Scouts try their best to live by the 12 points of the Scout Law seven days a week, 365 days a year.
But each February, around the time of the BSA’s birthday, we ask our Scouts to pause and pay extra attention to the Scout law’s finishing touch: reverent.
Through the celebrations known as Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath and Scout Jumuah, Scouts take a moment to reflect on their faith.
Every unit can celebrate Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath and/or Scout Jumuah as they choose. But the occasions are especially important for Scout units supported by faith-based chartered organizations.
In those units, the celebrations offer a great opportunity to give back in a public way.
That could mean wearing the full field uniform to worship services, where the worship leader presents religious awards to Scouts and Scouters. It could mean participating in the service by distributing programs, greeting guests, or leading a song or prayer. Or it could mean a daylong pack, troop, ship or crew service project that benefits the religious organization.
As was the case in 2021, we encourage Scout units to celebrate Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath and/or Scout Jumuah safely. You can find the latest COVID-19 guidelines on the BSA website.
When is Scout Sunday 2022?
Scout Sunday 2022 is Feb. 6, 2022, according to the BSA’s Calendar of Religious Observances, which stipulates that Scout Sunday should fall on the Sunday before the BSA’s birthday on Feb. 8.
But units and chartered organizations are free to schedule Scout Sunday on any Sunday in February. In the United Methodist Church, for example, this year’s Scout Sunday will take place on Feb. 13.
That’s completely fine, according to the BSA’s official guidelines, which say that a local church can “celebrate on the Sunday most acceptable to the pastor and congregation.”
That means your unit and faith organization might celebrate Scout Sunday 2022 on Feb. 6, Feb. 13, Feb. 20 or Feb. 27. Just check with your local leaders before making any further plans.
You can buy official Scout Sunday gear, including the Scout Sunday 2022 patch, at ScoutShop.org.
When is Scout Sabbath 2022?
Scout Sabbath (also called Scout Shabbat) is the Jewish observance of the significance of religion in Scouting. It begins at sundown on Friday, Feb. 4, and continues into the next day, Saturday, Feb. 5.
If local COVID regulations permit, Jewish Scouts are invited to attend their local Jewish Committee on Scouting-sponsored Scout Sabbath or their regular worship services in their field uniforms. If Scouts have earned any religious emblems, they should wear them to the service.
Though the National Jewish Committee on Scouting has designated Feb. 4–5 as Scout Sabbath for 2022, some councils or units will celebrate the occasion on other days. Be sure to check with your council or local Jewish Committee on Scouting to verify the date.
When is Scout Jumuah 2022?
Scout Jumuah 2022 is Feb. 4, 2022, but units may adjust this date to best meet their needs.
Scout Jumuah (sometimes stylized as Scout Jumu’ah) is the Islamic observance of the significance of religion in Scouting. It lasts from sundown on Thursday, Feb. 3, to sundown on Friday, Feb. 4.
Scout Jumuah offers a chance to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting within the Muslim community.
A Scout Jumuah program might include recognition by the chartered organization representative, a service project or a display that explains the benefits of Scouting.
Tips for celebrating during the pandemic
Check local and state health regulations, and review the BSA’s COVID-19 FAQs for even more helpful guidance. If you’re good to go, here are a few ways to help:
- Lead a portion of the service. This might include a recap of the unit’s service to its chartered organization, a sermon or the reading of a religious text. Use youth whenever possible.
- Serve as greeters, welcoming guests (from a safe distance) while wearing uniforms.
- Present religious emblems to youth and adults who have earned them in the past year.
- Publicly commit to some act of service to the congregation and announce the plan to everyone.
Even as online worship services become our temporary reality in some places, there’s still plenty that Cub Scouts, Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venturers can do to support their congregation. For example:
- Prepare a prerecorded message from the Scouts to the congregation. This could be anything from a fun, short video to a more extensive “report to the chartered organization,” modeled after the BSA’s own Report to the Nation, that serves as a recap of all that was accomplished in the past year.
- Sing in a virtual choir.
- Use a videoconferencing platform (like Skype or Zoom) to present religious emblems live — or share a prerecorded presentation.
- Create a brief, photo-heavy slideshow of Scouts in action over the past year to present to the congregation during worship.
- Incorporate a message into the virtual bulletin or digital program for that day’s services.
- Extend an invitation to the congregation to join your unit.
- Find a way for everyone to individually participate in some kind of Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath or Scout Jumuah service project .
Text for a Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath or Scout Jumuah program
The BSA has prepared this text you can add to a worship service program (digital or print) on the day of your congregation’s celebration. You are welcome to copy and paste — or adapt it however you’d like.
The Scouting program at (name of congregation) is more than just an activity for our youth to learn about the outdoors. Scouting provides fun, fellowship, and training to our youth as well as youth in our community. It emphasizes honesty, self-reliance, and respect. Through a year-round program, it affects character, citizenship, and personal fitness. But the success of our Scouting depends on our volunteers, who serve in a variety of leadership roles so that our young people may benefit from our Scouting ministry. As the Boy Scouts of America celebrates its anniversary, we salute the splendid volunteers who serve as Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Sea Scout Skippers and Venturing Advisors, and in other positions of leadership. Our Scout unit(s) would like to invite you and your family to be a part of their program. (Unit contact person/information)
The BSA’s National Religious Relationships Committee has prepared this helpful Word document containing suggested services for an inter-religious celebration, an Islamic celebration, a Jewish celebration and a Christian celebration.
Scouts and unit leaders can pick one of the Scouting anniversary celebrations within or combine pieces in a way that works best for them.
You’ll find a suggested program that includes prayers, poems, songs, worship messages, sermons, scripture readings and much more. Best wishes and good luck as you plan this important day!