This weekend Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined young men and boys affiliated with Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist congregations on a hike touring various Houston churches and learning about the 10 commandments from different religious leaders.
The nearly six-mile hike through Houston’s Museum District, as well as several other hikes in other areas throughout the city, made up the seventeenth annual Ten Commandments Hike for the Sam Houston Area Council. The event allowed the 300 plus boys to learn about each commandment while visiting 10 different places of worship, including a Greek Orthodox cathedral and a Jewish synagogue.
“It was tiring, but I’m glad I got to learn about what different religions and churches worship,” said Luke Decamps, 10, of Richmond, Texas. “I was happy that I got to learn and spend time with everybody else.”
The hike began at First Christian Church near Hermann Park, a Disciples of Christ congregation, where the boys and troop and pack leaders learned about the commandment that God’s people should have no other Gods before him. The trip concluded at the Congregation Emanu El Jewish synagogue near where it began, where discussion focused on the commandment not to covet.
From there they proceeded to places of worship for Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Greek Orthodox, Christian Scientists and Jews, discussing one of the commandments at each visit. The hike featured many of Houston’s most beautiful historic churches, and the other hikes were held in the Downtown area, Kingwood and near Sugar Land.
Quentin Morford, a Mormon Bishop and a leader in Pack and Troop 47 in the Tatanka District, said he enjoyed seeing the boys meet together with those of other faiths and learn about what ideas are shared among religions.
“The thing that I enjoy about Scouting is that there are so many life lessons it teaches to both leaders and young men,” Morford said.
The boys who participated were able to fulfill a range of Cub Scout or Boy Scout responsibilities, including how to embody the statement derived from the Scout Law that: “A Scout is reverent.”
“It has been a joy to see these young men come and learn about different faith backgrounds,” said Emily Chapman, an associate pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, who has been affiliated with the hike for four years. “Activities like this keep the Boy Scouts very relevant to today’s society in teaching them what it means to be part of a community where different faiths are represented.”