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Leader Awards

Cub Scout Pack 901
(Evanston, Illinois)
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Leader Awards

There are several awards Adult Leaders can earn.  Here is some more information on those awards.

BSA Lifeguard

To be trained as a BSA Lifeguard, you must successfully complete the BSA Lifeguard course and demonstrate the ability to perform each of the skills taught in the course.

Before doing requirements 6 through 25, complete the following:

  1. Submit proof of age. You must be at least 15 years old to participate.
  2. Submit written evidence of fitness for swimming activities(signed health history).
  3. Swim continuously for 550 yards, including at least 100 yards each of the following strokes in good form: front crawl, breaststroke, elementary backstroke, and sidestroke.
  4. Immediately following the above swim, tread water for two minutes.
  5. Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using a front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7 to 10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, surface, swim with the object 20 yards back to the starting point, and exit the water, all within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
Complete the following requirements within a 120-day period:
  1. Demonstrate reaching assists from the deck using an arm, a rescue tube, and a pole.
  2. Demonstrate throwing assists using a throw bag and a ring buoy with line attached. Throw each device such that the line lands within reach of a conscious subject 30 feet from shore.
  3. Demonstrate:
    1. Rescue of a conscious subject in deep water using a rescue board, kayak, rowboat, canoe, or other rescue craft that would be available at your local facility.
    2.  Repeat for an unconscious subject.
  4. Demonstrate an entry and front approach with a rescue tube to a conscious subject in deep water 30 feet away from shore. Extend the rescue tube within the grasp of the subject and then tow the subject back to the entry point, providing direction and reassurance throughout.
  5. Demonstrate an entry and rear approach with a rescue tube to a conscious subject in deep water 30 feet away from shore. Grasp the victim from behind using a scoop technique under the arms to support the subject against a rescue tube squeezed between the victim’s back and the rescuer’s chest. Reassure the subject and tow the subject to shore.
  6. Demonstrate use of a rescue tube to assist two subjects grasping each other. 
  7. Demonstrate both front and rear head-hold escapes from a subject’s grasp. 
  8. Demonstrate a feet-first entry in deep water with a rescue tube and swim an approach stroke 25 yards within 25 seconds while trailing the tube.
  9. Demonstrate an entry and front approach with a rescue tube to a face-down unconscious subject at or near the surface in deep water. Use a wrist tow to place the subject face-up on the rescue tube and use a one-arm tow to the closest point of safety. 
  10. Demonstrate an entry and rear approach with a rescue tube to a face-down unconscious subject at or near the surface in deep water. Use a scoop technique to position the rescue tube between the subject and the rescuer’s chest, then either lean back or rotate to bring the subject face-up. Tow the subject to the nearest point of safety using either a two-arm tow or switching to a one-arm tow.
  11. Demonstrate an entry and approach with a rescue tube to an unconscious subject submerged face-down at or near the bottom in 6 to 8 feet of water. Bring the subject to the surface and tow to the nearest point of safety.
  12. Remove a subject from the water using each of the following techniques in the appropriate circumstances with the aid of a second rescuer:
    1. Vertical lift at the edge of a pool or pier using a backboard
    2. Walking assist
    3. Beach drag
  13. Participate in multiple-rescuer search techniques appropriate for a missing subject in murky water:
    1. Line search in shallow water
    2. Underwater line search in deep water without equipment
    3. Underwater line search in deep water with mask and fins
  14. Demonstrate head-splint (extended arm rollover) in-line stabilization for a face-down subject with suspected spinal injury in very shallow water (18 inches or less).
  15. Demonstrate head-splint in-line stabilization for a suspected spinal injury in shallow water (waist to chest deep):
    1. For a face-up subject
    2. For a face-down subject
  16. Demonstrate head and chin support in-line stabilization for a suspected spinal injury in shallow water (waist to chest deep):
    1. For a face-up subject
    2. For a face-down subject
  17. Demonstrate in-line stabilization for a suspected spinal injury in deep water, swim the subject to shallow water, confirm vital signs, and, with the assistance of three others, remove the subject from the water using a backboard with straps and a head immobilization device. 
  18. Correctly answer 80 percent of the questions on the BSA Lifeguard written test covering Safe Swim Defense, aquatics procedures at BSA camps, guard duties, emergency action plans, surveillance, and water rescue. Review any incomplete or incorrect answers.
  19. Show evidence of current training in American Red Cross First Aid (valid for three years) and American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer (valid for one year) or equivalent (includes any training for a camp health officer recognized by BSA national camp standards).
  20. Serve as a lifeguard, under supervision, for at least two separate BSA swimming activities for a combined time of two hours. Afterward, discuss the experience with the lifeguarding instructor.
Completion Options
Course completion cards are valid only when signed by either a current BSA Aquatics Instructor or BSA Lifeguard Instructor approved by the local council. Training is valid for three years provided First Aid and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer training are kept current during that period.

There are four ways to obtain a course completion card:
  1. Course Completion—Complete all requirements in the instructor manual during a scheduled course of instruction.  The participant must attend all course sessions. Makeup sessions are allowed at the instructor’s discretion. If an individual is unable to complete all requirements during the scheduled course, the instructor may elect to continue training until the participant is able to complete all the requirements provided the total elapsed time from start to finish does not exceed the 120-day period.
  2. Renewal Challenge—Anyone with a BSA Lifeguard completion card that is current or has expired within six months may renew or extend the training by performing requirements 2 through 24 without attending the standard course sessions. Prior to the testing, the instructor may provide a renewal training session to review and update skills and information. Summer camp aquatics directors should renew training for aquatics staff members during precamp training while emphasizing local camp facilities, procedures, and emergency action plans.
  3. Crossover Challenge—Anyone who holds current training in American Red Cross Lifeguarding, American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding, or other lifeguard training programs may obtain a BSA Lifeguard completion card by performing requirements 1 through 25 without attending the standard course sessions. The lifeguard training program that issued the training certificate must be recognized by the local or state regulatory agency that sets standards for lifeguards at youth camps. The instructor may provide a crossover training session to review and update skills and information prior to the testing. The applicant may receive credit for requirement 25 if within the past 18 months he or she has served as a lifeguard, under supervision, or has supervised lifeguards, for at least two separate BSA swimming activities for a combined time of two hours. Otherwise, due to BSA procedures not implemented at other lifeguarding venues, the applicant must accomplish requirement 25.
  4. Coinstructors (BSA Aquatics Instructor or BSA Lifeguard Instructor) may each sign a completion card for the other at the conclusion of a BSA Lifeguard course if they satisfy requirements 2–22 and 24.

This award is $2.59 at the time of this posting.

Den Leader Award


Complete one year as a registered Cub Scout den leader
(Dates of service used to earn this award cannot be used to earn another key or award.)


  1. Complete "The New Den Leader" Fast Start training.
  2. Complete basic training for Cub Scout den leaders.
  3. Complete Youth Protection Training.
  4. During your tenure for this award, participate in a Cub Scout leader pow wow or University of Scouting, or attend at least four roundtables.


Do five of the following:

  1. During at least one program year, have a minimum of 50 percent of the Cub Scouts in your den earn the rank for their grade or age (Wolf or Bear).
  2. At least once, reregister a minimum of 75 percent of the eligible members of your den as a part of pack rechartering.
  3. Graduate a minimum of 60 percent of the eligible members of your den into Webelos Scouting.
  4. Have an assistant den leader who meets regularly with your den.
  5. Have a den chief who meets regularly with your den.
  6. Take leadership in planning and conducting a den service project.
  7. Conduct at least three den meetings per month, 9 months per year or follow an optional meeting plan approved by the pack.
  8. Participate with your den in a Cub Scout day camp or Cub Scout resident camp experience.
  9. Explore three "Character Connection" activities with your den members in one year.
  10. Hold regular den meeting and den activity planning sessions with your assistant den leader.

This award must be signed off by the Cubmaster and Pack Committee Chairman.  This award is paid for by the Pack.

Emergency Preparedness Award

The Emergency Preparedness Award is part of a new BSA program of emphasis for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Leaders, in cooperation with the Federal Department of Homeland Security.

Unit Volunteer Scouter Requirements

This award is available to all registered Scouters who serve a unit, including all leaders and committee members.

Do any three of the following:

  • Develop an emergency preparedness program plan and kit for your home and be sure all family members know the plan.
  • Participate actively in preparing an emergency plan of action for your Scouting unit meeting place. (This includes all locations where you might have a meeting.)
  • Put together a unit emergency kit to be kept at your unit meeting location. (This includes all locations where you might have a meeting.)
  • Take a basic first aid/CPR course, or participate as an active volunteer in a community agency responsible for disaster preparedness.

The cost of this award at the time of this post is $2.49.

**This award was last earned by Pack 901 Leaders in January of 2012.

Interpreter Strip

Earn the interpreter strip by:
  • Carrying on a 5-minute conversation in this language.
  • Translating a 2-minute speech or address.
  • Writing a letter in the language (Does not apply for sign language)
  • Translating 200 words or more from the written word.

The interpreter strips are worn centered above the "Boy Scouts of America" strip on the uniform.

The cost of this award at the time of this post is $1.59.

**This award was last earned by a Pack 901 Leader in October 2012.

Messengers of Peace

Launched in September 2011, Messengers of Peace is a global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. Using state-of-the-art social media, the initiative lets Scouts from around the world share what they’ve done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities. The initiative is inspired by the World Scout Committee, administered by the World Scout Bureau, and driven by youth volunteers worldwide.

Peace is more than the absence of war. It encompasses harmony between individuals, between communities, and between humankind and the environment. A Messengers of Peace service project is defined as any project that touches on one of these dimensions of peace:

  1. The personal dimension: harmony, justice, and equality
  2. The community dimension: peace as opposed to hostility or violent conflict
  3. Relationships between humankind and its environment: security, social and economic welfare, and relationship with the environment

Any Scout or Scouter who participates in a project that has had a significant impact on the community in any one of the three dimensions above can qualify as a Messenger of Peace.

This award at the time of this posting is $1.49.

**This award was last earned by Pack 901 Scouters in December 2012.

Mile Swim


  1. Explain how regular exercise contributes to good health and why swimming is one of the best forms of exercise.
  2. Tell what precautions and procedures a swimmer and escort must follow for distance swimming over open water.
  3. Under the supervision of a currently qualified certified aquatics instructor or equivalent, participate in four hours of training and preparation for distance swimming (one hour a day maximum).
  4. Swim one mile over a measured course that has been approved by the trained instructor who will supervise the swim.

The cost of this award at the time of this post is $1.99.

Physical Fitness Award

The award's objectives, developed by the Council Services Division of the National Council and the national BSA Health and Safety Committee, are as follows:
  • Encourage youth fitness in the BSA by providing positive role models and by enhancing youth awareness and understanding of fitness parameters, health risks, and personal circumstances.
  • Encourage physical fitness among Scouters by enhancing their awareness and understanding of fitness parameters, health risks, and personal circumstances.
  • Reduce the rate of stress- and fitness-related incidents throughout Scouting.
  1. Complete a cardiovascular fitness evaluation/consultation with your personal health care provider. (This can be done as part of the examination required by any council-approved class 3 medical evaluation.)
  2. Using the BSA references listed after the seven major components, give a presentation to a BSA or other community youth group (at least eight youth participants) on cardiovascular fitness, diet, the health benefits of regular aerobic exercise, exercise recommendations for the Scout-age group, and healthy lifestyles.
  3. Review the BSA guidelines for the Athletics and other physical activity or personal fitness-oriented merit badge and explain steps you have taken to follow each of the guidelines for the fitness goals. Explain precautions to be taken for a physical fitness activity in each of the following: woods, fields, facilities, and waterfront.
  4. Explain to your mentor the symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia. Explain the special considerations for preventing dehydration and hypothermia.
  5. Properly outfit for physical activities with proper equipment, clothing, and footwear. Know your own capabilities and limitations. Illustrate how you would prepare for the physical fitness goals included in the award program.
  6. With supervision from your mentor or other qualified persons, set up a fitness goal-oriented plan using the seven major components of fitness.
  7. Demonstrate your ability to improve your strength, posture, endurance, agility, speed, accuracy, and balance with your own goal-oriented fitness plan.

The BSA Physical Fitness Award's core requirements are the following seven major components. They are used to measure an individual's improvement over time, not to establish an arbitrary minimum level of activity.

Posture: Posture is evaluated with a posture-rating chart. The Scout or Scouter is compared to a photo of his or her starting posture, noting 13 different body segments. Each body segment is scored as a five, three, or one, making a possible range of scores from 13 to 65. Higher scores over time reflect improving posture.
Accuracy: The target throw is used to measure accuracy. The Scout or Scouter makes 20 throws with a softball at a circular target and is scored on the number of times the target is hit.
Strength: The sit-up is used to measure strength. The Scout or Scouter lies on his or her back with knees bent and feet on the floor. The arms are crossed on the chest with the hands on the opposite shoulders. The feet are held by a partner to keep them on the floor. Curl to the sitting position until the elbows touch the thighs. Arms must remain on the chest and chin tucked on the chest. Return to the starting position, shoulder blades touching the floor. The score is the number of sit-ups made in a given time.
Agility: The side step is used to measure agility. Starting from a center line, the Scout or Scouter sidesteps alternately left and right between two lines 8 feet apart. He or she is scored on the number of lines crossed in 10 seconds.
Speed: The dash is used to measure speed. The score is the amount of time to the nearest half-second running a set distance that can be increased each year.
Balance: The squat stand is used to measure balance. The Scout or Scouter squats with hands on the floor and elbows against the inner knee. He or she leans forward until the feet are raised off the floor. The score is the number of seconds held in that position.
Endurance: The squat thrust is used to measure endurance. The Scout or Scouter starts from the standing position. He or she performs the usual four-position exercise. The score is the number of completed squat thrusts made in a given time.

Some of these tests measure more than the components they represent. For example, the sit-ups, a measure of strength, also reflect some endurance because of their repetition. The squat stand requires balance, its major component, but also requires strength and endurance to support the weight of the body on the arms.

The cost of this award at the time of this post is $2.69.

Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award

Cub Scouts and their leaders interested in learning more about outdoor ethics and Leave No Trace should begin by exploring the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Describe what the Outdoor Code means to you.
  2. Complete the Leave No Trace online course and print the certificate.
  3. Complete the Tread Lightly! TL! Kids Outdoor Quiz and print the certificate. Click on the "Outdoor Quiz" arrow.
  4. Participate in an outdoor ethics activity facilitated by a person who has completed the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course or is a BSA outdoor ethics trainer or master.

Adult Leader Outdoor Ethics Action Award

  1. Do each of the following:
    1. Earn the Outdoor Ethics Awareness Award.
    2. Complete the BSA outdoor ethics orientation course.
    3. Show the National Park Service Leave No Trace video to your den or pack.
  2. Read about the principles of Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly ! Facilitate your Cub Scouts' learning about a principle.
  3. Facilitate or participate with a family or den when they put on their activity (such as a skit or demonstration) at a den or pack meeting or outing about a principle of Leave No Trace or Tread Lightly!
  4. Help plan and participate in three activities that your pack or den can complete while following Leave No Trace principles or the frontcountry guidelines.
  5. Contact a local landowner or land manager to arrange the pack or den service project that reduces impact from our use of the outdoors. The project must be approved by the landowner or land manager in advance. Examples might be collecting litter, cleaning fire rings or grills, or other steps suggested by the landowner or land manager.
  6. Make or assist in a presentation at a roundtable or similar gathering about what your pack or den did for requirement 4.
  7. Help your Cub Scout or another Cub Scout earn the youth Outdoor Ethics Action Award.

Religious Award

For more a summary of requirements for individual Adult Religious Awards, please visit Requirements are listed by religion.

This square knot is worn by those whom have received a religious award as an adult member of the BSA. The awards are not BSA awards and are presented by religious organizations for long tenure of service to Scouting, the religion, and the community. With one exception all of these awards require a nomination. Self-nomination is not allowed.

Only one Adult Religious Award square knot is worn regardless of how many awards have been received. It is possible, for example, to receive two or three levels of awards in some faiths or to receive awards from more than one faith.

The cost for this award at the time of this posting is $1.59.

Scouter's Key Award

The Scouter's Key Award can now be earned in place of the discontinued Cubmaster's Award.


Within a five-year period, complete at least three years of registered tenure as a Cubmaster or one year as a registered assistant Cubmaster plus two years as a registered Cubmaster.
(This can include the tenure used to earn the Scouter’s Training Award.)


  1. Complete basic training for Cubmasters.
  2. Complete This Is Scouting training
  3. Attend a pow wow or university of Scouting (or equivalent), or attend at least four roundtables (or equivalent) during each year of the tenure used for this award.


Do the following during the tenure used for this award:

  1. Achieve at least the Silver level of Journey to Excellence for at least two years. The Quality Unit Award is acceptable if the tenure used is prior to 2011.
  2. Earn the National Summertime Pack Award at least once.
  3. Conduct an annual pack planning session and have a published pack meeting/activity schedule for the pack’s parents in each year.
  4. Participate in at least one additional supplemental or advanced training event at the council, area, region, or national level.

The cost of this award at the time of this posting is $1.99.

**This award was last earned by Pack 901 Scouters:
Cubmaster (discontinued Cubmaster Award) 2013
Chartered Organization Rep 2013
Icon File Name Comment  
ScoutersKey-C-511-053.pdf Scouter's Key Award Application  

Unit Leader of Merit Award


Quality unit leadership is the key to a quality unit program—and it leads to better Scout retention. Statistics show that if young people stay engaged in the program for at least five years, the BSA’s influence likely will stay with them for the rest of their lives. A quality Scouting experience will help keep Scouts in the program, and the Boy Scouts of America created the Unit Leader Award of Merit to recognize the quality unit leaders who make that happen.

This new recognition has revised requirements and may be earned by Cubmasters as well.


The nominee must:

  1. Be a currently registered Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Coach, or Advisor who has served in that position at least 18 continuous months.
  2. Meet the training requirements for the registered position.
  3. Distribute a printed or electronic annual unit program plan and calendar to each family in the unit.
  4. Have a leader succession plan in place.
  5. Effectively use the advancement method so that at least 60 percent of the unit’s youth have advanced at least once during the last 12 months.
  6. Cultivate a positive relationship with the chartered organization.
  7. Project a positive image of Scouting in the community.

Nomination Procedure

  1. The unit committee chair completes the Unit Leader Award of Merit Nomination Form on behalf of the unit committee. For Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, and Venturer crews, the nomination must include endorsement by the senior patrol leader, team captain, or crew president, respectively.
  2. The unit or district commissioner certifies that the form is complete.
  3. The unit submits the nomination form to the council for approval by the Scout executive and council commissioner or president.

The Award

Upon receipt of the approved nomination form, the council may present the Unit Leader Award of Merit, which includes a certificate, square knot with the appropriate device, and a special unit leader emblem. Recognition of this achievement may be presented at appropriate district or council events, such as district or council leader recognition dinners, training events, and board meetings.

The award may be presented for each program, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity, and Venturing, if the individual meets the requirements in each program. Only one knot is worn with the devices of each program that the award was earned in.

This award must be signed off by the Pack Committee Chairman.  This award is paid for by the Pack.

**This award was last earned by a Pack 901 Scouter:

Cubmaster 2012

Icon File Name Comment  
Unit Leader Award of Merit.pdf Unit Leader of Merit Award Application