USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country - Religious Emblem Mentor


Beginning in November 1991, parents participating with their sons in a Protestant God and Country series program as mentors were eligible to receive a "Mentor" award. In the words of Mark Hazlewood, Executive Director of Programs for Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.):

A mentor is someone who serves as a living example for another person. This God and Country mentor program is designed to help adults look directly at what it means to serve as a Christian mentor and it gives suggestions how to have a positive, Christian influence on a child. The mentor curriculum is designed for adults to work with a young person who is enrolled in the God and Country program series. It does not replace the traditional God and Country program; it is an optional approach available to adults.

The objectives are to (1) enrich the experience of the youth enrolled in the God and Country program; (2) enrich the experience of adults who are working with children on this program; and (3) enrich the relationship of the child and adult working together.

The function of the mentor is therefore not merely to guide the student through his or her program (not to serve as a "counselor" in the traditional sense) nor to strike out on his or her own to complete the mentor curriculum, but to work with the child as they grow in the understanding of their own faith and as they learn how to share their faith with each other and with others.

Mark Hazlewood, "God and Country Mentor Program (Adult Curriculum)", Scouting Ministry (Winter 1992).

Upon completion the parent is eligible to receive a certificate and a lapel pin or pendant. However, Scouting magazine has indicated that this does not entitle the mentor to wear the Scouter religious award square knot. New publications on the mentor program and award include God and Me Mentor (No. T33606), God and Family Mentor (No. T33595), God and Church Mentor (No. T33596) and God and Life Mentor (No. T33605). It is our understanding that other faiths are considering offering similar programs encouraging family participation in the religious emblems program.

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