P.R.A.Y. Update
(for members of BSA)
May 15, 2013

Become a FRIEND OF P.R.A.Y. through a Financial Gift

P.R.A.Y.’s fiscal year will end June 30th and we need your help to end in the black. We are asking for your financial support so that we can expand our mission during this critical time. For the past 30 years, P.R.A.Y. has taken the lead in promoting religious emblems of ALL faiths. P.R.A.Y. coordinates the update of the Duty to God Quick Reference Chart every year, offers an interfaith FBI course at Philmont every summer, and serves as a religious emblems information/resource center for councils and volunteers to get quick answers on religious emblems of all faiths. Most recently here is what we have been doing:

  • P.R.A.Y. worked with the BSA’s Program Impact Division to create the Religious Emblems Coordinator (REC) positions for councils and districts.  P.R.A.Y. then developed webinar presentations on the new REC positions (currently these webinars are the only overviews available for these new positions). As a result, more religious emblems are now promoted within local Boy Scout councils.

  • In response to BSA’s “Journey To Excellence”, P.R.A.Y. again took the lead and helped create the “Faith Based Initiative” (FBI) membership plan and expanding again across all faith lines.

  • In response to the BSA’s “membership” issue, Mark Hazlewood, P.R.A.Y. CEO, and Chip Turner, Director of Communication and Training, have been involved in polling and collecting data from the national chartered religious organizations. We prepared and presented a webinar on “Be Prepared for the Membership Vote” outlining steps that local councils should take to approach their chartered organizations before the upcoming vote. Our future plans include holding a series of webinars the first week of June entitled “Ok, The Vote is Over. Now What?”

Would you help support P.R.A.Y. the way P.R.A.Y. has supported BSA for the past 30 years?

Please consider a financial gift to support P.R.A.Y.’s mission.  Click here to find out how.

P.R.A.Y. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your gifts are tax deductible.
Gifts of $25 or more will be acknowledged in the P.R.A.Y. Annual Report.
Thank you for your generosity!

UPCOMING WEBINARS

P.R.A.Y. webinars are free and you may sign up for as many webinars as you want. For your convenience, each webinar is offered more than once and then the recorded session is posted online in our Learning Center for easy viewing. Use the links below to register for a specific session.

“Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator – Where Do We Start; What Do We Do?” – Chip Turner
Audience: For members of Boy Scouts of America who are Unit Religious Emblems Coordinators or for other volunteers and staff who are interested in knowing how to increase religious emblems usage and strengthen retention of youth in Scouting
Description: Participants will learn the responsibilities of the UREC, how to involve more youth and parents in the religious emblems program, ways to use religious emblems as a tool for unit growth and retention, and how to relate to the District and Council Religious Emblems Coordinators.
Certificates of Attendance will be provided to all participants who attend the webinar.

“Ok, The Vote is Over. Now What?” – Mark Hazlewood
Audience:
BSA professionals and volunteers in Membership
Description:
The vote on the BSA membership issue will be over, and your priority will still be MEMBERSHIP. This presentation will help you understand the Faith Based Initiative Membership Plan and how it can build stronger relationships with the faith community and lead to new sustainable units.

“Working with Other REC’s at the Unit, District and Council Levels” – Chip Turner
Audience:
For members of Boy Scouts of America who are Religious Emblems Coordinators at the Unit, District and Council levels as well as other volunteers and staff who want know more about how persons holding these positions function together as well as contribute to increased religious emblems usage, retention of youth in Scouting, and unit growth.
Description: Religious Emblems Coordinators play a vital role in enhancing the Scouting experience for youth, increasing advancement, supporting retention and growth, and strengthening relationships with chartering organizations.  Participants will learn how REC’s work together to accomplish the task.

FBI WORKSHOPS

Philmont Scout Ranch, Register NOW:
Faith-Based Initiative Course, Philmont Scout Ranch, Week 7: July 21-27, 2013

The Faith Based Initiative is a conference designed to equip professionals and volunteers in local councils and congregations to reach their shared goals of reaching young families and building sustainable membership.
Click here to register.


P.R.A.Y. is offering a workshop on “Building Sustainable Units through Faith-Based Initiatives for members of Boy Scouts of America,” November 12-14, 2013

Topics include:
  • The new Religious Emblems Coordinator positions at the Council, District, and Unit levels
  • Understanding how Religious Emblems can be used as a membership tool
  • Rationale/benefits to collaborating with the faith community
  • Using religious organizations to reach underserved areas and initiative targets
  • Guest speakers from different religions and denominations
  • Drafting a plan of work (specific for your council) to collaborate with religious institutions and to promote religious emblem

Early bird registration deadline (with discounted price!) is June 30th. Final registration deadline is July 31st. Registration forms must be accompanied by a $50 deposit to hold your place.  Checks can be made payable to P.R.A.Y. or you may provide Visa, MasterCard or Discover card information.  Final payments will be due August 31st. The workshop will be held at Toddhall Retreat Center in Columbia, IL (fly into St. Louis Lambert airport). Lodging, meals and conference area are all located at Toddhall. Please do not make any travel plans until your reservation is confirmed by P.R.A.Y. Click here for a registration form.

P.R.A.Y. is also willing to work with councils to bring on-site training to your council.  The cost of bringing a P.R.A.Y. staff member to you may be a more cost effective option. Please email Mark Hazlewood at markp@praypub.org for information on this option.
WANTED: UNIT REC'S

Are you active in a faith community? Are you passionate about Duty to God? Then the “Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator” may be a perfect fit for you. Are you already serving as a Unit REC? Then spread the word and help other units recruit REC’s, too.

BSA has created the new REC positions at the Council, District, and Unit levels. Why? Because of the impact that religious emblems can have:

  • Involvement in religious emblems makes a positive difference in the lives of Scouts and their families
  • Religious Emblems reinforce Scouting values
  • Religious emblems can improve relationships with Religious Chartered Partners and others
  • Religious emblems can help establish relationships with potential Religious Chartered Partners and others

Click here for a new page specifically on the UNIT REC. Be sure to join the REC Facebook group.

The Unit REC patch has been ordered. We will let you know when it is available from BSA.
FIRST QUARTER P.R.A.Y. USAGE REPORTS

Charts showing usage by Council have been posted online both as an alphabetical listing and also by rank (largest to smallest users). This information is critical for Religious Emblems Coordinators (REC’s) as they set and evaluate goals for their Council, District, and Unit. Please note: the charts posted on the P.R.A.Y. website show the usage of Protestant and Independent Christian Churches; these reports are numbers only (the more detailed recipient reports – with Scout names and church information – are distributed to the P.R.A.Y. contact at your Council and not available online).

Councils with more than 50 recipients that also have a 10% increase in usage are included in our 1st Quarter Honor Roll. Click here to view the Honor Roll. Special congratulations to the following councils that had the biggest numeric increases:

Council

1st Q. 2013

1st Q. 2012

Percent

Increase

Blue Ridge Council BSA, Mauldin, SC

149

68

119%

81

Atlanta Area Council BSA, Atlanta, GA

273

222

23%

51

North Florida Council BSA, Jacksonville, FL

71

22

223%

49

Usage of the P.R.A.Y. Program for Protestant and Independent Christian Churches by members of the Boy Scouts of America for the 1st Quarter 2013 shows a 10% drop compared to the 1st Quarter 2012. The chart below shows the breakdown by program level.

Program

1st Q. 2013

1st Q. 2012

Percent

God and Me

4139

4541

-9%

God and Family

4139

4591

-10%

God and Church

884

1007

-12%

God and Life

334

431

-23%

Four Star Recipients

69

70

-1%

Totals

9565

10640

-10%

FRIENDS PROGRAM NOW IN SPANISH

The Friends Committee on Scouting announces that their program curriculum is now available in Spanish and will soon be posted on their website at www.quakerscouting.org. Until then if you would like a copy, please send an email request to: clerk@quakerscouting.org.

SPECIAL NEEDS SCOUTS EARN RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS

Venture Crew 891 and Barnardsville United Methodist Church sponsored the God and Family program for Special Needs Scouts during the months of March and April 2013, and three successfully completed the program. They met an hour and a half for 8 different sessions. Also attending the sessions were the pastor and committee chair as well as a visit by the executive director of venturing.

Congratulations to Brian D., Franklin G., and Brian C. for their hard work and persistence in earning their religious emblem. Click here to read more, view pictures and read what the Scouts and their parents had to say.


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