Troop 501 Eagle Scouts

Andrew Jackson - 2011

Project: Recycle Bins at the World Bird Sanctuary

William "Billy" John Fisher, III - 2012

Project: Fire Truck Reading Center at Arnold Branch Library

Christopher "Blake" Hufford - 2013

Project: Flag Pole Installation and Beautification Project at New Hope United Methodist Church

Paul Morton Claeys - 2013

Project: Playground Renovation and Update; Construction and Installation of Benches at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Drew Vitello - 2014

Project: Development and Installation of interactive, 3-D, educational playground mural at New Hope United Methodist Church's Preschool

Leader Awards

Leadership has its rewards (and awards)…

Watching boys grow and develop into young men; watching your own son take on and overcome new challenges; molding tomorrow’s leaders… and being recognized by your peers. That’s right… Awards are not just for the Scouts, but Leaders qualify for special awards, as well. These awards are typically acknowledged in the form of a knot (usually a square knot) embroidered on a small patch worn above the left pocket flap, similar to the award ribbons worn on military uniforms (and, originally, the BSA produced military-style ribbon bars for its original awards, but this was discontinued in the late 1940’s, to distance themselves from the military). They are most often referred to as “Square Knots,” regardless of whether or not the award actually is a square knot (the District Award of Merit is an overhand knot), or even a knot at all (the Silver World is not a knot). The following awards are organized into sections based on what they are awarded for: Training and Leadership Awards, Meritorious Service Awards, Meritorious and Heroism Awards, Cub Scouter Awards, Awards Earned as a Youth, and Other Awards.

Know Before You Sew

Before you show off your accomplishment on your uniform, it helps to know how to properly place the knots.

First, a simple rule: Wear knots above the left pocket in rows of three, and make sure the front loop of the knot faces the left side of the shirt as you sew. A knot emblem does have left and right sides. The rope loop over the rope ends always is to the wearer’s right. The diagram here shows how the knots would look to someone looking at the shirt. The knot images on the rest of this page all show the correct knot direction.

The square knots are to be worn centered directly above the left shirt pocket. The first knot should be placed with its bottom edge touching the top seam of the pocket flap. The next two knots are placed on both sides of the first knot in a straight row of three knots. Additional knots are placed directly above the first row with bottom edge touching top edge of the existing knots.

Other than that, you’re free to be creative about knot placement. In 1980, the BSA mandated an order in which knots must be worn, but those regulations have since been eliminated, ending the need to constantly reorder your square knots.

The BSA Insignia Guide (BSA Supply No. 33066) suggests that the knot “deemed most important by the wearer” be worn on the wearer’s right.

And if you dread bringing out the needle and thread, know that rows of fewer than three knots don’t necessarily need to be centered. Many wearers prefer to make partial rows flush left so that adding future knots is easier.

Troop 501 has an Advancement Committee which actively seeks out those Leaders who meet the criteria of any number of awards. The committee specifically nominates eligible candidates for those awards marked with asterisks (*). However, any Leader or other adult is welcome to nominate any leader or other eligible candidate for those awards listed below, or others for which he or she may be qualified for.

 

Training and Achievement Awards 

These awards are earned by completing various training activities, meeting goals and objectives, and completing prescribed periods of tenure. These are knots that can be earned. Download a Progress Report card. Complete the requirements. Collect the signatures, and turn it in.

 

“Trained” Strip 

As adult leaders, there is constant pressure to attend training classes – Youth Protection; new leader essentials to Wood Badge; position specific training (Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Committee Chairman, Troop Committee Member, District Committee, etc.). Once you completed these classes appropriate for the position you hold in Scouting, you can wear the “trained” strip on your sleeve. To earn the “Trained” Strip, every leader must complete This is Scouting (or New Leader Essentials, if you have taken it before), Youth Protection, the Fast Start Training specific to your position (Assistant Scoutmasters take the Scoutmaster training, and Committee Members take the Committee Chairman training), if available, Leader-Specific Training (Scoutmaster/Assistant and Committee Member), and Introduction to Outdoor Skills (Scoutmaster/Assistant, only). The green strip is the current rendition. It is worn on the left sleeve pocket flap (the badge of office is worn on the pocket, itself). The red strip remains usable, and is worn centered below, and touching the badge of office, worn on the left sleeve. 

 

  Scouter’s Training Award

Denotes two years served in any position as a registered leader in various Scouting units and positions of responsibility. Requirements vary, depending on position, but all requirements basically amount to creation and/or maintenance of a quality scouting program.

Boy Scout Leader’s Training Award – (Click here to download a Progress Record application card for this award.) When you complete the card with all necessary signatures, turn it in to your District Training Chair at the next Roundtable meeting.

This knot also represents: 
Varsity Scout Leader Training Award, Venturing Leader Training Award, and the Round Table Staff Training Award.

 

  Scouter’s Key Award

Denotes three years served in the top adult leadership position in a given unit or job. Requirements vary, depending on position, but all requirements basically amount to creation and/or maintenance of a quality scouting program.

Scoutmaster’s Key – (Click here to download a Progress Record application card for this award.)When you complete the card with all necessary signatures, turn it in to your District Training Chair at the next Roundtable meeting.

This award also represents:

Varsity Scout Coach’s Key, Venturing Advisor’s Key, Skipper’s Key, Round Table Commissioner’s KeyDistrict & Assistant District Commissioner’s Key, and the Unit Commissioner’s KeyDistrict Committee’s Key.

 

Wood Badge

Wood Badge is a training course for Scouters which finally results in their receiving a certificate, a small neckerchief, a leather slide, and two small wooden beads on a leather thong. Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, directed the first course in 1919 and gave each of the participants one of the beads which he had captured from the African chieftain Dinizulu. Thus did the course name develop, for its symbol was literally a badge of wood. Wood Badge is, further, Scouting’s premier training course. Baden-Powell designed it so that Scouters could learn, in as practical a way possible, the skills and methods of Scouting. It is first and foremost, learning by doing. The members of the course are formed into patrols and these into a troop.  The entire troop lives in the out-of-doors for a week, camping, cooking their own meals, and practicing Scout skills. All Wood Badge graduates have been recognized since the program’s inception with a leather thong decorated with two beads. Individuals who take part on staff are eligible to wear three beads, while Course Directors are recognized with four beads. These beads were presented to the first Wood Badge participants by Baden-Powell, who obtained them while on a military campaign in Zululand, from a Zulu king named Dinizulu. Baden-Powell is said to have found the necklace when he came to Dinizulu’s deserted mountain stronghold.

 

Philmont Training Center Masters Track

The Philmont Training Center, the National Volunteer Training Center for the Boy Scouts of America is proud to offer training opportunities for all levels of Scouting Volunteers. Training is needed at all levels of our organization, from the basic training done in the local Councils, to advanced courses in the local Councils and through the Philmont Training Center. Continued training of volunteers will help to strengthen units, districts and council in all parts of the BSA.The Philmont Training Center is pleased to develop a PTC Masters Track Program that encourages Scouting leaders to receive training themselves, yet also to help provide training to other leaders in their unit, districts, councils, and in other countries. The purpose of this program is to offer continuing educational opportunities, so that Scouters have incentives to return, over a number of years, to take advance training at the Training Center, and to be able to take their knowledge back to units, districts, councils, council clusters, national, and international venues to benefit Scouts and Scouters. 

For more information, see the PTC Masters Track AnnouncementOne can complete the Philmont Leadership Challenge to fulfill the requirements of the Philmont Training Center Masters Track. The conference hones the skills taught in Wood Badge for the 21st Century in an outdoor experiential learning environment. Adults learn to internalize and practice their leadership skills in this action-packed backcountry conference. PLC underscores the values of Scouting, teamwork, and promotes the concepts of servant leadership.

Open to Scouters in all programs who have completed Wood Badge for the 21st Century.For more information, refer to the Philmont Leaderchip Challenge Announcement.

 

Meritorious Service Recognition Awards   

These knots denote service at various levels of scouting which generally go above and beyond what would normally be expected. Most of these awards require nomination of the recipient by others. 

 

Unit Leader’s Award of Merit *
Denotes 18 months served as a Scoutmaster in a quality Troop, or Advisor in a quality Crew, meeting several objectives. Applicants are nominated by Troop or Crew officers. Self-nomination automatically disqualifies a candidate. A special Badge of Office is available for recipients of this award. 
Scouter’s Award of Merit: Click here to download a nomination form for this award.
This award also represents the:
Cubmaster’s Award of Merit, Varsity Coach’s Award of Merit, Venturing Advisor’s Award of Merit.
This award replaced the now retired Scoutmaster’s Award of Merit.
District Award of Merit *

Shaped like an overhand knot, only one of these pretzel-shaped awards can be given for every 25 units. The award honors a volunteer or professional for service beyond normal expectations. The District Award of Merit is a council award presented by districts in the same manner that the Silver Beaver is a national award presented by councils. The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district or Venturing division level. Generally, the award is presented for service to youth in excess of five years. The award is made available annually on the basis of 1 for each 25 units or fraction thereof. The district need not present all the awards to which it is entitled each year. It is not appropriate to nominate a Scouter who has already received this award. Typically, the selection committee is comprised of previous recipients of this award.

To nominate a fellow Scouter (Scout Leader), just complete the District Award of Merit Nomination Form.

 

Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award *

The Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award is presented to Arrowmen that have given for a significant period of time service to the Order of Arrow or to Scouting at any level beyond the local Lodge (which is part of the local Council) level. Most Arrowmen receiving this award were youth members serving as leaders at the Sectional, Regional or National level. Most adult Arrowmen receiving this award have served as Arrowmen for an extended period of time, normally more than ten years.

If you feel you know of someone deserving, then click here to download the Distinguished Service Award Nomination Form. Self-nomination automatically disqualifies a candidate.

 

Silver Beaver  *

Established in 1931, the Silver Beaver Award is presented for distinguished service to young people within a BSA local council. More than 50,000 recognitions have been conferred to date. As with the Silver Antelope, a recipient must be a registered adult member of the BSA. Silver Beaver Awards are presented on the basis of the number of units in a council.

The Silver Beaver Award is presented upon action of a Council Executive Board for service to youth within the Council. Generally, the Silver Beaver is awarded for service to Scouting for at least ten years or longer.

If you feel you know of someone deserving, then download the Silver Beaver Nomination Form. Fill it out, and turn it in to your District Training Chair. Self-nomination automatically disqualifies a candidate.

Also pictured, for historical purposes, is the Silver Fawn. This was the equivalent award to the Silver Beaver, for female leaders, in 1971-1976.

 

Silver Antelope

The Silver Antelope Award, created in 1942, is granted for outstanding service to youth within the territory of a BSA region. There are 4 separate BSA regions. The criteria is similar to the Silver Buffalo except that a recipient must be a registered adult member of the Boy Scouts of America. Awards are bestowed on the basis of the number of registered volunteers in a region.The Silver Antelope Award is presented upon action of the Regional Executive Board of one of the BSA’s four Regions for longtime service to youth within the Region.

If you feel you know of someone deserving, then download the Silver Antelope Nomination Form. Fill it out, and turn it in to your District Training Chair. Self-nomination automatically disqualifies a candidate.

 

Silver Buffalo

The Silver Buffalo Award, created in 1925, is bestowed upon those who give truly noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth. This award, Scouting’s highest commendation, recognizes the invaluable contributions that outstanding American men and women render to youth. The service must be national in character and can be directly connected with the BSA or independent of the movement.The Silver Buffalo Award is awarded upon action of the National Execuitve Board of the Boy Scouts of America to volunteers Scouters and other individuals for service to youth on a national basis or over a significant period of national service to a youth agency or in actions affecting youth.  The Silver Buffalo Award is the traditional award presented to the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America sometime during his term of office.

If you feel you know of someone deserving, then download the Silver Buffalo Nomination Form. Self-nomination automatically disqualifies a candidate.

 

William D Boyce New-Unit Organizer Awardknot insignia to be discontinued in 2014.

The William D Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award is presented to recognize volunteers who organize one or more traditional Scouting units. The award may be worn on the adult uniform. The award is a square knot placed over the three colors representing the three phases of our program—Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing. A volunteer can earn the knot by organizing one traditional unit, and a program device can be earned for up to three additional units organized. You’ll notice that there are two different knots pictured. The one at the top is the correct knot. The one below is a production error. Both have been stocked by some official Supply Division stores. The design protocols call for the knot to be visually similar to the Venturing Leadership Award knot. As both knots have been officially produced and sold by the Supply Division, both are acceptable for use. Self-nomination is permissible. 

While the William D Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award can only be awarded to ONE leader that founds a new unit, the Founder’s Bar is worn by all youth and adults whose names are on a new-unit charter or who officially join the new unit before the unit recharters for the first time. The bar is worn centered, below, and touching the unit numerals. No nomination is necessary. 

 

Asian American Spirit of Scouting Award To be consolidated as part of the “Relationship Awards” square knot.

The purpose of the Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award is to recognize outstanding services by an adult individual or an organization for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of Scouting opportunities for Asian American youth.

 

¡Scouting…Vale la Pena! Service Award – To be consolidated as part of the “Relationship Awards” square knot.

The purpose of the ¡Scouting…Vale la Pena! Service Award is to recognize outstanding services by an adult individual or an organization for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of Scouting opportunities for Hispanic American/Latino youth.

 

Whitney Young, Jr. Service Award  * – To be consolidated as part of the “Relationship Awards” square knot.

The purpose of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award is to recognize outstanding services by an adult individual or an organization for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of Scouting opportunities for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds—this is in fulfillment of Dr. Young’s dream of justice and equality for all.

If you feel you know of someone deserving, then click here to download the Whitney M Young, Jr Service Award Nomination Form.

 

Adult Religious Service  *

This square knot is worn by Scouters who have received a religious service emblem or award for their faith. This award is NOT a BSA award; it is an award presented by a church body for education, service and devotion to faith. BSA then allows the Scouter to wear a knot signifying his completion of that award.

Requirements for this award vary from religion to religion. For more information on the specific requirements of the Protestant award, please visit the P.R.A.Y. website. To nominate a Methodist, or one who has rendered services to the Methodist Church or youth, download the God and Service Nomination Form.

To nominate a Catholic who has rendered service to those of any faith, or a Protestant that has rendered service to Catholic youth, download the St George Award Nomination Form, or visit the National Committee for Catholic Scouting’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Organization Award

Community Organization Award is a generic term used by the BSA to identify a category of awards used by secular, national, community organizations to recognize their members for voluntary service and achievement. The organization must also be a BSA national chartered organization. The recognition piece, the concept of the award, and the criteria for awarding and presenting it are developed and owned by the national community organization which is also a chartered organization with the Boy Scouts of America. The concept of the Community Organization Award is similar to the adult religious recognition program in that the award itself and the criteria for granting the award is under the ownership and auspices of the particular national chartered organization which presents the award.To ensure compatibility with the objectives and mission of the Boy Scouts of America, the concept, requirements, and criteria for presenting the award must be approved by the BSA National Relationships Committee.

This square knot denotes that a Scout volunteer has been recognized by one of 16 approved national chartered organization partners for Scout service within that organization. Those organizations are as follows: 

  1. Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Marvin M. Lewis Award
  2. Masonic Daniel Carter Beard Scouter Award
  3. Veterans of Foreign Wars Scouter’s Achievement Award
  4. American Legion Scouting Award
  5. Department of Defense-United States Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
  6. Alpha Phi Omega Herbert G. Horton Youth Service Award
  7. International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians Cliff Dochterman Award
  8. Ruritan National Service Clubs Scout Leader Community Service Award
  9. United States Power Squadrons, Raymond A. Finley, Jr. Sea Scout Service Award
  10. National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Boy Scout Volunteer Award
  11. AMVET Boy Scouts of America Youth Outreach Award
  12. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Good Turn Service Award
  13. Military Order of the World Wars
  14. AFL/CIO George Meany Award
  15. Lions Club Scouting Service Award
  16. Nonprofit Leadership Alliance H. Roe Bartle Training Award

Note:  This is not a BSA award created for partner organizations to give as a recognition/award for their members, but is offered to allow our Scouting volunteers to wear an approved BSA recognition device (the square knot) on their uniform as the BSA has a policy that prohibits the wearing of non-BSA awards on our uniforms. 

The fourteenth, the George Meany Award of the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), is also part of this category, but retains the use of the original square knot designed for the Meany Award. Occasionally, a recipient of the Meany Award, at their discretion, they may choose to wear the more generic Community Organization Award knot instead of the specific Meany knot, but they may NOT wear both (unless, of course, they happen to be a recipient of BOTH the Meany, and one of the other eleven recognized community organization awards). Notice that there are two Meany knots pictured. The first one is correct, the second one is not just flipped over, but actually has the background colors reversed (note that the overhand portion of the knot crosses the standing portion on the observer’s left on both patches). The George Meany Award will soon be consolidated as part of the “Relationship Awards” square knot.

How to get the square knot:  It’s simple.  Once a volunteer has been recognized with one of the 16 approved awards above, just take documentation of having received that award such as a certificate, letter, medal, etc. to a Scout Shop to purchase the Square Knot, No. 613864.  The Program Impact Department of the National Office no longer process orders for this knot as they previously had done.  The knot is only available from Scout Shops.

 

Meritorious Action and Heroism Awards

These awards are for Scouts and Leaders who have taken noteworthy action.  

Medal of Merit *

The Medal of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed some outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.

To nominate a worthy Scout or leader, simply download, complete, and submit the Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Award Nomination Form.

 

Heroism Award *

The Heroism Award, formerly the Certificate of Heroism, may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at minimum risk to self. The action taken need not involve attempts of rescue or risk to self, but must put into practice Scouting skills and/or ideals.

To nominate a worthy Scout or leader, simply download, complete, and submit the Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Award Nomination Form

 

Honor Medal *

The Honor Medal may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self. 

The Honor Medal With Crossed Palms may be awarded in exceptional cases to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self.

To nominate a worthy Scout or leader, simply download, complete, and submit the Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Award Nomination Form.

 

Awards Earned as a Cub Scouter

These are commonly referred to as Cub Scout Leader Training Awards. Each award has specific training, tenure, and performance requirements.

Tiger Den Leader Training Award (To be Retired December 31, 2012)

Denotes one year served as a Tiger Cub Scout Leader in a quality Tiger Cub den. There are several requirements, including being fully trained for the position, having most of your boys complete their rank requirements, etc.

 

Den Leader Training Award (Wolf and Bear Den Leaders) (Effective 01/01/2013, will be available to ALL Den Leaders)

Denotes one year served as either a Wolf or Bear Cub Scout Leader in a quality Cub Scout den. There are several requirements, including being fully trained for the position, having most of your boys complete their rank requirements, etc.

 

WEBELOS Leader Training Award (To be Retired December 31, 2012)

Denotes one year served as a Webelos Scout Leader in a quality Webelos patrol. There are several requirements, including being fully trained for the position, having most of your boys complete their rank requirements, etc.

 

Den Leader Coach Award – Discontinued

Denotes two year served as a Cub Scout Den Leader Coach in a quality Pack.This knot may no longer be earned. Scouters who have previously earned this knot may continute to wear this knot.

 

Cub Scouter’s Training Award (To be Retired December 31, 2012 – Will be replaced by the Scouter Training Award)

Denotes two year served in any position as a registered Cub Scout Leader in a quality Pack. There are several requirements, including serving in supporting roles for the Pack, etc.

 

Pack Trainer Award (To be Retired December 31, 2012)

Denotes two year served as a registered Pack Trainer in a Cub Scout Pack. There are several requirements, including attending Trainer’s Development Conference, keeping all key Pack leaders trained for their positions, keeping accurate Pack Training records, etc.

 

Cubmaster’s Training Award (To be Retired December 31, 2012 – Will be replaced by the Scouter’s Key)

Denotes either two year served as the Cubmaster, or one year as Asst. Cubmaster and one year as Cubmaster in a quality Pack. There are several requirements, including being fully trained for the position, earning the Summertime Achievement Award, earning Quality Unit, etc.

 

Awards Earned as a Youth Member

These awards were earned by the recipient as a youth member of the Boy Scouts of America.  

Youth Religious Emblem of Faith 

This square knot is worn by those whom have earned their religious emblem of faith particular to their own religion as a youth. It is one of only two awards that can be earned as a youth that can be worn on the adult uniform that are not rank-related. This award is NOT a BSA award; it is an award administered and presented by a church body for education, service and devotion to faith. BSA then allows the youth or Scouter to wear a knot signifying his completion of that award.

Requirements for this award vary from religion to religion. For more information on the specific requirements of Protestant faiths, please visit the P.R.A.Y. website for grades 6-8, or grades 9-12. For information on the specific requirements for Catholic Scouts please see the National Catholic Committee on Scouting’s website for the Ad Altare Dei Award for Scouts 13-14, or the Pope Pius XII Award for Scouts 15 and older.

 

Arrow of Light (Cub Scouts) 

This knot is given in recognition of attaining Cub Scouting’s highest rank, the Arrow of Light. If you earned the Arrow of light when you were a Cub Scout, you are entitled to wear this knot.

Note: prior to 1967, the rank following Bear was Lion, and the Webelos Award was the “getting ready for Boy Scouts” award…similar to the current Arrow of Light. If you earned your Webelos Award prior to 1967, you are also entitled to wear this knot.This is not a restricted knot, and can simply be picked up from the Scout Shop.

 

Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts) 

This knot is given in recognition of attaining Boy Scouting’s highest rank, the Eagle. If you are an Eagle Scout, you are entitled to wear this knot.

Also pictured is an Eagle Scout Award knot, with Eagle Palms devices.

The Eagle Scout with NESA Life Membership knot is awarded to an Eagle Scouts who further enrolls as a Life Member with NESA (National Eagle Scout Association).You may only wear one Eagle Scout knot. This knot is worn instead of, not in addition to the standard Eagle Scout knot.

Created in 1969, the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award is the only distinguished service recognition that depends on one’s association with Scouting as a youth. The recipient must have attained the Eagle Scout rank a minimum of 25 years before his nomination, and over those years he must have rendered outstanding service to others.

Unlike the actual Eagle rank patch, the Eagle Award knot is not restricted, and can simply be picked up from the Scout Shop. 

 

Ace Award (Air Scouts) – Retired Program

This knot is given in recognition of attaining Air Scout’s highest rank, the Ace Award. 

This was the highest award/rank in the former Air Scout / Air Exploring Program of BSA. Explorers had to demonstrate aviation knowledge, leadership, and service over a period of time; and earn several rating awards. Ace Awards were conferred after a review board at the local Council level. The Ace Award was available from 1942 to 1954. In 1954 it was replaced with the Explorer Silver Award, which lasted until the Air Exploring program ended in 1966. Aviation has remained an Exploring specialty interest since then.If you earned your Ace Award when you were an Air Scout, you are entitled to wear thisknot.The Air Scout, similar to the Sea Scout program, was a branch of the Explorers. However, the Air Scouts program was disbanded back in 1966.

 

Quartermaster Award (Sea Scouts)

This knot is given in recognition of attaining Sea Scouting’s highest rank, the Quartermaster Award. If you earned your Quartermaster when you were a Sea Scout, you are entitled to wear this knot. Pictured at top is the current version of the knot. It was also produced as a white knot on navy blue background, and royal blue on a navy blue background for wear on the navy blue Sea Scout uniform, and as a royal blue knot on a khaki background. It is currently only being produced as a navy blue knot on a white background. 

This is not a restricted knot, and can simply be picked up from the Scout Shop.

 

Ranger Award (Former Explorers Program) – Retired Program

This knot is given in recognition of attaining Exploring’s high adventure award, the Ranger Award. If you earned your Ranger Award when you were an Explorer, you are entitled to wear this knot. This was the highest award/rank in the former Explorer Scout program of BSA. Explorers had to demonstrate woodcraft and camping knowledge, leadership, and service over a period of time. Ranger Awards were conferred after a review board at the local Council level. The Ranger Award was available from 1944 to 1951. After 1951, the Silver Award would take its place. Many years later the Ranger Award would be revived with scoutings new Venturing program in 1998. This knot is strictly for the Ranger Award earned as an Explorer, not the current award.

The Explorer program has evolved into the present-day Venturing program.

 

Silver Award (Former Explorers Program) – Retired Program

The Exploring Silver Award was designed as a replacement knot for the Explorer Scout Ranger Award. Between 2198 and 3410 of the first Silver Award were earned (it changed in 1954, and both kinds were handed out according to the stock available). The second versions, Type II, is pictured below the first, Type I. Between 12877 and 15157 of the second were earned before the end of 1959 when the BSA revised the Exploring Program and deleted all recognitions from it. The Silver Award remained available for Air Explorers from 1960-66.

 

Exploring G.O.L.D. Award Retired Program

The Exploring Growth Opportunity in Leadership Development (G.O.L.D.) Award was earned by male and female members of any Explorer Post or Ship after a period of service, leadership and tenure. Each Explorer created his/her own set of “requirements” for the award. At the end of the period of service and leadership, candidates appeared before the Post or District Exploring Committee to review the path taken to complete the requirements for the award.

This award also represented the Explorer Achievement Award, the Learning for Life Young American Award (though recipients were not awarded the knot, as Learning for Life members had no uniform to wear it on), the Air Scout Ace Award (after its own knot was discontinued), the Ranger Award (after its own knot was discontinued), the Exploring Silver Award, after the Type I knot was discontinued).

 

Venturing Silver Award

Advancement has been an important part of the Boy Scouts of America since the issuance of the first twelve merit badges in 1911. When the Boy Scouts of America introduced the Exploring program (predecessor to Venturing) in 1950, the Silver Award program was also released as the advancement program for older Boy Scouts. From 1950 through 1966, 18,256 Silver Medals in general, i.e., Wolf, Antelope, Beaver, etc., were earned.

The Venturing Silver Award is available to all youth Venturing members of the Boy Scouts of America. The purpose of the Venturing Silver Award  is to:

 

  • Provide a pathway for personal development.
  • Encourage Venturers to learn, grow, and serve.
  • Recognize the high level of achievement of Venturers who acquire Venturing skills.
  • Identify trained and highly motivated Venturers who will be a training, leadership, and program resource for other Venturers, Scouts, organizations, and the community.
  • Help define Venturing.

Other Awards

These awards are (or have been) issued for varying levels of training, achievement, or service rendered to the community, Boy Scouts of America or its members, or in recognition for significant contributions to conservation or monies donated or bequeathed to the Boy Scouts of America.

William T. Hornaday Award *

This award recognizes Scouts and Scouters for ecology efforts and service to conservation in their communities. To earn the Hornaday Award as an individual, youth members must earn a series of merit badges followed by a concentrated series of conservation and/or environmental education projects to be conducted in the member’s community or nearby, under the advise of a trained conservation, naturalist, or environmental engineering expert.

There are seven levels to this award — the Unit Certificate for Scouting groups, the Badge (shown, here, below the knot), Bronze Award and Silver Award for youth, the Gold Badge (shown, here, below the youth badge) and Gold Medal for Adults, and the Gold Certificate for outside organizations and corporations. Holders of the Bronze and Silver Awards and the Gold Medal may wear the square knot shown. Holders of the badges may wear them, in place of a knot. 

For more information on the William T Hornaday awards, please see the BSA Hornaday Award webpage

For a comparison chart of the various awards, see the Hornaday Award Comparison page.

For Hornaday Award Application Submission Checklists, please visit the Hornaday Checklist page.

For information on the requirements for the Hornaday youth award and medals, please visit the BSA’s How Do I Earn A Hornaday Medal page.

To download an application for youth awards, or submit a nomination form for a worthy leader, please visit the Application and Nomination Form page.

The application, with supporting documentation, is the primary basis upon which decisions are made. The national Hornaday Awards Committee may grant as many awards as possible, provided the demanding expectations are met. Dr. Hornaday stated, “Unusual prizes are to be won only by unusual services.” For guidance, please see this page that explains how award applications are judged. For Hornaday Awards conferred by the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, these are the major criteria used in judging. (BSA local councils hold applicants for the Hornaday unit award, badge, and adult Scouter gold badge to similarly high standards.)


Venturing Leadership Award Discontinued, Spring 2012

This award is presented by councils, areas, regions, and the BSA National Council to Venturers and Venturing Leaders who have made exceptional contributions to Venturing and who exemplify the Venturing Code and Venturing Oath.

 

Alumni Award – To be localized/discontinued as a National award.

One of the newests knot debuted in March 2011. It’s a tip of the cap to registered Scouters who help unregistered alumni rejoin and reconnect with the program. 

 

William H Spurgeon III Award To be Discontinued in 2014

The William H. Spurgeon III Award is the highest recognition for individuals and organizations contributing significant leadership to the Exploring program. Although the award may be awarded to an organization, on the direct-contact adult is entitled to wear the knot. Note that this award can be a gold knot with a gold border on a dark green, or a black background.

 

Distinguished Commissioner Service Award 

The Distinguished Commissioner Service Award is presented to unit, Assistant District, District, Assistant Council, and Council Commissioners whom have served activily as a registered commissioner for at least five years, have completed the Commissioner training courses, received the Arrowhead Honor Award, and whose units/District/Council has achieved a level of quality through the BSA’s Quality Unit/District/Council program.

 

Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award

The Doctorate Commissioner Science Award is award to a Commissioner upon completion of a standardized program leading to the completion of a thesis or project and the award of the Doctorate of Commissioner Science from a College of Commissioner Science.

The College of Commissioner Science program is designed to have a commissioner learn, through a series of training classes, followed by work experiences to ensure a quality program throughout Scouting. This training will take a number of years to complete. The commissioner finalizes his/her training with an approved thesis or project for the benefit of the Scouting program. This assists both new commissioners as they learn, and seasoned commissioners as they train others.

 

James E West Fellowship Award

The James West Fellowship Award is presented through a local Council to any individual that gives $1000 or more to the local Council’s West Fellowship Fund (local Councils have differing names for this special pool) on behalf of him/herself, or another individual to be honored or recognized through membership within the West Fellowship. The money goes to support critical local Council and national programs which have suffered major losses due to diversion of funding for national-level resolutions of risk-management issues.

After you have made the contribution click here to download the James E West Fellowship Award Nomination Form, fill it out, collect the necessary signatures, and turn it in to your council office. If you know of a scouter who made this contribution to their local council, but for whatever reason did not fill out a form to nominate themselves for this award, you may also fill out a form to nominate them and turn it in to the council office on their behalf.

 

Scoutmaster Award of Merit This award has been discontinued and superseded by the Unit Leader Award of Merit.

Denotes 18 months served as a Scoutmaster in a quality Troop or Advisor in a quality Crew, meeting several objectives. Applicants are nominated by Troop or Crew officers.

This award also represents:

Varsity Coach’s Award of Merit and the Venturing Advisor’s Award of Merit

 

BSA Speaker Bank Award – Recruitment for this program has been terminated.

In order to spread the message of Scouting, the BSA is maintaining a list of officially registered speakers to get the word out about Scouting. After a registered speaker conducts a minimum of 20 speeches and provides feedback, the speaker will receive a knot. Knot recipients will receive recognition at the National Annual Meeting. While recruitment for the Speaker Bank has been closed, those registered as speakers may continue to make presentations, and will receive the knot after giving 20 speeches. 

 

Sea Badge

This award is presented to registered Sea Scout adults that attend and complete the Seabadge Conference advanced training course. This course is similar to the Woodbadge course for general scout leaders. Additionally, at this time, in the Southern Region only, participants must also complete their Rudders (similar to the Woodbadge Tickets) to earn the right to wear this knot.

There are no additional requirements or signatures necessary. Completion of this course entitles you to wear this knot.

 

Professional Training Award

The Professional Training Award may be earned by: Associate District Executives, District Executives, Senior District Executives, Exploring Executives, Senior Exploring Executives, District Directors, and Field Directors with supervisory responsibilities. To earn the award, Professional staff Scouters must: complete or participate in five of eight training or coaching programs (including Wood Badge, Exploring Advanced Seminar, and National Camping School), successfully attend all three sessions of the Professional Executive Institute (PEI), and meet all critical achievements in his or her District/Division/Council for two of the three years.

 

  Silver World

The Silver World Award is presented by the BSA to world citizens who give outstanding service to their nation’s youth or to young people in other countries. Award recipients must be citizens of countries whose Scout associations are members of the World Scout Conference. United States citizens may receive the recognition only if they are not registered members of the Boy Scouts of America.There are no specific requirements for this award, and there is no form to fill out. If you feel you know of someone deserving, then write a detailed letter of nomination, explaining what you believe are this person’s qualifications, and why you think they should recieve this award. Then turn your nomination letter into your local Scout Executive for processing. Self-nomination automatically disqualifies a candidate.

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