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Home»Scouts»Boy Scouts»Awards


The Hornaday awards program was created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation. It was begun in 1914 by Dr. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Hornaday was an active and outspoken champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison from extinction.
He named the award the Wildlife Protection Medal. Its purpose was to challenge Americans to work constructively for wildlife conservation and habitat protection. After his death in 1937, the award was renamed in Hornaday’s honor and became a BSA award, which was later broadened to include environmental awareness.
The Hornaday Awards are highly prized by those who have received them. Two medals are available to Scouts, with the Silver Medal being the highest award possible to a youth under age 21. These awards represent a substantial commitment of time and energy by individuals who have learned the meaning of a conservation/environmental ethic. Any Boy Scout, Varsity Scout or Venturer willing to devote the time and energy to work on projects based on sound scientific principles under the guidance of a professional conservation adviser can can qualify for one of the Hornaday Awards. The medal-level awards often take several years to complete, so activities should be planned well in advance.
The fundamental purpose of the Hornaday Awards program is to encourage learning by the participants and to increase public awareness about natural resource conservation. Understanding and practicing sound stewardship of natural resources and environmental protection strengthens Scouting’s emphasis on respecting the outdoors. The goal of this awards program is to encourage and recognize truly outstanding efforts by Scouting units, Scouts, Venturers, adult Scouters and other individuals, corporations and institutions that have contributed significantly to natural resource conservation and environmental protection.


The Greater St. Louis Area Council congratulates Michael Grogan on the award of his Bronze Hornaday Conservation Medal by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Michael received his award at ArrowCorp5 Bridger-Teton, presented to him by Tim Beaty of the United States Forest Service, who is a Scouter and chairman of the Hornaday Awards.
Tim Beaty (left), United States Forest Service, presents the Hornaday Award to Michael Grogan.

Michael’s conservation projects include:

  • Invasive Species — 405.5 hours, of which he did 60.6 himself: honeysuckle eradication at Powder Valley Conservation Center and Beckemaier Farm Conservation Area
  • Soil & Water Erosion — 137.3 hours, of which he did 31.8 himself: Klamberg Trail Water Bars, Blue Bird Park; Turkey Ridge Trail Water Grade Dips, Rockwood Reservation
  • Recycling — 149.8 hours, of which he did 30.2 himself: restoration of pond benches, Clarkson Crossing; aluminum can and plastic bottle recycling, Bonhomme Church; E-Cycling, Chesterfield Arbor Day
  • Wildlife & Forestry — 160.8 hours, of which he did 39.7 himself: distribution of native tree saplings, Chesterfield Arbor Day; backyard wildlife habitat display, Faust Park & Chesterfield City Hall
In addition to the 162 hours he expended personally working his projects, Michael also needed to earn a number of related merit badges: Environmental Science, Forestry, Public Health, Soil & Water Conservation, Pulp & Paper and Weather, plus the ecology and plant & wildlife requirements from the Venturing Ranger Award.
He spent a further 108 hours coordinating and organizing all of this projects, with 90 more spent documenting his final report and preparing his application. Michael describes this as “the hardest thing I has ever done.”
Michael admits that he could not have completed this award without the help and guidance of many others — especially Rob Emmett, his conservation adviser from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Others who helped him greatly in completing this award include Erin Shank, Missouri Department of Conservation; Darcy Capstick, chair of the city of Chesterfield’s Committee of Concerned Citizens for the Environment; and Ray Kreienkamp, 2007-08 chief of the New Horizon District’s Chapter of the Order of the Arrow.
Michael also thanks all of the other Scouts and Scouters who took part in his projects — especially his home Troop 597, chartered to Ascension Catholic Church, and his home Crew 840, chartered to Bonhomme Presbyterian Church.
After completing his Hornaday Award, Michael continued to coordinate and lead three of his projects once again this year (at the Beckemaier Farm, Chesterfield Arbor Day and the Bonhomme church). He also volunteered to serve at both Shawnee Lodge One-Day-of-Service Conservation Projects at Johnson-Shut-Ins. Last summer Michael completed his Conservation USA certification training while attending the O.A. National Conservation and Leadership Summit (NCLS) at Indiana University in order to qualify to serve as a squad leader for the staff of the ArrowCorps5 Service Project in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Michael’s other notable Scouting achievements include Eagle Scout with 11 Eagle Palms, Varsity Scout Denali Medal, all four National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) Scout Religious Awards, all four God & Country Scout Awards, the BSA Triple Crown of high adventure (Philmont, Northern Tier and Florida Sea Base), the Congressional Gold Medal for Community Service, Brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, and the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) veteran staff pin for five years of volunteer service.
The National Council describes the Hornaday Award as being “equivalent to an Olympic medal bestowed by the earth.” Only 1,100 of these medals have been issued in the 91-yer history of the award. It has been more than 15 years since a Hornaday Award was presented to a Scout or Venturer from the Greater St. Louis Area Council.