William T. Hornaday Award for Distinguished Service in Conservation
This conservation awards program was initiated in 1914 by Dr. William T.
Hornaday, then director of the New York Zoological Park, in an effort to
inspire members of the Boy Scouts of America to work constructively for
conservation. For 20 years the program was funded through Hornaday's Permanent
Wildlife Protection Fund. Upon his death, the program was sponsored for 35 years
by the New York Zoological Society and named in Hornaday's honor. The award is
the oldest conservation award given in America.
The BSA's national conservation committee has reviewed the approval procedures
for the Hornaday Award and has established guidelines.
The William T. Hornaday Award may be given in one of six forms:
The unit certificate and badge are awarded by the local council's
conservation committee. Application is made through the local council. Councils
may obtain unit certificates and badges by sending approved award applications
to the Boy Scout Conservation Service at the national office.
The bronze medal is awarded by the National Council upon recommendation
of the local council. A qualified Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer must apply
through and be recommended by his or her local council. Final selection is made
by a national William T. Hornaday Award selection committee, and presentation is
made by the local council.
The silver medal is handled in the same way as the bronze medal in
regard to recommendation and application. The award is the highest possible
attainment in conservation for a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer.
The gold medal may be considered when a qualified Scouter is recommended
by his or her council, by an established conservation organization, or by any
recognized conservationist. The nominee must have demonstrated leadership and a
commitment to the education of youth on a national or international level,
reflecting the natural resource conservation/environmental awareness mission
of the Boy Scouts of America. Nominations must be approved by the BSA's national
conservation committee. The gold medal is the highest possible attainment in
conservation for a Scouter.
The gold badge is awarded by the local council's conservation committee.
Scouters who have demonstrated leadership and a significant commitment to
conservation and the education of Scouting youth on a council or district level
over a sustained period (at least three years) may be nominated for this award.
Councils may obtain gold badges by sending approved award applications to the
Boy Scout Conservation Service at the national office.
The gold certificate is an award granted to an individual or organization
not necessarily affiliated with Scouting. The nominee must have demonstrated
leadership and a commitment to the education of youth on a national or international
level, reflecting the natural resource conservation/environmental awareness mission
of the Boy Scouts of America.
Nominations for the medals and gold certificate are considered by the national
award committee several times a year.
The badge, bronze medal, and silver medal are youth awards. The age limit for
Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts is 17, and for Venturers, 20 years of age.
How to Submit Applications
Completed applications for the unit certificate and badge must be submitted
to the council, which will decide whether they are worthy of consideration for
the Hornaday Award. Qualified applicants will be interviewed by a council
committee. The committee determines whether the applicant is qualified for the
Hornaday badge (or certificate, for units). Each council has authority to award
the certificate and the badge.
Each Hornaday medal applicant is expected to carry out four substantial
conservation projects in different areas of conservation. If the council
committee determines that the application merits consideration for one of
the Hornaday medals, the application and all supporting materials (which
must be approved by the Scout executive) are forwarded to the BSA's national
office. Applications are judged by the national award committee.
An applicant should be advised that his or her application form, with supporting
evidence of work accomplished, is the only information the national award committee
has for selecting winners. Thus, applications should be filled out neatly, and the
list of activities should be as complete and descriptive as possible. Adequate
supporting materials must accompany the application. Materials such as letters,
snapshots, videotapes, project descriptions, drawings, planning papers, news
clippings, talks given, etc., should be well-organized, neatly mounted in a
notebook or scrapbook, and labeled.
Additional applications (No. 21-107) may be
downloaded from the Web site of
the Boy Scouts of America or obtained through the local Scout service center.