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wyomingi

Religious award

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wyomingi, i understand if you feel you should deal just with the boy and not his parents, BUT the discussion in this thread since my last post confirms my previous suggestion: Before you tell this boy what he may or may not wear on his uniform, I think you should speak with someone at the council/district level, and probably a professional such as your District Executive. While people in this forum know a lot about a lot of things, here is an example of where they don't all "know" the same thing about the same subject. Some have said the boy may wear the purple knot on his uniform even though the award itself (the medal) may not be worn, while others say the boy may not wear EITHER the medal or the knot. Some suggest that the boy might earn another religious award (such as the "generic" Protestant award, from the "God and Country" series), while others say you should encourage him to pursue the program for HIS denomination, UUA, even though he can't wear it on the Boy Scout uniform. I think it's entirely possible that if you check with someone "in authority" at the council/district level, you may hear of options and/or suggestions that none of us (including you) know about. Even if you don't, you will have official confirmation of what you thought the policy was, and then you can tell us about it, so WE'LL know.

 

I do not think that talking to the boy's minister is a substitute for what I am suggesting. The minister presumably knows about his denomination's religious awards program, but he presumably is NOT an expert on what can and cannot be worn on a Boy Scout uniform.

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The Religious Award knot is the BSA uniform representation of the religious awards that are a part of the BSA religious award program. While the BSA does not determine the requirements or present the awards they do setermine which awards will be a part of the religious award program.

 

Those participating awards are identified on the religious award brochure published by the BSA. The knot can be worn to represent any of the medals explained in that brochure.

 

The UUC's religious award is not a recognized part of that program.

 

BW

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Hello, hello, calling Rangoon! Bob White, did you miss my question earlier? I asked which requirement is it, for the UUA religious award, that BSA objects to and therefore disallows wearing the award on the scout uniform. I am looking at the pamphlet and I can't find the offending requirement.

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As a Catholic Scouter I don't have a dog in this fight, but I appreciate BW's observations and advice.

 

Packsaddle, Which pamphlet are you looking at? (I can't imagine BSA providing material for an emblem program that they don't recognize.)

 

Contact the relationships division in Irving and get the straight scoop. I wouldn't even trust the local council. (Sorry I don't have an e-mail or 800 phone #-- if I find one I'll post it.)

 

I'm also puzzled by the thought that a current scouter w/c/should wear a knot to represent their participation in an emblem program that was not recognized by BSA. In particular I wouldn't encourage anyone to wear the Religious emblems knot beacuse BSA doesn't recognize a particular denominations program.

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Bob58, back when I first became aware of this issue I procured copies of the current and the old pamphlets from the UUA. I wanted to actually see the change that BSA objected to. BSA, as you note, does not provide these pamphlets to the scouts. For that matter, in our area at least, it doesn't provide religious award pamphlets for quite a number of religions, even some of those named in the list of approved religions (or whatever that list is called).

 

I also have learned things from Bob White in the past. Recently he stated that "At the present time the BSA does not approve the requirements set forth by the Unitarian Church for their award."

I am merely hoping he will identify the offending requirements.

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There are 98 awards in the BSA Religious Emblems Program representing over 30faiths and organizations according to the brochure I have(publication# 5-879-A). I hope no one thinks I have the mentor and student and counselor manuals on all 98?

 

Which requirement(s) the BSA has a problem with I neither know or worry about. The fact is that the BSA does not recognize that award for recognition in THEIR program or on THEIR uniform, and as a volunteer member I a responsibility to follow their program.

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Packsaddle, if you have both the old and the new UUA award booklets, maybe you can compare them and post a list of the differences for us? The UUA website goes into some detail about this dispute:

 

http://www.uua.org/news/scouts/

 

As far as I can tell, everything Bob White said is consistent with information on the UUA website regarding this dispute. And the BSA religious emblems poster hasn't carried the UUA medal for several years now.

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Another truncated post. Will repost on this from the house tonight.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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I love all of your technical answers...but, suppose the boy earns the award and suppose the boy does wear it on his shirt...what are you going to do? Tell him his religion don't count and rip it off him because some lawyers in Texas have a hangup. Let the boy wear it, that's the decent thing to do and IT DOESN'T HARM ANYBODY. I have seen uniforms on adults with a lot more problems than this...give the kid the encouragement to earn the award and let him show his pride in his accomplishment.

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"suppose the boy earns the award and suppose the boy does wear it on his shirt...what are you going to do? Tell him his religion don't count and rip it off him because some lawyers in Texas have a hangup."

 

Perhaps some knowledge of the BSA would be of assistance here.

 

For the scout to receive the knot he would have to apply for it from the BSA. That would mean the unit telling the council which religious award was earned. So in this case the knot would not be issued. If the scout were to wear any unapproved award on his uniform it could be handled far more maturely than ripping it off his uniform and without denegrating anyones reigious beliefs.

 

Lawyers do not determine matters dealing with the religious emblems program. The responsible party is the Relationships Division of the BSA. A committee made up largely of representatives of chartering organizations from across the country.

 

There are lots of things adults and youth can be recognized for in their activies outside of scouting that are inappropriate for wearing on the BSA uniform. It is not as if this church award is the only one.

 

Part of belonging to a community is living by the rules of the community.

 

 

 

 

 

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"Part of belonging to a community is living by the rules of the community."

 

Yeah, remind me to tell that to Holocaust victims. Give me a break...I can walk into my scout shop and buy the knot this afternoon and no one will say boo. The boy is so much more important than the uniform, its a shame that some people forget that.

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It has been a long time since I have squelched anyone, but there seems to be something in the Maryland water. Another former poster from Maryland used to make the same sort of "shock value" comments as your tasteless and irrelevant comparison to the Holocaust. There is no need for that kind of behavior here.

 

Squelched!

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Well, one of the things I do agree with BobWhite about is that we should save the Holocaust analogies for when we are talking about the Holocaust. I've said in the past why I have a strong reaction when people use terms such as "Nazi" or "Holocaust" where they don't belong, and I don't need to repeat it. But we are talking about a patch here, not someone getting killed.

 

Having said that, I agree with WWBPD that the rules regarding sale of what should be "restricted" items by Scout Shops often are not enforced. I was surprised the first time I tried to buy a knot, several months after I became a leader and bought my uniform. I happened to be in the shop for something else and realized I had never picked up the adult Arrow of Light knot. I took one out of the bin and asked the person at the counter whether I needed to wait until I had my card with me, showing I had earned the AoL when I was 10. She said no, the only knot we require proof for is the Eagle knot. I have seen the religious award knots in the bins, so I am pretty sure I could purchase a religious award knot with no proof or report, not that I would since I never earned one. (What really surprised me was the stack of Scout Executive patches in a bin, I would hope that they actually do restrict that one.)

 

And then on the other other hand, I have to say to WWBPD there are any number of things that cannot be worn on a Scout uniform. It could be something as innocuous as say an American Legion citizenship medal (non-BSA-related since I think there actually is one AL thing that is approved for the uniform) or a perfect attendance pin from school. It's great that the boy has earned it, but it is not supposed to be on the uniform. Having said that, I think my uniform shirt at home right now has my son's Second Class parents' pin on the lapel, and I suspect that it shouldn't. But that's just me not being perfect again. We do have an obligation to wear the uniform correctly and (after making sure we ourselves are setting the correct example) to ask that others do so as well.

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