A Scout is reverent. They are reverent toward God. They are faithful in their religious duties and respect the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion. To encourage Cub Scouts, Scouts, and Venturers to grow stronger in their faith, religious groups have developed religious emblems programs. BSA has approved these programs and allows the emblems to be worn on the official uniform. The programs are administered by the various faith groups.
Scouts who are interested in earning a religious emblem must take the initiative to start the process by contacting the religious institution, faith leader, or their unit’s Religious Emblems Coordinator.
Scouts, or Cub Scout parents, should obtain the booklet for their specific faith award. Each program sets its own guidelines as to who may serve as counselor, approve awards, and order the emblems. Awards are not available from BSA or the Scout Shop.
|Oakland Diocese Catholic Committee|
|National Catholic Committee on Scouting|
|Hindu||North American Hindu Association|
|Islamic||Islamic Council on Scouting of North America|
|Jain||Federation of Jain Associations in North America|
|Jewish||National Jewish Committee on Scouting|
|Protestant||P. R. A. Y|
|Sikh||American Sikh Council|
The Religious Relations and Activities Committee for the Golden Gate Area Council serves to promote awareness and participation in the “Duty to God” components of the Scouting program and its faith partners. The committee actively works to promote faith-based programs and initiatives throughout the Council. The members of the committee represent faith and civic organizations that partner with the Boy Scouts of America. The following members are available to assist scouts, parents, and units.
There are many ways to show reverence and Duty to God in scouting. Each rank has an element of reverence and every unit has a position devoted to encouraging youth to uphold the twelve points to the Scout Law and promote the various Religious Emblems Programs. Units are encouraged to have Chaplains, Chaplain Aides, and Religious Emblems Coordinators. <Duty to God Promotion Patch>
Units should have a Religious Emblems Coordinator on their committee. The responsibility of the coordinator is to educate, motivate, evaluate, and facilitate the religious emblems program at the unit level. In addition to serving on the unit committee, a key function of the position is to serve as the liaison to district or council coordinators. <Religious Emblems Coordinators Resources>
The Scout BSA troop or Venture crew Chaplain is an adult member of the clergy or layperson appointed by the charter organization. A chartered organization for a unit not operated by a religious organization is encouraged to select a unit chaplain from among religious leaders in the community. Duties of the unit chaplain include being a spiritual leader for the troop. Along with the chaplain aide, sets a “spiritual tone” for meetings and activities, encourages time for spiritual reflection, promotes prayer as well as Grace at meals. <Manual for Chaplains and Chaplain Aides>
The Chaplain Aide is an approved youth leadership position in Scout BSA troops and Venturing crews. They educate Scouts about the religious emblems programs, make sure religious holidays are properly observed, and plan for Scout reverent troop activities. The Chaplain Aide assists the Unit Chaplain if there is one. <Manual for Chaplains and Chaplain Aides>
Each year on February 8, the Boy Scouts of America celebrates its birthday. It is a date officially known as Scouting Anniversary Day, and it is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.
Through a trio of faith-based celebrations known as Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath and Scout Jumu’ah, young people in Scouting can give back to their religious communities. The exact dates may vary, but each one is an opportunity for Scouts to publicly demonstrate the 12th point of the Scout Law: A Scout is Reverent. It can be particularly meaningful when the Scout unit itself is chartered by a religious organization, and the Scouts and leaders of the unit use the occasion to recognize that support.
What does that look like? It might mean an act as simple as wearing the full field uniform to worship services. It might mean participating in services by doing a reading, singing a song, or presenting religious emblems and awards to Scouts and Scouters. Or it might be something as grand as a service project to benefit a religious organization in the community. <Helpful hints for Scouting Anniversary >
First, try to connect the Scout and counselor in Scoutbook. If that is successful, the counselor is registered and qualified. If unsuccessful, go to the counselor’s home council and search for their Advancement Administrators. Most will have an email address for either the Council Advancement Committee or Professional Advisor. Send an email asking if the counselor has been registered and qualified for the merit badge(s) in question and the status of their Youth Protection Training. Ask California councils if the counselor has completed AB506 training and LiveScan. The unit leader’s “blue card” signature verifies their counselor credentials verification.