Scouts learn about `God and Country'


March 05, 2002|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WHEN KARLYN McPartland offered to help the Scouts in her church earn their religious medals, she expected 10 or, at most, 15 children to sign up. Instead, to her delight, 38 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Brownies seized the opportunity to explore their faith through Scouting's "God and Country" program.

Having completed the requirements of the program, 23 boys and girls will be awarded their religious medals during a ceremony Sunday at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Severn.

McPartland, a leader of Brownie Troop 607 and a member of the church, explains that the "God and Country" program helps children explore who God is and what he means in our lives. Children taking part in the program come from many different religious denominations and many different area churches.

During the past month, the children have met, studied and completed projects to fulfill the Scouting medal requirements. The children were divided by age into three programs.

The Brownies and Cub Scouts in grades one through three took part in the "God and Me" program. They talked about God and read stories from the Bible. The children also were taught that God loves us through our families, and they prepared collages of family pictures.

Michael Balles, Sarah Balles, Michelle Banks, Rachel Dale, Tori Davis, Emily DeMali, Chelsea Koenig, Brittany LaFon, Jeremy Matthews, Kathleen McPartland (Karlyn McPartland's daughter), Hope Sherman, Jason Thomas, Emily Weiman, Kevin Weiman and Carolyn Wessel have earned the "God and Me" medal.

Junior Girl Scouts and Webelos, who are in the fourth or fifth grade, completed the "God and Family" program. They traced the stories of families through the Bible, from Moses to Mary and Joseph to the parable of the Prodigal Son. Bringing their study to modern times, the children also compiled their family trees.

The program also asked the children to reach out beyond their immediate families to help others in the area. Each child was asked to join a friend in helping a neighbor without asking for anything in return. Kari McPartland (Kathleen's sister) and her friend Samantha Richey know that one of Kari's neighbors has a problem with allergies, so the two girls offered to rake the leaves in her yard.

In addition to Samantha and Kari, "God and Family" award recipients are: Christopher Balles, Patrick Brown, Shawana Dean, Anthony DeMali, James Dutcher, Kristina Dutcher, James Matthews and Melissa Windsor.

The "God and Church" program for Scouts in middle school and high school follows the same themes as the God and Family program, but has more requirements. The Scouts looked at the Bible to see how God works with his people and to explore how we can keep in touch with God. Karlyn McPartland's husband, Kevin McPartland, volunteered to lead the Scouts in this group. He says they enjoyed learning more about how to read the Bible and discovering that the Bible contains a lot of exciting stories.

The Scouts then explored the work done by the church in our area and in the missions. Finally, each Scout was required to complete 20 hours of community service. Helping out at church services and assisting at a local Red Cross blood drive were among the projects undertaken.

Brandon Thomas has completed the requirements for the "God and Church" award.

The award medals will be presented to the young Scouts during the 9:30 service Sunday at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, in Severn Square Shopping Center in Severn. Information: 410- 551-6325.

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