The World Scout Committee announced last month that it has presented the Bronze Wolf, the highest honor in World Scouting, to BSA Chief Scout Executive Roger C. Mosby.
The award, which honors “outstanding service by an individual to the World Scout Movement,” is the only Scouting award offered at the international level. Fittingly, its first recipient in 1935 was Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell.
Mosby becomes the 381st person and 40th American to receive the award in its 86-year history. He is the seventh BSA Chief Scout Executive to receive the Bronze Wolf and the first since Jere B. Ratcliffe in 1997.
In its official citation, the World Scout Committee writes that Mosby is worthy of recognition “for his contributions of time, energy, knowledge and professional expertise to Scouting at all levels.”
“His open and respectful approach, along with an ability to build bridges and collaborate with people from around the world, reflects a strong dedication and commitment to Scouting’s values,” the citation reads.
Mosby’s contributions to the BSA have been well documented on this blog. He’s the father of three Eagle Scouts, a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, and has received the region-level Silver Antelope Award and the council-level Silver Beaver Award.
As president, CEO and Chief Scout Executive, Mosby has led the BSA through challenging times and preserved the BSA’s reputation and sustainability.
Mosby’s service to World Scouting, while perhaps lesser known domestically, has been equally impressive.
From 2014 to 2017, while still a BSA volunteer, Mosby served the World Organization of the Scout Movement as chairman of the Audit Committee. During this time, he provided “valuable support, advice and mentorship on financial management, reporting and legal matters,” according to official citation.
In 2016, Mosby played a vital role in helping the World Scout Committee transition to a new leader: Secretary-General Ahmad Alhendawi of Jordan.
About the Bronze Wolf Award
The Bronze Wolf Award has a fascinating history.
Before the award was created, Baden-Powell was fond of presenting the U.K. Scout Association’s Silver Wolf Award to Scouters from any country. Daniel Carter Beard, an American who was one of the BSA’s founders, received the award in 1924.
Eventually, the International Committee and Baden-Powell himself realized the need for a truly global award — an honor not presented by any one country but by the entire World Scouting movement.
The International Committee officially created the Bronze Wolf Award in June 1934. Recipients would be presented with a bronze-colored wolf medallion hanging from a green ribbon with yellow edging.
Why bronze instead of gold (the highest Olympic honor) or silver (the highest Scouting honor)? The committee wanted a metal that would “underline the spirit of simplicity” of the Scouting movement.
“It was thought that the highest award in the movement should consist in something having almost no intrinsic value,” according to a World Organization of the Scout Movement article from 2014.
Sure enough, gold is worth more than $25,000 per pound, and silver will fetch more than $300 per pound. But a pound of humble bronze would only get you about $1.50.
After Baden-Powell received the first Bronze Wolf in 1935, he then presented it to three others on behalf of the International Committee: Walter de Bonstetten of Switzerland, founder of the International Scout Chalet at Kandersteg; Hubert S. Martin of Great Britain, Director of the International Bureau; and John S. Wilson of Great Britain, Camp Chief at Gilwell Park.
U.S. recipients of Bronze Wolf Award
Mosby joins other prominent American recipients of the Bronze Wolf Award, including William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt (1985), who wrote three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook and brought Wood Badge to the U.S.; Scott Teare (2012), previous Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement; Dan Ownby (2019), the current National Chair of the BSA; and W. Scott Sorrels (2020), the current BSA National Commissioner.
See the full list of U.S. recipients below, and check out the full list of all Bronze Wolf honorees here.
- 1955: Mr. Amory Houghton
- 1959: Mr. William D. Campbell
- 1960: Dr. Arthur A. Schuck
- 1961: Mr. John M. Schiff
- 1967: Mr. Joseph A. Brunton, Jr.
- 1969: Mr. Irving J. Feist
- 1971: Mr. John F. Lott
- 1971: Mr. Gilbert R. Pirrung
- 1973: Mr. William Harrison Fetridge
- 1975: Mr. Alden G. Barber
- 1975: Mr. Richard W. Darrow
- 1977: Mr. John C. Parish
- 1978: Mr. James W. Sands
- 1981: Mr. John R. Donnell
- 1983: Mr. Peter W. Hummel
- 1983: Mr. James L. Tarr
- 1985: Mr. William Hillcourt
- 1985: Mr. Edward C. Joullian III
- 1985: Mr. Eugene F. (Bud) Reid
- 1988: Dr. Thomas C. MacAvoy
- 1988: Mr. Frederick Stecker
- 1988: Mrs. Margot Bogert
- 1989: President Ezra Taft Benson
- 1990: Mr. John R. Donnell, Jr.
- 1990: Mr. Ben H. Love
- 1991: Mr. S. Gary Schiller
- 1992: Mr. Thomas D. Allen
- 1992: Mr. Thomas S. Monson
- 1997: Mr. Jere Ratcliffe
- 2004: Mr. Richard Burdick
- 2005: Mr. Gerald J. Voros
- 2008: Mr. William F. Cronk
- 2010: Mr. Wayne Perry
- 2012: Mr. Scott Teare
- 2017: Mr. Kent Clayburn
- 2018. Ms. Brigitte Therivel
- 2019: Mr. Daniel Ownby
- 2020: Mr. W. Scott Sorrels
- 2021: Rabbi Peter Hyman
- 2021: Mr. Roger Mosby