Scout Emblems

Religious Emblems

“No boy can grow into the best kind of citizenship without recognizing his obligation to God” (Lord Baden-Powell, quoted in the 2011 Handbook for Scouts). The National Catholic Committee on Scouting has developed over the years programs that help youth see their duties to God and community sharing many features with the obligations of their membership in Scouting. The first religious emblem recognized by Scouting America was the Ad Altare Dei emblem developed by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Originally a recognition earned by altar boys who were also Boy Scouts, it brought the idea of service at the altar to service in all areas of one’s life. There are now emblems developed by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting for all phases of a Scout’s career.

Religious emblems are awarded through the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting and each emblem presents an opportunity for the parish clergy to support and confirm the growth in Catholic virtue and the importance of attending to both spiritual as well as material growth and knowledge in the Scout and with his or her family. Completion of each emblem and endorsement by the Scout’s parish is recognized by Scouting America with the presentation of the youth religious emblem square knot. This knot is a silver square knot embroidered on a purple rectangle patch which is then worn on the uniform for the remainder of a scout’s tenure in Scouting – even into adulthood.