USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country
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Metta: The Metta Program is for all Cub and Webelos Scouts with at least three months service and is designed to help Cub Scouts to further their knowledge and practice of the Buddhist religion. The word "metta" is a Buddhist term meaning loving kindness and goodwill. This word was selected as the name for the award with the hope of nurturing boys who will relate to animate and inanimate things with loving kindness and goodwill in their hears. It provides a deeper enrichment of the Cub Scout's understanding of the Buddhist shrine, Buddhist holidays and the childhood teachings of Buddha. The study for this award has eight parts:

1. The Buddhist Shrine: includes a visit to the Scout's temple, a drawing of the shrine, and daily meditations before the family shrine.

2. The Ways of a Buddhist: includes attendance at Buddhist Sunday Services, use of juzu (meditation beads) and a drawing of the Scout's juzu.

3. Buddhist Holidays: includes reading an article on Buddhist Holidays, discussion of those holidays and an essay on the Scout's favorite holiday.

4. Buddha's Childhood: includes reading the story of Prince Siddhartha's birth and early childhood, and an essay.

5. The Search for Buddhahood: includes understanding the reasons why Prince Siddhartha abandoned his palace to seek enlightenment, where he went, and identifying on a map of India the place where his enlightenment took place.

6. The First Teaching of Buddha: includes learning about who Buddha sought out first to teach, learning about his first sermon, drawing a picture of the Wheel of Dharma, and learning the Three Treasures recited by Buddha's disciples.

7. The Teaching of Buddha: includes reading the chapter on the Basic Teaching of Buddha, leering the Four Characteristics of Life, and drawing a picture of the Wheel of Dharma indicating its relationship to the Eightfold Noble Path.

8. Denominational Emphasis: includes a discussion of the various schools of Buddhism, learning about the founder of the Scout's denomination of Buddhism, and listing the characteristics of the Scout's denomination of Buddhism.

Sangha: The Sangha Program is for Scouts and Explorers who have earned the First Class rank or who have been in Exploring for at least a year. Similar to the Metta Program, the Sangha Program encourages a Scout to explore the ways of a Buddhist, understanding of holidays, teachings of Buddha, and the search for Buddhahood. The study for this award has two stages:

1. First Stage

a. Buddha: includes learning about the life of Sakyamuni Buddha and the five principal events of His life, the meaning of Buddha, the meaning of Buddha in the Scout's personal life, maintaining of the Scout's home shrine, demonstrating correct shrine arrangement, showing evidence of personal daily morning and evening meditation before the shrine, and knowing the correct etiquette and procedures before the shrine (including gassho, use of juzu, incense burning, etc.).

b. Dharma: includes learning about some of the principal teachings of Buddhism (Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, three characteristics of existence, Buddhist Karma, the eight sufferings, the ten goodnesses, the six paramitas, and the five precepts) and exploring the biography of the founder and history of the Scout's own Buddhist denomination.

c. Sangha: includes learning about expressing Buddhist gratitude before and after meals, knowing the organization and administration of the temple, attendance of Dharma School services, performing a dana project of twenty-five hours, knowing the major activities of the Scout's temple for a year, and understanding and helping in the social welfare activities the Scout's temple.

2. Second Stage

a. Buddha: includes learning about the spiritual significance of the various events both before and after Sakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment, explaining enlightenment (and why there could be many Buddhas), knowing the meaning of shrine symbols, reaching an understanding of "Faith", learning about the significance and development of the use of the shrine in Buddhist services, knowing the meaning of historic Buddhist symbols, and leading family services at home for at least seven different times in three months.

b. Dharma: includes an understanding of the aims of Buddha's teachings, the enlightenment, the Buddhist concept of self and rebirth. This stage also includes learning about the characteristics of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, the Three Aspects of Buddha, and the sutras used in the Scout's temple. The Scout must also exemplify in his daily living the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path, the six paramitas, and the five precepts in the light of the principal beliefs of the Scout's temple.

c. Sangha: includes learning about the beginnings of the Buddhist Sangha, making financial contributions to the Scout's temple, attending temple services, knowing the history and administrative organization of the Scout's temple, explaining what a minister is, showing participation in the temple's youth organization, giving a talk on Buddhism to a group or writing an essay; serving in the temple, learning about world-wide Buddhist denominations; and showing how through the Scout's own daily living he can contribute toward the achievement of harmony among mankind.


Buddhist Churches of America National Committee on Scouting

(Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, and 4-H)

Jean C. Wilson, National Chairperson

701 East Thrift Street

Kingsland, Georgia 31548-8213


Eidmann, Rev. Phillip Karl, Young People's Introduction to Buddhism, A Sangha Award Studybook for Shin Buddhist Scouts, Buddhist Churches of America: San Francisco (undated)

National Buddhist Committee on Scouting, Information Folder and Application Blank: Buddhist Scout Sangha Award.

National Buddhist Committee on Scouting, The Metta Award for Buddhist Cub Scouts: Information Folder and Application Blank.

National Buddhist Committee on Scouting, Service Record Card (Sangha Award).

Please contact the addressee below for more information.


Buddhist Churches of America

National Headquarters

1710 Octavia Street

San Francisco, California 94109


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