Scouter Development: 
Lay Apostolate Formation for Scouting

 The National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) offers a special training course to Scout leaders who use the Scouting program as a form of Youth Ministry.

The title of the program (new version now in pilot) is known as Scouter Development: Lay Apostolate Formation for Scouting. It retains the original Scouter Development title but is more descriptive of what is being achieved.

In recent years there has been a growing awareness that the work done in the Scouting program is, in fact, ministry. As adults we are witnessing, not only to expose our own faith commitment, but also to help the Scout make a personal faith commitment.

The Scouter Development program is designed to help Scouters come to a better understanding of the role of their religious faith in their lives. The program is designed to be experiential and not overly didactic. Through a series of guided reflections, the individual and the group examine Scripture passages to ascertain how God is calling each to respond.

The Scouter does not have to know any specific doctrines, nor is an extensive knowledge of Scripture presumed. What is of critical importance, however, is that the Scouter be reflective and be willing to share those reflections with others.

The Scouter Development program focuses on four dimensions of lay apostolate formation: the call to leadership, the call to holiness, the call to conversion and the call to worship.

The “call to leadership” examines the leadership style of Jesus. Through one or more Scripture readings, the group considers the qualities, tasks and techniques employed by Jesus. The Scouters are then asked to reflect on their own styles to consider how they have or have not demonstrated leadership. The “call to holiness” examines the concept of holiness by exploring the components or nature of one or more of the following: spirituality, holiness, prayer. Before one can make a commitment to God, a conversion must take place. The “call to conversion” examines the nature of conversion, how to know if conversion has taken place and how it leads to commitment.

The source and summit of Christian life is the Sacred Liturgy. Whenever possible, a priest participant may preside at a closing Liturgy of the Eucharist. If a priest is not available, a deacon or member of the laity may lead a closing Liturgy of the Hours with a celebration of the Order of Blessing. The “call to worship” recognizes the primacy of the Sacred Liturgy but also renews the celebration of group prayer through the Liturgy of the Hours. The program is designed to accommodate various time frames--from weekends to a single day to a series of evenings. This program is expected to be submitted for final approval at the NCCS Biennial Conference in Richmond, Virginia in April of 2000.