USSSP: A Scout's Duty to God and Country - Presentation of Religious Emblems


Presentation of religious emblems or awards should be made by the church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or other religious body at a religious service or observance. The only exception is for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) emblems, which are presented at LDS Sponsored Unit's Meetings. It is especially appropriate to have presentations made during Scouting Week; e.g. Scout Sunday, Scout Sabbath, a day of particular religious significance, or on a day of religious observance when a senior church official officiates. Imagine the thrill a young boy would experience at being presented his emblem by a bishop or similar religious figure of regional, state or even national prominence!

Scouts who have received a religious emblem may also be recognized by their unit at a Pack meeting, a Blue and Gold Banquet, a Court of Honor, or recognition banquet. Many units present Scouts with the universal religious emblem square knot (No. 5014 - silver knot on a purple background), if the scout has not already received the knot with the religious emblem. The units should not present the religious emblem or medal. The proper setting for the religious emblem presentation is in the religious community that supported the Scout throughout the program.

When presenting the square knot it is important to avoid any hint to any Scout that would cause him to question his own faith or make him feel that he has to be in another faith to get recognition. Often this result is not intended at all. In the excitement of the situation, there is a temptation to create props for the ceremony such as a giant sized replica of the religious emblem to highlight the award or to use language the focuses on the specific emblem presented. Such a situation might discourage a boy from participating in Scouting altogether, if he feels that he has to choose between his beliefs and being in the unit. It is always much better to use a neutral presentation that encourages all of the Scouts in the unit to participate in a religious growth program, regardless of their faith(s).

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