Volunteer Awards & Recognition

The Boy Scouts of America believe in recognition of achievements and those that go above and beyond — in conservation, in unit service, or even in saving a life. Do you have volunteers, commissioners, or leaders that deserve recognition? This is the place to find out how! On this page you will find information and fillable PDF applications for all awards available at the unit, district, and council levels. Our annual award deadline is December 1st. For questions about all awards, please contact the Council Office at 847-433-1813.

Award Resources

Full BSA Award List
Scouter Record Request Form
Silver Beaver and District Award of Merit Recipients

Instructions for submitting awards:

  • Click the “Download Application” link of the award you would like to submit. Save the PDF file somewhere you can find it on your computer.
  • Open the PDF file and fill out the award. Save the completed file.
  • Email the application to zachary.norton@scouting.org.*

*For Silver Beaver Award Nominations, please submit to emily.prymula@scouting.org
Unit Leader Award of Merit

This award encourages unit leaders (Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Venture Crew Advisors, and Sea Scout Skippers) to devote time and attention to making their unit healthy by attaining certain benchmarks characteristic of strong units. Seven requirements must be met along with a nomination by the top youth leader.

Download Application

North Star District Awards​

Key Scouter Award – Units may nominate their adult volunteers to receive this award for their key contributions to unit level success.

Fill out the Key Scouter Award Nomination Here

Silver Acorn Award – An award presented by units similar in function to the District Award of Merit, recognizing one outstanding adult volunteer within a unit for exemplary leadership and service. Units may only select one of its most outstanding adult volunteers to receive this award each year.

Fill out the Silver Acorn Award Nomination Here

Leader of the Year Award – Recognizes exceptional top leaders in the categories of Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor, and Committee Chair. Exceptional Scouting programs take a great deal of vision and commitment, and recipients of this award exemplify the highest level of achievement to those ends.

Fill out the Leader of the Year Nomination Form Here

Aptakisic District Awards​

Scouting Spirit Award – Recognizes individuals who have given of themselves on behalf of the Scouting Movement at the unit level. It is for currently registered leaders who have rendered noteworthy and significant support at the unit level. This award can only be earned once.

Download Scouting Spirit Award Application

Silent Service Award – Recognizes individuals who have given of themselves on behalf of the Scouting Movement at the unit level. It is for non-registered individuals who have done noteworthy and significant support that required some personal sacrifice. This could include a spouse or parent associated with the unit or an individual from the local community. This award can only be earned once.

Download Silent Service Award Application

Square Knot Award – This award recognizes outstanding new unit leaders who are trained in their position. This award is intended for registered unit Scouters and can only be earned once.

Download Square Knot Award Application

Chairman’s Award – Given in recognition of noteworthy service to Scouting by direct unit leaders, unit committee members, and other key registered adults. The award recognizes continuing service from active adult volunteers of a unit. Excluded are Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Crew Advisors, and Committee Chairs. The purpose of this award is to recognize noteworthy service from volunteers who continue to put forth great effort regarding unit programming, activities, fundraising, recruitment, and unit events.

Download Chairman’s Award Application

Potawatomi District Awards

Direct Leader Service Award – given in recognition of noteworthy service to Scouting by unit leaders, registered in units belonging to the Potawatomi District of the Northeast Illinois Council, BSA. The award recognizes leaders of a Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop, Varsity Team, or Venturing Crew.

Committee Service Award – given in recognition of noteworthy service to Scouting by unit committee members, registered in units belonging to the Potawatomi District of the Northeast Illinois Council, BSA. The award recognizes committee members of a Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop, or Venturing Crew. The purpose of the award is to encourage, initiative, interest, responsibility, and cooperation from committee members in assisting unit leaders in promoting and carrying out good Scouting programs and to recognize them for their efforts in this respect.

District Award of Merit

The award is available to Scouters who render service of an outstanding nature at the District level. To see previous recipients of this award, click here.

Download District Award of Merit Application

Committee & Commissioner Awards

Commissioner Key – this award encourages and recognizes continuing training, performance, and tenure by commissioners.

Download Commissioner Key Application

Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service – this award is presented to a commissioner who provides exemplary unit service, focusing on unit performance as measured in Journey to Excellence and through use of the current Boy Scouts of America Unit Service Plan and Commissioner Tools.

Download Commissioner Award of Excellence Application

Distinguished Commissioner Service Award – the highest recognition that can be given to a commissioner who has consistently engaged in distinguished and exceptional commissioner service resulting in significant, positive impact to youth, units, and the District and/or Council.

Download Distinguished Commissioner Service Award

Commissioner Arrowhead Award – the Arrowhead Honor recognizes proficiency in the contemporary tools and techniques commissioners use to provide effective unit service. This involves frequent use of the Commissioner Tools available on my.scouting as well as other District resources.

Download Commissioner Arrowhead Application

Committee Key – award for continued service at the committee level, requiring a tenure of at least three years as well as other performance-related benchmarks.

Download Committee Key Application

Silver Beaver Awards

The Silver Beaver Award recognizes registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council. Anyone may nominate any deserving registered Scouter to the council, which selects recipients for the following year. To see previous Silver Beaver Award recipients, click here. 

Silver Beaver Award Instructions
Silver Beaver Nomination Form

Other Council Awards

Colonel Henry Crown Leadership and Service  – Recognizes front-line scouters (unit leaders, den leaders, assistant leaders) who have made a significant difference in the lives of youth members of BSA. Recipients of this award must be registered as a front-line leader with BSA. The nomination needs to include at least three written references from individuals, preferably youth, that support the nomination.

Download the Application Here

Torch of Gold Award – This award recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service in the area of Scouts with special needs. It is presented to both youth and adult members.

Download the Application Here.