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 the three national youth agencies: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls and Camp Fire Boys and Girls [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 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
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