About the Emblem
The purpose of the Light is Life emblem program is to help Scouts of the Eastern Catholic Rites develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. Light is Life respects the cultural and ritual differences among the various Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. The Light is Life program is to be used by Eastern-rite Catholic Scouts instead of the Ad Altare Dei program. It is not appropriate to work on both programs.
- The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in his/her spiritual experience of his/her relationship to God and the church.
- Registered Scout belonging to one of the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches.
- Designed for Scouts 12 or 13 years old, but older or younger scouts may use this program. Must be completed by the youth’s 18th birthday.
- Scouts in Eastern-rite Catholic Churches are to work on Light is Life rather than the Ad Altare Dei emblem.
- Each Scout must have his/her own Light is Life Scout Manual (Publication Date: 1997). The book is designed for the youth to work on with the guidance of a counselor.
- The program is designed to be completed in 12 months.
- The use of a Catholic Bible is required for this program.
- Regular participation in Sunday Mass is also required for this program.
- Diocesan/eparchial safe environment and BSA Youth Protection policies must be followed.
- Each Scout must complete the requirements in the Light is Life Scout Manual to be eligible for this Religious Emblem.
- Each Scout must successfully complete an Light is Life Board of Review to be eligible for this Religious Emblem.
- The Light is Life Scout Manual can be obtained from your Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting or from the NCCS Online Store.
- Identify a counselor. Ask your Scoutmaster, pastor, parish administrator, director if religious education, any member of the troop committee, or Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting if there is a emblem counselor in your parish or area. A trained religious emblems coordinator/counselor/moderator is required to work on religious emblems. Contact your Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting to become trained and for ceremony schedules.
- After you have selected your counselor, you must complete the application to begin working on the Light is Life emblem. The application is in the Light is Life Scout Manual. You should first get the signature of your parents stating that they approve of your involvement in the program. You should then have the counselor sign that he/she is willing to work with you on the program. The Scoutmaster should then sign certifying that you have met all the requirements to start the program, and that he/she is aware of your involvement in the program. Lastly, you should get the approval of your pastor for you to work on and receive the emblem.
- Actively work on the activities. All journal entries, reports, and written work should be legible and neat.
- There are three parts to each step in the Light is Life Scout Manual. When all parts of a step are completed, review the Light is Life Scout Manual with the counselor.
- Keep the Religious Emblems Coordinator informed of your progress.
- Counselors for the Light is Life emblem should be approved in advance by their pastors and the eparchial Scout Chaplain or Catholic Committee in Scouting. The Light is Life Counselor Guide, Publication Date: 1997, is an integral part of this program and contains the necessary resources for anyone, including those unfamiliar with Eastern Christianity. The Light is Life Counselor Guide can be obtained from your Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting or from the NCCS Online Store.
- National Catholic Leadership Development and counselor training are also recommended and may be required for counselors in your eparchy.
- All Religious Emblem Counselors and Facilitators must have current BSA Youth Protection and meet diocesan/eparchial safe environment requirements.
- Utilize the Religious Emblem Reference Manual.
- Counsel the participants when required, and in general facilitate (keep moving and on track) the general discussion.
- Hold all scheduled meetings.
- Virtual meetings need to follow the two deep leadership rules of safe Scouting. Counselors, please read the attached article from Virtus on Virtual Boundaries for Appropriate Online safety.
- The youth’s Light is Life Scout Manual is to be examined as he/she proceeds through each step of the program. The counselor will sign and date the certification of completion for the step. Spiritual growth should be evident when progressing from step to step.
- Keep the Religious Emblems Coordinator informed of the youth’s progress.
- When all steps in the Light is Life Scout Manual have been completed, the counselor should contact the eparchial Scout Chaplain or the Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting for further direction concerning a Board of Review and presentation instructions. If the eparchial chaplain is not known, contact the eparchial chancery office to obtain the information or contact the NCCS at Direct: (214) 714-6950 Message: (972) 580-2114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Scout will sit before the Board of Review.
- After Board of Review has been successfully completed, the counselor should contact the Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting for further direction concerning presentation instructions.
- Scouts who earn this Religious Emblem are also entitled to wear a BSA Religious Knot over their left pocket. Please consult with your local Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting to determine how knots are presented in your area. If they are not presented with the Religious Emblems, then they can be purchased at your local BSA Council Service Center Scout Shop with proof that the Scout received the emblem.
- Earning the Light is Life Award completes one of the requirements needed to apply for the annual NCCS College Scholarship program.
Ordering of Emblems
- Each eparchy has one or two individuals who are designated to purchase Religious Emblems. Only these NCCS authorized submitters are allowed to order Religious Emblems for their eparchy.
- The first rule in preparing recognition ceremonies is to keep them simple but impressive. The second is to remember that the ceremony is for the youth. You may want to present the religious emblems at your local church, either in the context of a liturgy or a prayer service. The key is to make it special and memorable. View the Religious Emblems Reference Manual for presentation information to share with your Eparchy.
- Please consult with your local Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting to determine when and where the next award ceremony will be held.
- The religious knot should be presented at a Troop Court of Honor. However, it can be presented along with the Emblem.