Hornaday Awards

The Hornaday Committee exists for one reason: To assist and motivate Scouts and Adults in the design and completion of significant environmental conservation projects.

The Hornaday awards are well established but under-utilized. We awarded six in 2019 and want to award at least 10 Hornaday Badges yearly by the end of 2021. If you want to earn a Hornaday Award, we are here to help you!

What the Awards Are

The BSA Hornaday Awards are presented to BSA Youth — BSA units, Scouts, Venturers as well as adults who perform environmental service that goes beyond the ordinary. The Badge and Medals, in particular, must address well-defined environmental problems and address them using scientific methodologies that result in lasting improvement to the environment. Although the program stresses a scientific approach, the badge does not require a high level of technical aptitude. The ability to learn the basics of conservation and apply them in practice is all the awards require.

The Unit Certificate requires only 60 percent of a unit participate in a single service project that, as with the Badge and Medals, addresses and remedies a well-defined environmental problem. Awards for adults are given in recognition of dedication to conservation, usually over a period of three years or more.

Eagle Projects May Qualify for Hornaday Awards, too.

Consultation with a Hornaday Advisor is indispensable before beginning work towards the youth Badge. If an Eagle Project is of significant scope (often 200 hours of labor between the youth and the people he is leading) and is primarily designed to benefit the environment first and people second, it will probably meet the requirement for a Badge. If people come first and the environment second, it will not meet the requirement.

What the Awards Are Not

The Badge award requires dedication to a task. The Medals are awarded for several examples of work worthy of a Badge. They do not, however, include every imaginable thing a person could do to benefit nature, so strict adherence to Hornaday criteria is crucial to earning the awards.

The standard for achievement is based on age, but the standard principle of doing one’s best is not sufficient if, in the end, the project yields little or no positive outcome. Again, any Scout or Venturer who wants to earn the Badge or medals should first consult an NCAC Hornaday advisor before beginning work.

Why You Need a Hornaday Adviser

Projects begun without the advice of Hornaday counselors bear a far smaller chance of qualifying for the awards than those that incorporate a Hornaday Advisor from the beginning. If you are interested in earning the award, please download a copy of the Hornaday WORKBOOK below. Adults and older Scouts may wish to download the NCAC Guide for in-depth guidance. Once you’ve reviewed them, get in touch with a Hornaday Adviser below. If no one is listed for your District, be sure to contact one of the at-large Advisers. They will help guide you through the process and assist you in finding a Conservation Adviser who can assist with the science. The Conservation Adviser will often be someone who works for the benefiting organization that owns the water or land you are trying to conserve.


How to get involved with the Committee

Hornaday Advisors help Youth through the Hornaday process but need not be scientists or educators. Any volunteer who takes time to be trained successfully in the program methodology and has a current BSA membership and Youth Protection Training can qualify. Please contact Will Rodger for further details.