National Outdoor Awards

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Do you enjoy camping under the stars, rafting a whitewater river, or hitting the trail afoot, on a bike, or even on a horse? Can you pitch a tent, find your way, and bandage an ankle using only materials in your pack? Are you prepared to do any of these in rain, snow, sleet, or heat? If so, the National Outdoor Awards are for you. There is nothing virtual about these awards—you can earn them only by demonstrating knowledge and experience in the outdoors. So, if you think you are tough and disciplined enough to hike or ride the miles, camp the nights, and run the rivers or lakes, then read on and see if the National Outdoor badges or possibly the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement could be for you!

National Outdoor Awards for Camping, Hiking, Aquatics, Riding, and Adventure

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

The award consists of five emblem segments positioned around the perimeter of a beautiful center emblem. All are embroidered in full color. The segments represent five areas of emphasis: Riding, Hiking, Camping, Aquatics, and Adventure, with rigorous requirements to earn each segment. The center emblem features an outdoor scene with fleur-de-lis and the words “National Outdoor Awards.”

The five National Outdoor Awards badges recognize a Boy Scout who demonstrates knowledge and experience in camping, hiking, aquatics, riding, or adventure. Scouts earning the National Outdoor Awards badges have demonstrated that they are knowledgeable, safe, and comfortable in the outdoor activity covered by the badge.

National Outdoor Awards badges may be earned in the following areas:

Camping. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Camping upon successfully completing the following requirements:

1.Earn the First Class rank.
2.Earn the Camping merit badge.
3.Earn two of the following three merit badges: Cooking, First Aid, Pioneering.
4.Complete 25 days and nights of camping.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 25 nights of camping. A silver device is earned for each additional 100 nights of camping. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of nights camping.

Hiking. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Hiking upon successfully completing the following requirements:

1.Earn the First Class rank.
2.Earn the Hiking and Orienteering or Geocaching merit badges.
3.Complete 100 miles of hiking or backpacking under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including miles hiked as part of requirement 2.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 50 miles hiked. A silver device is earned for each additional 200 miles of hiking. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of miles hiking.

Aquatics. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Aquatics upon successfully completing the following requirements:

1.Earn the First Class rank.
2.Earn the Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges.
3.Earn the Mile Swim BSA Award.
4.Earn at least one of the following merit badges: Canoeing, Kayaking, Rowing, Scuba Diving, Small-Boat Sailing, Whitewater. Complete at least 25 hours of on-the-water time, applying the skills that you learned in the merit badges.
5.Complete at least 50 hours of any combination of swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, scuba, small-boat sailing, or whitewater activity under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including time spent in requirements 2 through 4.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 25 hours of aquatic activity. A silver device is earned for each additional 100 hours of aquatic activity. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of hours of aquatic activity.

Riding. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Riding upon successfully completing the following requirements:

1.Earn the First Class rank.
2.Complete at least one of the following:
3.Cycling merit badge and 100 miles of cycling; or
4.Horsemanship merit badge and 50 miles of horseback riding.
5.Complete 200 miles of riding activities, either on a non-motorized bike or a stock animal, under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including the miles in requirement 2.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 100 miles of riding. A silver device is earned for each additional 400 miles of riding. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of miles of riding.

Adventure. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Adventure upon successfully completing the following requirements:

1.Earn the First Class rank.
2.Complete the Wilderness Survival, Search and Rescue, or Emergency Preparedness merit badge.
3.Complete 10 of any combination or repetition of the following adventure activities under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America:
a. A backpacking trip lasting three or more days and covering more than 20 miles without food resupply
b. A canoeing, rowing, or sailing trip lasting three or more days and covering more than 50 miles without food resupply
c. A whitewater trip lasting two or more days and covering more than 20 miles without food resupply
d. A climbing activity on open rock, following Climb On Safely principles, that includes camping overnight
e. Earn the National Historic Trails Award.
f. Earn the 50-Miler Award.
g. Attend any national high-adventure base or any nationally recognized local high-adventure or specialty-adventure program.

Items 3a-g may be repeated as desired. A single activity that satisfies multiple items in 3a-g may be counted as separate activities at the discretion of the unit leader. Similarly, a single activity that doubles an item in 3a-d may be counted as two activities at the discretion of the unit leader. A gold device may be earned for each additional five activities. A silver device is earned for each additional 20 activities. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of activities.

  • National Outdoor Awards

  • Upcoming Events

    • July 22, 2014
      • Merit Badge Counselor training
        Starts: 7:00 pm
        Ends: July 22, 2014 - 8:30 pm
        Location: 545 W 10th Ave, Broomfield, CO 80020. Use the Southeast entrance.
        Description: Merit badge counselors need to be trained just like any other position-specific adult volunteer. Please consider attending this training session and contribute your knowledge and skills to our scouts.
        LOCATION: Chapel, Broomfield United Methodist Church, 545 W 10th Ave, Broomfield, CO 80020. Use the Southeast entrance.
        TIME: Check-in 7:00 to 7:15; training begins promptly at 7:15, and runs to 8:30.
        COST: STILL FREE!
        WHAT TO BRING: Pen or pencil.
        WHAT TO EXPECT: Education on how to be a merit badge counselor.
        REGISTRATION: Email the information listed below directly to me at drgwandsp@msn.com by Noon, July 22. Though drop-ins are welcome, the same information is required at check in. Information for participants completing the session will be submitted to Council and entered into the Council “trained” database. Otherwise, all information will remain confidential.

        Participant’s full name
        Unit number
        BSA membership number, if you have one
        Complete home address
        Contact phone number
        Contact email address

        Libby Schultz
        Dean of Merit Badge Counselors
        Gateway District Advancement Committee
        drgwandsp@msn.com
    • July 28, 2014
      • Troop Meeting & Merit Badge
        Starts: 7:00 pm
        Ends: July 28, 2014 - 9:00 pm
        Location: Arvada Church of Christ
    • July 31, 2014
    • August 2, 2014
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