National Outdoor Challenge Unit Award for Boy Scouts

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National Outdoor Challenge Unit   National Outdoor Challenge Unit Award   Scout Award

This Award is meant for Boy Scouts.

The National Outdoor Challenge is a unit award that recognizes troops that maintain or increase the amount of outdoor activity when compared to the previous year.

The recognition is a streamer for the unit's flag.
(The actual streamer may be different than this image)

With the release of this award, the National Camping award has been discontinued.

To earn this award, the unit states on the application that it has:
  1. Developed an annual plan for the current year.
  2. Conducted 10 outdoor trips or activities with at least 50 percent of the registered youth participating OR increased the number of outdoor trips or activities compared to the previous year.
  3. Attended long-term resident camp or a local/national high-adventure experience of at least six days/five nights.
  4. Conducted at least one outing with a Webelos Scout den.
  5. Earned at least one outdoors-related* merit badge per Scout.
  6. Conducted at least one Leave No Trace program during the calendar year for a minimum of 50 percent of the members.

Note: Outdoors-related merit badges are: Backpacking, Camping, Canoeing, Climbing, Cooking, Cycling, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, First Aid, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fishing, Fly-Fishing, Forestry, Hiking, Lifesaving, Orienteering, Pioneering, Rowing, Scuba, Snow Sports, Soil and Water Conservation, Swimming, Water Sports, Whitewater.

The unit leader completes the National Outdoor Challenge application and submits it to the local council camping committee.
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 Mar 12, 2013 - Lowell Stokes
My Unit completed the requirements for the National Outdoor Challenge Unit Award, and the council seems to be having trouble identifying how to proceed with actually awarding it. Apparently, this is a newer award, and they cant identify how to submit it. Has anyone else had this problem and can you tell me what the correct procedure is? Thx, LS
Mar 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Lowell - You complete the application form, take it your council Scout Shop, and buy the ribbon.  The award is at least 3 years old.
Jan 23, 2014 - Peter Dale
Can someone explain requirement #2 to me please? Does this mean 10 camps/activities with 50% attendance on EACH camp/activity?

We have a larger troop with excellent participation throughout the year, but 50% at each camp/activity is pushing it for us.

Thanks in advance.
Jan 23, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Peter - Well, it's the "Challenge" award.  I see that requirement as having at least 50% of the scouts in the troop on each of 10 outings.  
It doesn't seem to me that a troop with less than 50% participation should be receiving a flag ribbon.
Mar 03, 2014 - David
So, I'm not sure what "Earned at least one outdoors-related* merit badge per Scout," means.  It sounds like if you have 20 scouts and earn 20 outdoors-related merit badges total, that would count.  But are they actually saying that each scout should earn at least one?
Mar 03, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@David - I would expect each scout to earn at least one of the listed merit badges.  But, the application form makes no distinction so a few ambitious scouts could carry the unit, I suppose.

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