Special Awards & Recognitions


In addition to badges of rank and merit badges, scouts are eligible to earn a number of other awards that reflect their achievements.

Boy Scout | Adult Volunteer | Troop

Boy Scout Awards

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50-Miler Award

Presented for participating in a troop event involving a wilderness trip covering at least fifty (50) miles over at least five (5) consecutive days.

Akela Award

Recognition for a combination of outstanding performance as a Webelo and as a new scout.

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BSA Boardsailing

BSA Emergency Preparedness

The emergencies of today’s world demand more than ever that our young people and adults be trained as individuals and as units to meet emergency situations. This program fosters skills in our youth and adult members so that they can participate effectively in this crucial service to their families, communities, and nation.

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BSA Kayaking

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BSA Lifeguard

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BSA Mile Swim

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BSA Physical Fitness

The BSA Physical Fitness Award is designed to heighten fitness awareness and to help change the lifestyles of American youth and adults to improve the quality of their lives.

BSA Scuba

BSA Snorkeling

Crime Prevention Award

The Boy Scouts of America’s Crime Prevention Program assists neighborhoods and communities in their efforts to prevent crime.

Firem’n Chit

This certification grants a Scout the right to carry matches and build campfires.

Historic Trails Award

Hike and camp for two (2) days and one (1) night along a historic trail or historic site and learn about its significance.

Hornaday Awards

The William T. Hornaday Awards are for distinguished service in natural resources conservation. There are five awards:

Interpreter strips

Interpreter strips are earned by scouts who can converse in a foreign language, write a letter in a foreign language, and translate orally and in writing from one language to another.

Keep America Beautiful Inc. Hometown USA Awards

The Hometown U.S.A. Award is a joint program between Keep America Beautiful Inc. (KAB) and the Boy Scouts of America. It is designed to give recognition to the outstanding efforts of Scouts in their communities in regard to citizenship and environmental improvement.

Leave No Trace Awareness Award

Lifesaving Awards

The National Court of Honor presents awards for rare scout-like action and for saving life.

Meritorious Action Awards

Recognition may be given to a youth member or adult leader where the evidence presented to the National Court of Honor, in accordance with prescribed regulations, shows that a significant or outstanding act of service of exceptional character was performed.

Paul Bunyan Woodsmen

Religious Emblem

Recognition developed by faith groups for special service and learning.

Totin’ Chip

When a scout deomonstrates that he knows how to handle woods tools, he/she may be granted totin’ rights.

World Conservation Award

Earned by completing the following merit badges:

Young American Award

A council-level award is given to young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 to highlight publicly the importance of their excellent achievements and service to their community, state and nation.

Adult Volunteer Awards

Distinguished Service Awards

The recognitions are granted by one’s own peers in Scouting for distinguished service to youth. Other BSA awards, by comparison, are granted only to those who have completed a prescribed course of study or have participated in special training sessions. There are five awards each with different criteria:

  • Silver Buffalo
  • Silver Antelope
  • Silver Beaver
  • Silver World
  • Distinguished Eagle Scout

Community Organization

Community Organization has seven awards which fall into this classification:

  • The Marvin M. Lewis Award of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE)
  • Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Scouter’s Achievement Award
  • American Legion Scouting Square Knot Award
  • Department of Defense—United States Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
  • Herbert G. Horton Alpha Phi Omega Youth Service Award of the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity.

Troop Awards and Recognitions

Quality Unit

National Honor Patrol