This document is intended to offer guidelines for the organization and operation of a Catholic committee on scouting for an archdiocese, diocese, or eparchy.
While the diocesanbishop, or his appointed representative, may determine the method by which a diocesan committee is established and functions, the plan outlined below is generally accepted as a guide for Catholic committees in a diocese.
Note: The (arch)diocese or eparchy is the fundamental operating unit of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting. For concisenessonly the word diocese is used to impart the meaning archdiocese or eparchy inall documents that follow.
The purpose of the Catholic committee on Scouting is to give guidance, vitality and leadership in the spiritual phase of Scouting to all Catholic Scouts and Scouters of the diocese.
The committee endeavors to make the entire Scouting program available to increasing numbers of youths in parish units and inunits operated by Catholic organizations.
The agenda of the Catholic committee supplements the program of the Boy Scouts of America, with special instructionsand activities, in the spiritual phase of Scouting as it relates to Catholics.
The diocesan Catholic committee shall:
- Develop, schedule and carry out a youth ministryprogram for all Scouting units within the CatholicChurch, which complements other BSA council or district activities as well as those of the parish and diocese.
- Through publicity and other contacts, strive to reach all Catholic youths and Scouters inunits not chartered to Catholic organizations to permit them to participate in activities conducted by the committee.
- Schedule regular meetings, preferably quarterly, to carry out diocesan and national programs and activities.
- Promote attendance at annual NCCS meetings by appropriate committee officers, and subcommittee chairmen, for representation, trainingand information.
- Advise BSA councils within the diocese on all matters relating to Scouting among Catholics.
- Assist local BSA councils in making unit organization contacts with all parishes and church-related societies and help in the establishment of units within these organizations.
The diocesan Catholic committee acts to:
- Encourage the correlation of the Scouting program with the parish program so that the religious lives of Catholic youths in Scouting will receive adequate attention and that Scouting activities will become an integral part of parish life.
- Arrange to hold field Masses and other Catholic Scouting youth activities with special emphasis on religious emblems, retreats, days of recollection, pilgrimages, vocation awareness programs, etc. in cooperation with the clergy and local BSA councils.
- Cooperate with local councils in securing chaplain services for Catholics attending long-term Scout camp.
- Cooperate in recruiting Catholic adults for training courses conducted by local councils. Through the diocesan committee's training committee, provide supplemental training for Catholic adults in Catholic doctrine and principles as these relate to Scouting for youth under Catholic leadership. Assist them to further their personal faith formation and to develop their skills as youth workers.
- Secure publicity in the diocesan and local press in regard to the activities of Scout units under Catholic leadership.
- Promote the integration of Scouting within the diocesan youth program.
- Promote participation of members in all national and regional conferences of the NCCS.
- Cooperate with the local councils within the diocese in promoting Scouting for Catholics.
- Advise local councils within diocese on matters relating to Scouting among Catholics.
- Assist the local councils in making unit organization contacts with all Catholic parishes in the diocese, and help with the organization of units when requested.
- Assist the local councils in the re-registration of all Catholic-chartered units and the strengthening of units.
- Relate to the NCCS regional chairman and chaplain through the diocesan chairman and chaplain to keep informed of national issues and activities.
The BSA council acts to:
- Cooperate with the diocese in promoting Scouting for Catholics -preferably through the Catholic committee.
- Provide for adequate Catholic representation in the organization and activities of the local council and on the council executive board.
- Cooperate with the diocesan Catholic committee in recruiting and training personnel who will be especially qualified to expand Scouting within the council area.
- Encourage each parish and Catholic organization to make the full Scouting program available to their youth.
- Cooperate with the diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting in plans for retreats, field Masses, days of recollection and conferences.
- Cooperate with the diocesan Catholic committee in providing chaplain services for Catholics at summer Scout camps.
- Recognize the authority of the bishop in each diocese in determining the conditions under which Scouting units may be organized and administered in the diocese.
- Recognize the opportunity to organize a sub-committee of the diocesan Scouting committee to represent the council to the diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting.
- Have a professional advisor on the diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting; and the Catholic committee should have a representative on the council executive board or advisory board.
The diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting, embracing such local subcommittees as needed,shall include the following:
- Diocesan chaplain
- Diocesan chairman
- Associate diocesan chaplain -Where possible, one for each BSA council represented inthe diocese.
- Associate diocesan chairman -Where possible, one for each BSA council represented inthe diocese.
- Subcommittee chairmen for each of the following and, where possible, a volunteer representative from each BSA council present in the diocese.
- Religious emblems
- Religious activities
- Members-at-large as needed to carry out the religious and Scouting programs.
- The chartered organization representative from each Catholic-chartered organization should serve as a member of the diocesan Catholic committee (or sub-committee for council service).
- Secretary and/or treasurer -depending on committee needs.
- Youth members -optional. Responsible, mature Scout leaders can be valuable liaisons and give input to program.
Note: All members of the committee must be registered as members of the BSA.
The following process has been used successfully by dioceses to organize a Catholic committee on Scouting:
- Unless initiated by the bishop, form a small group of volunteer Scouters (laymen, clergy, and council representatives) to develop a plan of organization to be presented to the bishop for his support.
- diocesan chaplain and/or chairman is appointed by the bishop. The chairman may be only a temporary figure to get the committee established.
Note: it may not always be possible for the bishop to make an immediate appointment of a chaplain. A chaplain is essential for the long-term success of a diocesan committee, but much good work can be done by a lay committee under the authority of the bishop.
- The chaplain and organizing chairman seek out and recruit a layman for the position of committee chairman. This person should:
- Be of stature, highly regarded in the Church and community
- Be acceptable to the bishop.
- Have administrative and leadership ability
- Be able to recruit others for specific committee assignments
- Be able to communicate with, and relate to, the local council and Catholic organizations within his area of responsibility
- The newly appointed chaplain and chairman begin recruiting qualified adults to give leadership to the following positions:
See Guidelines for Securing Leadership, No. 16-161 and applicable job descriptions. (concluded) Note: It may take several months to fill all of these positions. Remember that you are recruiting adults who will commit themselves to achieve their job responsibilities and expectations as presented in their job descriptions.
- The vice-chairman initiates a program of visitation, cultivation, and face-to-face communication with Catholic-chartered organizations to ensure representatives will become active members of the committee and carry out the job responsibilities and expectations described in job description sheet 16-161J.
- Conduct training for committee members using Catholic Committee Workshop Agenda, No. 16-170
- Use the Program Planning Guide, No. 16-168, to develop a calendar of events for the remainder of the Scouting year. Check diocesan and council(s) activities calendars to avoid conflicting dates.
- Initiate a program through the chartered organization representatives to contact, motivate, and help Catholic Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, and Venturing crews achieve the requirements of the Pope Paul VI National Unit Recognition program, No. 16-169.
- Set goals for the current year.
- As this is a joint endeavor between the committee and local council(s) -each shouldering its own area of responsibility -contact with the Scout executive is important for guidance in establishing specific and achievable goals, and for such help and mutual assistance that is available.
- Continue to improve the effectiveness of the committee by conducting an annual checkup to identify and correct deficiencies. Use the Checklist, No. 16-157.
Each diocese that incorporates more than one BSA council must determine how each council is to be represented and served by the diocesan committee.
- Where deemed appropriate by the diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting, diocesan sub-committees may be formed to serve council needs.
- Diocesan sub-committees for council service, as extensions of the diocesan committee, promote, support, and strengthen Scouting in Catholic-chartered organizations and help local councils achieve goals and objectives.
- Where a diocesan sub-committee for council service is formed, the associate diocesan chairman should represent the council to the diocesan committee. Associate diocesan chairmen should be appointed by the diocesan chairman and be delegated specific responsibilities by the diocesan chairman and chaplain.
- An important job of the diocesan Catholic committee on Scouting is to ensure that each of its sub-committees is organized properly and receives the guidance, motivation, and direction needed to do the job intended effectively.