01 December 2016

Updated "Duty to God" Faith Requirements for Cub Scouts

The following "Duty to God" Adventures were updated by the Boys Scouts of America on November 30th, 2016. They are required Adventures for a Cub Scout to earn his rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. They are not optional electives, but must be worked on and earned by the Cub Scout and his family. The old 2015 requirements can be found at https://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-scout-is-reverent-religious.html.

1st Grade Tiger Cub Scout My Family's Faith Adventure: "Tiger Circles: Duty to God" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. With a family member, attend a religious service or other activity that shows how your family expresses reverence for God.
  3. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age or grade. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  4. Help with a local service project and talk with your den or family about how helping others is part of our duty to God.
  5. With the approval of your parent/guardian, den leader, or other caring adult, think of and then carry out an act of kindness or respect that you think shows duty to God.

2nd Grade Wolf Cub Scout Footsteps of Faith Adventure: "Duty to God Footsteps" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  3. Offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with your family, den, or pack.
  4. Read a story about people or groups of people who came to America to enjoy religious freedom.
  5. Learn and chant or sing a song that could be sung in reverence before or after meals or one that gives encouragement, reminds you how to show reverence, demonstrates your duty to God.
  6. Visit a religious monument or site where people might show reverence. Create a visual display of your visit with your den or your family, and show how it made you feel reverent or helped you better understand your duty to God.

3rd Grade Bear Cub Scout Fellowship of Faith Adventure: "Fellowship and Duty to God" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Identify a person whose faith you admire, and discuss this person with your family.
  3. With a family member, provide service to a place of worship or a spiritual community, school, or community organization that puts into practice your ideals of duty to God and strengthens your fellowship with others.
  4. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  5. Make a list of things you can do to practice your duty to God as you are taught in your home or place of worship or spiritual community. Select two of the items and practice them for at least two weeks.

4th Grade Webelos Cub Scout Faith in Action Adventure: "Duty to God and You" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not done so already. (Chi-Rho Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  3. Discuss with your family, family’s faith leader, or other trusted adult how planning and participating in a service of worship or reflection helps you live your duty to God.
  4. List one thing that will bring you closer to doing your duty to God, and practice it.

5th Grade Arrow of Light Faith in Action Cub Scout Adventure: "Duty to God in Action" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Under the direction of your parent, guardian, or religious or spiritual leader, do an act of service for someone in your family, neighborhood, or community. Talk about your service with your family. Tell your family how it related to doing your duty to God.
  3. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not done so already. (Chi-Rho Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  4. With your parent, guardian, or religious or spiritual leader, discuss and make a plan to do two things you think will help you better do your duty to God. Do these things for at least one month.
  5. Discuss with your family how the Scout Oath and Scout Law relate to your beliefs about duty to God.
  6. For at least a month, pray or reverently meditate each day as taught by your family or faith community.

25 November 2016

The Eastern Orthodox Prophet Elias Scouter Award

“With us everything is secondary compared to our concern with young people and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord. After all, what greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young?”  
-Saint John Chrysostom (+407)

With these words of St. John Chrysostom as a guide, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting seeks to recognize and honor not only youth members of Scouting programs but also to recognize outstanding service by adults of the three tenured national youth Scouting agencies [Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and girls], in the promotion and use of these programs for our Eastern Orthodox young people. The Prophet Elias (Elijah in the English form) is traditionally held to be the greatest of the Hebrew Prophets. He maintained the importance of the worship of the true God in the face of pagan cults and temptations (I Kings 18) and upheld the claims of moral uprightness and social justice (I Kings 21). His passing of his mantle to the younger Elisha showed that these teachings were to be continued. It is in the image of the Prophet Elias that recipients of this award pass on their religious heritage and teachings to younger Eastern Orthodox members of these national youth agencies.

These national youth agencies provide programs which our churches and other civic and religious groups may use in their ministry and service to young people. The leader chosen by the sponsoring group is the one who permeates the youth agency with the meaning of the name “Elias” – “Yahweh is my God”; especially since belief in God is one prerequisite to serving as a leader.

Adult awards are not earned like youth awards: An outside party must nominate an adult to receive an award by submitting the required applications, letter of recommendation, and resume of activities. Self and spouse nominations will not be accepted. Nominations cannot be made posthumously. Recognition of an adult in either group is a true recognition of devoted service, not merely an “honor” for someone serving as a leader.

ELIGIBILITY:
The Prophet Elias recognition is for both:
  1. Actively registered adult lay volunteers for at least 8 years who serve young people in one or more of theses national youth agencies: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls and Camp Fire [whether sponsored by Eastern Orthodox Churches or another sponsoring group], and
  2. Adult members of other religious bodies who are active registered leaders for at least 8 years of one of the three national youth agencies who are performing an exceptional service to Eastern Orthodox young people.
REQUIREMENTS:
  1. A letter of recommendation from the Eastern Orthodox Priest of the sponsoring parish.
  2. A letter of recommendation from a professional Scouter (Scout Executive) including the tenure as a registered adult Scouter.
GUIDELINES:
  1. Actively participates in his/her religious institution and is a member in good standing.
  2. Encourages Eastern Orthodox youth to join Scouting programs and encourages Orthodox Churches to sponsor Scouting units.
  3. Aids Eastern Orthodox Scouts in earning the Saint George, Chi-Rho, and Alpha Omega awards.
  4. Promotes religious observance and participation at Scouting functions.
  5. Is a fully trained Scout leader.
  6. Has organized, promoted, and participated in the appropriate Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or Camp Fire Scout Sunday observances.
  7. Has promoted service projects and assisted in training and recruiting leaders.
  8. Has served Orthodox Scouting or Camp Fire USA for a minimum of 8 registered years.
  9. Has given exemplary service to the spiritual, physical, and moral development of Orthodox Youth through service to the Church and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or Camp Fire USA.

23 November 2016

The Eastern Orthodox Alpha Omega Scouting Award

For a Scout to earn the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting's Religious Award for 6th through 12th graders, the following are the requirements:
  1. Be a registered Boy Scout, Venturer, or Explorer of any rank in the Boy Scouts of America, a Cadette, Senior, Ambassador in the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Navigator or Adventurer in Trail Life USA, or a member of either Camp Fire or American Heritage Girls in the 6th through 12th grade.
  2. Be a communicant member of an Eastern Orthodox Church recognized by The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops (previously SCOBA).
  3. Show your personal Bible and Prayer Book.
  4. Repeat from memory the Trisagion Prayers.
  5. Using your prayer book, and with the aid of your spiritual father (priest), develop and begin a regular program for morning and evening prayers.
  6. Recite the blessing before all meals. Write the mealtime prayer in your notebook.
  7. Demonstrate the proper way of making the sign of the cross. 
  8. Explain the significance of each movement in making the cross. 
  9. Explain when and how the sign of the cross originated.
  10. Begin a program of daily Bible reading after your daily prayer, starting first with one chapter a day of the Gospel of Saint Mark, then the Gospel of Saint Matthew, next the Gospel of Saint Luke, followed by the Gospel of Saint John, then move on to Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, the Apocalypse/Revelation to Saint John, and then the Old Testament. The Gospels must all be read before you finish this program.
  11. Learn the prayer from the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom preceding the Gospel reading.
  12. Name the most important corporate worship service in the Orthodox Cereal.
  13. Name the two other corporate worship services that are served regularly in your church.
  14. Name the three most commonly celebrated Liturgies of the Orthodox Church. Tell how they differ.
  15. Name the three main parts of the Sunday Divine Liturgy. Explain what each part includes.
  16. Explain what the priest does in the parish. What is his role in the life of the parish?
  17. Explain how the priest is helped in his function by laymen. 
  18. List as many ways as you can  see laity in your parish offering their services.
  19. Name the members of your parish council and explain how they are selected.
  20. Know the founding date of your parish.
  21. Explain the terms evangelization and mission, as forms of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ as explained in Matthew 25:31-46.
  22. Explain how the Gospel of Saint Matthew and the Gospel of Saint Luke are different from the Gospel of Saint Mark.
  23. Explain what a parable is. Name some examples.
  24. Explain what a miracle is. Name some examples.
  25. Learn the Symbol of Faith (Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed) and recite it to your priest.
  26. Repeat the Oath, Law, and Motto of your Scouting organization to your priest. Explain to him how your organization has many objectives in common with those of the Church.
  27. Sketch the Alpha Omega Award emblem. Explain its significance.
  28. Name the major seven Mysteries (Sacraments) and find Bible passages relating to them in your Bible. 
  29. Explain the purpose and meaning of each of the seven Mysteries of the Church.
  30. Name the bishop of your eparchy/diocese.
  31. Sketch the vestments of the deacon, presbyter, and bishop in addition to the church articles used in preparing and administering the Holy Mysteries.
  32. Attend a Hierarchical Liturgy celebrated by your bishop or a bishop of another jurisdiction or attend a weekday Liturgy at your church or any other Orthodox Church.
  33. Describe the first missionary attempts by the Orthodox Church on the North American continent. Describe what is the status of this diocese today.? Explain how has Father Herman, an early missionary to Alaska, been recognized by the Orthodox Church.
  34. Explain where and when was the first parish church in the continental United States founded and located.
  35. Explain what the Assembly of Bishops (previously SCOBA) is.
  36. Sketch what your church looks like, including the iconostasis.
  37. Sketch a simple iconostasis and show what each icon in each location should represent.
  38. Explain what an icon is and what it represents. 
  39. Explain what it means to venerate an icon. Describe how to venerate an icon.
  40. Explain what the significance of candles is in our Church.
  41. Explain how the Gospel of Saint John is different from the other three Gospels.
  42. Explain the importance and meaning of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion).
  43. Name the most important feast day in the Orthodox Church. Tell how its date is determined.
  44. Explain the significance and give the date or how the date is determined of the following important feast days: Nativity (Christmas), Epiphany, Nativity of the Theotokos, Presentation of our Lord, Annunciation, Presentation of the Theotokos, Transfiguration of our Lord, Dormition of the Theotokos, Entry into Jerusalem, Ascension, Pentecost, Exaltation of the Cross, and the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
  45. Discuss the specific customs of your parish relating to the Feast of Feasts (Pascha) and other Feast days of the Church.
  46. Explain how to prepare the room of a sick person when the priest visits them.
  47. Explain what to have ready when the priest comes to bless your home.
  48. Discuss how the services and feats of the Church can help others learn about Eastern Orthodoxy and help people in the world.
  49. Do four service projects at your church during the time that you are working on the Alpha Omega Program.
  50. Meet with your priest and explain what you learned in the Alpha Omega Program.
  51. Have your parents, priest, and Scouting unit leader sign off that you have completed the activities of the Alpha Omega program and are worthy of the medal.

21 November 2016

The Eastern Orthodox Chi-Rho Scouting Award

For a Scout to earn the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting's Religious Award for 4th and 5th graders, the following are the requirements:
  1. Be a registered Cub Scout of the Webelos or Arrow of Light Rank in the Boy Scouts of America, Juniors in the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., 4th or 5th grader Woodlands in Trail Life USA, or a member of either Camp Fire or American Heritage Girls in the 4th or 5th grade.
  2. Be a communicant member of an Eastern Orthodox Church recognized by The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops (previously SCOBA) who attends a Church School or Sunday School.
  3. Know your Baptismal name.
  4. Know your birth date.
  5. Know which day you celebrate your Baptismal name.
  6. Know your Godparent(s) name(s).
  7. Know what priest Baptized you.
  8. Share special memories that your parents have of your Baptismal day.
  9. Share pictures of your Baptism.
  10. Know your "Name Day" and the Saint you were named after.
  11. Tell the story of the life and death of your patron saint.
  12. Draw an icon of your patron saint.
  13. Tell how many people are in your family.
  14. Share a picture of your family and write their names.
  15. Tell what religious items you have in your home.
  16. Explain how and when you use religious items in your home.
  17. Write the prayer you say before meals.
  18. Write the prayer you say when you get up in the morning.
  19. List several ways God shows His love for you.
  20. List several ways you show your love for God.
  21. List some ways you and your family show your love for each other. Do a project with your whole family. Write about what you did.
  22. Share pictures of you doing your project.
  23. Visit someone who is sick, shut-in, poor, elderly, or lonely. Make him or her a gift, or help that person with a task. Write a couple of paragraphs about what you did.
  24. Share pictures of you doing your activity.
  25. Name the church that you and your family attend.
  26. Explain what you do when you enter the church temple and some of the things that make your church an Orthodox Church.
  27. Share pictures of the inside and outside of your church.
  28. Choose a subject in your church to study and write about it.
  29. List ways you participate in God's world through your senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, sound) at home and in church.
  30. List some foods you eat especially during the Nativity Lent and the Great Lent. 
  31. Explain how you prepare for a major Church holy day, fasting, going to church, preparing a meal, or helping in other ways.
  32. Name the four Gospels and tell who wrote them. 
  33. Draw a picture of the Gospel Book that the priest uses in your church. 
  34. Explain where the Gospel Book is kept. 
  35. List four of the major feast days celebrated in your church.
  36. Learn a hymn and chant it for your priest.
  37. Choose your favorite Bible story and write it in your own words. Tell the story and its meaning to your priest.
  38. Decide how you can be a steward in helping your church.
  39. Share pictures of your activity.
  40. Meet with your priest and explain what you learned in the Chi-Rho Program.
  41. Have your parents, priest, and Scouting unit leader sign off that you have completed the activities of the Chi-Rho program and are worthy of the medal.

20 November 2016

The Eastern Orthodox Saint George Scouting Award

For a Scout to earn the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting's Religious Award for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders, the following are the requirements:
  1. Be a registered Cub Scout of the Tiger Rank, Wolf Rank, or Bear Rank in the Boy Scouts of America, Daisies or Brownies in the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Woodlands in Trail Life USA, or a member of either Camp Fire or American Heritage Girls in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.
  2. Be a communicant member of an Eastern Orthodox Church recognized by The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops (previously SCOBA).
  3. Know your Baptismal name.
  4. Tell the significance of your Baptismal name.
  5. Know which day you celebrate your Baptismal name.
  6. Know your Godparent(s) name(s).
  7. Attend the Divine Liturgy with your Godparents.
  8. Explain what Baptism is.
  9. Explain what Chrismation is.
  10. Demonstrate the sign of the Cross and tell the meaning of it.
  11. Explain what the Holy Trinity is.
  12. Memorize and recite the Lord's Prayer.
  13. Name 5 major Church holy days and explain them.
  14. Tell a Bible Story
  15. Tell a story about Christ.
  16. Draw or list 10 items in your Church and tell what they represent.
  17. Do a community project for your parish.
  18. Know the name of your parish priest.
  19. Know the name of your diocesan bishop.
  20. Know the name of your jurisdiction's archbishop or metropolitan.
  21. Know your Church's patriarch.
  22. Chant two Church hymns.
  23. Color or make an icon of Saint George.
  24. Meet with your priest and explain what you learned in the Saint George Program.
  25. Have your parents, priest, and Scouting unit leader sign off that you have completed the activities of the Saint George Program and are worthy of the medal.

19 November 2016

A Scout is Reverent: Religious Requirements in Cub Scouting

The following "Duty to God" Adventures are required for a Cub Scout to earn his rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. They are not optional electives, but must be worked on and earned by the Cub Scout and his family. Please note, these requirements were updated effectibe December 1st 2016 and the new requirements can be found at https://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/12/updated-duty-to-god-faith-requirements.html.

1st Grade Tiger Cub Scout Adventure: "My Family's Duty to God" requirements
  1. With your adult partner, find out what duty to God means to your family.
  2. Find out what makes each member of your family special.
  3. With your family, make a project that shows your family's beliefs about God.
  4. Participate in a worship experience or activity with your family.

2nd Grade Wolf Cub Scout Adventure: "Duty to God Footsteps" requirements
  1. Visit a religious monument or site where people show reverence.
  2. Create a visual display of your visit with your den or your family, and show how it made you feel reverent or helped you better understand your duty to God.
  3. Give two ideas on how you can practice your duty to God. Choose one, and do it for a week.
  4. Read a story about people or groups of people who came to America to enjoy religious freedom.
  5. Learn and sing/chant a song that could be sung in reverence before or after meals or one that gives encouragement, reminds you of how to show reverence, or demonstrates your duty to God.
  6. Offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with your family, den, or pack.

3rd Grade Bear Cub Scout Adventure: "Fellowship and Duty to God" requirements
  1. Earn the religious emblem of your faith. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  2. Working with a parent or guardian, spiritual advisor, or religious leader, provide service to help a place of worship or spiritual community, school, community organization, or chartered organization that puts into practice your ideals of duty to God and strengthens your fellowship with others.
  3. Identify a person whose faith and duty to God you admire, and discuss this person with your family.
  4. Make a list of things you can do to practice your duty to God as you are taught in your home or place of worship or spiritual community. Select two of the items, and practice them for two weeks.
  5. Attend a religious service, den or pack meeting worship service, or time of family reflection and discussion about your family's beliefs.

4th Grade Webelos Cub Scout Adventure: "Duty to God and You" requirements
  1. Earn the religious emblem of your faith for Webelos Scouts. (Chi-Rho Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  2. Help plan, support, or actively participate in a service of worship or reflection. Show reverence during the service.
  3. Review with your family or den members what you have learned about your Duty to God.
  4. Discuss with your family, family’s faith leader, or other trusted adult how planning and participating in a service of worship or reflection helps you live your duty to God.
  5. List one thing that will bring you closer to doing your duty to God, and practice it for one month. Write down what you will do each day to remind you.

5th Grade Arrow of Light Cub Scout Adventure: "Duty to God in Action" requirements
  1. Earn the religious emblem of your faith for Webelos Scouts, if you have not already done so.  (Chi-Rho Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  2. With your parent, guardian, or religious or spiritual leader, discuss and make a plan to do two things you think will help you better do your duty to God. Do these things for a month.
  3. Discuss with your family how the Scout Oath and Scout Law relate to your beliefs about duty to God.
  4. For at least a month, pray or reverently meditate each day as taught by your family or faith community.
  5. Read at least two accounts of people in history who have done their duty to God. List their names and how they showed their duty to God.
  6. Under the direction of your parent, guardian, or religious or spiritual leader, do an act of service for someone in your family, neighborhood, or community. Talk about your service with your family and your Webelos den leader. Tell your family, den, or den leader how it related to doing your duty to God.
Please remember that these were the requirements until November 30th 2016. The new requirememnts for these Adventures can be found at https://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/12/updated-duty-to-god-faith-requirements.html.

16 November 2016

Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting Awards

In 1955, Archbishop Michael, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Metropolitan Anthony, of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishop Orestes, of American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, and Metropolitan Leonty, of the Orthodox Church in America met with Joseph A. Brunton, Jr., the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. The prelates came attired in their vestments of office to bestow their blessing of the Boy Scouts and to make known to their constituents that they wanted Scouting to become a part of the youth programs of the local churches. Later they included the Girl Scouts USA. As a result of this historical meeting, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS] was created in 1960 by the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, whose purpose is to conduct the mission of our Lord and His Church via the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts USA programs on a national level.

The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting supports our youth through an extensive Religious Award program. They have designed the Religious Awards Program around a scout’s spiritual life. It gives the Scout a chance to work closely with a trained adult Scouter and their spiritual Father to earn their award. The unique bond formed at this age is a stepping stone for the rest of their spiritual life.

The four Eastern Orthodox Christian Scouting awards offered by the EOCS are as follows:

The Saint George Scouting Award can be awarded to a registered Cub Scout of the Tiger Rank, Wolf Rank ,or Bear Rank in the Boy Scouts of America, Brownies in the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., or Camp Fire, Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls members in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade. They also must also be a communicant member of an Orthodox Christian Church recognized by the Assembly of Bishops.

The Chi-Rho Scouting Award can be awarded to any Orthodox Christian boy or girl who is registered as a Cub Scout of the Webelos Rank or Arrow of Light Rank, a Girl Scout Junior, or in Camp Fire, Trail Life USA, or American Heritage Girls. The recipient must be in the 4th or 5th grade and must attend church school, Sunday school, or other formal religious instruction program.

The Alpha Omega Scouting Award can be awarded to a registered Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Venturing Scout, Explorer, or a Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls, or Camp Fire member. They must be a communicant member of an Orthodox Christian Church recognized by the Assembly of Bishops and a student in the sixth through twelfth grade.
The Prophet Elias Scouter Award is for actively registered adult lay volunteers who serve young people in one or more of the following national youth agencies: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Venturing, Exploring, Camp Fire, American Heritage Girls, or Trail Life USA for at least 8 years.

See what Archbishop Demetrios has to say about these great Scouting award programs:
Beloved in the Lord,
For decades, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has endorsed the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). We have encouraged our young people throughout America to participate in this program by forming Orthodox Scouting Troops in our parishes.
Scouting offers our young people many opportunities for leading a dedicated, Christian life. The BSA principles of Duty to God and country, service to others and respect for self are commendable. Most especially I applaud the twelfth Boy Scout Law that states, “A Scout is reverent, He is reverent to God, He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.” On behalf of the Orthodox Scouting Troops and Leaders throughout America, I am pleased to endorse this worthy program. 
With Paternal love in Christ,
+DEMETRIOS
Archbishop of America
See also the endorsement of Metropolitan Tikhon:
Dearly Beloved of the Lord: 
The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) has been serving Orthodox Christians and the Scouting program since 1953 when a pan Orthodox group of clergy and lay people gathered together to consolidate their efforts. By 1960, the new group was established and subsequently was recognized by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOBA) as the official committee for Orthodox Scouting. Since then the work has continued to great success bringing together all Orthodox Christians involved in the Scouting movement. The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) has since been recognized by the successor of SCOBA, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. 
The work of the EOCS is critical and worthy of a blessing. The Committee represents the Orthodox Churches on the national level to Scouting, ensuring that Orthodox concerns and activities are foremost in their work. It provides religious awards for all levels of Scouting and encourage the youth to learn and practice their Faith as Orthodox Christians. It also recognizes the outstanding work done by adult Orthodox Scout leaders through the Prophet Elias award. The Committee provides scholarships to Orthodox Scouts and gather them together for Jamborees around the country. Most importantly, the EOCS assists in establishing and maintaining Scout troops and packs in Orthodox parishes around the country. 
As the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, I wholeheartedly support the work of the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting on behalf of Orthodox Scouts in the United States. I encourage all parishes to support their work in any way that they can, sponsoring Scout troops and packs as well encouraging the Scouts in their parishes to earn their religious award. 
May God Bless the EOCS and their continuing good work on behalf of all
Orthodox Churches in the United States. 
Assuring you of my Archpastoral Blessings, I remain
Yours in Christ
TIKHON
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

09 October 2016

The Founding of Scouting: For God, King, Country, and Peace

Lord Robert Baden-Powell was the son of The Reverend Baden Powell, a Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University and Church of England priest and his wife, Henrietta Grace Smyth.

In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, wrote a book for boys about reconnaissance and scouting. Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys (London, 1908), very loosely based on his earlier books about military scouting without the militarism, with influence and support of Frederick Russell Burnham (Chief of Scouts in British Africa), Ernest Thompson Seton of the Woodcraft Indians, William Alexander Smith of the Boys' Brigade, and his publisher Pearson. In the summer of 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in England to test ideas for his book. This camp and the publication of Scouting for Boys are generally regarded as the start of the Scout movement.

The movement employs the Scout method, a programme of informal education with an emphasis on practical outdoor activities, including camping, woodcraft, aquatics, hiking, backpacking, and sports, in addition to faith. Another widely recognized movement characteristic is the Scout uniform, by intent hiding all differences of social standing in a country and making for equality, with neckerchief and campaign hat or comparable headwear. Distinctive uniform insignia include the fleur-de-lis and the trefoil, as well as badges and other patches.

In 1910 Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell decided to retire from the Army on the advice of King Edward VII that he could better serve his country by promoting Scouting. Baden Powell's efforts for peace became stronger in time, making him an anti-war advocate.

This relatively pacifist stance generated criticism from some within the organization and without both in England and abroad. The most powerful response came from President Theodore Roosevelt, who argued that the organization should police national boundaries by training boys in militarism. Roosevelt refused to appear at a rally for New York City Boy Scouts of America in Madison Square Garden, writing, a Boy Scout who is not trained actively and affirmatively that it is his duty to bear arms for the country in time of need is at least negatively trained to be a sissy; and there cannot be anything worse for this country than to have an organization of boys brought up to accept the mushy milk and water which is the stock in trade of the apostles of pacifism..

In 1920, just two years after the most terrible war the world had ever known, 8,000 Scouts from 34 countries came together for the first world jamboree. At the closing ceremony, Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell called on participants to carry the spirit of the jamboree home “so that we may help to develop peace and happiness in the world and goodwill among all Scouts.”

In 1937 Baden-Powell was appointed to the Order of Merit, one of the most exclusive awards in the British honours system, and he was also awarded 28 decorations by foreign states, including the Grand Officer of the Portuguese Order of Christ, the Grand Commander of the Greek Order of the Redeemer (1920), the Commander of the French Légion d'honneur (1925), the First Class of the Hungarian Order of Merit (1929), the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog of Denmark, the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Lion, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix, and the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Baden-Powell was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on numerous occasions, including 10 separate nominations in 1928. He was awarded the Wateler Peace Prize in 1937.

03 October 2016

The Scout Oath and the Holy Bible

Lord Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, once said, "Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity."

Let's see if that holds true here. Here is the Scout Oath:
On my honor
I will do my best 
To do my duty 
To God and my country 
And to obey the Scout Law
To help other people at all times; 
To keep myself physically strong, 
Mentally awake, 
And morally straight.
Now let's look at the Holy Bible. As always, New Testament verses come from The Orthodox New Testament Volume One: The Holy Gospels or Evangelistarion and Volume Two: Acts, Epistles, and Revelation or Praxapostolos. Psalms come from The Orthodox Psalter: The Psalterion According to the Seventy With the Nine Odes, And Patristic Commentary. Other Old Testament verses and proverbs come from The Douay-Rheims Version of The Holy Bible.

Point One: On My Honor

"He that walketh sincerely, walketh confidently: but he that perverteth his ways, shall be manifest." Proverbs 10:9

Point Two: I Will Do My Best

"And in everything, whatsoever ye may do, be working heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men." Colossians 3:23

Point Three: To Do My Duty

"Endeavor to present thyself approved to God, a workman that hath no cause for shame, cutting in a straight line the word of the truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Point Four: To God and My Country

"Let every soul be subject to authorities which govern. For there is no authority  except from God; and the existing authorities have been appointed by God. So that the one who sets himself against the authority hath withstood the ordinance of God; and they who have withstood shall receive judgement to themselves. For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to bad ones. And dost thou wish not to be afraid of the authority? Be doing that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same." Romans 13:1-3

Point Five: And to Obey the Scout Law

This is covered in depth at http://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-scout-law-and-gods-laws.html

Point Six: To help other people at all times

"Be healing the sick, cleansing lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons; freely you received, freely give." Matthew 10:8

Point Six: To keep myself physically strong

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy well-pleasing to God, your rational worship." Romans 12:1

Point Seven: Mentally Awake

"And cease being fashioned according to this age, but be transfigured by the renewing of your mind, in order for you to put to the test what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2

Point Eight: "And Morally Straight"

"Or do ye not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Cease being led astray; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor coveters, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor raveners shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

It seems to me, that just like the Scout Law, while not a Christian creed, the Scout Oath lines up with the teachings of Orthodox Christianity and Holy Scripture.

My son is a Scout selling popcorn to fund his Cub Scouts camping trips with his pack, in case that anyone would like to kindly assist him in this. You can order this week at this link:  http://www.popcornordering.com/Popcornordering/Store/Entry?keycode=3311354687 Please be sure to use key code 3311354687 if it asks for one. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

02 October 2016

The Scout Law and God's Laws

Some have asked, is the Scout Law compatible with Orthodox Christianity and God's Law?

Well besides the endorsements of Archbishop Demetrios of North and South America [READ HERE!] and Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada [READ HERE!], we should look at what Scouting teaches in the Scout Law and compare this to God's Laws from the Holy Bible.

Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, once said, "There is no religious side to the movement; the whole of it is based on religion, that is on the realization and service of God." In keeping with that spirit, let’s consider how the Scout Law aligns with Holy Scripture.

As always, New Testament verses come from The Orthodox New Testament Volume One: The Holy Gospels or Evangelistarion and Volume Two: Acts, Epistles, and Revelation or Praxapostolos. Psalms come from The Orthodox Psalter: The Psalterion According to the Seventy With the Nine Odes, And Patristic Commentary. Other Old Testament verses and proverbs come from The Douay-Rheims Version of The Holy Bible.

I tried to use various verses of the Bible, as I could probably find all 12 points of the Scout Law in either The Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians or in The General Epistles of Saint Peter in the New Testament and in either the Psalms or the Proverbs in the Old Testament. I also tried to use verses that mentioned multiple points of the Scout Law, when possible.

"The way of Thy statutes, O Lord, prescribe to me for a law; and I will seek it out continually. Cause me to understand, and I will search out Thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart. Guide me in the path of Thy commandments, for I delighted in it." Psalm 118:33-35 

Point One: A Scout is trustworthy.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." Exodus 20:16

Point Two: A Scout is loyal.

"The one who is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and the one who is unjust in that which is least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10

Point Three: A Scout is helpful.

"For I hungered, and ye gave Me to eat: I thirsted, and ye gave Me to drink: I was a stranger and ye brought me in; naked and ye clothed Me; I was sick and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came to Me." Matthew 25:35-36

Point Four: A Scout is friendly.

"This is My commandment, that ye be loving one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13

Point Five: A Scout is courteous.

"And finally, be ye all of the same mind, sympathetic, loving all brethren, compassionate, kindly." 1 Peter 3:8

Point Six: A Scout is kind.

"And keep on becoming kind to one another, compassionate, graciously forgiving one another, even as God in Christ also graciously forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

Point Seven: A Scout is obedient.

"Be obedient to those who lead you, and keep on submitting, for they are watchful for your souls, as those about to render an account, that they may do this with joy, and not groaning; for this would be unprofitable for you." Hebrews 13:17

Point Eight: A Scout is cheerful.

"A glad heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by grief of mind the spirit is cast down." Proverbs 15:13

Point Nine: A Scout is thrifty.

"The thoughts of the industrious always bring forth abundance: but every sluggard is always in want." Proverbs 21:5

Point Ten: A Scout is brave.

"Do manfully and be of good heart: fear not, nor be ye dismayed at their sight: for the Lord thy God he himself is thy leader, and will not leave thee nor forsake thee."  Deuteronomy 31:6

Point Eleven: A Scout is clean.

"Religion pure and undefiled before the God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." Iakovos (James) 1:27

Point Twelve: A Scout is reverent.

"And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all they strength. This is the first commandment." Mark 12:30

This seems to line up with the teachings of Orthodox Christianity and Holy Scripture. Next I'll look at the Scout Oath as well at https://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-scout-oath-and-holy-bible.html

My son is a Scout selling popcorn to fund his pack's Cub Scouts camping trips if anyone would like to kindly assist him in this. You can order this week at this link:  http://www.popcornordering.com/Popcornordering/Store/Entry?keycode=3311354687 Please be sure to use key code 3311354687 if it asks for one. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

25 September 2016

Scouting in China and Chinese Territories

Hong Kong: The Scout Association of Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港童軍總會) is the overall Scouting organisation in Hong Kong. Scout training was first introduced to some boys in Hong Kong in 1910; the First Hong Kong Boy Scout Troop, affiliated with the St. Joseph's College, was founded in 1913, and registered with the Boy Scouts Association in Britain in 1914; and the Hong Kong Boy Scouts Association, a local association of the British Boy Scouts Association, was launched in 1915.

The Hong Kong branch became an autonomous association and the 111th member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1977.

Macau: The Associação de Escoteiros de Macau (Scout Association of Macau, Chinese: 澳門童軍總會) is the national Scouting association in Macau, China. It is an Associate Member of the Asia-Pacific Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and looks forward for becoming a Full Member at the 2017 World Scout Conference.

Scouting in Macau began in 1911 with Chinese and Portuguese Scout troops. Shortly after, Scouts from China and Portugal started their troops in various schools and communities. The Associação de Escoteiros de Macau was founded on 12 December 1983 with 200 members, revitalizing local Scouting after decades of dormancy. When Macau was transferred from Portuguese administration to China in December 1999, the future of Scouting in Macau seemed uncertain, but as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Macanese institutions are allowed to continue as before. On 20 December 1999, China resumed administration over Macau.

Republic of China and Taiwan: Scouts of China (Chinese: 中華民國童軍), the General Association of the Scouts of China (Chinese: 中華民國童軍總會) in full, is the national Scouting association of the Republic of China, and is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The Scouts of China has 49,457 members as of 2011. Following the birth of the Republic of China, the first Scout troop was organized by Reverend Yen Chia-lin in Wuchang on February 25, 1912 and the Scouting movement spread rapidly all over the country. The General Association of the Scouts of China was formally established in Nanjing, the former capital of the Republic of China in 1934, and became a member of the International Scout Bureau in 1937. Many Scouts actively participated in the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945.

There were 570,000 registered members in 1941. Scouting existed in mainland China before 1949. In 1949, the ROC government withdrew to Taiwan, where it remains today. However, Scouting has continued in Taiwan under the name of the Scouts of China. The organization was reorganized in 1950 after the ROC government was relocated to Taipei, and resumed membership in the International Scout Bureau as Scouts of China.

People's Republic of China: Scouting in Mainland China was reported as banned with the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) by the Communist Party since 1949.

In 1930 there were British Boy Scout Troops not only in Shanghai, but also in Tientsin. Russian Scouts fleeing Bolshevism followed White Russian émigrés from 1917 to 1922 through Vladivostok to the east into Manchuria and south into central China, where very large groups of Russian Scouts came into being in cities such as Harbin, Tientsin and Shanghai. There were also several American Scout Troops in China during the 1920s in Beijing and other cities.

However, China now has multiple and originally separate Scouting activities within its borders. In 2004, the Scout Club of Hainan (海南童子军俱乐部), borrowing heavily from Scouting in terms of emblems, uniforms and activities, was founded in Hainan Province; it is, however, not affiliated with worldwide Scouting. An attempt to organize a nationwide Scouting organization in Wuhan was ended by the government in 2004. The Scout Association of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国童军总会), founded in 2008 serves Venture Scouts (15 years old to 20) in both genders as well as Rover Scouts (18 years old to 25). The Rover Explorer Service Association operate groups in China.

My son is a Scout selling popcorn to fund his pack's Cub Scouts camping trips if anyone would like to assist him in this: http://www.popcornordering.com/Popcornordering/Store/Entry?keycode=3311354687 Please be sure to use key code 3311354687 if it asks for one. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

19 September 2016

Orthodoxy and Scouting in America and Throughout the World

Some might ask what Scouting has to do with Orthodoxy. I'll explain that here but dig in deeper in future blogs posts about the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.

The 12th point of the Scout Law, Reverent, represents a Scout’s obligation to personal reflection and spirituality. Religion is an important component of Scouting. Part of the Scout Spirit that must be shown to advance in rank is demonstrating Duty to God.

Saint George is the patron saint of Scouting. He is very much honoured by the Eastern Orthodox Church, wherein he is referred to as a "Great Martyr". His major feast day is on April 23 (Julian calendar 23 April currently corresponds to Gregorian calendar May 6). If, however, the feast occurs before Pascha, it is celebrated on Bright (Pascha/Easter) Monday, instead.

By official designation of the Boy Scouts of America [BSA], Scout Sunday is always observed on the Sunday before February 8, Scouting Anniversary Day [founded in 1910].  In years when February 8 falls on a Sunday, such as this year, the BSA’s birthday and Scout Sunday are combined into a single observation.

The Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting supports Orthodox youth through an extensive Religious Award program. The program is designed around a Scout’s spiritual life. It gives the Scout a chance to work closely with Scout leaders, parents, and their parish priest to earn their award. The learning and unique bonds formed during this process helps to form a solid spiritual foundation that will last for the rest of their lives. The Eastern Orthodox religious Scouting awards that Orthodox Christian Scouts can earn are the Saint George Medal, the Chi-Ro Medal, and the Alpha Omega Medal. Orthodox Christian Adult Volunteer Leaders can earn the Eastern Orthodox religious Scouter Award, the Prophet Elias Medal. These awards are often either awarded on Scout Sunday and/or the Feast Day of Saint George the Great-Martyr.

Below is the Orthodox Christian history of Scouting in both the United States of America and some, but not all, traditionally Orthodox Christian lands.

United States of America: In 1909, Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce was visiting London, where he encountered a boy who came to be known as the Unknown Scout. Boyce was lost on a foggy street when an unknown Scout came to his aid, guiding him to his destination. The boy then refused Boyce's tip, explaining that he was a Boy Scout and was merely doing his daily good turn. Interested in the Boy Scouts, Boyce met with staff at the Boy Scouts Headquarters and, by some accounts, Baden-Powell. Upon his return to the U.S., Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. Edgar M. Robinson and Lee F. Hanmer became interested in the nascent BSA and convinced Boyce to turn the program over to the YMCA for development in April 1910. Robinson enlisted Seton, Beard, Charles Eastman and other prominent leaders in the early youth movements. Former president Theodore Roosevelt, who had long complained of the decline in American manhood, became an ardent supporter. In January 1911, Robinson turned the movement over to James E. West who became the first Chief Scout Executive and Scouting began to expand in the U.S.

The BSA's stated purpose at its incorporation in 1910 was "to teach patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values." Later, in 1937, Deputy Chief Scout Executive George J. Fisher expressed the BSA's mission; "Each generation as it comes to maturity has no more important duty than that of teaching high ideals and proper behavior to the generation which follows." The current mission statement of the BSA is "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."

In 1955, Archbishop Michael, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Metropolitan Anthony Bashir, of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishop Orestes Chormock, of American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese, and Metropolitan Leonty, of the Orthodox Church in America met with Joseph A. Brunton, Jr., the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. The prelates came attired in their robes of office to bestow their blessing of the Boy Scouts and to make known to their constituents that they wanted Scouting to become a part of the youth programs of the local churches. This was one of the first cross-jurisdictional enterprises of the Orthodox Churches in North America. Later they included the Girl Scouts USA. As a result of this historical meeting, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS] was created in 1960 by the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, whose purpose is to conduct the mission of our Lord and His Church via the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts USA programs on a national level.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with more than 2.4 million youth members and nearly one million adult volunteers. Since its founding in 1910 as part of the international Scout Movement, more than 110 million Americans have been at some point members of the BSA.

The BSA is a constituent member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The traditional Scouting divisions are Cub Scouting for boys ages 7 to 10½ years, Boy Scouting for boys ages 10½ to 18 and Venturing for young men and women ages 14 (or 13 and having completed the 8th grade) through 21. Learning for Life is a non-traditional Exploring subsidiary that provides in-school and career education. The BSA operates traditional Scouting by chartering local organizations, such as churches, clubs, civic associations, or educational organization, to implement the Scouting program for youth within their communities. Units are led entirely by volunteers appointed by the chartering organization, who are supported by local councils using both paid Professional Scouters and volunteers.

Constantinople: Scouting and Guiding Federation of Turkey (Türkiye İzcilik Federasyonu, TİF) is the national Scouting and Guiding federation of Turkey. It serves 33,974 Scouts. The federation is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement since 1950.

The start of Scouting in Constantinople is attributed to the brothers Ahmet and Abdurrahman Robenson, who were sports teachers at the Galatasaray and Kabataş high schools in Constantinople in 1909.

In 1915 an Austro-Hungarian Scout unit in Constantinople was founded and served up to 1918. This unit was a member of the Österreichischer Pfadfinderbund. This Scout Association supported the foundation of Scout groups in Damascus, Beirut and Aleppo.

The Scouting efforts were put to a halt during the Balkan Wars and World War I, and again gained momentum after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. In 1926, Scouting activities began to be organized nationwide in schools.

Ahmet Han, the Director of Scouting, and Muhittin Akdik, the Director of Education in İstanbul, visited France, the United Kingdom and Switzerland in 1946 to study Scouting and its administration, and returned determined to build up the movement on fundamental and modern lines. Sıtkı Sanoplu was responsible for starting the Cub Scout program in 1950. Cub packs existed in the coeducational primary schools, and were themselves coed, but boys and girls were placed in separate sixes, or dens. Practically all the Cubmasters were women.

With the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, it was suggested that the Turkish Scouting and Guiding Federation should assist in the creation of Scout movements in the Turkic Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, but it is uncertain if this plan ever materialized.

The current Scouting and Guiding Federation of Turkey was legally organized in 1992 as administratively bound to the General Directorate of Youth and Sport. In February 2007, the federation gained autonomous status.

Russia: In 1908, Baden-Powell's book Scouting for Boys came out in Russia by the order of Tsar Nicholas II. It was called Young Scout (Юный Разведчик, Yuny Razvedchik). On April 30 [O.S. April 17] 1909, a young officer, Colonel Oleg Pantyukhov, organized the first Russian Scout troop Beaver (Бобр, Bobr) in Pavlovsk, a town near Tsarskoye Selo. In 1910, Baden-Powell visited Nicholas II in Tsarskoye Selo and they had a very pleasant conversation, as the Tsar remembered it. In 1914, Pantyukhov established a society called Russian Scout (Русский Скаут, Russkiy Skaut). The first Russian Scout campfire was lit in the woods of Pavlovsk Park in Tsarskoye Selo. A Russian Scout song exists to remember this event. Scouting spread rapidly across Russia and into Siberia, and by 1916, there were about 50,000 Scouts in Russia. Nicholas' son Tsarevich Aleksei was a Scout himself.

With the advent of communism after the October Revolution of 1917, and during the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922, most of the Scoutmasters and many Scouts fought in the ranks of the White Army and interventionists against the Red Army.

The organization then went into exile, and continued in many countries where fleeing White Russian émigrés settled, establishing groups in France, Serbia, Bulgaria, Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay. A much larger mass of thousands of Russian Scouts moved through Vladivostok to the east into Manchuria and south into China.

Colonel Pantyukhov, Chief Scout of Russia, first resided in France and then moved to the United States, where large troops of Russian Scouts were established in cities such as San Francisco, Burlingame, California, and Los Angeles. He returned to Nice, France where he died.

Russian Scouting was recognized as a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, in exile, from 1928 to 1945.

The Scout movement began to reemerge and was reborn within Russia in 1990.

Greece: Scouts of Greece or Soma Hellinon Proskopon (Σώμα Ελληνων Προσκόπων, ΣΕΠ) is the national Scouting association of Greece. Scouting in Greece started in 1910 and was among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922. The association has 18,482 members (as of 2011). The majority of members belong to the Christian Orthodox Church. However, boys and girls of all religions and ethnic groups, residents of Greece, are welcome to become members.

During the 1908 Summer Olympics, in London, Athanasios Lefkaditis, a young physical education teacher, observed with interest the British Scouts' service and activities at the Games. He met with Robert Baden-Powell and shortly after, introduced Scouting in Greece in 1910. Ever since, Scouts of Greece has been active in social welfare and relief activities during natural disasters such as great fires and earthquakes.

Scouts of Greece is also active in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. These groups form a special region within Scouts of Greece's structures.

Serbia: The first Scout units in what was to become Yugoslavia were founded in 1911 by Dr. Miloš Popović, in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Vranje and Valjevo. As Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Serbia served as one of the 20 original signatories that founded the World Organization of the Scout Movement, from 1922 to 1950.

The Russian Scout association Русский Скаут went into exile after World War I, and continued where fleeing White Russian émigrés settled, establishing groups in Serbia.

The outbreak of World War II saw the suspension of Scouting in Serbia in 1941, when Yugoslavia was occupied by the Germans. Scouting in Yugoslavia was co-opted by the Tito government in 1950, at which time WOSM membership was forfeited, as the new organization did not meet all the criteria for membership, as there were very close connections with the communist government. In 1951, individual Scout associations were founded in all then-Yugoslav republics.

The Scout Association of Yugoslavia was renewed under the former Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia on November 24, 1951 at a meeting held in Zagreb, now in Croatia. Individual branches were created for each constituent republic, and the Scout movement grew and thrived until the Yugoslav dissolution in 1991.

Yugoslavia, as Serbia and Montenegro, returned as the 137th member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement on September 1, 1995. In the prevailing situation in the Balkans, the association is very active in social work for all segments of the population, and cooperates closely with the Red Cross in providing aid to refugees, opportunities for the disabled, help for orphans and general aid to areas in crisis. The SIS has recently been featured in news stories about the work they are doing for the environment. The SIS is active in a campaign to introduce new methods and materials of packaging, different schemes for garbage collection and recycling programmes. Serbia and Montenegro fielded a contingent EuroJam 2005.

The Savez Izviđača Srbije is a voluntary, independent, nonpolitical and social organization of children, youth and adults, for development of their physical, intellectual and spiritual potential. Every citizen of Serbia could become a member of the Savez Izviđača Srbije, if he or she accepts the Program of the Association and acts in accordance with the Scout Laws and regulations of the Constitution of Savez Izviđača Srbije, and is active in his or her unit and in the Association.

Palestine: The Scout movement in Palestine started in 1912. The Palestinian Scout Association (جمعية الكشافة والمرشدات الفلسطينية) was recognized by the World Scout Bureau in 1945.

In 1948, thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes and formed a Palestinian Scout Association in exile. This association was refused membership in the World Organization, but Scouting continued nonetheless. WOSM recognition of Scout movements is possible only when Scouting is active and operating within the borders of its own national state and that state having a seat in the United Nations.

In 1993, an agreement was reached and slowly land was returned to the Palestinians. The Palestinian Scout Association immediately resumed its activity in this region. Palestine was not recognized by the United Nations, but WOSM decided to give the Palestinian Scout association a special temporary status. Before the proposal was brought to a vote, the president of the Israel Scouting Federation made a statement asking the World Scout Conference to support the proposal. His speech was received with a standing ovation. The Palestinian Scout Association was accepted as an Associate WOSM Member. On 27 February 2016, the World Scout Committee recognized Palestinian Scout Association as the National Scout Organization of the State of Palestine and conferred the Association with Full WOSM Membership with voting rights. The membership certificate will be presented to the organisation in the 41st World Scout Conference, which will be conducted in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2017.

Syria: Scouting started in Syria in 1912, when the country was part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1924, a federation of Christian and Muslim associations from Lebanon and Syria became member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). In the 1930s and 1940s, this federation was affected by the political situation in the region, and especially by the separation of Syria and Lebanon, which led to the registration of the Boy Scouts de Syrie as a separate member of WOSM in August 1949.

Syria hosted the 1st Arab Regional Scout Jamboree in 1954 and the 3rd Arab Regional Scout Jamboree and the 1st Arab Regional Scout Conference, both in 1958. During this conference, Damascus was named as headquarters of the Arab Scout Region.

Romania: Romania was a founding member of the WOSM, having formally had Scouts between 1913 and 1937. Influenced by reading Baden-Powell's "Scouting for Boys", the first informal patrol of Boy Scouts was established in Romania in 1913 at Gheorghe Lazar high school by Dimitri Dimancescu, his brother, Ion, and classmates. Prince Carol would become the first formal troop leader. Others joined in broadening awareness of the Scout movement (Gheorghe Munteanu-Murgoci, Alexandru Borza, Vladimir Ghidionescu, Constantin Costa-Foru, Nicolae Iorga, Ion G. Duca and Colonel Grigore Berindei[2]) who became familiar with the Scout movements in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Germany.

The translation of Baden-Powell's book Scouting for Boys into Romanian was published in 1915. That same year saw the official founding of the Cercetaşii României; on the occasion, Lord Baden-Powell sent a message of congratulations, with the admonition that Scouting should be adapted to the local situation. Membership grew quickly across Romania.

During World War I, Romanian Scouts were very active in defense activities. Ecaterina Teodoroiu guided a patrol of Scouts and Guides and was employed as a nurse, before joining the Romanian Army and dying a heroine. Many Scouts who helped the transporting of the wounded were killed during the air attacks. On September 29, 1916, Baden-Powell sent a message expressing regret to the Scouts for the death of their fellows. At the end of the war, the Boy Scouts marched in the front of the Victory Train, under the Triumphal Arch in Bucharest.

In 1920, 67 Romanian Boy Scouts and their leaders were present at the first World Jamboree in London, England. Before World War II, the Scout Movement developed further: many patrols were formed in towns and in villages, many camps, socials, expeditions and spectacles were organized, and a great number of magazines, literary writings and pedagogical studies were published for Scouts and their Chiefs. At the time, one of the devoted Boy Scouts was the philosopher Mircea Eliade.

In 1930, the first Romanian Scout Jamboree took place, in the presence of Hubert Martin and many delegations of Scouts and Guides from other countries. Cercetașii României had 45,000 members at that point, and the Guides Movement had 14,000. The organizer and Chief of the Guides Movement was Princess Ileana, the daughter of Queen Marie.

With the growing influenced of fascism in the 1930s, Romanian Scouting officially preserved its apolitical character, only to be replaced in 1937 by a totalitarian organization, Străjeria, as part of the dictatorial measures initiated by King Carol II (alongside the creation of the National Renaissance Front). After World War II, there were attempts to restore the Scout Movement in Romania, but the emergence of the communist regime brought a ban on all alternative youth movements, replaced by the Pioneer Organization and Union of Communist Youth.

After the Revolution of 1989, former Scouts and others acted for the revival of Scouting in Romania. Cercetașii României was again established in 1991, and in 1993 gained recognition by the World Bureau of the WOSM. But in 2006, there are only 2,000 registered Scouts.

Bulgaria: Scouting traces back to 1911-1913 in Bulgaria, with the founding of a national Scout organization following in 1923. Bulgarian Scouting was originally a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1924 to 1940. In the interwar period, Russian Scouting Русский Скаут went into exile, and continued in many countries where fleeing White Russian émigrés settled, establishing its own Scout groups in Bulgaria. Because of the political situation, Scouting in Bulgaria was suspended in 1940 and outlawed after the war, when communists controlled Bulgaria. Scout resources during the communist period were confiscated and redistributed to the Pioneri and the Chavdari of the Dimitrovist Pioneer Organization "Septemberists" for communist youth. Scouting resumed in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was taken down, but it did not meet WOSM requirements for membership until 1995. The negative legacy of the Communist youth organizations contributed to slow growth of the Scouting movement, as it left the Scouts ill-equipped and without experienced leadership or established programs.

The Organizatsia Na Bulgarskite Skauty was accepted into the World Organization of the Scout Movement on January 17, 1999 as its 151st member, given an official welcome to WOSM at the World Scout Conference in South Africa on July 25, 1999. There are 57 Scout groups spread through Bulgaria, including in 20 of the largest cities and towns, with a membership of approximately 2,000. Sea Scouts are present in the city of Silistra, located on the Danube River, and on the Black Sea. The organization is volunteer-run. The Organizatsia Na Bulgarskite Skauty is open to both males and females. Bulgarian Scouts are well-publicized in their country and active in community development, including participating in projects related to reforestation and the Bulgarian Red Cross.


Egypt: The Egyptian Federation for Scouts and Girl Guides (الاتحاد العام للكشافة والمرشدات‎‎ Al-Ittiḥād al-`Ām lil-Kaššāfah wal-Muršidāt) is the national Scouting and Guiding federation of Egypt. Scouting was founded in 1914 in Alexandria and was among the charter members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922.

Most Scout troops are associated with schools, clubs, mosques and churches. Rover units are associated with high schools and universities. Egyptian Scouts play an important role in community service. They are involved in projects of desert reclamation, work camps, blood drives, medical care and other projects.

Scouts are offered vocational training and the skills needed to help develop communities. Scouts learn the importance of planting trees where firewood is scarce, building energy efficient stoves and making good use of their skills of carpentry, electricity and plumbing.

My son is an Orthodox Christian Scout selling popcorn to fund his pack's Cub Scouts camping trips if anyone would like to assist him in this: http://www.popcornordering.com/Popcornordering/Store/Entry?keycode=3311354687 Please be sure to use key code 3311354687 if it asks for one. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
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