Scouting’s core leadership awards can help you be a better leader

Since kids don’t grow up overnight, it can sometimes be hard to tell from week to week how much of a difference you’re making as a Scouting volunteer. The BSA’s training awards and keys can help you track your progress and help you be more successful.

WHAT IS A TRAINING AWARD?

A training award is a position-specific recognition earned by Scouters who meet certain tenure, training and performance requirements.

WHAT TENURE IS REQUIRED?

One year for den leaders and two years for all other positions.

WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED?

Basic training for your position, plus specified supplemental training depending on your position. For example, a den leader must attend a powwow, a university of Scouting or at least four roundtables, while a Sea Scout leader must attend a boating safety course.

WHAT PERFORMANCE IS REQUIRED?

You must do four or five things, which vary by position, such as participating in an annual unit-planning meeting or giving primary leadership in meeting a Journey to Excellence objective.

WHAT RECOGNITION ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE?

Most recipients receive a medal (No. 922) that features a fleur-de-lis superimposed over an “A” suspended from a green ribbon with a narrow white stripe. Den leaders receive a medal (No. 615864) that features a fleur-de-lis superimposed over a diamond suspended from a blue and gold ribbon. For everyday wear for den leaders, there’s a gold knot on a blue background (No. 5016); for everyday wear for other Scouters, there’s a green knot on a tan background (No. 5008). Small pins, called devices, go on the knot to indicate the specific program(s) in which the award was earned.

WHAT IS A SCOUTER’S KEY?

A key is a more advanced award earned by the top leader in a unit (i.e., Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Advisor or Skipper).

WHAT TENURE IS REQUIRED?

Three years as the top unit leader within a five-year period. (Tenure used to earn the Scouter’s Training Award can be included.) In Cub Scouting, one of the three years can be as an assistant Cubmaster.

WHAT TRAINING IS REQUIRED?

As with the training awards, a Scouter’s Key requires basic training for your position plus specified supplemental training.

WHAT PERFORMANCE IS REQUIRED?

Your unit must achieve at least the Silver level of Journey to Excellence for at least two years, you must participate in at least one additional supplemental or advanced training event, and you must complete one or two other program-specific requirements.

WHAT RECOGNITION ITEMS ARE AVAILABLE?

Most recipients receive a medal (No. 924) that features a fleur-de-lis superimposed over a key suspended from a green ribbon with a wide white stripe. Sea Scout Skippers receive a similar medal (No. 616990) that has a blue ribbon instead. For everyday wear, there’s a green and white knot on a tan background (No. 5006). Devices go on the knot to indicate the specific program(s) in which the award was earned.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?

Visit scouting.org/training/adult

7 Comments

  1. Great we need more information please let me know if you can help us out with the girls and boys scout books
    We need to know if you can help us to get badges

  2. The photo is a little misleading, showing the Scouter’s Key knot next to the Scouter’s Training Award.
    Also, if you flip over the Training Award medal, what appears to be an “A” behind the fleur-de=lis actually isn’t (and what would the letter “A” stand for anyway?). It’s actually an upside-down letter “V”. The original Training Award had the “V” behind the fleur-de-lis because it took five years to earn (hence roman numeral V for 5). When the tenure requirement was reduced to three years, BSA flipped the V over. (And now it only takes one or two years to earn.)

  3. Why aren’t there any recognition awards for long-tenured assistant scoutmasters (or other positions)? I have served as the adult leader for my troop’s new scout patrol and an adult leader in older scout patrol. I have been viewed by the troop committees I have worked with as the scoutmaster for the patrol I was supporting, yet on paper (and badge) I am an assistant scoutmaster. The position is a good fit for me, yet in terms of earning any knots–which I tell the boys that is one of the things that adult leaders can try to earn–the position appears to be unrecognizable.

    • Michael-

      The Scouter’s Training Award was originally for ASM and has been expanded for all registered leaders. It is one you can earn.

  4. The (Scouters) Training Award is precisely designed for your position. The Scouters Key award is designed for the unit leader. Advising the new Scout patrol and training the troop guides who work with new Scouts is vitally important, and is one of many jobs that Assistant Scoutmasters can carry out. While commissioners and Cub Scout leaders have bunches of knots to earn, those are two that are available to most troop adults.

    • Hey Jeff –

      They reorganized the training awards in like 2012. Now Cub, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scout leaders are all eligible for the Scouter’s Training Award, the Unit Leader Award of Merit, and the Scouter’s Key (though only the Cubmaster,Scoutmaster, Advisor, and Skipper are eligible for the last 2). The only extra award for Cub leaders it the Den Leader Training Award. They cut all the other ones. It makes sense to have the DLA as it just has a 1 year tenure, we need a lot more adults in Cubs, and getting good leaders in at that stage usually means they will stick around longer.

  5. There ought to be more opportunities to earn knots. Years ago there were a lot of them, and then they were narrowed down to a select few. If you move into positions at higher levels, for example on the District or Council level there are a couple more knots available, but if you stay a Scoutmaster for many years, anyway, you get the picture.

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