Knot Recognition Program

The square knot device is displayed on the uniform to denote that the wearer has received the corresponding award from the Boy Scouts of America. The award is usually in the form of a certificate and many awards also include a medallion or other memento.

Awards fall into several categories and are earned either at the youth level, adult level, or both levels. Over time, awards can be discontinued or merged with other awards. In these cases, a member who has earned the corresponding award can continue to wear the knot on their uniform.

Achievement Awards

Arrow of Light Award

This knot is for adult leaders who completed the requirements to earn the Arrow of Light Award as a youth.

Eagle Scout Award

This knot is for adult leaders who completed the requirements to earn the Eagle Scout badge as a youth.

Venturing Summit Silver Award

This knot is for adult leaders who completed the requirements to earn the Venturing Summit Silver Award as a youth.

Sea Scout Quartermaster Award

This knot is for adult leaders who completed the requirements to earn the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award as a youth.

Device Pins

Device pins are worn with specific recognition knots (such as the Youth Religious Emblem, Den Leader Training Award, Scouter's Training Award, and Scouter's Key) to denote when the award was earned. If an award was earned multiple times, then multiple pins can be worn on the recognition knot. Pins are enlarged to show detail.

Tiger Cub

Cub Scout

Webelos Scout

Scouts BSA

Venture

Sea Scout

Religious Awards

Religious Emblem - Youth

Most of the major religious bodies in the United States have programs to recognize adult volunteers who demonstrate faith, observe their creeds or principles, and give service.

Religious Emblem - Adult

Most of the major religious bodies in the United States have programs to recognize adult volunteers who demonstrate faith, observe their creeds or principles, and give service.

Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards

Medal of Merit

Awarded to youth members or adult leaders who performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.

Heroism Award

Honors youth members or adult leaders who demonstrate “heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at minimal personal risk.”

Honor Medal Award

Honors youth members or adult leaders who demonstrate “heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable or extreme personal risk.”

Leadership & Training Awards

Den Leader Training Award

This award recognizes den leaders who have completed training, tenure, and performance requirements.

Scouter’s Training Award

This award can be presented to registered Cub Scout adult leaders who have two years’ tenure in the pack and have completed position-specific training and other performance requirements designed to encourage and recognize those who give of their resources to make the pack successful.

Scouter's Key

This award is for Cub Scout adult leaders with three years’ tenure—including at least two years as Cubmaster—who have completed training and other performance requirements.

Unit Leader Award of Merit

Encourages units to be strong and viable by attaining certain benchmarks characteristic of strong units; seven requirements must be met with nomination by the top youth leader if for a troop, crew, or ship; nomination is certified by the unit commissioner.

Philmont Training Center Masters Track Award

This award promotes educational opportunities by returning to Philmont Training Center over a number of years, growing through advanced-level training, and then taking knowledge back to units, districts, councils, council clusters, and national and international venues.

Commissioner Award of Excellence in Unit Service

This award recognizes commissioners who provide exemplary unit service, focusing on unit performance as measured in Journey to Excellence and through the use of the current Boy Scouts of America Unit Service Plan and Commissioner Tools.

Distinguished Commissioner Service Award

This award recognizes commissioners who meet benchmarks in their tenure, with at least five years of service.

Doctorate of Commissioner Science Award

This award recognizes completion of a standardized program leading to the completion of a thesis or project and the award of the Doctorate of Commissioner Science from a College of Commissioner Science.

Venturing Leadership Award

This award recognizes those who go above and beyond for the Venturing program; this award honors youth and adults on the council, regional, and national level.

Alumni Award

This award recognizes registered Scouters who help unregistered alumni rejoin the program.

Professional Circle Award

This award recognizes non-volunteers after completing training courses and working for the BSA for at least four years.

Outstanding Service Awards

District Award of Merit

This is the highest honor a local district can bestow upon a volunteer leader for service in Scouting.

Silver Beaver Award

This award recognizes registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council.

Silver Antelope Award

This award recognizes registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a region.

Silver Buffalo Award

This award recognizes registered Scouters and others of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service at the national level.

Silver World Award

This award recognizes non-BSA world citizens who serve their nation’s youth.

International Scouter's Award

This award cheers on leaders who promote the Scouting program worldwide.

Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented at the biennial National Order of the Arrow Conference for service beyond the local lodge level. Fewer than 500 of these awards have been given since 1940.

Community Organization Award

This award is used by secular, national, community organizations to recognize their members for voluntary service and achievement.

George Meany Award

This award recognizes labor union members who have been unusually effective in giving leadership to youth.

James West Fellowship Award

This award honors donors who contribute an additional one-time contribution of $1,000 or more to a council endowment fund.

William D. Boyce Award

This award recognizes adults who establish a new pack, troop, crew, or ship with a chartered organization.

Scouting Service Award

This award recognizes adult volunteers who have earned one of five different awards, each celebrating a leader's dedication to a special segment of Scouting: