Scout Shabbat at Beth-El Feb. 25

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The Narragansett Council Jewish Committee on Scouting, in conjunction with Temple Beth-El, is holding its annual Scout Shabbat on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 70 Orchard Ave., Providence.

All current and former Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, Sea Scouts and their leaders are invited to attend. Current members are encouraged to attend in their Class A uniform. Former Scouts and leaders are also invited to come in uniform (to the extent they still fit!). No registration is necessary.

Scout Shabbat is held each February in conjunction with the commemoration of the creation of the Boy Scouts of America, on Feb. 8, 1910, by an act of Congress.

Religious institutions of all faiths have partnered with BSA for over a century to sponsor Scout units for youths ages 6-10 (packs) and 11-18 (troops), with the understanding that all units welcome members regardless of their faith.

In the Scout Oath, Scouts promise to “do their duty to God,” and one of the 12 points of Scout Law is, “A Scout is Reverent.”

Temple Beth-El has a long, storied history of supporting Scouting. Its Brotherhood sponsored a Scout troop and a Cub pack from 1954 through 1973. Dr. Melvin Hoffman, an Eagle Scout and a member of the congregation, was a scoutmaster and later a committee chairman for Troop 40. He also developed the doctor-in-residence program at Yawgoog Scout Reservation, in Hopkinton, to ensure proper medical care for up to 1,200 Scouts, leaders and staff each week.

Temple Beth-El has an exhibit of Scouting memorabilia in its archives display, on the lower level, below the front foyer.

The Jewish Committee on Scouting oversees and maintains the Temple of the Ten Commandments and the Jewish chaplain’s cabin at Yawgoog, which is one of the few Scout camps in the United States with a full-time resident Jewish chaplain and program.

When there was a troop and a pack at Temple Beth-El, Scouts participated in the Scout Shabbat service The committee would like to bring back this tradition. Scouts interested in participating should send an email to ncjcos@gmail.com, and be sure to copy in an adult – either a parent or adult leader – to comply with BSA Youth Protection guidelines.

PETER SHORE is the treasurer of the Jewish Committee on Scouting and a lifelong congregant of Temple Beth-El where he earned Eagle as a member of Troop 40. He served as Scoutmaster of Troop 104 when it was sponsored by the JCC from 1981 to 1999.