How to nominate someone for the BSA’s National Duty to God Award

Originally posted Feb. 10, 2017. Last updated Dec. 5, 2018.


A Scout is reverent, and some adult volunteers go above and beyond to help Scouts on their spiritual journey.

The National Duty to God Award, first presented in 2016, recognizes adults who help young people better connect with their faith.

The award is presented to up to four individuals each year. Recipients receive a handsome blue, white and yellow medal.

Nomination forms are accepted beginning the first business day in October. The nomination window closes the last business day in February of the following year.

Download the application [PDF], which contains additional eligibility and submission info.

Why a National Duty to God Award?

Three primary reasons:

  • It fits with Scouting. The BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principles says no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. Approximately 75 percent of all Scouting units are chartered to faith-based organizations.
  • It embodies the principle “a Scout is reverent.” The BSA doesn’t define “duty to God” in religion-specific terms, and Scouting does not promote one religion over another. The award, also independent of any one faith, simply honors the principles of the Scout Law’s 12th point.
  • It fits in with other national awards. The BSA has awards for meritorious or lifesaving service. There are awards for service to youth on a district, council, regional and national level. The National Duty to God Award is a logical addition to this impressive lineup.

Who selects the recipients?

The BSA’s National Religious Relationships Support Committee. The award is presented during the Duty to God breakfast at the National Annual Meeting in May.

What are the award requirements?

  • Must be currently enrolled as an active, participating adult member of the Boy Scouts of America, or anon-member with a distinguished history of national volunteer or professional service to youth and faith.
  • Have 10 or more years of volunteer or professional leadership with national and/or international service to Scouting or other national organizations or institutions, and the nominee’s respective faith tradition.
  • Have received the Boy Scouts of America’s faith-appropriate adult religious emblem at the time of nomination, or a comparable recognition from the nominee’s religious organization or institution.
  • Have a notable history of transformational spiritual, moral, and ethical leadership and service to Scouting and youth to support and advance the principle of a duty to an individual’s Creator.

How does one nominate someone for the award?

Assuming the person meets the requirements in the previous section, you’ll need to fill out this form [PDF].

The nominator must provide and attach to the application at least three letters of recommendation for the nominee from the following:

  • Local council Scout executive or chief executive officer (or designee).
  • Nominee’s spiritual leader at the local, regional, and/or national level.
  • A current, active member(s) in a leadership role from nominee’s faith congregation or affiliated organization.

The nominator should include a summary of the nominee’s character and his or her service to faith and youth and a professional portrait image file (head/shoulders only) of the nominee.

Note: Do not notify candidates of their nomination.

What’s the deadline?

The nomination window is open from the first business day in October through the last business day in February of the following year.

To whom are nominations submitted?

All required nominating materials and supporting documentation for qualified individuals must be submitted in one, collated electronic file with a clear, identifiable name of the nominee to Gene Butler, Religious Relationships Support Committee staff advisor, at gene.butler@scouting.org.

There are no restrictions on the number of applications submitted by the local council. Completed candidate applications will remain on file for two years. Afterward, if the nominee has not been selected, a new application must be submitted for future consideration.

Successful candidates will be notified on or before March 15 and bestowed the National Duty to God Award at the National Annual Meeting during the Duty to God breakfast held annually in May of each year.

Still have questions?

Contact Gene Butler at gene.butler@scouting.org.