25 November 2016

The Eastern Orthodox Prophet Elias Scouter Award

“With us everything is secondary compared to our concern with young people and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord. After all, what greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young?”  
-Saint John Chrysostom (+407)

With these words of St. John Chrysostom as a guide, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting seeks to recognize and honor not only youth members of Scouting programs but also to recognize outstanding service by adults of the three tenured national youth Scouting agencies [Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and girls], in the promotion and use of these programs for our Eastern Orthodox young people. The Prophet Elias (Elijah in the English form) is traditionally held to be the greatest of the Hebrew Prophets. He maintained the importance of the worship of the true God in the face of pagan cults and temptations (I Kings 18) and upheld the claims of moral uprightness and social justice (I Kings 21). His passing of his mantle to the younger Elisha showed that these teachings were to be continued. It is in the image of the Prophet Elias that recipients of this award pass on their religious heritage and teachings to younger Eastern Orthodox members of these national youth agencies.

These national youth agencies provide programs which our churches and other civic and religious groups may use in their ministry and service to young people. The leader chosen by the sponsoring group is the one who permeates the youth agency with the meaning of the name “Elias” – “Yahweh is my God”; especially since belief in God is one prerequisite to serving as a leader.

Adult awards are not earned like youth awards: An outside party must nominate an adult to receive an award by submitting the required applications, letter of recommendation, and resume of activities. Self and spouse nominations will not be accepted. Nominations cannot be made posthumously. Recognition of an adult in either group is a true recognition of devoted service, not merely an “honor” for someone serving as a leader.

The Prophet Elias recognition is for both:
  1. Actively registered adult lay volunteers for at least 8 years who serve young people in one or more of theses national youth agencies: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls and Camp Fire [whether sponsored by Eastern Orthodox Churches or another sponsoring group], and
  2. Adult members of other religious bodies who are active registered leaders for at least 8 years of one of the three national youth agencies who are performing an exceptional service to Eastern Orthodox young people.
  1. A letter of recommendation from the Eastern Orthodox Priest of the sponsoring parish.
  2. A letter of recommendation from a professional Scouter (Scout Executive) including the tenure as a registered adult Scouter.
  1. Actively participates in his/her religious institution and is a member in good standing.
  2. Encourages Eastern Orthodox youth to join Scouting programs and encourages Orthodox Churches to sponsor Scouting units.
  3. Aids Eastern Orthodox Scouts in earning the Saint George, Chi-Rho, and Alpha Omega awards.
  4. Promotes religious observance and participation at Scouting functions.
  5. Is a fully trained Scout leader.
  6. Has organized, promoted, and participated in the appropriate Boy Scout, Girl Scout, or Camp Fire Scout Sunday observances.
  7. Has promoted service projects and assisted in training and recruiting leaders.
  8. Has served Orthodox Scouting or Camp Fire USA for a minimum of 8 registered years.
  9. Has given exemplary service to the spiritual, physical, and moral development of Orthodox Youth through service to the Church and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or Camp Fire USA.

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