Scouting for Episcopal Youth in Utah

The relationship between the Boy Scouts of America and the Episcopal Church in Utah is well represented in Utah state history.  From 1906 through 1910, a boys club known as Knights of King Arthur met at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Logan. In February 1910, Scouting came to America and one month later in March of 1910, Troop #1 was chartered with 26 boys in the original troop. Reverend Paul Jones of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Logan, Utah, became the first Scoutmaster after hearing a talk by Lord Robert Baden-Powel, the founder of Scouting.  Since that time, many generations of Episcopal Scouters have contributed to Scouting in the Great Salt Lake Council.  

Episcopal Church Background

According to the 2010 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, there are 2.1 million U.S members in over 7,000 churches or parishes.  Membership is concentrated along the East Coast with New York, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Virginia having the highest number of members.  The state of New York has the highest membership for a single state with 200,000 members.  In keeping with Anglican tradition and theology, the Episcopal Church considers itself Protestant, yet Catholic. 

The Episcopal Church is responsible for:

In addition to its many places of worship, the Episcopal Church in the United States is responsible for over 1,200 schools, early childhood education programs, and school exploration, establishment,
and expansion efforts, including; 11 colleges and universities, 11 seminaries, three schools of theology.
In 2010, there were the following Episcopal Scout units; 22,098 Cub Scouts in 490 packs,
17,345 Boy Scouts in 591 troops and 1,918 Venturers in 162 crews. 

How the Episcopal Church Is Organized

The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (as it was called, now referred to simply as The Episcopal Church) was formally organized in 1789 in Philadelphia upon adoption of the Constitution of the United States of America and the formal separation of the church from the Church of England.  Though fully separate from the Church of England, the Episcopal Church remained in “Communion” with the Church of England and its many churches that were established as the British Empire spread.  Now referred to as the Anglican Communion, this loose confederation of churches throughout the world is considered second in size to the Roman Catholic Church (from which the Church of England originated from during the reign of King Henry VIII).  

The Anglican Communion is led by, but not controlled by, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is appointed by the English monarch and approved by the British Parliament.  The governance of the Episcopal Church is Episcopal polity, similar to other Anglican churches.  Each parish elects a vestry or bishop’s committee. Subject to the diocesan bishop, the vestry of each parish elects a priest, called a rector, who has spiritual jurisdiction in the parish and selects assistant clergy, both deacons and priests.

A self-sustaining congregation is called a parish and is governed by a Vestry made up of lay members from the congregation.  

A non-self-sustaining church is referred to as a mission and the priest is appointed by the Diocesan Bishop. The bishop approves the formation of a “Bishop’s Committee” from the congregation.
The bishop is “officially” the rector of the mission.  Parishes are combined into one of 110 dioceses throughout the United States, Columbia, the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands. 
There are 25 congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Utah,
which stretches from northern Utah to northern Arizona.

Role of Scouting in the Episcopal Church

The National Episcopal Scouters Association (NESA) was formed in 2004 to promote Scouting in the Episcopal churches and support Episcopal Scouts and Scouters.

NESA has the following objectives:

  • Support local Episcopal churches in their outreach and ministry to youth and families
  • Encourage Episcopal congregations to become chartered organizations of the
    Boy Scouts of America
  • by using one or more Scouting programs as an integral part of the local church’s ministry
  • Recognize, strengthen, and help sustain existing Scouting units in the Episcopal churches
  • Encourage Episcopal churches to include the entire Scouting program
  • Encourage the spiritual growth of youths through involvement in the God and Country religious
  • emblems program
  • Support the chaplaincy ministry in individual Scouting units as well as at the district and council
  • levels, particularly at summer camp
  • Help Boy Scouts of America local councils promote the “Duty to God” concept and establish and
  • support Scouting units in Episcopal churches
  • Serve as an advisory group to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America in matters relative
  • to Scouting in the Episcopal Church
  • Facilitate use of the Saint George award as recognition for adults involved with ministry to youth
  • through Scouting under Episcopal churches
  • Provide training opportunities for Episcopal Scouters and other Episcopal leaders involved in
  • Scouting activities
  • Where appropriate, encourage the organization of Episcopal committees on Scouting  

Religious Emblem Resources for Episcopal Scouts: 

 To encourage members to grow stronger in their faith, religious groups have developed religious emblems programs. The Boy Scouts of America has approved these programs and allows the emblems to be worn on the official uniform. Below are the Episcopal religious emblems: 
·   Cub Scouts (Grades 1-3): God and Me
·   Cub Scouts (Grades 4-5): God and Family
·   Boy Scouts (Grades 6-8): God and Church
·   Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts (Grades 9-12): God and Life

God and Country resource materials: God and Me - #33604 for student, #33603 for counselor, and #33606 for mentor; God and Family - #33597 for student, #33598 for counselor, and #33595 for mentor; God and Church - #33599 for student, #33600 for counselor, and #33596 for mentor; God and Life - #33609 for student, #33610 for counselor, and #33605 for mentor. Adults may be nominated for the God and Service award. For more information:  

Saint George award

Acknowledge distinguished service by adults in the spiritual, physical, mental, and moral development of youth through service to the church and through the Boy Scouts of America

An adult (including laypersons, ordained persons, professional church workers, men, and women)
active in the Episcopal Church and the Boy Scouts of America

Candidates nominated for the Saint George award should:

  • Encourage youth to join Boy Scouts of America
  • Promote the organization of agency units in Episcopal churches and recruit volunteers
  • Exhibit past and present leadership and be fully trained in their area of responsibility
  • Assist and encourage youth to serve their Lord through the God and Country program for
  • Episcopal youth, and serve as a counselor
  • Encourage youth to participate in the religious emblems program and to do service projects
  • for the chartering/sponsoring partner or community
  • Promote religious observances at Boy Scouts of America functions at all levels
  • Give adequate help to their homes as well as the homes of others
  • Give evidence that they lead their families into a strong relationship with God
  • Give outstanding service to the local parish
  • Be highly regarded by others in the church for their Christian example.

    Episcopal Scouting in Utah Contacts
    Frank Williams
    Episcopal Liaison, Great Salt Lake Council





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