Advancement Award Knots
The following table displays all of the current adult advancement awards available. The requirements to earn and wear each award can be found by clicking on the requirements link under each award. A brief description of each award is listed below.
In March of 1946 the Boy Scouts of America announced the first six square knot awards. These awards were to replace the ribbon bars that were being earned at the time. The list of knots has continued to grow. Some knots have been discontinued and others have been added. At present there are 34 knot awards. These awards are worn on the Scouting uniform in place of the plaque or large pendant that they represent.
Generally, the knot awards are worn by adult leaders. But there are a few that may be worn by youth members. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts may wear the Universal Religious Emblem and the lifesaving and Meritorious Award knots. Explorers may display on their uniforms the same honors plus the Explorer Achievement Award knot.
Knots are sewn centered above the top seam of the left uniform shirt pocket, in rows of three. There is no order for wearing the knot awards. However, there is a proper way for each knot award to be displayed. The loop of the embroidered square knot that comes in front of the standing part is always to the wearer's right. Knots are worn with the distinguishing color (not white) toward the wearer's right.
Some knots are the same for training or service in different programs. For example, the Scouters Training Award knot is the same for service in Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting and Exploring, Commissioner Service and District Committee. To distinguish the difference in programs a small device may be worn inside the knot for the appropriate program. If the knot award is earned in more than one program then more than one device should be worn.
Universal Religious Emblem (adult) - Adult that complete specific requirements of their faith may earn this award. At present 15 religions offer leader opportunities to earn religious emblems.
LIFESAVING AND MERITORIOUS ACTION
Honor Medal - Awarded to youth or adults who have demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving a life or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self. The recommendation form is the same for all four awards.
Heroism Award - Awarded to youth or adults who have demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life with minimum risk to self.
Medal Of Merit - Earned by a youth or adult by performing an outstanding act of service and exceptional character by putting into practice scouting skills and ideals. It does not need to involve risk to self.
Eagle Award - Scouting's highest rank is earned by Boy Scouts who fulfill requirements stated in current literature. Adults wear the knot award No. 05011, youth wear the badge No. 00489. Those who receive the Distinguished Eagle Award may wear that device attached to this knot. On formal occasions the eagle pendant may be worn by either youth or adults.
Quartermaster Award - This is Sea Exploring highest honor. Requirements are listed in the Sea Explorer Manual. Sea Explorers wear the badge, Adults wear the knot No.5016A.
National President's Scoutmaster Award of Merit - Originally this award was presented on the basis of one per BSA area. Now it may be earned by those completing requirements on form No.58-413. The knot is No.5007.
Scouter's Training Award - This award is earned by leaders serving in Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Exploring, Commissioner Service and District committee positions. The criteria involves the proper training, tenure, and performance. If someone fulfills the requirements for this knot in more than one program area they may wear a small device inside the knot to distinguish how the award was earned.
Scouter's Key - This knot is also earned by serving in Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, Exploring, Commissioner Service, and District Committee positions. Additional training, tenure and performance is required. The appropriate device may be attached to the knot.
Arrowhead Honor - This award does not have a knot associated with it. However, it is earned by commissioners as part of their efforts to earn the Commissioner Key (Scouter's Key)
Sea Badge - Presented to adults who finish the requirements in the Sea Badge Conference Guide.
Distinguished Commissioner Service - For an application see back of Commissioner Field book for Unit Service # 33621. This is additional recognition for all levels of commissioner service.
Professional Training Award - This award is for professional Scouters. It requires four years of service, three levels of professional training and performance levels set by Professional Directors.
LEADERSHIP OR TRAINING
Den Leader Coach Award - Leaders that complete the required training, tenure, and performance while serving as a Den Leader Coach can earn this award.
Den Leaders Award - This award is designed for those that complete the required training, tenure, and performance while serving as a Cub Scout Den Leader.
Webelos Den Leader Award - Webelos den leaders may earn this award by completing the required training, tenure, and performance.
Cubmaster Award - Cubmasters that complete the required training, tenure, and performance can earn this award.
Tiger Cub Coach Award - Adults that serve as a Tiger Cub Coach may earn this award by completing the required training, tenure, and performance.
Silver Beaver - The highest honor that a council can bestow on a Scouter. Leaders at any level or any program are eligible. Nominations are submitted to the local council committee for consideration and approval.
Silver Antelope - The highest honor that a region may bestow on a Scouter. Leaders that have rendered exceptional service on a regional basis are eligible. Nominations are submitted to Regional Scout Offices for consideration and approval.
Silver Buffalo - The highest honor that the National Council can bestow on a Scouter. Leaders that have rendered exceptional service on a national basis are eligible. Nominations are sent to the BSA National Offices for consideration.
Silver World - The Award is a distinguished service award similar to the Silver Buffalo, Silver Antelope and Silver Beaver. It is given for distinguished service to youth and cannot be applied for. It is presented to world citizens who give outstanding service to youth on a national or international basis. Recipients must be countries whose Scout Associations are members of the World Scout Conference. Members of the Boy Scouts of America are not eligible to receive this award.
Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award - This award is presented to an OA member who has rendered unusual service to the order on a national basis.
George Meany Award - This knot can be bestowed on unusually effective Scouters who are labor union members. Application No.86-011 is used for recommendations and sent to the local council offices.
Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award - Those who work to promote Scouting among low-income, inner city and rural youth may be recognized with this award. It is named after the late civil rights advocate. Application No.7-427 is used for recommendations.
William H. Spurgeon Award - Individuals who render distinguished service to Exploring may be honored with this award. He was a native Californian and long time devotee of Exploring. Form No.23-262 gives details of the award.
William T. Hornaday Award - This knot is to recognize those involved in exceptional and unusual service to conservation or environmental quality. It can be bestowed on a scouting unit, individual scout, or leader. There are five levels to this award. The unit certificate and the badge are administered by the local council. The bronze medal, silver medal and gold medal are administered by the national council. Details can be found on form 21-107.
Daniel Beard Carter Masonic Scouter Award - Members of the Freemasons that render distinguished service to the BSA may be honored with this award. The award recipient must be nominated by a Master Mason and approved through a formal process as outlined by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Additional information on these awards can be found in the Insignia Guide and other Scouting literature.
Last Update May 15, 2023