Saturday, June 30, 2012

How can we make people of all faiths comfortable in Scouting?

At my first Cub Scout roundup for Pack 704, there was one father and son who waited until the end, and wanted to know if it was OK to join the pack, because they were Muslim. I hate to think that people of other faiths felt so out of place they felt the need to ask permission before joining us. 

I know, and you know that the BSA welcomes all faiths, but how good of a job are we doing as scouters displaying that message? Let's face it, the Scouting community is largely populated by Christians, probably more heavily than the general US population. 

If you look at the list of Chartered Organizations for the BSA, You will see a trend... From Largest to Smallest, it goes LDS (Mormon), Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal.... You have to get down to # 16 on the list before you see a non-Christian faith.

The problem isn't that so many Christians are involved in Scouting. That's a great thing, and I wish there were more churches involved in Scouting. The problem is that to many non-Christians, they do not feel comfortable in Scouting.
What are some ways that we can reach out and demonstrate to the community that we are open to all faiths?  

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