Catholic Religious Emblems
RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS PROMOTION
YOUR ROLE AS A UNIT LEADER
As Scout leaders, one of our roles is to promote Religious Emblems to the Scouts in our units, and to promote all faiths equally. Unit leaders are NOT required to lead the religious education discussions at the heart of the Religious Emblems. Rather, you as unit leaders can satisfy your obligations just by promoting religious emblems to the Scouts in your units and encouraging ALL the Scouts to earn the appropriate Religious Emblems for their faith and age.
This is the second in a series of emails intended to give you some information that will assist you in your role of promoting the various Religious Emblems. Also, the University of Scouting offers courses on Religious Emblems designed to increase your familiarity with them and to enable you to make a unit presentation on Religious Emblems. Also, I am happy to come to a meeting of your unit to help you make a presentation on Religious Emblems if you don't feel comfortable making the presentation or if you would prefer that someone help you.
This email will focus primarily on the Catholic Religious Emblems available to the Catholic Scouts in your units. But, first:
CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS
Please read and share the Catholic Religious Emblems document with the families in your unit. A copy of the document can be found by clicking here . This is a brief overview of the Catholic Religious Emblems.
Catholic families who would like more information about the Catholic Religious Emblems program are encouraged to visit the web site nccs-bsa.org which is the web page for the National Committee on Catholic Scouting, or to contact the chairman of the local Committee on Catholic Scouting, Jim Rice, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first page of the attached summary on Catholic Religious Emblems lists the 4 Catholic Religious emblems by name of the award and gives a brief discussion of the rank/age eligibility requirements for the Scouts as well as a guideline on how long a family can expect to work on the award before it is completed. For more detailed information on the individual awards, the course content and the requirements for earning them, please refer your unit families to: nccs-bsa.org
Families can also browse the course books for any of the awards at the Scout Shop -- if they would like to see the actual course material their Scouts will cover while earning a Catholic Religious Emblem.
The second page of the attachment gives high level information about the Cub Scout Catholic Religious Emblems program -- for parents who are new to Scouting and may not understand what a Religious Emblem is or how to go about working on one. Since the primary method of earning Cub Scout Catholic Religious Emblems is faith discussions within the family, this page addresses some of the basic and frequently asked questions about Religious Emblems for Catholic Cub Scouts. Again, more detailed information is available at nccs-bsa.org
The third page of the attachment is a set of talking points prepared by the Twin Cities Archdiocese Committee on Catholic Scouting that families can give to their parish priest if the parish does not offer the Catholic Religious Emblems program. This is very important information because a priest or his delegate must sign the work book showing the Scout has completed the work to the priest's satisfaction. The talking points are for the benefit of priests who aren't familiar with the Catholic Religious Emblems program. The goal is to enable more Cub Scouts to earn Catholic Religious Emblems -- by encouraging more parishes to work with parents and their Scouts to earn the awards.
IMPORTANT RECENT CHANGES
The Cub Scout parent is the primary counselor for Cub Scout Catholic Religious Emblems and the PARENT AND BOY MUST WORK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY on the emblems. However.......
In a significant recent departure from past practice involving Cub Scout Catholic Religious Emblems, a few weeks ago the ACCS revised its guidance to priests to permit parishes to conduct or allow group discussion sessions. For example, this will permit the Catholic boys AND parents in a Den to work on their Cub emblems together in a small group session for mutual support and encouragement. Parents should talk to their parish priest about this alternative if they sense they need or want the support of other parents while helping their Scout earn his Cub Scout Catholic Religious Emblem -- or if their boy is more likely to complete the work if he and some of his peers are working on an emblem at the same time.
However, note the "boys AND parents": the parent is still the primary counselor for Cub Scout Catholic Religious Emblems and the PARENT AND BOY MUST WORK TOGETHER AS A FAMILY on the emblems. Also, each Cub Scout must complete all the work in the work book and review it with the priest or his delegate. None of that has changed. But small groups are now allowed to discuss the program content if that will encourage more families to work on their Religious Emblems by getting together to discuss the course materials with their sons.
Boy Scout and Venture Crew Catholic Religious Emblems (Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII) are led by certified counselors and facilitators who are trained and approved by the ACCS.
In a recent step to increase the number of Boy Scouts and Venturers who earn Catholic religious emblems, the ACCS compiled a database of counselors and facilitators who are willing to counsel boys from outside the counselor's parish. Now any Catholic Boy Scout or Venturer can find a nearby Religious Emblems counselor by sending an email to the ACCS with the boy's name, unit number and contact information (including town) to email@example.com A list of nearby counselors will be provided by return email or by phone.
Some parents may want to know why they have to send an email to get the counselor information. The counselor/facilitator database will not be published on the internet because it contains private contact information that the counselors and the ACCS have decided not to publish in that manner. Keeping the database off the internet encouraged more counselors to add their names. The email process described above is a very reasonable alternative that will allow interested Boy Scouts, Venturers, and their parents to get the necessary information and at the same time protect the private contact information of the counselors on the list.
Information in this page is courtesy of
God and Country Coordinator
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church