With the recent release of the unit religious emblems coordinator patch, the Religious Emblems Coordinator program is now in place. When properly implemented, the program not only leads to an increase in the number of religious emblems earned and provides another opportunity to affirm “duty to God” in Scouting but also serves as a tool for unit retention and growth. BSA research indicates that Scouts working on their religious emblems remain in Scouting longer. Additionally, relationships are strengthened with the chartering organizations, more than 70 percent of which are faith-based, and doors areopened to the starting of new units.
There are three purposes for having religious emblemscoordinators at the council, district, and unit levels:
- Encourage all youth to earn the emblem of their faith
- Promote religious emblems usage the way the BSA promotes other youth advancement
- Establish goals and track the number of religious emblems earned each year
Baden-Powell stated, “Religion seems a very simple thing: First, love and serve God. Second, love and serve your neighbor.” (Scouting for Boys, 1908) Here are three reasons to have religiousemblems coordinator positions:
- Reinforce BSA values through religious emblems
- Improve relationships with religious chartered organizations
- Establish relationships with potential religious chartered organizations
Responsibilities of Religious Emblems Coordinators
Council Religious Emblems Coordinator (patch, No. 614660)
- Is appointed by the vice president of program
- Disseminates information to district religious emblems coordinators
- Disseminates information through:
- Professional staff
- College of Commissioner Science
- University of Scouting
- New leader training
- Program at summer camp and day camp
- Works with the council Religious Relationships Committee
- Recognizes that the Religious Relationships Committee is the group that works directly with the faith community to:
- Recruit chaplains
- Coordinate the council calendar with religious holidays
- Sponsor religious emblems retreats
- Identify religious representatives from the various faith groups
- Strengthen ties with local congregations and chartered organizations
- If the Religious Relationships Committee works primarily with the faith community, the religious emblems coordinator focuses specifically on raising awareness of religious emblems and increasing usage.
- The religious emblems coordinator can learn through the Religious Relationships Committee which faith committees are sponsoring religious emblems retreats and which congregations are offering religious emblems classes.
District Religious Emblems Coordinator (patch, No. 614645)
- Is appointed by the district program chair
- Sets goals with the district program chair
- Encourages every unit to appoint a unit religious emblems coordinator
- Disseminates information to units through charter renewal packets, roundtables, and camporees
- Encourages unit committees to set goals (i.e., number of religious emblems that will be earned that year)
- Helps unit religious emblems coordinators recruit presenters to make presentations on religious emblems, including clergy of chartered organizations, unit leaders who promote religious emblems, chaplains, etc.
Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator (patch, No. 618744)
- Is appointed by the unit committee chair and serves on the unit committee
- Acquaints all youth with the religious emblems program and emblems available for their faith
- Provides Scout families and clergy with an orientation to the religious emblems program and encourages their involvement
- Urges all youth to earn the religious emblem(s) of their faith
- Disseminates information about any district or council religious emblems activities, retreats, camps, or classes
- Promotes religious emblems usage the way the BSA promotes other youth advancement
- Coordinates establishment of goals and tracks the number of emblems earned each year
- Serves as the unit’s liaison to the district religious emblems coordinator
- Number of emblems earned (by religion, unit, district, council, etc.)
- Number of religious presentations made to Scouts, parents, clergy, etc.
- Number of congregations offering religious emblems classes
- Number of trainings offered on religious emblems
- Recruitment of Religious Emblems Coordinators
- Establish communication with the Religious Relationships Committee and ask them to help.
- Ask clergy of chartered organizations.
- Ask leaders of units that promote religious emblems usage.
- Collect data on religious emblems usage.
- Post information on council, district, and unit websites.
- List recipients in the council newsletter.
- Recognize leaders, units, and districts that do an outstanding job.
- Market your data by posting it on the websites.