Scouting method. The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) states the following in Fundamental Principles:
Under the title "Duty to God", the first of the above-mentioned principles of the Scout Movement is defined as "adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to the religion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting there from".
"Duty to God" is a principle of worldwide Scouting and WOSM requires its member National Scout Organizations to reference "duty to God" in their Scout Promises. Scouting associations apply this principle to their membership policies in different ways. There are Scouting associations in some countries, such as France and Denmark that are segregated on the basis of religious belief. All members of The Scout Association are encouraged to:
make every effort to progress in the understanding and observance of the Promise to do their best to do their duty to God;
belong to some religious body;
carry into daily practice what they profess.
If a Scout Group, Explorer Scout Unit or Scout Network is composed of members of several denominations or religions, the young people should be encouraged to attend services of their own form of religion
International religious bodies in Scouting and Guiding
A number of religions and denominations have formed international organizations within Scouting and Guiding that should further the spiritual development of their adherents. Most of these organizations employ two types of membership: individual and organizational. The religious organizations include:
1. International Union of Muslim Scouts (IUMS)
2. International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS)
3. International Catholic Conference of Guiding (ICCG)
4. World Buddhist Scout Brotherhood.
5. International Forum of Jewish Scouts (IFJS)
6. International Link of Orthodox Christian Scout (DESMOS)
7. Council of Protestants in Guiding and Scouting (CPGS)
8. Won-Buddhism Scouts
ICCS, DESMOS, IUMS, WBSB, IFJS, CPGS and Won-Buddhism Scouts enjoy consultative status with the World Scout Committee, ICCG and CPGS with WAGGGS.
"The religion of a man is not the creed he professes but his life - what he acts upon, and knows of life, and his duty in it. A bad man who believes in a creed is no more religious than the good man who does not." - Baden-Powell quoting Carlyle
"No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have a religion....Religion seems a very simple thing: First: Love and Serve God. Second: Love and serve your neighbor." - (Scouting For Boys, 1908)
The International Union of Muslim Scouts (Arabic: الإتحادالدوليللكشافةالمسلمين) (IUMS) is an autonomous, international body committed to promoting and supporting Islam within Scouting. The objective is to develop Scouting education curriculum that should contribute to structure and build the spiritual dimension in the personalities of young Muslims.
The International Catholic Conference of Scouting (ICCS) is an autonomous, international body committed to promoting and supporting Catholic Scout associations and to be a link between the Scout movement and the Catholic Church. The objective is to develop Scouting education curriculum that should contribute to structure and build the spiritual dimension in the personalities of young Catholic Christians.
The World Buddhist Scout Brotherhood (WBSB) is an autonomous, international body committed to promoting and supporting Buddhism within Scouting. The WBSB began as a means to facilitate religious activities among Buddhist Scouts. The objective is to develop and promote the spirit of brotherhood and understanding among Scouts of the Buddhist faith and to develop Scouting educational curriculum that should contribute to structure and build the spiritual dimension in the personalities of young Buddhist.
The International Link of Orthodox Christian Scouts (DESMOS, from Greek "Δεσμός", bond) is an autonomous, international body committed to promoting and supporting Orthodox Scout associations and to be a link between the Scout movement and Orthodox churches.
The Council of Protestants in Guiding and Scouting (CPGS) is an autonomous, international body committed to promoting and supporting Protestant Scout and Guide associations and to be a link between the Scout movement and Protestant churches based on the definition of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
NOTE: IT MUST BE REITERATED THAT ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED BODIES ENJOY THE SUPPORT AND APPROVAL OF THE WORLD SCOUT COMMITTEE.
PHOTOCLIPS OF RELIGION CENTRES AT GIWELL PARK: HOME OF SCOUTING IN LONDON: EXTRACTS WERE TAKEN AT THE 2007 JAMBOREE IN ESSEX LONDON.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL AT THE GIWELL’S PARK
THE MOSQUE FOR THE MUSLIMS AT THE GIWELL’S PARK
THE BUDDHIST TEMPLE AT THE GIWELL’S PARK
THE OPEN AIR CHAPEL FOR ALL RELIGION ACTIVITIES AT GIWELL PARK
THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE AT THE GIWELL’S PARK
We are all one under same God that Muslims call Allah and Christians call God. Let one love of God/Allah continue to keep all of us together and to always remember the Scout Law Number four (4): that says: “A SCOUT IS A FRIEND TO ALL; BROTHER TO EVERY OTHER SCOUT, NO MATTER TO WHAT COUNTRY, CLASS OR CREED THE OTHER MAY BELONG.