Silver Beaver 2
By Melany Gardner
Sep 18, 2013

History of the Silver Beaver Award

The Silver Beaver Award is the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. It is the highest honor a council can present to an adult volunteer. Recipients of this award are adults who have made an impact on the lives of youth through commitment and service. The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is given to those who do not actively seek it.

The medal consists of a silver beaver pendant suspended from a blue and white ribbon worn around the neck. Recipients may wear the corresponding square knot, with a white strand over a blue strand, on the BSA uniform. Silver awards are the highest awards in the BSA.

The Silver Beaver was introduces in 1931 as a pin-on medal but, due to the heavy weight of the medallion, it was switched over to a neck ribbon in mid-1932. A blue-white-blue ribbon bar was introduced in 1934 for informal uniform wear. In 1946, ribbon bars were replaced by the current knot insignia.

The Silver Beaver was initially awarded only to men. The Silver Fawn Award, an equivalent for women, was awarded starting in 1971. It used the same knot insignia, but on a blue background, as women were mostly involved in Cub Scouting during this period. The Silver Fawn was discontinued and the Silver Beaver began to be awarded to women in 1974. A total of 2,455 Silver Fawns were awarded to outstanding women for support of Cub Scouting before the award was discontinued in 1974.

Author: Melany Gardner | Marketing & Program Assistant, Utah National Parks Council

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