William T Hornaday

This awards program was created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation. It was begun in 1914 by Dr. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

The Hornaday Awards are highly prized by those who have received them: Approximately 1,100 medals have been awarded over the past 80 years. These awards represent a substantial commitment of time and energy by individuals who have learned the meaning of a conservation/environmental ethic. Any Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer willing to devote the time and energy to work on a project based on sound scientific principles and guided by a conservation professional or a well-versed layperson can qualify for one of the Hornaday Awards. The awards often take months to years to complete, so activities should be planned well in advance.

The fundamental purpose of the Hornaday Awards program is to encourage learning by the participants and to increase public awareness about natural resource conservation. Understanding and practicing sound stewardship of natural resources and environmental protection strengthens Scouting’s emphasis on respecting the outdoors. The goal of this awards program is to encourage and recognize truly outstanding efforts undertaken by Scouting units, Scouts and Venturers, adult Scouters, and other individuals, corporations, and institutions that have contributed significantly to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.


  • The local council may present the William T. Hornaday unit certificate for a conservation project by a pack, troop, team, or crew.
  • The council may award the Hornaday badge to individual Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers for outstanding service in conservation.
  • The council may award the Hornaday gold badge to adult Scouters who have given significant leadership to conservation at the council level.

All other Hornaday Awards are conferred by the National Council:

  • Scouts and Venturers may apply for the bronze and silver medals.
  • Adult Scouters may be nominated for the gold medal.
  • Organizations unaffiliated with Scouting may be nominated for the gold certificate.

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Hornaday Award Application and Nomination Forms

This workbook is designed to 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.


Hornaday Guide

The Occoneechee Council Hornaday Guide has been developed to provide a better understanding of the requirements for each award, expected scope of projects, and process from concept to completion.


Hornaday Committee Chair

Meredith Blackwood
[email protected]


William T. Hornaday Award Resources