The faith adventures in the Cub Scout program are clearly designed to be carried out in the family with the assistance of their faith group leaders. The new program, which began in June, is built around required and elective adventures. Each rank includes a required Cub Scout Duty to God adventure.
Depending on rank, boys will participate in worship experiences and service projects, visit religious sites, learn about religious practices and study people in history who have shown great faith in God. You can find the complete requirements on page 5 of New_Cub_Adventure_Program.
One of the Tiger requirements has a boy participate in a worship experience or activity with his family. He could meet that requirement at his family’s place of worship or an interfaith service.
Wolves, on the other hand, need to show that faith is not only a belief in a God, but is demonstrated by actions based on those beliefs. Wolves learn about footsteps of others that have come before showing faith. This can help the Cub begin to think about how the footsteps he takes as a Scout can include lots of exciting new skills and adventures to help show his faith in God in action. The rationale for this adventure is to “Provide consistent awareness of a Scout’s faith and that by practicing his faith he is showing his duty to God.”
Bears learn that the golden rule is a principle found in almost every religion. “It is a good rule to follow every day! It is one way we can practice our duty to God. When we help our neighbors, treat family members with kindness, help our friends, and even reach out to people in our community, we help make life better for them. Helping others is a good way to have fellowship with others. We become happier, and our faith in God is strengthened!” In this family adventure, Bears will have opportunities to practice their duty to God by helping people around them. The rationale for Adventure is to: “practice their duty to God, Bear Cub Scouts will have opportunities in this adventure to be good neighbors as they reach out in fellowship to those in their communities. Cub Scouts will experience the universal principle, common to many religions, that we should treat others the way we want to be treated.”
Webelos families have two Faith In Action Adventures to work on to complete both the Webelos and Arrow of Light Awards. They will need to understand more about their religious beliefs, and the beliefs of others close to them. This can help make sense of the world around them. The first year requirement states: “The Faith in Action adventure allows you to explore your own faith, plan and participate in your own Scout interfaith service, and help you plan ways to continue your faith practices in the future.” The rationale for Adventure centers on “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.”
In the second Duty to God Adventure in Faith, the Webelos Scout has the opportunity to further explore his faith and duty to God in his own way. He can call on the past (his ancestors) and the present (his family!) to get ideas about how to make faith an important part of his life. The rationale for this Adventure is the same as the last, a Scout is reverent, which is the new Scout’s final duty.
In implementing the 2011-2015 National Council Strategic Plan, the BSA incorporated duty-to-God adventures in the revised Cub Scout program, tweaked the Boy and Varsity Scout requirements to reflect duty to God and added Faith Adventures in Venturing. These changes give Scout leaders an avenue to help Scouts better understand and live out duty to God in their lives. How do you plan to help your Scouts understand this first duty?