In Thanksgiving for St. Luke’s Scouting Ministry, Troop 654
"We pledge by means of prayer, witness, and example to help our children grow in their capacity to serve Christ by loving their neighbors, striving for justice and peace, and respecting the dignity of every person. Scouting does all of that."
—Tuck Bowerfind, Rector, Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria
"The God and Country program really made me think about my relationship with God and made me evaluate it."
—Harrison Smith, Scout, Troop 654
"Scouting reinforces the central principles of faith for my sons: Love God, and honor God through the way you treat others as you yourself would want to be treated."
—Amy Smith, Scout Parent, Troop 654
"Scouting has helped me discover the amazing works of creation while making true and lasting friendships!” Sam Meadows,Star Scout , Troop 654
"Go forth into the darkness and place your hand in the hand of God. It will be safer than a marked trail, and better than a known path.” Ed Harn, former Troop 654 Scoutmaster. As recalled more than 6o years later by Skip MacMichael, former 654 Scout, this was Scoutmaster Harn’s regular closing campfire prayer back in the day.
As you can tell from some of these personal quotes, Scouting is more than just an activity for our youth to learn about the outdoors. Scouting is truly a holistic ministry that provides spiritual growth through fun, fellowship, and training in practical life skills to youth in our community. It emphasizes honesty, self-reliance, and respect. Through a year-round program, it affects character, citizenship, personal fitness, and gratitude toward God.
St. Luke’s has chartered Troop 654 since the 1950’s. We provide space for Troop 654 to meet every Monday night, a home base for their outings, and worship space for their Eagle ceremonies. We renew the charter annually because of the wonderful spirit and character of the people who populate the program and make it work. Like all church programs, the success of Troop 654 depends on faithful adult volunteers, who serve in a variety of leadership roles so that our young people may benefit from our Scouting ministry. Over 39 adult volunteers give their time so more than 50 boys in Troop 654 will be involved in a quality program. Merit badge counselors help Scouts learn more about vocations and hobbies. Volunteers serve behind the scenes on committees so that community organizations using the Scouting program can find the best leadership possible for the youth related to their organizations. Volunteers see that regional camps have necessary physical facilities and that all Scouting activities meet the high health and safety standards of their national organizations.
We salute the splendid volunteers who mentor Girls and Boys in Scouting throughout the National Capital region and want to offer a special prayer and word of thanks for the leaders of Troop 654: Bill Hanna, Troop master, Randall Neal, Committee Chair, Bill Shute, St. Luke’s Representative, Brad Smith, prospective Troop master.