Showing posts with label scouting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scouting. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2015

UU Outreach

Many UU and UCC congregations have aggressive outreach to minorities, especially children.  I know of one UU church that started an alternative scouting program for essentially abandoned areas.  They first started a Boy Scout program from a welfare hotel and expanded it into the south Bronx.  The participants and their parents are invited to be full participants in the congregation including age appropriate RE.  (One "graduate" has even written a child level book Birds, Bees, and Babies.)

Saturday, August 1, 2015


I was a Boy Scout and an atheist and a Scoutmaster and an atheist.  Most of my ancestors that I know their religious inclinations were atheists or at least made fun of their clergy.  It is rumored that an ancestor that left England circa 1611 for Virginia was given the choice emigrate or die by his bishop.

Nonetheless, I grew up in a religious society and being an out atheist was neither important nor safe.  The Scouts provided a great experience for little money and my parents weren't wealthy enough for secular camps. So it was "Trustworthy, loyal, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, thrifty, brave, clean, irreverent" for me.  I was interested in religions by that time so going to church was no problem.  I even went to a Pontifical Mass at a Boy Scout Jamboree, certainly a first for an atheist. I could sing dominos with the best of them.

The scoutmaster was a different story.  My UU church wanted to sponsor a Boy Scout troop at a welfare hotel, the worst in NYC.  They forgot to tell the Scouts that I was an atheist so I became one of the scoutmasters.  A successful troop, as those things go.  One of our scouts was quite successful and had a nice Wiki write up courtesy of the Scouts until the church quit Scouts due to discrimination and founded the Navigators, a scouting experience for everybody.  The two troops they had, one in the South Bronx and one in Manhattan, became the first chapters in the Navigators.  I think BSA were relieved, as the scouts were generally the wrong skin color as well as not too loyal to God and the Republicans.