Scouting still embodies the Church – Protestant Perspectives

Despite its independence and the youth of its leaders, the scout movement is intimately linked to the history and spirituality of the Protestant Churches. Its particular pedagogy has enabled young people who have barely been trained for more than a hundred years to accompany children and adolescents towards their future adult life, by anchoring themselves in fraternity and constantly adapting to the world.

A hundred years, with ups and downs

The Covid having shifted the party a little, the hundred and two years of the local group were celebrated last June, with a cult and animations leaving a big place to the retrospective. And the observation was clear, supported by the memories of some and the photos of the hundred participants. Scouting in Versailles was strong until the 1960s and very closely linked to the parish, then experienced periods of relative decline and rebounds in the 1980s and 2000s until it still has several units today. Each time, the proximity of the parish-catechism-scouting-youth group was the engine of a profitable anchoring. So much so that the local group and that of the young people sometimes numbered more than a hundred individuals each and were able to arouse a dozen pastoral vocations.

Anchoring pedagogy in the Gospel

Here, scouting is rather traditional, with uniform and pedagogy close to the founder Baden-Powell. This offers a range of possible actions for young people in the city and the surrounding area, in terms of resourcefulness, rustling up, serving others or learning responsibility. Because scouting, which is said to be a school of life, is perhaps above all a school of the meaning of life. This life, based on the promise, the reflection around biblical references and the discovery of otherness forms this pedagogy so particular to scouting, fully secular and fully spiritual which attracts more and more young people and leaders. To the point that it sometimes takes waiting lists to manage admissions, to the great regret of officials.

Building on this success, the local group wishes to get even closer to the Church and incarnate it in its own way, open to all and anchored in the world and the Bible. A reflection in this direction has begun with the Parish Council.

Culture of responsibility

This is also why the organization team of the centenary of scouting chose to live it within the framework of a parish festival, thus mixing former scouts and parishioners with the current community. Among those who returned to the places of their childhood, many were today presbyteral advisers or active members scattered in the parishes of France and shared the first impressions left by the Scout culture of responsibility.

The current local group is doing well and the students who now lead it seek in turn to transmit this sense of otherness which implies that each one takes his part in the scout community in order to offer the following the same quality of being as this that he lived. If the day of June was beautiful, it is also that young people and old, brothers and sisters of service, knew how to speak to each other and exchange a little of their passion for living and discovering.

Scouting still embodies the Church – Protestant Perspectives