Volunteer Support

Nova Counselors and Supernova Mentors

With the introduction of the new Nova and Supernova awards comes a fresh opportunity for volunteer positions. A Nova counselor can be any registered adult age 21 or older. They must be registered under the new nonunit position and no fee is required. The Nova counselor code is 58. Supernova mentors must be 21 or older and be subject matter experts in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field and be registered under the new Supernova Mentor position code 52. This is a nonunit position and requires no fee. In addition to the BSA Adult Registration form, mentors must complete the Supernova Awards Mentor Information application.

All Nova counselors and Supernova mentors must have current BSA Youth Protection training and certification appropriate for the programs being administered (Cub and Boy Scout Y01, Venturing Y02).

This training can be taken online at http://www.scouting.org/Training/Adult.aspx. 

For more information on the Nova Awards program, click on this link.

Questions may presented to program.content@scouting.org.

Sample Profile of a STEM/Nova Program Chair

Local councils may want to appoint a STEM/Nova Awards program chair. This can be a standalone position in support of districts, or responsibilities may be added to the program chair's position description. Here are some responsibilities to consider.

  • Serve as the representative and spokesperson for the council's STEM initiative and the Nova Awards program.
  • Offer personal endorsements and testimony to support the STEM initiative and Nova Awards program.
  • Help promote the STEM/Nova website, Facebook page, and STEM scholarships.
  • Identify prospective volunteers and key organizations and events that could help support the BSA's STEM initiatives.
  • Ensure integration of the awards with all training opportunities, such as a "This Is the Nova Award" workshop.
  • Help organize council STEM-based events such as a STEM Merit Badge Day.
  • Integrate Nova awards with existing camp programs (merit badges, belt loops, pins).
  • Participate in conference calls, discussions, webinars, etc., to support the launch.
  • Prospect, meet, and recruit key STEM leaders in your community.
  • Help educate council staff and volunteers about the Nova Awards program and STEM initiative and about how they can help promote the program and initiative.
  • With the Scout executive at local council events, present youth members with the NOVA awards they have earned.