William T. Hornaday award (Gold certificate)

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For a list of all William T. Hornaday Awards, see William T. Hornaday awards.

William T. Hornaday Awards are presented for distinguished service in natural resource conversation for units, Scouts, Venturers, and Scouters. The gold certificate is granted to an individual, corporation, or organization not affiliated with Scouting who have made an outstanding contribution to youth conservation.


Award requirements

William T. Hornaday Gold certificate

This award is by nomination only and is granted to an individual, corporation, or organization not affiliated with Scouting. The nominee should have made an outstanding contribution to youth conservation education and demonstrated commitment to the education of youth on a national or international level, reflecting the natural resource conservation and environmental awareness mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Candidates may be nominated by any recognized conservation/environmental organization. Up to six awards may be granted annually. Each nomination must be approved by the Hornaday Awards Committee and by the Conservation Committee of the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, in consultation with the Chief Scout Executive.

Source: BSA's Scouting.org Web site, retrieved 11/17/2007


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 in Scouting 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 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.

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