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. 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).
Sample Religious Award Presentation Ceremony For Packs
Ladies, Gentlemen, Scout Leaders and Scouts, we have just concluded our Pack's awards ceremony where we have honored those Scouts who have demonstrated achievement by earning Scouting awards. Tonight, we also want to recognize a Scout who has demonstrated his commitment to the Cub Scout Promise and have a very special presentation to make.
Dim lights and light a candle in front of a large replica of the religious emblem square knot (can be made with purple felt and rope painted silver).
Cub Scout ___________ please escort your parents to the front of the room and then turn to face the pack.
We are very proud of ___________. For the past ___ months he has worked with both his family and his religious advisor to learn more about his religious faith and his duty to God. After much hard work and personal growth, he has received the right to wear the religious emblem of his faith on his Scout uniform and was presented with a medal by his religious advisor ___ weeks ago. ___________, like all Scouts who have received a religious award, he may now wear Scouting's universal religious award square knot on his Scout uniform and may continue to wear it as a Boy Scout, Explorer or Adult later in his life.
We now take great pleasure in presenting the religious emblem square knot to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. ___________ in recognition of the role they have and will continue to play in his religious growth. Mr. and Mrs. ___________, will you present your son with the religious emblem square knot?
___________, we know you will wear this square knot centered over your left pocket with pride. Congratulations on your accomplishment. You have lived the Cub Scout promise well. Please escort your parents back to their seats.
Almost every religious body in the United States has a religious emblems program open to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H and Campfire Incorporated. We encourage all Scouts to consider participating in this program. If any other Scouts in this Pack are interested in working toward the religious award of their own faith, please see ___________________ (Awards Chairman) at the end of this meeting. He/she has information on the emblems and will make it available to you.
SCOUTERS PLEASE NOTE:
You will notice that this ceremony did not mention what the Cub Scout's religion was or the name of the church, temple, synagogue, mosque or other religious organization where the medal was presented and only referred to the universal religious emblem square knot. There are three very good reasons for using a non-denominational ceremony:
- This method avoids creating a situation where another Scout(s) may believe he has to belong to a particular religion (and may even think he should join another faith) just to participate in Scouting;
- This method encourages other Scouts to consider earning the religious emblem of their own faith, so they can get the same award (the knot) as Jimmy; and
- This method allows a Scout leader to give the same level of praise to each Scout earning an emblem using the same ceremonial props. The leader doesn't have to know a lot about each religion, doesn't have to create new props, doesn't have to worry that any Scout might think a certain religion is favored.