By Annaliese Parker
(Editor’s Note: Annaliese Parker identified these five methods to promote Scout religious emblems 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.)
All youth members of the Boy Scouts of America should have the opportunity to earn the religious emblem of their faith. The biggest roadblock is the lack of information about these programs at the unit level and area faith communities. That is why we are sharing this information with you.
First, make the Interfaith Quick Reference Chart available to youth members in your unit and their families. The brochure includes a chart of all the different religious emblems, lists the addresses, phone numbers and Web pages for the religious organizations, and explains how to get started on these programs. Council usually can offer assistance to provide what help you need in order to get this information to every member.
Second, please read the Frequently Asked Questions about Scout Religious Emblems Programs. This brochure will help you answer some of the basic questions that parents might ask you about these programs. (Editor’s Note: Click on the title for the list Annaliese compiled.)
Third, you can keep a record of all youth members who have completed a religious emblem and notify the council of these recipients by filling out the form “Notification of Religious Emblem Completed.” Councils have often tried to recognize all recipients of religious emblem awards. If your council doesn’t, see if you can organize one.
Fourth, nominate other Scout leaders who are active in their religious institutions to receive an adult religious recognition. Many of our leaders are under recognized for their Duty to God.
Fifth, you can invite you can invite a religious relations committee member to speak at meetings such as den pack, patrol, troop, crew or team meetings. These people could be part of an interfaith group or specific to a particular faith. They are generally very happy to speak to your unit, especially at meetings when both youth members and their parents will be present. Presentations are designed to be quick (no more than 15 minutes). Please keep in mind these folks are there to serve as a resource for you. They’re there to help!