The purpose of this program is to:
- Make the 12th point of the Scout Law more meaningful in life
- Promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for all religions
- Provide Boy Scouts with the opportunity to work with an ordained member of the clergy, thereby gaining insight into the religious professional life
- Chaplain aide is an approved youth leadership position for Boy Scouts. The responsibilities are to encourage spiritual awareness and growth in the lives of troop members and to assist the chaplain.
The Boy Scout seeking the position of chaplain aide should have earned or be in the process of completing his religious emblems study program. It is recommended that the Boy Scout selected be at least a Star Scout. The chaplain aide should be mature and sensitive, a Boy Scout who has earned the trust of his fellow Scouts.
Duties of the Chaplain Aide
- Maintain the troop’s religious emblems award progress chart.
- Present an overview of the various religious emblems programs to the troop at least annually, instructing members to contact their own clergy person or religious counselor to guide them in the appropriate study programs.
- Compile and keep an up-to-date list of local clergy who have agreed to be counselors for the religious emblems programs.
- Present an overview of the religious emblems programs to Cub Scout dens and packs on request.
- Serve as the youth coordinator for the observance of the annual Scout Sabbath or Sunday in February.
- Working with the troop chaplain, usually a member of the clergy, compose a Scouts’ worship service appropriate for all troop members during weekend campouts. Invite the troop chaplain to visit a campout, eat with the troop, and conduct a worship service.
- Prepare a troop prayer.
- Assist the troop chaplain, or other appropriate adult, to plan and conduct a religious emblem recognition ceremony. Presentation of a religious emblem is the responsibility of the local religious institution in which it is earned, though it is appropriate for the troop to recognize boys who have received religious emblems at courts of honor.
- Encourage troop members to strengthen their own relationship with God through personal prayer and devotions and participation in religious activities.
- Participate in patrol leader’s council planning sessions, ensuring that a spiritual emphasis is included, e.g., vespers, prayer before meals, religious observances, etc.
- Working with the troop chaplain, compose an appropriate prayer for before and after meals. When composing these prayers, the chaplain and chaplain aide should be sensitive to the various theological and religious positions embraced by the faiths represented in the group.
- Work with the troop chaplain to plan appropriate religious services for all members during weekend troop campouts. Troops may conduct their own religious services, invite the troop chaplain or an exemplary layperson to participate in the service, or they may visit a nearby church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or other religious institution