As a movement whose leadership is overwhelmingly volunteers, the Boy Scouts of America realizes the need to recognize the invaluable services that men and women render to youth. In addition to the thanks, praise, and recognition that come to those who serve their communities with utmost efficiency, the Boy Scouts of America has established district awards that are given for distinguished service to youth. The criterion is different for each award, but there is one common thread. The awards are granted by one’s own peers in Scouting and do not come as the result of any prescribed course of action or tests to be accomplished.
The following general guidelines apply for all of the awards for individuals:
- The basic qualification for any of these awards is that you, as a Scouter, feel that the contribution of another Scouter deserves such recognition.
- There are no minimum criteria, such as the number of years of service or number of events chaired, etc. for any of these awards.
- These awards recognize not only achievement within a registered position but also contribution to the overall Scouting program (e.g., team player, support for BSA policies). This is the equivalent of “show Scout spirit” for Boy Scout advancement.
- The award considers activity and service in the previous year only. For example, awards given in 2022 are for service in the year 2021. The awards are not considered cumulative. For example, if someone chaired a district event years ago, that should not be considered for these awards. EXCEPTION: District Award of Merit and Ralph Hinrichs Award – see more info below.
- An individual must be formally nominated to be considered.
- Nominations from one year do not carry over to the next year; a new nomination must be submitted each year.
- Information should be as complete and accurate as possible.
- If you think the individual has earned the recognition, submit a nomination.
- Information can be typed up in Word or another format and pasted into the online nomination form.
The District Award of Merit is a council award presented by districts in the same manner that the Silver Beaver is a national award presented by councils. The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the district level. To be considered for this award the following should be considered of a nominee:
• Must be a registered Scouter
• Have rendered noteworthy service to youth in Scouting, outside Scouting, or both
• Information on service to youth outside Scouting can be considered (e.g. Rotary Club, youth leader in church, etc.) and should be included in the write-up in the nomination
• The nominee’s Scouting position and the opportunity to render outstanding service beyond the expectations of that position
• Their attitude and cooperation with the district and council.
This award can only be earned once.
is given to a registered leader of a Scouts BSA Troop or Committee Member who has gone above and beyond in providing a quality program to his/her Troop. To be considered for this award a nominee must currently be a registered leader in their Troop.
is given to a registered leader or Committee Member of a Cub Scout Pack
who has gone above and beyond in providing a quality Cub Scout program to his/her Pack. To be considered for this award a nominee must currently be a registered leader in their Pack.
is given to a registered leader or Committee Member of a Crew or Ship who has gone above and beyond in providing a quality program to his/her Crew or Ship. To be considered for this award a nominee must currently be a registered leader in their unit.
is given to a registered leader or Committee Member of any unit who has provided outstanding service in their first year in Scouting. To be considered the nominee must not have held any previous adult Scouting position. Scouters who have participated as a Leader previously, left Scouting, and recently returned are excluded from consideration.
is given to a registered Commissioner who has gone above and beyond in providing assistance and guidance to their units and the district. To be considered for this award a nominee must currently be registered and providing Commissioner service. Nominees are considered and the recipient is chosen by the District Commissioners’ Chair.
is given to a registered Scouter who has provided exceptional service in regards to training throughout the year. Nominees are considered and recipient is chosen by the Chair of Training.
is given to a COR who has gone above and beyond in their service to both the Chartered Organization and the Scouting unit(s). To be considered for this award the nominee does not have to be registered adult but serves as the COR.
is given to a District Committee Member that has gone above and beyond in providing service to the district. To be considered individuals need to be registered with the District Committee. (Can be dual registered). This award is chosen by the District Committee Chair.
is given to a family that has multiple members involved in Scouting in some manner. Family members can be associated with various units. Adults may hold several positions. Please note the participation of each family member, including additional participation such as training events, camporees, etc.
is given to an individual or organization that has provided exceptional service to Scouting in the previous year. Nominations are accepted and will be chosen by the Key Three of the District.
Ralph Hinrichs, Jr. was well known within Occoneechee Council for his many years of service to Scouting. He served as Council Chair for Programs for several years. He was a 4-Beader for Wood Badge and provided his excellent portrayal of Baden-Powell for many courses. Ralph could often be found in the kitchen cooking and cleaning for numerous Scouting events. He was an excellent mentor to many within the program. In addition to Scouting, Ralph also volunteered his time with the USO, Military Officers Association of America, and the American Red Cross. This award is given to a registered leader that has exemplified a similar level of volunteering within Scouting above and beyond their registered position, assisting in all areas of Scouting as needed.