Religious Relations

A Scout is Reverent

The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home, in conjunction with the organization or group with which a member is connected, will give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to this Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of membership.

Although nonsectarian, the Scouting program is an available resource for religious organizations, schools, and community and civic groups to use in their programs for young people. Scouting is an educational program based on “duty to God” and designed to enhance:


  • A personal value system
  • Leadership skills
  • Citizenship responsibilities
  • Career awareness
  • Personal fitness

Click here for BSA National religious resources- Religious Observances & Civic Awards

  • Handbooks for Chaplains & Chaplain Aides
  • Scout Sabbath Services
  • Scout Sunday Observances

Scout Sunday

The Boy Scouts of America allows chartered organizations to celebrate Scout Sunday on any day in February that best serves the chartering partner. Some organizations choose the Sunday that falls before February 8 (Scouting Anniversary Day) as the date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting. For others, Scout Sunday is celebrated on the second Sunday in February. It is permissible for a local church to celebrate on the day most acceptable to the pastor and congregation.

Click here for the BSA Scout Sunday site for support materials.

BSA Calendar of Religious Observances

There are certain holidays that individual Scouts and Scouters of different faiths celebrate each year. These holidays are not always on the same date on the calendar and may not be familiar to everyone. In order to respect the traditions of all Scouts and Scouters, care must be taken in scheduling Scouting activities.

The Boy Scouts of America has developed this religious holiday calendar for the use of local units, councils and others in scheduling Scout-related activities. It provides a brief description of each holiday, both in the overall list of holidays and following each month, and an indication of the significance of each as well. The calendar will be continuously updated to provide planners with a two-year holiday schedule.

Please remember that certain holidays begin on the night before the actual day of the holiday as shown on the calendar.

Click here for the latest BSA Calendar of Religious Observances

Religious Awards

BSA Religious Emblems Program – National Site

BSA Frequently Asked Questions

Aaron on Scouting Article: A Scout’s Guide to earning and wearing a religious emblem

The religious awards program is maintained by P.R.A.Y (Programs of Religious Activities with Youth)

Click here for requirements & material for specific awards both youth & adult. PRAY