Each year, thousands of parents and adult volunteer leaders and help Scouts earn the religious emblem of their faith. However, many unit leaders often don't have enough information to adequately answer questions about the religious emblem programs of all faiths.
The organization Programs of Religious Activities with Youth, or P.R.A.Y., has information on the religious emblems of almost every faith. The PRAY website, http://www.praypub.org/
, has a complete listing of the awards, workbooks, emblems and other material.
STEPS TO EARN RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS
Here are the steps P.R.A.Y. recommends to earn a religious emblem in Scouting:
Books: Obtain the specific booklet for your religion. This booklet contains the lessons and service projects that the Scout needs to complete. Scouts need their own booklets to document progress. Some religions also offer adult manuals for counselors and mentors. Our Council stocks many of these booklets in the Scout Shop. You can contact your religious organization directly for materials by accessing the PRAY web site.
Parental involvement: Parents must review the specific guidelines. Some programs require that the youth be an official member of the local religious institution, other programs may not. Age/grade requirements also vary from program to program. In addition, each faith group sets its own guidelines as to who may serve as counselor. Some programs require clergy to serve as counselors, other programs allow parents or other family members to serve as counselors. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to check the specific guidelines for their particular program.
Religious leaders: Families should talk to their religious leaders and show them the booklet before beginning a program. Many of the religious recognitions programs require that they be completed under the auspices of that religious organization, and many require the signature from the local religious leader.
Complete requirements: The young person needs to complete the requirements, obtain the proper signatures, and follow the instructions to order the recognition/emblem (recognitions are not available in local council stores). The recognition should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the youths religious institution, and can be presented at any time of the year. Record the achievement by simply submitting an advancement form to your local Scout Service Center with the Scout's name and award the was earned.