Ad Altare Dei

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About the Emblem

The purpose of the Ad Altare Dei ( to the altar of God) program is to help Catholic Youth of the Roman Rite develop a fully Christian way of life in the faith community. The program is organized in chapters based on the seven sacraments. The seven Sacraments are a primary means toward spiritual growth.

Program Objectives

  • The most important aspect of the program is that the Scout grows in their spiritual experience of their relationship to God and the church.


  • Any youth of the Roman Catholic Faith who is registered in a BSA Troop or Crew.
  • Designed for youth 13-14 years old, older youth may use this program.
  • Active member of a unit for 6 months.
  • Completed 6th grade before starting the program.


  • Each Scout must have their own Activity Book (Ad Altare Dei Youth Manual, Publication Date: 2014, or Ad Altare Dei Youth Manual Electronic Version depending on the class structure chosen by the counselor). The manual is designed for the youth to work on with the guidance of a counselor.
  • The program is designed to be completed in 6-8 months.
  • The use of a Catholic Bible is required for this program. You will need to have one to use.
  • Regular participation in Sunday worship.
  • Diocesan and BSA Youth Protection policies must be followed.
  • Complete the requirements in the Ad Altare Dei Scout Manual.
  • Successfully complete an Ad Altare Dei Board of Review.
  • A trained religious emblems coordinator/counselor/moderator is required to work on religious emblems. Contact your Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting to become trained and for ceremony schedules.

Getting Started

Printed Emblem Manuals may be obtained from your local BSA Council Service Center Scout Shops. Alternatively, they can be obtained directly from BSA Supply at or at The Ad Altare Dei Youth Manual Electronic Version is only available at

  • Identify a counselor. Ask your Scoutmaster/Advisor, pastor, parish administrator, director if religious education, any member of the troop committee, or Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting if there is an emblem counselor in your parish or area.
  • After you have selected your counselor, you must complete the application to begin working on the Emblem program. The application is in the Ad Altare Dei Emblem book. The approval application must be signed by the applicant, parent, counselor, Troop leader, and pastor.
  • Emblem Books may be obtained 1) directly from the NCCS Online Store, 2) your local BSA Scout Shop, 3) BSA Supply at ““, or 4) through most Diocesan scout committees.
  • Attend all meetings. Actively work on the activities.
  • All journal entries, reports, and written work should be legible and neat.
  • Work through the Ad Altare Dei Scout Manual with your counselor using a Bible where appropriate.
  • There are three parts to each step. When all parts of a step are completed, review the Emblem book with the counselor.
  • Be prepared to share experiences at the Board of Review.
  • Attend a retreat or Day of Recollection while working on the AAD program.
  • Keep the Religious Emblems Coordinator informed of his progress.


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