Unit Leader's Award of Merit

Unit Leader Award of Merit


Quality unit leadership is the key to a quality unit program—and it leads to better Scout retention. Statistics show that if young people stay engaged in the program for at least five years, the BSA’s influence likely will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A quality Scouting experience will help keep Scouts in the program, and the Boy Scouts of America created the Unit Leader Award of Merit to recognize the quality unit leaders who make that happen.

The Unit Leader Award of Merit replaced the Scoutmaster Award of Merit, the Varsity Team Coach Award of Merit, and the Venturing Crew Advisor's Award of Merit programs. This new recognition has revised requirements and may be earned by Cubmasters and Skippers as well.


The nominee must:

  1. Be a currently registered Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Advisor, or Skipper who has served in that position at least 18 continuous months.
  2. Meet the training requirements for the registered position.
  3. Distribute a printed or electronic annual unit program plan and calendar to each family in the unit.
  4. Have a leader succession plan in place.
  5. Effectively use the advancement method so that at least 60 percent of the unit’s youth have advanced at least once during the last 12 months.
  6. Cultivate a positive relationship with the chartered organization.
  7. Project a positive image of Scouting in the community.

Nomination Procedure

  1. The unit committee chair completes the Unit Leader Award of Merit Nomination Form on behalf of the unit committee. For Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships, the nomination must include endorsement by the senior patrol leader, crew president, or ship's boatswain respectively.
  2. The unit or district commissioner certifies that the form is complete.
  3. The unit submits the nomination form to the council for approval by the Scout executive and council commissioner or president.

The Award

Upon receipt of the approved nomination form, the council may present the Unit Leader Award of Merit, which includes a certificate, square knot with the appropriate device, and a special unit leader emblem. Recognition of this achievement may be presented at appropriate district or council events, such as district or council leader recognition dinners, training events, and board meetings.

The award may be presented for each program, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouting, and Venturing, if the individual meets the requirements in each program. Only one knot is worn with the devices of each program that the award was earned in.

SOURCE: Unit Leader Award of Merit Requirements and Application Form (No. 512-003_WB)

Page updated on: March 06, 2018

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