Conservation Awards and Recognitions

William T. Hornaday Awards


The Hornaday Awards program recognizes truly outstanding efforts undertaken by Scouting units, Scouts, Venturers, Sea Scouts, adult Scouters, and other individuals, corporations, and institutions contributing significantly to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.

Dr. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., was a champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison from extinction. In 1914, he announced an award he called the Wildlife Protection Medal to challenge Americans to work constructively for wildlife conservation and habitat protection. In 1917, the second medal went to Aldo Leopold. The award was renamed in Dr. Hornaday's honor after his death in 1937, and came under the custodianship of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Hornaday Awards continue to inspire learning and increase public awareness about natural resource conservation. Any Boy Scout, Venturer, or Sea Scout willing to devote the time and energy to work on projects based on sound scientific principles and guided by a conservation professional or a well-versed layperson can qualify. The awards often take months to complete, so activities should be planned well in advance.

For additional information, visit the William T. Hornaday Award website.


Hornaday Silver Medal Winner Scholarship Opportunities for Higher Education

To honor select recipients of the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal award, the Camp Fire Conservation Fund offers an annual William T. Hornaday Silver Medal Scholarship. One scholarship recipient is chosen by Camp Fire from the Silver Medal winners each year. Consideration for this scholarship is automatic upon being awarded the Hornaday Silver Medal. 

Scholarship information


World Conservation Award


The World Conservation Award provides an opportunity for individual Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers, and Sea Scouts to think globally and act locally to preserve and improve our environment. This program is designed to help youth members gain awareness that all nations are closely related through natural resources and that we are interdependent with our world environment.

Cub Scouts Boy Scouts Venturers and Sea Scouts

Conservation Good Turn Award


The Conservation Good Turn is an opportunity for Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships to join with conservation or environmental organizations (federal, state, local, or private) to carry out a Conservation Good Turn in their home communities.

National Outdoor Badge–Conservation


When a Scout excels in outdoor participation, there are awards to show for it! This program, conceived by the BSA's National Camping Task Force, includes a series of six badges designed to recognize a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, or Venturer who has exemplary knowledge and experience in performing high-level outdoor activities.

The segments represent six areas of emphasis: camping, aquatics, hiking, riding, adventure, and conservation, with rigorous requirements to earn each segment.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 25 hours of conservation work. A silver device is earned for each additional 100 hours of conservation work (for example, the first silver device is earned at 125 total hours of conservation work).


Keep America Beautiful Hometown USA Award


The Hometown USA Award is a joint program between Keep America Beautiful Inc. and the Boy Scouts of America. It is designed to give recognition to the outstanding efforts of Scouts in their communities in regard to citizenship and environmental improvement.


Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award


Attend Cub Scout day camp or Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camp and complete various requirements for each Cub Scout rank, including completing a certain number of outdoor activities. Among the options for a Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award activity is this one: Complete a nature/conservation project in your area. This project should involve improving, beautifying, or supporting natural habitats. Discuss how this project helped you to respect nature.

National Park Service Scout Ranger Program


The Scout Ranger program invites Scouts of all ages to participate in educational and/or volunteer service projects at national park sites to spark their awareness of the national parks and to provide Scouts with the opportunity to explore the national parks and learn more about protecting our natural and cultural resources. Scouts are awarded certificates and/or patches for participating in the program.