The purpose of the Sangha Award is to give the Buddhist Scout a practical guidance in achieving the spiritual pledge made in the Scout Oath and Law, thereby developing a Scout whose views and actions in life would stem from the highest of the Buddhist thoughts.
The Sangha Award program aims to do this by leading the scout:
1) attain understanding and faith in the Buddha,
2) to learn the Teachings, and
3) to practice the harmonious Buddhist way to life, in the spirit of universal brotherhood of all living things. These are the dynamic aspects of the scout’s complete acceptance of the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha).
Further, the Award program duly recognizes the twelfth point of the Scout Law that the scout “is faithful in his/her religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matter of custom and religion.” The Scout is expected to receive religious training and participate actively in temple program, whenever possible.
Finally the Sangha Award program gives the scout a solid basis for fuller understanding and a greater appreciation of all phases of the scouting program.
The Sangha Award and What It Means
The Sangha Award is a medal consisting of a pendant, ribbon and a bar. The pendant is the Wheel of Dharma, sometimes called the Wheel of Life. It is a symbol, which represents the spreading of Buddha’s Teachings. The Wheel is suspended from a multi-colored ribbon representing the aura of Buddha’s many virtues. This ribbon is attached to a crossbar on which is inscribed the Sanskrit word “Sangha”, meaning brotherhood.
The Boy Scouts of America has authorized the Sangha Award to be worn on the Official Uniform over the left breast pocket, to the left of the Eagle Badge, or when the Eagle Badge is not worn, centered above the flap of the left breast pocket.
The Award may be presented by a temple or sponsoring organization to a Scout in recognition of spiritual growth as shown by his/her fulfilling the Sangha Award requirements.
The requirements are made quite flexible to suit different conditions, so that any Buddhist Scout who sincerely and earnestly applies himself to meeting the requirements of this Award will find it to be very rewarding.
Who is Eligible?
Any Scout who is a registered member of a Scout Troop or Explorer/Venturing unit may apply for the Sangha Award Program. Since this is an individual program, a Scout who is a member of any unit may qualify whether or not his/her unit is sponsored by a Buddhist Temple. A scout can start at any rank in Scouting, but in order to receive the Award he/she must be at least a First Class rank or a member of a Venturing Crew.
How to Earn the Sangha Award
The course must be administered under the guidance of an ordained Buddhist clergy, “Qualified” Lay leader, or a counselor appointed by an ordained Buddhist clergy. The Sangha Award program requires approximately 72 hours of instruction (normally based on meeting once a week for an hour over the course of two years of study).
An ordained Buddhist clergy, “Qualified” Buddhist lay leader and/or religious counselor is required for assistance with the program. An Instructor’s Application Form may be requested from the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting. Approval of the Instructor’s qualifications is made by the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting.
Upon approval of the instructor, a Sangha Award application for the Scout is requested from the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting, filled out and returned with the appropriate registration fee.
After fulfilling all the requirements, the instructor submits a Completion Form to the Committee and the Sangha Award Medal and a personalized certificate will be sent to the Scout.
The Boy Scouts of America, through the National Religious Relationship Task Force Committee, authorizes the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting as the sole administrator of the Buddhist Sangha Award Program.
For further information, contact the Chairman of the National Buddhist Committee on Scouting at HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com.
Sangha Award Program