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> updated 16/03/13
Official version of Crest of Leadership

The Crest of Leadership (shown above) was designed by "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt as a replacement for the various local Council youth leadership training courses. The Crest was used by the BSA (and is STILL used by some 30 or so local Councils) to award to youth leaders for completing a set of individual training application requirements (similar to a "ticket" which Wood Badge participants must complete) in order to receive and wear the emblem. The emblem was originally designated as a "permanent" emblem but that designation was removed by the BSA in 1980 with the end of the "ALL OUT FOR SCOUTING!" leadership training emphasis.

There are several versions of the Crest out there. In 1981, the leadership of the Blue Grass Scouting Alliance Club at Eastern Kentucky University asked and received permission to alter the Crest and to use it as its official organizational crest. More information on the Crest of Leadership and the BGSA can be found on a separate page.

Lapel Pins

All Civilian Lapel Pin Gold Quill Award

Gold Quill Award

The Gold Quill Award is no longer available for Scouts and Venturers to earn.

The Gold Quill Award, introduced in 1927, remained as a special BSA award until it discontinuation in 1983. Gold Quill Award was a special recognition piece presented to Boy Scouts (and later Explorers) for outstanding journalism, reporting, photography, and communication.

The Award was one of the holdovers from the days of BSA co-founder and Chicago newspaper businessman Willam D. Boyce. He awarded medals to Boy Scouts for contributing articles and stories to his Lone Scout (and later Boy's Life) magazines or other publications. The first 100 points awarded earned Scouts a Bronze Medal, the next 100 points a Silver Medal, and the next 100 points a Gold Medal. After that one could work towards the highest award in this series - the Gold Quill award. Boyce created a special designation -- the Gold Quill -- and those Scouts who earned the Award by writing a news story and getting it published within one of his newspapers carried the distinguished "mark" as a Gold Quill writer. Their news stories, like the later United Press International Black Star designation, would carry "(Gold Quill) in the "dateline" as like this:

HOUSTON (Gold Quill) --

Boyce's newspaper editors placed these stories "below the fold" on the front page of their papers. It was (and still is) an honor to have your story placed on the front page of a newspaper.

When Boyce sold his papers, he also gave the BSA permission to continue the Gold Quill Award through earning the Journalism merit badge.

As photography became a mainstay within newspapers, Boyce's Gold Quill Award encouraged Boy Scouts (and later Explorers) to first buy the Boy Scout camera made by Kodak; and then to go out and take interesting photos and send them to their papers.

In the 60s and 70s, Kodak sponsored several photo contests and in the early 70s expanded it to include motion picture contests. Steven Spielberg is one of thousands of former Boy Scouts and Explorers who earned the Gold Quill Award.

Gold Quill Award
Gold Quill Award (NOT for wear on the uniform -- civilian wear only)

In 1968, the BSA created a new merit badge -- Communications -- and attached the Gold Quill Award to requirements toward earning the merit badge.

The requirements, as completed, were recorded on a Gold Quill cardboard scorecard and was turned into the local Council for the processing and awarding of the Gold Quill lapel pin and a pocket certificate card.

Gold Quill Award certificate card
Gold Quill Award Certificate/card

The Gold Quill Award is presented in recognition of your ability to express yourself clearly. Fulfillment of its requirements gives you credit toward your Communications merit badge. Your unit leader will supply you with a Gold Quill scoreboard-application form and will present you with your award when you have completed the following:
1. Write in 300 words or less why you think the ability to communicate with others is important. Include in your statement your answer to the following:
(a) Why should you improve your abilityŚ(1) To put your ideas into words. (2) To make your ideas understandable. (3) To understand what other people are saying to you?
(b) By what different means can you communicate with others?
2. Do ONE of the following five projects:
(a) Submit a published article that you have written.
(b) Submit a photograph you have taken that has been published in some form. Include a 25-word description of the photograph's subject.
(c) Submit evidence that you have made a verbal report before your church or synagogue, club, or similar group.
(d) Serve on the production staff or as an accredited reporter for your unit, district, or council newspaper, or for the newspaper of a national special event, such as the jamboree or the Explorer delegate conference.
(e) Submit material or evidence to show your unit leader that you have prepared a message and communicated it to others. This might include a scrapbook of unit activities, a history of your unit, a play, or the script of a ceremony.
3. Visit a radio station, a television station, a recording studio, a photography studio, or a newspaper office and observe its operation so that you can explain it to your unit leader.
4. Discuss with your unit leader the requirements for the Communications merit badge.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has kept the Gold Quill program alive through their own Gold Quill Awards.


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