Silver Buffalo Award
Awards are presented for service at the District, Council, Regional, National, and World level.
|Silver Buffalo Award|
The Silver Buffalo Award, created in 1925, is bestowed upon those who give truly noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth. This award, Scouting's highest commendation, recognizes the invaluable contributions that outstanding American men and women render to youth. The service must be national in character and can be directly connected with the BSA or independent of the movement.
The award consists of a silver buffalo suspended from a red and white ribbon worn around the neck. Recipients may wear the corresponding square knot, with a white strand over a red strand, on the BSA uniform.
The concept of the Silver Buffalo was based on the Silver Wolf award of the Boy Scout Association. The buffalo pendant was designed by A. Phimister Proctor. During the first presentation in 1926, twenty-two awards were presented in a particular order determined by Chief Scout Executive James E. West. Since then, the awards have been presented on an annual basis in alphabetical order. A red-white-red ribbon bar was introduced in 1934 for informal uniform wear. In 1946, ribbon bars were replaced by the current knot insignia.
The first Silver Buffalo Award was conferred upon Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement and Chief Scout of the World. The second went to the Unknown Scout who inspired William D. Boyce to form the BSA — the only non-adult recipient. This award is represented by a small buffalo statue in Gilwell Park.
Other award recipients have included aviator Charles A. Lindbergh; artist Norman Rockwell, well-known for his many Scouting paintings; General Colin L. Powell; Apollo 13 commander James A. Lovell Jr.; artist and film producer Walt Disney; baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; entertainer Bob Hope; Marian Anderson, first African American singer to appear at the Metropolitan Opera; football coach Vince Lombardi; Carlos P. Romulo, Pulitzer Prize-winner and cofounder, Boy Scouts of the Philippines; Neil Armstrong, first man to set foot on the moon; Dr. Ralph Bunche, former U.N. mediator and Nobel Peace Prize winner; cartoonist Charles M. Schulz; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund; and 13 presidents of the United States. See the List of recipients of the Silver Buffalo Award for others.
For fifty years the Silver Buffalo was awarded only to men until LaVern W. Parmley became the first woman to receive the honor in 1976. As of 2008, 674 people have been presented the award, including 13 presidents of the United States.
The Silver Buffalo Award is not earned but awarded based upon nomination.
Distinguished Service Awards
The Boy Scouts of America recognizes the need to acknowledge the invaluable services that men and women render to youth. Of the millions of registered adult volunteers in Scouting, only a select few are presented distinguished service awards at these level:
- District Award of Merit for outstanding service at the district level
- Silver Beaver for service at the unit, district or council level
- Silver Antelope for service at the regional or area level
- Silver Buffalo for service at the national level
- Silver World for service to Scouting at an international level
- Distinguished Service Awards Fact Sheets. Boy Scouts of America.
- Illustrated History of BSA Square Knot Evolution and Private Issues - SageVenture.
- Silver Beaver Medals Mitch Reis. Boy Scout Memorabilia, Patches And Collectibles
- The Silver Fawn Medal - The Virtual Cub Leader's Handbook.
- List of recipients of the Silver Buffalo Award
- Silver Buffalo Time magazine article, May 10, 1926
- Scouter Awards for information on over 30 adult leader awards
- Awards for information on over 30 awards for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers.