Youth Programs

Light is Life

About the Emblem

  • The "Light is Life" is a program developed for scouts of the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches. Light is Life respects the cultural and ritual differences among the various Eastern Catholic Churches.
  • The overall goal of the Light is Life religious emblem program is to bring about in the Scout, through his Eastern Catholic Scouting experience, a deeper awareness of his share in faith-life. Then going forth, he will witness this life through maturity in communal worship and in Christian formation of his world.
  • This program is to be used by the Eastern Catholic Scouts rather than the Ad Altare Dei program. It is not appropriate to work on both programs.

Program Objectives

  • The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in his spiritual experience of his relationship to God and the church.


  • Registered Boy Scout of one of the Eastern Catholic Churches.
  • Designed for scouts 12-13 years old, older or younger scouts may use this program. Must be completed by the youth's 18th birthday. Scouts in an Eastern Catholic Church are to work on Light is Life rather than the Ad Altare Dei emblem.


  • Each Scout must have his own Activity Book (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.
  • Diocesan and BSA Youth Protection policies must be followed.
  • 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.

booklightislifeGetting Started

  • 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.
  • 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 Emblem book. 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 (s)he 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 (s)he 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.
  • The Light is Life book belonging to the Eastern Catholic Churches can generally be obtained from your Eparchial Catholic Committee on Scouting or NCCS, BSA, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079 or directly from NCCS at

Scout's Role

  • Actively work on the activities. All journal entries, reports, and written work should be legible and neat.
  • There are three parts to each step. When all parts of a step are completed, review the emblem book with the counselor.
  • Keep the Religious Emblems Coordinator informed of his progress.

Counselor's Role

  • 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's Guide, Publication Date: 1997, is an integral part of this program and contains the necessary resources for anyone, including those unfamiliar with Eastern Christianity. National Catholic Leadership Development and counselor training are also recommended and may be required for counselors in your eparchy.
  • Actively coach the youth throughout the program.
  • The youth's emblem book is to be examined as the Scout 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.

Program Completion

  • When all steps 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, BSA, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.
  • youthreligiousknotScouts 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.


  • 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. See Religious Emblems Reference Manual for presentation helps for your Eparchy.
  • The religious knot should be presented at a Pack Meeting. However, it can be presented along with the Emblem.
  • Religious Emblems Reference Manual and forms.

Program Resources

  • Program workbook can be downloaded using this link
  • Counselor Guide can be downloaded using this link

Ordering of Emblems

  • Each diocese has one or two indivduals who are designated to purchase religious emblems. Only these NCCS authorized submitters are allowed to order emblems for their diocese. Please consult with your local Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting to determine when and where the next Award Ceremony will be held.