entrance to cathedral of La Plata, Argentina

Visiting a Religious Monument – Try a Faith Hike

Different people have very different ideas about what is appropriate for Duty to God requirements.  So here are a few ideas and suggestions. What if all of the Cubs are the same faith? Should you focus on that faith only or teach them about different faiths? Should you take your mostly Christian Cubs to a Buddhist temple? What do you do if many faiths are represented in your den?

My favorite idea for this is to do a “faith hike”. You mentioned that the den includes Wolves who are Catholic and Jewish. Perhaps there are some other faiths as well. Find some places of worship in your city related to all involved which are in walking distance of each other and arrange a brief tour. They don’t have to stay long at the locations. Sometimes this is better for the attention span anyway. If you can have a priest, minister, rabbi, deacon, catechist, etc at each one just point out a couple of things of interest at the place of worship or location, that is great. Or maybe there is something you can just look at on the outside if you can’t arrange to meet someone there.

If one of the faiths cannot be represented, perhaps stop at a park or a nice spot along the way and have a Wolf say a prayer or ask a parent to explain some of the major tenets of the faith.  Feel free to include faiths which are not represented by the Scouts in your den also. That way nobody feels that one faith is being promoted over another.

As a bonus, you can cover the one mile hike requirement for Paws on the Path at the same time. Bonus requirement! 

Hopefully your Catholic Cubs are working on their Light of Christ emblem which is the Catholic emblem for 2nd graders. It is meant to be earned in the Wolf program year. They can complete one of the requirements by finding some items in a Catholic church while you visit. If they other Wolves are working on their religious emblems, they might be able to complete one of their requirements while visiting places of worship or as an activity during the hike. Double bonus requirement!

If the hike doesn’t work for you, then balance might be the key in your situation. Just try to do something which doesn’t seem to be promoting one faith over another if there is sensitivity to the issue. For example, your local Scout camp probably has a nondenominational chapel. You could visit there. A cemetery is also a workable idea. I’d suggest a veterans cemetery if there is one nearby.

Readers, what are your ideas for places to visit? Add them to the comments below.

3 Responses to Visiting a Religious Monument – Try a Faith Hike

  1. Tom November 10, 2015 at 2:06 PM #

    Our Wolves were on their 1 mi (plus) hike at our local BSA camp when we literally stumbled upon the camp’s outdoor chapel. We leaders saw the opportunity and had the boys explore the empty facility, discussing its role in the camp and in Scouting. They wanted a break and were sitting down, so we took a moment to bow our heads and offer good thoughts (or prayers) to those who were affected by the hurricane that was battering Mexico.

    Worked like a charm, and it was totally unplanned.

  2. Diana November 11, 2015 at 4:00 PM #

    We are going to visit a local Veteran’s Memorial park. It has beautiful memorial granite walls with images etched of various conflicts. This memorial honors the courage, honor, sacrifice and commitment of our veterans, past and present, in protecting our freedoms, especially religious freedom.

  3. Ken November 16, 2015 at 1:24 PM #

    I belong to a local Buddhist Church and I am also a Webelos I den leader in the church’s Cub Scout program. I can assure you 100% that no one at the Buddhist Church will try to convert you recruit you in anyway. Unlike many religions, Buddhists do recruit or convert anyone who comes to their church. If fact our church sponsored non-denominational Scouting program has boys from many different religions. If you call the church office, I am sure someone can give you a presentation about the church. Our church frequently hosts many school field trips and college students from comparative religion classes regularly sit in our Sunday services. Buddhists respect all religions equally and non judgmentally.

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