Scouting magazine

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.

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.