THE FIRST SUNDAY IN FEBRUARY IS SETaside for Scout Sunday here at WailukuHongwanji Community Temple. Our relationshipbetween the Boy Scouts and WailukuHongwanji began in 1937 (establishment year)when Wailuku Hongwanji sponsored the BoyScouts of Troop 40.
The first recipient to receive the Eagle Scoutaward for Troop 40 was George K. Sano in1944. During the past 80 years, we have had atotal of 251 young gentlemen achieve the rankof the Eagle Scout. In addition, there were somany boys who not only received the rank of theEagle Scout but they also received spiritual insightsand Buddhist values and guidance fromour scouting and temple programs. Today,these Boy Scouts are adults, and they are sendingtheir children to join our temple’s scoutingprogram so their children will be able to followtheir father’s footsteps.
Troop 40 began primarily to serve the childrenof the Wailuku Hongwanji members. Today, wehave so many community friends who have joinedour scouting program and collaborate with WailukuHongwanji in its activities, programs, fundraising,and support to our society.
Wailuku Hongwanji Scouts’ meetings wereheld on Sunday so the Boy Scouts could attendthe temple services in their uniform. While theyattended the temple services, they learned abouttemple manners, including offering of incense, offeringof flowers, and so on. When we had majorservices, they assisted in many areas of the services.Through these temple activities and programs,they received enriching and spiritual insightsin their lives.
The Scout’s oath “On my honor, I will do mybest To do my duty to God and my country and toobey the Scout Law; To help other people at alltimes; To keep myself physically strong, mentallyawake and morally straight,” is very similar to ourGolden Chain of Love which says, "I will try tobe kind and gentle to every living thing and protectall who are weaker than ourselves. I will try tothink pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure andbeautiful words, and to do pure and beautifuldeeds, knowing that on what I do now dependsnot only my happiness or unhappiness, but alsothat of others."
As I mentioned before, these former Scoutsbecame parents; they wanted their children to followin their footsteps. Why? I believe they felt thatthe scouting program was a great program fortheir children, and they would like their children tofollow the path of truth, which they inherited fromtheir parents and grandparents.
"Those who have been born first guide thosewho come later, and those who are born later jointhose who were born before." (Passages on theLand of Happiness by Master Tao Ch’o, secondof five Chinese Masters)
Why has Jodo Shinshu lasted for over 800years? Why have Hongwanji temples in Hawaiibeen so active not only within the temple butthroughout the community? It is because JodoShinshu temples are not only one ethnic groupbut are "Community Temples" that offer andshare our wonderful guidance with everyone.
Why don’t we all come to the first Sunday servicein February and participate in the Scout Sundayprogram? Yes, we will have our wonderfulScout Sunday with great Buddhist values in theservice and you will see the wonderful guidanceof the Nembutsu spread by our Boy Scouts andtheir families