Many – although not all – Finnish local Scout groups collaborate with their local congregations. A local group from Porvoo, Porvoon Polunlöytäjät, have active collaboration with their local church. They told us about what this relationship provides them – and does it dictate, who can join?
“Our local congregation is an important associate to us. We invite our fantastic scout pastor Iiro to join us on campfires in the woods as well as celebrations, and sometimes he brings a harmonica or a guitar,” say the local group leader Heidi Collander and Adventurer and Cub scout leaders Satu Leino and Hanna Kastikainen.
“Together we have crafted a yearly scout song themed Christmas carol event and planned a scout themed mass for Scout Week. We have also been able to help the church in little chores, learning responsibility with the children.”
In addition, the collaboration enables resources of another level.
“We feel lucky, as the congregation offers help with meeting and storage facilities that would otherwise be a challenge to our small local group.”
If one is joining the Scouts or a parent of a new scout, they might wonder if religiousness is expected.
“The youth work of the Lutheran Church in Finland has a lot in common with the goals and values of the Scouts: both teach you to respect other people, the environment, and the world. Neither in scouting nor in the church is anyone left outside; scouting is open to all and the support of our local congregation is in no way excluding anyone from the hobby.”
“We respect everyone’s religions and different worldviews, following the scout ideals”.
All our local Scout groups welcome everybody to join. If you are looking for a group with no religious affiliations, contact the district office and we will help you find the right one!