Coming in 2010: National Outdoor Award badges

UPDATE (8/23/10): The badges have been released. Click here for the latest information.

Do your boys know their way around a campsite? How are they in a canoe, on a horse, or climbing a mountain? If their outdoor skills have been heightened through the Scouting program, they'll soon have a new award to show for it: the National Outdoor Award badges.

The program, conceived by the volunteer-led National Camping Task Force of the BSA, includes a series of five badges designed to recognize a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout who has demonstrated knowledge and experience in performing high-level outdoor activities.

The five categories are:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Riding
  • Aquatics
  • Adventure

Boys can apply for and earn any or all of the badges during their time in the program.

To earn the award or awards, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must complete:

  • Relevant merit badges, which vary for each award.
  • The First
    Class rank.
  • Leave No Trace requirements.
  • Activities measured by nights of camping, miles of hiking, miles of horseback riding, hours on or in the water, and other adventure activities. 

Detailed requirements and application forms will be provided via in early 2010. 
Scouts may count activities completed in previous years to qualify for
these awards.

Now, if those five awards aren't enough, there's the ultimate prize: the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, which will be the highest outdoor adventure award in Scouting. The requirements for that medal are:

  • Complete all five National Outdoor Award badges.
  • Earn four additional outdoor merit badges.
  • Receive training in Wilderness
    First Aid.
  • Finish the Boy Scout Leave No Trace Trainer certification.
  • Plan and lead a unit outing or serve as a youth staff member at a council summer camp.

We'll have more details on specific requirements when they're available.

About Bryan Wendell 3269 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.