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Scouting is Youth Ministry

The complex world of the 20th century, with its emphasis on instant answers and high technology, has had a devastating effect on our young people. Working mothers, single-parent families, and the difficulties of maintaining family life all add to the problem. The suicide rate among teenagers is the highest of any age group, and you will find drugs and alcohol prevalent even among preteens. It is no wonder that young people wander about in search of something to hang on to, someone to trust and in whom to confide. They have difficulty finding God, because there is no one to show them the way.

How significant it is, therefore, that the latest revisions of the Boy Scout Handbook have restored the emphasis on duty to God in its pages. For, while the charter of the Boy Scouts of America has always had a religious principle, it was not always obvious to the individual youth in the unit.

In recent years, as the Catholic Church developed its apostolate to youth more fully, it became known as youth ministry. Scouting is a significant part of this ministry...