Conservation Awareness Takes Hold Across the Country

Hornaday Medal- BSA

What’s better than completing a conservation project and earning one of the rarest awards known to Scouting? How does $1000 in grant money to help fund the project sound?

The William T. Hornaday Award is presented to Scouts who complete certain requirements in addition to planning and executing a conservation project under the guidance of a Hornaday advisor. The award has different levels and is intended to advance awareness in environmental conservation. The award is also available to adult Scouters through the nomination process. Check with your local council for more information.

The original conservation program began in 1914 and the award was named the Wildlife Protection Medal by Dr. William T. Hornaday. He pioneered natural resource conservation and spearheaded a movement to save the American bison from extinction. After Dr. Hornaday’s passing in 1937, the award was renamed in his honor and became a Boy Scouts of America award. Although the award has been around for 80 years, only about 1,100 medals have been awarded in its inception.

Those planning a Hornaday Award, may also qualify to receive a $1000 grant toward the completion of the conservation project. Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Scout Units may submit an application to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) for consideration. The 2011 application process has already concluded. If you plan to pursue the Hornaday Badge or Medal, be sure to check the Planet Connect Grant web site for 2012 application, qualifications, funding restrictions, and other information.

The amount of time and effort it takes to complete a Hornaday conservation project is comparable to that of an Eagle project. Scouts and Scouters alike have worked extremely hard to obtain this prestigious award. However, it is even more rewarding to see the fruits of their labor and be able to appreciate the beginnings of sustainable and positive impact on the environment.

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