Hornaday Awards

Hornaday Awards


"Think of it as an Olympic Medal Bestowed on the Earth"

The Hornaday Awards are the premiere conservation awards in Scouting. The Hornaday Silver Medal is the rarest award in Scouts with only one or two medals awarded each year. This makes the Hornaday Silver Medal 15,000 times rarer than earning an Eagle Medal.

Scouts who wish to earn a Hornaday medal will have to complete Merit Badges and several large conservation projects. These projects are as large or larger than the Eagle Leadership Project. Earning a Hornaday Medal will take Scouts years to complete; however, the awards are some of the most coveted and least well-known honors in the world.



William T. Hornaday Awards Guide:

“Sixth Edition of BRMC William T. Hornaday Awards Guide Released.”

The Blue Ridge Mountains Council Conservation Committee is pleased to release the sixth edition of the BRMC William T. Hornaday Awards Guide.

You will notice that this version of the Guide has been significantly updated to reflect the new Hornaday Workbook provided by the National Hornaday Committee. While use of the Workbook is not required, the Workbook is a good framework to use. For that reason, the example project write-up previously included in the Guide are now located on http://bsa-brmc.org/Hornaday.

The progress this Guide has made is notable. It began as an idea for a small document to be used only a few times a year, but quickly morphed into a Council-level promotion program, and a huge spike in new applicants in the Council. The Guide then moved to a nationally distributed document, becoming the first comprehensive and most used Hornaday documentation in the country and the standard for the National Jamboree. Each Council Scout Executive, District Executive, and Unit Serving Professional in the country has received this Guide to use as a resource and distribute throughout his or her Council. I especially appreciate the continued support of the Blue Ridge Mountains Council Conservation Committee, for, at this point, we are running a nationwide Hornaday education operation from our Council committee.

The National Hornaday Committee continues to indicate that, should they adopt a National Hornaday Guide, it would be based in large part on this document. The ultimate goal still is to distribute this and additional Hornaday related information nationwide and have one Scouter in each Council to be able to serve as a Hornaday Advisor for that Council. In that vein, I ask that you distribute this Guide as widely as possible, using the http://bsa-brmc.org/Hornaday link. Please contact me with any Hornaday question from reviewing project proposals and ideas to starting new Hornaday programs; I will help anyone and everyone with all things Hornaday.

Yours in Scouting,

William O’Brochta


Council William T. Hornaday Awards Coordinator

Blue Ridge Mountains Council Conservation Committee



BRMC Hornaday Guide - Click HERE


Example Hornaday Project Write-Ups

This section provides several examples of Hornaday project write-ups that may help Scouts working on Hornaday projects understand the best ways to describe their projects. These project write-ups all follow the basic format outlined in the Hornaday Guide, though some Scouts choose to use the Hornaday Workbook, while others choose not to. Either way, use these resources to help write about your Hornaday project.

The first link is to my approved Hornaday Silver Medal application. Other documents have identifying information removed.

Link To O'Brochta Hornaday Package

Hornaday Workbook Example 1

Hornaday Workbook Example 2

Hornaday Workbook Example 3

Hornaday Workbook Example 4

Conservation Experience Documents

Several Councils host “Hornaday Weekend” experiences wherein Scouts learn about the Hornaday Awards program as they are earning several Hornaday related Merit Badges. The BRMC decided to expand on this program idea and create a week or ten day long “Conservation Experience” program for summer camp dedicated to earning conservation related Merit Badges, completing the Leave No Trace Trainer course material, and planning a Hornaday project. Documentation for how we planned this experience is available here.

BRMC Conservation Experience Documents


Handout Name with Link Description
Hornaday Basic Information Guide

To introduce the Hornaday topic to Scouts, Scouters, and the public,

this one page document will do a great job summarizing a lot of confusing information.

Conservation In Scouting

People often wonder how Scouting incorporates the conservation ideas into the program.

This one page handout is similar in structure to the Hornaday Basic Information Guide

as it should be handed out at the beginning of presentations. This handout is even better

for non-Scouters to broadly overview many of Scouting’s conservation programs.

Conservation Related Badges Poster This document is a compilation of all the Merit Badges that relate to conservation.
Hornaday Awards Poster This document is a compilation of all the different Hornaday award levels.
Hornaday Awards Flowchart

Like the Hornaday Basic Information Guide, this flowchart provides an overview

of the Hornaday Award process. It is best used by the Conservation Advisor or the

candidate to check his progress along the way.

Conservation Minute

The conservation minute is a way for Scoutmasters to get Scouts excited about

conservation by delivering a short conservation fact at the end of each meeting.

This document provides suggestions and a process for the conservation minute.


The trick with a Hornaday presentation is to make it informative and interesting, even informal, anything to avoid bogging down in complicated details. Thus, no matter how new you may be to the world of Hornaday, give the presentation with as few notes as possible. This allows you to speak about your own Hornaday experience and what you know about the subject, not what the Scouting website says. Take the Basic Information Guide along with the Conservation in Scouting handouts to give to all participants. Focus on are the rarity of Hornaday awards, leading to the amount of effort required, and the relative ease with which an Eagle candidate can integrate Hornaday into his Eagle project. Next, emphasize the possibility of a Unit Award for any Troop or Pack that can complete a relatively simple project.

The key is to give a brief overview and then ask if anyone has questions. Usually people do not understand the award levels even if you went over them and they are also confused about the project and the specific categories within which separate projects must fit.  Emphasize that there are many resources to help scouts and scouters earn the Hornaday Award.

Hornaday Power Point

This PowerPoint presentation is an alternative to the above speaking method.

The presentation can be completed in about forty-five minutes and gives a broad overview of the Hornaday process and

conservation in Scouting.

Hornaday Legacy Flip-Chart Presentation

A more preferable method of delivery for a Hornaday presentation is to use a flip-chart method.

The presentation is accompanied by a suggested script for the twenty minute talk. It is more focused on the history of

Dr. Hornaday and this is used as the means to discuss the future of Hornaday, not just the requirements.

Hornaday Overview Video

This video is edited and produced in order to show my Hornaday projects as well as to demonstrate

the CDP system of conservation. The CDP system involves completion of the award, development of

Hornaday materials, and promotion.