My name is Ben Miller. I am a Methodist Lay Pastor and one of the Toledo, Ohio, District Chaplains.
All of the awards and materials may be ordered through this web site https://www.themillergroup.com/praypub/ProductList.asp . from PRAY in St. Louis.
My son, Matthew, and I belong to
Troop 43 Rossford. Our Charter organization is All Saints Catholic Parish.
I want to share with you some answers to some of your questions about the Protestant God and Country Program.
The God and Country Program is a set of programs for religious studies.
While no longer required, these studies are a major part of the traditional approach to the Path to Eagle.
These programs are built around a work book style of learning, following step-by-step lessons designed by some powerful prayer warriors in St. Louis, Mo. The publishing group is called, PRAY (Program for Religious Activities for Youth.) In these books, you can find activities that involve study, prayer, service projects, and a time of sharing religious values between a parent and a child and/or a mentor.
The work books are school grade specific so that the concepts being shared are not
beyond the comprehension of that child. They can be purchased at your local Boy Scout
Service Center OR by calling the PRAY 1-800- phone number.
Every pack and troop should have someone monitoring (and mentoring)the activities called for in the 12th Law of Scouting. (A Scout is reverent!) This person is called the Pack/Troop Chaplain.
The Chaplain does not have to be a religious professional. When i started being our troopm Chaplain, I was a school teacher. I was a dad who wanted to bring the 12th Point of the Scout Law back to promininence in our city. When I petitioned to reform a Chaplain's Corpes (we call it the God Squad), they said I needed training. So, I entered the lay Speaker program of the United Methodist Church. This lead to the "Course of Study", which lead to my first pulpit and to very successful summers spent at Camps Miakonda and Pioneer. I miss those sylvan days and Scouts and Scouters who touched my heart.
As for the GnC programs at a local level, some Chaplains hold classes which concentrate the activities and greatly improve productivity. In the last ten years that i have done this, every child/parent team that completed the 6 week classes has gotten a badge. We found that a classroom atmosphere focuses the behaviors and helps keep the group "on task."
Some children's learning style does not lend itself to group sessions. These
parents may choose to "home school" their children through this process.
This is a time of true sharing, but, the success rate is lower than my organized
"classes" for a number of reasons.
If I can be of any service with setting up Chaplancies or helping someone complete
please E-mail Ben Miller,
Chaplain, P-43, T-43, E-470,
Commodore Perry District,
Sadly, this is the first award that is nearly impossible for an unchurched child to complete. This workbook requires that these nearly grown young persons attend a church regularly to observe and report on the goings on of regular service, committee meetings, examining closely the behind the scenes life of the organization that we call a church.
Also, there is a substantial service project for the sponsoring church (my son's class wrote the church history by interviewing the 80 & 90 year olds for stories and pictures.) God had to have guided us on that one, because they were all dead inside of a year and those stories would have been lost.
This process creates a framework in which they can see their life as a ministry dedicated to the glory of God and what a "calling" is and/or is not.
The God & Church work prepares the candidate to take up the yoke of service when they are called to whatever ministry they are called to.
This work must be completed by the end of the 9th grade.
Delving deep in the scriptures, this program teaches as it opens windows in a young man or woman's soul that each youth is asked to look into and examine themself.
I did this one with an Explorer that I had known since he was six.
I got to see a young man go deep within himself to struggle and see the truth about what he has received from God and what he has to offer in return.
It took us 15 months. We filled several notebooks with his written answers to the questions.
Any child/parent/mentor team that completes this has my undying admiration. It is a tough row to hoe.
Letters of support are gathered
in a file. Peers, church officials, and Scout leaders are great sources of these letters
of support detailing the impact of this person's various ministries on the writer,
the children, the church, and the town.
This info is sent to the local Scout committee on Religious Activities. It may be forwarded to a local, regional, or national (depending on the award) committee for further review.
When the candidate finds out, (and they will...it's a small world...) tell them they were nominated and refused by the committee. (Honest to God, that's what Bruce told me...) But you promise to resubmit their name every year until they approve you.
Then...spring it on them at the next Scout Sunday like they did me...Thank God the
choir had to sing after the presentation, because there was no way that I could have
spoken one single word or delivered my sermon at that moment. I was too verklempt...