Religious Emblems Coordinators can help you retain Scouts

A colleague shared a link to the blog site “Bryan on Scouting” whose current article is titled “Religious Emblems Coordinators can help you retain Scouts”.  Click Here to see the full article.

Interestingly, the relatively short article hinges on this question and pair of comments:

“Looking for a time-tested method for retaining Scouts? Put your faith in religious emblems.  The research is clear: Scouts working on their religious emblems remain in Scouting longer.”

Scout Reverent medalsOne of the common concerns I’ve heard voiced by other boy scout leaders is keeping scouts involved once they’ve earned their Eagle award.  This referenced blog article would seem to provide a possible path to keeping scouts involved and engaged in the program.  Unfortunately, I also hear from peers that they’re uncomfortable promoting religious awards programs since they require a discussion between adult leaders and boys and their families about faith practices to find a best fit program for each family.  I think that they’re uncomfortable since it’s such a highly personal choice for each family and everyone is cautious when discussing religion.

This is the benefit of a Unit-Level Religious Emblems Coordinator.   This person gets training on how to promote, discuss and encourage the religious emblems program locally among diverse faith practices.  The program is not meant to indoctrinate, but to educate and inform.  It is a healthy curriculum and it is tailored to a wide range of specific faith practices to help each family find a right, best “fit”.

Resources include:

http://www.praypub.org/urec/index.htm

http://www.praypub.org/REC/

 

What does the Unit REC do?

UNIT Religious Emblems Coordinator (UREC patch: SKU #618744)

  • Is appointed by the Unit Committee Chair and serves on the Unit Committee
  • Acquaints all youth with the religious emblems program and emblems available for their faith.
  • Provides Scout families and clergy with an orientation to the religious emblems program and encourages their involvement
  • Urges all youth to earn the religious emblem(s) of their faith
  • Disseminates information about any district or council religious emblems activities, retreats, camps, classes, etc.
  • Promotes religious emblems usage like BSA promotes other youth advancement
  • Coordinates establishment of goals and tracks the number of emblems completed each year
  • Serves as the unit’s liaison to the District Religious Emblems Coordinator

SAMPLE GOALS

  • Number of emblems completed (by religion, unit, district, council, etc.)
  • Number of religious presentations made to Scouts, parents, clergy, etc.
  • Number of congregations offering religious emblems classes
  • Number of trainings offered on religious emblems

RECRUITMENT OF REC’s

  • Establish communication with the RR Committee; ask them to help
  • Ask clergy of chartered organizations
  • Ask leaders of units that promote religious emblems usage

HOW TO PROMOTE USAGE OF RELIGIOUS EMBELMS

  • Gather information of religious emblems programs and promotion resources available to you
  • Educate Unit leaders about these resources
  • Recognize religious emblems recipients

SHARING DATA

  • Collect data on religious emblems usage
  • Post information on Council, District, and Unit websites
  • List recipients in the council newsletter
  • Recognize leaders, units, and districts that do an outstanding job
  • Market your data by posting it on the websites

RESOURCES

Online: http://www.scouting.org/Awards/ReligiousAwards.aspx; http://www.praypub.org/rec

Webinars / workshops / tutorials: http://www.praypub.org/learningcenter

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Our Troop # comes from Psalm 1:1-3 - describing the men we want our scouts to become
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