An "Olympics of Conservation"

There are several different Hornaday awards. (The gold badge and gold medal are for adults.) Think of them as an "olympics of conservation," with an ever-increasing scale of challenge.

The award is given in one of seven forms.

  • The local council may present the William T. Hornaday unit certificate for a conservation project by a pack, troop, team, or crew.
  • The council may award the Hornaday badge to individual Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers for outstanding service in conservation.
  • The council may award the Hornaday gold badge to adult Scouters who have given significant leadership to conservation at a council or district level.

All other Hornaday Awards are conferred by the National Council:

  • Scouts and Venturers may apply for the bronze and silver medals.
  • Adult Scouters may be nominated for the gold medal.
  • Organizations unaffiliated with Scouting may be nominated for the gold certificate.
Hornaday Award Administered by Awarded to Type of Award How to Qualify Maximum
Awards/Year
Requirements
Unit award Council Pack, troop, team, crew Certificate Be nominated or apply Unlimited Complete one project; 60% of unit contributes
Badge Council Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer Badge and certificate Apply Unlimited Complete advancement requirements; complete one substantial project
Bronze medal National
Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer Medal, certificate, and square knot Apply Unlimited Complete advancement requirements; complete at least three bronze substantial projects, each from a different project category
Silver medal National
Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer Medal, certificate, and square knot Apply Unlimited Complete advancement requirements; complete at least four silver substantial projects, each from a different project category
Gold badge Council Adult Scouter Badge Be nominated Unlimited Adult Scouter; leadership to conservation at council or district level for at least three years
Gold medal National
Adult Scouter Medal, certificate, and square knot Be nominated Six Adult Scouter; leadership to conservation at national or regional level over a lifetime (at least 20 years)
Gold certificate National
Organization or individual Certificate Be nominated Six Outstanding contribution to youth conservation education for at least three years

William T. Hornaday Unit Award

A Hornaday unit certificate, No. 21-110, is awarded to a pack, troop, team, or crew of five or more Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, or Venturers for a unique, substantial conservation project. At least 60 percent of registered unit members must participate. At least 60 percent of the registered unit members must participate. These units may be nominated, or they may apply to their BSA local council for recognition.

William T. Hornaday Badge

The Hornaday badge is awarded, upon approval of the local council, to a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer for outstanding service to conservation and environmental improvement. Applicants meeting all requirements receive a certificate, No. 21-111, and the William T. Hornaday badge.

William T. Hornaday Bronze or Silver Medal

These individual awards are granted by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer for exceptional and distinguished service to conservation and environmental improvement.

The silver medal, the most distinguished in Scouting for exceptional conservation service, will be awarded for clearly outstanding efforts in planning, leadership, execution of plans, involvement of others, and opportunities taken to help others learn about natural resource conservation and environmental improvement. The distinction between the bronze and silver medals is based primarily on the number and quality of the projects and their impact on the local community. The William T. Hornaday Awards Committee may award a bronze medal if the application does not meet the standard of exceptional service required for the silver medal. There is no limit on the number of bronze medals that may be awarded each year. Both awards include the medal (bronze or silver), a certificate, and an embroidered square knot.

William T. Hornaday Gold Badge

The gold badge is by nomination only and is awarded by the local council to an adult Scouter. The nominee should have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the education of youth on a council or district level for significant conservation efforts for a period of at least three years. Nominations are made to the local council. The award includes the gold badge.

William T. Hornaday Gold Medal

The gold medal is by nomination only and is awarded to an adult Scouter. It recognizes unusual and distinguished service in natural resource conservation and environmental improvement at the regional, national, or international level. Nominations must be approved by the Hornaday Awards Committee and by the Conservation Committee of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America. Any recognized conservation/environmental organization may submit a nomination. The award includes the gold medal, a certificate, and an embroidered square knot. Six gold medals may be awarded annually.

William T. Hornaday Gold Certificate

This conservation award is granted to organizations or individuals by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Nominations are accepted from any recognized conservation or environmental protection organization. The organization or individual should have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the education of youth on a regional, national, or international level reflecting the natural resource conservation and environmental improvement mission of the William T. Hornaday Awards program.

Awards Presentation

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America supplies certificates, medals, and badges at no charge to local councils. Certificates are printed with the recipient's name.

Information packages containing a history of the award and pictures of Dr. Hornaday are available from the national office upon request. Councils are encouraged to maximize press coverage on the occasion of the award presentation—this distinguished honor reflects favorably on the Scouting program.