Lifesaving and Meritorious Action awards

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These are the Lifesaving and Meritorious Awards that may be awarded at any level.
Boy Scouts can earn the Lifesaving Merit Badge.
Venturers can work on the Lifesaver Ranger Award elective.


Lifesaving and Meritorious Action awards requirements

National awards for lifesaving, meritorious action, and heroism are made only for outstanding and unusual acts that demonstrate unusual heroism, skill, or bravery and reflect Scouting ideals, based on the following criteria:

  1. Honor Medal With Crossed Palms. Has demonstrated unusual heroism[1] and extraordinary skill[2] or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to self.
  2. Honor Medal. Has demonstrated unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self.
  3. Heroism Award. Has demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save life at minimal personal risk.[3]
  4. Medal of Merit. Has performed an act of service of a rare or exceptional character that reflects an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others.
  5. National Certificate of Merit. Has performed a significant act of service that is deserving of special national recognition.[4]
  1. Heroism is defined as conduct exhibiting courage, daring, skill, and self-sacrifice.
  2. Skill is defined as the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively in execution or performance. Special attention is given to skills earned in Scouting.
  3. The Heroism Award was retired in late 2012, but was reinstated by the National Court of Honor in February 2018; (see BSA reinstates Heroism Award, one of three national-level lifesaving awards; Bryan on Scouting blog post; August 29, 2018)
  4. Note: If the action is deserving of merit but does not qualify for a national award, the Scout may be eligible for the Local Council Certificate of Merit, No. 606760.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Scouts BSA Requirements, 2019 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #648914)

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