Hornaday Awards

The Hornaday Awards are a series of awards for Units, Youth, and Adults that recognize significant achievement in one of eight conservation areas–Soil & Water Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Management, Forestry & Range Management, Energy Conservation, Air & Water Pollution Control, Resource Recovery (Recycling), Invasive Species Control, and Hazardous Material Disposal & Management.

Be certain to review the Hornaday Award Checklist Page for additional guidance on submitting applications and nominations.

Unit Award

The William T. Hornaday Unit Award is administered by the local Council. It is awarded to a Pack, Troop, or Crew that completes a significant conservation project in one of the eight Hornaday categories  and under the guidance of a conservation professional. To be eligible, 60% of the unit must participate. Units may be nominated or apply for this award. The Council Conservation Committee (GGAC STEM Committee) will review the applications and forward them as appropriate.

Unit Award Application

Youth Awards

Prior to beginning work on any of the Youth Hornaday Awards, the Scout should contact the GGAC STEM Committee for assistance in identifying a Hornaday Advisor. A Scout may use their Eagle Scout Project as one of the required projects, provided it meets the criteria of the Hornaday Awards.

  • Hornaday Badge–The Hornaday Badge is the entry point for the Youth Hornaday Awards. To earn this award, a Scout must three merit badges from the core list and two additional merit badges from the elective list.  The Scout must plan, lead, and carry out a significant project in one of the project categories listed above. This project may also be their Eagle Scout Project, provided it meets the Hornaday Project standards.
  • Hornaday Bronze Medal–A Scout must earn the Environmental Science merit badge and at least three additional merit badges from the core list, plus any two from the elective list. The Scout must plan, lead, and carry out three significant projects from three different categories.
  • Hornaday Silver Medal–A Scout must earn all the core merit badges, plus any three from the elective list. The Scout must plan, lead, and carry out four significant projects in four of the eight project categories listed above. (Important Note: Projects used for the Bronze medal may not be used for the Silver medal.)

Hornaday Project Workbook

Hornaday Badge Application

Hornaday Medal Application

Adult Awards

The Adult Hornaday Awards are like many of the special awards for adults in that they require the individual being honored to be nominated (self-nominations are not allowed and disqualify the individual). The awards are not defined in the same manner as the Youth Awards.

  • Gold Badge–The Hornaday Gold Badge is presented to an Adult Scouter that has demonstrated conservation leadership at the Council or Area Level for a minimum of three years.  These awards are presented by the Council.
  • Gold Medal–The Hornaday Gold Medal is presented to an Adult Scouter that has provided conservation leadership at the National or Regional level over a lifetime (a minimum of 20 years). A maximum of six (6) Medals are awarded each year.
  • Gold Certificate–The Hornaday Gold Certificate is presented to an Organization or Individual who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to youth in conservation education for at least three years.  These are awarded by the National Council and are limited to six (6) per year.

Hornaday Gold Badge Nomination Form

Hornaday Gold Medal Nomination Form

Hornaday Gold Certificate Nomination Form

Merit Badges

Core Merit Badges:

  • Energy
  • Environmental Science
  • Fish & Wildlife Management
  • Forestry
  • Public Health
  • Soil & Water Conservation

Elective Merit Badges:

  • Bird Study
  • Fishing
  • Fly-Fishing
  • Gardening
  • Geology
  • Insect Study
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Mammal Study
  • Nature
  • Nuclear Science
  • Oceanography
  • Plant Science
  • Pulp & Paper
  • Reptile & Amphibian Study
  • Weather


Sea Scouts




Shooting Sport


Scouting for Food

Order of the Arrow