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WHY DO YOU THINK YOU’VE BEEN SUC- CESSFUL? Partnering with somebody who is already working in the com- munity was a key to making this thing work. Also, some of the cross-cultural experiences that I’d had on short-term mission trips helped sensitize me to working across cultures.

HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO START TROOP 33 WHILE ALSO GROWING A BUSINESS? I was careful about schedul- ing work time. Even if the work wasn’t done, I had to set limits. In Scouting, I haven’t gone back and done Wood Badge staff. I’ve had a single focus on being a Scoutmaster and working with these Scouts.

WHAT HAS MOST SURPRISED YOU ABOUT YOUR TIME AS SCOUTMASTER? When I embarked on this path, I had no idea that the young men in my troop would grow up to become my friends. The adult-to-adult friendships I have now are pretty remarkable.

WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER SCOUTERS? There are great kids in rough circumstances in every met- ropolitan inner city. Does Scouting have anything to offer these kids? Yes. My experience says that basic Scouting principles and teaching techniques are as effective in the inner city as they are anywhere else. The Scout Oath and Scout Law are desperately needed in our inner cities. Step out and take Scouting to your inner city. Great kids are there, waiting for you. ¿

READ MORE TIPS from Graves about multicultural Scouting at

Duty to God Religious emblems promote reverence.

A SCOUT PLEDGES TO do his duty to God. Helping him understand what that pledge means is the purpose behind the religious emblems pro- grams Scouting recognizes.

WHAT ARE RELIGIOUS EMBLEMSPROGRAMS? They are programs created by various religious organizations to help young people, includ- ing Scouts, grow stronger in their faith. The Boy Scouts of America approved these pro- grams and allows recognition items to be worn on the offi- cial uniform, but each religious organization develops and administers its own program.

WHAT AWARDS ARE AVAILABLE? That depends on the religious organization. Some offer only one award. Others offer separate youth awards. Many also offer adult recognition.

WHAT IFMY UNIT ISMADE UP OF SCOUTS FROMVARYING FAITHS? The religious emblems programs can be pre- sented to Scouts (and parents) in your unit as optional pro- grams for them to complete through their own religious organization.

WHO TEACHES AND SIGNS OFF ON THE AWARDS? Most religious emblems must be completed under the auspices of the religious organization, and many require the sig- nature of the local religious leader. Some programs require a clergyperson to serve as counselor, while others allow a parent or family member.

DOES A SCOUT HAVE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION TO EARN ITS AWARD? Check the eligibility requirements for each reli- gious emblems program.

HOW DO ADULT AWARDS DIFFER FROMYOUTH AWARDS? Adult religious emblems are presented to worthy adults for their out- standing service to youth, both through their religious institu- tion and through Scouting or another youth-serving agency. These awards are presented by nomination only.

HOW IS A RELIGIOUS EMBLEM PRESENTED? The emblem should be presented in a meaningful ceremony, prefer- ably in the youth member’s place of worship or at a court of honor.

WHAT RECOGNITION ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE? A medal- lion worn above the left shirt pocket of the Scout uniform represents most youth awards. A pendant suspended from a ribbon worn around the neck represents most adult awards. Obtain the emblems from the specific religious program. Recipients also wear a universal religious emblem square knot. The silver-on- purple square knot (No. 05007) represents a religious emblem earned as a youth, while the purple-on-silver square knot (No. 05014) rep- resents a religious emblem received as an adult.

HOW DO RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS FOR VENTURERS DIFFER? Unlike the religious emblems programs, the Venturing Religious Life Bronze award is part of the Venturing advancement program and is administered by the BSA. Earning a religious emblem is one requirement for the Religious Life Bronze Award.

WHERECANILEARNMORE? Visit for a directory of awards and contact information. ¿

 ¿ SCOUTING 15


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