Call for UCC Chaplains for the 2017 Boy Scouts of America Jamboree
The UCC Scouting Working Group is seeking qualified persons to serve as Chaplains for the 2017 Boy Scouts of America Jamboree. This is a great opportunity to serve young people and provide an important witness and pastoral presence for the inclusive, extravagant welcome of the United Church of Christ.
Over the past few years the Boy Scouts of America have changed their policies ending the ban on gay and bisexual youth membership. The UCC was part of the effort to encourage those changes and through the new UCC Scouting Working Group, we are working to promote and support the values of inclusive Scouting programs. We believe an important place to have an impact is through chaplaincies at BSA events.
Every four years, the Boy Scouts of America hold a National Jamboree that brings together Scouts from all over the country and all over the world. In the summer of 2017 over 30,000 Scouts and adult leaders will gather at the Summit in West Virginia, the permanent home for Jamborees, for 8 days of outdoor fun and fellowship. Integral to the staff are a corps of 120 Chaplains who represent all of the faith groups that sponsor Scouting Units. The UCC has been sparsely represented in the last few Jamborees, but with the new Memorandum of Understanding between the UCC and the BSA we have the opportunity for several UCC Pastors and Authorized Ministers (of any gender) to serve as chaplains.
Chaplains are involved in the day to day life of the youth and adults who participate in this event. They provide emotional and spiritual support to them around the natural phases of life. These issues can simply be a youth who is homesick, or helping a person who is having interpersonal relationships challenges or questions about their faith. Chaplains have also been involved in hospital visitation and death notifications. Above all the chaplains model healthy spiritual practices to young people and their leaders.
Interested persons must be:
- An Authorized Minister in good standing with the UCC,
- Registered (or become registered) as an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America, and
- Willing to serve young people and participate in a fun, meaningful and challenging event.
UCC Chaplains have the responsibility to:
- Participate in an online Chaplaincy Training/Orientation,
- Follow the guidelines of the BSA National Jamboree,
- Wear prescribed BSA uniforms, and
- Pay their own registration fees and travel costs.
(We are seeking ways to help those who need financial assistance.)
Find out more about being on staff at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at:
http://www.summitbsa.org/events/jamboree/overview/ and click on Staff Volunteers
If you’re interested in or have questions about being a UCC BSA Chaplain, contact Rev. Lev Reynolds at LeveringR@aol.com
Lev has been a National Staff Chaplain at three Jamborees and serves on the Chaplains Sub-Committee of the national BSA Religious Relationships Committee.
God is still speaking and so are our youth. The United Church of Christ (UCC) Scouting Working Group is committed to growing the youth of our communities into responsible citizens and inclusive leaders through Scouting programs. In the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), UCC congregations currently charter over 1,000 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Venturing Crews.
Since the BSA policy changes in 2013 and 2015, eliminating the ban on gay and bisexual youth and adults in Scouting, the UCC national offices have re-engaged with the BSA. The UCC Scouting Working Group is excited to grow this partnership, encouraging and supporting new and existing Scouting programs in UCC local churches.
For more information, please contact:
Brian Conn, Chairperson
UCC Scouting Working Group