A Couple of Questions About Faith Requirements for Cub Scouts and Agnostics
Amy sent in this question:
How do you complete the Wolf faith requirement if a family does not have a faith, and does not talk about God in their family? This family was hesitant to join Scouts because of the faith component.
And John asked a similar question about faith requirements for Cub Scouts and agnostics:
I am a den leader and I have a scout who is being raised agnostic. What can I do to assist the scout in completing the “Duty to God” achievement?
Faith Adventures in the Cub Scout Program
In the new Cub Scout program, there are required faith adventures for every badge. While the requirements are broad and do not require adherence to any specific religion, they do require a Cub Scout to think about faith and discuss it.
You might find the BSA Declaration of Religious Principle from the Charter and Bylaws helpful when discussing this with parents:
Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1.The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which a member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.
If you discuss the declaration of religious principle with them and you are still not sure what to do, I recommend you call your local council and seek advice from them. Your local Scouting professionals are there to help you sort through difficult questions like these. They are a valuable resource when you don’t know where else to turn.
Talk with the Parents about the Faith Requirements for Cub Scouts
Have an open and honest discussion with the parents. See if they have ideas about how they can fulfill the requirements in a way that is comfortable with their beliefs. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding also. They do not need to belong to a church or form of organized religion to complete the requirements.
Also, remember that these requirements do not need to be completed at a meeting. It might be best if you let the families complete them at home and then tell you when they have finished them. See Should Duty To God Requirements Be Completed at Home or at a Meeting? for more information.
Check the Comments Below
There is a lot of practical advice about how other Cub Scout leaders have handled Cub Scout faith requirements and agnostics or atheists in the comments below. If you read through them, you might find something which works in your situation.