Awards & Scholarships
National Court of Honor Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards
National awards for lifesaving and meritorious action are made only for outstanding acts that demonstrate unusual heroism, skill, or bravery and reflect Scouting ideals, based on specific criteria. Recipients must be registered Scouts. Recommendations must be submitted through the council on the applicable BSA form within 6 months of the occurrence of the event, and must be supported by written statements, photos and other information.
Lifesaving Awards Recognition may be given to a member of the Boy Scouts of America-Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Explorer or adult leader-where the evidence presented to the National Court of Honor, in accordance with prescribed regulations, shows that he or she saved or attempted to save life under circumstances that indicate heroism and risk to his or her own life. The court will give consideration to resourcefulness and to demonstrated skill in rescue methods.
In no case shall recognition be given where it appears that the risk involved was merely in the performance of duty or the meeting of an obligation because of responsibility to supervise and give leadership to the person or persons whose lives were saved.
It shall be wholly within the discretion of the National Court of Honor to determine, from evidence presented, which lifesaving award, if any, shall be made. Awards are issued in the name of the Boy Scouts of America. These awards are as follows:
Honor Medal With Crossed Palms — The Honor Medal With Crossed Palms may be awarded in exceptional cases to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated both unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life at extreme risk to self.
Honor Medal — The Honor Medal may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self.
Heroism Award — The Heroism Award may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at minimum risk to self.
Meritorious Action Awards
Recognition may be given to a youth member or adult leader where the evidence presented to the National Court of Honor, in accordance with prescribed regulations, shows that a significant or outstanding act of service or exceptional character was performed. The action taken need not involve attempts of rescue or risk to self but must put into practice Scouting skills and/or ideals. Recognition shall not be given where it appears that the action involved was merely in the performance of duty or the meeting of an obligation. The awards are as follows:
Medal of Merit — The Medal of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed some outstanding act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
National Certificate of Merit — The National Certificate of Merit, No. 92-214, may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed a significant act of service that is deserving of special national recognition. All applications should be submitted to the National Court of Honor through the local council upon duly prescribed forms, and it shall be within the discretion of the National Court of Honor to determine which type of recognition shall be given. Recipients of these awards must have been registered members of the Boy Scouts of America at the time the action was performed. Awards are made in the name of the Boy Scouts of America.
A council advancement committee, volunteer recognition committee, or subcommittee must investigate the case, interview the principals and witnesses, secure necessary signed statements, and make recommendations based upon a full knowledge of the facts within thirty days of the receipt of the recommendation. Unless there are unusual circumstances that account for the time lapse, no application may be considered after a period of six months from the deed without a written explanation from the Scout executive or adviser to the council committee.
Separate applications are required if more than one member is being recommended for recognition. It is recommended that no case be forwarded to the National Court of Honor without the endorsement or statement of an eyewitness. All recognitions are reserved for registered members, and no such member should be encouraged to submit an application on his or her own behalf. Caution is urged not to submit weak cases (in terms of meaningful action or documentation) to the National Court of Honor. Deliberations are conducted by the court, not only to recognize deserving individuals, but also to preserve the historical integrity of the awards.
Note: If the situation is deserving of merit, but does not qualify for a national award, the local council writes a letter conveying the recommendation of the committee. The Local Council Certificate of Merit, No. 33732, is used for this purpose.
Silver Beaver Award
The Silver Beaver Award is a National award presented by councils on behalf of the National Court of Honor committee. It has been given since 1931. Recipients of this award are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. The Silver Beaver Award has been given to many who serve the Scouting program and the community through hard work, self sacrifice, dedication and many years of service.
The application process is via confidential nomination and is made available annually at a rate of 1 per 60 units or fraction thereof in the territory as of December 31 preceding the nomination, according to the records of the national office. The Council need not present all the awards to which it is entitled each year. Councils not using their full allotment in any year may roll over the unused portion to any subsequent year.
- A nominee must be a living, registered volunteer Scouter over 21.
- A nominee must have rendered distinguished service of exceptional character to youth in Scouting, outside Scouting or both within the territory under the jurisdiction of the local council.
- Consideration must be given to the nominee’s Scouting position and the corresponding opportunity to render outstanding service beyond the expectations of that Scouting position as a:
- Unit Scouter
- District or Explorer Division Scouter
- Council Scouter
- Consideration will be given to the nominee’s standing in the community in business, professional, civic, religious, educational, fraternal or veteran fields, and in other fields exclusive of Scouting.
- The nomination shall be submitted not less than 30 days in advance of the date on which it is desired to present the award.
- Nominations will not be considered for former professional Scouters within 5 years of their leaving the profession.
It is the general policy that no public announcements shall be made by the local council in advance of action by the National Court of Honor with reference to names presented for consideration.
Recognition — Blue and white knot on tan. (No. 05003) Worn with Blue knot to wearer’s right; Certificate from the National Court of Honor; and Ribbon Miniature Silver Beaver suspended by a blue and white ribbon to be worn around the neck.
Scholarship Opportunities For Scouts
Frank D. Visceglia Memorial Scholarship supports educational opportunities for students who will have a direct effect on the nation’s ability to meet the needs of the new century in the delicate balance between the economy and the environment. The National Association of Industrial and Office Parks and the Association for Commercial Real Estate underwrites the scholarship. The applicant must be an Eagle Scout and a resident of New Jersey. Preference will be given to Scouts whose service projects are related to the environment or the economy. (A description of the project will be among the deciding factors in awarding the scholarship.) The scholarship amount is $1,000. The recipient must have been accepted to, have applied to, or plan to attend an accredited four-year college. Deadline for applications is June 1. Mail applications to:
The Frank D. Visceglia Memorial Scholarship Program
Dennis Kohl, Scout Executive
1 Saddle Road
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927
Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award has been established by the National Eagle Scout Association to recognize valuable service of an exceptional nature by a Scout to a religious institution, a school, community or other entity. The award recognizes the Scout for his Eagle Scout leadership service project, which is part of the requirements for earning the Eagle Scout Award. Each local council will choose a council-level winner, and from that pool, each region will pick a regional winner. A national winner then will be selected from the four regional finalists. More Information and Application
Devin Donnelly Papp Memorial Scholarship is a $40,000 award ($10,000 per year) awarded every year to an active Patriots’ Path Council Boy Scout who has demonstrated leadership in the Boy Scouts of America and who has shown fine academic achievement on the secondary school level. The Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council, Florham Park, NJ administers the scholarship.
The successful candidate must be a high school senior, an active Boy Scout from Patriots’ Path Council, complete a scholarship application and be accepted as a full time student to Albright College.
The completed application is submitted to the Scout Executive of Patriots’ Path Council no later than January 15th for the next fall term.
The scholarship is awarded upon entrance to Albright College. It is contingent upon the recipient studying full-time on campus, maintaining good academic standing and being active with the Albright College Volunteer Center.
Albright College is an excellent liberal arts school located on a 110-acre suburban campus in northeast Reading, PA. The college established the scholarship in memory of Devin to acknowledge his contributions to Albright as a student and to his community as a junior leader and Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America.
A hard copy application may be obtained from the Patriots’ Path Council office in Florham Park or as a pdf file from the Patriots’ Path Council website. For further information, call Bob Papp at (908) 658-4049.
National Eagle Scout Scholarships are administered by the National Eagle Scout Association. Details and applications may be obtained from NESA, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX 75015-2079 or online: Information and Applications
National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Scholarship is awarded to to select Eagle Scouts: Information and Applications
Elks Eagle Scholarship: Information and Application