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Top Awards in Scouting

This page shows and details the various Youth Awards in Scouting, achievable for Squirrel, Beaver, Cub, Scout, Explorer and Network Scouts. For adult awards, see here.

Please read on to find the awards that pertain to your young person and their journey through Scouting.

 

Overall Highest Awards

King’s Scout Award

The King’s Scout Award (KSA) is the highest youth award in Scouting, and is worn in perpetuity. It comprises a number of components, often including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, and is achievable in the Explorer Scouts or the Scout Network.  The Award is linked closely to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award and it is worth working on the two awards together.

Scouts of the World Award

The Scouts of the World Award (SOWA) is the top achievement in the Scout Network (18-25).  It is one of the rarest Top Awards, carrying the highest volunteering time requirement, and is worn in perpetuity. It requires at least 80 hours of independent project management within volunteering.

Explorer Belt

The Explorer Belt (EB) is the top achievement for Explorer Scouts (14.5-18) and can also be completed in the Scout Network (18-25). It requires an assessed international expedition in a foreign country over at least 10 days. Both a cloth badge (as shown) and a metal belt buckle are awarded, and it is worn in perpetuity.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Gold Award is achievable in both the Explorer Scouts and the Scout Network. It is a well-renowned award, worn in perpetuity, that is usually completed in tandem with the King’s Scout Award (KSA). It involves showing a marked improvement in several varied areas, such as physical ability and practical skills, as well as volunteering commitment.

Young Leader’s Belt

The Young Leaders’ (YL) Belt is considered a top award for Explorer Scouts (14.5-18). It involves volunteering with a different youth section (Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts) for an extended period. Upon completing the Challenges and Modules associated with the role, the belt is awarded and worn in perpetuity. Cloth badges are also awarded, which can be worn until graduation to the Scout Network.

 Welsh Dragon Gold Award

The Welsh Dragon Gold Award is a top award achievable for all youth and adult members. It is administered by Scouts Cymru rather than Scouting HQ. It involves camping in all months of the year, in a variety of challenging sleeping conditions such as makeshift shelters. It is often run in tandem with the Scottish Zodiac Award. It can be worn in perpetuity in the “occassional badge” position.

 Scottish Zodiac Platinum / Gold Award

The Scottish Zodiac Platinum and Gold Awards are top awards achievable for all youth and adult members. They aree administered by Scouts Scotland rather than Scouting HQ. The Platinum Award is achieved by learning how to plan and run camps. The Gold Award involves camping in all months of the year, in a variety of challenging sleeping conditions such as makeshift shelters. They are often run in tandem with the Welsh Dragon Award. It can be worn in perpetuity in the “occassional badge” position

Top Awards within the Explorer Scouts & the Scout Network

Chief Scout’s Diamond Award

The Chief Scout’s Diamond Award is the penultimate award in Scouting – the step before the King’s Scout Award. The Award is linked closely to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Silver Award and it is worth working on the two awards together. It involves showing a marked improvement in several varied areas, such as physical ability and practical skills, as well as volunteering commitment. Expressing international, community and values education is also required. The award is worn until the age of 25, or until the young person achieves the King’s Scout Award.

Chief Scout’s Platinum Award

The Chief Scout’s Platinum Award is the award prior to the Chief Scout’s Diamond Award. The Award is linked closely to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award and it is worth working on the two awards together. It involves showing a marked improvement in several varied areas, such as physical ability and practical skills, as well as volunteering commitment. Expressing international, community and values education is also required. The award is worn until the age of 25, or until the young person achieves the Chief Scout’s Diamond Award.

Explorers YouShape Award

The Explorers YouShape Award is the leadership award in the Explorers Section. It is awarded for getting involved in how the Explorer Unit runs, suggesting improvements and helping adult leaders. The award is worn until graduation to the Scout Network.

Top Awards within the Scouts Section

Chief Scout’s Gold Award

The Chief Scout’s Gold Award is the top award in the Scouts Section. It is arguably the most well-known award and is considered the mark of a true Scout. It is achieved by completing 9 Scout Challenge Badges (diamond ones on the chest), each of which pose their own learning experiences and are achievements in their own right. Each Challenge badge will take a number of evenings to complete, structured to provide a broad Scouting experience. 6 Scout Activity Badges (circular ones on the arm) must also be achieved to qualify. It is considered the litmus test for a well-rounded Scouting experience. The award is worn until the age of 18, or until the young person achieves the Chief Scout’s Platinum Award in the Explorer Section, or graduates to the Scout Network. It is usually awarded alongside a golden woggle, which is worn in perpetuity, commonly worn by King’s Scouts.

Senior Patrol Leadership Stripe

The Senior Patrol Leadership Stripe is the top leadership award in the Scouts Section. Scouts first prove their leadership skills as an Assistant Patrol Leader, then a Patrol Leader, leading up to 5 other Scouts in activities. After showing the most remarkable leadership ability in their whole Scout Troop, this badge is awarded and they become the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). There is usually only 1 SPL in a Troop at any time, they are the ‘highest ranking’ Scout in the Troop. This lends the badge some rarity. The stripe is worn until graduation to Explorer Scout.

Scouts YouShape Award

The Scouts YouShape Award is the ‘indirect leadership’ award in the Scouts Section. It is awarded for getting involved in how the Scout Troop runs, suggesting improvements and helping adult leaders. The award is worn until graduation to Explorer Scout.

Top Awards within the Cubs Section

Chief Scout’s Silver Award

The Chief Scout’s Silver Award is the top award in the Cubs Section. It is often the mark of a Cub that shows great potential and dedication. It is achieved by completing 7 Cub Challenge Badges (diamond ones on the chest), each of which pose their own learning experiences and are achievements in their own right. Each Challenge badge will take a number of evenings to complete, structured to provide a broad Scouting experience. 6 Cub Activity Badges (circular ones on the arm) must also be achieved to qualify. The award is worn until the young person achieves the Chief Scout’s Gold Award as a Scout, or graduates to Explorer Scout.

Sixer Leadership Stripe

The Sixer Leadership Stripe is the top leadership award in the Cubs Section. Cubs must first prove their leadership as a Seconder, the ‘secondmost’ of a group of 6 Cubs. After showing the aptitude to lead 5 other Cubs in activities, this badge is awarded and they become a Sixer. The stripe is worn until graduation to Scout.

Cubs YouShape Award

The Cubs YouShape Award is the ‘indirect leadership’ award in the Cubs Section. It is awarded for getting involved in how the Cub Pack runs, suggesting improvements and helping adult leaders. The award is worn until graduation to Scout.

Top Awards within the Beavers Section

Chief Scout’s Silver Award

The Chief Scout’s Bronze Award is the top award in the Beavers Section. It is often the mark of a Beaver that shows persistent commitment and enthusiasm. It is achieved by completing 6 Cub Challenge Badges, each of which pose their own learning experiences and are achievements in their own right. Each Challenge badge is structured to provide a broad Scouting experience. 4 Beaver Activity Badges (circular ones on the arm) must also be achieved to qualify. The award is worn until the young person achieves the Chief Scout’s Silver Award  as a Cub Scout, or graduates to Scout.

Peer Leadership Stripe

The Peer Leadership Stripe is the ‘direct leadership’ award in the Beavers Section. After showing the aptitude to peer mentor up to 3 other Beavers, this badge is awarded. The stripe is usually worn on a term-by-term basis, until graduation to Cub Scout.

Beavers YouShape Award

The Beavers YouShape Award is the ‘indirect leadership’ award in the Beavers Section. It is awarded for getting involved in how the Beaver Lodge runs, suggesting improvements and helping adult leaders. The award is worn until graduation to Cub Scout.

Top Awards within the Squirrels Section

Chief Scout’s Acorn Award

The Chief Scout’s Acorn Award is the top award in the Squirrels Section. It is often the mark of a Squirrel that has taken to Scouting with joy. It is achieved by completing 4 Squirrel Challenge Badges, each of which pose their own learning experiences and are achievements in their own right. Each Challenge badge is structured to provide a broad Scouting experience. 2 Squirrel Activity Badges must also be achieved to qualify. The award is worn until the young person achieves the Chief Scout’s Bronze Award  as a Beaver Scout, or graduates to Cub Scout.

Other Awards

  • The Scout Wings Award is a badge for feats such as parachute jumps and independent flights in aircraft. It is worn in perpetuity under POR 10.21.1.6 and is still awarded by several Air Scout groups.

 

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls