> updated 11/06/15 Added Conservation segment and info
> updated 16/11/10
This distinctive medal will be awarded to Boy Scouts who have earned the Camping segment with a Silver device along with two other segments each with Gold devices. They must also earn four outdoor-specific merit badges, plan a unit outdoor event, and take a Wilderness First Aid course and a Leave No Trace course, each 16 hours long.
National Outdoor Awards
National Outdoor Awards
The BSA announced in 2010 the establishment of special awards to re-focus Scouting's core "reason for existance" -- the outdoors. These awards are in addition to local Council and/or national "high adventure" awards like the 50-Miler and Historic Trails emblems.
The awards are only available to Boy Scouts (and Varsity Scouts as long as the Varsity Scout program exists) who meet specific requirements in one of six subject areas: conservation, camping, hiking, aquatics, riding, and adventure.
There are two levels of the award. Boys can start with the National Outdoor Badges, seen below. Each badge is earned by boys who demonstrate "that they are knowledgeable, safe, and comfortable in the outdoor activity covered by the badge."
Each of the segments is earned by completing the First Class rank, earning relevant merit badges, and accumulating experience—nights of camping, miles of hiking, hours of swimming, etc.
The emblem and segments are worn centered on the RIGHT POCKET of the field uniform, as the BSA has deemed them "temporary insignia" even though it has a national scope. Additionally, they may be worn centered on the RIGHT POCKET of the various jac-shirts as shown below. It may also be worn on a vest, blanket or other personal item.
Once a segment is earned, boys can continue in that activity and earn special Boy Scout program devices in gold or silver for additional work on a particular activity. The program devices are the small Boy Scout emblem devices which are worn with various square knot emblems.
In 2013, the National Camping Task Force added a sixth concentration -- Conservation -- to the five previous award concentrations.
The highest award for outdoor adventurers is called the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, which is displayed on the upper left side of this page.
The BSA originally announced that boys needed to earn five segments to earn the medal, but the National Camping Task Force altered the requirements some to make the medal a little easier -- just a little. The task force stated that earning this medal is not for every Boy Scout or Varsity Scout.
In order to earn the medal, Scouts must earn the Camping segment with a Silver device along with two other segments each with gold devices. They must also earn four outdoor-specific merit badges, plan a unit outdoor event, and take a Wilderness First Aid course and a Leave No Trace course, each 16 hours long.
Full requirements and application is located on the BSA's Outdoor Programs page.
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