USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country - Religious Emblem Program Participation


Although religious emblems are not Scouting awards, the Boy Scouts of America encourages its members to participate in religious emblem programs and allows its member Scouts to wear these emblems on their uniforms. By providing recognition for activities that demonstrate a Scout's commitment to living his Scout Promise or Oath, other Scouts are encouraged to want to do the same. A Scout or Scouter who receives a religious emblem may wear either the medal, medallion award or the appropriate square knot (silver knot on purple for awards earned as a Scout, purple knot on silver for awards earned as a Scouter).

Scouting also provides training to adult leaders to familiarize them with the opportunity for Scouts to grow in their own religious convictions through religious emblem programs. Typically, broad introductory religious emblem program training is part of the training available at Cub Scout Leaders' Pow Wows, University of Scouting, and Basic Leader Training. Religious emblem program information is also made available at Scout Roundtables and Scout Service Centers. And in some Councils and larger Districts, Religious Relationship Committees exist with members representing many faiths, who are familiar with religious emblem programs in the local area. Some of the committees may also have volunteers willing to promote religious emblem programs at the unit level.

In some Councils, training is also offered to potential Protestant religious emblem program counselors through a program called Reverence in Scouting Essentials (RISE), which serves as a vehicle to link religious advisors and leaders with individuals willing to serve as lay counselors, provides a facility for meeting and gives an opportunity for training. RISE in some areas has counselor training in the morning followed by a program for youth to get them started. In other areas RISE is used to introduce youth to Counselors and get them started on religious emblem programs by having a large meeting at a Scout Service Center. Similarly, in some Councils religious organizations offer their own training for counselors. For example, many Roman Catholic Dioceses offer an annual counselor training program at the diocesan level.

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