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Swap Shop is a place to exchange ideas for activities in Sunday school; share your success stories in teaching the Bible to children; and provide ways to foster a love for the Bible.

God and Country Badge

Recently our entire Sunday school class of four eleven-year-old girls decided to follow the guidelines for earning the God and Country badge for Boy and Girl Scouts. Two of the girls are scouts. The other two are not, but wanted to support the girls who were and learn the same material. They are all enjoying the weekly assignments of learning more about the Bible, its historical accounts, ethics, morals, and laws. They are learning more about their relationship to God and gaining a deeper understanding of their religious affiliation.

I highly recommend this activity for Sunday school teachers and pupils whether you have students who are scouts or not. The girls are all eager to learn, do extra assignments, and attend additional meetings outside of class.

Their first assignment was to learn and explain the meanings behind the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Lord’s Prayer. One week we made flash cards of the Ten Commandments. Each girl summarized the commandments and put them on 4x6 cards with a picture of their favorite animal holding the commandment (teddy bears, horses, dogs, cats, lambs, etc.). For example, the 1st commandment read: 1 God; 2nd commandment - No graven images; 3rd commandment – G – O – D isn’t profanity; down to the 7th commandment – Keep promises. In one week, they knew all the commandments. I’d just say a number and without hesitation they knew the commandment. The work with the beatitudes took a little longer as they worked to wrap their thought around an action followed by a reward. With the Lord’s prayer, they wrote individual prayers modeled after the Master, Jesus. Each was very thorough in seeking to make God her best Friend.

The next assignment included getting to know a Bible character in depth. One chose Moses and the others chose Jesus’ mother, Mary. They have used many Bible resources to learn more about Moses and Mary besides reading the biblical accounts.

I am so grateful for the depth of understanding each one is gaining as they all tackle this project and learn to love and trust God more each day. I wish I had started using this program years ago. See if your church denomination has a listing in the Scout guidelines. Most Protestant and Independent Christian churches are included in the Scout guidelines. If there isn’t one listed for your church, order some of the others and create a program that meets your church’s specific beliefs. The guidelines are designed for boys and girls in grades 1-12. All church youth are eligible to participate whether they belong to a scout group or not.

The curriculum is an interdenominational resource, which allows each church to introduce the uniqueness of its denomination.

To get started, go to www.praypub.org and order a copy of the guidelines for your church affiliation. Then meet with your pastor or president of your church and choose a mentor to work with each group. All the requirements are to be completed under the supervision of the mentor. All work must be approved by the church-appointed mentor. When complete, order the awards and plan a church award ceremony for the entire membership.

Order your guidelines now – September is a good time to start this activity.

  -- GAL
   
 
   
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