5 ways to explore faith
Anne Whiteford, SHQ Commissioner (Development) tells us why bringing together different faiths and beliefs is important in Scouting and offers ideas on how to celebrate faith in the Scouting programme.
Scouting is open to people of all faiths, people searching for faith and people of no declared faith. Each week many of our young people and adults will take part in meetings where people of different faiths come together and interact in mutual respect, fun and friendship.
However, faith is often ‘hidden’ in Scouting. We come together as Scouts with a set of shared Scout values and that is a great achievement. Scouting remains fully committed as a Movement that explores faith and religion as a core element of its programme. This is one of our strengths and helps to build tolerance and understanding locally, nationally and internationally.
Here are some ways to make faith more explicit in Scouting, so that in Scotland we can truly work towards and celebrate being an open, inclusive and welcoming community.
At Investiture ceremonies and Promise renewal ceremonies, explain the wording, particularly if more than one version of the Scout Promise is being used. This will help young people recognise that there are different faiths in Scouting and make the promise more meaningful to the young people themselves.
Visit a variety of places of worship within your local community. Make contact with the local faith leaders so that the programme meets the needs of the different age-groups in Scouting. If you have members of different faiths, parents could help you to make the necessary contacts.
Invite someone from the Interfaith Network to come and run some activities with your members. The Interfaith Network has activities for schools, youth groups and local communities.
Use some of the activities designed for the ‘Faith Walk’ at Gilwell Park with your members. These activities relate to different faiths; they include information on faiths and are available for members of all ages.
Provide opportunities for older members to reflect on their faith/values and Scouting. Invite them to look for aspects that are shared and aspects that are different.