The Heart of Scouting program started in the Utah National Parks Council with the idea of putting first duty first. My exposure to this program was through the Wood Badge course I attended in Utah County. It does not change or replace any official programs or requirements of the Boy Scouts of America. Its primary purpose is to give greater emphasis on the one requirement for rank advancement that is so important it is repeated for each rank from Tenderfoot to Eagle: “Show Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life”.
A Heart of Scouting pin has been created to help duty to God be the foremost part of Scouting. It is a symbolic reminder for Scouts and adults. The pin can be earned as a part of Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Venturing and Exploring. It may also be earned by leaders and family members. It is worn by those who understand why duty to God is the heart of Scouting, have made a personal commitment to put duty to God first in their life, and want to use the pin as a way to remind themselves and encourage others to put duty to God first.
The requirements for this pin are as follows:
1. Participate in a training session on how to put the first duty first in your unit, church and family.
2. Make a list of ten things you believe are important for you to do as you try to do your best to do your duty to God. Place this list in a prominent place in your home.
3. Spend at least three hours in service where the sole purpose is to do your duty to God.
4. Make a personal commitment to put duty to God first in your life.
As stated in the Heart of Scouting Leader’s Guide:
“It is likely that the number of youth who will want to make the personal commitment symbolized by the pin and who will wear the pin will correspond with the number of leaders who get involved, complete the requirements and wear the pin when they are in front of their youth.”
With God being taken out of so many things these days, I would really like to see this program adopted and promoted at a national level!