Lifesaving & Meritorious Action Awards
Recognition may be given to a member of Boy Scouts of America -- Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturer, or adult leader -- where the evidence is presented, in accordance with prescribed regulations, of extraordinary action on the part of the nominee. Nominations should be made using the forms available for download from the National BSA webpage of Lifesaving & Meritorius Awards and submitted with supporting materials to the district advancement chairman. The advancement chairman will call for a meeting of the committee designated to review awards. Attendance at such committee meetings is by invitation of the chairman. The advancement chairman or the committee will review the information and may ask for additional information and possibly interview the nominee and witnesses to the action. Upon review the advancement chairman will present the nomination to the council advancement committee for recommendation to the National Court of Honor. This presentation will be made within 30 days of receipt of the information whenever possible. All recognitions are reserved for registered members, and no such member should be encouraged to submit an application on his or her own behalf.
Caution: Do not submit weak cases for National Court of Honor consideration, either in terms of meaningful actions or documentation. The attempt is to recognize deserving individuals but also to preserve the integrity of the awards.
The following documents should accompany the completed form at time of submission:
- Personally prepared and signed statement by the individual performing the action describing the incident in detail.
- Personally prepared and signed statement by the rescued person, if any.
- Personally prepared and signed statement by each witness describing the action as he or she recalls the details. The name, address and phone number or other contact information for each witness should be included.
- Glossy photo of the individual who made the rescue attempt (5" X 7" desired).
- Summary by the council committee investigating and reviewing the event.
- Letter explaining the delay in submitting this recommendation if it will arrive at the National Court of Honor more than six months after the incident.
These awards recognize the attempt to save life and an accompanying measure of risk to self. The victim, whether the rescue attempt was successful or not, must have been in imminent or grave danger. The nominee must have saved or attempted to save life under circumstances which indicate heroism and risk to self. Consideration will be given to resourcefulness and to demonstrated skill in rescue methods. recognition shall not be given where it appears that the risk involved was merely in the performance of duty or the meeting of an obligation because of responsibility to supervise and give leadership to the persons whose lives were saved. They are, beginning with the highest:
- Honor Medal With Crossed Palms. The Honor Medal With Crossed Palms may be awarded in exceptional cases to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attemptin to save life at extreme risk to self.
- Honor Medal. The Honor Medal may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life at considerable risk to self.
- Heroism Award. The heroism Award may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has demonstrated heroism and skill in averting serious injury or saving or attempting to save life at minimum risk to self.
Meritorious Action Awards
These awards recognize notable acts of service that need not involve attempts of rescue or risk to self but put into practice Scouting skills and/or ideals. The evidence must present a significant or outstanding act of service, of an exceptional character. Recognition shall not be given where it appears that the action involved was merely in the performance of duty or the meeting of an obligation. There are two levels of Meritorious Action Awards at the national level. They are, beginning at the highest:
- Medal of Merit. The Medal of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional characterthat reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
- National Certificate of Merit. The national Certificate of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leaderwho has performed a significant act of service that is deserving of special national recognition.
Some acts, while not qualifying of national recognition, still are deserving of recognition. In these instances the form should be completed but the council advancement Committee will not forward it to the National Court of Honor. Instead the youth member or adult leader will be recognized locally using:
- Circle Ten Council Certificate of Merit. The Circle Ten Council Certificate of Merit may be awarded to a youth member or adult leader who has performed a notable act of service that is deserving of local recognition.
Questions regarding Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards should be addressed to the district advancement chairman.