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Some Ideas on Scouts' Owns

"For an open Troop, or for Troops in camp, I think the Scouts' Own should be open to all denominations, and carried on in such manner as to offend none. There should not be any special form, but it should abound in the right spirit, and should be conducted not from any ecclesiastical point of view, but from that of the boy. Everything likely to make an artificial atmosphere should be avoided. We do not want a kind of imposed Church Parade, but a voluntary uplifting of their hearts by the boys in thanksgiving for the joys of life, and a desire on their part to seek inspiration and strength for greater love and service for others."

By Baden Powell
Printed in "The Scouter"
November 1928

What is a Scouts' Own

A Scouts' Own service is usually short, often lasting no longer than 15 minutes. They are made up of a mixture of readings, prayers, reflections and music. Many Scouts' Owns are based on a particular theme, such as friendship, using resources wisely, or fairness. This might be connected to a certain event or occasion.

A Scouts' Own is open to everyone and is not a replacement for an individual's own worship according to their faith.

This does not mean that you cannot have a service that satisfies the requirements for an individual's own worship. If, as a Chaplain, you are also and ordained minister, authorized by your church body to conduct the sacraments of the faith, you can plan a break-out session after the Scout's Own to conduct these service elements.

Elements of a Scouts' Own

Although there is no set format for a Scouts' Own. A services should consist of a beginning, a middle, and an end.

  • Beginning explains the theme or why we are gathered. Perhaps open with a reading or song.

  • Middle can include readings, discussions, and meditations followed by prayers. Remember that prayers include thanks as well as requests.

  • End with a song or something which cements the theme and concludes things on a high note.

Typical elements include

  • Call to gather/worship - Something to get peoples attention to let them know things are about to begin
  • Invocation - Call for togetherness with God and nature
  • Songs - Usually something soft, calming and thematic
  • Prayers - Invite participants to share prayers of their faith
  • Responsive readings - Thematic readings that involve a leader and the group
  • Parables/Stories - A story with a purpose to teach and evoke thought
  • Meditation - Time to reflect on the theme, events and actions
  • Benediction - A closing prayer or thought

Some great resources include:

Site created by Paul Frye for Wood Badge WE4-49-09

Scouts Own Planning Guide by Phil Roma and Michele Gephart of New York

"The MacScouter's Big A Scout is Reverent Resource Book"


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