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  1. #46
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    There is currently a debate over of 1FBBC about religion. Specifically how to get kids to attend church parade. There is a lot of 'we make it clear to parents that these parades are compulsory' (admittedly the big ones like SGD) and 'we are a church sponsored group, so we expect...'

    One person even suggested rewarding those who attend with chocolate. Bad enough to do so at the service itself IMHO, but they apparently do it at the meeting after the parade in order to rub it in the faces of those that did not attend. Image how thats going to feel to a Beaver!

    There was also the suggestion of a Church Parade staged award, similar to Hikes Away etc.

    I know I should take these sort of opinions with a pinch of salt, but it does worry me. When we move house in the medium term future (another reason why I will be leaving my current group), I will be looking for a new group. How can I know I am able to find a group where I will fit in when these kind of attitudes are floating around and almost every group in the district we will be heading to has group names like '1st Anytown (St Name)???'
    Last edited by lakes_stu; 11-07-2017 at 08:27 AM.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

  2. #47
    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    I wouldn't let the group name put you off.
    We are a Church sponsored group, meet in their hall.
    We attend Remembrance Day, strongly encouraging attendance, but that is to respect those we remember, not to go to Church.
    We also attend the Carol service and the occasional 'special' service (1 in 10 years and that was the Group 50th Birthday).
    We will run a biannual Christmas Fayre to raise
    Money. But that it is it, a few years back they made a move to get us to attend monthly, but was quite strongly rebuffed, not least because we had agreed 1 scouting activity at a weekend a month and a church parade would take that up and mean that we wouldn't do anything else.


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    Hanging Heaton Scout Group

  3. #48
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakes_stu View Post
    There is currently a debate over of 1FBBC about religion.
    OMG! you're not telling me that there are more 1FB scouting groups? Not that I'm interested in joining: I can't. I’m still banned from FB for supposedly not being a comedian.

    Specifically how to get kids to attend church parade.
    stop right there! you cannot 'get' kids to attend church parade, if by that you mean some form of religious service. it is against the rules. period. And it applies to all churches, mosques, temples, synagogues…

    There is a lot of 'we make it clear to parents that these parades are compulsory' (admittedly the big ones like SGD)
    no activity in scouting is compulsory. fact.

    you cannot make attendance at religious services in scouting compulsory. it is irrelevant if it's St George's Day, Christmas carol service, or easter parade, &c.

    Taking action against a member (leader or young person) who failed to observe a ‘compulsion notice’ would be seen as a serious infringement of a key policy and I would hope would lead to serious disciplinary action.

    and 'we are a church sponsored group, so we expect...'
    what the group ‘expects’ is largely irrelevant. it is the personal choice of the member. while the group can encourage, it cannot and must not force or compel.

    even in a closed sponsored group, the GSL can only encourage attendance. in an open sponsored group, they can also encourage but for people of different faiths or denominations (to the sponsors) they cannot encourage attendance at the sponsor's events/observances over those of the member's own faith or denomination.

    Encouragement to attend one’s own faith services/observances comes first.

    for example, if I was a GSL in a open sponsored group, sponsored by a CofE, and had members there who came from that church/denomination and also members from the RC church down the road, I could encourage those members of CofE to attend Sunday's morning service and at the same time encourage those members who are RC to attend their service, but offer an invitation to join in with the CofE service, if they wished.

    No compulsion; all offers open; the final decision is, must always be, their choice. Leaders should also be careful not to be judgemental. If a member decides to miss out on a big St George’s Day parade and service and opt for a quiet family prayer service at home, then so be it; it’s their choice and leaders should not infer or imply that theirs was the poorer choice.

    One person even suggested rewarding those who attend with chocolate. Bad enough to do so at the service itself IMHO, but they apparently do it at the meeting after the parade in order to rub it in the faces of those that did not attend. Imagine how that’s going to feel to a Beaver!
    Well this in itself is not against the rules. I see no major issues with offering a chocolate to attendees and I would do this immediately afterwards at the post service tea/coffee refreshments. I certainly wouldn’t do it the following week. These sorts of things should not be done if there is a chance it would be seen as emotional blackmail.

    When I was in scouting, I would casually walk around the church hall after parade service with a big bag of jelly babies talking to people. They were my jelly babies and I didn’t make an issue out of them by saying: ‘here poppy you can have a jelly baby or two because you came to parade’.

    There was also the suggestion of a Church Parade staged award, similar to Hikes Away etc.
    No thanks.

    I have/had no issue with crediting attendance at church parade in the appropriate places in the award scheme. I have/had no issue with ensuring that equal opportunities were provided in the programme for non-attendees to gain the award requirements in equal other ways.

    I know I should take these sort of opinions with a pinch of salt, but it does worry me. When we move house in the medium term future (another reason why I will be leaving my current group), I will be looking for a new group. How can I know I am able to find a group where I will fit in when these kind of attitudes are floating around and almost every group in the district we will be heading to has group names like '1st Anytown (St Name)???'
    I had concerns almost every time I heard a leader say: ‘you must do this’ or ‘you must do that’.

    I believe that sponsored groups, of whatever faith or none, have an important place in scouting. However, support for developing faith and spirituality through scouting needs to be approached carefully and must always be personally-driven, though encouraged, with the member providing the lead, and never with any compulsion or advantage to be gained over others.

    My advice to leaders is to always stick to the policy and if in any doubt don’t do it.

    If you’re looking for a group then my old one is on the lookout for leaders. No GSL there to get in the way. (GSL always been a churchwarden but last one wasn’t even a parishioner or of same denomination.) Sponsored by a church but very relaxed. No compulsion. Accepts all faiths and none.

    The fact that I have a strong faith and attend church almost everyday (still do! Was there this morning!) did not influence the way I rigorously and objectively followed the policy when I was in scouting.

    TM
    retired 21 March 2017

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  5. #49
    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    OMG! you're not telling me that there are more 1FB scouting groups? Not that I'm interested in joining: I can't. I’m still banned from FB for supposedly not being a comedian.



    stop right there! you cannot 'get' kids to attend church parade, if by that you mean some form of religious service. it is against the rules. period. And it applies to all churches, mosques, temples, synagogues…



    no activity in scouting is compulsory. fact.

    you cannot make attendance at religious services in scouting compulsory. it is irrelevant if it's St George's Day, Christmas carol service, or easter parade, &c.

    Taking action against a member (leader or young person) who failed to observe a ‘compulsion notice’ would be seen as a serious infringement of a key policy and I would hope would lead to serious disciplinary action.



    what the group ‘expects’ is largely irrelevant. it is the personal choice of the member. while the group can encourage, it cannot and must not force or compel.

    even in a closed sponsored group, the GSL can only encourage attendance. in an open sponsored group, they can also encourage but for people of different faiths or denominations (to the sponsors) they cannot encourage attendance at the sponsor's events/observances over those of the member's own faith or denomination.

    Encouragement to attend one’s own faith services/observances comes first.

    for example, if I was a GSL in a open sponsored group, sponsored by a CofE, and had members there who came from that church/denomination and also members from the RC church down the road, I could encourage those members of CofE to attend Sunday's morning service and at the same time encourage those members who are RC to attend their service, but offer an invitation to join in with the CofE service, if they wished.

    No compulsion; all offers open; the final decision is, must always be, their choice. Leaders should also be careful not to be judgemental. If a member decides to miss out on a big St George’s Day parade and service and opt for a quiet family prayer service at home, then so be it; it’s their choice and leaders should not infer or imply that theirs was the poorer choice.



    Well this in itself is not against the rules. I see no major issues with offering a chocolate to attendees and I would do this immediately afterwards at the post service tea/coffee refreshments. I certainly wouldn’t do it the following week. These sorts of things should not be done if there is a chance it would be seen as emotional blackmail.

    When I was in scouting, I would casually walk around the church hall after parade service with a big bag of jelly babies talking to people. They were my jelly babies and I didn’t make an issue out of them by saying: ‘here poppy you can have a jelly baby or two because you came to parade’.



    No thanks.

    I have/had no issue with crediting attendance at church parade in the appropriate places in the award scheme. I have/had no issue with ensuring that equal opportunities were provided in the programme for non-attendees to gain the award requirements in equal other ways.



    I had concerns almost every time I heard a leader say: ‘you must do this’ or ‘you must do that’.

    I believe that sponsored groups, of whatever faith or none, have an important place in scouting. However, support for developing faith and spirituality through scouting needs to be approached carefully and must always be personally-driven, though encouraged, with the member providing the lead, and never with any compulsion or advantage to be gained over others.

    My advice to leaders is to always stick to the policy and if in any doubt don’t do it.

    If you’re looking for a group then my old one is on the lookout for leaders. No GSL there to get in the way. (GSL always been a churchwarden but last one wasn’t even a parishioner or of same denomination.) Sponsored by a church but very relaxed. No compulsion. Accepts all faiths and none.

    The fact that I have a strong faith and attend church almost everyday (still do! Was there this morning!) did not influence the way I rigorously and objectively followed the policy when I was in scouting.

    TM
    Thanks TM. I have mellowed now, but I still agree with all that you say above.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

  6. #50
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    We are not in any way church linked (other than they own the freehold on the building, but we have a 100 year full repairing lease). That said, we try to engage with the church in the same way we engage with other community stakeholders.

    The only direct involvement we have with the church during the year is remembrance parade. Every year there is some confusion over who runs the actual parade and service - whether its the "joint youth organisations" (the two scout groups, the various guide units and the boys brigade have formed a committee) whether its the village ex services club, or whether it is one or other of the churches. Each year this causes some kind of confusion!

    Anyway - getting back on topic. We cover "religion" where it meets a badge requirement for the world challenge. The YP dont generally ask to do the "world faiths" or "my faith" activity badge as part of the programme (some do it at home). We do not pray (we will sometimes have a moment of quiet reflection if there is cause to do so). We do not run a "Scouts own" on camp and we certainly don't take the whole troop up to the village church on camp. We don't, in any way, practice christian worship as a group - nor do we practice muslim, hindu, sikh, jewish or any other form or worship.

    My opinion, and that of many of our leaders, is that religion is a private matter. If a young person has religious beliefs then fine. If they dont, then thats also fine. My friends know what my own personal beliefs are - the Scouts dont need to, although i am honest if asked.

    Among our leader team we have atheists, agnostics, and various "flavours" of Christian. All are welcome

    Among our membership we have atheists, agnostics, christians, muslims and hindus that I know of. All are welcome.

    To the OP - you are obviously not in our district as i know - in general - groups in Bath are not strongly "Christian". If you are in a district within travelling distance (I suspect sadly you are not) you would be welcomed with open arms here!
    Dan Spencer

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    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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  8. #51
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    Going back to the original question, here are my thoughts. I'm an ASL (for context)

    If you manage to find a group where you and all of the rest of the leaders have a common view on everything related to how to run the section, then you are either dreaming, have consumed some very magical substances, or both.

    You have obviously thought a lot about what is important to you, which is a great start, but you don't know what you don't know, and you could well find yourself in a group where everyone shares your views on religion, but for some other reason you find working with them unbearable.

    So, you have two choices: spend some more time worrying and trying to identify ways to filter out groups you don't want to try, or just dive in for a probationary period (1 term?) And see how things work out. Remember, they might not like you .

    As others have said, the religious thing should not be an issue. A suggestion if you want to do something positive about it in a , let's say, "traditional" group, would be to offer to run the membership badge sessions for new cubs (before they are invested). That way you ensure that the alternative promise is offered, and may actually help if existing leaders feel uncomfortable about it.

  9. #52
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    Before I was in Scouting myself my children were invested using the God promise, the younger one was quite cross about that, they were never offered an option (only 3 years ago so it was there)

    i send home a sheet with all the promises with the beavers and ask them and their parents to discuss and decide which one they want to make, all but one (in 18 months) has made the love our world promise.
    'Simba'

  10. #53
    Senior Member Ihatecamping's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    My opinion, and that of many of our leaders, is that religion is a private matter. If a young person has religious beliefs then fine. If they dont, then thats also fine. My friends know what my own personal beliefs are - the Scouts dont need to, although i am honest if asked.
    This is our situation.

    Five out of seven of our leadership team are regular church goers, including two church wardens. We only do SGD and Remembrance Day in church, and I don't think we've ever done anything like getting the YP to write prayers. Certainly not in the past five years. I can only think of two families I see regularly at church, but some are Catholic/Orthodox, and others only make it to Easter and the whisky-fumed Midnight Mass at Christmas Eve.

    We have had mosque, church and synagogue visits, but I like to think it's all along the lines of presenting what some people think, rather than giving the YP a list of options they need to pick from.

    SGD is a Scouting event, we tend to share the service with a regular Sunday service. We do the St. George bit first, then offer anyone who wants to leave a the chance to do so. For Remembrance Day I ask the YP to come to the wreath-laying at one of our local memorials, church service is optional, but in recent years they've all trooped in with their parents.
    He who washes an ass's head loses both his time, and his soap.

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