Scout Sunday, 2016
By Larry Coppock
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
This time of year I try to remind all of our church leaders about the importance of recognizing children, youth and adult leaders who contribute valuable time to so many projects that benefit local churches.
While these projects and good deeds occur throughout the year one of the best times for recognition is Scout Sunday (Feb. 14). Scout Sunday can be a memorable day for Scouts meeting in packs, troops and groups (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, Big Brother Big Sisters) sponsored by your church.
Before outlining some of the awards to consider let’s take a look at how we did in 2015.
Scouting by the numbers
- 21 Scout leaders trained at Philmont Training Course
- 24 Bishop’s Awards of Excellence
- 75 Good Samaritan Awards
- 224 Cross and Flame Awards
- 303 Scouting Ministry Specialists
- 5,716 PRAY awards given through UM churches
- 6, 500 Churches with scouting units
- 10,503 Scouting units in UM churches
- 20,000 New Testaments with Psalms given to Scouts at high adventure centers
- 331,000 Youth served by scouting units in UM churches
Pastors who have been working with young people may use Scout Sunday to present Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) awards. Also, the Scout leader, children or youth director may nominate Scouts or UM youth for the Good Samaritan Award. This includes anyone between the ages of 6-30 who demonstrates the attributes of the Good Samaritan described in Luke 10:25–37. Eagle Scouts (service projects) are prime candidates.
Pastors may also use Scout Sunday to honor adults who lead the scouting program. Adults may receive the Cross and Flame Award. The Shepherd Church Award was established to recognize churches for utilizing scouting as a ministry.
Remember to invite those families that come into your building once a week for scouting activities: Surveys show that 50 percent of youth and families who visit local churches through scouting come from un-churched families, which represents a significant evangelistic opportunity.
As noted in Proverbs, let’s not hold back from others what is due them when it is within our power…
Share your Scouting Ministry Sunday stories with us. Please send us a brief article and action photo for potential publication in Scouting News.
For more information about scouting ministries, please visit our web site: www.gcumm.org.
Larry W. Coppock
National director of Scouting Ministries and director
General Commission on United Methodist Men