“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?” St. John Chrysostom(+407)
With these words of St. John Chrysostom as our guide, the Eastern Orthodox Scouting Commission and the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting seek to recognize and honor not only youth members of the three national youth agencies [Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and girls], but also to recognize outstanding service by adults 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 Eliasha 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.
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 the three national youth agencies: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and Girls [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.
Recognition of an adult in either group is a true recognition of devoted service, not merely an “honor” for someone serving as a leader.
1. A letter of recommendation from the Eastern Orthodox Priest in the community served, and
2. A letter of recommendation from a professional Scouter including the tenure as a registered adult Scouter, and
3. Complete the official application on the last page including the proper signatures and addresses of the nominators.