Scout units and religious-based chartered organizations share a special bond that lasts all year.
But on certain days each year — namely Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath — we set aside time to celebrate a partnership that benefits all parties involved: the religious institution, Scouts, Scouters and the communities they serve.
On these important days, which are timed to fall near the Feb. 8 anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, Scouts give back in visible and meaningful ways.
In some units, that means simply wearing the full field uniform to worship services, where the worship leader presents religious awards to Scouts and Scouters. In others, the pack, troop, team or crew conducts a service project that benefits the religious organization.
How does your unit participate?
To get started, visit this BSA guide to Scout Sunday observances or this BSA guide to Scout Sabbath services.
Then keep reading for your complete guide to Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath.
When is Scout Sunday this year?
There’s a short answer and a longer answer.
Short answer: It’s the Sunday before Feb. 8 — the birthday of the Boy Scouts of America. That means this year, Scout Sunday is Feb. 7, 2016.
Longer answer: Each chartered organization can adopt any specific Sunday to celebrate. Officially, the BSA says a local church may celebrate “on the Sunday most acceptable to the pastor and congregation.” In the United Methodist Church, for example, the second Sunday in February is set aside for Scout Sunday. That means this year it’s on Feb. 14, 2016.
Your best bet is to check with your chartered organization representative.
What about Scout Sabbath?
Scout Sabbath, for Jewish Scout units, is always the Saturday after Scout Sunday. This year, it falls on Feb. 13, 2016.
Learn more about this special day here.
NOTE: Though the National Jewish Committee on Scouting has designated Feb. 13 as Scout Sabbath this year, some councils will celebrate the occasion on other days. Check with your council or local Jewish Committee on Scouting to verify the date.
How can I celebrate Scout Sunday 2016 or Scout Sabbath 2016?
These come from our friends on the Scouting magazine Facebook page:
- “Lowes UMC has asked us to hold an Eagle Ceremony during the church service for a very deserving young man. As Scoutmaster, I was unsure at first, but now I feel this a wonderful way to celebrate Scout Sunday and thank the church for their many years of support.” – Derick S.
- “We’re celebrating our troop’s 75th anniversary! We’re having a dinner with all of our troop’s past Eagle Scouts and then celebrating eight new young men earning their Eagle Scout.” – Seth C.
- “We have a member from the troop reading the Scout Law while members of the Webelos light an eagle that has 12 candles on it (one for each part of the law). I also have a guest speaker lined up that will talk about what Scouting means to them. Our service is usually really meaningful. I try to use as many of the Scouts in the service fromgreeters to readers to ushers to members of the color guard.” – Amy Q.
- “All the boys in our troop and pack and their leaders are encouraged to attend services that day in their ‘Class A’ uniforms. The following week, photos taken of the Scouts with their clergy are published in the local paper.” Mary L.
- “The youth in our pack, troop and crew will serve as greeters and gift bearers in Mass and then have an information booth at Coffee & Donuts.” – Linda C.
- “Our church has invited Scoutmaster Brian Wallace (featured in Scouting magazine) to be our guest preacher at First United Methodist Church of Germantown.” – Ann P.
- “My Scouts have earned their Light of Christ religious medal and they will be receiving it at church on Scout Sunday.” – Lorie T.
- “We established a Scout Sunday service where we invite all Scouts — Boy, Girl, Cub, Venturer, Life (past and present). We collect food for our local food pantry, have special guest speakers such as local leaders and Eagle Scouts, show photo slideshows of Scouts in action, play videos, share refreshments, display awards and projects, and of course have a very special sermon. It’s a great event!” – MJ N.
- “Our troop attends the first service on Sunday. Between the services we host a pancake breakfast for the parishioners. The Scouts serve and bus tables as needed.” – Heidi B.
- “Being the only BSA member within 100 miles, I’ll wear my dress blazer with Catholic International Awareness medal and Silver Beaver to Mass at the chapel here in the mountains of México.” – Dean W.
Find more great responses here.
Where can I get Scout Sunday 2016 “stuff”?
Visit your local Scout shop or ScoutStuff.org to grab these official item: