USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country - Scouting & Religions


From the very beginning, the Scouting movement has encouraged its members to be faithful in the practice of their religious beliefs. The Tiger Cub Promise asks young boys to love God. The Cub Scout Promise, the Scout Oath, and the Explorer Code each call upon Scouts to pledge themselves to do their duty to God. At the same time, Scouting espouses no creed and favors no single faith over another faith. Rather, Scouting provides programs and ideals that complement the aims of all religions.

The Charter and Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America maintain that no boy can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God. Scouting is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. The Boy Scouts of America does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion. Membership in a religious organization is not required.

Scouting respects the convictions of those who exercise their constitutional freedom to practice religion as individuals without formal membership in organized religious groups. In all cases religious instruction is the responsibility of the parents or guardians of the Scout and the religious institution to which a Scout belongs. It is the policy of the Boy Scouts of America that the religious organization or institution with which a Scout is connected shall give definitive attention to his religious life.



Scouting encourages a Scout to recognize an obligation or duty to God, but does not define what a belief in God is or define what constitutes a religious organization. As Scout leaders we must be careful not to favor one faith over another. In conducting Scouting activities, we must be sensitive to the need to encourage all Scouts to grow in their own religious beliefs and faiths. Remember that Scouts have a "Duty to God."

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