Hornaday Awards

Hornaday Badge

Hornaday Badge

 Hornaday Bronze Meadl Hornaday Silver Medal Hornaday GoldMedal

Bronze Medal Silver Medal Gold Medal

Hornaday Square Knot
Square Knot


The William T. Hornaday Awards are for distinguished service
in natural resources conservation

Note: The requirements below are based on the requirements printed on the Hornaday Awards Application Forms, which are posted on the official BSA Web Site. The version in the current Boy Scout Requirements Book contains the same general information, but is in a different order (and does not cover the modifications for Venturers.)

Additional information can be obtained from the BSA web site, by clicking here.

Complete requirements are listed on the various Hornaday Award applications, which can be downloaded from BSA's web site by clicking here.

Each project should be equivalent in scope to an Eagle Scout leadership service project. A project planned and carried out as an Eagle Project, which would normally qualify for Hornaday Awards MAY BE USED as one of the Hornaday Projects. One of the other projects can be performed on BSA property.


The Hornaday Awards Program includes a number of levels:

  1. The Unit Award, which can be earned by Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Varsity Scout Teams, Venturing Crews, and Sea Scout Ships. The Unit Award is a Certificate awarded on the Council Level.
  2. The Hornaday Badge, which can be earned by Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers and is also administered on the Council Level.
  3. The Hornaday Gold Badge, which can be awarded to adult Scouters who have given significant leadership to conservation at a council or district level, and is also administered on the Council Level.
  4. The Bronze and Silver Medals, which can be earned by Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers and are administered Nationally.
  5. The Gold Medal, which is awarded to ADULT Scouters. The Gold Medal is administered Nationally. (No more than 6 are awarded annually.)
  6. Gold Certificates, which are awarded to Corporations, or Organizations unaffiliated with Scouting. The Certificate is also administered Nationally. (No more than 6 are awarded annually.)

For a history of the Hornaday Award program, click here.


The successful attainment of the youth awards will normally take at least 18 months to accomplish. For the adult awards, the Gold Badge and Gold Certificate require 3 years of service, and the Gold Medal, at least 20 years. The following are highlights of the requirements for the Youth awards (Badge, Bronze Medal, and Silver Medal).

  1. RANK: Earn First Class rank (Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts only).
  2. MERIT BADGES (Boy Scouts/Varsity Scouts only):
    1. For the BADGE:
      Earn any THREE merit badges from the primary group above, plus any TWO other merit badges from either group.
    2. For the BRONZE MEDAL:
      Earn the Environmental Science merit badge and THREE others from the primary group plus any TWO other merit badges from either group.
    3. For the SILVER MEDAL:
      Earn ALL of the merit badges from the primary group above, plus any THREE merit badges from theElective group above.
  3. In place of merit badges, Venturers must
    1. Complete the ecology and plant and wildlife requirements for the Venturing Ranger Award.
    2. In addition to the required project documentation, provide specific information on:
      • The research performed in connection with the conservation projects undertaken. The relevant research must be cited at the appropriate location in the conservation project documentation. A bibliography must be provided that lists sources cited. The bibliography must be formatted according to established standards.
      • The applicant's entire Hornaday effort. This evaluation, included in the application in a separate section, should contain information on alternatives considered for each project and an explanation of why each specific conservation project was selected, procedures used, processes used, staffing levels used, funding requirements, and so on.
      • The lessons learned. Included in the report in a separate section, this details what the applicant, in hindsight, would do differently on each project. The section should include recommended changes in project selection; procedures, processes, and staffing levels used; funding requirements; and evaluations of project effectiveness over time.
      (See specific information on the following BSA Web page:
      http://www.scouting.org/Awards/HornadayAwards/judging.aspx)
  4. PROJECTS:
    • For the BADGE:
      Plan, lead, and carry out ONE significant project in natural resource conservation from one of the following categories:
      • Energy Conservation
      • Soil and Water Conservation
      • Fish and Wildlife Management
      • Forestry and Range Management
      • Air and Water Pollution Control
      • Resource Recovery (Recycling)
      • Hazardous Material Disposal and Management
      • Invasive species control
    • For the BRONZE MEDAL:
      Plan, lead, and carry out THREE significant projects in natural resource conservation or environmental improvement, one each from three of the eight project categories.
    • For the SILVER MEDAL:
      Plan, lead, and carry out FOUR significant projects in natural resource conservation or environmental improvement, one each from four of the eight project categories.

The complete program of the applicant, as planned and carried out, will be reviewed and approved by the council for the award of the certificate or badge or both and, further, if deemed qualified, will be recommended to the William T. Hornaday Awards Committee for consideration for the Silver or Bronze medals.


Page updated on: May 02, 2013



Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2014 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Web Stats | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) [Links to BSA Sites], the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at www.ScoutingBooks.com or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)


(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)