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Scouting Recognition Emblems

The Catholic Committee on Scouting recognizes the achievements of youth, units and adults.

Youth Recognition

Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, Sea Scouts and Explorers

There are five Youth Religious Emblems available through the NCCS for boys. Two can be earned by Cub Scouts, two can be earned by Boy Scouts, Venturing crew members ( as well as registered Sea Scouts and Explorers) who are practicing Catholics of the appropriate age.

Cub Scouts

Cub Scout emblems are completed in a family setting with assistance of a trained Religious Emblems coordinator from your /local parish. These programs take approximately two months to complete. Cub Scouts receive their square knots and emblems (medals) in their local parishes and Cub Scout packs.

Boy Scouts/Venturers

  • The Ad Altare Dei emblem can be earned by Roman Catholic Scouts.
  • The Light is Life emblem can be earned by Eastern Catholic Scouts.
  • The Ad Altare Dei and Light is Life emblems are completed during scheduled meetings led by a trained Religious Emblems Counselor, with outside homework, and take approximately 5-7 months to complete.
  • The Pope Pius XII emblem can be earned by older Scouts and Venturing crew members. The Facilitator manual and participant manual are available only online.  The Pope Pius XII emblem is completed at scheduled meetings led by the participants, and moderated by a trained Religious Emblems Facilitator, with outside homework. It takes approximately 9-12 sessions (4-6 months) to complete. Upon completion, each candidate will meet with a Board of Review to discuss what the Scout/Venturer has learned. After this review, the Scout/Venturer will receive a BSA religious square knot at an appropriate unit presentation (Unit Meeting, Court of Honor), and the religious emblem (medal) at the next annual Emblems Ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is usually held on a Sunday in the spring after Easter.

To Get Started
Emblem Books may be obtained most economically and quickly from your local BSA Council Service Center Scout Shops or from and Alternatively, they can be obtained directly on line at our CYO Scouting on-line store.  Many local scout Catholic committees have a stock of the books available so check with your local parish or Scout council committee about obtaining the workbooks.  The Light is Life book for Boy Scouts belonging to the Eastern Catholic Churches can generally be obtained only from your Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting or directly from NCCS at

Upon Completion
The trained Religious Emblems Counselor/Facilitatorr you have been working with will submit the completed application found in the workbook to our Archdiocesan Catholic Committee through the local Boy Scout Catholic Relationship Committee. This coordinator is your contact to obtain the religious emblem.

Girl Scouts
There are Catholic Religious Emblems available to Girl Scouts.  Books may also be ordered from our Office of Scouting by ordering via our on-line store.

  • Family of God Program is the official religious recognition program of the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S.A. for children ages 7-9, who are enrolled in the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.  The Family of God is an activity series developed to complement the catechetical efforts of the parish and families with children in the second and third grades. This religious emblem is usually presented in the local parish.
  • I Live My Faith Program is designed to help Girl Scouts, ages 9-11, appreciate more deeply the place that God and religion occupy in their daily life. This religious emblem is usually presented in the local parish.
  • Mary, the First Disciple (Marian Medal) aids young Catholics (ages 12-15) grow in appreciation of Mary and in understanding themselves. They will meet Mary in Scripture as a young teenager and will follow her journey, as she becomes a woman and the Mother of God.  This religious emblem (medal) is usually presented at the next annual Emblems Ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is usually held on a Sunday in the spring after Easter.
  • Spirit Alive Program is designed for Catholic youth in high school who are in the Senior level of Girl Scouts. It assists them in discovering how the Holy Spirit moves in their lives, calling them to greater participation in the church’s ministry.  This religious emblem (medal) is usually presented at the next annual Emblems Ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is usually held on a Sunday in the spring after Easter.
Unit Recognition

There are various Cub and Boy Scout unit recognition programs.

Adult Recognition

The Archdiocese of New York, through the Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, recognizes adults who are actively engaged in assisting the development of Catholic Boy Scouting in two ways. The Bronze Pelican, and the St. George, are intended to recognize adults for their contribution to Catholic Scouting. They are not presented to an individual merely for being involved in Boy Scouting and being a Catholic. Both awards are presented in recognition of the significant contributions of the individual in integrating Catholicism and Scouting.

Both adult Catholic Scouting Awards may be presented to:

  • clergy (including priests, deacons, sisters and other professed Catholic religious),
  • Catholic laypeople who are actively involved in Boy Scouting,
  • Non-Catholics Scouters who have made significant contributions to Catholic Scouting,
  • Non-Scouters who have provided exemplary support to Catholic Scouting.

The nominee must have made an outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of the Catholic youth in the scouting program.

  • The Bronze Pelican. This emblem was created within the Archdiocese of New York, with the first being awarded in 1950. It is an Archdiocesan Award, not a Scout Award.
  • The Saint George is named after the patron saint of Scouting. The St. George award was created by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting to recognize significant contributions to the development of Catholic Scouting. It was first presented within the Archdiocese of New York in 1957.