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Religious Emblems


The Roman Catholic Church has used the Scouting program since the early days of the Boy Scouts of America. It is one of the most extensive users of the BSA program. There are more than 330,000 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers in more than 9,600 packs, troops, and crews under Catholic auspices, and an equal number of youth members in other Scouting units. Scouting is used in about one-third of the parishes in the United States.

Earn Your Religious Emblem

Four Pillars of Faith is awarded to Scouts earning all 4 levels of Religious Emblems (2 as Cub Scouts & 2 as Boy Scouts)

Troop 6 Scouts receiving the Four Pillars

Bradley Jones, 2009

Lee Alan Maxwell, 2009

Joseph Taluan, 2009

Alex DeArmitt, 2011

Chad Dunbar, 2011


It is often said that 1 out of every 100 boys who join Boy Scouts will complete their journey and earn the rank of Eagle.  If that is true, then it is even rarer to see an Eagle Scout that has earn one or more of their Religious Emblems of Faith awards.  What an accomplishments that must be!  To learn more about what it means to be an active member of your church.  To learn what is really meant by Duty to God, being reverent, or being morally straight.

What is your calling to God?

Be one of the many who have already started and completed the most prestigious program in scouting.  It won’t be easy, but nothing ever that is truly worth it.  Take the next step and find out how you can earn your Religious Emblems of Faith Award,

Religious Emblems (Awards) are available for many faiths.  They are awarded by the church or other religious body, not by BSA.  Most are recognized by the BSA, and may be worn on uniform by displaying the Religious Award Knot and for ceremonial occasions, the Religious Medal.

Adults may wear the Youth Knot on the adult uniform if they earned the award as a youth.

Some awards have different "levels," allowing a Youth to earn the award multiple times.  For example, Roman Catholic Tiger and Wolf Cub Scouts may earn the Light of Christ, Bear and Webelos Cub Scouts the Parvuli Dei, Boy Scouts the Ad Altari Dei, and Explorer or other senior Scouts the Pope Pius XII.

Only one knot is awarded for any person, even if multiple awards (i.e. multiple levels) are earned.  "Emblems," small gold-colored pins, may be worn on the knot if desired.  They identify the different "levels" of the award that were earned by the Youth.  There are emblems for Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers, Sea Explorers, and Varsity Scouts.  A Youth may wear any combination of emblem(s) to show the levels of Religious Award(s) that were earned.  Emblems are not worn on the Adult Religious Knot. 

Click on your Religion below to learn more or see a complete list of Religious Award programs further below.

·        Catholic - http://nccs-bsa.org

         Episcopal - http://www.episcopal-scouting.org/

·        Jewish - http://www.jewishscouting.org/

·        Lutheran - http://www.nlas.org/

·        Non-Denominational - http://www.praypub.org/

A Boy Scout taking the Scout Oath pledges to do his “duty to God.”  In the Scout Law, he recites, “A Scout is reverent.”  But Scouting espouses no creed and favors no faith over another.  Rather, its programs complement the aims of all faiths. 

Footsteps of American Saints

The NCCS Activities Committee is proud to announce a new patch activity called the "Footsteps of American Saints". The Footsteps of American Saints Activity program is a religious activity program that encourages youth to learn about several individuals that have shaped the landscape of Catholicism in America.

This religious activity honors those men and women who led heroic lives of faith. Their words, their deeds, and their devotion to prayer and to the sacraments, inspire all American Catholics. In the church calendar for the United States, some have the rank of "Saint" and are venerated by the universal church. Some have the rank of "Blessed" and are venerated by the local church. Some have the rank of "Venerable" and, while on the way to becoming a "Saint", may be venerated by Catholics. Most of these men and women lived and worked in North America in what is now the United States. Some others never set foot in America, however they had a huge impact on the Catholic American landscape. All of them sought to follow Jesus.

The goal of this activity is to share the lives of several Saints so that the youth might relate to what these people have done and maybe look to these individuals as role models.

International Awareness Recognition

The International Catholic Conference of Scouting provides an opportunity for its members to meet together as friends in the Catholic Church. It links the Catholic Church and the Scouting Movement all over the world. It contributes to the complete education of young people through Scouting from the perspective of the Catholic faith. It develops and enhances the spiritual dimension of Scouting in the World Scout Movement.

The Pope appoints priests to work with the International Catholic Conference of Scouting as ecclesiastical assistants (chaplains). This recognition activity is an ongoing special project of the International Committee of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (USA). Proceeds will further the work of the International Catholic Conference of Scouting and help enable representation by NCCS chaplains at ICCS meetings and NCCS chaplain support at international scouting events.  For list of requirements see the National Committee Catholic Scouting website.

Ad Altare Dei


The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei (to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic Boy Scouts of the Roman Rite (grades 7-9) develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. The program is organized in chapters based on the seven Sacraments. The seven Sacraments are a primary means toward spiritual growth. The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in his spiritual experience of his relationship to God and the church.

Pope Pius Class


The Pope Pius XII Award is available for Catholic young men and women in grades 9-12 in a scouting unit.  The program seeks to help the Scout to answer the question of what it is God is calling him or her to do with their life. This program is mainly discussion-based and designed for small groups. During the program the participants will interview persons in various lifestyles and careers, conduct research on a topic, and attend a retreat. For more information visit the National Committee for Catholic Scouting website www.nccs-bsa.org.

St. George Trek @ Philmont


The National Catholic Committee on Scouting® is pleased to announce its high adventure leadership program for older Catholic Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members at Philmont Scout Ranch. Designed to develop organizational and relational skills for leadership as well as nourishing the scout's spirituality, the program will bring Catholic high school youth from around the country together with selected priests, religious and seminarians for eleven days of backpacking on the trail including three days of intensive leadership training at a back country base camp. See their website at /www.nccs-bsa.org/ScoutUnits/StGeorgeTrek.php for more information