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For contact information see the Contact
Announced in November 2023, effective January 2024:
to Scouts BSA Advancement - see below
Announced in November 2023, effective June 2024: Major changes
to Cub Advancement - see below
January 2023: A number of changes were
made to the requirements for Scouts BSA advancement in 2023. These
are summarized below - see the US
Scouts Service Project page for complete list and details
April 2022: The age for joining Scouts BSA
was revised in April 2022. Youth may join Scouts BSA if they are at
least 10 years old, currently in the fifth grade and register on or
after March 1st; OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at
least 10 years old, OR are age 11 but have not reached age 18. Prior
to this change, new Scouts had to have completed fifth grade.
Now, fifth graders can join in March, allowing the new Scout to have
a few month's experience in Scouting before they go to summer camp
for the first time.
March 1, 2022: The changes to Scouts BSA
advancement which were introduced for Covid-19 expired, and the
previous requirements return to effect.
November 1, 2021: Health Care Professions will
replace the Medicine merit badge. See the Scouts BSA
section below for details.
November 1, 2021: Citizenship in Society
will be required as of July 1, 2022.
January 1, 2021 - Extensions of Time for top
Effective Jan. 1, 2021, local councils will have
the authority to grant limited extensions of time to complete
Eagle, Quartermaster, or Summit requirements.
Advance copies of the topics and forms are
published at https://www.scouting.org/advancement
(Items 2-6 under General Resources).
District Advancement Committee Meeting
Note: In-person meetings are suspended during the
Social Distancing mandate - e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
if you need a Board of Review or Eagle project approval.
Fourth Thursday in Sep, Oct, Jan-Apr and Jun-
Third Thursday in Nov, Dec, May- 7:00PM
July meeting is usually at Camp Barton
No August meeting
The monthly District Advancement Committee meetings
will be a "one stop shopping" place for prospective Eagle
Scouts to get their projects reviewed and approved, meet with mentors,
and have their Eagle Board of Review. The Advancement Committee is
also charged with encouraging and coordinating advancement at all
program levels (Cub, Scout and Venturing). Each unit is requested to
send a representative to the District Advancement Committee - for more
information, contact advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
on Advancement Policy?
National HQ publishes the Guide to
which is the official Boy Scouts of America source
on advancement procedures at all levels - Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA and
No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has
the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements.
There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with
This publication clearly identifies mandated procedures
with words such as “must” and “shall.” Where such language is
used, no council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the
authority to deviate from the procedures covered, without the written
permission of the national Advancement Team. Recommended best practices
are offered using words like “should,” while other options and
guidelines are indicated with terms such as “may” or “can.”
Refer questions on these to your local district or council advancement
chairs or staff advisors. They, in turn, may request interpretations and
assistance from the national Advancement Team.
There are lots of other resources on Scouting issues on
the internet - but it's important to remember, as the Guide
(Section 18.104.22.168) says:
Be aware that statements or interpretations offered from
unofficial websites and other such sources may be out of date or
incorrect. They will not be considered in resolving advancement
questions and issues. In situations not specifically covered in this
guide, advancement chairs, coordinators, or other administrators should
make decisions based on the aims and mission of the Boy Scouts of
America, as well as the Scout Oath and Scout Law, other applicable
official and current BSA resources—and common sense.
Every unit should have a copy of the Guide - download
it from the National Website (PDF - 12MB)
to Advancement can also be accessed through the web
Cub Scout Advancement
New Advancement Program for Cub
Effective June 1, 2024
It’s official! The Cub Scout program will be updated for the
2024-25 program year. Over the past several years the National Cub
Scouting Committee under the leadership of past chair Lisa Wylie and
current chair Audrey Oakes has identified four areas to improve the Cub
Scout program to ensure that it is fun, simple, and easy.
Over the past five years the National Cub Scouting has been working
on these updates. These updates are based on feedback from over 23,000
parents and Cub Scout leaders through various surveys and data.
Listening to and identify the key opportunities to improve the program
the National Cub Scout committee is excited to finally reveal these
improvements. Over the past year these improvements have been socialized
to thousands of individuals with overwhelming support.
The four areas of improvement are the Bobcat badge, Cub Scout
Adventures, Webelos, and Cub Scout Awards.
Bobcat will no longer be a badge that is earned once when a Cub Scout
joins. It will become a required Adventure for each rank and earned each
year. The requirements for the Bobcat Adventure are different for each
grade to make them age-appropriate.
Cub Scout Adventures have been improved to make it easier to deliver
the program to multi-rank dens or as a Pack. To earn each rank in Cub
Scouting will require a Cub Scout to earn the six required Adventures
and two elective Adventures. Required Adventures reflect the aims and
focus areas of the BSA. The number of elective Adventures increases.
Webelos and Arrow of Light will be separated. Webelos becomes the
4th-grade program in Cub Scouting. Arrow of Light becomes a stand-alone
badge of rank for 5th graders and will no longer be associated with.
Arrow of Light will be the program that prepares Cub Scouts to join
Cub Scouts Awards will be reimagined as Cub Scout Adventures. Topics
like camping, STEM, and range and target sports will remain and are
reimagined into elective Adventures that can be used towards earning a
badge of rank.
The changes will take effect officially on June 1, 2024.
To read the full announcement, with graphics, see Cub
Scout Program Updates Announced | Boy Scouts of America (scouting.org)
Cub Advancement Requirements:
Recent Changes to Scouts BSA
- Advancement Changes for 2024: You can download a complete list
this link (PDF)
- Rank Requirements:
- Minor changes to Scout and Star requirement (6),
which deletes the reference to CyberChip.
- The Cyberchip has been phased out. Scouts
should use the Personal Safety Awareness training at https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/scouts-bsa/
for both Scout and Star ranks.
- Eagle Palms: Scouts BSA will no longer have to
wait three months between Eagle Palms. For each palm,
they will have to earn five additional merit badges, and
live by the Scout Oath and Law, but there is no time
- Merit Badges: The following badges have had
requirements changed for 2024:
- Automotive Maintenance – updated to include
electric/hybrid vehicles (1c,d,e,f,g,h)
(2a,b,c,d,e) (3c) (8a,e,f)
- Backpacking* (11b)
- Bird Study (2) (4) (7) (8c) (9d) (11) (12)
- Camping* (9c)
- Canoeing – major reorganization (3) (4b) (7) (8) (9)
- Chemistry (2c) (5)
- Coin Collecting – reorganization and updated for
new/retired coinages (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
- Cooking (5 a,b,c,d,e)
- Digital Technology (1)
- Engineering (5) (6c)
- Fire Safety – safety updates (1c) (2) (4) (6b,c,d,g)
(7a) (9a) (10a) (11)
- First Aid *– more hands-on (2) (4) (7) (8d) (10)
(11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16)
- Fly-Fishing (3 b,c) (10)
- Golf – reorganized and added disc golf option (1)
- Indian Lore (2) (3) (4) (5)
- Insect Study – expanded requirements (2) (4) (6a,b)
- Journalism – included social media (2a1)
- Law (1) (5) (11)
- Mining in Society (8c)
- Nuclear Science – updated, more active options
(1a,b,c,d,e) (2b) (3a,b) (4,4c) (6a,b)
- Photography (1b)
- Plant Science (8 Option 1: Agronomy E5c)
- Programming (1a)
- Radio (9a5)
- Safety – updated to include natural disasters (1c)
- Scouting Heritage (2b3, b4) (3) (4c)
- Skating – added skateboarding option (1b)(2)
(Skateboarding Option), Ice Skating option (2b1) (2d2),
Roller Skating Option (2c1)(2d2)
- Surveying – added use of drones (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
- Sustainability* – major reorganization (1) (2) (3)
(4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
- Swimming* – added correct demonstration of strokes
(3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
- Advancement Changes for 2023: See the US
Scouts Service Project page for complete list and details
- Rank Requirements: The following requirements have
- Scout: 1(c), 5, 6
- Tenderfoot: 1(c), 5(a) and (c)
- Second Class: 1(b), 2(b) and (c)
- First Class: 1(b), 2(d)
- Star: 3 (minor wording change) and 6
- Life: 3 (minor wording change)
- Eagle: 3 (minor revision - reordering to move
Citizenship in Society with other Citizenship badges in
- Merit Badges: The following merit badges have had
requirements changed for 2023:
- American Business (2c)
- Animal Science (1, Avian Option a, c, e)
- Archery (1a, b, c, d, 3b, 4a, b, c, d, 5ac, 5af1cd,
- Architecture (1b)
- Composite Materials (1c 3a)
- Cooking (2c, d, 4a, 5b, d, e, g, 6a, f)
- Cycling (1a, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Option A a1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Option B a1, 3, b1, 2, 3, c, d, e)
- Digital Technology (3a, 3e, 4a, 5a, 7c)
- Disabilities Awareness (6)
- Emergency Preparedness (3)
- Environmental Science (3, 3f2, 5)
- Family Life (6b1, 2, 3)
- Farm Mechanics (1d)
- Game Design (1b, 5b, 8a, b)
- Genealogy (1a, b, c, 4a, b, c, d, e, 8b, c)
- Geology (5d2)
- Golf (3, 7g)
- Hiking (2a, b, c, 4, 5)
- Inventing (6b)
- Mammal Study (3a, b, c)
- Nature (4g2, 4h1, 6a, b)
- Personal Fitness (4d)
- Plant Science (8 Option 3 Field Botany A2, B, F1d,
F3c1, 2, 3)
- Programming (1b, 3a)
- Reptile and Amphibian Study (3d, 5)
- Salesmanship (2b, 2d, 3, 4, 6a3)
- Small-Boat Sailing (6i, j)
- Snow Sports (2b, 7 Downhill a, h, i; Cross country a,
b, d, i; Snowboarding i, k; Snowshoeing e, i, j)
- Sports (5)
- Swimming (5a)
Advancement Changes for 2022: The following changes were
announced in June 2022:
- Minor Modifications to Scouts BSA Rank Requirements:
- In 2021, all outdoor-related rank advancement requirements
were reviewed and realigned based on guidance from the
National Outdoor Ethics and Conservation Subcommittee. These
adjustments will help more effectively build a Scout’s
outdoor ethics knowledge and align with the information in
the Scouts BSA Handbook and Fieldbook. The requirements now
build in a logical way through the ranks, with Leave No
Trace (LNT) and the Outdoor Code (OC) used as references
throughout. Beginning August 1, 2022, these modifications to
the Scouts BSA requirements for the ranks of Scout through
Star will take effect. Scouts may continue using the
existing requirements for the rank on which they are
currently working, or they may choose to use the new
requirements. Scouts must use the new requirements once they
advance to their next rank.
The specific changes are detailed at https://
- On January 1, 2023, all Scouts must use only the new
- New videos were created to support “Personal Safety
Awareness” (chapter 13) of the Scouts BSA Handbook. These
can be used as an alternative to earning the Cyber Chip.
As of December 31, 2021: Health Care Professions will
replace the Medicine merit badge and will feature a new merit badge
pamphlet and new requirements, available
here. The design of the merit badge emblem will not change, so,
yes, if a Scout has earned both Medicine and Health Care Professions
two copies of the same emblem can be worn.
Scouts who have begun work on the Medicine merit badge may continue
working on it until they are finished or turn 18. After Dec. 31,
2021, Scouts may not begin working on the Medicine merit badge and
should instead work on the Health Care Professions badge.
As of July 1, 2022, the Citizenship in
Society Merit Badge will be added to the Eagle list, to increase
the required list to fourteen badges. The requirements have been released, and can be downloaded
from National's website.
To keep up with the latest changes, see the BSA
Updates Page and the US Scouting Service Project page for 2023
"Serve actively ... in ...
positions of responsibility" and "Active Participation"
For many years, these phrases in the requirements for the
ranks in the Scouts BSA program has been a matter for dispute and inconsistent
application. The Guide to Advancement has
Positions of Responsibility" and "22.214.171.124
Active Participation" discussing and defining what does, and does
not, count as satisfying these requirements as well as what a unit can,
and cannot, do in defining them. Every troop leader should review these
sections, and note that the Guide explicitly points out that
"must" means must - waivers from something which
"must" be done cannot be given by unit, district or council
Eagle Scout Forms: Be
sure that you are using the very latest forms. You can find the printing year
above the barcode on the back of the application. Better yet, always
download a new form before you fill one out - you can find the
latest forms on the District Forms page.
Life-To-Eagle Procedures: The
Council Advancement Committee have set up the following required
procedure for all of the districts in the Baden-Powell
Life to Eagle Training: All Scouts
should attend a "Life to Eagle" training session
as soon as they earn their Life rank. These training
sessions are offered at Roundtables several times a year -
watch the District Calendar or Training
Page for upcoming dates.
Find a project and get troop approval:
Scout, with the help of the Scoutmaster, finds a project.
Complete the Eagle Scout Service Project Proposal, pages A
thru E, and Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising
Application, page A, found in the Eagle
Project Workbook, making
sure to collect all signatures except for the District
Schedule a meeting to present the
project: The Scout then schedules his first meeting with
the District Advancement Committee. He should contact the
District Advancement Chairman at advancement@TompkinsCortlandScouts.org
no later than two weeks before the next Roundtable and make an appointment for that
Committee meeting (see District
Calendar for times and place).
Present the Project Proposal:
Project will be discussed with board.
Any problems are discussed and explained
to the Scout
Chairman gives go ahead with project and
A Mentor is assigned to Scout.
Now - and only now - the Scout
can begin work on the project. Don't jump the gun and
start work before you get approval!
Execute the Project - The Mentor
should stays in contact with the Scout, calling every once
in a while if they have not heard for the Scout in a while.
Once the Project is finished - The
Collect required signatures for the rest
of the packet.
Finish project write up and after-action
The Troop Committee or Scoutmaster, not
the Scout, contacts three of the six references listed
on the Eagle Application, secures a sealed confidential
letter of recommendation from each of those individuals,
and includes them in the Eagle Scout Application
Once all merit badges are completed,
collect all needed signatures on the Eagle Scout
Application up to and including Baden-Powell Council certification.
Make an appointment for final project
review at the next monthly District Advancement Committee
Final Project Review (by District
The Scout should bring all complete
project materials as well as blue cards for all merit
badges, and be in complete uniform
Board gives tentative approval if
acceptable, if not the Scout gets feedback and fixes
issues and makes new appointment with board
If project is acceptable, merit badges
are completed, and all paperwork completed the Scout is
given his final board of review
Final Paperwork Processed - District
Advancement Chairman delivers all paperwork to office
Application (link to National site) and Eagle Scout Biography and Project Summary
(Locally updated form).
Eagle Court of Honor - once the Eagle
application is approved by BSA National, the troop should
schedule a Court of Honor to present the award to the Scout.
Don't forget to invite anyone who had any part in the
Scout's progress to Eagle!
How to become a merit badge counselor:
Check the Merit Badge Counselor List - you'll
need to ask someone with access to ScoutBook if you don't
have it yourself. Please don't sign up for a badge just because your child or
a Scout in your child's troop wants to take a badge. If there's
already a Counselor in your town who is listed for one of
the badges, encourage the Scout to call them first. This
serves two purposes: (a) it has always been a part of the
Merit Badge program to encourage Scouts to meet with outside
experts in the area of the badge; and (b) recruiting many
duplicate Counselors in the same area weakens the system (if
there are too many Counselors for a badge, none of them gets
contacted very often, and we wind up losing most of
them). There are over 100 merit badges - why not pick
some for which there aren't already Counselors in your
Qualification: A Merit Badge
Counselor must be at least 21 years old, and must meet the
requirements for any BSA adult member, including taking Youth
Protection Training (YPT) and keeping that training
current. A Counselor should be
proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation,
avocation, or special training - as the purpose of the Merit
Badge system is to allow Scouts to meet people who are well
informed in a given area, please do not apply for badges
unless you are very familiar with the field.
Choose your badges: While there is no
specific limit for how many badges any one person can sign
up for, as a general rule the District would prefer that
Counselors limit themselves to five or six badges. Pick the
ones you're most qualified for or which are most
needed. You can find a complete list of merit badges,
with requirements, on the US
Scouts Service Project website.
Register and Apply: (Two Options):
The Council will do the routine
background check, as for any adult application.
The District Advancement Committee will
review the application at its next monthly meeting
Listing: If approved by the District
and Council, the counselor is notified, and listed on the
Merit Badge Counselor list on this website.
Baden-Powell Council Merit Badge Counselor List:
At the request of the council, the Merit Badge Counselor
list has been removed from this web page. Unit leaders should be
able to locate merit badge counselors through ScoutBook. If you
have any questions about this, or need any help locating the
information on ScoutBook, contact the Baden-Powell Council.
Merit Badge Counselor Training is
available through My.Scouting.org
as is most BSA training. Log in to My.Scouting.org,
go to "My Dashboard", then select "Training
Center". Click on "Scouts BSA" and you should
find Merit Badge Counselor training on the list. Click
"+Add Plan" next to the training, and take the course.
Merit Badge Resources: see our Forms
and Links page
Recently Added Scouts BSA Merit Badges
Health Care Professions Merit
Health Care Professions will replace the Medicine
merit badge and will feature a new merit badge pamphlet and new
here. The design of the merit badge emblem will not change - so, yes,
if a Scout earns both Medicine and Health Care Professions, he or she can
wear two copies of the same emblem. Scouts who
have begun work on the Medicine merit badge may continue working on it
until they are finished or turn 18. After Dec. 31, 2021, Scouts may not
begin working on the Medicine merit badge and should instead work on the
Health Care Professions badge.
In Society Merit Badge
Citizenship in Society Merit Badge (originally
called "Diversity", then "Diversity, Equity and
Inclusion") has been officially released on November 1, 2021. The
badge will become Eagle Required as of July 1, 2022. The requirements can
from National's website. There will not be any pamphlet for this badge
- it is intended to be an open-ended discussion between the Scout and the
Counselor. The official announcement can be found on
The Scouts BSA recommends that anyone wishing to become a merit badge
counselor for this takes the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training,
available through the BSA Learn Center at my.scouting.org, and also
released this video last month to help guide prospective Citizenship in
Society merit badge counselors: https://vimeo.com/613861523
Troop 43's Scoutmaster Mike Martinez notes, "I look forward to
working with Scouts on this merit badge soon, and would encourage all
units to develop a plan to offer this merit badge as soon as possible so
prospective Eagle Scouts will Be Prepared and not face a delay when it
becomes required next summer!" He can be contacted at email@example.com
For the latest information on changes to the merit badge
list see the
Scouting Magazine blog
Explorers and Venturers, 14 years old and older,
can earn the Duke of Edinburgh Award!
Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the Boy Scouts of America have joined forces
to expand the internationally renowned DofE Award into the world of
Scouting. This year, the BSA national office launched the pilot program in
five councils nationwide: Baden-Powell, Circle 10, Los Angeles Area,
National Capital Area, and Yocona.
Founded in 1956 in the UK by Her Majesty The Queen's
husband, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Edinburgh's
Award is a non-competitive, self-development program for youth ages 14 to
25. Dedicated to achievement in community service, physical fitness,
special skills, and adventurous journey, the Award aims to build
self-esteem and promote character development within every participant.
The Award is an exciting, non-competitive experience that
cultivates and instills confidence and self-worth within every
participant. Through its proven and trusted quality framework,
participants enjoy an unparalleled experience that hones their talents and
skills and instills within them a crucial sense of belonging and
Over 7 million people have received the Duke of
Edinburgh's Award since its inception. The Award's fundamental philosophy
and Four Tenant operational format have proved resilient, attractive, and
adaptable to many cultures, languages, and environments, and it remains as
relevant today as ever before, experiencing record levels of interest
annually. Last year, more than 140,000 participants from around the world
earned a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
A letter introducing
the Pilot Program can be downloaded here in PDF format.
For more information or to get involved, please contact
Baden-Powell Council DofE coordinator, at 607-844-3921 or
a quick summary, there are four ranks, going from the joining-level
Venturing Rank to the Summit Rank, the highest honor in Venturing.
The ranks blend adventure, leadership, personal development and
service to give Venturers a structure for developing their own personal
vision into manageable goals. That’ll translate into recognition by
peers, mentors and the larger community. Each rank has a focus. For the
Venturing award, it’s joining; for Discovery, it’s participation;
for Pathfinder, it’s leadership; and for the Summit rank, it’s
patch incorporates the Venturing logo, and the design gets progressively
more intricate as a young man or young woman progresses in
Recipients of the Summit Award get an awesome patch but also receive
a medal. Plus, as adults, Summit Award recipients may wear the
green, white and silver square knot pictured. It’s the same knot worn
by recipients of the old Venturing Silver Award, which was retired
at the end of 2014.
There are also Specialty
Awards and Leadership
Awards for Venturers to earn.
The following changes were announced in August, 2020:
Certain restrictions regarding prior
credit for Venturers have been changed. Effective
immediately, Venturing Advisors have the discretion to give
a Venturer credit toward Venturing award requirements for
work previously completed by the Venturer while a registered
member of a Scouts BSA Troop or a Sea Scout Ship. This
change aligns the Venturing advancement program with the
Scouts BSA and Sea Scouting advancement programs.
Under the current edition of the Guide to Advancement and
the latest printed edition of Venturing Awards and
Requirements, a Venturer was required to complete all work
on Venturing awards while registered as a Venturer, and
Venturing Advisors were not permitted to give credit toward
Venturing award requirements for work previously done by a
youth in Scouts BSA or Sea Scouts. Neither Scouts BSA nor
Sea Scouts have these same restrictions. Except as stated in
the temporary transition rules covering first-time members
entering Scouts BSA after February 1, 2019, in both Scouts
BSA and Sea Scouts, unit leaders are currently able to
consider work done in any program when giving credit toward
completion of rank or award requirements. To improve
consistency within the three programs and to encourage
membership in Venturing Crews, Venturers may now receive
credit toward Venturing ranks and specialty awards for work
completed while registered in a Scouts BSA Troop or a Sea
Another recent update to the Venturing
Program is also intended to improve consistency among the
different programs within Scouting. Since the adoption
of the ALPS model, the Venturing, Discovery, Pathfinder and
Summit awards have been referred to as core awards and not
as ranks. The National Venturing Committee is also pleased
to announce that effective immediately the Venturing,
Discovery, Pathfinder and Summit awards will be referred to
as Venturing ranks. The Quest, Ranger, and Trust
Awards will remain as part of the Venturing program as specialty
awards and are not considered Venturing ranks.
Venturing Advancement Requirements:
"Scouting's Journey to Excellence"
Journey to Excellence” is the BSA’s performance recognition
program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the
performance of our units, districts, and councils. It replaced the Quality Awards Program as a means of encouraging excellence
in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.
"Journey to Excellence" marks a change in
emphasis from year-end numbers to year-round quality. Rather than set
numeric targets for results, the program tries to help units judge
their performance on those factors which create quality program for the
youth members, which in turn helps units retain members and grow.
Units earn points in a number of areas (13 areas
for Packs and Troops, 11 for Crews and Ships). In most of the areas,
there are three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold. The Bronze level is
supposed to represent those things which are a minimum for a quality
program, a unit which earns all Gold would be one of the best of the
best. To earn the annual "Journey to Excellence" award at the
Bronze Level, a Pack or Troop has to be at least at Bronze Level in a
specified number of objectives, and must also have
a total number of points at the Bronze level (see the worksheet for the
specific requirements for your type of unit). If they have met the Bronze
requirements, units can progress to Silver Level with more points and
more objectives, and
to Gold Level with still more points (again, see the worksheet for the
specific number for your type of unit).
Click on the links in this table for forms and
information specifically for your type of unit:
||2023 Requirements Scorecards
||2023 Tracking Spreadsheets
||2024 Requirements Scorecards
|Scouts BSA Troop
||PDF (n/a yet)
|Sea Scout Ship
JtE Support Documents and Information
Frequently Asked Questions (MSWord)
of Year Journey (website link)
in it for me? (PDF)
/ Glossary (PDF)
to get Unit Training statistics for JtE (PDF)
Award Order Sheets (website link)
The following awards will be given at the
Annual District Awards Event:
National or B-P Council
Training and other Recognition Knots: Ever wondered about all those knots you see on other
leaders' uniforms? Here's a page giving the
meanings and requirements for all of the square knots (offsite link to
The US Scout Service Project) (also see this
web page from boyscouttrail.com). Training knots are available
for Cub, Webelos, Scouts BSA and Venturing Leaders as well as Commissioners
and District Committee members - you can apply for those yourself. Contact Kathlene Gross
recognition@TCScouts.org to apply for the knots.
Veteran Scouter Recognition -
Veteran year pins are awarded every 5 years (5, 10, 15, 20...). Note that pins up to 20 years are
awarded by Council, 25 years and up have to be obtained from BSA
National HQ. Submit this
(fillable PDF from National website) to the Council office for all
- National Unit Leader Award of Merit - This award is
presented at the request of the unit to the unit leader - Cubmaster,
Scoutmaster, Venturing Crew Advisor or Varsity Coach. The unit committee chair completes the Unit
Leader Award of Merit Nomination Form on behalf of the unit
committee. For Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturer crews,
the nomination must include endorsement by the senior patrol leader, team
captain, or crew president, respectively (Cub packs, being adult led, do
not have this requirement). The unit or district
commissioner certifies that the form is complete. The unit submits the
nomination form to the council for approval by the Scout executive and
council commissioner or president.
- District Award of Merit - The highest
award a District may give. Each year, Taughannock District gives one
or two awards. To nominate someone for the District Award of Merit,
nomination form on the National website, or get a copy from
District Recognition Chair. There are no specific hard-and-fast
requirements for the District Award of Merit, but a general rule of thumb is
that someone should have been active at least five years and have
done at least some Scouting service outside the unit in which he or
she is registered (although long service unit leaders will be
considered). You can download a complete list
of previous recipients of the District Award of Merit (PDF).
- Silver Beaver - The Silver Beaver is the highest award a
Council may give. Each year, the Baden-Powell Council gives about four
Silver Beaver awards to deserving Scouters from around the Council. To nominate someone for the
nomination form on the National website, or get a copy from the
Baden-Powell Council or the Taughannock District Recognition Chair (recognition@TCScouts.org
). There are no specific hard-and-fast
requirements for the Silver Beaver Award, but a general rule of thumb is
that someone should have been active at least ten years and have
done at least some Scouting service at the Council level (although long service
district- or unit-level leaders will be
considered). You can download a complete list
of previous recipients of the Silver Beaver (PDF).
Taughannock District Awards
These "unofficial" awards are given by the District,
among others which pop up from time to time. If you know someone
you think would deserve one of these awards, nominate them! Download
the Nomination Form MS
Word - PDF - and send it to
or give it to our DE.
awarded to a non-Scouting individual or organization who has done
particular service to Scouting or to youth in general.
Outstanding Unit - awarded from time to time to Scouting
units - Packs, Troops, Crews, Posts - who have delivered outstanding
program to their youth members.
Gorget Award - presented to an outstanding youth leader
nominated by unit or district leadership.
Unit Service Award - presented to a unit which has provided
outstanding community service during the previous year.
Spark Plug Award - Does your unit have a
leader who gives real "Spark" to the unit and its activities?
Give leaders the recognition they deserve and tell them "Thank You!"
The Spark Plug recipients are selected by the Unit, and confirmed by the
No more than one Spark Plug per unit per year, please, and no one can get
the Spark Plug twice in the same unit.
The District may
award one or more of the following each year, as selected by the Key 3 (Chair, DE, District
Commissioner). If you know someone who should be considered for one of
these awards, send an e-mail to recognition@TCScouts.org:
- Rising Star - may be presented to
"newish" leaders who have done special service, either at
the District or unit level.
- Old Guard- may be presented to an Old F... we mean,
"Distinguished Elder Scouter" who has been serving the
District and/or units for many years.
- Patriot Patrol - a group of current Scouters who have done
outstanding service for the District over the past year.
- Taughannock 76'er - as a youth
leader parallel to the Patriot Patrol, this will be awarded annually to
a group of outstanding youth leaders in the District.
- Old Scout - given occasionally to repeat members of the Old
- Founders Award - awarded from time to time to Scouters with
especially long and distinguished service - download a
list of recipients of the Founders Award (PDF)
- Good Turn -
Masonic Scouting Awards
The Masons have two awards available for Scouts and
The General Douglas MacArthur Youth Award
recognizes distinguished or outstanding voluntary community service by
non-Masonic orgaiznations or individuals. It is given to "those who
have given of themselves, that ultimate goal in life, serving our
youth." Download a nomination
form here (PDF).
The Eagle Scout Award "recognizes the
dedication of a Scout to the pursuits of Scouting and of his achievement
leading to Eagle Scout. The recipient will get a special personalized
commendation certificate and letter from the Grand Master, along with a
medallion. Download a nomination form