Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

All non-advancement related awards and recognitions. (Anything except Ranks, Merit Badges, and Palms.)

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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby T162Scoutmaster » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Thank you PaulSWolf. I'm sure that I will have more questions as we dig in deeper with this award. :wink:
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby RWSmith » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:19 pm

T162Scoutmaster wrote:Thank you PaulSWolf. I'm sure that I will have more questions as we dig in deeper with this award. :wink:

A.K.A... THE answer man. :mrgreen:
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:21 pm

Absolutely...I only provide it one paragraph at a time...Paul writes in more detail! :D
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby scoutaholic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:58 pm

T162Scoutmaster wrote:There is a scout in our Troop that is interested in the Hornaday Bronze award (medal?).
I am trying to learn about the requirements as I try to help this young man navigate through the process.

He has a few ideas about what he wants to do, but he was asking about the Hornaday project counting towards the Eagle scout project. After looking at the requirements for the Hornaday award, it seems to me that an Eagle Scout project can count towards one of the Hornaday projects, but not necessarily the other way around. (Hornaday may not necessarily count towards an Eagle project.)

At face value, this makes sense, since the Eagle project has it's own unique approval process, when compared to the Hornaday approval.

I would like to inform the scout that if wants to use a project idea that will count for both, to write up the plan as an Eagle project, and then consult with a Hornaday advisor to determine if the project can also be used towards the Hornaday award.

Is this the correct approach?


Approval for a Hornaday project?
Hornaday advisor?

There is nothing about either of these in the Hornaday information online. From the paperwork, it looks like you do the project, turn in the paperwork, and hope that the national committee likes what you did.

Our council (one the the biggest councils in the country) doesn't have a Hornaday committee or person. Last person I know who asked questions of the council got sent away with "nobody knows". Nobody could even tell them how to fill out the paperwork or where to turn it in.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby jr56 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:37 pm

When my son did his Hornaday award (Bronze), his advisor was the county's supervisor of forest preserves. He approved and supervised all the projects. When everything was done, the book (documentation) along with all the applications was sent to national for approval by the national Hornaday awards committee. They only meet twice a year, so my son had to wait about 5 months to learn if he had been approved for anything.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby DanMaker » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:07 am

AquilaNegra2 wrote:There's a GREAT website for the Hornadays at http://www.conservationbsa.com/


the conservationbsa.com domain is no longer useful. it is now owned by a domain squatter.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby RWSmith » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:53 am

Thanks, Dan.

I have edited the other two posts which you noted.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby kc9901mom » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:57 pm

Discussion time...

First, I am a Hornaday Adviser. I have had the unique opportunity to major in Geology and Environmental Management at two different times and at two different universities.

I have been doing a lot of reading about the late Dr. Hornaday. I have also been thinking about the structure of the Hornaday Awards and how much Planet Earth has changed in the 75 years since Dr. Hornaday was alive. Eighty years ago, most naturalists/conservationists were focused on saving/preserving single species and single environments with little regard for microorganisms. Now, environmental scientists/biologists study ecosystems, ecoregions, and biospheres. Pollution, ecosystem destruction, land fragmentation, overhunting/poaching, and natural disasters affect wildlife populations.

The purpose of the Hornaday Awards is to recognize individuals and corporations for "significant and unique" conservation efforts or environmental improvement that have or will provide lasting results.

I have been told that BSA camp properties are wildlife preserves. Think about this: A scout builds bird houses and monitors the bird population at the local BSA Camp for a "x" amount of years. Then after conducting research he learns that the major river in his watershed is on his state's list of impaired waters. A tributary of this water flows through the local BSA Camp. The scout decides that he is going to do a Hornaday project and try to clean up the river and also make people aware of the river problem. So, let's just say that the scout is successful with his project and the water quality improves. From a technical standpoint this second project benefits the local BSA Camp but it also benefits the neighbors down stream from Camp. In addition, the first project could also benefit the community downstream depending on circumstances. For example, does this tributary empty into a Corps of Engineers Lake and does this CoE Lake have a Wildlife Management Area open to public hunters? If it does, then the scout's project on the BSA property could provide benefits to local hunters and not just provide benefits to the BSA property.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby kc9901mom » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:33 pm

Discussion Topic #2

What are some of the "rules" that your local conservation committee has regarding multiple projects in the same categories for Units and/or Individuals and/or multiple projects that meet the criteria with the exception that they are all conducted on BSA property?

Keep in mind that Unit Awards and Hornaday Badges are unlimited and awarded by the Local Council. (I did ask these questions to National and was told it was up to the local council).

Here are two examples:
1. Scout Z reads about the Hornaday Awards and decides that he wants to "specialize" in helping only Fish and Wildlife. Scout Z knows that earning a Hornaday Medal is a rare thing but he has no interest in pulling weeds and gardening is just not his thing. He participates with his state's Department of Wildlife and conducts an Amphibian Count at different locations throughout the year. He also builds 15 waterfowl nesting boxes and bands the waterfowl. He then decides to build bat houses and conducts a population study. All three projects took a year or more to complete. Would your council award Scout Z a Hornaday Badge for each project?
2. Scout W learns that his local BSA Camp is doing a major trail building/restoration project. This project involves making the existing trail go all the way around the lake and also making part or all of it ADA-accessible. This is a multi-year project and will involve one or more of the project categories including Soil and Water conservation, Fish and Wildlife management, and Forestry and Range management. Scout W decides to take on the whole project and gets help from his Troop and local Packs and qualifies them to each earn a Unit Award. Does Scout W earn three Hornaday Badges for each of the projects? Keep in mind that other organizations are allowed to use BSA Camp Properties (such as American Heritage Girls) so any conservation projects will benefit their organization as well.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby Quailman » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:38 am

I just can't fathom a scout doing an award-worthy effort and write-up without setting up the projects so that each falls into a different category. For unit awards, they may earn multiple awards in the same category. The easiest way to earn one is to have 60% of membership help a scout in an individual project and the unit doesn't control what category these are in. My council's conservation committee might recognize a scout who did two projects in the same category, but we'd sure encourage him to branch out.

The Hornaday requirements state that "only one project can be for the benefit of BSA property". If the scout does his homework, he might be able to justify the river project as benefitting everyone downstream. If there was significant room for improvement to pollution or erosion within a BSA property, then someone in your council will have some explaining to do. (As I say this, though, part of my local camp is closed due to a 500,000 gallon spill from a line carrying sewage to a treatment plant sevweral months ago.)
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby kc9901mom » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:01 pm

While Quailman might not be able to "fathom" a scout doing 3 award quality projects with the write-up in the same category, I sure can. This is how: A few conservationists have spent almost their entire lives studying and conserving one species or a Family in the Animal Kingdom using massive educational outreach programs, legislation, and/or activism. To name a few: Jacques Cousteau, Marty Stouffer (producer of PBS Wild America), Steve Irwin ("The Crocodile Hunter"), Mark O'Shea, Jeff Corwin, Jane Goodall, The Kratz brothers, and Paul Watson.

For the Hornaday Badge, the application states:
"As such, the project must benefit a school, community, religious organization, or BSA property, or fulfill some other public service purpose."

The Scout can earn an unlimited number of Badges before he ages out of the program. A scout has the potential to earn 9 Hornaday Badges (at 1 per year from ages 12-20 assuming he starts his first project at age 11 and becomes a Venturer after turning 14). Furthermore, if a scout wanted to earn only Badges, he could complete 9 projects to benefit a BSA property (or properties).

The restriction on the number of projects performed on or to benefit a BSA property comes on the application for the Bronze or Silver Medal.

In my Council, we have 3 "main" camps and 3 other camps that are BSA property and 4 of the 6 camps are located 3-3.5 hours North of the southern-most camp. All share a part of a public river, reservoir, or lake. It could be debated and discussed that some projects that benefit BSA properties also benefits the surrounding communities of these properties. Projects that are aimed at increasing migratory bird populations benefit hunters everywhere because birds migrate.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby Quailman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:21 pm

As a Hornaday advisor, if a boy came to me and only wanted to do projects to help birds, for example, I would recommend that he do a Bluebird Trail, screech-owl boxes, a chimney swift tower or martin houses. Any of those would fit into the Fish and Wildlfe Management category.

For his second project, I'd recommend an Invasive Species project. We're in Texas, where Chinese Tallows are out of control. As he researched them, he'd learn that not only do they crowd out native plants, but they have absolutely no nutritional content for wildlife. They became popular among nurserymen because they were "pest resistant." That means they don't support the insects that live on native trees upon which so many birds (warblers, jays, et al.) depend. On top of that, their seeds are to hard to benefit any of the seed-eating birds. Now they're the biggest threat to our native forests in southeast Texas. So he's branching out from just building birdhouses by removing invasive species and replanting with native plants that can benefit the birds.

His third project might be in the Soil and Water Conservation category. I'd suggest an erosion control project that keeps a local stream's banks from washing away, causing severe turbidity. I moved here from Colorado where the rivers and streams are almost always crystal clear. Every river around here runs mud-brown. This project he could do at our local council camp, though he'd have to start off-property. The small stream that runs through it has carried enough sediment over the years to create a peninsula where it enters the long narrow lake (about halfway down one side). It has actually divided it into two separate lakes, with the one downstream from this tributary being turbid and the other one being reasonably clear. Guess which one supports more frogs, tadpoles, and minnows that the waterfowl prefer.

His fourth project could come from Forest and Range Management. He could create a pocket prairie, transplanting (and growing from seed) native grasses that have all but disappeared from SE Texas to a plot next to a middle or elementary school. I know of a few in this area that I'd take him to visit, and he'd see the butterflies, hummingbirds and flycatchers that are attracted by it.

Four different categories that all help the avian species of our area. And he'd get a larger recognition than just building birdhouses.

If ll he wanted to do was build birdhouses, I don't think our committee would approve multiple badges for repeat projects. Unit awards yes, badges no.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby Mrw » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:27 am

Just a basic question here as none of our boys are really expressing any interest in doing this sort of work or projects.

How many boys work on projects of this sort and earn these badges? As far as I know, I have yet to meet one in at least 15 years of being with our troop.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby Quailman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:35 am

Someone in your troop would have to champion the award. I've promoted in our troop and at district roundtable.

According to statistics I've seen before, approximately 1,100 medals have been awarded Nationally in 80 years. I'm sure there are many more badges, since only one project is required and it can double as a scout's Eagle project. Also, someone who wants to earn a medal may apply for a badge with his first project.

For your boys to express an interest they need to know about the awards and what's required to earn them. I brought boys to see Eastern Screech-owls that nested in boxes I had built and placed in my yard. I've also talked to boys in BORs when I've seen that they have most of the requisite badges and we're discussing what's next. I don't like to promote the rank of Eagle as something to put on a college application, but I am guilty of pointing out that admissions officers at certain schools with an environmental focus know about the awards and recognize the work that goes into them.
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby kc9901mom » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:11 pm

Mrw wrote:Just a basic question here as none of our boys are really expressing any interest in doing this sort of work or projects.
How many boys work on projects of this sort and earn these badges? As far as I know, I have yet to meet one in at least 15 years of being with our troop.


I am relatively new to the Hornaday Awards. The actual Award(s) were created in 1915 and the first one was awarded in 1917. I do know from my own research that the 96th Silver Medal was awarded this past summer. So, to make the math easier - this would be 1 Silver Medal per year for 94 years and 2 Silver Medals in one year. Less than 14 medals per year since the first one was awarded have been awarded.
In my district, as far as I know, no scout has ever earned a Hornaday Badge or Medal and no Units have earned the Unit Award. My Council does an annual Hornaday Weekend and this year, I think 70 scouts attended (I wasn't there although I should have gone and regret not going). I am also a merit badge counselor for a neighboring Council's Semi-annual Hornaday Weekend and this fall there were 250 participants. So, from the numbers above, nationwide - less than 14 scouts per year earn Medals. We have no way of knowing how many Badges are awarded because those are awarded at the Council level and so are Unit Awards. I should also mention that none of the units that attended the neighboring Council's Hornaday Weekend Event had earned a Unit Award. All of these Awards can be earned multiple times. For example, if a scout completes 4 projects and one does not meet the standard then National can Award a Bronze Medal instead of a Silver Medal.
Quailman forgot to mention that one project can be performed to benefit a BSA property (but cannot be Eagle Project).
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Re: Hornaday Award/Badge Projects

Postby kc9901mom » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:46 pm

I have some ideas here that I would like to share about Hornaday Awards and Projects and how to promote them among Packs, Troops, Teams, Venturers, Districts, and Councils.
Sometimes it only takes 1 to get the ball rolling. A Pack earns a Unit Award for conservation work; it is the first and only Pack in the District and perhaps the Council to earn a Hornaday Unit Award; the Pack's accomplishment receives some type of media coverage; maybe the Council and/or District Executives personally recognize the Pack; etc.

As stated in previous posts, one could give an annual presentation of what the awards are and how to earn them at roundtable and also offer to give presentations to Units.

IMHO, Unit awards are a great way to introduce cub scouts, webelos, and troops to the ESLSP process without scaring away scouts. It is all about presentation and a good leader will present the idea without mentioning that the project is to help prepare for Eagle Scout Rank. For a Pack and depending on the project, other Conservation Awards could be combined with the Unit Award. For example, planting trees in a city park in the fall could be a Pack-level Hornaday Project. The World Conservation Award could be earned by Wolfs, Bears, and Webelos in the Fall when they plant trees (and by completing the other requirements-the Awards and the Project would be optional). Since part of the requirements for the Hornaday Award states that results count, the growth of the trees would need to be measured and this would allow new scouts (who join the Pack after the planting of the trees) to earn the World Conservation Award if trash was picked up in the Park on the days that tree growth is measured. For those that participate and already have the World Conservation Award, they would then qualify for the Leave No Trace Achievement/Awareness Award. If the Pack repeats the process on annual basis with different conservation projects, by the time a Lion crosses into Boy Scouts he will have been doing projects for 5-6 years and, ideally, some form of project write-up for 1-1.5 years. Take this a little further. The Lion Scout eventually crosses over into a Boy Scout Troop and this Troop also does Unit Hornaday Projects often. This Boy Scout will breeze through his Eagle Project because he has had several years experience working on projects and the type of project would not matter.
In a Troop, Team, or Crew - the SM could authorize service hours for any work done on the Unit Project. In addition, some of the work could also count toward Awards and Merit Badges such as Leave No Trace, 50-miler, Conservation Good Turn, Hometown USA, Paul Bunyan Award, Camping MB, and Backpacking MB. These are just examples.
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