By Annaliese Parker
(Editor’s Note: Annaliese Parker provided this four step program at the Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable on April 7, 2011. This material is based on 2006 training materials and is an expanded explanation of information from PRAY (Programs for Religious Activities with Youth) training publications from 2006. PRAY gave Annaliese permission to duplicate this information as part of any promotional script. Annaliese originally expanded on this previously published information for her 2007 Wood Badge ticket. She has since updated some of the material as part of the presentation at the April 2011 Towpath District Boy Scout Roundtable. She has graciously allowed us to reprint them here.)
- Youth members must obtain the specific booklet for their religion. This booklet contains information on all the lessons and service projects they will need to complete. Each youth member needs a personal booklet to document progress. Some religious emblems programs also offer adult manuals for counselors or mentors. Some of these booklets are available in your local Scout service center. If they are not available in the service center, parents will need to purchase booklets directly from the sponsoring religious organization. The Interfaith Quick Reference Chart lists the addresses and phone numbers for the various religious organizations.
- Parents must review the specific guidelines for their particular program. Some programs require that the young person be an official “member” of the local religious institution; other programs may not. Age/grade requirements also vary from program to program. In addition, each program sets its own guidelines as to who may serve as a counselors. Some programs require clergy to serve as counselors; other programs allow parents or other family members to serve as counselors. Parents must check the specific guidelines for their particular program.
- Families should talk to their religious leaders and, if possible, show them the booklet before beginning a program. Many of the programs require that they be completed under the auspices of that religious organization, and require the signature of the local religious leader.
- Youth members need to complete the requirements, obtain the proper signatures and follow the instructions to order the emblem. These emblems are not available in the local council store. The emblem should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, preferably in the young person’s religious institution. The emblems can be presented any time of the year. Scout Sunday/Sabbath, in February, is a perfect time to recognize youth members who have earned their religious emblems during the past year.