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Religion Bronze award-Help?

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I would like to earn my religious bronze award in an effort to learn more about my "religon" (it is debatable, but I feel it is a religion).

I am very lucky to have a crew that is supportive of my beliefs. I am a practitioner of Falun Dafa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falun_Gong)which I believe and others would agree is in agreement with the morals of scouts. Yes, I do believe in a higher power as well ;)

But I'm running into a few issues earning my bronze.

1. There is no religious award. In fact, I don't even know if it is recognized as a religion by BSA (Buddhism is though, so I don't see why it isn't)

2. Would teaching the cultivation methods count as "volunteering in your church"?

3. Since I am trying to learn my way up so I can be sufficient to teach, when I do teach, would that count as being a leader?


Ehh, that all I have for now. Hope I on't get too much flamed for this :)

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Z. I've heard of Falun Gong. More power to you.


1. I'll defer to other's about the religious award stuff. I know there's an alternative for faiths that don't have an awards program. I can't remember what it is. The bottom line is that you understand your faith at a level that would be expected of a thoughtful and caring adult adherant of your religion.

2. Whatever your religious leaders say is service to your faith would count. Bottom line: the time you spend should help foster the religous life of the folks around you.

3. Teaching definitely counts as leadership.

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The requirement says "Receive the religious emblem appropriate to your age and religious affiliation." Since your faith originated in China the closest appropriate available religious award would be the Buddhist Sangha. If you contacted the National Buddist Committee (650-574-4527) and told them you would like to obtain their award and that you also want to explore its relationship with Falun Dafa you probably could be referred to a local monk or spritual advisor who would assist you on the journey. If you are open to learn more about Buddhism as well as Falun Dafa and are honest with them upfront it might be a great learning experience for you and meet the requirement.


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My reading of the Religous Life Bronze information is that you have to do nine of the 11 requirements - so you don't have to earn the religious award (No. 1). The volunteering requirement (No. 4) says "in your church or synagogue or another nonprofit." So you could volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, for example. And the teaching requirement (No. 10) can be adapted - see the catch-all statement that says: "Activities or projects that are more available in your area may be substituted with your Advisor's approval for activities shown above." So chat with your Advisor and try to find some alternatives if you aren't a member of an organized group or one that has a youth group.


Best of luck!




I just read the Sangha Award requirements, and they're very specifically addressed to active, practicing Buddhists. There are lots of requirements about leadership in your temple and participation in temple youth activities. I'm certainly no expert, but I'm not sure they could be easily adapted.


(Some excerpts: "Name the sutras used in your temple ... Show that you're are giving financial contributions regularly to your temple, as well as attending Sunday services. ... Know the history and the administrative organization of your temple system in our country, and include the counterpart of your temple in some foreign country. ... Show active participation in the youth organization of your own temple. ... Know the major activities and the events of you temple and show how you had helped in one or more of them. ... Name some of the social welfare activities of your temple and show how you had helped in one or more of them. ... Choice of one: A. Plan and complete a project satisfactory to the minister or qualified counselor. B. Give twenty-five hours of dana to your temple ... Describe the administration, the organization, and the affiliated organizations of you own local temple. ... Show that you attend Dharma School services regularly."




Opinionated postscript: Requirements 4 and 10 are exceedingly poorly written, excluding as they do faiths other than Christanity or Judaism. No. 4 should say "your local religious institution or another nonprofit. And No. 10 uses the term "Sunday school," a very Judeo-Christian idea, and refers explicitly to "church/synagogue" activities.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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The reason I suggested that award to Zephy was after reading about his religion it seemed to have roots in ancient Buddhism philosophy and that it would be a good match for him. I have a friend who is a Buddhist monk and he has worked with youth before in researching parallels in ancient Asian wisdom and help guide them. However you are right that Zephy does not have to complete a religious award for the bronze, however if he ever wants to go on and earn the Trust Award earning a religious award is a requirement not an option. Besides I have always thought that the Sangha was the coolest looking religious award.


Zephy Good Luck to you whatever you decide.

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