Both Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) encourage their members to earn a religious recognition. Religious recognitions are developed by the religious organization.
Religion in Life for Girl Scouts, our newly revised online resource, includes a program for younger girls and a program for older girls. Girl Scouts and Faith on the GSUSA website explains how religious recognition programs connect to Girl Scouting. While many faith groups have chosen to offer programs developed and administered by Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.), the Unitarian Universalist Religion in Life for Girl Scouts program was developed and published by our own faith development staff.
The Unitarian Universalist Association has had disagreements with BSA. Our faith calls us to include people of many theological perspectives, including humanism and atheism, as well as people of different affectional orientations and family configurations. A series of letters details the conflict. In 1998, BSA refused to approve the Religion in Life for Boy Scouts program and the Love and Help program for Cub Scouts. Duty to God on the BSA website explains religious recognition programs, but Unitarian Universalist programs are no longer listed among the approved religious recognition awards that may be worn on a uniform.
Many families and congregations are saddened by the Boy Scout stance and conflicted about what to do. Some people opt to work within their local BSA organizations to encourage and support full theological inclusion, as well as inclusion of GLBT people as scout leaders. Others decide not to participate in Boy Scouting and/or not to offer space in their congregational buildings for Boy Scouts activities. The UUA, for its part, will make an updated version of Religion in Life for Boy Scouts available on line in February 2015. Love and Help for Cub Scouts continues to be available for purchase at the UUA Bookstore.
Before deciding whether or not your family or your congregation will participate in Boy Scouting, set aside time to reflect:
For more information contact religiouseducation @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Thursday, January 22, 2015.
Sidebar Content, Page Navigation
More Ways to Search
Donate to Support This Program and the Ongoing Work of the UUA
Read or subscribe to UUA.org Updates for the latest additions to our site.
Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.