Hornaday Project Guidance

Hornaday Projects

The centerpiece of the Hornaday Awards is the project.  Hornaday projects must encompass one of eight categories-Soil & Water Conservation, Fish & Wildlife Management, Forestry & Range Management, Energy Conservation, Air & Water Pollution Control, Resource Recovery (Recycling), Invasive Species, or Hazardous Material Disposal & Management.

The National Conservation Committee has designed a Hornaday Project workbook help you organize your thoughts and document a William T. Hornaday award conservation project. Although the verbiage in this workbook is aimed at youth working on their bronze or silver medals, the sections and formats remain applicable for youth earning the William T. Hornaday Badge. Each copy of this workbook will document only one of your conservation projects.

This workbook is not to be used for a William T. Hornaday adult award because specific projects are not required; adult awards are by nomination only, not by application.

What Makes a Good Hornaday Project?

Just like there is no one definition of what an Eagle Service Project is, there is no one definition of what a Hornaday Project is.  The best place to start is by looking at the Hornaday Project workbook.  While you are not required to use the workbook, is there to help you.  In some cases, an Eagle Project is a great foundation for a Hornaday Project, and may only require some additional documentation to support your Hornaday Badge or Medal application.  In other cases, additional work may be required.

What makes a Hornaday Project?

  1. The project is a Conservation Project.
    1. The project must address a conservation issue, which means that it is designed to repair a problem in the natural environment. That issue will most often determine in which category the project belongs.
    2. Each project must be in a different Hornaday category, and therefore each project you do must address a conservation issue that is different from any of the other Hornaday projects you do.

  2. Hornaday project are different from Eagle Projects in a number of ways.

    1. Hornaday projects can benefit a BSA property, but only one such project per award

    2. Hornaday projects can be done on private land (conservation problems do not recognize ownership patterns)

    3. One Hornaday project can be your Eagle project if it also meets all of the other standards for a Hornaday project

    4. Educational projects are allowed, but only one of your projects should be primarily educational in nature.

  3. Each project must stand on its own, and each is reviewed separately. Any relationships that may exist between your projects must be clearly defined for the reviewers, and individual work items cannot be counted toward more than one project.

  4. For a William T. Hornaday award, each of the conservation projects required must equal or exceed an Eagle project in scope, have a high degree of significance, be sustainable over time, and provide a long-term benefit to the natural resources and our environment. (Extreme caution must be used if the project is part of a larger effort, a recurring event, or sponsored by an organization or agency. Under these circumstances, it can be very difficult to demonstrate that the project was your original idea and you did not simply build off of the work others had already done.)

  5. Projects with short-term benefits do not meet the minimum standards for a Hornaday award. For example, litter pickups, single recycling pickups, or single weed pulls are not acceptable Hornaday projects. These types of projects do not make a significant impact on the environment. Any substantial Hornaday project by definition will significantly impact the environment and the community around the project area. A project that actually changes or impacts the environment must be of such duration that it exists long enough to change Mother Nature.

  6. Projects designed to improve people’s access to an area almost never benefit the environment. One exception might be in an area that currently provides access, and that access is causing a negative impact on a conservation issue; if the Hornaday project, in correcting that negative issue, improves human access as a secondary benefit, it may still be considered a suitable Hornaday project.

  7. The reviewers also look for increasing depth in research and documentation for projects from youth as they get older. Older youth need more robust sections on research before the project, long-term evaluation and monitoring of the effects of the project, and lessons learned in carrying out the projects.

  8. While there is no set minimum number of hours for each project, making a significant change to the environment will require a great investment of your time. This kind of project cannot be done in a weekend.

    1. You must consult with natural resource professionals;

    2. Plan an approach to fix a problem;

    3. Work with managers, public officials, and others in the community to gain the needed approvals;

    4. Assemble the necessary resources to carry out the project;

    5. Market your efforts to the community with emphasis on the positive impact to the community and the environment;

    6. Get others excited to help;

    7. Actually go out and change a trend in Mother Nature;

    8. Follow up to see that Mother Nature actually responded in the way you and your advisors thought it would. If the conservation issue was easy to fix, the project would already have been done. This also distinguishes a Hornaday project from an Eagle Project.  A Hornaday Project involves an on-going effort, whereas Eagle Projects cannot require continual monitoring.

Getting Started

If you’ve read this far, you may be asking, “How do I get started on the road to a Hornaday Badge or Medal?” Below is a brief checklist of the steps you need to take to get started.

  1. Come up with a project idea (it doesn’t need to be fully formed at this stage and there are examples in the section below) in one of the eight Hornaday areas.
    1. Soil & Water Conservation,
    2. Fish & Wildlife Management,
    3. Forestry & Range Management,
    4. Energy Conservation,
    5. Air & Water Pollution Control,
    6. Resource Recovery (Recycling),
    7. Invasive Species,
    8. Hazardous Material Disposal & Management)
  2. Contact the GGAC Conservation Committee (GGAC STEM Committee) Chair (Michael McDowell)
  3. Working with the Conservation Committee, identify a suitable Hornaday Advisor and a Conservation Advisor
  4. Work with your Hornaday Advisor and Conservation Advisor to fully flesh out your project, so that it adheres to the requirements laid out in the Hornaday Workbook and Application.

Note: You are allowed to use an Eagle Project as the Project for the Hornaday Badge, and as one of the projects for either Hornaday medal, but the project will still need to meet the Hornaday standards, which may be more stringent depending on the project. One project may benefit BSA properties, but only one.

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