A Wolf den leader asked a question about how to fulfill the Footsteps of Faith requirement. She wanted to take her Wolves to a Buddhist temple in the neighborhood so they could learn about a different faith, but the Cubmaster objected. What do you do when the Cubmaster is opposed to the location you want to visit?
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”. The den leader 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.