Learn more about religious emblems that aim to promote reverence

A Scout pledges to do his duty to God. Helping him understand what that pledge means is the purpose behind the religious emblems programs Scouting recognizes.MarApr13_AdvFAQs_ReligiousEmb

WHAT ARE RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS PROGRAMS? They are programs created by various religious organizations to help young people, including Scouts, grow stronger in their faith. The Boy Scouts of America approved these programs and allows recognition items to be worn on the official uniform, but each religious organization develops and administers its own program.

WHAT AWARDS ARE AVAILABLE? That depends on the religious organization. Some offer only one award. Others offer separate youth awards. Many also offer adult recognition.

WHAT IF MY UNIT IS MADE UP OF SCOUTS FROM VARYING FAITHS? The religious emblems programs can be presented to Scouts (and parents) in your unit as optional programs for them to complete through their own religious organization.

WHO TEACHES AND SIGNS OFF ON THE AWARDS? Most religious emblems must be completed under the auspices of the religious organization, and many require the signature of the local religious leader. Some programs require a clergyperson to serve as counselor, while others allow a parent or family member.

DOES A SCOUT HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION TO EARN ITS AWARD? Check the eligibility requirements for each religious emblems program.

CAN A SCOUT EARN MORE RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS AT MORE THAN ONE LEVEL? Yes. Scouts can earn all levels of their religious emblems program as long as they meet the age requirements when they start and complete each award.

HOW DO ADULT AWARDS DIFFER FROM YOUTH AWARDS? Adult religious emblems are presented to worthy adults for their outstanding service to youth, both through their religious institution and through Scouting or another youth-serving agency. These awards are presented by nomination only.

HOW IS A RELIGIOUS EMBLEM PRESENTED? The emblem should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the youth member’s place of worship or at a court of honor.

WHAT RECOGNITION ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE? A medallion worn above the left shirt pocket of the Scout uniform represents most youth awards. A pendant suspended from a ribbon worn around the neck represents most adult awards. Obtain the emblems from the specific religious program. Recipients also wear a universal religious emblem square knot. The silver-on-purple square knot (No. 05007) represents a religious emblem earned as a youth, while the purple-on-silver square knot (No. 05014) represents a religious emblem received as an adult.

HOW ARE MULTIPLE AWARDS REPRESENTED ON THE UNIFORM? Miniature device pins worn on the youth religious emblem square knot indicate which emblems the wearer earned. Available devices include the Cub Scout device (No. 00926), the Webelos Scout device (No. 00932), the Boy Scout device (No. 00927), and the Venturing device (No. 00930). Only one knot is worn, but any combination of devices may be worn on the same knot.

HOW DO RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS FOR VENTURERS DIFFER? Unlike the religious emblems programs, the Venturing Religious Life Bronze award is part of the Venturing advancement program and is administered by the BSA. Earning a religious emblem is one requirement for the Religious Life Bronze Award.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE? Visit bit.ly/religiousemblems for a directory of awards and contact information.


    • Absolutely. The official award for the adult religious knot is the “God and Service,” but there are others for adult leaders that you can find here


      The key difference between “God and Service” and the youth awards is that the adult knot is a recognition item and not an earned award. a person must nominate the recipient and be approved by the church and Scouting. But it is still a worthy benchmark to gauge your servitude to your youth. Key note: the adult religious knot can be awarded to any person that is deemed worthy, even if that person is not of the awarding faith. I have personally met a catholic that was recognized with the “shofar” medal which is the adult jewish recognition. nominators need not take in the person’s specific faith, but instead look at if she/he promoted faith and fits the bill as a person of God.

  1. When I started a Cub Pack 650, at St Patricks Elkhorn Nebraska, of MAC (Mid America Council #326), which all of my 3 Boys were grown, so I decided to be the 1st CM, because new Families would be more willing to join, and I made 2 promises, to the other 6 New Leaders, that I would be their CM for 2 years, and we would offer a Family/Faith based Program. After the 2 years, I became the PT (Pack Trainer), the Registered position, and the Membership Chair. Then, a Square Knot was created for PTs, which I stayed longer, because the 2 year tenure started in 2006, to earn that Award. Then, our SE received a call, from your Staff, to do a Story, and interview me, because of that new Award, but the CM then, never got back to your people, with the numbers they wanted, so it never happened. Well, 2 things happened since, one I proopsed a Square Knot for the CCS (College of Commissioner Sciences) Doctorate Degree, that was approved in 2008. Then, 2nd item is, 2 weeks ago I went to the above Pack’s “Blue & Gold” Banquet, they have 43 Scouts, which they presented 20 Scouts their Religious Awards, and they pledged $1700. Dollars for FOS. I am currently their UC, and at the end, the CM and I talked about Preparing for Spring Recruiting Campaign with Pine Wood Derby Races, where they recruit Kindergarten Boys, like we had done since the 1st one in 2003. They are at the Gold level for 2012, and this is where we developed Recruiting Packets for Packs, which the Council uses, and I created the same for Troops/Teams, Crews/Ships, and I am the ACC (Assistant Council Commissioner) for Leaders Recognations, I have been ACC for 20 years, a Commissioner for 35 years, and my 49th year in Scouting. I am a Permanently Disabled Vietnam Veteran, and single Parent of 4 since 1991. I can never be higher, receiving my Silver Beaver in 1984.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.