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Religious Emblem

My Wolf is working on the PRAY God and Me program (for 1st-3rd graders), and I just want to make sure that I understand it. So at the completion, he will get a knot to be sewn on his uniform, and a medal that is worn over the knot on formal occasions, is that correct? In 4th grade, if he does God and Family, does he then earn a second medal (but not knot), and would he wear that one instead? Does that medal transfer to his Boy Scout uniform, or would he have to earn as a Boy Scout? God and Family says it’s for 4th & 5th graders, so if he earned it after he bridged, but while he was still in 5th grade, would he wear it as a Boy Scout? Thanks for clarifying!

Your scout can wear the knot for the rest of his scout career. the medal will be worn on the seem between the top of the pocket and the bottom of the row of square knots.

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He can also wear device pins on the knots:

Cub Scout, No. 604950
Webelos Scout, No. 932
Scout, No. 927
Venturer, No. 930
Sea Scout, No. 931

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The wording in the Guide to Awards and Insignia regarding the devices associated with each award can lead to confusion which is exacerbated by the use of the Webelos device causing some to believe this is worn if the award is earned as a Webelos Scout.

Fortunately, we can extrapolate what they mean from the example they give. They say that the Webelos Scout device (SKU 932) is worn to represent the second-level Cub Scout award like Parvuli Dei. Since Parvuli Dei can be earned by third graders, it is clear that whether the Scout is a Webelos Scout or not when the award is earned has no bearing on whether the Webelos device is worn to represent it.

Similarly, the Buddhist Metta Award may be earned by Wolves, Bears and Webelos. It is the only Buddhist emblem available to Cub Scouts. Therefore, there is no second-level Buddhist Cub Scout emblem, and a Scout earning Metta should wear the Cub Scout device (SKU 604950) to represent it, even if s/he is a Webelos Scout when it is earned.

Scouts may continue working on God and Family until they complete sixth grade. In fact, a new Scout who joins Scouts BSA as a sixth grader may start and earn God and Family. The BSA’s list of religious emblems shows God and Family as a Webelos level award, and, therefore, even if the award is completed when the youth is a Scouts BSA member, the Webelos device should be worn to represent it.

A few years ago, when they added the Sea Scout device to the list of devices in the explanation, the change in wording made it go a little off the rails. I now says that the Scout device (SKU 927) is worn for awards “earned as a Scout; and/or Venturing device, No. 940, Sea Scout, No. 931.” Fortunately, we have the more clear Cub Scout explanation on which to rely along with former guidance. The first-level older-than-Cub Scout emblem should be represented by the Scout device. The second-level older-than-Cub Scout emblem should be represented by the Venturing device (even if earned by a Scouts BSA youth not registered as a Venturer) or by the Sea Scout device (but only if earned by a youth registered as a Sea Scout).

Prior to around 1986, Cub Scout religious emblems did not qualify for the youth religious emblem square knot. Only the bar of the emblem could be worn on a Boy Scout uniform. The medal hanging from the bar was removed. The rule was changed, and the entire emblem is no longer considered “Cub Scout insignia.” To differentiate which Cub Scout emblem the knot represents, the Webelos device was created at that time. It wasn’t used for any other purpose until 2012, when it was placed into service to the new Den Leader Training Award for those who earned the award as a Webelos den leader. In 1986, an Explorer device (SKU 930) was used to represent a second-level older-than-Cub Scout religious emblem. Venturing did not yet exist.

For adults who earned a second-level older-than-Cub Scout religious emblem, either the Explorer, Venturing or Sea Scout emblem should be acceptable for wear on the youth religious emblem square knot. However, the Sea Scout emblem should only be used if the adult was a Sea Explorer when the emblem was earned.

While PRAY offers a Jesus and Me program, this is not shown in the Guide to Awards and Insignia, and a square knot should not be worn to represent earning it. There is a pin and a patch available to those who earn this award. The pin is not a medal. According to the PRAY website, it is for civilian wear and not intended to be worn on the Cub Scout uniform. The PRAY website says the Jesus and Me patch may be worn by a Cub Scout on the right pocket of the uniform.

The PRAY website says the Jesus and Me pin may be worn on a Girl Scout uniform, but it is not listed among the religious emblems that may be earned by Girl Scouts published by the GSUSA. The Jesus and Me patch clearly may be sewn onto the back of a Girl Scout Daisy vest or tunic.

It is important to note that the youth religious emblem square knot may be worn by those who earned a religious emblem as a member of another youth organization. Thus, a girl who is a Scouts BSA youth member who earned God and Me as a Brownie may wear the knot. However, in cases when the award was earned while not registered in the BSA, no device is worn. See page 9 of the Guide to Awards and Insignia.

I once heard of a young lady who four Catholic emblems as a Girl Scout and was working on Pope Pius XII as a Venturer. Her mother asked me whether she could wear devices on her knot to show her Girl Scout awards after she earned Pope Pius XII. She was overjoyed to learn that she was already entitled to wear the knot based on her Girl Scout awards but disappointed that the Venturing device for Pope Pius XII would be the only device she was allowed to wear.

I once knew a Scout with a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. His parent exposed him to both faiths as a child and he earned Maccabee, Light of Christ, Aleph, Parvuli Dei, Ner Tamid, Ad Altare Dei, Etz Chaim and Pope Pius XII. Although he was entitled to wear eight devices on his knot, he reported to me that they simply will not all fit.

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Peter, I’m not following what you’re saying.

The Guide to Awards and Insignia says:

Any combination of miniature devices may be worn on the same Youth Religious Award knot: Cub Scout, No. 604950; Webelos Scout, No. 932; Scout, No. 927; Venturer, No. 930; Sea Scout, No. 931.

And the Duty to God Program Information says:

Only one youth and one adult knot is worn, but any combination of devices representing the program in which a religious emblem was received may be worn on the same knot. (See Cub Scout device, No. 926; Webelos Scout device, No. 932; Boy Scout device, No. 927; and Venturer device, No. 930.)

It doesn’t make sense to me that a Scout in the Scouts BSA program would earn the Venturing device if not registered in the Venturing program. I don’t think that the religious award grade levels were intended to determine the device that goes with the knot.

Similarly, it seems logical that if a Cub Scout earns the Parvuli Dei (Roman Catholic example) award while in a third grade Wolf Bear den, then the device that would go with it would be the Cub Scout device. If the Parvuli Dei award is earned while the Scout is in a Webelos den, then the device would be the Webelos device pin. If a Scout in a troop earns the Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII awards, then that Scout could wear two Scout device pins No. 927.

Edited to correct Wolf den to Bear den.

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Jennifer,

I understand what you’re saying. The way I explained the rule is how I’ve understood it since devices were added to the youth religious emblem square knot. I agree that what I said is inconsistent with the Duty to God Program Information pamphlet, and I’m glad you pointed that out, because I’m always most interested in getting the right answer, and that contradicts what I thought.

However, the Duty to God Program Information pamphlet also contradicts the Guide to Awards and Insignia, and the Guide’s description way the devices are worn on the uniform has changed very little over the past three decades. I’d have to find an insignia guide from the early 1990s to be sure, but I am certain that by 2000, it read mostly as it does now, except for the mention of the Sea Scout device. This is what it says:

*The miniature device worn with the youth religious emblem square knot indicates emblem(s) earned as a youth. Wear Cub Scout device, No. 604950, for first-level emblem (Maccabee, God and Me, etc.) earned as a Cub Scout; Webelos Scout device, No. 932, for second-level emblem (God and Family, Parvuli Dei, Light of the World, Aleph, etc.) earned as a Webelos Scout; Scouts BSA device, No. 927, for emblem earned as a Scout; and/or Venturing device, No. 940, Sea Scout, No. 931. Only one knot is worn, but any combination of devices may be worn on the same knot.

The term “second-level emblem” is used there are being one for which a Webelos device is worn. I realize it also says “earned as a Webelos Scout.” However, that creates an impossibility. Reading it literally, a Bear who earns Pavuli Dei or Aleph wears no device at all, because s/he has no “second-level emblem… earned as a Webelos Scout.” S/he only has a second-level emblem earned as a Bear. Since this impossibility makes no sense at all, I conclude the use of “second-level emblem” is purposeful. Having been given examples of second-level emblems Parvuli Dei and Aleph, both of which may be earned by Bears, and God and Family, which may be earned by fifth- or sixth-grade Scouts BSA youth, it appears to me that the specific mention of these three indicates an intention that the Webelos device is worn to represent them no matter when they were earned.

Light of the World is also listed as a second-level Cub Scout emblem. It was the second-level emblem available to Community of Christ Scouts between the ages of 8 and 10. At the time, God and Me was used as a first-level emblem. The Community of Christ has changed its emblem program, and its members no longer earn God and Me. Instead, Light of the World has been replaced by Path of the Disciple, available to Cub Scouts between the ages of 7 and 10. Light of the World, when it existed, clearly could have been earned by a Bear, but it is included in the list of second-level Cub Scout emblems for which a Webelos device is worn.

I know for certain that Parvuli Dei could be earned by Bears as far back as 1976, the year I earned it as an 8-year-old Bear. I believe that the upper age limit on God and Family has been sixth grade for quite a long time as well. This eliminates the possibility that the faith’s committee on Scouting has recently changed the rules, and the Guide to Awards and Insignia needs to catch up.

In general, in determining a uniforming rule or policy, I give the Guide to Awards and Insignia deference over any other publication where a conflict between the two exists. I’m even more inclined to do so when the Guide to Awards and Insignia uses such specific albeit self-contradictory language as is the case here. I don’t believe it was the original intention for the devices to indicate the program in which the emblems were earned. The former inclusion of the Varsity Scout device in the rule is an exception to that (and I should have mentioned above that this device remains appropriate for anyone who earned an emblem as a Varsity Scout), and the recent addition of the Sea Scout device is the other exception. Bother of these exceptions should be used only by those registered in those program who earned second-level older-than-Cub Scout emblems.

Below is a quote from page 62 of the 2012 Guide to Awards and Insignia:

*The miniature device worn with the youth religious emblem square knot indicates emblem(s) earned as a youth. Wear Cub Scout device, No. 604950, for first-level emblem (Maccabee, God and Me, etc.) earned as a Tiger Cub or Cub Scout; Webelos Scout device, No. 932, for second-level emblem (God and Family, Parvuli Dei, Light of the World, Aleph, etc.) earned as a Webelos Scout; Boy Scout device, No. 927, for emblem earned as a Boy Scout; and/or Venturing device, No. 940, for emblem earned as a Venturer or older Boy Scout; Varsity Scout, No. 928. Only one knot is worn, but any combination of devices may be worn on the same knot.

This pre-dates the addition of the Sea Scout device for authorized wear on this knot. It mentions the same four second-level Cub Scout emblems, all of which may be earned by non-Webelos. Here it is very clear to me that a Boy Scout who was never a Venturer and earned Pope Pius XII, Etz Chaim or God and Life would nevertheless wear a Venturing device for that second-level older-than-Cub Scout award. The Varsity Scout device is mentioned, but it doesn’t say when it is used. The presumption I’ve always made was that only those who earned a second-level older-than-Cub Scout emblem while registered as a Varsity Scout should wear it instead of the Venturing (and formerly Exploring) device.

The clarity of the writing of this rule declined significantly when the Sea Scout device was added.

As a youth, I earned Parvuli Dei, Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII. When I wear devices on my knot, I wear a Webelos, a Scout and either an Exploring or Venturing device. At the time I earned Parvuli Dei as a Bear, Light of Christ did not yet exist, so Parvuli Dei was a first-level Cub Scout emblem available to those 8 years old and older. However, I think that the device should match emblem earned, and this is now a second-level emblem. I was an Explorer as a youth, but I earned Pope Pius XII prior to becoming an Explorer. While I was never a Venturer (as a youth), I think it is fine for me to replace the Explorer device with the Venturing device, because Venturing replace traditional Exploring in 1998, and the Exploring logo continued to be used in the post-1997 non-traditional Exploring program. So, pre-1998 traditional Exploring and Venturing are rough equivalents.

Wow, this seems complicated. So if he completes God and Me in 2nd grade (Wolf), he will get a Cub Scout device to pin on his knot. Then if he also completes God and Family in 4th or 5th grade, he adds a second device to his knot - the Webelos device. When he bridges to Scouts BSA, he would transfer the knot and the devices to his Scouts BSA uniform. Is that all correct?

That is correct. My son doesn’t bother with the devices, he just has the knot on his uniform.

Most folks I know don’t wear the devices on the knots. There are a few, but it’s a hassle cramming those things through the knot and the shirt. Personally, I hate putting holes in my knots. They unravel fast enough as it is. :^)

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square knots and their devices can be transferred from one level to the next

I agree. I only put them on for Courts of Honor or other similar type events.

I think there are very few people who wear their devices every time they put on their uniforms, and I don’t know any of them. At our local nationally-operated Scout Shop, the employees are required to wear their devices while at work, but I know they do not do that when performing their volunteer roles.

Unless the National Scout Shop rules have changed that is not a national rule for the employees. When I worked there were were actually told NOT not wear devices. But that could be a store by store decision.

I’m not sure where it comes from. I don’t recall that being the case with those working at the nationally-run Scout Shop in Manhattan when I was living there. But more than one employee in Wilmington, Delaware have told me that they want all the employees’ knots on the shirt up to a maximum of 6 and any devices appropriate for the knots that are worn. Maybe the idea is to get customers to ask questions about them and inspire purchases.

I would not want to put those devices on my shirt every day before going to work. I have 8 square knots, so the first one I would eliminate would be the youth religious emblem, because I earned three devices. I have two devices on my Scouter’s Training Award knot, so that one would go too. That would leave me with one device on the Scouter’s Key and a silver and a gold palm on my Eagle knot.

When I became SM I started NOAA for Scouts and we bought devices for those who had them. You cannot get them through the dang patch.

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