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!
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