Vanguard Scouting Religious Awards
NEW! The Vanguard Religious Award Booklet is now available to help Scouts and Scouters earn the Vanguard Duty to God Award. Think of it as a “merit badge pamphlet” for the Vanguard Duty to God Award.
The Award Booklet is available in print form from our Vanguard Scouting Store (click here). This fantastic resource is also available as a digital download HERE.
For help and ideas for conducting a reflection interview as part of the Vanguard Religious Award process, please see this article: “The Reflection Interview“
When all requirements are completed, follow these steps to receive your award:
1. Complete the requirements and electives and give the last page with all signatures to your Scouting Unit Leader.
2. Scouting Unit Leader will submit the application for approval via an online form (click here).
3. Once the application is approved, the Scouting Unit Leader will receive an email with instructions to purchase the award.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I am not registered in Scouting but would like to work on this religious Award with my son or daughter. Can I earn the religious award? While we encourage you to work with your youth on this award, this is a Scouting award and can only be earned by someone registered in Scouting.
I am a Latter-day Saint who is registered with a Scouting unit outside the Boy Scouts of America. Can I earn the Light and Truth/Vanguard Duty to God Award? Youth between the ages of 6 and 10 who are registered in any World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) affiliated Scouting program may earn the Light and Truth Award. Youth between the ages of 11 and 17 registered in a WOSM-affiliated Scouting program may earn the Vanguard Duty to God award for youth and any registered adult in a WOSM-affiliated Scouting program may earn the Adult Vanguard Duty to God Award. Those who are not registered in Scouting may use the award requirements for their personal development but may not receive the award.
I am a collector of religious medallions. Where can I get/purchase the Light and Truth and Vanguard Duty to God Awards to add to my collection? Like the Eagle Scout badge and other Scouting awards, this award is not for sale and must be earned by a registered Scout.
My brother/sister or son/daughter is working on the Vanguard Duty to God Award in his/her troop. I am not registered with the BSA. Can I earn the award? This is a Scouting award and the recipient must be a registered Scout. Parents and others are welcome to fulfill the requirements as part of their personal development plan but only registered Scouts or registered adults can qualify for the award.
I am registered with the BSA but do not live with my parents. Who should sign the award in place of my parents? Your guardian can verify your application and sign for the award.
I noticed that the instructions do not provide information as to where I can order the medallion once I have earned it. What do I do when I have earned my Vanguard Award? Turn in the completed application form to your Scouting leader. They will be given the instructions for ordering the award.
I have already earned the Family Life merit badge and the Genealogy merit badge. I need two electives for the Family Relationships requirements. Can I get credit for one or both of these merit badges?Merit badges earned while a registered Scout can fulfill the requirements. While not required, you may choose to earn an additional substitute or fulfill another requirement or elective in its place if you already have the specified badge.
I have already earned the Cooking merit badge. Can I get credit for that as one of the two electives under “Missionary Preparation?” Merit badges earned while a registered Scout can fulfill the requirements. While not required, you may choose to earn an additional substitute or fulfill another requirement or elective in its place if you already have the specified badge.
I am 18 and registered in a Venture Crew. Can I get the adult Medallion? You should apply for the award based on your BSA registration (youth or adult) at the time of completion. If you are 18 or older and registered as an adult when you complete the requirements, you should apply for the adult award.
Can I get credit for similar activities accomplished in my ward for the Church’s youth achievement program? Activities done as part of the Church’s youth achievement program that meet the requirements for the Light and Truth or Vanguard Duty to God awards can be used to fulfill the requirements. However, with the exception of merit badges already earned (see above), actions previously accomplished before the applicant begins to work on the Vanguard Award (such as reading the Book of Mormon last year), should not be used to fulfill the award requirements.
Can I receive my Vanguard Duty to God or Light and Truth medallion in a Church meeting? Since this is a Scouting award and not a Church award, it should normally be presented in a Scout meeting and not in a Church meeting.
I am a registered Scout in a country other than the United States. My Scouting organization does not have the merit badges listed in the requirements for the Vanguard Duty to God Award. What do I do? If you are not part of the Boy Scouts of America but are registered with a WOSM-affiliated National Scouting Organization, accomplish the requirements described in the BSA merit badge pamphlet or another comparable award for your National Scout Organization.
I am not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but am registered in a unit with some Scouts from your Church. I have already earned my denomination’s religious award. Can I earn the Vanguard Duty to God (or Light and Truth) Award? Yes, you are welcome to earn the award if you fulfill all the requirements.
I am a Scouting leader and have Scouts in my unit who are working on the Vanguard Duty to God/Light and Truth Award. Where do I learn how to conduct a reflection interview before I submit the application? The Vanguard website has a great blog on conducting those interviews. BSA also has resources available for doing Scoutmaster conferences that can be helpful.
I am an adult leader and want to work on the Vanguard Duty to God religious award. I understand that I need to have a “reflection interview” after I have completed all requirements. To whom do I go for my leader interview: My COR? My District Commissioner or Unit Commissioner? I am the ward Elders Quorum President. Could I go to the bishop for my interview, since it appears that knowledge of the Church would be at least helpful? Because this is a Scouting award, you should go to the leader over your registered Scouting position. For example, if you are a member of the troop committee, you should go to the committee chairman. If you are the committee chair, you could go to your unit commissioner or the COR. A unit commissioner could go to the assistant district commissioner.
What accommodation can be made if a youth cannot complete all requirements as listed because of a disability? Alternate requirements can be determined by the unit leader in cooperation with the parents. Any alternatives should be consistent with the ability of the applicant and, where possible, present a similar challenge and learning level as those they replace.
The Cub Scout requirements for the Wolf- Duty to God Footsteps, Bear-Fellowship and Duty to God, and Webelos-Duty to God and You Adventures each have an alternate requirement to “Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so.” Can a Cub Scout satisfy this requirement by completing one of the six sections for the Light and Truth Award? Completion of one of the sections can satisfy that requirement for one of the ranks. However, a section that is completed for one rank may not be used to satisfy the requirements for a different one. Cub Scouts that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are encouraged to complete all sections and qualify for the Light and Truth Award during their time as a Cub Scout.