Susquehanna Council, BSA
815 Northway Road
Williamsport, PA 17701
To: Charter Organizations, Charter Organizational Representatives, Pastors, Committee Chairs, Commissioners, Unit Leaders, Commissioner Staff, District Chairs, District Executives
A Scout is reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. A Scout is faithful in his or her religious beliefs and respects the beliefs of others. The Scout Oath begins with duty to God, and the Scout Law ends with reverence It’s the twelfth point of the Scout Law, but it cannot be relegated to an afterthought. In a society that is polarized, faith practices that encourage healthy relationships and dialogue provide a path to heal what divides us. Reverence is integral to good character and citizenship!
As the BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principle states, “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.”
To that end, the Susquehanna Council has formed a Religious Relations Committee to provide a renewed emphasis on reverence and to assist local leaders in either renewing or developing relationships with religious organizations. One way to start is to introduce or re-introduce the P.R.A.Y. religious emblem program. Information on that program is attached. Faith walks in Williamsport and Sunbury are also being planned for 2020. More information will be available to you soon.
We hope you will join us in this endeavor.
A Scout is Reverent. Duty to God, is a cornerstone of our program in the Susquehanna Council and the BSA National organization evident in the Twelfth point of the Scout Law. The religious emblems programs are created by the various religious groups to encourage youth to grow stronger in their faith. The religious groups—not the Boy Scouts of America—have created the religious emblems programs themselves. The Boy Scouts of America has approved of these programs and allows the units to earn and wear their religious knots on their uniforms.
How do we get started on these programs? The unit leaders/parent must obtain the specific booklet for their scouts’ specific religion. Check with the Susquehanna council store or contact the religious organization directly (www.scouting.org). Each youth member needs his or her own booklet to document progress. Some religions offer adult manuals for counselors and mentors.
We are known for the P.R.A.Y. Program – a Bible-based religious emblems program for Protestant and Independent Christian churches designed to bring children, youth, and families to Christ. Our program has impacted the lives of thousands of children nationwide.
The purpose of our letter is to introduce each sponsoring organization by introducing you to this program and suggest that you make available the Religious Award Program to your scouts in your unit. There is a PRAY program available for each age/grade and all faiths.
Scout Sunday typically held in February during the Scouting Anniversary and is a great time to honor your scouts and present their religious awards each year.
We are planning a Faith Walk later this year and will place the information on our Susquehanna Council website and promote the opportunity to attend. Additional information will be made available during Roundtable Meetings.
Any questions can be directed to the Scout Service Center, or to me directly.
Kaylene (Kay) Trick
Council Religious Emblem Coordinator
Susquehanna Council, BSA
CC: Dennis Dugan CEO Council Executive, Robert Deluge Council President, Religious Emblems Committee Members