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Frequently Asked Questions on Religious Emblems

What are the religious emblems programs?

The religious emblems programs are programs created by the various religious groups to encourage youth to grow stronger in their faith. The religious groups—not the Boy Scouts of America—have created the religious emblems programs themselves.

The Boy Scouts of America has approved of these programs and allows the recognition to be worn on the official uniform, but each religious organization develops and administers its own program.
I have a unit with children of all different faiths. How can I include the religious emblems programs for my unit?

The religious emblems programs should be presented to youth members and their families as an optional program for them to complete through their religious organization. Religious instruction should always come from the religious organization, not from the unit leader. Parents need to be informed of these programs and told where to get the information for their particular faith. Interested in making a presentation on the religious awards? Find sample scripts at www.praypub.org.
Do boys and girls participate in the same program?

It depends on the religion. Some religions have created programs that are used by both boys and girls. Other religions have created programs for members of separate youth agencies (i.e., Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and Girls). Please check the specific eligibility requirements for each religious emblems program.
Do the youth have to belong to a religious institution?

It depends on the religion. Please check the eligibility requirements for your particular religious program.
Why doesn't my religious institution know about the religious emblems programs?

Although the religious bodies at the national level created the religious emblems programs, the local religious institution may not be aware of these programs. It may be helpful to write for more information or even obtain a copy of the curriculum to give to your religious leader.
If the religious emblems program for my faith has more than one level (for the different grade levels), may my child earn all of these recognitions?

Yes. Members can earn all levels of their religious emblems program. However, they must be in the appropriate program guidelines when they start and complete each level (they may not go backward and earn younger programs).
How is the emblem presented?

The emblem should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the youth member's religious institution. Some emblems come with a sample presentation ceremony.
How long does it take to complete a program?

It depends on the program. Some programs may take three or four months, others longer.
Where is the emblem worn on the uniform?

The universal religious square knot is worn over the left shirt pocket of the Scout uniform. The medallion is pinned over the square knot for full uniform occasions.
How do we get started on these programs?

First, youth members must obtain the specific booklet for their religion. This booklet will contain information on all the lessons and service projects that they will need to complete. Each member needs to have his or her own booklet to document progress. Some religions also provide adult manuals for counselors and mentors. Check with your local council to see if it stocks these booklets in its store, or contact the religious organization directly (addresses and phone numbers are provided on this site).

Second, parents must review the specific guidelines for their particular program; age/grade requirements vary from program to program. Some programs require that the youth be an official "member" of the local religious institution, others may not. Each program determines who may serve as counselor (some require clergy, others allow parents or other family members). Be sure to look at specific eligibility guidelines!

Third, families should talk to their religious leaders and show them the booklet before beginning any program. Most of the religious emblems programs require that they be completed under the auspices of that religious organization, and many require the signature of the local religious leader. Again, check the specific eligibility requirements for your religious program.

Fourth, the member needs to complete the requirements, obtain the proper signatures, and follow the instructions to order the emblem/award. (These emblems are not available in your local council.) The emblem can be presented at any time of the year and should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the member's religious institution.
Who may serve as counselor?

It depends on the program. Some programs require clergy to serve as counselor, others allow a parent or family member. Please check the specific guidelines for your religious program.
How do I order the recognition items?

Each religious program has its own emblem. Follow the instructions in your recognition guidelines because the emblems come from different places and require submission of different information. These emblems will not be available in your local council!
What is the adult religious recognition program?

An adult religious recognition award is presented by nomination only. The recognition is presented to worthy adults for their outstanding service to youth both through their religious institution and one of the national youth agencies. Recipients of these awards are unaware that they are being nominated. They are nominated to receive an award by submitting the required application, letters of recommendation, and resume. Please check eligibility requirements for specific awards.
Which religious emblem square knot should I wear? No. 05014

Cloth, silver knot on purple, No. 05007, may be worn by youth or adult members who earned the knot as a youth, above left pocket. Cloth, purple on silver, No. 05014, may be worn by adult members presented with the recognition, above left pocket. Adults may wear both knots if they satisfy qualifying criteria. (See the Insignia Guide, No. 33066D.)