Adult Awards

The strength of the Boy Scouts of America is rooted in the dedication of the adult volunteers who give selflessly of their time, talent and treasure to ensure that the youth they serve have the best possible experience.

Since 1910, the four counties of western Massachusetts have been blessed with countless adult volunteers who have suported and advanced the Scouting program. This page highlights those adults who have been recognized for their contributions to the program with various awards. You can read about each award below and then click on the links in the menu on the right to see the names of the honorees.

Council Awards

Silver Beaver and Silver Fawn

The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1931 and is the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council.  The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it.

The Silver Beaver was initially awarded only to men. The Silver Fawn Award, an equivalent for women, was awarded starting in 1971 but was discontinued and the Silver Beaver began to be awarded to women in 1974. A total of 2,455 Silver Fawns were awarded to outstanding women for support of Cub Scouting.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award recognizes Eagle Scouts who earned their award 25 years or more ago and have achieved national-level prominence in their field. The award is presented by NESA and the local council.

NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award

The NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA) was established during the BSA’s 100th Anniversary in 2010 and was created to recognize notable Eagle Scouts who had either performed distinguished service at the local, state, or regional level or who were known nationally, but had not yet met the 25-year tenure as an Eagle for the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Often, worthy candidates for the NOESA have inspired others through their actions and have devoted a lifetime to their profession, avocation, community, and beliefs, at great sacrifice to themselves and their families.

Council Alumnus of the Year Award

Honoring outstanding alumni at the council level, the Council Alumnus of the Year Award is different than other awards in Scouting as it does not simply recognize the individual for being a distinguished person or honor those giving time and energy to the BSA as a volunteer leader; Scouting already has awards that do that. It is more of a combination between the two. Primary consideration is given to those that remind Scouting alumni to maintain a lifetime relationship with Scouting, which enables Scouting to remain healthy for future generations. In addition, potential recipients of the award may be nominated based on the three following categories:

  • Career and/or avocation, such as achieving high honor or distinction in their chosen profession.
  • Community service, including contributions to Scouting or other community efforts or organizations.
  • Scouting promotion, contributing significantly to the promotion and/or advancement of the BSA alumni program and activities at a council level over a sustained period of time through word and/or deed.

William T. Hornaday Gold Badge

The William T. Hornaday Gold Badge is by nomination only and is awarded by the local council to an adult Scouter. The nominee should have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the education of youth on a council or area level for significant conservation efforts for a period of at least three years. Nominations are made to the local council. 

National and Regional Awards

Silver Buffalo

The Silver Buffalo Award recognizes registered Scouters and others of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service at the national level.

Silver Antelope

The Silver Antelope Award recognizes registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a region.

Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award

The Order of the Arrow Distinguished Service Award recognizes OA members who have rendered outstanding service to the Order on a sectional, regional, or national level.