Celebrating Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath can help introduce the Scouting program to congregation members who may not know about it. Because most Scout units are chartered to faith-based organizations, Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath also give the boys an opportunity to give back by performing acts of service.
Whether with your pack or with your family, commemorating one of these important days will show your Scout spirit to your community.
When is Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath?
Typically, Scout Sunday is the Sunday before BSA’s anniversary which is February 8th. This date is flexible to accommodate the congregation’s needs. For example, the United Methodist Church always celebrates Scout Sunday on the second Sunday in February to avoid conflict with their commemoration of Transfiguration Sunday. An individual church also has the option of celebrating on a different Sunday.
Scout Sabbath is the Saturday following Scout Sunday. Congregations may also choose another Sabbath on which to celebrate Scout Sabbath.
Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath dates for the next five years are:
2017 – February 5th (Scout Sabbath – February 11th)
2018 – February 4th (Scout Sabbath – February 10th)
2019 – February 3rd (Scout Sabbath – February 9th)
2020 – February 2nd (Scout Sabbath – February 8th)
2021 – February 7th (Scout Sabbath – February 13th)
Ways to Commemorate Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath
Below are just a few of the ways your pack can celebrate Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath.
- Wear your Scout uniform and sit together at the front of the church or synagogue. If your unit is not sponsored by a faith-based organization, wear your uniform to your home church.
- Serve as ushers for the church and hand out church bulletins.
- Conduct a flag ceremony at the beginning of the service.
- Recite the Scout Oath and Law during the service.
- Lead a prayer.
- Serve as the liturgist.
- Collect the offering.
- Provide refreshments for the church members.
- Set up a Scouting display in the narthex or foyer.
- Ask members of the congregation who were Scouts to stand up. Then ask those who have served as a Scout leader to stand up.
- Formally present your unit’s charter to the church.
- Award any religious emblems that your Scouts have earned.
- Work on a service project for the church or synagogue after the services have concluded.
- Hold your troop’s Court of Honor or your pack’s award ceremony immediately following the service.
- Hold a Scouting for Food food drive at the church or synagogue.
How to Plan Your Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath Celebration
Many congregations charter more than one BSA unit. For example, we have a Cub Scout pack, a Boy Scout troop and a Venturing crew that are chartered to the same congregation. As early as possible, contact the leaders of the other groups to make joint plans. Often, congregations will host Girl Scout meetings, so include their leaders too. You may want to designate one leader to contact the pastor or rabbi and report back to the rest of the group.
The first thing you’ll want to do when contacting the pastor or rabbi is decide on a date for the celebration. If the designated Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath dates don’t work, choose a date that does.
Ask the pastor or rabbi how your Scouts may contribute that day. He or she may direct you to meet with someone else. We have met with our chartered organization’s worship committee to make our plans. Offer some suggestions of things your Cub Scouts would like to do. When you have reached agreement on the activities, work with the other Scout groups to ensure that as many Scouts as possible are involved in the celebration.
What has been your favorite Scout Sunday or Scout Sabbath activity?
Yours in Scouting,