As you think through your experience in Scouting, it is probably easy to remember many Arrowmen who gave continuously and unselfishly, and times you were recognized for doing the same. A lodge that finds a balance between giving everyone an award and recognizing those who perform exemplary service is the one whose awards will be most valued. We know our members do not work as hard as they do for an award; recognition, however, is always a nice ‘thank you’ and a way to create a stronger relationship in our brotherhood.
While lodges are encouraged to recognize the highest levels of service with the Vigil Honor and Founders Award with their stated purposes in mind, the lodge can also create its own awards to be given on an annual or more regular basis. Throughout the year, an officer or the lodge adviser can give a neck ribbon for an Arrowman’s assistance and service, or the lodge may present a lodge lifetime achievement award. You may also rename an award in honor of an Arrowman who has continued their service, or create a new lodge award itself. These recognitions can come in many forms, but it is also important for the lodge to determine procedures that will ensure the continued significance of the award.
Lodges can also utilize other Scouting awards to honor their own members. The lodge cannot give these awards itself, but it can nominate a member on behalf of the lodge as a whole.:
- James E. West Fellowship (donation to the BSA council endowment)
- Legacy Fellowship (donation to national OA endowment)
- District Award of Merit
- Whitney M. Young (service to underprivileged scouts) Silver Beaver or Silver Antelope
- William H. Spurgeon III (Explorer program)
- ¡Scouting . . . Vale la Pena! Service Award (contributions to Hispanic Scouting)
- Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service Award
Some outside organizations also have their own awards that recognize its members’ service to Scouting.
The lodge can nominate Arrowmen for Scouting awards who are members in organizations like:
- Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Marvin M. Lewis Award
- Masonic Daniel Carter Beard Scouter Award
- American Legion Scouting Award
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Scouter’s Achievement Award
- Department of Defense United States Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
- Alpha Phi Omega Herbert G. Horton Youth Service Award
- International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians Cliff Dochterman Award
- Ruritan National Service Clubs Scout Leader Community Service Award
- United States Power Squadrons Raymond A. Finley, Jr. Sea Scout Service Award
- National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Boy Scout Volunteer Award
- AMVET Boy Scouts of America Youth Outreach Award
- Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Good Turn Service Award
- Military Order of the World Wars
- AFL-CIO George Meany Award
- Lions Club Scouting Service Award
- Nonprofit Leadership Alliance H. Roe Bartle Training Award
The lodge may also nominate outstanding youth and adult members for awards that are not affiliated with Scouting like the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, state volunteer awards (e.g. Kentucky Colonel), and state and city resolutions.
Lodges might also create other creative awards, such as creating an belt buckle, a lanyard, or embroidered messenger bag or jacket.
The above resource was created with contributions by Wa-Hi-Nasa Lodge in Nashville, Tennessee.