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Scout Awards

The major awards available for Scouts are:

Catholic American Heritage Girls and Catholic Girl Scouts:
Guardian Angel Kindergarten
God Is Love 1st Grade
Family of God 2nd through 3rd Grade
I Live My Faith 4th through 6th Grade
Marian Medal 7th through 12th Grade
Spirit Alive 9th through 12th Grade

Catholic Girls and Boys in BSA programs and Catholic Trail Life Scouts:
Guardian Angel Kindergarten
God Is Love 1st Grade
Light of Christ 2nd through 3rd Grade
Parvuli Dei 4th through 5th Grade
Ad Altare Dei 7th through 12th Grade
Pope Pius XII 9th through 12th Grade

Youth working on Marian Medal, Spirit Alive, Ad Altare Dei, or Pope Pius XII are required to work with an approved counselor, attend a retreat sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting, and successfully complete a Board of Review with the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Religious awards counselors must be registered with and approved by the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Colorado Springs Diocese prior to authorization of any work on these awards. Contact the Committee Chair to find a counselor.

Alternate Awards for Catholic Scouts: -- These are additional faith-development activities offered by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) and National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM). Please note that these activities do not quality for BSA Religious Emblems and the cost for these programs is paid by the families - not the parishes. Payment must be submitted to the Committee with the application for recognition. 

Religious Awards Application Process
Once all the work for the award is complete (including required signatures from Scout leaders and Parish representatives), submit the entire completed workbook and the application fee to the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting. This may be done by:
  • Giving the entire completed workbook and application fee to a parish representative of the Catholic Committee on Scouting. (List of parish contacts)
  • Mailing the entire completed workbook and application fee to:  Catholic Committee on Scouting, 6145 Moorfield Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80919-4802
The usual deadline for submission of completed workbooks is the first Wednesday of January. The hard deadline for submission of completed workbooks is the third Friday of January.

Guidelines for Catholic Scouts Earning Religious Awards

Choose the appropriate program based on age, grade, faith, and program requirements.

To help you begin, contact one or more of the following: your parish Catholic Committee on Scouting coordinator, parish priest, unit leader, a Catholic Committee on Scouting member, or a religious awards counselor.

Purchase the appropriate program workbook.

Meet with a Scouting religious awards counselor (if required), or begin working with your family to complete your booklet.

If you are working on Marian Medal, Spirit Alive, Ad Altare Dei, or Pope Pius XII, you are required to work with an approved counselor, attend a retreat sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting, and successfully complete a Board of Review with the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Religious awards counselors must be registered with and approved by the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Colorado Springs Diocese prior to authorization of any work on these awards.

The Annual Religious Awards Retreat provides additional resources and the opportunity to work on your award.

When your workbook and application page in the workbook have been completed, parents should contact their pastor, parish director, or director of religious education for review of the workbook, and required signature. The completed workbook and accompanying projects are then provided to the Catholic Committee on Scouting for review. All signatures in the book must be completed before submitting the entire book to the Catholic Committee on Scouting or it will be returned.

The application fee must be submitted with the completed workbook and application.

The Catholic Committee will schedule a Board of Review for the Marian Medal, Spirit Alive, Ad Altare Dei or Pope Pius XII candidate. After a Scout’s work has been reviewed and approved by the board of review members, the Committee will provide the Religious Award to the parish.

The parishes or Knights of Columbus for a parish are billed for the eight traditional youth awards, Guardian Angel and God Is Love awards. The other alternate awards are paid for by the recipients or their units at the time an application is submitted for approval.

Contact your parish Catholic Committee on Scouting coordinator or parish priest to have the award you earned presented at an appropriate liturgical ceremony. Typically, this occurs during the months of February and March.

The Catholic Committee on Scouting also sponsors a Recognition Mass to recognize the accomplishments of all Scouts in the Diocese who earned their religious awards during the previous year.


Religious Awards for Catholic AHG and Catholic Girl Scouts


Family of God: a program designed for girls in grades 2 and 3 to complement the catechetical efforts of the parish and families. It helps the girl discover God in her daily life, her family and her parish.



I Live My Faith: a program designed for girls in grades 4 through 6 for the girl to appreciate more deeply the place that God and religion occupy in her daily life. The girl becomes more aware of her potential as a growing person, a friend, a member of her family, a citizen and a participant in the community of faith.



Marian Medal: a program designed for girls in grades 7 through 10 to enable them to "proclaim the greatness of the Lord." The program helps the young woman to understand Mary as the model of openness and spirituality and develop a Christian spirit of hope and faith and a joyful Christian community. The young woman is asked to hold Mary before her as an example of the Church serving our sisters and brothers in Christ. In our diocese, girls have through grade 12.



Spirit Alive: a program designed for girls in grades 9 through 12. It assists the young woman in discovering how the Holy Spirit moves in her life, calling her to greater participation in the Church's ministry. The program provides options for tailoring the program to the young woman’s interests to help the young woman grow in faith and the Spirit.



Note: Youth working on the Marian Medal or Spirit Alive are required to work with an approved counselor, attend a retreat sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting, and successfully complete a Board of Review with the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Religious awards counselors must be registered with and approved by the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Colorado Springs Diocese prior to authorization of any work on these awards.


Religious Emblems for Catholic Youth in BSA Programs and Trail Life


Light of Christ: a program for youth in Scouting in grades 2 and 3 designed to help them develop a personal relationship with Christ. Parent/Guardian participation is part of this program. They should come to see Jesus as a real person and as their friend.




Parvuli Dei: a program for youth in Scouting in grades 4 and 5 that helps them explore a wide range of activities in order to discover the presence of God in their daily life as a member of their family and their parish, and develop a positive self-image through contributions they can make to their community. It must be completed before the Scout crosses over to Boy Scouts.




Ad Altare Dei: a program for youth in Scouting in grade 7 and older. The program helps them develop a fuller Christian way of life. The program is organized around the seven sacraments, to provide encounters with Christ as a means for spiritual growth. It helps equip them to take their place in the world as a mature Catholic and reinforces their own parish-oriented religious education.





Pope Pius XII: a program for high school age youth in Scouting who have earned Ad Altare Dei. It invites young adults to examine how being Christian affects their daily life. It also challenges young adults to evaluate personal talents and abilities in light of choices of lifestyle, vocation and ministry and to explore ways to become more active in the Catholic community. It provides young adults with an opportunity to share their faith among peers.




Scouts in BSA programs who earn any of these four Religious Emblems qualify for the youth Religious Knot and appropriate Device. Scouts can always wear the Religious Knot on their uniform but wear the medals only for special occasions. Once Scouts earns a Religious Emblem, they can continue to wear the Religious Knot on their uniform, including as an adult leader.

Note: Youth working on Ad Altare Dei or Pope Pius XII are required to work with an approved counselor, attend a retreat sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting, and successfully complete a Board of Review with the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Religious awards counselors must be registered with and approved by the Catholic Committee on Scouting for the Colorado Springs Diocese prior to authorization of any work on these awards.


Religious Awards for Young Scouts


Guardian Angel: a program for Scouts in kindergarten to encourage spiritual formation early in the young Scouts as they learn how God protects them in every area of their lives. This is a diocesan award, not a national award; please contact us for the workbook.




God Is Love: a program for Scouts in 1st grade to discover an appreciation that God created, cares for, and loves us all.



Note: Neither of these awards qualify for the BSA youth Religious Knot.


Alternate Awards

NCCS Religious Activities: several programs for Scouts and adults to learn more about the Catholic faith and earn a patch. Series include: Rosary, Marian, American Saint, Modern Saint, Faith, International Awareness, and Blessed are the Merciful. Award requirements

NFCYM Religious Activities: several programs for Scouts and adults to learn more about the Catholic faith and earn a patch. Series include: Models of Faith, Women in Scripture, and Our Lady. Go to NFCYM's award requirements and scroll down to Our Catholic Faith Patches.


Annual Religious Awards Retreat

The Catholic Committee on Scouting holds an annual retreat to help Scouts work on their religious awards. The awards are not completed at the retreat but the retreat gives the Scouts an opportunity to work on their award in a group with other Scouts.  Attendance at the retreat is required for Scouts working on the Marian Medal and Spirit Alive awards and the Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII emblems.