Catholic Scouting FAQ

What is a Religious Emblem?

A religious emblem is a program targeting learning to a specific age range to help Scouts learn about their Catholic faith. Each religious emblems program has a specific workbook to assist the Scout in learning about his Catholic faith and has a minimum time period to complete the award.


What Catholic Religious Emblems are available to Cub Scouts?

The Light of Christ is available to registered 6 and 7 year old (Tiger or Wolf) Cub Scout of the Catholic Faith and registered 8 to 10 year old (Bear or Webelos) of Catholic Faith are eligible for Parvuli Dei.


What Catholic Religious Emblems are available to Boy Scouts?

Ad Altare Dei is designed for registered boy scouts of the Catholic faith that are 13-14 years old, though older boys may use this program. The scout must be an active member of the troop for 6 months and have completed 6th grade before starting the program. The Pope Pius XII award is also available to Boy Scouts to earn.


What is the Pope Pius XII Award?

Pope Pius XII is for registered Venture Crew Members and Boy Scouts of Catholic Faith. It is designed for age 15-16 year old, but all registered Venturers (male or female before their 21st birthday) and all registered Boy Scouts (in high school, before their 18th birthday) are eligible.


Are there any Religious Emblems for adults?

Yes.  The St. George award is given to both Scouters and non-Scouters who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic youths through Scouting.  The Bronze Pelican is a diocesan adult recognition award. Each diocese determines their requirements for this award.


Since the Catholic Religious Emblems programs are for more than one level (different grade levels and ages), may the Scout earn all of these recognitions?

Yes. Members can earn all levels of their religious emblems program. However, they must be in the appropriate program guidelines when they start and complete each level (they may not go backward and earn younger programs).


How do we get started on the religious awards programs?

First, youth members must obtain the specific booklet for their religion.  Most local councils stock these booklets in their store or they will order them for you.  If not, contact the Catholic Committee on Scouting Archdiocesan Chair or Chaplain.   This booklet will contain information on all the lessons and service projects that they will need to complete. Each member needs to have his or her own booklet to document progress.  We recommend contacting your council’s Catholic Committee on Scouting Chair before starting a cub scout award.  Boy Scout religious awards needed to be completed under the supervision of trained counselors who has been approved by the local council Catholic Committee. Please contact your council chair for more details.


Also many councils offer religious award programs for both boy scouts and cub scouts.  Check the calendar to see if a program is being offered near you (you are welcome to attend programs in neighboring councils).


Who may serve as a counselor for the religious emblem?

The Cub Scout programs are intended to be overseen by the pack and the work is intended to be done in the family setting for most of the requirements.  Local Boy Scout Councils often run a half-day session to help with some of the requirements that are well suited to groups.


The Boy Scout and Venturer programs must be led by trained counselors who have been approved by the local council Catholic Committee.  Please contact your council chair for more details.…s/catholic-scouting/calendarWhen can the boys work on these awards?

Anytime a scout meets the requirements. To check age and other requirements, go to the National Catholic Scouting site.  Most programs start in the fall and target completion before the end of the year.  This allows the scout to be included in the annual Archbishop’s mass held each January at the cathedral in Dubuque (verify the date and location on the calendar.


My son has completed his religious emblem workbook, where do I order the emblem?

Religious Emblems are ordered through Deacon Michael Klappholz.  The steps to order the emblem are located on the Instructions to Purchase Catholic Scouting Medals page.


How is the Religious Emblem presented?

The Dubuque Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting highly recommends that the recipients of a Catholic scouting award participate in the Archdiocesan Mass which generally takes place annually at 2:00 p.m. on the 3rd Sunday of January at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque (please verify the date and location on the calendar.  It is a very memorable experience for a scout to join with other scouts and receive his award from the Archbishop.  Picture opportunities as well as a small reception follow the Mass.  Packs, troops and venture crews can still present the award again on Scout Sunday in the Scout’s church if desired.


Where is the religious emblem worn on the uniform?

The universal religious square knot is worn over the left shirt pocket of the Scout uniform and can be purchased at the Council Scout Shop after the medal is received.  The medallion, which is ordered from the Archdiocesan Chaplain is pinned over the square knot for full uniform occasions.


What is the Saint George Trek?

The Saint George Trek is The National Catholic Committee on Scouting’s high adventure Catholic leadership program for older Catholic Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members at Philmont Scout Ranch. The program brings Catholic high school youth from around the country together with selected priests, religious and seminarians for eleven days of backpacking in the context of a vocation retreat.  For more information, dates, and forms, visit the National Catholic Scouting site.


Are there any Catholic Unit awards?

Yes, the Catholic unit award is the Pope Paul VI award.  For more information and the requirements, visit the National Catholic Scouting site.  Recipients of this award can order patches that are worn on the Scout shirt right button as well as banners and certificates.


I have concerns about the BSA’s Youth Membership Standards.  Where do I find answers?

Please refer to the FAQs concerning the BSA’s Youth Membership Standards on the National Catholic Committee on Scouting webpage.


I would like to become involved with the Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting.  What types of positions are available?

Get Involved! – Please note these committees all welcome new members.  For more information, please contact Craig Pilcher at [email_external][/email_external]