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Scouting Ministries

Scouting Ministries in the Virginia Conference

The United Methodist Church leads all denominations in sponsoring Scouting units with 12,200 Boy Scout units for 408,000 boys and 15,000 Girl Scout troops for 108,000 girls. The number of Venture Crews sponsored by United Methodist churches increased from 600 to 1,200 in five years. 

The church works directly with four youth agency programs: Camp Fire USA, Boy Scouts of America, Girls Scouts of the USA, and 4-H. These agencies offer a unique opportunity to minister to young people. 

We, the Church, are endowed with certain responsibilities that allow scouting and civic youth serving programs to become a ministry. While the term scouting ministries is used extensively to refer to all civic youth-serving agency programs, it is important to note that each of these agency programs offers distinct and unique program and organization features.

Memorandum of Understanding between the General Commission on United Methodist Men and the Boy Scouts of America

2020 was the 100th year of Scouting in the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church is the #1 Scouting sponsor for both Scouts and units in the United States. In the faith world, the United Methodist Church represents a full 25 percent of charters.  With all the changes, postponements we have encountered we are celebrating the 100th anniversary in 2021.  Great things are coming.

Scouting’s Silver Torch award presented to Bishop Sharma D. Lewis

The Virginia Annual Conference Ministry of Scouting team presented the Silver Torch Award on Monday, Oct. 12. Mr. Bill Chaffin, conference director of Scouting, said, “I first met our new bishop in May of 2016. From day one, she has exemplified everything that would identify a candidate for the Silver Torch.” The Silver Torch is awarded to an adult whose exemplary service to these programs shine beyond their own annual conference. Many laity and clergy serve above and beyond supporting our youth. Read More…

Do You Know P.R.A.Y.?

Do you?  Well, allow us to show you about this dynamic program that can be used in your church with your youth. First of all, here is an “altar call” about P.R.A.Y. from Steven Scheid, our National Director of the Center for Scouting Ministries in the GCUMM office.  Steven (my friend and brother) writes…. “Is your church searching for ways to engage youth and increase church attendance? Is the congregation bemoaning the lack of young families as your church ages? I know my church is graying and coping with declining church attendance. Moreover, the books floating around my house are about reaching millennials, reaching the unchurched, and the church in quarantine and post-quarantine. Why is “build it and they will come” no longer sufficient? Because we are not called to be passive, we are called to be in relationship with those whom we wish to reach and disciple.” So how do we reach our neighbor? How do we connect with those who are different than us? A potential path to discipleship and developing relationships is in our hands! The P.R.A.Y. program is “a Bible-based religious emblems program for Protestant and Independent Christian churches designed to bring children, youth, and families to Christ.” Oh, that. But wait – it truly can be what it says, a program designed to bring children, youth, and families to Christ. More…

District Scouting Coordinators Needed

Find your Mission / Live your Mission. The Virginia Conference Ministry of Scouting team needs you! There are openings for District Coordinators in a number of districts. The Scouting program supports Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Girl Scout, and BigBrother/BigSister programs through Virginia Conference churches. If you have the passion, if you have the time, if you care about youth, contact Bill Chaffin, conference Scouting coordinator, at 804-356-6075 or

For more information

For more information about Virginia Conference Scouting Ministries, contact: Bill Chaffin, Scouting Coordinator, 2020 Buford Rd, North Chesterfield, VA 23235, (804) 356-6075,

Greetings from Bill Chaffin and Brian Sixbey, Eagle Scout and Pastor

Click here to read the letter