Every adult who gives their time to Scouting supports the development of young people and without them Scouting and the adventures it offers simply would not happen.
However, there are those who make an extra special contribution and carry out task and commitments outside of the requirements of their role and our Good Service and St George’s Day Awards are intended to recognise that additional contribution and thereby express the appreciation of the Association and in particular that of the Chief Scout.
There is no mystery in the way our Awards scheme works and this introduction for our County seeks to explain the procedures and how Commissioners can expect some assistance in making successful applications. All members of the Association whether uniformed or not may be eligible for awards sometime, however there are a set of strict rules which must be followed and standard forms to be completed.
District Commissioners or members of the County Team initiate the Awards procedure. Nominations require the approval of the County Commissioner before being submitted to the HQ Awards Board, (by the County Commissioner).
In order to maintain a uniform National standard the Awards Board on behalf of the Chief Scout administers the rules. The information provided on the application form must give a real indication of the individuals’ extra special contribution to Scouting. The County Commissioner’s role is only advisory in nature.
Awards for Good Service
There are a number of Good Service awards available to adults in the Scouting movement.
The Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service
This award is given in respect of not less than 5 years good service, which stands out. It should be regarded as the Chief Scout’s recognition of the very real contribution made to the Association by the individual concerned.
The Award for Merit
This award is given for outstanding service of not less than 12 years and 10 years exceptionally. It implies keen, conscientious, imaginative and dedicated service over a sustained period.
The Bar to the Award for Merit
This may be awarded after a period of not less than five years of further outstanding service.
The Chief Scout’s Personal Award
This is awarded by the Chief Scout, in consultation with the Awards Board to recognise achievement not covered by the criteria for any other awards. It may be accompanied, where appropriate, with a suitable commemorative item.
The Thanks Badge
The thanks badge is the means of expressing the appreciation of the Association to those who are not Members or Associate Members but who have been of service to Scouting and is available through Badge Secretaries.
Commissioner’s Commendation Award
This award can be used by the County to recognise adult and youth members and non-members for their contribution to Scouting. This award carries no criteria and is illustrated by a purple knot. It can be worn in the same location on the uniform as other adult awards to denote it is part of the family of adult awards, even though it is awarded and decided locally.
St George’s Day Awards
The following awards can usually only be awarded for St George’s Day, but can be awarded at other times in exceptional circumstances.
The Silver Acorn
This award is not normally awarded until after at least an Award for Merit has been gained and a further five years’ service has been completed. Thus, it is seldom awarded for less than 20 years service, which should be specially distinguished and appreciably better than outstanding.
The Bar to the Silver Acorn
This may be awarded for at least a further 5 years of similarly distinguished service.
The Silver Wolf
The Silver Wolf is the unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout and is only awarded for service of a most exceptional nature although the Chief Scout will usually consult the Awards Board before awarding it. It is not normally awarded until at least a Silver Acorn has been gained. In practice this means that it is seldom awarded for less than 30 years service although, because it is the Chief Scout’s unrestricted gift, no length of service is prescribed.
Nominating someone for an award
If you believe a particular individual has given extra special service to Scouting do not hesitate to refer to your District Commissioner.
Due to the number of individuals being considered each year the procedure can take several months. For St. Georges Day Awards, i.e. Silver Acorn, Bar and Silver Wolf the application needs to be with our County Commissioner by early August of the previous year.
Awards for length of service
Length of service awards are available to all Members and Associate Members of the Association, uniformed or not (with the exception of occasional helpers).
Any service given while holding an adult appointment as a member of the UK Scout Association counts towards the service awards. This includes service such as Secretary, Executive member etc. This does not cover service held in a training role such as a Rover Scout (or Mate) or Scout Network. However, if an adult appointment were held concurrently, this service would count.
Service in the Association is recognised by the Chief Scout’s Length of Service Award at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 year Intervals. A certificate and either a cloth emblem or brooch with a white knot and corresponding green number is available.
Due to the large number of awards, all recipients are issued with a cloth emblem, however the Awards Office at Gilwell will exchange this for a brooch on the return of the unwanted cloth emblem with a covering letter.
If a Member requires extra badges for spare shirts, these may be ordered from Scout Shops. They will check with the Awards Office that the award is held on the Membership Database before they can complete the order.
For more information please see our guide to saying thank you or speak to your District Commissioner.