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Is Scout Sunday a formal occasion (wearing medals)

@kevinwindisch and @Qwazse

I don’t argue there may be an impact resulting from this. I’m simply stating the rule in the Guide to Awards and Insignia. I’m not the insignia police, but if people want to know and follow the rule, it clearly says adults wear the Eagle medal only to formal Eagle occasions.

But the GTA does not spell out what those occasions are so insignia police like me are satiated.

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@PaulMcDonald, medals earned as youth are not for everyday wear by adults. The Guide to awards and Insignia consistently identifies these are for formal occasions with the exception of the Eagle Scout medal which is for formal Eagle occasions.

Things earned as an adult may be worn by the adult any time. However, not many people involved with a unit would show up at every weekly meeting with a Scouter’s Key medal pinned to their shirt or a Silver Beaver around their neck.

@kevinwindisch, yes, as discussed above the line between formal and not formal is blurred. Note that I didn’t say informal, because I think there is some middle ground where an event might be neither formal nor informal. Pack meetings are a good example of a starting point for those who would enjoy sitting beside a campfire for hours just talking about when it is and is not appropriate for an adult to wear the Venturing Quest medal. Should an assistant den leader who was a Venturer as a youth wear his Venturing Quest medal to monthly pack meetings? Are den meetings formal occasions, if the Scouts are expected to show up in uniform, and a flag ceremony is conducted? The possible range of opinions is endless.

If I had the Silver Beaver, I’d wear that sucker around the house! When no one is home…


@PaulMcDonald, during my time (2003-2010) as an SM for a troop (founded in 1917) in Manhattan’s Chinatown, I had an ASM receive the Silver Beaver.

She didn’t want to put the knot on her shirt. I had to convince her that these boys were growing up in households where they were often treated like little princes who could go back to their video games while their sisters helped with the dishes. They needed to see that a woman can make great contributions and be recognized for it. Once she put the knot (and the Asian American Spirit of Scouting Service knot) on her shirt, I frequently pointed those knots out to the boys and asked them whether they had seen those before. I made sure to tell them how prestigious they were and how lucky they were to have Kay as an ASM, since she has been so highly honored. It wasn’t that they didn’t already have respect for Kay. They certainly did. But i needed to make it broader than that.

After I got her to sew the knot on, I asked her if she would wear the actual Silver Beaver to troop courts of honor. That thing hanging around someone’s neck is unmistakeable. She was reluctant, but she did it.


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: The reason we wear the knots and the medals is so that a scout will come up and say, “What are those?” and then you have a teachable moment.


In the spirit of being a responsible uniform dork …
For everyone’s info, if I search the web for “Eagle occasion”, I get a bunch of websites for auto showings. So, if you’re buying/selling a jeep, pin on that medal on your lapel … :grin:

If only we had a BSA source like Peter Self, team leader for Member Experience Innovation reponsing to Byan on Scouting:

When should youth and adults wear the Eagle Scout medal?
… We couldn’t possibly address every circumstance that would arise (honoring a beloved Scoutmaster at his/her memorial service, attending the BSA’s annual Report to the Nation, etc.), so we leave this up to the discretion of the Scout.
If he does choose to wear the medal, he should wear it above the left pocket flap of the uniform.
… While it is not specifically addressed in official BSA literature, as a matter of convention it is also acceptable for adults to wear the medal on special occasions, such as those noted above. That means either on the field uniform or, if the adult is wearing business attire, on the left lapel or above the left breast pocket of a business suit or sports coat.

In other words, discretion is warranted. If you want to wear something every day on the job, consider your Eagle pin. But, we don’t want to be overly restrictive. If you’re attending an occasion where you think Eagles should be noted, check with the host and trust your gut.

And to those Eagles who think about the next time they take their jeep mudding: No. Just. No!


We had a sort of similar situation recently at my Cub unit. The unit had to be refounded after a split from the previous unit that intended to (and subsequently did) fold at the end of the year, when the committee’s children all completed Webelos and didn’t intend to continue. They refused to hand over the charter, so the remaining members had to refound from scratch with a new charter org, and it took the better part of a year, and the work of several people to get everything set back up. Because of that, nobody wanted to claim the William D. Boyce award, because they all felt it was a group effort.

I joined them about 7 months after all that happened, and when I saw the new rules for the award, and that they were retroactive for last year, I brought it up and they immediately applied. However, one of our committee members declined to be named anyway, because she still didn’t want the award. I’m a bit flabbergasted to be honest. In her defense, she doesn’t wear a uniform, and doesn’t have a use for the square knot, but still, the recognition from the commissioner at a pack meeting would have been nice; and the kids definitely took notice.

Edit: holy typos, Batman. That’s what I get for hammering out a response in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Nothing official, just a preference for a less cluttered look. It also depends on the ‘culture’ of the local chartered org or unit.

At one, adults were discouraged from wearing youth awards, except Eagle and then only at Eagle COH and the like. But encouraged to wear adult-earned awards. The idea being to keep the focus on the scouts. At another, it was encouraged to wear your youth-awards to promote them among the youth.

I have two youth religious emblems and one adult religious award. At Scout Sunday now, I just wear the adult one. And I also like to have only one thing hanging from my neck - not a combination of medals, beads, scarfs, etc. Just personal preference.

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Less cluttered is better imho. I don’t even like my OA fall too busy, but I wear it.

I have thought about getting an “uncluttered shirt” setup that some have.

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That award can now be awarded to multiple people, just FYI.

I have a related question. What do you call a Scout’s “formal uniform”; i.e. field uniform with merit badge sash and medals?