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Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator Position Officially Approved Page Title Module
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- Mar 2013
- Nov 2011
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Pack18Alex commented07-24-2013, 03:20 PMEditing a commentThanks for clarifying that.
KDD, the Jewish medallions are issued by the Jewish Committee on Scouting, which is non-denominational, while all Jewish organizations are affiliated with a major Jewish denomination. As a result, the JCoS plans events for ALL Scouts, most of whom are NOT Sabbath-observant or Kosher, and has historically made accommodations for Kosher Scouts.
With the growth or our Jewish Units down here, there is an influx of Sabbath/Kosher Observant Jews, which is making planning joint Jewish functions more challenging. With many of my Scouts attending Jewish parochial schools and living in HEAVILY Jewish neighborhoods with a HEAVY Orthodox tilt, many parents think it's important for them to interact with the outside world, which Scouting does for many of them.
So working with the Jewish Committee to plan things so we can participate in them lets our Scouts interact with Jewish Scouts that might not live/act like they do. Working with our District/Council to attend events lets our Scouts interact with Gentile Scouts. So just like we attend Roundtable (and therefore liaison with the District/Council), we attend the JCoS meetings to liaison with Jewish Scouting.
Since I don't want to do it all myself, I try to get parents to agree to pick up various things, and going to JCoS meetings (3-4/year) is less intensive than roundtable.
So I have a liason to the Jewish Committee on Scouting. And now I can possibly get them to wear a special patch and represent both of our Units as we're working on a merged committee structure.
From a Boy Scout Leader perspective....
this is gotta be the absolute dumbest position ever.....
So it gets mentioned to the PLC once or twice a year?????? Or presented to the troop twice a year......
Now from a cub perspective.....this would be perfect for the type A parent making sure that their cute little cub earns every little thing.....
- Jan 2012
Is this an adult position or a youth position?
OK, if it's an adult position I'll offer a counter to Basement's
To earn the Roman Catholic medals, the youth need to be counseled by a trained adult. The Diocese puts on a regular course to train and certify as a Religious Medals Coordinator. My wife went through this last year.... not because she's type A, but because she was asked to by our CM. Our pack really promotes these medals as a way to connect scouting to the church. My wife only agreed to do it for two reasons..... to help and as a way to get to know more families in the parish. She's not registered with the BSA and does not sit on the committee, and has no plans to do so.
As far as I can tell, her role is basically to introduce the boys to the program, coordinate getting the workbooks to the youth, coordinate getting the completed work books back and signed by the appropriate folks in the parish, and coordinate getting the books to the Diocese for registration and ordering of the medals. This is solely a function of the church. The scout store sells the books but they have no other involvement.
What's more interesting about the role is that she can serve the Cubs, but also the scout troop and the GS troop too!
Now I can imagine a situation where the person asked to take on this role is a registered committee member. It's a small role but a good one for sure. No reason I can see not to identify it on the uniform if they want to....
- Feb 2013
I think it depends on the culture of your unit. For Basementdweller's unit, it's pointless. For my unit, we have been attempting to fill liaison positions to groups we work with so not everything falls on the same few people. For Jewish Scout units, our unique nature (the Jewish Committee on Scouting, NOT our religious organizations) is responsible for the program, this is potentially useful.
For blw2, this is also useful. His example of his wife is very telling, she "works for" the Church as the REligious Medals Coordinator, and lacks a BSA position. As BSA would like all adults that interact with the children in any official capacity to have Youth Protection, BSA training, and of course pay their annual fee, this makes sense. It encourages someone like his wife that does the Religious Medals for the Catholic Church to be registered BSA in this new position... they aren't necessarily a committee member, but they can wear a BSA uniform with this badge and their Troop/Pack number when reviewing the medals with the Cub, Boy, and Girl Scouts. I mean, if Mrs. Blw2 is meeting with Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts, I'd want her to be registered (and background checked) by BSA and GSUSA, so this is a way of making it official that she should be a registered Volunteer with BSA.
I mean, every Camporee has a badge, it's not like National invested a million dollars in this new position. Most Units won't have a need for it. Units with a focus on religious medals might have a use for it. If you are making a push for religious knots and have a mixed faith Unit, then this person can be responsible for gathering the relevant information and contacts for the relevant religious medals. I understand why BD considers this ASM programming, and he wouldn't use this position.
It's a niche position, but what's wrong with that. Every unit is different. If some of our units make use of these things, good for National giving us tools to make the program better. If not, move along, and don't buy the patch.
My Pack DOES in fact have a Chaplain. We have an Orthodox Rabbi involved with our unit that we consult on various issues that will crop up with Kasher food and Shabbat issues during camping. Do most Packs have Chaplains, of course not, most Packs don't need them. The boys are never away from their parents more than a few hours, you don't need pastoral help on them. Does the existence of a Chaplain position in BSA impact BD in any way, of course not, but it helps my unit.
Not every position is useful for EVERY units. Dismissing it as "type A" is unnecessary. For some the medals are an instrumental part of their program. For most, it's an afterthought or ignored. For some of us, it's underutilized and we'd like to make a big push for it. This sort of a thing by BSA helps some without hurting anyone, that's much better than stupid press releases about membership policies that just F-up our recruiting.
blw2 commented07-25-2013, 01:16 PMEditing a commentI would agree with your comments re. youth protection etc...., except that in the example of my wife's position she really only meets with the scouts at a den meeting in group setting with the den leader, or when the den boys meet with the priest or deacon.... also a group setting with the DL
Basementdweller commented07-25-2013, 03:44 PMEditing a commentBut to your point why does it need to be an official position.....
The patch says coordinator not councilor or mentor.
Pack18Alex commented07-25-2013, 06:53 PMEditing a commentI think that part of this is that the old timers at BSA national came up in a world where they were Scouts in a local Troop was sponsored and met at their school, but everyone was some form of Protestant in their group, but maybe 2 or 3. In their mind, we're all still like that, so someone to coordinate the Religious Medals for the 2 to 3 Protestant Churches in town makes logical sense... And maybe deal with the occasional Jew/Catholic in their midst.
At the Cub Level, the Den Meeting is appropriate. At the troop level, wouldn't 1-on-1 like a Merit Badge Councilor make sense, so in that case, I'd want the Councilor to be registered and background checked.
I think in the real world, we're either in secular Units that don't do much about the religious medals beyond tell boys they exist, or in religious Units that are (or probably ought to be) pushing the medal of our religious institution. But I see how someone at national would think that all Scouts go to different Churches on Sunday and this is a way to get them to earn their medals and get more buy in from the Churches.
None of this is necessary, Scouting survived 100+ years without it, and doesn't really matter. However, given the sheer number of religious emblems recognized by BSA and the nature of our Units, I think that it might help SOME units increase their medal achievement, which helps them sell medallions and knots and double down on the religion.
Also, being slightly cynical, having an Adult at the Unit level in touch with various religious groups is probably helpful for getting buy-in for Scouting and helping BSA get new COs. I think that this program, if implemented, helps BSA national, helps a small fraction of units where this is helpful, and hurts nobody.
- Jun 2004
Technically all religious medals are counseled and awarded by the priest, minister or rabbi of the religious institution the boy attends. He needs to make an appointment with his religious leader to start the process. A unit position for this purpose is unnecessary. Some denominations have training for unit leaders to counsel boys in obtaining their medals, however it is not the parents or unit leaders who decide if the boy has earned the medal it is up to the pastor/minister/rabbi or his designate to make that decision.
So is this a move by the BSA to bring the far right back into the organization......
I simply don't see how this fits into the Patrol method and boy led model?????????????????????
click23 commented07-25-2013, 08:50 PMEditing a commentAs someone who most would consider far right, I do not see the need for the unit position. While it does not fit the patrol method, the religious emblems program in general reinforces the 12 point of the scout law. The UREC's (yeah another scouting abbreviation) could easily be assigned to some other assistant unit leader or committee member. The only place i could see this being useful is in very large units.
As a district advancement chair, I see the position a benefit to district and council advancement committees. (Per the GTA district and council advancement committees are to "Support and promote the religious emblems program")
- May 2013
I fully understand the need for a Unit Level Position though. When I was a Den Leader with the Catholic Pack all the boys were required to earn the Light of Christ and Parvuli De. As soon as I was CM I made of point of allowing each boy to earn the Religious emblem of THEIR faith (provided an emblem actually exists for their faith), which wasn't always the Catholic one. The Protestants had "God and Me" or "God and Family" and the Mormons had "Faith in God." In addition there are a number of religious emblems for Adults.; while CM I was able to award 3 Bronze Pelicans and one St. George to some of the leaders, committee members, etc, in addition to had to keep up on the paper work for the Catholic Quality Unit (you get a cool Gold Flag!) I am currently in the process of putting together an application for our CC for the Torch AWARD (Methodist).
Personally, I don’t think promoting existing emblems is going to achieve the goal of having more boys earn emblems. If National wants more Scouts to earn religious emblems why not allow more religions to offer emblems to the Scouts??? I know there is no emblem for my faith. Our national organization (Covenant of the Goddess) has submitted an application for a Heart and Crescent award for youth of our faith, but National repeatedly refuses to accept it as an award. If scouting is truly going to be non-sectarian, then they need to be willing allow emblems for ALL FAITHS.