Promoting Religious Emblems:
Welcome! Our training today is called
“Promoting Religious Emblems”. My name is __________ [give
brief introduction of each trainer]
We have three objectives for you today.
First, we are going to help you to
“understand the religious emblems programs.” We’ll give you
the “what, why, and how” of religious emblems so that you will
know how to promote Duty to God
Second, we are going to help you to
“become familiar with presentation materials and resources.”
It’s not enough to know about religious emblems. We want you to
know about the materials and free resources that are available
Third, we are going to help you to
“understand your role in promoting religious emblems.” The
unit leader is critical in getting information to youth members
and their families. We hope to encourage you to make a
presentation on the religious emblems to your unit.
Slide 3: Brief
First, a brief history:
The first awards were the “Ad Altare
Dei” emblem for Catholics in 1939, the “Pro Deo Et
Patria” emblem for Lutherans in 1943, the “Ner Tamid”
emblem for Jews in 1944, and the “God and Country” emblem
for Protestants in 1945. These original emblems were created at
the Boy Scout level only.
Today there are more than 75 emblems
approved by BSA representing more than 35 religious groups.
What exactly are religious
Slide 4: What are
Religious Emblems Programs?
The first and most important thing you need
to remember about religious emblems, is that “they are
programs that are created by national religious organizations.”
I repeat, these are programs that are created by national
religious organizations, not by the BSA. In other words,
each faith creates its own program. The religious organizations
create their curriculum, establish the guidelines, and
administer their programs. Which brings us to our second point:
The religious emblems programs “provide
specific religious instruction.” Since the curriculum is
designed by the religious organization, these programs are
religious education materials to encourage the spiritual
development of their young people who are also members of the
Slide 5: What are Religious Emblems
Now that you know that these programs are
created by the national religious organizations, we’re going to
continue by saying the religious emblems programs “are
recognized by BSA” and “the medals are approved for wear
on the official uniform.” This is one way that BSA promotes
Duty to God. As you can see, the religious emblems are
cooperative ventures between the religious organizations and the
Slide 6: Why
Promote Religious Emblems?
“Duty to God is at the heart of
the Scouting movement.” Every Scout professes a Duty to
God in the Cub Scout Promise, Boy Scout Oath, and Venturing
Oath. Everyone knows that “A Scout is Reverent.”
“Religious emblems provide a spiritual
component to the Scouting program.” Religious emblems
promote the same values found in Scouting. They also help
develop positive assets in youth members. Religious emblems go
hand-in-hand with Scouting, and that’s why we promote them.
Slide 7: Why Promote Them? (cont.)
One last point about promoting religious
emblems: “Scouting is nonsectarian and promotes religious
emblems for ALL faiths.” Scouting supports no creed and
favors no religious faith over another. When promoting religious
emblems, it is important to promote the emblems for ALL faiths.
Slide 8: Video:
“Promoting Duty to God (Religious Emblems)”
We’re going to show you a video called
“Promoting Duty to God (Religious Emblems)” This is a
seven-minute video which includes testimonials from Scouts,
parents, leaders and clergy. Many religious groups are
represented in this video. As you watch it, keep in mind that
this is a video you could show to your unit.
Slide 9: Video:
Obtaining a Copy
Most of you would agree that this video is
an excellent promotional tool. How can you get a copy?
7-minute video on religious emblems is part of the DVD:
“Resources for Promoting Duty to God". You can view
it or purchase it from
Please note that the DVD version also
contains other promotional resources and handouts from P.R.A.Y.
In fact, most of the resources that will be mentioned
throughout this workshop are included on this DVD.
Slide 10: How do
we get started on these programs?
In the video, someone mentioned how easy it
was to get started on the religious emblems. It’s true. There
are four basic steps to get started. These are the steps
that you would share with your Scouts and parents.
Youth members must obtain the specific booklet for their
“Duty to God” brochure to identify the program for your faith
your council store or contact the religious organization
needs his own booklet to document progress.
religions offer adult manuals for counselors and mentors.
Parents must review the program guidelines.
programs require participants to be official “members” of the
requirements vary from program to program.
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.
Families should talk to their religious leaders and show them
the booklet before beginning any program
programs require that they be completed under the auspices of
that religious organization.
programs require the signature of the local religious leader.
Step 4: The
youth member needs to complete the requirements, obtain the
proper signatures, and follow the instructions to order the
emblems are not available from your local council store (follow
instructions in your booklet).
should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the
member’s religious institution.
can be presented at anytime of the year. Boy Scout
Sunday/Sabbath in February is a perfect time to recognize
Religious Emblems Square Knots
When a young person earns a religious
emblem, they have earned the right to wear the universal
religious square knot. This is a silver knot on a purple
background. This knot will always be on their uniform (it even
carries up to the adult uniform). An adult who receives an adult
award wears the square knot with the purple knot on the silver
Religious Emblems Square Knot with 1, 2, and 3 devices
Most religious emblems programs have more
than one level. Young people are encouraged to continue with the
religious emblems programs and earn awards at each level. Even
though a Scout can only wear one square knot on the uniform,
there are “devices” that are pinned in the square knot to show
that awards were earned at different levels.
Slide 14: Role of
We want to spend just a minute talking
about your role as a leader. Some leaders avoid anything to do
with religion for fear of offending somebody. But it doesn’t
have to be that way. The first thing is to realize that the role
of the leader is to provide information, not religious
instruction. Your role as a leader is to simply inform your
Scouts and parents that these programs exist. You provide the
information; the instruction should come from the home and the
religious leaders. And that is why we encourage you to make a
presentation on the religious emblems to Scouts and families.
Slide 15: Duty to
God Promotion Patch
This is called the Duty to God Promotion
Patch. The whole idea of this patch is to promote religious
emblems. Both youth and adults may earn this patch. The
requirements are simple: Attend a presentation on the
religious emblems. Make a commitment to Duty to God.
For example, adults can commit to having 50% of families
participate in the religious emblems programs, nominating
a worthy adult to be recognized with an adult religious award,
serving as counselor in their local congregation, etc. Youth
can commit to earning the religious emblem of their faith at
an appropriate time, making a presentation on religious emblems
to another unit, helping younger Scouts earn their religious
emblem, helping to establish a religious emblems program in
their local congregation, etc.
Slide 16: Duty to
God Promotion Patch (cont.)
This patch is a four-segment puzzle
patch. Only one segment is available per year. You
are encouraged to make a presentation on religious emblems every
year. Patches are available on-line at
www.praypub.org. Patches may be preordered for distribution
at your presentation.
Now that you’re excited and can hardly wait
to make a presentation, what are some of the resources that you
The Duty to God brochure –this
brochure is in full color and includes all the different emblems
recognized by BSA. Show your Scouts what the medals look like.
The medals themselves are a strong incentive to Scouts.
The inside has a chart or grid listing the
religious organizations and their programs. It provides contact
information including web sites and email addresses.
The back page has Frequently Asked
This brochure is essential to your
presentation. You will need it as a reference tool. If
possible, you may want to get copies to distribute at your
presentation. Your council can order this brochure from the
Relationships Division. The SKU number is 512879. A
printable form is also available on line at
Slide 18: Presentation Resources (cont.)
Dear Parent Letter
This is a handout. Your Scouts can take it
home to their parents. It provides a short summary of how to get
started on the programs. It also provides space for Scouts to
copy the contact information for their specific religious
Slide 19:Presentation Resources (cont.)
You’ll want to have a sample script when
you make a presentation to your unit. Separate scripts are
available for presentations to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and
Venturers. These scripts use interfaith language and promote
the religious emblems of all faiths. They are very helpful. In
fact, I’m going to distribute a copy to everybody, and we’re
going to take the time to read through one.
Activity: Reading the Script
Here’s your assignment. Find a partner.
Take turns (maybe alternate every other paragraph), but read
through the entire script. You will be pleased to learn how
easy it is to make a presentation.
[After a reasonable amount of time,
announce that time is up.]
You’ve just read the script. It’s like
you’ve made a presentation on religious emblems. Now you don’t
have the excuse that “you’ve never done it.” You’re ready to
make a presentation to your unit.
Slide 21: Adult
A training on religious emblems isn’t
complete without mentioning the adult awards. The adult
recognitions are different from the youth adults.
Adult recognitions are by nomination
only. Adult recognitions are not work/study programs like
the youth awards. They are by nomination only.
A minimum number of years of service is
required. Recipients must have served both their Boy Scout
Council and their local congregation.
Slide 22: Adult Recognitions (cont.)
The adult nominations require several
Completed application form (most of
these application/nomination forms are available online)
Resume of candidate’s qualifications
Letters of recommendation (from the
Boy Scout Council and the religious institution)
Slide 23: Adult Recognitions (cont.)
Each adult recognition is different.
Please check specific eligibility requirements for a particular
Why aren’t the adult awards all the same?
Can anybody tell me why? [Your participants should answer that
the religious emblems are created by the national religious
organizations, not by BSA, and that is why the requirements and
guidelines will differ from program to program.]
Slide 24: Game!
[Note: the questions for this game as well
as the cards for the game board are available at
It’s time to find out how much you have
learned today. We’re going to play a game to test your knowledge
of religious emblems. We’re going to divide into teams. You may
use any resource in answering questions. The questions will fall
in the following categories: religious emblems, resources,
scripts, responsibilities of the leader, and the grid/chart. We
have ___ minutes to play. I’ll announce when we run out of time.
We have ____ minutes for questions. Any
questions on the material covered? Any questions on making a
[Note: If you run out of time, or if
someone asks a detailed question about a specific situation that
doesn’t necessarily apply to the group, offer to stay after the
workshop and answer their questions.]
Slide 26: For
[Note: If you are comfortable giving out
your phone number and/or email address, this would be the time
to do so.]
Visit P.R.A.Y.’s web site at
call P.R.A.Y. at 1-800-933-7729.
Slide 27: Final Thoughts
I want to thank you for coming today. I
want to leave you with two final thoughts:
1. As the unit leader, YOU are the key
person in getting information about these programs to your youth
members and families.
2. You now have the knowledge and
resources to make a presentation.
I hope you do so!
Slide 28: Thank
you for promoting religious emblems!