Mobile Menu



National Capital Area Council celebrates the special relationship between the Boy Scouts of America and organized labor. It is estimated that one out of every four top unit leaders of Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturing crews in the United States is a union member. That’s a lot of union Scout leaders. Thousands of other union members serve youth through the Boy Scouts of America in local districts and councils, and on the regional and national levels.

The George Meany Award

In recognition of their contributions to America’s future, the AFL-CIO Executive Council established the George Meany Award. It recognizes union members—men and women—who have made a significant contribution to the youth of their communities by volunteering in the programs of the BSA. The award is named for the AFL-CIO’s first president, who gave strong support to Scouting over the years.

Since the George Meany Award was introduced in 1974, more than 2,100 have been presented by AFL-CIO central labor councils and state federations throughout the U.S. The award, a recognition approved by the national AFL-CIO Executive Council, gives organized labor an opportunity to recognize members for their service to youth, and also makes the public aware of the important role union members play in the community


George Meany Awards may be presented annually by each AFL-CIO central labor council and by each AFL-CIO state federation. The central labor council will select its own recipients.The state federation may also have a program; their application process is the same, but their program and selection is separate from that of the central labor council.

Applications may be downloaded here.

The recommended procedure for selecting a recipient of the George Meany Award is as follows:

  1. The central labor council invites all local unions to submit their candidates for the award. Any person, group, affiliated council, or local union may nominate a Scouter/member for the George Meany Award. The nominees may be submitted through their local unions or directly to the labor council. In any event they must have the local union’s recommendation as well as BSA council certification.
  2. The central labor council makes the final selection of its recipients from the candidates submitted. The selections and approvals are normally the responsibility of the Community Services Committee of the central labor council in conjunction with the Executive Board.
  3. The central labor council forwards the recipient’s completed application, containing all of the appropriate signatures and the processing fee, to
    Labor Relationships, S226, Boy Scouts of America
    1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
    P.O. Box 152079
    Irving, TX 75015-2079

Labor Relationships will mail the medal, certificate, patch, and all appropriate materials.


The central labor council or state federation may develop its own standards for judging, but will consider such factors as the nominee’s record in (see the front page of the George Meany Award application):

Although a nominee’s length of service in Scouting may be considered, no specific number of years should be required. A person’s record of accomplishment and dedication should weigh more heavily than longevity.


The presentation should be made at one or more appropriate functions of the AFL-CIO central labor council, such as the following:

In addition, a presentation may be made at a BSA local council or district function, such as an awards dinner or an annual meeting. The principal officer or the designated labor official representing the AFL-CIO labor council giving the award should make the presentation in all cases.


For more on the relationship between Scouting and Organized Labor, please see: Government, Labor, and Management Awards Reception