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Ad Altare Dei Emblem

The "Ad Altare Dei" (AAD) is a program developed by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) for Boy Scouts of the Catholic faith.

Its purpose is to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person by encouraging him to actively live out his Catholic Christian faith. This gives the boy the opportunity to develop his spiritual side according to the beliefs of his own religion, to be "morally straight".

The AAD program is designed to be used with adolescent boys 13 and 14 years old. Other older Scouts may work with the program. Before beginning this program, you must be Catholic and a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America, active in your troop for 6 months, and have completed the sixth grade. You must complete the program before your 18th birthday to receive the recognition. Note: Requirements can be adjusted to the specific needs of the handicapped

The program itself consists of eight sections. These parallel the seven Sacraments. The Scout is encouraged to work with other Scouts on this program, under the guidance of a certified Religious Emblems Counselor. Check with your local Catholic Committee on Scouting to learn who can serve in this capacity for you. Your local Boy Scout service center can put you in touch with the Catholic Committee if needed.

The AAD program consists of discussions, activities and projects which help you learn your religion better. These are best done with a group of other Scouts. The length of time for completion of the program is about 6 months.

There is an AAD manual available. Most Boy Scout service centers do stock it.

Upon completion, the Scout is presented with the Ad Altare Dei emblem. This is a bronze cross suspended under a bar and ribbon of the Papal colors. The BSA has authorized the wearing of this emblem on the Scout uniform. The appropriate Scout knot can be worn on the uniform to indicate the emblem was earned.

For more information, contact one of the following:

  • Your local Catholic Committee on Scouting
  • Your local Boy Scout service center to find the CCS contact


The web site is a legacy site of the Viking Council BSA, now Northern Star Council.  
This site was the original council site and was active from 1996 to 2002 and run by volunteers.  As the web became more important to Scouting, the council took over with paid staff.  This site is no longer maintained but is an interesting snapshot of an early Scouting web site.    You can share your comments
using our on-line form or send a message to the Webmaster.   Thank you for visiting!


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Last Update May 15, 2023