Religious Emblems Program
“Duty to God” has always been a cornerstone of Scouting. Lord Robert Baden-Powell affirmed this on numerous occasions. B-P once responded to a question about the importance of faith (religion) in Scouting by saying: “Where does religion come in? Well, my reply is … it does not come in at all. It is already there. It is the fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.”
We all know the 12th point of the Scout Law is Reverent. The District Religious Emblems Coordinator is your resource to help Scouts & Scouters alike in the Golden West District to live out the 12th point of the Scout Law! Fortunately, there are many resources out there to help us along the way.
Did You Know?
Religious Emblems Coordinators can help you retain Scouts
BSA’s scouting.org has a great one stop shop to learn about the various religious emblem programs available to Scouts. While not an official BSA program the various religious emblem programs have been developed by various religious entities and partner with the BSA to offer Scouts the opportunity to strengthen their faith. The Duty to God pamphlet (available as pdf) is also a great resource about religious emblems in general.
The How Do We Get Started on These Programs section of scouting.org provides a general roadmap for a Scout to begin work on an emblem.
The OCBSA web site also has a web page devoted to religious emblems.
Religious organization links that you may find helpful:
- P.R.A.Y maintains the religious emblem programs for Protestant churches.
- The National Catholic Committee on Scouting strives to deliver Catholic youth ministry through Scouting programs and has information on religious emblems, activities and recognition. The Diocese of Orange also maintains a presence in helping deliver religious emblems and activities to the youth of Orange County.
- The National Buddhist Committee on Scouting administers the Buddhist religious awards for all denominations and sects of Buddhism in the United States.
- The Hindu religious emblem program is maintained by the North American Hindu Association.
- The National Islamic Committee on Scouting promotes Scouting among Muslim youth and offers a religious emblems program.
- The National Jewish Committee on Scouting aims to promote the mission of the BSA by instilling the values of Judaism.
- While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has officially parted ways with BSA – the religious emblems program may still be available.
- Lutheran Scouts may earn the religious emblems as described at praypub.org – the National Lutheran Association on Scouting serves as a resource for the religious emblems program.
- The National Association of Methodist Scouters utilizes the P.R.A.Y. program to help youth develop an understanding of the Methodist faith.
- Baptist Scouts are encouraged to consult the Association of Baptists For Scouting in addition to the resources at praypub.org.
- The National Association of Presbyterian Scouters strives to teach and recognize religious values through the Scouting program.
For a complete list of religious emblems available please consult the Chart of Religious Emblems.
Does your unit have a Religious Emblems Coordinator? Every unit should have a focal point for religious emblem questions. Responsibilities include:
1. Serve as a member of the unit committee.
2. Acquaint all youth with the religious emblems program and the emblems available from their faith group.
3. Provide Scout families and the clergy with an orientation to the religious emblems program and encourage their involvement.
4. Urge all youth in the unit to earn the religious emblem(s) of their faith.
5. Disseminate information to the Scouts and Scouters about any district or council religious emblems activities, retreats, camps, etc.
6. Promote religious emblems usage like BSA promotes other youth advancement.
7. Coordinate the establishment of unit goals and track the number of religious emblems completed every year.
8. Serve as the unit’s liaison to the District Religious Emblems Coordinator.
DISTRICT Religious Emblems Coordinator
• Is appointed by district program chair
• Sets goals with district program chair
• Encourages every unit to appoint a unit religious emblems coordinator
• Disseminates information to units through charter renewal packets, roundtables, and camporees
• Encourages unit committees to set goals (i.e., number of religious emblems that will be earned that year)
• Helps unit religious emblems coordinators recruit presenters to make presentations on religious emblems, including clergy of chartered organizations, unit leaders who promote religious emblems, chaplains, etc.
The District Religious Emblems Coordinator is here to help you. Please reach out to Jeff Giacomi (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, comments or to set up a religious emblems presentation for your unit.