Your Eagle Scout application will ask for five reference letters, six if you are employed. One of those references is labeled “religious.” This is a request for someone who knows you well enough to speak to your religious or spiritual values. This could be your pastor or other adult from your house of worship (perhaps a youth group leader.)
And if your family does not belong to an organized religion? The twelfth point of the Scout Law is that “A Scout is Reverent.” From the Scout Handbook, “A Scout is reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”
If your religious duties are minimal or non-existent, then you certainly must be reverent. What does that mean? It means recognizing that in the majesty and immensity of the universe is a greater intelligence much larger than we are. It means listening to what is called, “the small, quiet voice within you.” That is the voice that tells us right from wrong, and helps us discover our calling. We usually have to get very quiet to hear that voice – traditional ways are prayer, meditation, contemplation, or even exercise. When we get quiet and share our innermost feelings with Spirit or God, amazing things begin to happen. I urge you to use silence to deepen your connection with God.
My wife and I are both interfaith ministers. We studied all the major faith traditions when we were in seminary together. One amazing fact is that there are two primary core commandments in nearly ALL the major faith traditions. The first is to love Spirit or God above all else, and the second is treat other people the way we would like to be treated. Take care of these two commandments, respect the beliefs of others, and you will be a most reverent Scout!
Back to the Eagle Scout application: If you do not have a religious affiliation, your parents or guardians should be listed as this reference. In their letter, they should speak to your spiritual values, and how you observe the 12th point of the Scout Law, “A Scout is Reverent.”
“Oh, the possibilities!”
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