Many Scouts still hold dear the fond memories of being able to proudly represent their troop and the BSA organization in front of their church community on Scout Sunday. They felt honored to be a part of both a church and an organization that instilled in them values of integrity, service, and duty to God. Scout Sunday was created by the BSA as a day to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting, and being able to combine their love for the gospel and Scouting made Scout Sunday a very special day.
Why don’t LDS Scouts dress in uniform on Sundays anymore?
So what happened— why don’t you see LDS Scouts in uniform passing the sacrament on Scout Sundays anymore? The official statement from BSA.org is as follows: “In keeping with the purposes of Sabbath observance, boys and leaders do not wear their uniforms to regular Sunday meetings or while administering and passing the sacrament.”
Some say this was a good decision because the sacrament is for remembering the Savior and not a time to recognize other accomplishments made in extracurricular activities or to advertise such activities. Some also say those who didn’t participate in Scouting now don’t have to feel left out.
Whether people agree with the policy change or not, the real question is, how can LDS Scouts still celebrate Scout Sunday if they don’t have a special church meeting for the day?
How LDS Scouts can still celebrate Scout Sunday
The BSA created Scout Sunday in order to recognize the contributions Scouts young and older have made to the Scouting program. Even without a special church service for the day, you can still celebrate and recognize your LDS Scouts’ achievements within your own home and as a troop.
The best way to celebrate Scout Sunday is to make sure it starts in the home. Make your Scout feel special and congratulate them on all of their Scouting achievements. Show them how proud you are that they have goals and are working towards them.
Here are a few ideas of how LDS Scouts can celebrate Scout Sunday:
(some of these are from the Cub Scout Ideas blog, check them out for more fun Scouting ideas)
- Print out your own awards online to give to your Scout highlighting their own personal achievements in Scouting
- Make a Scout-themed breakfast, lunch and/or dinner! (bring out the dutch oven!)
- Print out Scout themed coloring pages
- Serve food: “As it turns out, we have a troop pancake breakfast at my church this Sunday morning.” You can have a break-the-fast potluck with just your troop, or have your troop organize one for the whole ward and then serve the members. (from Bryan on Scouting blog)
- Work on a service project after the services have concluded
- Do an act of service for someone while wearing your uniform (visit a widow, make dinner for a family)
- Hold a Scouting for Food food drive at the church
- Read the following scriptures and find/discuss which Scout values were portrayed in the chapter:
- The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) The Salt of the Earth. The Light of the World. (Matthew 5:13-16)
- The parable of the Sower. (Matthew 13:1-9)
- The Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37)
- The True Glory of Jesus. (Mark 9:2-9)
- Moab Rebels Against Israel. (II Kings 2:1-12)
- Do a scripture scavenger hunt. Write down the Scout attribute and then write down all the scriptures and have your Scout son or daughter match the attribute with the scripture.
Attribute: A Scout is trustworthy Scripture: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)
Attribute: A Scout is loyal Scripture: 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)
Attribute: A Scout is helpful Scripture: A Scout is helpful 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)
Attribute: A Scout is friendly. Scripture: Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
Attribute: A Scout is courteous. Scripture: 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)
Attribute: A Scout is obedient. Scripture: 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)
Attribute: A Scout is cheerful. Scripture: 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)
Attribute: A Scout is thrifty. Scripture: 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)
Attribute: A Scout is brave. Scripture: 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)
Attribute: A Scout is clean. Scripture: 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 a blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:3-5)
Attribute: A Scout is reverent. Scripture: 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.
Celebrate Your Scout
As mentioned above, many of these ideas are activities that are conducted in the home on Scout Sunday instead of a public display of your Scout’s involvement at church— and that’s OK. Scout Sunday is about celebrating your Scout’s personal achievements and encouraging them to continue accomplishing their Scouting goals. Make a goal to make your Scout feel special on Scout Sunday and set goals of how your Scout can continue to help the community and be the best Scout they can be.
Happy Scout Sunday!
Have other ideas? Comment below!
Author: Katelyn Kenedy | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council