William T. Hornaday Awards for Venturers

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For the Boy Scout specific requirements for this award, see William T. Hornaday Awards


Award requirements

These awards are presented for distinguished service in natural resource conversation for units, Scouts, Venturers, and Scouters. Venturers may earn the Hornaday Badge or the Hornaday Bronze or Silver Medal.

William T. Hornaday Awards for Venturers

Alternate requirements for Venturers are designed for youth who cannot or did not earn the merit badges required under the Boy Scout program. A male youth 17 years old or younger, holding First Class rank or higher, and having earned all the required merit badges may complete this award under the Boy Scout requirements for the William T. Hornaday Awards.

William T. Hornaday Badge

1. Earn First Class rank.
2. Plan, lead, and carry out at least one project from one of the categories listed (below).
3. Complete the requirements for any three of the merit badges listed in bold (below). In addition, complete any two of the others listed.

William T. Hornaday Bronze or Silver Medal

1. Earn First Class rank.
2. For the Bronze Medal: Plan, lead, and carry out three projects from three separate categories listed (below). For the Silver Medal: Plan, lead, and carry out four projects from four separate categories listed.
3. Earn the Environmental Science merit badge. For the Bronze Medal: Earn at least three more merit badges listed in bold plus any two others listed (below). For the Silver Medal: Earn all six merit badges in bold and any three more.

Project categories

  • Energy conservation
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Fish and wildlife management
  • Forestry and range management
  • Air and water pollution control
  • Resource recovery (recycling)
  • Hazardous material disposal and management
  • Invasive species control

Ranger Award electives

Source: 2007 Boy Scout Requirements (33215)


Conservation and the Boy Scouts of America have been partners for a long time. Camping, hiking, and respect for the outdoors are a part of the Scouting heritage. Many of the requirements for advancement from Tenderfoot through Eagle Scout rank call for an increasing awareness and understanding of the natural sciences. Many former Scouts have become leaders in conserving our environment and protecting it from abuse. Right now Scouts are involved in learning about environmental problems and actively working to make a difference.

This awards program was created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation. It was begun in 1917 by Dr. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hornaday was an active and outspoken champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison from extinction.

The Hornaday Awards are highly prized by those who have received them: Only slightly more than a thousand medals have been awarded over the past 70 years. These awards represent a substantial commitment of time and energy by individuals who have learned the meaning of a conservation/environmental ethic. Any Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer willing to devote the time and energy to work on a project based on sound scientific principles and guided by a conservation professional or a well-versed layperson can qualify for one of the Hornaday Awards. Any of the awards will take months to complete, so activities should be planned well in advance.

Help with these requirements

Units that complete a conservation project with 60% of the members participating may be awarded a Unit recognition by filing the Hornaday Unit Award available at: http://www.scouting.org/awards/hornaday/pdf/award.pdf

External links

  • William T. Hornaday Awards — (official BSA link), which also provides links to the following sub-pages:
    • Who Was William T. Hornaday
    • How Do I Earn a Hornaday Medal
    • The Awards
    • Hornaday Projects
    • How Applications Are Judged
    • Checklists for Submitting Applications
    • Guidelines for the Conservation Adviser
    • Application Forms
    • FAQ
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