Adult Awards and Recognition

Most adult awards and recognitions have certificates, pins or medals, and a patch usually with a square knot embroidered on it in different colors.  Adult leaders wear these square knot patches on their uniform over the left pocket.  The order that they are worn is up to the individual.  To learn more see the Guide to Awards and Insignia.

Adult Religious Emblems

Most of the major religious bodies in the United States have programs to recognize adult volunteers who demonstrate faith, observe their creeds or principles, and give service. 

The religious emblems are not Scouting awards; however, they may be worn on the upper left pocket of the adult leader uniform.  


Den Leader Training Award

This award recognizes den leaders who have completed training, tenure, and performance requirements.

It is available for Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos den leaders and can be earned in each position, but tenure must be completed separately for each award. In addition to a certificate and a medal, a yellow square knot on a blue background is available to wear on the uniform.

Interpreter Strip

Above are just some of the languages available.

Scouting is a worldwide organization and  encourages youth and adults to share their culture and heritage with others. The interpreter strip informs others that you can communicate in a foreign language, American sign language, or Morse code. Youth and adults may wear this strip if they show their knowledge of a foreign language or the sign language for the hearing impaired by:

• Carrying on a five-minute conversation in this language

• Translating a two-minute speech or address

• Writing a letter in the language (does not apply for sign language)

• Translating 200 words from the written word

James E. West Award

Like many community organizations, Scouting requires financial support today and into the future. This award is presented to recognize those who have given at a particular level to local council endowment funds. To learn more about this and other awards associated with financial gifts to Scouting, contact your local council service center.

Scouter’s Training Award

This award can be presented to registered Cub Scout adult leaders who have two years’ tenure in the pack and have completed position-specific training and other performance requirements designed to encourage and recognize those who give of their resources to make the pack successful. Tenure does not need to be in the same position. In addition to a certificate and medal, a green square knot on a khaki background is available to wear on the uniform.

Cubmaster’s Key

This award is for Cub Scout adult leaders with three years’ tenure—including at least two years as Cubmaster—who have completed training and other performance requirements. The Cubmaster’s Key is also a great way to incorporate a succession plan for Cubmaster. In addition to a certificate and medal, a green-and-white square knot on a khaki background is available to wear on the uniform.

Service Stars

Just as you recognize Cub Scouts with service stars, adult leaders are also eligible to receive these pins. After one year of service an adult may be presented with a one-year service star. An adult who has been involved in Scouting as a youth or has been involved for more than five years is also eligible for the Veteran Award.

There is no application for this recognition.  Service Stars can be purchased at your local Scout Shop or online at

Veteran Scouter Recognition

After five years of registered service in the Boy Scouts of America, an adult may, upon application, receive the designation of “Veteran.” There are additional veteran awards for every five years.

Applications are submitted to the local council service center.

William D. Boyce Award

As local communities grow, the opportunity to start a new pack increases. For those adults who establish a new pack, troop, crew, or ship with a chartered organization, a special silver knot on a yellow, green, and red background is available to wear on the uniform. If you are interested in starting a new pack, troop, crew, or ship, contact your local council service center.

Adult Awards for Exceptional Service

Additional awards for adults for exceptional service in Scouting and in the community are also available.

Pictured to the left is the District Award of Merit.  It is the highest honor a local district can bestow upon a volunteer leader for service in Scouting.