Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Chaplain's Responsibilities

Among the responsibilities of a Troop Chaplain, are the following, listed in the BSA training documents.

  • Provide a spiritual element for campouts and troop meetings
  • Provide spiritual counseling when needed or requested
  • Provide opportunities for all boys to grow in their relationship with God and their fellow Scouts
  • Encourage Scouts to participate in the religious emblems program of their respective faith
  • Be familiar with the chaplain aide section of this manual
  • Work with the troop chaplain aide to plan and conduct an annual Scout-oriented religious observance, preferably during Scout Week in February 

The first point, about providing a spiritual element at campouts and troop meetings does not mean that the Chaplain needs to be present at all times. Remember, the BSA is a youth led organization. The Chaplain may lead a prayer sometimes, but one of their biggest roles is working with one or more boys from the troop to prepare them to run a scout's own service. They may have the formal title and position of Chaplain's Aide, but that is not neccesary.

Encouraging all boys in the troop is something that the chaplain can do, and should also be done by other troop leaders. These religious emblems are something done in the scout's own home church, but they should be recognized by and encouraged by troop leaders, and the chartering organization.

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