The following table displays all
adult awards available, as well as several past awards that may
still be worn. The requirements to earn and wear each award can
be found by clicking on the requirements link, when available,
under each award (awards that can be earned as a youth and worn
on an adult's uniform do not have linked requirements; please
refer to requirements for youth awards). A brief description of
each award is listed below.
Ace Award (Air Explorers)
Explorer Silver Award
Explorer G.O.L.D. Award
Generally, the knots are
worn by adult leaders, but there are a few that may be
worn by youth members. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts may
wear the Universal Religious Emblem and the Lifesaving
and Meritorious Award knots. Explorers may display on
their uniforms the same honors, plus the Explorer
Achievement Award knot. Venturers may wear the knot
corresponding to the Venturing Silver Award, and both
adult and youth members of Venturing are eligible for
the Venturing Leadership Award.
At present there are over 30 awards represented by
knots. These knots are worn on the Scouting uniform in
place of the plaque or medal that they represent.
Included in the array above are a number that are no
longer awarded, but may still be observed on the uniform
of well-tenured Scouters. It might be worth noting that
one does not earn a "knot," but, rather, an award
represented by a knot on the uniform.
Webelos Den Leader
Den Leader Award
Tiger Den Leader Award
Please note the
arrangement of the
knots; while they are in
no particular order,
each row is centered on
the pocket, with a
maximum of three in a
While there is no
maximum number of rows
that a Scouter may wear,
you should practice
restraint if you happen
to have a good number of
awards that you can
sewn centered above the top seam of the left uniform
shirt pocket, in rows of three. There is no specific
order for wearing the knots, however there is a proper
way for each knot award to be displayed. The loop of the
embroidered square knot that comes in front of the
standing part is always to the wearer's right. Knots are
worn with the distinguishing color (not white) toward
the wearer's right.
Some knots are the same
for training or service in different programs. For
example, the Scouters Training Award knot is the same
for service in Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting,
Exploring, Commissioner Service, and District Committee.
To distinguish the difference in programs a small device
may be worn inside the knot for the appropriate program.
If the award is earned in more than one program, then a
device should be worn for each on a single knot (i.e.,
only one knot is to be worn).
LEADERSHIP OR TRAINING
Tiger Cub Den Leader Award -
Adults that serve as a Tiger Cub Den Leader may earn
this award by completing the required training, tenure,
Award - This award is designed
for those that complete the required training, tenure,
and performance while serving as a Cub Scout Den Leader.
Leader Award - Webelos den
leaders may earn this award by completing the required
training, tenure, and performance.
Den Leader Coach
Award (obsolete) -
Leaders that complete the required training, tenure, and
performance while serving as a Den Leader Coach can earn
Award - Leaders that complete
the required training, tenure, and performance while
serving as a Pack Trainer can earn this award. Two years
tenure are required, with that tenure commencing on or
after 9/1/2006; requirements are not retroactive.
Award - Adults that complete
the required training, tenure and performance in a Pack,
District or Council position. District Cub Commissioner
approves the recognition record.
- Cubmasters that complete the required training,
tenure, and performance can earn this award.
Training Award - This award is
earned by leaders serving in Boy Scouting, Varsity
Scouting, Exploring, Commissioner Service and District
committee positions. The criteria involves the proper
training, tenure, and performance. If someone fulfills
the requirements for this knot in more than one program
area they may wear a small device inside the knot to
distinguish how the award was earned.
National President's Scoutmaster/Advisor Award of
Merit - This award can be
earned by all Scoutmasters usually prior to
- This knot is also earned by meeting requirements for
District & Assistant District Commissioner,
District Committee, positions. Additional training,
tenure and performance is required. The appropriate
device may be attached to the knot.
- This award does not have a knot associated with it.
However, it is earned by commissioners as part of their
efforts to earn the Commissioner Key (Scouter's Key)
Distinguished Commissioner Service
- This is additional recognition
for all levels of commissioner service.
Training Award - Requires four years of professional service, three
levels of professional training and performance levels
set by Professional Directors.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS
District Award of Merit
- This is the highest honor that a district may bestow
on a Scouter. Leaders involved at any level of scouting
or in a program are eligible for nomination.
Recommendations are reviewed by a district committee to
determine who should be granted the award.
District Award of Merit Nomination
Order of the
Arrow Distinguished Service Award
- This award is presented to an OA member who has
rendered unusual service to the order on a regional or
Award - This knot can be
bestowed on unusually effective Scouters who are labor
Whitney M. Young
Jr. Service Award - Those who
work to promote Scouting among low-income, inner city
and rural youth may be recognized with this award. It is
named after the late civil rights advocate. Application
Spurgeon Award - Individuals
who render distinguished service to Exploring may be
honored with this award. He was a native Californian and
long time devotee of Exploring.
Hornaday Award - This knot is
to recognize those involved in exceptional and unusual
service to conservation or environmental quality. It can
be bestowed on a scouting unit, individual scout, or
leader. There are five levels to this award. The unit
certificate and the badge are administered by the local
council. The bronze medal, silver medal and gold medal
are administered by the national council.
Organization Award - Boy Scout
Community Organization Awards can be used by any
community organization to honor its volunteers for
Scouting. A community organization is permitted to
create its own neck medallion and to award a purple
square knot badge with a gold border. The following
organizations have developed awards under this program*:
Alpha Phi Omega:
Herbert G. Horton Service to Youth Award
American Legion and Scouting Award
Marvin M. Lewis Award
Department of Defense Outstanding Volunteer Service
Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award
Cliff Dochterman Award
VFW Scouters Achievement Award
* All the above links
are to an external, non-official location and will
open in a new window...thanks to
http://www.usscouts.org for the information!
Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award
- recognizes outstanding services by an adult individual
or an organization for demonstrated involvement in the
development and implementation of Scouting opportunities
for Asian American youth.
Premio por Servicio ˇScouting…Vale la Pena! Service
Award - recognizes outstanding services by an
adult individual or an organization for demonstrated
involvement in the development and implementation of
Scouting opportunities for Hispanic American/Latino
- The highest honor that a council can bestow on a
Scouter. Leaders at any level or any program are
eligible. Nominations are submitted to the local council
committee for consideration and approval.
- The highest honor that a region may bestow on a
Scouter. Leaders that have rendered exceptional service
on a regional basis are eligible. Nominations are
submitted to Regional Scout Offices for consideration
- The highest honor that the National Council can bestow
on a Scouter. Leaders that have rendered exceptional
service on a national basis are eligible. Nominations
are sent to the BSA National Offices for consideration.
- The Award is a distinguished service award similar to
the Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope and Silver Beaver.
It is given for distinguished service to youth and
cannot be applied for. It is presented to world citizens
who give outstanding service to youth on a national or
international basis. Recipients must be countries whose
Scout Associations are members of the World Scout
Conference. Members of the Boy Scouts of America are not
eligible to receive this award.
- This Award recognizes Scouters for their contributions
to world Scouting; awarded by the International Division
LIFESAVING AND MERITORIOUS ACTION Nomination
Honor Medal with Crossed Palms
- The highest honor that can be bestowed to an
individual. Awarded to youth or adults who have
demonstrated both unusual heroism and skill while saving
life or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to
self. The knot is the same as the Honor Medal but the
medallion has crossed palms.
- Awarded to youth or adults who have demonstrated
unusual heroism and skill in saving a life or attempting
to save a life at considerable risk to self. The
recommendation form is the same for all four awards.
- Awarded to youth or adults who have demonstrated
heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life
with minimum risk to self.
Medal Of Merit -
Earned by a youth or adult by performing an outstanding
act of service and exceptional character by putting into
practice scouting skills and ideals. It does not need to
involve risk to self.
RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS Requirements
Universal Religious Emblem
(youth) - This knot is worn by any youth that has
completed the requirements listed by their religion in
literature related to the specific emblem. There are 47
emblems that may be earned from different religions.
Emblem (adult) - Adult that complete specific
requirements of their faith may earn this award. At
present 15 religions offer leader opportunities to earn
Arrow of Light
- Adults who earned their Arrow of Light award as a
Webelos Scout may wear this knot. The requirements are
listed the Webelos Scout Book.
- Scouting's highest rank is earned by Boy Scouts who
fulfill requirements stated in current literature.
Adults wear the knot, youth wear the
badge. Those who receive the Distinguished
Eagle Award may wear that device attached to this knot.
On formal occasions the eagle pendant may be worn by
either youth or adults.
Skipper's Key Award - This
knot is earned by serving in Sea Scouting in the
position of Skipper, and is similar to that of Boy
Scouting's Scoutmaster Key award. Additional training,
tenure and performance is required. The Venturing device
is attached to the knot.
Training Award - This award is
earned by leaders serving in Sea Scouts and is similar
to that of the Scouter's Training Award in other
Scouting programs. The criteria involves proper
training, tenure, and performance. The Venturing device
is attached to the knot, and if someone fulfills the
requirements for this knot in more than one program area
they may wear other devices to distinguish how the award
Sea Badge Award
- Presented to adults who finish the requirements in the
Sea Badge Conference Guide.
Award - This is Sea Exploring
highest honor. Sea Scouts wear the badge, Adults
wear the knot.
Quartermaster Award Application
Leadership Award - This award is presented by
councils, areas/regions, and the BSA National Council to
Venturers and adults who have made exceptional
contributions to Venturing and who exemplify the
SCOUTING SUPPORT AWARDS
D. Boyce Award - This
award is presented to
recognize volunteers who
organize one or more traditional Scouting units. The
award may be worn on the adult uniform and 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. The award
recognizes volunteers for organizing traditional units
after March 1, 2005.
James E. West Fellowship Award
- This award is presented to individuals based on a
contribution of $1000 or more to the local Council's
West Fellowship Fund. Only registered Scouters or youth
members receive and wear the square knot. The
contribution is normally given in the intended Scouter's
name, although the Scouter may directly make the
Additional information on these
awards can be found in the Insignia Guide and other Scouting