Scouts find space to worship
By Aaron Moore
Published in News on July 27, 2011 1:46 PM
The phrase, "A Scout is reverent" is often heard in Boy Scout meetings and church services as young boys bow their heads in prayer or recite the Scout Law.
But for many of these boys, these are more than just words they've been required to memorize. They're a way of life.
"We wouldn't be anything without God," said Jonathan Holt, an Eagle Scout who works on staff at Camp Tuscarora. "God has an important part of our everday lives. And Scouts teaches us to be reverent to God."
That message is so important to Holt and other Scouts that they've been meeting all summer to worship in some of Tuscarora's most beautiful spots.
"It's incredible just to see the beauty of camp," Holt said. "Just to think about before man touched it, the beauty of it without adding anything."
Though Holt has missed most of camp this summer due to a foot injury, he has played a major role in Tuscarora's chapel services in recent years.
And other Scouts agree that camp is the perfect place to reflect on God's work.
"I do like it outside a lot more," said Calton Duckworth, another staff member who leads chapel services.
Standing in the camp's amphitheater earlier this summer as camp wrapped up, with the sunset over the trees and the woods reflected in the lake's glassy surface, Duckworth said he could see God's designs in everything.
"We get a little piece of God in us," he said. "I think it's so much easier to talk about him than to talk about ourselves."
But it was love Duckworth talked to his fellow Scouts about.
"Think about how God is perfect," he told his audience of campers during one chapel service. "He doesn't have any need, but he created us so he could love us.
"No matter how much we feel we don't deserve it, he gives it to us anyway."
Scout officials said they usually get around 65 campers at the weekly services. And the best part, they said, is that attendance is completely voluntary.
"The boys really want to do it," Holt said. "They're thinking about their faith, they're thinking about what it means to be reverent."
Being reverent, Holt said, means something different to each Scout. For some, he said it's simply taking time each day to acknowledge God, while for others it means stopping and having a conversation with God.
The point, Holt said, is to let the boys decide.
"You're allowing the boys to take control," Holt said. "They're the ones who know what it means to grow up in today's society. They're able to turn around and teach it."
Holt said he and other Scouts try to use their sermons to reach out to boys of all faiths, especially those who aren't exposed to church on a regular basis.
"The Scouting movement commands us to believe in God, but it doesn't say what God," Holt said. "I think (reverence) means something different to for everybody. For me, I stop and recognize that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me."
For Duckworth, it's all about teaching God's love.
"I would want people to understand that God is real and God loves them," he said. "I know something and I've seen something about God, and I want to spread it."