What Is the SCOUTStrong® Be MedWise Award?

The Boy Scouts of America and the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) developed the SCOUTStrong Be MedWise Award as an interactive way to educate members of Boy Scouting, Venturing, and American youth in general about the importance of safely and responsibly using medicines.

Survey data show that 50 percent of teens begin to self-medicate with over-the-counter medicines in their homes as early as ages 11 to 12, and each year, there are approximately 10,000 children and teens seen in emergency rooms because of errors made in the self-medication of OTC medicines. This program improves the knowledge gap that youth have when it comes to medicines and will teach skills needed to use medicines responsibly.

This award is designed to complement existing Boy Scouting and Venturing programming. This award’s training curriculum consists of four lessons that could be reviewed at the start of a unit meeting, taking no more than 12 to 15 minutes each. The program is self-paced, which allows the unit leader to determine how quickly it is completed.

Upon completion of the SCOUTStrong Be MedWise curriculum, youth will be able to do the following:

  • Understand what prescription and OTC medicines are, and the ways they are the same and different.
  • Learn how to use medicines safely.
  • Know what’s on the Drug Facts label.


Getting Started

Earning the SCOUTStrong® Be MedWise patch is easy! Just follow the steps below:

1. Review the Curriculum.
Have your unit review each of the four lessons in this curriculum. Go to the Resources section below and download the PDF files for the leader manual and lessons. This curriculum has been prepared specifically for ages 11-17, and each lesson must be followed specifically as written.

2. Complete the Exercises.
Where applicable, have all unit participants successfully complete the activity and/or supplemental exercises for the corresponding SCOUTStrong® Be MedWise lesson.

3. Print Your Certificates and Order Patches!

  • To download a certificate you can print, click here.
  • To order your SCOUTStrong Be MedWise patch, click here.



Latest requirements for the following merit badges can be found at www.scouting.org/boy-scouts/guide-for-merit-badge-counselors/intro-to-merit-badges. Scroll down to find the merit badge that interests you.





The Boy Scouts of America SCOUTStrong Healthy Living Initiative proudly supports the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) and its mission to advocate the involvement of  parents and families in promoting the wise use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.