Religious Recognition Programs and Awards
The Catholic religious recognition programs administered by the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire (NCCGSCF), under the auspices of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), allow young people to explore and become more involved in their Catholic faith. All programs are designed to support and complement the catechetical efforts of Catholic parishes and schools. In particular, the Family of God is an excellent supplement for children preparing for the reception of their first Eucharist. The Spirit Alive provides substantial and creative activities to augment preparation for the sacrament of confirmation.
The religious recognition programs may be utilized by members of:
- Girl Scouts USA
- Camp Fire USA
- American Heritage Girls
- Junior Daughters of the Americas
- Catholic youth groups
- Religious education classes
- Or others as designated by the diocesan authorized administrators.
The religious recognition program books and adult guides may be purchased by any individual via the NFCYM publications guide or online store http://www.nfcym.org. However, the religious recognition medals and patches may only be purchased and conferred by the diocesan authorized administrators upon verification of program completion and award application.
Non-authorized administrators of the religious recognition programs, e.g., parents, troop leaders, may purchase the religious recognition workbooks directly from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. Purchasers must contact their diocesan Catholic committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire before beginning any of the programs. Each diocese has their own requirements for workbook completion and awarding of the religious recognition medals and patches.
For Young People
Family of God is the official religious recognition program of the Roman Catholic Church for children grades 2-3 who are enrolled in the Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Boys and Girls, and other Catholic youth organizations. Family of God is a bilingual activity series developed to complement the catechetical efforts of the parish and families with children in the second and third grades. Revised and transliterated into Spanish in July 2004, the program helps children discover the presence of God in their daily lives as members of their family and parish.
The six chapters are titled:
- I Am Special to My Family
- I Am Special to God’s Family
- I Belong to My Family
- I Belong to God’s Family
- I Can Help My Family
- I Can Help God’s Family
The I Live My Faith program is designed to help Girl Scouts and Camp Fire members, grades 4-6, appreciate more deeply the place that God and religion occupy in their daily life. The action-oriented activities focus on developing awareness within the individual of his/her potential as a growing person, friend, family member, citizen, and a participant in the community of faith. The program is divided into three chapters, “Stretching,” “Seeking,” and “Finding,” each of which blends the dimensions of discovery, prayer, service, and sacrament into a unified whole. I Live My Faith complements and supports the more formal religious education provided in Catholic schools and parish programs.
Mary, the First Disciple Project Book, Medal, and Patch
“My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior ... ” (Luke 1:46-47)
The Marian Medal program is written for young Catholics, grades 7-10, to enable them to “proclaim the greatness of the Lord.” This is accomplished by actively involving the participants in an understanding of Mary as a model of openness and spirituality—a woman of the church. Through various projects, discussions, and liturgical celebrations over a period of months, the participants are provided with a unique opportunity to develop new insights into their personalities, friends, parents, and the world around them.
The Spirit Alive Project Book, Medal, and Patch
This program is designed for Catholic youth in high school (grades 9-12) who are in the senior level of Girl Scouts or Horizon Club members of Camp Fire Boys and Girls. It assists them in discovering how the Holy Spirit moves in their lives, calling them to greater participation in the church’s ministry.
The four chapters cover:
- The Holy Spirit Alive in Scripture
- The Holy Spirit Alive in the Catholic Church
- The Holy Spirit Alive in Prayer
- The Holy Spirit Alive in Your Life
Activities are an integral part of The Spirit Alive process. Because different people have different learning styles, there are four categories of activities to choose from for chapters 1-3: written, artistic, interactive, and digital. The activity in Chapter 4 is the service component of the process.
Recognitions are not just for youth! Adults who work tirelessly and without pay to mentor young people deserve special acknowledgment as well. Two medals are specially designed with the adult religious recognition moderator in mind. The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal recognizes any adult who serves Catholic youth through national organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Camp Fire USA, the St. Anne Medal, is the highest recognition for adults. These recognitions are not given based upon completion of a program, but are awarded by the diocese to adults who model the highest ideals for young people. Suggested guidelines for the awarding of the medals are available.
The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal
The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton recognition was inaugurated in 1980 to recognize the meritorious contributions of adults who serve Catholic youth through Girl Scouts and Camp Fire. This medal affirms the work of those who help youth develop their spiritual lives within the context of these organizations. It will ordinarily be received before the St. Anne Medal is earned, but is not a requirement for receiving the St. Anne Medal.
The Saint Anne Medal
The St. Anne Medal is the highest national recognition for adults who serve Catholic youth through Girl Scouts and Camp Fire. The recognition was inaugurated in 1957 and redesigned in 1980. The purposes of the St. Anne recognition are:
- to honor the outstanding services of adults who contribute to the spiritual development of Catholic young people in these organizations
- to further Catholic adult leadership in youth ministry through these national youth-serving organizations.