SMS News and Profiles

The United Methodist Scouting Ministries Committee created the volunteer position of Scouting Ministry Specialist to help local churches establish and expand Scouting ministry opportunities.

These men and women provide information about national awards to churches and youth, introduce churches to the Programs of Religious Activities for Youth series, encourage church leaders to attend regional and national training opportunities, assist with bishop’s dinners and other district and conference events, and cultivate relationships with conference and district leaders.

These are news and profiles of the men and women serving youth and the United Methodist Church as Scouting Ministry Specialists:

EMS veteran serves as scouting ministry specialist

Joseph Chandler

Joseph Chandler at an OA event

BEECH ISLAND, S.C.––Joseph Chandler, a 34-year veteran in emergency services, an Eagle Scout, and a district Scout executive, now serves as a scouting ministry specialist.

Following his retirement from the Fire Department of the Savannah River Department of Energy and while seeking a way to serve and minister to others, Chandler accepted a position of executive of the Yamasee (S.C.) District of the Georgia-Carolina BSA Council, headquartered in Augusta, Ga.

Encourages churches

“I looked at the South Carolina counties I serve,” said Chandler. “In areas where no Scout troops exist, I contacted UM churches to make them aware of the possibility of beginning a troop or a pack.” Noting that the UMC has the second highest number of Scout units nationwide, Chandler says churches of that denomination are one of the first places to look when seeking organizations to charter new units.

“In less than a month of starting to make contacts, I have one UMC that wants to start a unit and another pastor asking for information that can be reviewed by his church council,” says Chandler.

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Scouting in the UMC – Philmont Training Center June 22 – 28, 2014

Twenty-eight Scout leaders participated in the 2014 training experience.

Led by John Anderson, scouting coordinator of the Western Jurisdiction, participants were divided into three “societies” (working groups): the John Wesley Society, shepherded by Bill Byrd; Charles Wesley Society, shepherded by John Dockery; and Susanna Wesley Society, shepherded by Susan Lawyer.

Amanda Vogt served as assistant director, and the Rev. Greg Godwin and BSA official Mark Wappel served as advisers.

Topics included PRAY awards, Strength for Service devotional books; charter organization representatives; local church coordinators, and safe-sanctuary and youth-protection programs.

Bob Scott, a developer of the new Cub Scout program, gave a synopsis of all changes. Rudy Gonzalez and Oscar Santoyo, national coaches for reaching out to the Hispanic/Latino communities offered new tools to expand ministries.


Beneath the Tooth of Time

By Jim Finley

2014 PTC SMS Class

2014 PTC SMS Class

CIMARRON, N.M. –– Wow! Philmont –– awe inspiring, majestic, comforting, assuring, and the most magical place of scouting.

At first glance the center seems the same as it was in the 1970s when I was here last. At that time, I was new to scouting and Philmont seemed necessary if I wanted to become an effective leader.

Now, as a PRAY (Programs of Religious Activities with Youth).counselor and troop chaplain I attended a 2014 workshop on “Scouting in the United Methodist Church.”

My attendance at the Philmont workshop began last winter when I received an invitation from Larry Coppock to become a scouting ministry specialist.

I submitted my application and became the 282nd member of that group of experienced scouters, but it was only after I arrived at Philmont that I began to understand my new role in scouting.

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Multi-talented attorney serves as Scouting Ministry Specialist

Brian Snow

Brian Snow

MERRIMACK, N.H.––R. Brian Snow has practiced law for 35 years in Nashua, N.H. He also served as a part-time district court judge for eight years.

In addition to teaching Scuba diving; serving as a certified football official and an assistant high school football coach; he also teaches several college courses.

The multi-talented attorney now serves as scouting ministry specialist.

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Multi-tasking mom becomes scouting ministry specialist

Susan Lawyer

Susan Lawyer

CYPRESS, Texas––Susan Lawyer, mother of a 17-year-old Boy Scout and a 12-year-old Girl Scout, became a scouting ministry specialist after serving as charter organization representative for a troop at Good Shepherd UMC and after attending a February training experience at the Florida Sea Base.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Lawyer juggles carpooling, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, volunteering at Vacation Bible School, chaperoning school trips, packing lunches, and planning troop meetings with her role as student ministry assistant at Good Shepherd UMC.

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 The Philmont “Mistress”

Cliff Coan

Cliff Coan, at PTC

“So, I finally get to meet your mistress?”

When my wife said that to me, I was confused. Number one — I don’t have a mistress. Number two — we were talking about going to Philmont for a Methodist training conference.

“Philmont,” “Methodists,” “training” and “mistress” didn’t seem to fit together.

I’d seen the invite for the “Scouting Ministry in the United Methodist Church” conference, and thought it would be interesting. It would get me back to Philmont, Tracy could come along, and it would combine two organizations I hold in high esteem.

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